Topic: From Delilah
This is Genice's friend Delilah. I returned yesterday to my Peace Corps assignment in Kiev, Ukraine after spending a week with Genice in Almaty. I'm glad to see that Genice managed to post an update yesterday!
I feel so lucky that I had the opportunity to be with Genice and share a little bit of her adoption experience. I know Genice from the Jewish community in the Bay Area, and it just seemed natural to pop over to Almaty (a six hour flight) when Genice invited me. I loved Almaty, and I know I would not have visited otherwise.
So... the baby! The baby is so cute, and also seems to have a bright mind and interesting personality. I am sure Genice will encourage the development of all of Jiana's positive traits. Everyone is anticipating the transformation of Genice into Mama Genice. And, I did see some of that, and so far she is doing great. But, what I did not anticipate is the transformation of the baby from orphan to daughter. Her mood really shifted. She laughed and smiled and seems to be taking to the role very well. I wouldn't think that such a major personality transformation would be obvious in an 8 month old, but believe me, that is what we saw. I think Genice's transformation will be more gradual.
I did not see the baby in the orphanage (regulations kept me in the waiting room). But, I had heard Genice's descriptions of her, and was there in the car ride on the way from the orphanage back to Almaty on Tuesday. After a brief stop at a supermarket where Jiana and I waited in the car (Genice will write more extensively about that I am sure), we arrived with baby and supplies at the apartment. Genice took off the four layers of orphanage-required clothing. Jiana probably had her little toes bared for the first time in her life. (See Genice's earlier post on sensory development). This baby laughed! She may have laughed with her caretakers before, but Genice had not seen her laugh.
At this point, Jiana is still crying a lot, I gather that is normal for babies. She is also sleeping a lot. I had the great fortune of having her fall asleep in my arms during my last morning in Almaty. (When Genice went out to the nearby internet club, only to find that the server was down). Seeing Genice feed the baby is... well, honestly it is funny. But it seems traumatic for Jiana. But, she has to eat. (I have a feeling Genice will elaborate on this topic as well).
Anyway, I will sign off for now. Please do call Genice this weekend if you can, I know she will appreciate contact from the outside world. See phone number and info in earlier post. For my part, I will try to get some of my digital pictures posted to this site before the end of next week.
Happy new year!