Faithful Blog Readers:
I know we are behind on our postings, so please bear with me as I try to summarize the last few days and the days immediately ahead....
Thursday morning at 9:30, we learned in a phone call from Dana the children's visa applications MIGHT be signed Thursday or, if not, HOPEFULLY Friday, but nothing was yet certain. As you might imagine, the news was not well received and after a heated pow-wow among the four of us a return call was placed to Dana with a request for more clarity/information. At 11:00, Dana called back to say the visas were signed(!) and we would buy our plane tickets tomorrow for a Tuesday flight to Almaty (Olesya having made reservations for us earlier in the week).
Friday afternoon following our baby home visit, Dana took us to the travel agent to buy the tickets. For reasons we still do not understand, Bob and Beth's tickets were ready, but there were no seats available for us. Last night was pretty miserable, as it looked like someone had goofed and we would have to be inconvenienced or pay or both to make things right.
This morning around 11, Dana came to the hotel and took a call from Olesya while we were together in Bob & Beth's room. Still no seats for the flight on Tuesday: Best available would be seats for the same flight on Monday. (One of the issues involves our preference for a direct flight - easier with kids and fewer questions we will be unable to answer with no translator accompanying us). We went to the travel agent immediately and bought the tickets for Monday.
Bottom line: Alli and I fly from Kostanai to Almaty on Monday, Bob and Beth do the same on Tuesday. Medical exams will be on Wednesday, US Embassy interviews on Thursday and we will all fly HOME together on Friday, August 12!!!! Accordingly, we will take the children from the baby home and become full-time parents on Monday morning!
I have tears in my eyes writing this: tears of joy and frustration and exhaustion. As always, many thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers every step of the way. As we rush through these next two days and our brief stay in Almaty, please continue to keep us and the kids in your thoughts and prayers: No doubt, we'll all need your strength at one point or another.
This might be our final posting until we return home. Thanks to all of you for sharing our experience with us: Your interest encouraged us to post even on the most mundane or difficult of days. We hope you enjoyed the Blog as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. At last count, we had more than 5400 hits, and I know they weren't all from Vegas (we love you, Gidge!).
I promise we will post through our return trip after we have a chance to get settled at home - or maybe in the middle of the first few nights while we and the kids work our way through jet lag. If there are any among you who are considering doing what we have done, please let us know and we will be happy to try to address your concerns and answer your questions. You can comment to the Blog or send a more personal message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
God is truly good! May he continue to bless us all. Our love,
Pat & Alli