Friday, January 01, 2010

Phase 2

Tomorrow we enter Phase 2, as Dominick leaves to return to Montrose for 2 weeks, and the rest of us remain behind. He will depart Montrose on January 17th to return, then we will tentatively leave Petropavlovsk as a family of 7 on January 29th, and while we are waiting for registration paperwork for the girls to be completed in Astana and sent on to Almaty, we will actually visit Astana ourselves and hopefully spend some time with our dear friend, Ayana, and see what there is to see there. We have even joked about going to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to visit our telephone "buddy" Indira who was bugged for weeks by us about Matt's passport!(Vegas, wouldn't that be an absolute gas???)

We know this is our last time here...YES IT IS to the peanut gallery that I just know is saying "Yea, right!"...and it is extremely important to us that our kids get a strong sense of their background and culture. I mean, we now have a passle of Central Asians living with us!! Hahaha! We have all seen the less affluent side of Kazakhstan, more of it actually than we wish were in existence. Now we want to leave their birth country with a strong sense of pride in where they are from, understanding the promise this land has to be a great nation one day. Having been back here 4 times now in 10 years, it has been fascinating to see the changes in daily life that have occured in a relatively short period of time.

The truth is, the Kazakhstan that we all see today will not exist 10 or 20 years from now, should any of the kids return. It is our deep hope that one day, it will be hard to explain why they needed to be adopted from such a flourishing country!!! So, since we can hop a flight that will go to Almaty via Astana anyway, like I flew in here myself 2 years ago, we decided to stop, and show our children the shining star of the their country, the new capital.

Then we will be on to Almaty, where we will be until February 9th, when our flight will leave for America via Frankfurt. We are there so long because we need to "pad" our trip by a couple of days in case something doesn't arrive in time to complete our Embassy appointment, which is the final hurdle to us being allowed to get on the plane to go home. We don't want to have to pay the extremely expensive fees to change 7 tickets should something cause a delay...and let's face it, we have had every single delay imaginable so we are taking no chances! Hahaha!

So I will be here alone with the boys, visiting the girls every other day...and probably having a lot of time for introspection and self-examination. Although we will be fine, and I am surprisingly not worried one bit about being here by ourselves without Dominick, I will be missing my hubby very, very much. We are a strange pair, he and I. We are not all mushy all the time with each other and we don't make time for the date nights like we should. But we are a perfectly matched set, like salt and pepper shakers. Very different seasonings, and yet they just automatically go together. Dominick and I couldn't be more different, and yet...we are the same. You'd sort of have to know us to understand, I think. He is conservative, I am liberal. He is outgoing and doesn't know a stranger, I am actually pretty shy and uncomfortable in new situations. He is Italian and In Your Face, I am more the wall flower. But together we compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses. We are alike in that family comes before anything else, laughter is our aphrodesiac, and we know how to work hard and get a job done.

And I will most definitely miss him while he is taking care of business at home.

So we will begin to hit the books hard, as we will have plenty of down time and have not done quite as good a job as I think we might have been able to do if the trip had not been so emotional thus far. It was far more important to us that we simply all be together and deal with it all than to worry about the the R's. Family first, always. Books will always be there, this experience will never repeat itself. But even so, we have managed to get quite a lot done and with the school break anyway for the holidays I don't actually think we are at all behind.

Phase 2 - contemplating what life will really be like as the mother of 5 kids. I think in many ways I never allowed myself to go to close to that place, as I was afraid I would embrace the idea and then it would never happen. Of course there were moments when I imagined us all at home around the table, or crammed in the van on our way to do who-knows-what (you never know with us!). But I really did protect myself a bit from the possible pain of failure all these years.

Now, it is real...laundry for 7, meals for 7, logistics for 7! Haha! Just sitting at the travel agent's office booking tickets I had all 3 boys leaning on me or on my lap and we joked about where there was room for 2 more!

The truth is, when we open our hearts, there is always room for more...much, much more.

We'll try to keep the pictures and blogs coming. We'll try to keep our spirits up during this unexpectedly long and very cold winter. We'll definitely keep the love flowing, no matter whether we are separated by half a globe or not.

Here's to Phase 2!!! Phase 3 is more than a month away. Wonder what adventures still lay ahead of us here? Let's all pray to God that we are used in some amazing way here...a month is a lot of time for cool things to happen, and I hope they do!


Anonymous said...

Too bad it will be your last time there. It seems every time you were there, there was a lot going on as you were trying to adopt. It would be worth going if only for seeing the country without the accompanying underlying stress the other trips must've had. If you didn't go though, who could blame you - you've certainly done enough trips there to last a lifetime! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year (yes, it's still a.m. New Year's day here).
I love the photos of the girls that you've added. What a family! It's so heartwarming to see how the kids have just melted into each other.

Nana and Papa said...

