Moldova Round 2
If you have happened upon this for the first time …. well, you just really are one lucky individual. What is Moldova? Well is it a country made of Mayonnaise. Actually is not MADE of Mayonnaise, but…….. they do enjoy themselves a lot of mayonnaise. Moldova is between the Ukraine and Romania. I am going to meet my daughter. The Round 2 part is that I have already adopted from Moldova once before. I hope you enjoy.
This little munchkin is waiting in Moldova for me. Can you believe it?? She looks as if she is saying “hurry up Mom”. She also looks as if she is wearing leg warmers on her arms but… we will work on glamour and fashion tips once on American soil (and out of diapers). Her birthday is 2/20/09 – which makes her just over 1.
I have been working through the adoption process since about May of 2009. I am very excited. I cannot say I am excited about flying from Denver to San Fran, then Frankfurt (with a 5 hour layover) and then FINALLY to Moldova but….
I will send updates and pics as I work through the trip.
Okay gang – I am here – made it yahoo! Went straight from the airport to the hotel. I have not seen little miss yet. That happens tomorrow after we get the flowers. You ALWAYS get flowers around here. I meet with the Director of Child Protective Services (whom I already know). I was asked ‘Um… Ketty…. Did you by chance get Mrs. Svetlana a gift” (translated…. Where is her present). Crap – wonder how she would like this necklace I am wearing. I mean I have only worn it once???
Spilled red wine all down my taupe (a.k.a. brown) skirt. P I S S E D
Confirmed my suspicion that United indeed sucks and Lufthansa rocks it on International travel. United ripped not one but both of my bags.
Almost missed my flight even though I was there 3 hours early b/c the lame United dude pushed me in the wrong line. I was told I was in the wrong line, after standing there for 38 minutes. Had to plead my case w/ Angelita –she forced me dig out #2’s pictures and then her sisters, finishing w/ a description of their bedroom configuration and how Landon is going to be a dance some day…. Must have done something right b/s she bumped me up to first class from Denver to San Fran. Back of the bus for the rest of the adventure – AKKK – window seat. The guy next to me asked me if I had been tested recently (b/c I had to pee so many times).
The guy in the middles was 6’5 if he was a inch. I kept climbing over him when the guy on the end would get out. The giant in the middle never knew because he had a blindfold on for 10.5 of the 11 hour flight.
Walked in on an old Russian woman in the lavatory – she didn’t get the whole LOCK THE DOOR thing. Not sure what she was screaming at me, but I know it wasn’t Have a Nice Day.
So no pictures of the little one yet, but… I cannot let this hotel go w/o comment. Seriously it is like where Hugh Hefner is going to retire. Burnished gold nightstands. I think the sofa is covered in aluminum foil. You can relax and bake on it all at the same time.
And swear to God when we walked in this hotel, there were three photographers filming a video/photoshoot of this Russian Barbie lip singing to Like a Virgin. She had on a silver go go dress, platinum blonde hair and platform boots. And of course lets not forget the fan pointed northwest to create just the right amount of hair movement. SWEAR on a bible, stack of bibles. I looked at the ladies w/ me to ensure it was not just sleep deprivation for me. We had to walk right through the “set” to get to my room.
In Moldova??? Okay more fun tomorrow.
Monday, Day 2 Moldova
Or should I say Mayo-dolva. I went to the grocery store next door yesterday and picked up juice. They have really good juice here. I asked Aurelia what flavor juice it was and said “Ketty it not juice, it flavored mayonnaise”. Aaaakkkkk! Nasty! They love themselves some mayonnaise here.
Hotel is pretty good – still way over the top w/ decoration etc but I do get a few English/American channels – CNN, BBC and Hustler. ACCCK! That last one floored me. Just so you know, The Hustler Channel, is NOT a channel for learning dances. I wasn’t paying attention and passed two girls who appear to be very close friends (shall we say). I screamed and clicked past it quickly. The toilet in the bathroom has angels all over it. I don’t know whether to pee in it or pray to it.
So here is little miss — what do you think? Cute huh?
So I was with her in the orphanage director’s office for a good bit of the morning. I was trying to chat with her, tickle her etc. I notice she is totally ignoring me and then I see why. The orphanage director gives her candy – -hard candy – do you remember the Heimlich maneuver – candy. I tried getting it out of her hand but forget it. This morning I was with her for about 1 ½ hours. Then this afternoon I saw her again. It was 65 here today. I was told it was going to be snowing here, so I have about 4 twinsets and turtlenecks.
