Our Kazakhstan Journey

Welcome! Gary and I want to share our experiences as we travel to Kazakhstan for or child(ren).

Location: South Florida, United States

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pics-September 2008


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Post script-Home and second trip

Well, after our return from Kazakhstan, it was a mad rush to get the nursery completely ready for Kristin's anticipated arrival a month later. We had nothing ready since initially we knew neither the sex nor the age. Well, the countdown had started. We were very fortunate to have the wonderful support of family and friends. My co-workers threw me a shower that was fantastic and two days later my sister Sandra hosted one as well. With everyone's help, we got everything that was necessary from diapers to crib. The most difficult part was getting the nursery ready. There was a lot to do in a month's time. During that month I was pretty bleary eyed, as there was always something to do after work...paint, move furniture, etc. Eventually all the rooms were successfully redone.

Packing for the second trip was much easier than the first one. We sought other parents advice as to how many diapers to pack, the amount of clothes per day, baby food, etc. We left Miami on September 28 for our second trip . We arrived there Saturday in the wee hours of the morning and were met by Igor. That same afternoon Igor and Galina picked us up to go to the baby house to get Kristin and distribute the gifts. When we saw Kristin, I had anticipated that she would have recognized us..but after one month, she was rather indifferent. We learnt from the staff that the young boy that Gary had befriended in our first trip was now in a foster home, but they assured us that they would forward our gift to him. We spent about an hour at the baby house and then made the trip home. She did not fuss on the ride back, but when we arrived at the flat, it was a totally different story. The poor little thing was terrified. Her fists and feet were balled and she started crying and screaming. Who knew that such a loud noise could come from such a little thing. I could understand why she was scared (and by the way so were we). Here she was in a totally unfamiliar environment with virtual strangers. Keep in mind that previous visits had been only two hours per day for three weeks and then there was a four week gap when we returned home. Well, we felt totally helpless. New parents in a totally unfamiliar environment. The agency had set up a play pen for her to sleep in and Valentina came by later, at her usual 6 PM with food for her. Needless to say, our scheduled Tuesday night departure could not come fast enough. We could not get her to sleep in the play pen. As soon as she fell asleep in my arms, if I tried to put her down in the play pen, she would immediately awaken and the cycle would start again. So we decided to let her sleep in our bed. We tried to adhere to her baby house schedule as much as possible to minimize the stress on her...and us. We were originally scheduled to depart on Tuesday night, but fortunately we were able to move up our US embassy appointment and change our outbound flight without any additional charges. We were anxious to get home with our beautiful daughter.

The part of the adoption process that I was dreading the most was here...the trip home with a baby that has never flown and is with two rookie parents who she hardly knows. Strikes fear in your heart when you think about it, doesn't it? The trip is not an easy one for adults...imagine how it would be for a baby. She did pretty well on the leg from Almaty to Frankfurt. We had brought a baby carrier with us and purchased a seat for her rather a "lap" seat. She slept most of the way. The worst part of the trip was the three hour layover in Frankfurt. She was extremely cranky, crying at the top of her lungs and of course we had no idea what was wrong. I had brought four changes of clothes for her..guess what..it wasn't enough. Restrooms on airplane are extremely small...especially when you are trying to change diapers. She screamed at the top of her lungs for every change. It was embarrassing and tiring. Needless to say, we hardly got any sleep on the trip home. She was pretty good considering the circumstances, slept a lot and fussed when she was hungry, when we changed her, and when she was tired of being in the carrier. But we would be stressed out whenever she would awake. We finally made it home.

My fear that she would have problem adjusting to the ten hour time difference was not realized. The first two nights we put her in her bed, but since that time she has been sleeping in her room. Typically, she goes to sleep between 6-7 PM and sleeps through the night until about 6 AM. She'll have her breakfast (porridge) and then take her morning nap (1-2 hours) at about 8:30 AM. In the afternoon she takes another 1-2 hour nap. She eats very well and her pediatrician is very happy with her progress. Within the first week of her arrival she caught a cold (then I did also), then two weeks later an ear infection and a few weeks after that another cold (which I caught also). I guess it's all part of the joy of parenthood.

I feel that we are truly blessed to have such a wonderful daughter. We had her baptized in November, which my mother surprised me by attending. She has become accustomed to being around others and lights up whenever she is around other children. She is now pulling herself up to stand, which means it is now time to babyproof the house. That's the next project.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

South Florida Welcome

Tuesday August 29, 2006-Our return flights were uneventful. The only "problem" was that when we changed our booking with Lufthansa, we did not realize that the flight would depart at 3:30 AM instead of 1:30 AM. We had arrived at the airport at 11:30 PM, and thus had to wait 2 extra hours at the Almaty airport. Security at the Frankfurt Airport was extremely strict, due to the recent terrorism scare. All passengers were patted down and their bags searched. People with electronic equipment and medication were pulled aside for further security checks. Thankfully, both flights were on time and the layover in Frankfurt was only 3 hours.

