Kyrgyzstan Map

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Monday, March 22, 2010

A friendship spans MILES

Warning: Super Long post.. with tons of photos!
Lori, Jengish and I on the steps of the Capital building in Richmond.
Almost a year ago to the date I spent a day with John, Jengish, Kolya, Asylbek, and Jengish's adoptive grandmother. Who knew that day would start the beginning of a friendship that spans the miles. Who knew that that friendship would connect/reconnect me with a blog buddy Lori ( ). The beginning of our day we made good on a promise. That if Jengish ever was in America we would enjoy a starbuck coffee together. And that we did! A Vente Caramel Frappucino for both of us. YUM... My absolute favorite. We both have good taste. But before we could enjoy a good coffee, we visited the Harley Dealer in Richmond. Hmmm I wonder... How do we send a Harley to Kyrgyzstan? He would be the first Harley owner in all of the Kyrgyz Republic!!!

Lori met us at Starbucks.. which by the way was right next to the Harley Dealer.. And no .. I did not plan it that way, but wow was completely suprised to find out it was there. To tell the truth actually I am not suprised at all. We spent some time getting to know each other in person. For Lori and Jengish and Lori and I this was our first "in person" meeting. In the course of this getting to know you session we were talking a little about Noodle. I made the comment that Noodle is of Russian heritage. Jengish looked me straight in the eye and said " Ann, that is not a Russian last name, her last name is a Ukrainian name." One could have heard a pin drop.... For those who do not know. My first dossier two years ago was translated and sent to Ukraine! Just weeks after it arrived in Ukraine, the adopton rules changed and I was no longer eligible to adopt fro Ukraine. And here I sit and find out that I was right all along. I was determined I was going to adopt a little girl from Ukraine. And although seperated by a few thousand miles. The plan was just that all along. Just goes to show I am not in the driver's seat. I am merely following His lead....
Then off we went to do some sightseeing and introduce Jengish to some Southern U.S. history. The Capital of Virginia and a Civil War museum were our major stops.

The rotunda at the capital there seemed to be a statue missing. These two seemed like a perfect fit for the vacant spot!

Outside the Capital building we were getting a lesson in photography. This shot was just perfect. Jengish's camera with his new lens on his back, my camera with his 50mm lens being used to take a wonderful photo (seen next). I leaned over quietly to Lori and said oooo, oooo take that shot!!! What a great Shot too. Lori I stole this from your facebook page!
Jengish's flower photo.. so cool!!!

The American Civil War museum. Tredegars. They made canons here for the Civil War.

Civil War era glassware. Awesome colors.

Lori, Myself, Abe Lincoln, and Jengish.. The past, the present, and the future of our world!

While talking in the morning. We discovered that my young friend Kolya (And Jengish's friend) would be ecstatic to receive the simple gift of guitar strings from America. Evidently strings from Central Asia snap easily. So off we went to a guitar shop in Careytown. Jengish picked up one of the guitars and told us he was going to play A Kyrgz National Song.. What fun when he brke out in a wonderful rendition of Sweet Home Alabama! But.. with a twist.. As the story goes this song was originally written in Kyrgyzstan.... It was then stolen by an American who was visiting Central Asia. Too funny!!

We ended our day with Jengish with a simple meal at an all inclusive type um diner. we talked about how our paths have come to cross. How amazing we believe the others to be. Jengish has given his life to helping homeless men. To Teen Challenge. A life that has given him amazing opportunities. Lori is surviving. We will continue to pray for her.. And continue to remember Matthew. In 9 months and 8 hours his life has touched so many.

A Camilia bush has been bought to honor and to remember Matthew. John and Lori have been planning a memorial garden. This bush practically picked us! A bush that flowers in December. Oh My! The bush is a gift to Lori, John and Matthew from the waiting parents group. Sorry Lori I am sure this has sprung some tears. Hugs, prayers and wishes for much love to surround you and be shoulders to cry on any time you would like.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Had to write this one down. Just odd... I just woke up from one of those dreams that are just vivid. You know, the ones you can remember all the details. I dreamt there was a gathering of some kind. But towards the end it was obvious the gathering was many of the waiting parents I have come to know. Some I have never met but yet there you were as clear as day in my dream. A few were carrying new babies. I assume that to be a few in our group have done a concurrent adoption. As the gathering wound down we all gathered around a circle and in the middle of that circle was K our in country driver/translater. While he did not offer a time line what he did offer was to get us prepped and ready for a semblance of order that we would be presented for court dates! Here is to dreams!