It was hot in the orphanage I thought the child was going to slip through my sweaty hands. They had her dressed in a hat (INSIDE the building), red tights at least 2 sizes too big, a long sleeve shirt, fleece top and fleece pants – all of this inside the building. The interpreter Natalie said “she feel hot. Wonder if she has a temperature”. Uh well, her little ringlets are damp, I am going w/ she is about-to-damn-die in this parka. I changed her into one of my outfits — WAY cuter and WAY more appropriate for the weather. When I got back from lunch they had changed her right back into that hideous outfit.
She REALLY likes to be held. I guess so – she has been there all her life. The caretakers do the best they can – I do believe that. There are only a few of them and so many kids. I am sure she is starved for attention.
I asked about her posture. One of the interpreters told me that “they make them sit for long time, 30 minutes, 1 hour on bucket to go bathroom. It is small space. She will be better when home”. Honestly that was one of three times today I nearly cried. She is fine – just growing in to her body – which is very LONG I have to say
I met her doctor today – she is a very nice lady—she explained everything – made me feel really good about her.
This bottom picture is her w/ the director. I also went to see the Director of Child Protective Services today. She has to bless the adoption. Super sweet lady. She offered me a 15 inch origami swan today as a gift if I can get it on the plane. ???????????????????????? HUH
Also met Oxana, the child advocate. Scary woman. She totally checked me out – up one side and down the other. I am probably glad I did not understand what she was saying.
Drama at the end of the day today as we were leaving. I see a woman in the hallway. She is arguing with the director in Russian – arms flailing, CLEARLY angry. I don’t understand. The interpreter says “she gypsy Ketty. She get pregnant w/ baby. Father he dis not gypsy. Her parents throw her out. Also mental problems she has, some mental problems. She tell director she wants her baby, needs her boy. Director says she cannot have him, court has to decide”. Director was ticked, gypsy lady storms off after handing her screaming son to the caretaker. The interpreter tells me “she crazy a little bit… they say she throws him and says she doesn’t want him, doesn’t need him”. What? I start to tear up – she said “Ketty no it ok”. You know it really isn’t . There are so many things wrong here, I am not sure where to begin.
Also a little boy earlier was crying. He was 18 months or 2 years old. Crying a lot. The caretaker points at me and say “she not your mama, your mama had to go….she be back”
I am thankful I will tell you that. Much sadness all around there. Tomorrow I go back to see her at 9:00.
Okay so more fun tomorrow. I think my phone is actually working now. Just remember that I am 8 hours ahead of you. Thank you Suzanne for figuring it out!
( I thought today was March 22 until Terri and Dad told me otherwise).
Hi all – today was close to a repeat of yesterday. I got up & had my breakfast of yummy yogurt, tomatoes and cucumbers.
We got to the orphanage around 9:30. Little miss is dressed to the climb the ALPS. 65 degrees again. I don’t know how she stands it – guess that is all she has ever known.
We took a little walk outside to the play area – I tried to chase down a Feral cat – did not work – scared the cat and me.
Miss Priss in shades! So cool!
She is a grunter, this one. I was trying to teach her sign language for More, Thank you and Please. The interpreter looked at me like I had 3 heads. Hey it worked w/ Landon.
This little one likes to be held. She has little interest in toys, some but not major. Most of her interest is just throwing them, then I retrieve them and we go again – hey…. Do you think she is playing me???
As we were driving in for trip 2 to the orphanage I see this dog almost get hit. I see them all the time here — running loose everywhere. Apparently these wild dogs are all over the place. It is a big problem the interpreter says – the President of their country is trying to “eliminate them” – Say what?? I don’t think this means ship them all to Denver so Kelly’s friends can adopt them. Very disturbing.
This afternoon we get there to visit and here comes little miss grunt. She wants only to be held and to eat. She ate two boxes of raisins (mine but that is ok— I have given up really “owning” anything in its entirety until they are both out of the house) and about 8 little teddy grahams. Very very hungry. I find out why — they feed her lunch at noon, a snack at 3 and then nothing until 7. LORI DUNING CALM DOWN! Two little boys came in from being outside as we were playing/eating. They couldn’t help themselves. They were all ove r my treats, eating raisins off the carpet and wanting to play with her toys. I gave them a book — just wish I had more. so sad.
