Sunday, June 29, 2008

Group shot

Here's a group shot of the Tokmok kiddos from last weekend's festivities!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Partying with the Tokmok Tykes!

After nearly getting ulcers worrying about being stranded overnight at Newark (and yes, my carry-on consisted only of my laptop and a big blanket!) the travel Gods smiled down upon us and Beck and I were re-routed to LAX via Cleveland. Thank GAWD! I was doubly blessed by the fact that this flight also got us to Los Angeles 2 hours earlier! Yay!

Beck is a great travel companion. Save for the incident when he spilled his cup of apple juice in my lap only 1 hour into our first flight, he's a superb little traveller. Not an ounce of trouble. For him, being on the plane is just too much fun. We checked into the Westin, ordered room serve (oh man, that's the life! Did I mention the bazillion thread count linens....) we went to sleep.

The next morning we drove to San Diego. Beck slept most of the way thanks to a visit from a special friend who allowed Beck to use him as a human jungle gym and tired him right out! (thank you, thank you). Once at the big Kyrgyz shindig we were immediately greeted by our KG coordinator and the orphanage director. Beck was all smiles as he hugged both of them. They both began to talk to him in Russian and he smiled politely at them then looked at me and asked "Mommy, go play on slide?". I think they were caught off guard by his lack of comprehension who what they were saying to him in Russian, and the ease in which he spoke to me in English. One thing was clear, he was more interested in playing on the playground then catching up on old times.

I got to finally meet in person Tina and her 2 beauties, Jackie (our dossiers once lived together on a desk in KG). It was great to see her little Nola again, she has grown leaps and bounds since her days in Tokmok! We also met Margaret (who met Beck back in Tokmok when she adopted her son and daughter), Jen (where's your blog?) and her baby, and many, many other KG parents and their beautiful kids. I know I'm missing a bunch of people, my apologies. And of course we got to hang out with Hilary, Tim and Anara (who didn't humor me with her 'happy baby' dance... oh my sweet little dumpling, you know I'm gonna request 'happy baby' every single time I see you!).

It was great to see everyone.... well, except for maybe he-who-tried-to-leave-us-in-Kazakhstan. But Beck handled that little situation for me. Atta boy!

Beck with our KG coordinator Lyudmilla Lyudmilla, Beck and Tatiana (Tokmok Orphanage Director) Friends Forever! Beck and Anara Anara, Beck, Tina and Izzy Old Tokmok pals Max, Beck and Katie Beck and Tokmok friend Raymond Fun at Sea World!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Beck on tour

Beck and I are flying out to southern California on Friday for a very special reunion. An agency in San Diego is hosting a delegation from Kyrgyzstan which includes the orphanage director from Beck's orphanage. She was the one person to whom Beck showed great affection for when we met him. It was obvious that they had a special bond and on the day Beck left the orphanage her eyes filled with tears. She stated that she was happy he was going home but very sad that he was leaving. I think she'll be very surprised to see him at the event. I can't imagine what she'll think when she sees this big, strong confident boy.
In addition to the orphanage director, there will be a few little faces I remember from the orphanage, now we're their forever families. And also we will get to meet, finally in person, people who helped us in the beginning, other families who knew Beck before us and who gave us a lot of helpful information regarding him and who also took pictures of him and delivered a special gift from us.
The purpose for this delegation's visit is to see how well the children are doing once they get home. I feel it's important that as many families that are able to make it attend and show how well these beautiful children are doing in their new homes. I hope if the officials had any doubt as to whether these adoptions have been successful they'll be quickly comforted by the sight of these healthy, thriving, wondrous kids. And in turn that the country continues with it's efforts to place their children into loving homes.

Cross your fingers that we don't end up sleeping on the floor of an airport!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Smeat, airport floors and wonderful travel companions

Hard to believe that it's been a year ago today we left for our first trip to meet Beck. Oh wait, we didn't technically 'leave'. We did however risk life and limb on the bus ride from hell to NY only to be stranded overnight on the floor of JFK. It was an interesting way to meet our travel companions Hilary and Tim. If you could imagine how uncomfortable the dirty, nasty concourse floor would be, rest assured it worse. I'm still a little bitter that Joe wouldn't share the piece of cardboard he pulled out of the trash to make a makeshift 'bed'. And there's nothing like 'bathing' at the ladies room sink with a new friend to really help the bonding process. Seriously, people's true colors come out when you're sore, tired and wearing the same clothes for 3 days and I have to say, we hit the jackpot when it comes to travel companions. So in honor of this special anniversary I think I'll hunt down a recipe for some tasty smeat and trice-nuked potatoes and make the family sleep in the driveway.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A few more pictures from the set



The jump off the horse onto the moving bus!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My life as a stunt double

looking rather manly as Indiana James in the Raiders of the Lost Shaker of Salt

Last weekend I had my first job as a stunt double for a film. At first my horse was hired for the movie but when the director came out to meet Mr. Dee he noted that I was the same height as the lead actor.... and since they perferred not to risk killing him in the stunt I was immediately hired! So after months of delays due to weather, Sunday was the big shoot... and I'm happy to report Dee and I completed all our scenes plus a stunt that required me to jump from my galloping horse onto a moving pirate ship bus!