Painting by Roberto Azank
Journal From Kazakhstan 2004
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*Click one of the dates above to go to that day's entry.
This Journal is from Mommy
and Daddy...

October 23, 2004
Today we went to an event and met other families who are in various stages of the adoption process.  Your mommy was on fire...
working the room, taking pictures.  There were lots of nice families and beautiful young children from Kazakhstan.  A politician who
may have been the first Woman President of the United States by the time you are reading this said that, "it takes a village to raise
our children".  The spirit of "The Village" was certainly present today.  I have heard people say that having children is the ultimate
act of selflessness.  I tend to think it is the ultimate act of selfishness as well...what more could a person or a couple want in life
than their very own children to love?  I think that the third ultimate thing of having children is that it is the ultimate act of egotism...the
notion of spawning a child from your own is funny though because I do not think people are confronted with this notion
until they face the choice of adoption.  Once you get past your ego you find yourself part of a special club of liberated people who
know how much it really does not matter where your children's genes come from.  I think in this sense that adoptive parents bare a
special purity (and bond) as we enjoy the forbearance of this wonderful symbiosis between selflessness and selfishness.

September 11, 2004
Today we received a video of the two of you together.  We did not think our hearts could grow any warmer towards the two of you,
but they have.  Mommy must have watched the 6 minute video 10 times over and over.  We really cannot wait to be united with our
beautiful little girls.

Today's date bares historical significance.  Three years ago there was a brutal attack on our country by a foreign terrorist
organization where about 4,000 people were killed.  In spite of the fact that this event has been grossly politicized by power
grabbing national leaders, we are able to remember the many mommies and daddies who died and that so many of things we
value in our lives can be taken away in an instant.  9/11 reminds us of life's and its freedom's fleeting nature and thus reminds us
that it should never be taken for granted.   

September 7, 2004

We are still reeling from the news on Wednesday, August 25th.  It was in the morning and Daddy was at work.  The phone rang,
Mommy answers and it was the Executive Director of the adoption agency we have engaged…which was strange because we
have never talked to her before (or after).  Mommy quickly figured out the reason for the Director’s call and asked her if she would
hold while Mommy got Daddy on the phone.  Mommy could not comprehend what was happening because we had only been
waiting 3 months when our expectation was it would take 6 months.

Daddy answered the phone and Mommy was gushing with emotion.  The Director took over and proceeded in informing us that
the Kazakhstan government had a little girl for us to adopt…,”wait a second” she said, “Oh my gosh, there are twins, I can’t believe
it.”.  At that point the whole conversation turned surreal…we are not talking about fertility treatment spawned twins like we see so
much of these days; we are talking about identical twins, an uncommon and wondrous fluke of nature!  There had been over 1,000
adoptions in Kazakhstan since the last twins…we were hitting the “Mother-lode”!  In addition to the twins phenomenon you were
both girls…which one usually has to wait 3 months longer for due to the higher demand for females.

Iris Alphia Ets-Hokin and Rose Fatima Ets-Hokin born Friday, January 30, 2004 in Uralsk, Kazakhstan.  Rose is a name that has
been stuck in our head for a long time (not to mention the fact that Daddy’s late grandmother was named Rose).  We decided that
we wanted to name Alphia after a flower as well and were inspired to pick the name Iris by a beautiful painting given to us by Liz
Lauter of Irises in honor of the fact that the Iris is the Japanese flower for the month of May, which was the month Mommy and
Daddy were married.  

You girls are healthy and developing normally…We should also point out that your sparsely haired scalps bare a strong
resemblance to your new father…fortunately for you and not Daddy he is losing his hair and you are gaining it.  Our wonderful
brother-in-law Dr. David Kaye led a team of specialists from pediatricians and Russian born doctors to a pediatric neurologist to
pour over and evaluate medical records, growth progress updates, picture and video.  David has given us an assuring “thumbs-
Iris and Rose Journal