John's coming along in leaps and bounds. We met him this morning and he was crying. I'm sure he didn't want to do whatever the caregiver wanted him to do. Yesterday he wouldn't finish his morning snack because we were here. Most parents would probably be upset, but to us it's another sign that he wants to spend time with us.
He got dressed without a fuss. It's funny because he can dress himself, but he insists on laying in my lap and making me help him. I've heard that sometimes children regress. They're trying to make up for the lost time and want to be babied. Renee and I have debated how far we'll let this go. Right now I'm not going to let my worries get in the way of enjoying him.
Our morning trip was to a gallery in downtown Taldy. I was mildly surprised by how nice the facilities were and the quality of the artwork. The other thing I noticed was that they don't turn on the lights unless someone is in a room. It makes sense. Why waste the electricity if no one is around to need it? A docent followed us around and told us (through our translator) about the artist and the piece we were looking. It was a good opportunity to learn more about Kazak history.
John was remarkably well behaved. He wasn't interested in the artwork, but he was fascinated by the light switches. In every room he would immediately locate the switches and get to work. You could see his little mind work as he deduced what lights the switches controlled. In one room he had fun rearraging all of the chairs. He tilted the first one at a 45 degree angle and then marched down the 20 foot row sighting the next chair to match.
Renee (Miss BFA) enjoyed the art, but was frustrated by the discipline thing. She can't tell where they draw the line-- okay to mess with lights, okay to rearrange furniture, but not okay to look at an electrical outlet. I can understand the electricity thing, but she says she can't imagine him doing that once we get home. Another thing for us to muddle through.
Our afternoon didn't quite work out as planned. Our interpreter called us at 3pm to let us know that she had to see the judge about a "problem." I figured it was a paperwork thing that they were handling. I wasn't worried because I know they do a lot of things that we are blissfully unaware of.
Kazakhstan's legal process for international adoptions is in a little flux. The way it's supposed to work is for us to pick-out the child here in Kaz, visit with him for two weeks at the baby house, go to court, have a two week waiting period, go to Almaty for a week for the last paperwork and then fly home. The only rub has been the waiting period, and that's what we are most worried about.
Previously the judges had been waiving the two week waiting period. It's what we desperately want because of the time and expense in being away from home. Some of the other region ins Kaz have stopped waiving it, but the judge in Taldy Korgan usually excepts our petition for immediate execution and let's us go. Or I should say the previous judge did because now a new judge is in town.
The facilitators were a little concerned how the new judge would act. My assumption is that she can go two ways-- either follow the lead set by her predecessor or go with what a friend of mine used to call the "Jesus Scenario." You know, she's here to save the world. It looks like we may be dealing with the Messiah.
When the interpreter came by the apartment after 4pm, I could tell that she was visibly rattled. The judge had told her that the "new law" is for us to visit for two weeks, wait a week, and then have our court date that determines if we will have a waiting period or not. The net affect will be that we may have to stay in Taldy Korgan at least an additional week. Worse case scenario would be an additional three weeks in country.
For some reason when she told me the news I was more concerned with the interpreter. I told her not to worry, that we enjoy Taldy, and that we're thankful to her. Renee's handling it well. The funny part of her reaction was, "Well, we'll just have to be more careful with our money." To which I could only respond, "Absolutely. I'll only eat my extravagant dinner of two pieces of bread and three slices of cheese every other day." It's cheap here in Taldy, but I don't think we can live any cheaper.
Our facilitator from Almaty is driving in early tomorrow morning to see if she can work it out. This isn't decided yet, so please don't freak out yet. Renee put it into perspective, "I'm just thankful that he's healthy and coming home with us. That's all that really maters."