Then she is soooo thirsty. She is trying to drink my 1.5 liter of water. The caretakers says “here” and hands me a china tea cup to drink from– no not for me — for her. You will see a picture in here. It is as if she cannot get enough. Her head is halfway in this cup- like an animal. I DON’T THINK SO. I ask why she doesn’t have a sippy mug. “what dat Ketty?” I explain – “oh dey very expensive Ketty – 8.00 each Moldvian”. Well guess where we went right after we left – grocery store – my girl will have a sippy mug tomorrow. She will not be drinking out of a bowl like a dog. And when I come back I intend to clean out Target w/ sippy mugs (anyone wanting to donate or make a sippy mug run let me know). CRAZY!
The end of day brought a trip to see the doctor , the specialist. Dr. Andrei. I talked with him from the US. about a month ago. Very nice man. He said “what u want me to say Ketty – baby perfect”. Well said.
Albina (facilitator) says – “Ketty – Dr. Andrei is a beauty man”. What the heck is that? Is he a plastic surgeon? Are you saying I need plastic surgery???? WATCH IT SISTA! She tells me, on no, he is HOT! Okay now I got it. He gave this little lamb a total thumbs up! Says she is fine. I asked about dental hygiene. He basically said I was screwed . “Brush… no dey no brush, but these teeth they will fall out and othrodontics cheap in US.” Alrighty then.
TENNYSON CATE OZLEY — that is her! I picked a name. FINALLY. Been going back and forth. Court is tomorrow and I have to decide. I think it is beautiful. If you don’t, with respect, please hold that thought.
Cate comes from her birth surname (USCAT – means dry). I wanted to honor that in some way — Cate is the best I can do. She feels like Tennyson to me — airy, light, delicate, poetic. So here we go — off to see the female judge who is very picky I hear — super duper. I feel good about it as they gave me a bill today for diapers — diapers for the month between now and when I come back to bring her home. OUI!
Whew! What a day. I got to see Tennyson for about 30 minutes this morning. They were late to get me this morning – on Moldova time again.
We go straight to the orphanage where I give her a sippy mug – like the best thing since mayonnaise around here. She was just gulping it down – clearly dying of thirst.
We then rush to court. It is at 11:00 a.m. We arrive at 11:02. I am freaking out – hurry hurry I say. Natalie: “Ketty it okay, it okay” As it turns out this judge was running late and reviewing my paperwork for the 89th time.
We are on the first floor and have to get to the second. There is a guard there. Aurelia and I try to get by. He is having nothing to do w/ it. Aurelia explains, a little hand rising, we meet friend for case….nothing…..
Aurelia calls Albina to explain. She is going over her story…. “Ablina…guard will not…” The guard says “dis the blonde woman, tall…. Wit black/white dress, short dress on phone?”. “Da” Aurelia says. (Geez dude want to describe her underwear?) He smiles a sly little grin and we pass. It was amazing. After the case today, Albina gave him a little extra nudge – really a master at this she is.
Okay so the judge is about mid 50’s I am guessing and a woman (that part I am not guessing about to be clear). So she is serious – super serious. She begins by staring a virtual hole through my heart. She is asking questions and Aurelia is translating as fast as she can. She asks me why I want to adopt from Moldova. I share that message. Aurelia translates. “When did you hear about the baby?” I answer, Aurelia translates – you get the idea. It went on for a long time. VERY STESSFUL. This was the woman’s first adoption case and also HAGUE adoption case. OMG! She was missing a change of name form (which really isn’t supposed to be included). Also missing she said was my house document (deed copy) which Albina and I found three papers in. Sweating, sweating, and trying to be composed. She dismisses us until we get these two papers she needs. Court tomorrow (Thurs) at 3:00 — aaakkkkkk!
So how did it go? I do not know. It is possibly she will delay, say no, or say Yes. The follow up from any of these can go in a number of directions. The team seemed to feel good about this – I just have to wait and see and not panic.
After court, I went back to the hotel to do yoga and skype w/ Landon. They were to be here right at 5:00 and showed at 5:40 – “Ketty, we must go, hurdry, hurdry” – whatever blondie! Back to the orphanage for a visit before dinner. Tennyson is must happier now. I would lay down on my back and put my arms out – HUG? I say – she giggles and plops down on top of me. SO DARN CUTE!!!
All in all good – nervous and praying for a good outcome. Keep your fingers crossed!
Seriously hope she keeps these curls — they are delicious!
Thursday 3/24/10 (I think)
HOUSTON WE DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM — Judge gave a positive verdict. Yahoo!!!!