Friday, March 5, 2010

More of our waiting parents speak out. Spread the word!

A few weeks ago Kimberly over at Hoping for Hannah told me she was asked to help our adoption coordinater in Colorado do a news report on our story. Kimberly was uber nervous! But last weekend the story aired! What an absolutely powerful video put together by Channel 9 news in Denver. Please share! Pass along.

Parents adopting from overseas experience long, 'painful' waits
Lori Obert 4 days ago Toolbox: Read Comments PrintEmail ArticleSmallerLarger
DENVER - Kimberly Baldwin looks at the pictures almost every day. It is all she has. "It's been a long wait. Longer than I ever imagined it would be," Baldwin said.

When Baldwin first held the little girl she would one day adopt from an orphanage in Kyrgyzstan, she says the love was immediate. Nothing else in the process has gone quickly.

"It makes me sad to think of her having to have me not come back right now," she said.

It has been a year and a half since that meeting. Since then, Kimberly and the 3-year-old little girl have been victims of a political impasse.

The child is one of many orphans forced to stay in their country when they have adoptive parents ready, approved, and waiting in Colorado and other parts of the United States.

"Your love for the child just grows. Being that far away and knowing that no one is picking her up when she is crying at night and comforting her is awful. It's been painful to know that I can't do that for her," Baldwin said.

It could be another year before she can, unless the United States government can convince the Kyrgyz government to allow the children to leave the country.

The Kyrgyz government made the decision to investigate its adoption policies to make sure there was no corruption. It decided it needed to update the adoption laws. Children's advocates working with the country say those are positive measures. However, dozens of children have been caught in the process. Children who were already matched with families and approved through the process are now caught between the existing laws and the laws that have not been finalized.

"There are 65 kids that were known orphans and now they are kind of stuck. Their paper work is done but they can't go and be with their families because there is no legislation that has been signed that can be grandfathered in so they are pretty much stuck by the legislation," Karen Allred, with Adoption Alliance, said.

In the last four years, 200 Kyrgyz children have found forever homes in the United States. This stall was unexpected.

At the Adoption Alliance in Denver, there is a wall with the faces of smiling children. Children from Kyrgyzstan who are now part of families in Colorado. They are the success stories. Their stories are possible because of the story of a special little girl named Taby, and a courageous missionary from Littleton, Colorado named Tami Snowden.

Snowden was working in an orphanage in Kyrgyzstan when she first saw Tabi. Tabi was 4 months old. She was in a crib alone. Most people wouldn't touch her because of the severe facial deformities she had. But Snowden saw past them. She committed to doing whatever it took to get the child help.

A year and a half later, she and Tabi traveled the 7,000 miles from Kyrgyzstan to Colorado. Dr. Randy Robinson donated the surgery to repair Tabi's face.

As she healed, Tabi and Tami's love got deeper. Tami decided she wanted to adopt the then toddler. But the Kyrgyz government had not allowed an American to adopt one of its children in decades. Undeterred, Tami Snowden waded through piles of documents, pleaded her case to the government, and worked to establish trust with them.

In 2004, Tabi became a United States citizen. The adoption was official.

Tabi's adoption opened the door for other children from Kyrgyzstan to be available to American families for adoption.

Baldwin says she hopes the red tape will be sorted through quickly, so more children like Tabi can be with the parents who so desperately want them.

"That is my prayer that things will get resolved. These children are just waiting and aren't getting the kind of support they would be getting in a home," she said.

The wait has already been excruciating. It could be much longer before Baldwin has her daughter home. She says she will not walk away. She will not give up. She will wait for the child she has already grown to love so much.

This month, members of the Joint Council for International Adoption and some of the waiting families went to the country to make pleas for the children. They are asking you to be part of a growing effort to complete the adoption process for the kids. They want Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to contact the Kyrgyz President directly and ask that he intervene.

For more information, visit the following Web sites:

Dept of State's Adoption Alert about Kyrgyz issued 11/2009

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)