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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Yulia in Kazakhstan

May 2010

Tanya and Yulia, 2004
This is my dear friend, Yulia, on her most recent birthday. I've known Yulia now for 7 years; she was our translator when we adopted Tanya but she quickly became much more than a service provider to us. Yulia and our driver, Jenya (who also happened to be Yulia's boyfriend) were our main support system during our stay in Kazakhstan. They drove us everywhere, kept us safe and helped us to communicate in a strange land, just what good adoption professionals normally do. Yulia, however, did so much more than her job. While we were adopting Tanya, Yulia adopted us.

We've added 4 children from Kazakhstan to our family over the years and Craig and I have made 7 trips to Kaz. Our Yulia and her family have been our staunch supporters through thick and thin, not only helping us with communication but even providing us a place to stay. We've kept in touch between the adoptions as well, sharing big events in our lives via the web. When she and Jenya married, she made sure we had wedding pictures. When their son Vlad was born, Picasa web albums let us see him grow and change. As our kids have grown, Yulia has been able to celebrate their progress with us and pass on their successes to the orphanage they came from. Lately, we've even been chatting live via Skype. We swap recipes and share stories about our kids. Even though we live on opposite sides of the earth, we have kept in touch more like next door neighbors through the miracles of the internet...and I think maybe I've gotten spoiled.

I hadn't heard from Yulia recently which isn't usual, especially at the holidays. I know that email is sometimes restricted in Kaz and I was worried.that the snafu with our email accounts could be the problem. I emailed Yulia from my trusty yahoo email account that has worked pretty well for us when we've been in KZ. I heard from her today and breathed a sigh of relief...but she also told me she can no longer access our blog:

I followed your story till about mid of December when blogspots were restricted here. I don't know why but now I cannot get to your blog even through an anonymous website as I did before...

I'm so sorry I cannot read your blog anymore, it feels as if I lost you somehow. I'm so used to read your news and find out what's going on with you. So I don't know what happened recently.

Hope to hear from you soon,
Miss you too,

The world has gotten smaller via the web...but governments can make the distance between our countries impossible to bridge if they choose. What a shame...but friends will find a way to stay connected...even if it means a return to some serious intercontinental snail mail. I wonder how the Kazakh government feels about Facebook?

Yulia, Jenya and Vlad, May 2010


Anonymous said...

Yeah, blogspot is touch and go in KZ. I'm in west KZ right now, and can read your blog today. But, sometimes I can't get blogspot. It's weird.

Nice that you've adopted so many KZ kids! Sounds like you are trying to help keep them connected to the place of their birth, which is also nice.

Chester in Atyrau

alphamama said...

Thanks, Chester. I'll let our KZ friends know that there may be times when they can get to blogspot.

We actually fell in love with KZ during our trips, have even returned with the kids for vacations. We don't want them to forget their land of birth. In fact, we would like to give them positive memories of their quite amazing homeland!