Our home in Kostanai

According to Kazakhstan adoption laws, prospective parents are required to have 15 days of mandatory bonding time with their child before they are allowed to file a petition to adopt that particular child. After those first two whirlwind days of arriving in town, meeting our son, and having our first visit with him, we settled into our new life in Kostanai quite nicely. We had two hours of visitation with Dylan at the baby house every day, which were of course the highlight of our days. We were then usually taken back to our apartment until dinner time, when our driver/translator would pick us up and take us to a restaurant.




Visitation in Dylan's group room

Our agency arranged an apartment for us on the outskirts of town, and although it was very spacious and comfortable, it was also quite isolated. There was little else around us besides residential housing and new construction, so we were unable to get anywhere without our driver. Our apartment consisted of one bedroom, one bathroom, and a kitchen with a clothes washer besides the oven. There was no dryer, and no fabric softener, so we had to line dry our clothes in the family room.


We were advised against drinking the water in Kazakhstan, so we took to rinsing our toothbrushes in vodka, which was actually quite tasty and refreshing. For everything else (cooking food, making coffee, etc.), we used bottled water. Our shower water had lots of chlorine and a very particular smell which took some getting used to.


The heat in Kazakhstan is regulated by the government, so there are no thermostats in the apartments. The heat is turned on sometime in the fall and turned off in the spring regardless of what the temperature is outside. They did keep the buildings quite toasty though. Our travel alarm clock registered the temperature inside the apartment to be about 81 degrees at all times.


The only English we heard was on the radio or on music channels on TV. Besides that, all TV was in Russian. Thank goodness we'd brought a ton of DVDs, and thank goodness for the family who had adopted a child before us, who left a giant stack of DVDs for the next families to view. We don't know what we would have done without them!


As you can see, we quickly had to forgo some of the comforts of home, but this was something we were expecting. What I wasn't expecting was how SAFE I felt, how quickly I became settled, how comfortable and happy I was in my new environment. Within just a few days, I unconsciously started referring to our apartment as "home," and when called out on it, I realized that I meant it. Kostanai became my home. My husband was there, my child was there. Most importantly, though, my child's past would forever be there, and now so would a piece of my heart. 



Filed under: Adoption, Kazakhstan, Kostanai


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  • Khadine, what an amazing experience! This is a journey that will forever be in your hearts; and keeping all the pictures and memories for Dylan to see/read one day, will be THE best gift ever! Congrats on such a great entry; as usual, you did a great job! Awesome entry, amiguita!

  • In reply to NinaGoyco:

    Awww...gracias por ese mensaje tan lindo, Nina! :-)

  • Apesar de que no he comentado en el blog anterior, sabes que no mi pierdo esta interesante aventura.

  • Me gusta leer tus relatos todos los domingos. Como no tengo tiempo de sentarme a leer un libro, estos relatos son como capitulos de una novela. Esperamos ansiosamente la proxima semana para aprender mas de Kostanai, su cultura el el proceso de adoption. Mireya de Brito, San Juan, PR

  • In reply to Valmir:

    Gracias a los dos por su apoyo incondicional!

  • Me alegro saber q te sientes tan orgullosa de ser una mam

  • In reply to nydia:

    Que mensaje tan bonito, Nydia, gracias! Tienes toda la razon, yo naci para ser la mama Dylan y el nacio para ser nuestro hijo. Como me dijo mi prima Karen luego de cambiamos de Colombia a Kazakhstan y conocimos a Dylan "ahora uno entiende porqu

  • Just fascinating....the whole adoption process, especially taking up residency in another country. Such an experience....for so many reasons (mainly Dylan)!

  • In reply to kathikubal:

    It was quite an adventure, as you well remember, but soooo worth it in the end! :-)

  • In reply to kathikubal:

    Great way to share your story. Never thought I would have a nephew from Kazakhstan, glad you guys are so brave and determined.
    Thanx sis!

    Dale un besote a Dylan :))

  • In reply to Jadit:

    Gracias, Jadit! Lo mas comico es que tuvimos que viajar al otro lado del mundo y terminamos con un baby que es su tio Part 2, jajaja! :-)

  • In reply to Jadit:

    Every time I read the story of Dylan's adoption, I shed a tear of happiness.

  • In reply to emmabradshaw:

    You're so sweet Emma! Your comments always make me smile :-)

  • In reply to Jadit:

    Hola Khadine, I've been reading the blog for the past couple of weeks and have been meaning to comment.
    It has been very entertaining, touching and nerve racking at times reading particularly your stories and Nina's.
    Dylan's story touched me really close to the heart although we have been apart for various years.
    We definitely must never question why things happen.
    Reading above, funny thing, I didn't know Dylan has Jadit's charisma/personality, which I must say, is hard and uncommon to find! ; )
    Espero este todo bien por alla!

  • In reply to camoll:

    Gracias por tu mensaje, Carina, me alegro oir de ti y saber que estas disfrutando leer el blog! Espero que todo ande bien contigo tambien, y gracias por tu apoyo!

  • In reply to camoll:

    This was a great entry! Thanks for sharing! I still want to adopt. It's always been on my mind. Therefore, I look forward to reading more about your experience. What a wonderful journey you have had!

    Can I just say...I like the curtains in your apt. :) They actually look quite fancy, in their layout. :) I "see" the look they were going for. :)

  • In reply to camoll:

    Thanks for your comment, Anita! I'm glad you are enjoying our story. If you have any questions at all about adoption, please feel free to ask. Glad you liked the curtains, too! The whole apartment was pretty funky, but I loved it!

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