It was a soggy welcome back to South Florida, with Tropical Storm Ernesto threatening the area. Like trained bears, despite the jet lag and lack of sleep, as soon as we arrived home we began removing the patio furniture and plants and closed the accordion shutters on the second floor. Thankfully, Ernesto was more like a typical summer thunderstorm, just a bit windier. The best part was that we were finally able to get some well needed rest. I never realized before how much I LOVE my bed. After sleeping on the most uncomfortable and lumpy bed for the past three weeks, our bed was a welcome relief. It took about three days for me to overcome the jet lag. I used the rest of the week to start preparing for the nursery and the play room downstairs. We decided to give Kristin the room that is closest to our bedroom. This room is currently Gary's office. We also decided to change the flooring in Gary's new office to wood. The nursery will be carpet, and in the playroom downstairs which is tiled, we will put an area rug. My sister and her husband gave us the crib/toddler bed which we put together on Monday (Labor Day). The wood flooring was completed Wednesday, so now all we have to do is start moving the office furniture and the other furniture in the" soon to be" playroom.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Here comes the judge!

Sunday, August 27, 2006
We spent a relaxing day with Galina and a lady, Michelle from New York who was on her second trip. Her baby daughter (15 months) came with us also. We spent half the day on a mountain that overlooks Almaty. There is a cable car that you can take up the mountain. We drove up and took the cable car down. The view was remarkable and the weather was absolutely gorgeous- sunny, light breeze and relatively cool temperatures. The view from the mountain actually reminded us of the mountains in Jamaica. We had lunch at a cafe there (lamb kebabs) and then headed back to the flat to start packing and prepare for the big day at court.

Monday, August 28, 2006
Well today is the big day...the court hearing. We were provided a cheat sheet by Galina with some of information that might be asked, income, assets, information on her medical condition. Igor, Galina and our attorney were scheduled to pick us up at 9:45 but arrived 20 minutes early. We were both ready- all decked out in business suits. I was very nervous about today, although I had heard from others that it was the easiest part of the process. Things had gone so smoothly for us so far, that in the back of my mind I was wondering if the most important thing would go wrong. On the way to Yessick, Galina held a Q&A session with us, to make sure that we were prepared potential questions to be posed by the judge or prosecutor.

We finally arrived at the Yessick court one half hour early at 10:30. We waited in the van while the attorney went inside the courthoust to make sure that things would be on schedule. She returned 10 minutes later to inform us that the judge's husband had recently had surgery and our court time would be changed to high noon. Galina suggested that we go to the baby house to visit Kristin. We were both ecstatic about this. She was a bit quiet today. I am not sure if it was because she seemed to have a slight runny nose or maybe she was disappointed that we were not there to feed her either yeaterday or today. For most of our short visit we kept her outside. My heart broke to leave her today. In fact when they came in to get her at noon, she cried and did not want to leave my arms. We both hugged and kissed her and said goodbye, promising to see her in three weeks.

We left the baby house and then proceeded to the Ministry of Education to pick up an official who would speak at court on the Ministry's behalf, and then on to the courthouse. When we arrived there, our attorney once again, went to check if the judge was in and if noon was still the time. She returned to he van and informed galina and the Ministry official in Russian about the tstus. Everyone was talking rather loudly to each other and the only thing I could think of was that the hearing was probably going to be postponed. If everything was fine, they wouldn't be talking so animatedly would they? Well, it turned out that it was a good news/ bad news situation. The good news was that we were still on for today, the bad news was that the judge would not be here until 1 PM. Whew, what a relief!

Finally at 1 PM we entered the courthouse, a modern, two-storey, yellow building. The judge's chambers was on the second floor. When we entered her chambers, the judge was present along with the prosecutor, a secretary, and the Ministry official. The judge read us our rights and asked standard question about whether we trusted all parties present. As if we would ever answer "no" to that question! Gary was asked to answer the questions first. The questions concerned our income, what we wanted the court to do (change her name, keep her birthdate and make us the leagal parents of Kristin), when did we arrive, when did we start visits, how long had we visited her, were we aware of her medical condition, did we have biological children, what would happen if we did, etc... a full barrage of questions, which he answered very well. Then it was my turn. I started out well, and then for those that know me well, as can be expected, I started to cry when I talked about our visits with her and how much she bonded with us. I had to try really hard to compose myself...this after all was very serious business. With the exception of the short crying episode, I think I did rather well.