Happy New Year to the LaJoy Family. You know, in your blog you speak of room for two more. I am one of ten children (the eighth born)and I never remember my Mom saying she had no time to help me, etc. Mothers just find whatever time and energy needed for the care and nurturing of their children. And even though we have never met, I feel you are that kind of Mom. I can't wait to hear more about your daughters and sons interacting. Thank you for sharing your trip to the rest of your family with me.

Anonymous said...

Seriously - you have to visit Indira and bring her a big bunch of roses from Dom and me!! Thinking of you all - Vegas

Carol said...

How exciting that you are going to Astana... great idea... wish we took that side trip when we were in Kaz. Everyone talks about how beautiful Astana is, and the Kazakhs seem especially proud of their capital city.

Yes... please keep blogging whenever you are able to... love hearing about what's going on and seeing photos!

Cathy Hartt said...

Something like when a dad leaves after a delivery so he can get some sleep and let the dogs out (or whatever). There is the mom with the new family to interact with in a more quiet way - taking in all that is in her world. Soon enough, dad reappears, more rested, to play with the family.

Anonymous said...

We'll start the countdown on all the calendars in Hillcrest. We'll buy the balloons, scoop up all the New Year's eve whistles and horns. We'll meet you at the airport with the keys to the Cadillac since you've won the lottery. Oh, that's right, this isn't the same kind of lottery, and even a large Cadillac wouldn't carry the whole team. Guess it's back to the van, but we will be waiting with love and joy for all of you.

Anonymous said...

Home in time for Valentine's Day! Love wins again!

Peggy in Virginia

Anonymous said...

We'll be checking off the days on the calendar!! In the meantime, enjoy every moment with your children while in Kaz. It feels like another exciting chapter to look forward to. Then the next chapter coming up in Feb.! We'll keep an eye on Dominick while he is back, knowing he will be missing you all terribly as well. Your blog entries and photos are so precious. The love shows through in all of your eyes! Yes, love wins! Love, Miss Joan

Lindsay said...

How nice to see the updated side bar with photos of all the kids!

May 2010 be a wonderful year for your family.

Victoria said...

Hey Cindy
I am returning to KZ the 4th of Feb to Almaty. We could see each other.. YEAH!! Let's make arrangements. Also I'm not sure where you are planning on staying but TEEN CHALLENGE in Almaty is great. Our team stays there when traveling through and we have sent other adoptive parents there. They have a big orange van and will even pick you up from train station or airport and return you back. They provide food but have a kitchenette in the rooms to cook additional food and a store is just down the road. It is a little outside the downtown area but close to the airport. A family of 8 just stayed there this fall that we know. It is $30 a night for the adults and $15 a night per child. I think they gave a discount to the last family with so many children but am not sure what it was. I could have Interlink's office call and make reservations for you if you'd like. The transportation round trip to the airport is $30 too. They will help you get all your luggage out and into the airport. They are great and the compound is really safe.
I would so love to see you in person so let me know if the afternoon/evening of the 4th works for you so I can make my travel arrangements back to Taraz accordingly. I'll delay it by one day to visit with you guys.
So happy for all the good news with the girls. I have been praying for your entire family. Papa is so good.
His mercies, grace and peace to each on of you.
Vicki Charbonneau

Trey said...

Enjoy your trip to Jack's birthplace of Astana. Have you been to The President's Museum of Kazakhstan? They have a replica of the "Golden Man" there. I just checked the Astana weather forecast - looks like a heatwave on Monday and Tuesday with temperatures soaring up to 0C - stay warm! Praying for all of you daily...

Ohiomom2121 said...

Dear Cindy,
If you all don't get cabin fever, I'm sure it will be nice to get some down time, ready to regroup for the emotional and exhausting trip home. You mentioned God using you during the trip, and I know we feel it is important while traveling to tell every native we come across what we are doing and why we wish people in their country would adopt their children, when we travel (hopefully this year!). We want to impress them that we do not want to "steal" their children, but rather to help them until they can help themselves to take care of their own orphans.
With your "backwards" skin colors (the ones who look like you speak KZ and the ones who don't speak English!), I see lots of curiosity from strangers that will give lots of opportunities for evangelism/influencing. Maybe you could discuss with the girls through a translator before leaving how they could help others get a family by explaining their joy at being adopted if anyone questions them along the way (not sure about that one...maybe they will be undergoing too much stress to add that to the mix, so treat that as just an idle thought). Anyway, I see lots of opportunities for you to honor God in your trip home! Also, we readers are counting on more wonderful teaching from you on older child adoption; I know I have learned tons from your blog!
God bless and have definitely earned some peaceful down time so enjoy it while it lasts! Sherry

Carrie DeLille said...

That's right, as God's love grows to encompass each and every person who believes in Christ as their Savior, yours will abound. It is the most amazing mathematical equation-what in good sense SHOULD be a division problem becomes multiplication and your loves reaches further! God bless!!