Home Sweet Home
Arrive home safely to be met by my mum and sister and green fields. Then 12 hours later it bloody snows! Can you believe it!!!
Call this snow?!
Call this snow - it's already gone! "Its so cold" moaned my sister. You lot don't know you're born, 'tis positively tropical.
Back to the End
Entry into the UK went without incident – I had to join the non-UK/EU nationals (long) line as Daniel obviously has a Kazakh passport. As I was filling in my landing card a very confused looking airport official said to me “Ummmm, what passport do you have?” I obviously look very, very English and he decided that I had mistakenly got into the wrong queue.
“I'm British but my son has a Kazakh passport” I explained
“This way madam” the angel of Heathrow said to me as he moved the barrier and ushered me to the front of the queue.
Hello Toto – we're back in Kansas! I have a British passport and suddenly it means something again – hurrah.
Then the immigration official said to me - “has he seen a Doctor yet?”
Give us a chance – he's only been from the plane to immigration, not many doctors on the way between the two!
“You have to go to health control” - officialdom had spoken.
So off we traipsed to health control to the nurse with me worrying about them taking blood from my poor tired jet-lagged boy and other nightmare scenarios. Well, its not the strictest health control in the world – the nurse copied my address from the landing card then said “phone number?”. Duly writing that down on the card.
“Thank you, you can go now”
Don't argue Jones, just grab the lad and run for it.
My mum and sister were waiting for us and a tear or two was shed particularly when Daniel recognised my Mum immediately and held his hands out to her.
It struck me as we were leaving the airport that everything looked very odd and I couldn't put my finger on why. Then it dawned on me – green grass. I couldn't remember the last time I had seen green fields – they had all been covered in snow in Kaz.
Oh Toto, there's no place like home.
The Oscars Thank You Speech
There are so many people to thank that I'm sure to offend somebody so apologies in advance.
But here goes...
Massive thanks to the www.mumsnet.com Posse who gave me the illusion of being a mum before I was and kept my mum and I sane with Red Cross parcel that some of them DHL'd over to Almaty. You know who you are, and though I never got a definite list of suspects – I think I know who you are too...
Thank you, Catherine for feeding and putting up with the cats for a little (?!) longer than either of us had expected.
Thanks to my family for their moral support not only in the last few months but over the long three year journey this became.
Thanks to adopters who came before me who were unstinting in their advice and support – in particular Lynn O'Sullivan who was so helpful to me in sorting out hotels in Almaty and offering much other assistance.
Thanks to Sandy and Frank and their little Caroline for their offer for me to share their flat in Almaty for the last week. It made such a huge difference that I wasn't on my own.
Thanks to Stevan and Maxine at OASIS and Dawn at Richmond Council who did what they could to unravel the mystery that is the Dfes to get us home.
Thanks also to everyone who has posted messages – I looked forward everyday to reading them.
Thanks to my fellow inmates, the Collerans – Adrienne and Declan and the Hendersons – Aine and Alex. Their company, humour, depression, drinking and mutual worrying made a trip into a lifetime experience. I hope that our boys will know each other all their lives and after we are long gone will get together with their families to tell the story of how they all met in a baby-house in Ust Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.
Of course the biggest thanks have to go to my mum – who came out for a short visit to Kazakhstan and stayed half a lifetime; who travelled half way around the world alone in a country where she didn't speak the language and didn't get lost on the way; who put up with the traumas and trials of my mood swings and only occasionally screamed as loudly as I did. She and Daniel adore each other and he has a special bond with her that is touching to see – but she didn't know that he was going to be so worth it in advance. She did it to help me and that teaches me more about what it is to be a mother than anything else I have learnt in the last 4 months.
Thanks Mum x