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Friday, December 20, 2013

Guess who came to dinner?

So I was puttering around the kitchen on a Thursday afternoon, doing food prep and chores, when the phone rang. It was an old friend, the social worker who wrote all of our home studies for our 4 adoptions and she was calling to invite us to a gala in Boston. Hmm...a gala? On a school night? In the city? Not a chance that was going to fit in the schedule at the last minute so I thanked her and said we couldn't make it. Too bad because it was a concert by an orchestra from Kazakhstan and diplomats from the Kazakh government would be in attendance. Since Kazakhstan is currently closed for international adoption and is once again considering reopening, our friend thought it would be great if we could meet some officials and show off our 4 success stories. Even though we couldn't attend, she asked if she could talk about us with the officials. Sure, why not? Then she asked if she could tell them we would extend a warm welcome to have them come visit the children some time. Why not? I mean, what were the chances that diplomats were going to show up at my door, right?

Well, about 7:00 that evening, she called me back. She said she was standing with the Consul from the Kazakh consulate that is based in New York City and he was wondering if he could come visit us the next day. I said "Ummm...sure!" I thought OMG...seriously? She said he would love to come for dinner and meet the kids. I said, "Oh, we'd be delighted!" while I was thinking, AHHHHHHH! What does one feed a diplomat???

I got off the phone and filled in Craig and the kids on the surprising plans for the next afternoon. The next day was busy. Kate was a gem, she cleaned the house. Tanya helped me to police the kids' bedrooms for tidiness. Craig took off early to be home for the visit. The kids were prepared to meet and greet our guest. I made a pot of borscht at the kids' request and rounded out the meal with roast chicken and salad...no idea if there were any diplomatic faux pas involved but I went with my gut and the advice of my children.

 The consul arrived around 3:00 and we sat down at our dining room table for tea and a discussion of post-placement reporting, the health and history of our children, and dual citizenship rules. The kids were amazingly open and polite; the consul was gracious and kind with them.He turned out to be a laid back guy in his 30's who has kids of his own so the atmosphere was pretty relaxed. Our adoption agency friend joined us and we all shared the story of how each of our kids came to our family. Dinner was served family style around 4:30 since our guest was driving back to NYC that evening. Our guest requested a tour of the house; he took pictures of the kids' rooms (good thing they were tidy, huh?) and asked to take pictures with our brood. I'm pretty sure all of that info was being gathered for a higher reason but we were fine with that; I was actually delighted to show off our kids to a government official. By the end of the visit, he agreed that the kids looked great and thanked us for our good care of them. In turn, we thanked the government of Kazakhstan for entrusting us with them. Our guest left around 6:30, after giving the kids gifts of books and music from Kazakhstan and inviting us all to visit the consulate in NYC. We may just take him up on his offer of a tour...what a treat that would be for our children of Kazakhstan.

The possibility of a visit from the government of Kazakhstan was something we agreed to when we adopted the kids but we never really expected it to happen. Who would have believed it? This was diplomacy at work right in my own home and we were suddenly the poster family for adoption from KZ...what a surreal few hours! Just hope we helped to put a more positive face on allowing Americans to adopt from KZ in the future.

The diplomatic dinner
The official group photo...the consul is the guy in jeans and a sweater
After all the excitement (that's code for stress), I was totally exhausted, fell asleep by nine. Guess I'm not cut out for international relations...

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