When the representative from the baby house spoke, my heart broke. She spoke of how "Marzhan" was a different child since we started visiting her. She described a child who previously would cry whenever she needed attention or was hungry. She stated that after our visits, she became calmer and would wait expectantly for us to come and feed her. She said that she had put on weight since our arrival three weeks ago, and it was evident from the series of pictures that we had to present to the court. She also described our first encounter with her and how she immediately gravitated towards us, especially Gary, which was extremely unusual, since all the caretakers were female . She also spoke of the love and attention that Kristin had received from us and gave the adoption her full endorsement.

Then the court asked about whether efforts had been made to find her family. Our attorney and the Ministry representative explained that they had spent an entire day tracking down the family. They found her grandmother, who had told them that she would not be able to support her. The Ministry representative explained that Kristin had been placed in the data base for children available for adoption in April and no Kazakh native had expressed an interest in adopting her. This meant that we would be able to adopt her if the court so decreed.

The prosecutor then followed up with a series of questions regarding health care, child care, etc. which we adequately responded to. Then to judge asked us to leave her chambers. About ten minutes later she called us back in and decreed that the court would allow the adoption. There would be the customary 15 day waiting period, after which it would be final. What a relief! We expressed our thanks to everyone, shook hands with the judge, prosecutor, attorney and Ministry rep and hugged Galina, the caretaker and each other. We then left the courthouse and had lunch (you guessed it...Kazakh fast food-lamb kebabs). We finished up some final paperwork with Galina and here I am blogging! What a journey...but she is definitely worth it! Thanks for taking the journey with us and for all your prayers.

Now all we have to do is worry about Ernesto!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Miscellaneous Pics

Top 10 List

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The past three days have been extremely hot, in the 90’s. Thank goodness the humidity here is much less than in Miami. We had another excellent visit with Kristin today. We are both extremely smitten with her. As you can tell by the pictures, she has Gary completely wrapped around her little fingers. It leaves no doubt that she is Daddy’s girl.

As we wind down our visit here, we came up with the top 10 things we will miss in Kazakhstan.

10. The fashionable and attractive Kazakh women (of course this is Gary’s)
9. The low humidity-few bad hair days here. (of course this is Mel’s)
8. Valentina’s great pickled cabbage and other salads.
7. The great variety of beer and vodka. The beers have different numbers on their labels-the higher the number the greater the alcohol content.
6. The picturesque vistas of snow capped mountains and apple trees laden with fruit.
5. Not having to do our laundry.
4. Having dinner ready promptly by 7 PM daily- and we didn’t need to shop or cook.
3. The wonderfully fresh, flavorful and juicy fruits and vegetables.
2. Galina’s professionalism, hospitality and kindness.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Three days to go

Well our return flights are confirmed and fortunately we did not have to pay any penalties. Today's visit was a real joy! We got an A+ on the feeding and she was "talking" and laughing loudly today. I think she knows that we are now her parents. We are already dreading leaving her on Monday!

You may have noticed that almost all the pictures are of Gary and Kristin. When we get home I have to give the proud papa some photography lessons. He either cuts my head off, catches me with my eyes closed or half closed...he makes a fine example of what NOT to do in photography. If it wasn;t for the blog, would you even know I was on this trip? :-)

The other picture is of Astana Square which is one block from our flat. There are always vendors, artists, and musicians there. We have to walk through this area to get to the internet cafe and Gary's gym.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Got The Court Date

Thursday August 24, 2006

Well it is official! Our court date has been set for Monday August 28 at 11 AM. This means we will be leaving here Tuesday morning at 1:50 AM. We went to the Lufthansa office after our visit with Kristin to change our flight. It will be bittersweet to leave here, on one hand we are dying to get back to the comforts of home and the company of friends and family. On the other hand, we will be leaving our beautiful daughter for almost three weeks until we return. She has gotten closer to us day by day. Today and yesterday we got A+ on her feeding and she hardly fusses anymore. She was really “chatting” up a storm with Gary today, I think she’s making her demands on what her rooms should look like, clothes, shoes…typical female things. All kidding aside, she is a real bundle of joy and we both her love her tremendously. We have been trying to get her used to a pacifier rather than using her thumb.

I am a little concerned about what the effects of the three week separation will be. Today, her caretaker again told us that she is less fussy now that she knows that she has parents. She said that there has been a marked positive change in her behavior and she can see how attached she is to us as we are to her. Well, we are counting down…one day closer to coming home and one day closer to bringing her home.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

An Endorsement

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Well today we were pleased to hear from one of the caretakers that our visits with Kristin have resulted in an improvement in her behaviour. She said that Kristin is calmer, more sociable and actually looks forward to our visits. We both viewed that as a resounding endorsement as future parents. We have noticed that she really dreads feeding and associates the placement of a bib or anything around her neck as feeding time. Usually she is very plasyful and happy when we first see her, but as soon as we put the bib around her neck she starts to get fussy. She did very well today with her feeding (we got an A today). She does not seem to like milk though...something that we will have to work on. Also, for all the future baby sitters out there, she does not like to be bothered when she gets sleepy..she'll burst out in her "fake" cry.

