She’s a Keeper!

Well, today was the day.  At 10:00 I met little Annabelle. The Ministry Of Education rep showed me two baby girls.  The first was Annabelle and I just wanted to stop there. I said I didn’t want to see the second one.  However, the MOE woman insisted.  So I trooped over to another room to see Annabelle’s best friend who was born the same time.  So I said she was beautiful but I wanted the first baby (of course).  And then they made me sign a paper saying I didn’t want Baby #2.



Then, it was back to annabelly’s room.  We took the obligatory picture with the MOE rep and then everyone left.  Just left.  And here I am in this room with this little baby.  What do I do with her?  Does she come with instructions?  Where’s the booklet with bad pictorial representations of what to do (ala IKEA furniture)?  Hello???  Did I mention I often unintentionally kill house plants?  Anyone? Anyone?



No one ever talks about how exhausting that first visit is.  I hope it’s not only just me.   For me, there was a lot of pressure on the first visit. I was so convinced that I would feel Margaret with me that I confess I was almost anticipating that as much as meeting Annabelle. I was so sure I would feel Margaret’s presence.  But I didn’t.  And so the first hour of the visit I was fighting a huge sadness on one level. And then on the other side, there is this amazing kid, just adorable, who seemed to find me very amusing and I was blown away by how sweet she is.  So I had a lot of conflicting emotions going on. 



The second hour I got to give her a bottle and that was a blast. She just kept staring into my eyes as if to say, “well you’re a funny lady and you do things differently, but that’s okay.” 


After her warm bottle, she had beads of sweat on her forehead from the warm bottle and being wrapped up in a footed sleeper so I stripped her down and she seemed much more comfortable. Of course, when the nurse popped in I pretended to be changing her diaper since Kazakhs are militant about keeping babies extremely warm and covered up, even In warm weather.


I started swinging her up in the air and she laughed out loud. I think this girl has a bit of daredevil in her.  She seems to like it when I sing to her (she must be tone deaf).  But the problem was I couldn’t actually remember the words to any of the kids songs I remember my mother singing to me.  I’d hum a bar or two but then Have no idea.  So I started making up words to “I’ve been working on the railroad” and “She’s coming round the mountain.”  Then I gave up and started singing her “Red Dirt Girl” by Emmylou Harris.  I felt a bit conflicted when I got to the line “no one knows when she started to slide, could’ve been the whiskey, could’ve been the pills” but comforted myself with the knowledge that I will learn the lyrics to more appropriate songs by the time she actually understands (unless the scientologists are right with their whole silent birth/babies absorb everything theory and then she’s totally screwed)!!  


After two hours she was ready for a nap and I was ready to soak my arms in Epsom salts for they ached! 


After the visit, I swung by the bazaar to buy some food and then stopped by the “cottage” to meet the Kaplans and Julie Van Boeing in person after just knowing them cyber-ly.  Cindy, Tony and I went on an awesome two hour walk which was refreshing and kept me awake.  It was also just great to talk to Cindy for a long time after emailing so much.



I’m now fighting the urge to sleep and trying to force myself to hold out until a more reasonable hour so I’m kind of dragging but I look forward to tomorrow and seeing that little sweet smile.