The Socks are Off and Cain is Raised

The visit today was a sweet one.  I showed up just in time to give my pumpkin her bottle.  She loves her bottle (after all, she’s a mericle now and we do know how to eat) and it’s a nice time for us to just sit and gaze into each others eyes for a little while. She has held my eyes since the first day which is reassuring from a bonding perspective. Her little eyes go up and down and all around my face while she sucks on her bottle.  This is also great for me because Annabelle’s eyes are the exact same color as Margaret’s eyes, a medium hazel brown. Annabelle’s eyes are shaped differently, but the color is exactly Margaret’s, so that makes me feel like I see a bit of my sister in my daughter.


So we’re gazing away, all nice and peaceful.  So far it sounds like a normal adoption journal.  But this is my child so, of course, we take a sharp left at normal and head straight into the ruckus’in.  I brought a new outfit for Annabelle today and I was taking a chance.  As I’ve mentioned before, the Kazakhs are very particular about keeping babies very bundled up, even in warm weather.  I came in one day and found Annabelle sweating heavily all bundled up in a footie sleeper with a heavy quilt over her and the heat had to be at 85 degrees.  Well today, I brought a non-footed sleeper.   I know, I know, what was I thinking? (Alright, so the truth is I hadn’t done laundry and therefore I had no footed sleepers clean…   So sue me!  I mean I only have 14 hours a day with nothing to do so how do you expect me get to every little thing?)  But in my defense, I did bring socks.  And I thought it would be nice to give her a little bit of a break from the sweat.  But now I realize that the footed sleeper is a means of self-defense for the caregivers.  For when my daughter is free-footed… well, she’s pretty wild.  Take a look at the movies…..


Day 5_files\Bare Feet.MOV   and Day 5_files\Annabelle Face.MOV(click for two clips of her in action)


Did you see the squirming, the writhing, bordering on chaos?  No wonder they keep her covered up.  She’s obviously quite a danger to herself and others when her feet are naked.  up until today she’s always been so respectful, so demure.  But when the socks came off, she thumbed her nose at authority…..



She stuck her tongue out at danger……



And I now realize that she is kept covered up simply to contain her!  We flew higher than ever, she laughed louder, she squirmed harder, all from joy at naked feet. 


And then, when all her energy was gone, when she had managed all her mischief, for the first time, she sacked out in my arms.  And it was wonderful.  For about 5 minutes. And then my arms ached.  My back hurt.  I was sitting in the wrong position.  Could I move or would I wake her?  What if she woke up screaming because she can’t remember who I am?  She’s dreaming, her eyes are moving, isn’t there a rule about not waking a dreaming person? 




But after 20 minutes, she woke up, rubbed her little hands on her little Margaret eyes, gazed into my face and …smiled.  Peace.



The rest of the day was spent at the cottage having lunch with the kaplans and Julie, visiting their kids Jadyn and Katelyn.  Then, since it was a really nice day, the kaplans and I went for another long walk.  It’s Russian Orthodox Easter today so people were out celebrating and walking around. We get some stares, I think it’s mainly because of the Baby Bjorn that the kaplans use with Jadyn – I don’t think the Kazakhs have ever seen anything like it.  Or it could be the fact that Cindy has long blond hair and looks like a model.  Or it could be our shoes.  Our shoes give us away as foreigners.  No fashionable pointy toed boots for the gals, no doc martin style shoes for Tony, no, we’re in merrells or keens or tennis shoes.  Whatever gives us away, we’re a curiosity no doubt.