Let me tell you about a stressful day. Holy crap. We start with our usual pickup and trip to the orphanage. I am dressed and ready to go. 2nd trip to court today — nervous indeed. As I have said Tennyson has been so thirsty. So this morning I load her up w/ Juice and a few teddy grahams. She seems to be excited to see me — likes to be held and walk around. Grunting still — caretaker says she want to talk — looks at me like you dork– can’t you figure that out.
Okay so we are playing. She likes to sit on my legs and roll back and then hug. I have her sitting on my chest and say HUG and put my arms out – she giggles and falls forward w/ her arms open – very cute. We did it over and over. Then I would raise her up in the air – like an airplane. Huge hit. I should said it was a huge hit until she hurled juice all in my hair and jacket – AACCKKKK! The smell –disgusting! The orphanage bathroom is not equipped with much to “correct” your appearance and it is nasty (sidebar….they have squares of newspaper instead of toilet paper….and guess what you are supposed to use it for??? Oh yes… friends). DISGUSTING – GROSS! I do the best I can and come back to play with Tennyson some more. The interpreter says “do you have perfume Ketty”. So… like…. What are you trying to say?
We leave to visit with one of the orphanage placement officials. She is super nice. I have my laptop and show her pictures of Landon and videos. She watches her dance and sing to her bear and says “soouper…. Soouper doooper” So cute. And she cried. She thanked me for taking their children. Which of course then made me cry.
The orphanage director pulled me the side to ask about court – this is of course all through the interpreter. She says “it be ok”. “You look tired Ketty
Souvenir shopping was next – rapid fire. I wanted to get some Moldovan items for the girls. The goal is for each to get an item from their country on their birthday – because you know – who doesn’t want a Moldovan flag when you are two??
Court—STRESS. Okay we are missing two documents. We find the deed to the house (even though it was not in the dossier). “Why it not in here Ketty” How in the hell should I know? Seriously.
Document ready stating I am changing her name to Tennyson. “Ketty sign here”. Uh…ok.
Judge comes in – still stern – looking like she needs a massage or a good poop. Blah Blah Blah in Russian. She reviews the document… not a smile in a 60 mile radius.
To me in Russian and then translated – “you sign this document?” Yes I say. How you know what is says? I point to Natalie – “she told me”. Judge is mad that Natalie did not right on the paper that she translated it for me – which appears obvious to everyone in the room but her….
Albina asks her if she wants to see videos or pics of Landon (selling my mothering skills). Thinkpad booting up – see you on Saturday. I bring up the videos. I am being so careful because this laptop came over on the Mayflower and if you move it just right it will crap out. She seems two videos. I am working on the 3rd which will not open because I am nervous. She says “enough”. Um…ok.. is that I have seen enough you are fabulous or hit the bricks sista???
She leaves says she will make her decision. She is gone like 3-4 minutes. Is that good? She is saying all this stuff I cannot understand – watching faces, body language – Psych 101 come back to me. Natalie is translating – she says “the judge she has read all of your documents….she considered everything, blah, blah, blah…….”
Oxana (child advocate) looks at me and give me the nod and a wink. I sort of start to shake a bit. Natalie “Ketty she say yes, is ok…congratulations”. Well I am trying to smile but am sort of crying a little now. Albina says “ketty sit – is okay now”. I am exhausted, stressed as hell, and all your food has damn mayonnaise in it. I miss Landon, want to take Tennyson and hate mayonnaise.
We go outside and wait for about 20 minutes for Albina. Oxana looks at pics of Landon and some of us together. She says “skinny, more skinny today than when you come first”. Seriously – stop with the compliments.
We leave and head to the orphanage running our normal errands en route – sweet store, grocery, Albina house, pharmacia…. I am not sure why – but every day we do this – takes you an hour and a half to run the errands and you go in a 7.5 mile circle.
This is my last visit to the orphanage. I notice Tennyson has a dirty arm – I try to clean it up. Um it is ink – is she already cheating on exams??? Natalie (interpreter says) “um Ketty no.. that is her name – Tennyson Cate” SHUT UP! They wrote her name on her wrist so they would remember it. Good Lord! I had asked them to call her by her name while I was gone but didn’t expect this. So this visit is bittersweet. I miss my Landon and want to go home – but know I won’t see Tennyson for a long while. Also, I know that the sooner I am home, the sooner she is home.
