Greetings, everyone! I thought my first communication from the great city of Semey should include the very first photo of Ramazan Abildaev! I arrived at the orphanage Monday, the 22nd and had an interview with the orphanage director, a middle aged Kazakh man with gentle eyes and soft speech. The questions weren't tough at all ... he seemed to just want to get to know me. He then asked the caretakers to bring out three baby boys ... one of which was Ramazan! Oh, I can't tell you how it felt to see him for the first time!! They allowed me to go "bond" with Ramazan in a private play room for about 45 minutes. I was able to see that at 10 months, he can raise up from a lying position but hasn't discovered yet that he can crawl. He can stand when held ... with wobbly legs. He has a darling smile ... especially when I tickle his feet or kiss his hands. He never cried but seemed very content. I am SMITTEN!
He is in "isolation" ... kind of like an infirmary because he has a respiratory infection. He is improving each day they say and should be out of isolation in 4 or 5 days. Until then, I am limited as to my time with him ... once a day for an hour and 1/2 only. Hopefully he will be much better and by next week, I will get to "bond" twice a day!
Today ... my second day of bonding (15 days required before court is set) I got to play with him just outside the infirmary in a waiting room. I was able to watch the sweet caretaker, Alla, feed him his bowl of soup ... looked like a cold liquidy cream of wheat. He GOBBLED down every bite and when she hesitated to get a spoon of it back to his mouth quickly enough, he let her know to HURRY! They are going to let me feed him next time!
By the end of bonding today ... I could tell he knew who I was ... and as the caretaker took him away ... he kept his head turned toward me and smiled and smiled!! Oh ... oh ... oh ... words can't describe.