Tuesday, May 17, 2005
We were informed today that we are to be in Almaty Kazakhstan on June 7th!! This is happy, happy news. Our projected travel date was June 10th. We were preparing ourselves for a possible delay but secretly hoping for a timely departure. Never did we imagine that we would be going a few days early. Words cannot adequately describe our feeling of relief and the sudden rush of panic. This is really going to happen. Much to do. Tomorrow we’ll send for our visas and make flight arrangements. We’ve just about completed the paper work we were required to redo. We had our fingerprints redone on Friday the 13th (good luck?). I discovered that you're not allowed to bring coffee into the USCIS building. I had to throw out perfectly good hazelnut coffee that I just bought. That was the only incident to report (well, that and the little boy who peed on the floor at the processing center). We’re having a bon voyage BBQ this Saturday and are expecting about 50 guests. Perfect timing. It will be nice to see everyone before we disappear for the summer. Oh, and I forgot to mention that we will be traveling with our friends who are also adopting from Kazakhstan. We met them at the adoption preparation classes we were required to attend. They were supposed to travel last week and I’m sure they’re dissapointed to have to wait a few more weeks but we’re happy that we’ll all be going together. Time to start packing.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Sometime in June (that's as exact a timeframe that is available in the world of international adoption) we head to the Republic of Kazakhstan to adopt two children. Our adoption journey began in April 2004 and after completing the mountains of required paper work and waiting just about an eternity the realization of becoming parents is almost here. Now we wait for our Letter of Invitation from the Kazakhstani government. This invitation will include, among other things, the date that we are allowed to enter the country. Then we will have our exact travel date and can begin making final preparations for our trip. Our stay will last eight weeks and take us to two cities. The baby house (where the children are) is located in Kostania and the US Embassy is in Almaty, the former capital. The trip promises to be a grand adventure. It is the experience of a lifetime. We won’t be flying totally blind as we’ve had an opportunity to talk to a few people who have been to Kazakhstan recently and of course there is a wealth of information on the Internet (what did we do before Google?). English is rarely spoken so we will have to take a stab at Russian. Kazakh is the official language of the county but Russian is commonly spoken. We will have a facilitator looking after us while were in country and she will translate for us as needed. We will try our best to adopt an “go with the flow” attitude but that will be challenging for two people used to having all of their i’s dotted and t’s crossed and used to being in control (some of us, who shall remain nameless, have even been labeled “bossy”). Time moves differently around the world so we’ll have to shed our hurried American ways and learn to relax. No worries (now, repeat that 1000x). So that’s it for now. The purpose of this Blog is twofold. First is to document our thoughts and feelings as we embark on the final leg of our amazing adoption journey. And the second and most important is to record these events for our children. Much, much more to come.