31 May 2008

Kyrgyz. Film: Beshkimpir, The Adopted Son

We have been very interested in knowing more about Kyrgyzstan traditions and way of life. Eric found this movie, Beshkimpir- The Adopted Son, which we just watched. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festivals as one of the first contemporary Kyrgyz. films. Ironically it is about a family in a small village in Kyrgyzstan who can not have children and feel that a childless home is no way to live. They adopt a baby who they wish to bring the family luck. We really enjoyed the film's simple story and a small glimpse into the country. Maybe some would think the film slow. I found it beautiful and if you are adopting from this country, well worth it! We rented it on Net Flicks.

My favorite part is when a younger boy goes to help Beshkempir court a girl he has fallen for. After this little guy has done his job in retrieving the girl for Beshkempir and the couple ride away on his bicycle, the little boy will have to walk back to town. A tiny little mule walks by with two other small boys on its' back. The two boys barely fit. You hear yelling, probably the little boy asking; can he get a ride? They two boys yell back "no it's too crowded." Not listening at all, the little boy flings himself on the mule and the three on the smallest mule you ever seen, ride off the frame of the film. This moment is actually just a few seconds but is so charming.....the film is filled with little simple happenings of a slower paced life.


The film is a simple story treating universal issues of growing up in a rural landscape. It depicts several Kyrgyz customs - including the ceremony of placing a baby in a cradle (biseke salu), the funerary ceremony and the engagement ceremony. The ceremonies depict several ethnic Kyrgyz artifacts, like the tekemet rugs of the region, the kigiz felt carpets and the Kyrgyz cradle or besik.

The storytelling is simple and direct, and the plentiful visuals of nature and village life is complemented by soundtrack recordings of accentuated village sounds and the sounds of nature. The film is shot in black and white, occasionally interspersed with color sequences. The color sequences typically depict colorful focal themes like the girl Aynura, colorful Tekemet rugs, or a hoopoe (a kind of bird).

Most of the shooting took place on location in the village of Bar-Boulak in Kyrgyzstan.

12 May 2008

Finishing our dossier

Today I am working on my final paper work packet for the government of Kyrgyzstan. Yeah!

Kyrgyzstan had closed down for a few weeks, but apparently it is open again. I was not too worried but will share with you that International Adoption is NOT an easy process. It seems as if the bureaucracy is what stands in the way of more adoptions happening. Apparently the Adoption Minister resigned. We do not know more about this other than they seem to be scrutinizing adoptions more carefully, probably because there is so much interest in their country. On one hand I do think it is good that the babies are monitored to go to good homes and be legitimate relinquishments from the birth parents, but there has to be an easier way for these children to find adoptive parents. I am part of a few online blogs and there are SO many people out there who would love to take in a child but the cost and the strict requirements stand in their way. I have also meet some people who have and/or are adopting. They have stuck out all the paperwork, waiting, changes and have a whole broad of internationally adopted kids. They AMAZE me!

Eric & I are getting more excited and we are #9 on the list. The agency gets between 2-4 referrals a month, both boys and girls. I keep my blog updated on a post called "Paper Pregnant....Time line" if you want to check in to see if we have more news. And I am sure to post more as the time gets closer. Basically we are just waiting. So we are still still expecting our first trip to be in September of 2008 and to return in November to pick her up. (hopefully this is the way it will go, but one never knows....)

I am just mildly exploring staying in the country between trip 1 & 2 to visit the baby house and give myself a sabbatical from my life here. That would probably be 2 months away from my life here. Right now I am craving a space to make new work and expand, and well could it be in Kyrgyzstan in a small apartment while I visit my baby to be? I have been told that one can get a modest apartment for $100/mo. I am sure it is not in the luxurious American standards. But that really might be fine. A chance to help at the baby house, draw and write in the afternoon, and send emails, and explore? Well I don't speak Russian so this could be challenging? And no one has attempted this before in the adoption community. I am deeply curious and interested to know more about this great country, culture and this place where baby o will always be from. I feel like our adoption from Central Asia is opening up the other side of the world to us.

Like I said just a thought....but who knows where that leads? Adoption was just a thought too....but we are totally committed to this journey.