As usual, we went on our walk this morning, treating ourselves to cappuccino at the Korona and samsa from a street vendor. (Arman introduced us to samsa the other day—it's a delicious flaky pastry filled with meat or cheese. Ours were stuffed with chicken and cost 60 tenge each, about $1 for both.) We did our shopping and were on our way back to the apartment with our groceries when I tripped on the uneven pavement and fell flat on my face. I wasn't badly hurt, just scrapes and bruises, but the eggs I was carrying didn't fare so well. Eggs aren't packaged in cartons here; instead, the vendor puts them in a plastic bag...I don't need to go on, do I? Hey, Kate, here's an equation for you:
Eggs + Gravity + Hard Surface = ?
Well, you're looking at the answer...scrambled eggs for lunch! Don't worry, we didn't scrape them off the pavement; amazingly, the plastic bag didn't break and we were able to salvage most of the eggs for this fried potato and cheese omelet.
All's well that ends well. Craig's just relieved that I didn't end up looking like the eggs. For some reason, he doesn't want either of us to visit a hospital in Kazakhstan. He's funny that way...
Our 8th day of bonding went really well. We took the boys Bionicle Lego sets that they really liked putting together. We also had a chance to talk with Aniyar's primary caregiver, a lovely woman who is obviously very attached to him. She told us about Aniyar's talent for art, his sweet nature, and his big heart. She let us see his room and meet the other kids in his group; they were too cute for words, politely inviting us into their playroom and offering us a seat. I asked their names and they introduced themselves, some in Russian and some in English. It's clear that the children are well cared for here...but as Aniyar's caregiver said, it's still not a family and the children all want a home.
I was taking pictures and offered to let Madiyar use the camera, an activity that turned out to be a hit with both boys. In fact, the rest of our visit was spent with the boys taking photos. Madiyar saw some of his friends in the hall and asked if he could take their picture...it wasn't long before the word was passed and we had a dozen or more kids appearing for photo ops. I think it helped Madiyar to have the chance to take pics of his friends; the kids were all having fun, being silly and doing stunts. Madiyar asked me to take a picture of him doing a back flip from a standing position...I didn't get the shot but I was suitably impressed with his athletic prowess! Anyway, I think we'll have some of these shots printed and let Madiyar give the prints to his pals along with our address; I've also gotten permission for both boys to write letters to their friends. Especially for Madiyar, it might ease his transition if he knows he can keep in touch with his friends back in Ridder.
It was hard to say goodbye...and it gets harder each day. The boys hugged us at least a half a dozen times each as we promised to see them again tomorrow. The ties are strengthening...and we're a little over half way through the bonding period. A week from tomorrow, we'll file our petition with the court to adopt Aniyar and Madiyar...not much longer.