Praying for Ansley

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Indepedence Day

Wow – this was the perfect day! It was wonderful in every way. Truly better than I even could have imagined!

As the expression goes – Maia Caroline broke out of the baby house today! She is free from there and now has her life to live with me, her big brother Matthew, and the rest of our wonderful family – in the good ‘ole U.S.A. I suppose it is indeed her independence day, the end of mine, however, until she is a little less dependent on me! :) No matter to me – I couldn’t be happier!!

We were at the baby house almost two hours today. There was a celebration for the March 22 holiday which celebrates the beginning of spring, and I ‘think’ it is also the Kazakh New Year. (I need to google this when I get back online to remember for sure.) All of the workers (or most of them, anyway) were preparing for this celebration. They were all dressed up in some very fancy costumes and/or dresses/outfits. Quite different from the normal work attire at the baby house! We waited a little extra time for them to prepare so that we could give the gifts to the room – but we enjoyed the time with Maia and with her ‘friends’ who shared the room she has lived in for so long now. We brought the gifts for the baby house, the stroller and the toys for the room Maia has lived in. We also brought gifts for the Caregivers. I had a little paperwork to sign as well. Then we fed her lunch in the room one last time. She seemed hungry today – and ate fairly well. After lunch though, it was time to get her dressed in her going ‘home’ clothes and get on out of there. It was the first time I had dressed her (which was great in and of itself!) and luckily it didn’t prove to be as difficult as I imagined it would be. (I don’t think I’ve ever put tights on anyone else before, not even Marie or Kate…) We bundled her in her snow suit and headed out of the baby house and for our apartment we call home here in Petropavlovsk (at least for 5 more days).
Going home outfit:

Bundled up and breaking out! First steps outside the baby house:

She was very quiet when we first got in the car. We had to stop at the Iceberg though for a few things, so Maia and I waited in the car with Sasha. It was then that she loosened up a little and started ‘chattering’. She even blew a few kisses at Sasha! It was adorable – but what else would a new mother say??

In the car the first few seconds:
When we got home, we took her out of her snow suit, etc. and showed her around a little bit. She got right down to playing. She crawled around and enjoyed checking things out. At one point she found her bib and got very excited – she figured it was time to eat!! So, we gave her a snack – after all, it was her normal snack time. First, it was time to learn how to use a zippy cup. I gave her some apple juice. She put the cup to her lips but didn’t know how to suck on it. So, I took the no-spill portion out so that she realized what it ‘was’. She got one good sip (and spilled a little). So, I put the no-spill part back in and voila! She was sipping like a champ! She drank all her apple juice and would have had more if I’d let her. I did not – I don’t want to shock her system. She also got a cookie like the ones we gave her in the baby house during our visits.

After snack, we played some more – even playing hide and seek and she totally loved it! I would hide and she would find me! It was a lot of fun. She found every nook and cranny in our apartment. Take a look:

This is what happens when I let Mom watch her for a few minutes:

Just kidding Mom!! Mom is probably already teaching her how to cook...
In all honestly, Maia wanted to go around the whole apartment once and look at everything.

Then I decided to try a nap. It was a little later than normal, and she wasn’t really appearing tired, but I wanted to try. I was afraid that without a crib, and with a lady who has never put her to sleep, in a room she has never been that has a window when she is used to sleeping in a room without a window… that we may have an issue going to sleep! Well, she didn’t seem to understand completely at first, and she didn’t seem too tired. Then it struck me, today they told me at bedtime they give her a pacifier. So, I found one of the ones I brought and gave it to her. Wouldn’t you know, within about 3 minutes, she went to sleep!! I had to wake her after an hour and a half so that she would go to sleep tonight. It was wonderful! We snuggled for a good long time after I woke her up as she roused. Wow – what a snuggle!! She is VERY cuddly.

Then, we had dinner. Well, actually first we had to open the baby food jar… a task I didn’t find easy 12 years ago – and it hasn’t gotten any better. Mom tried. Nope. She tried pounding it. Nope. She tried hot water. Nope. We found a can opener finally and popped the seal. That did it! So, at long last, I was able to feed her. She had her bib on and was ready!! She ate like a CHAMP! More than I’ve seen her eat before I think. In addition to baby food, I also chopped up a bit off banana for her to feed herself. She loved that!! In her sippy cup, she had milk. She liked it.

Then, we tried to get her used to water. She doesn’t like it… so we sat in the bathroom with the shower head and showed it splashing my legs and grandmas hands, etc. She wasn’t too amused, as she sat in my lap gripping me like no tomorrow. Then I got a wash cloth and washed me a bit (to show her what I was doing), and then washed her a bit. That worked OK… but we needed to get her diaper off and really wash her as well as her hair. When we washed her bottom, she was ‘ok’, but her hair when we washed it was a nightmare. She had had it by then! Luckily – it was over and she calmed down quickly. Since I was prepared for her not liking the bath – I knew this was coming! Hopefully in time – she will come to love her bath and time in the water!

We got her dressed in her jammies and brushed her hair. She likes to have her hair brushed! Then Grandma read her a bedtime story which she sat through well enough. Then, we had a little more milk in the sippy cup. We sang a few songs to lull her to sleep a little and then it was time for bed. I gave her her pacifier again and off she went! I sat in the room with her to ensure she fell asleep since there are no sides on the mattress. It took her a little longer to fall asleep tonight, but she did it all the same. No tears. No sadness. Just lots of snuggles and laughs and singing (and she danced!) and fun! We had a very wonderful, blessedly awesome day! Wow – I am truly amazed how perfect it was. Really!
This day was so long in coming. At times it never felt like it would really happen. But it did happen! It does happen! Maia is now sleeping in my bedroom and she is mine! We have a full day with her tomorrow and I’m sure, lots more fun and games and ‘firsts’ for us together as a family.

Everything is still fine here and we are enjoying our time- but at this point, I am ready to go home. I have Maia and I want to be home with Matthew too. So, hopefully the next two weeks will pass at lightning speed…. Now that she is with us – perhaps they will.


Judy said...

Das is wunderbar!

Jennifer M said...

Wow!! You describe it so wonderfully! I am so happy for you and little Maia. I love those pictures and especially that hat! It is simply adorable on her.

Thank you for such a beautiful post.

And most importantly-

Angie said...


I was so happy, sitting at my computer, grinning like an idiot, reading a post about your first day together. Kind of crazy that I've never even met you, but I feel like I know you from the AWAA site and I'm so happy for you. Yep, still grinning! :) Have a great time with Maia!

Cynthia said...

God bless you all! I cried when I read this--tears of joy for you. Then I laughed when I read about the tights! What a happy struggle. Enjoy.

Noah and Josh's Mom said...

Yeah! Congratulations to everyone! Maia Caroline is is adorable! It is the best feeling in the world to snuggle. Enjoy your final days in Kaz.

Kim said...

What a wonderful first day out for Maia. She is absolutely beautiful and looks so happy.


Renee said...

Yeah! Sounds like a wonderful day. What an answer to prayer. I'm so glad you have your daughter now!

Cindy said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful story with a happy ending. Matthew, how exciting, you are officially a big brother!
Thanks for sharing all the Maia pictures. She is a beautiful, happy child. It appears she thought the apartment was her playground. It is so cute how she went exploring. Naps and bedtime are definitely one of the many special times with our little ones. I'm glad she likes milk and ate well. What a special day for you both with many more to come! It is so nice to see you both so happy! P.S. I love all her clothes, but that white hat is just too cute!