Head back to the hotel. I want a shower in the worst way and need some MOLDOVAN FREE time. Get to hotel. The interpreter comes in to take her picture all over my room. Then she asks me if she give me 50.00 if I will get her a printer cartridge b/c they are cheaper in the US. Okay fine. Well then she says…. “and I am whitening my teeth cheaper in US. And there is a tray I need Ketty”. This goes on there is a list which includes another type of printer cartridge, Bayer aspirin for her grandmother b/c it is the best, and finally Revlon Colorstay lipstick in Rio Red.
Okay what? I am going to have a chat w/ Albina on this one.
I am hoping for a quiet dinner by myself. I make Natalie order a pizza for me. 10 minutes pass – she is gone, bang bang bang on door – It is Albina. She says “ketty…no poof your hair… no shower…come w/ me – we have dinner with Swetlana” (director of Child Protective Services. OMG All I want is a scotch and a bath (and George Clooney).
Netting it out – we go all over town, drop her son off, some chick also named Swetlana (looks like Violet in The Incredibles). Pick up the other Svetlana and go right back to my hotel for dinner (the same hotel that I have eaten in for 5 days). I am soooo ready for home.
3/26/10 – Friday – get me outta here.
Okay so I am back. Have cleared the cabinets of all mayonnaise and basically any white condiments.
During my dinner with the interpreter, Svetlana (dir of child protective services) Albina got in an argument with the waiter. This happened b/c she was eating the delivery pizza I had ordered right there in the restaurant. He was furious – she was furious-er.
Waiter – 0; Albina -1
Svetlana said she has a present for you. Moldovian chocolates, Moldovian champagne and a framed cross stitch. Seems that one of their children, the orphans, did this cross stitch of two mushrooms. Svetlana says “dis like you – you mama mushroom, and then they is baby, like u baby. We hope you think of us when you see it”. Can you believe that? Such peculiar traditions and ways, such sweet, thoughtful people.
A few things happened as we were leaving -first I went to bed at 12:30, fell asleep at 1:30, wake up call at 3:15 a.m. – result? Scared the crap out of myself when I looked in the mirror. No chance of an airplane hookup today. Get ready. The front desk lady is so sweet. She brought me some coffee—Nescafe –ummmmm ummmm – can’t beat a Nescafe cup of coffee at 3:00 in the morning.
Hurry hurry. Ready. Off we go to the airport. Yon drops me off at the door – I think I gave him a $2.00 tip thinking it was 20.00 (ooops) – I mean it had a 20.00 on it – sorry. I am going to blame the Nescafe.
I try to check in. They only allow check in on one flight at a time. Fantabulous! I tried to go up there. As I was not going to Frankfurt and did not understand the “protocol”, I was screamed at by two “overmade” Moldovian girls. They finally figured out that I was American (the hint of color in my wardrobe should have given that away) and eased up a bit.
Security – again let me recap I was tired. I take my shoes off and out pop both my big toes. I have not one not but 3 holes in my socks –SO hee haw – and these tootsies have not seen a pedicure is about 3 months. I didn’t notice when I got dressed I guess. How embarrassing.
Finally we get on the plane. Breakfast- thank God. I am famished. “we has tin cakes and almonds…which chu want?” Huh? I clarified like three times. I didn’t think almonds were enough so I picked the “tin cakes”. They are actually “thin” cakes – which are greasy pancakes – ummmm ummmm ummmm. The “almonds” were really an omelet – I totally didn’t understand that, language barrier. Then there were corn and peas with a meaty thing, wrapped in that disgusting Vienna sausage gel on top. AAAAKKKKK! That is so nasty – OPEN THE WINDOW PLEASE. Seriously I wanted gloves to even touch the plate at that point.
Flight to Moscow is fine – no issues. In Moscow another story – have to wait 48 minutes for them to confirm my seat, move me to an aisle, etc. I had Olga, Helga, Oxana (all the “a” sisters) helping me. Finally get on – on my way to Denver via Dulles.
Finally I get on. I watch like 4 movies in 11 hours – caught up on all the Oscar nominees. I stopped short of Precious. I am sure it is a great movie; but, I am really not wild about watching one mean mama yell at her overweight daughter and cut her self esteem down to nothing.
During the intermission, I walked in on another Russian man pee’ing. LOCK THE DAMN DOOR PEOPLE.
Best part of getting home was my girl Landon. She was so cute. She said “Mommy, I miss you so much every day”.
I think I am traveling again the end of April to bring little miss back. I should probably get her a bed before she gets here (ooops!) . I will update this as I know more.
So if you got to the of this — good for you. If you are considering adoption from Moldova or anywhere really and have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be glad to help you.