01 July 2007

little appreciation

My first brush with ex-pat life came when I visited my friend Dawn (do you want to be linked?) shortly after she arrived in Kiev. One of her MTW team members there was talking about simple pleasures. She said her children appreciated little things like peanut butter cookies with kisses in them.

I was thinking about her remark the other day. The ex-pat world is one of good-byes. It's a part of life in the diplomatic community. Many families I've gotten close to left at the end of the school year. It's hard to see them leave. I've taught their children, eaten in their homes, shared the first part of my adoption journey with them.

One family who left yesterday just adopted a gorgeous, happy, healthy three-and-a-half-year-old boy. They started just before I did. We shared a sw but not an agency. (Hmmmm...they're finished....) It was so nice to have them one step ahead of me. While we had very different issues arise, I am so grateful to have a precedent. They adopted from Leningrad Oblast. And, it's been a privilege to see M.'s initial adjustment to family life. He's going great! Having visited with his family twice a week for two months and having a family who speaks some Russian (Papa is fluent) has been a great help. My favourite mixed language expression of M's is "spacoini night-night". And, his mommy thinks that having three big sisters has made things much easier. She's given the thumbs up to my adopting 2 d2b. (That's the great thing about that moniker--it can be daughter-to-be or daughters-to-be. No slashes. No and/or's. I've never been accused of not thinking things through...)

Pam, Mommy to M, invited me to rummage through her pantry before she left. There was so much she wasn't able to pack! And, electronics are just not practical to take back. You should've heard our delighted chatter. Some of the very things I've been longing for (a Russian version of a George Foreman and a paper shredder) are now in my flat. But, the joy went beyond electronics...

Pam: Let's see...what do I still have... Oh, look! Pumpkin! I sent out an sos and everyone sent me pumpkin. There are a couple cans left.

Me: Pumpkin? Great! I've been baking my own pumpkin the last two years. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread...

I've got a great recipe for pumpkin apple muffins. Oh! Here's a hot ticket item--ground mustard.

Great! Real mustard? I can't find that anywhere.

I know. Oh--do you want this balsamic vinegar? These spices?

That's fantastic! I was running out of basil. And is that really cream of tartar!?

Yep. Definite hot ticket item there. What else....oh--would you use this?

(Gasp of joy) Stain remover? To pretreat? I was just going to ask my sister to send me some! Thank you, thank you!

And on and on it went. We were giddy as we rummaged through her kitchen discovering things that we take for granted at home that are just not available here. Simple pleasures. Little things. Then, yesterday, Ann Marie brought me even more little bits of happiness--method cleaners, vitamins, aveeno lotion and Veggietales! I am a happy and appreciative girl indeed.


7 comments:

MMrussianadoption said...

Until you are away from home, you just dont know how good you had it. It's true. It's the little things we miss most. You got Christmas a little early this year, huh?
Hugs,
Melissa

Rachael said...

I had hoped to send season 2 of 24 with Ann Marie to you, but I seem to be missing the last disc. If/when it turns up, I'll send it your way. Now, had I know you like Veggie Tales....that we have plenty of!

Rachael said...

known, not know. Argh. I hate typos. why do I type so fast and proof-read so little?

A Special Family said...

ex-pat life is one filled with happyness & sorrow that's for sure. You also do meet amazing people...

kaymommy said...

Oh, what great surprises. Too bad it is bitter-sweet with your friends getting ready to leave.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lot of great stuff! I did not realize the many things you have to do without. I sent you a package about a week ago. It is several weeks of GH and a surprise. Love, Nif P.S. Notice I am STILL up to date on the blog!!

Jenni said...

So nice of Ann Marie to bring you some goodies from the States. I think that's definitely worth a tube of toothpaste!