Oh by the way, correction on the last blog, Edvick is in the red sweatshirt. Also some of you have asked for our phone number...it's 0117-3272-73-61-74. That's the full number to dial from the States. We are expecting our attorney to meet with the Yessick judge today, so (cross your fingers, toes, etc.) we will get our court date by tomorrow morning when we see Galina. I am fairly optimistic that it will be by next week Tuesday. Whatever date it is, we will be booked for the next morning (in the wee hours) to head home. Thank you all for your e-mails and positive response on the blogs, it is great to have such wonderful support. I am glad to hear that I am not boring you. I am sorry that we haven't been able to respond to all e-mails, but we do appreciate them very much. Miss you all very much and will continue to keep you posted.

HURRAY!- Visit 14

Monday, August 21, 2006
Well today marked the final “official” visit with Kristin. She seemed to be extremely playful and active today. She was really happy to be in the walker and made attempts to crawl. She seems to get cuter and more adorable everyday. I thank God everyday for having blessed us with this beautiful child and for giving us the means to be able to adopt her. By the end of this week, we are hoping to hear when our court date will be. Karen’s is today and she will be leaving at 2 AM tomorrow morning.

Almost every time that we visit Kristin, we see this young boy, Edvick (not sure of spelling), who is probably close to three years old (he's the one on the left in the red cap). At three years of age the children are transferred from baby houses to orphanages. Normally we would give him a high five or a handshake. When we saw him on Saturday, he was extremely withdrawn. Normally, he would push an available tricycle in the yard. Today, Gary showed him how to ride the tricycle and led him around the yard. He was so thrilled and for the remainder of the visit he would wave and smile at us. He was a totally different child and interacted with us a lot more. It is really sad to see these children in the baby house. You really wish that you could take them all home. The transformation you witness from giving them some individual attention is amazing.

In the afternoon we met with Karen to have a celebratory drink-celebrating the adoption decree-which was granted to her today and our final official visit.

The Second Weekend

Weekend- Friday August 18-Sunday August 20

On Friday and Saturday we had visits 11 and 12 with Kristin. We have noticed that the bond with her grows stronger everyday. Feeding her is still very difficult, but we console ourselves with the fact that she that by the end of next month she will be home, safe and secure and can be bottle fed. Saturday afternoon, Galina took us and Karen to the Kazakhstan Museum of Art and arranged for an English speaking guide to give us the tour. The exhibition was interesting as you somewhat trace the history of the country from the pre-Soviet era the Soviet era and eventually independence in 1991. The tour was interesting and a welcome departure from our normal routine. The museum has very valuable works of art.

On Sunday we met Angie and James Peffley from Jacksonville, Florida. They are in the front left and right in the picture, Galina is behind Angie Peffley and Karen is beside Galina. They were on their second trip and had picked up their 10 month son from the baby house in Astana a couple of days before. They came to Almaty to take him to the “SOS clinic” for medical clearance and then the American Embassy for the interview. They will be homeward bound with their son Wednesday morning. The Peffleys, Karen, Galina, Igor, Gary and I had lunch at a kebab restaurant. Needless to say, we were all passing around our digital cameras, sharing pictures of our babies. Their son is 10 months old and already weighs 24 lbs. Kristin who weighs only16 lbs. has a lot of catching up to do.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Counting Down

Well, today was day 10 of the official visits to the baby house. She was so playful today, laughing, smiling, wanting to be held. We placed her on the ground to let her try to figure out that she can crawl. For the first time today she got on her hands and knees and made an attempt to crawl. We believe that the government is correct about having the 2 week visiting period, as we have observed positive changes in her behavior in our daily visits. All these children need is some love, care and one-on-one attention in order to thrive. We now refer to her affectionately as the “big boss”. As all you parents already know, for the next 18 years…she rules. I’m looking forward to going home and setting up her bedroom and her playroom.

The driving here is as bad as in Jamaica. We were crossing the street today, had the green light when some idiot came careening around the corner. We are anxiously counting down to the time when we can finally be on our way home and closer to bring our beautiful daughter home.

Another Day in Paradise

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Today we had another early visit with Kristin again. Everyday we become more enthralled with her. She has such a bright, beautiful smile when she sees us and readily comes to us. We successfully fed her today…finally!!! However, it took the both of us…Gary holding her face still and me having her on my lap and shoveling the porridge in. It sounds cruel but it’s the only way to do it. As soon as we get her home she will be on the bottle. Would you believe that she has to drink her milk from a coffee mug now? While in Kazakhstan we have to do what the Kazakhs do.

Someone commented on the pictures of Kristin with her class mates, asking why we didn’t adopt more than one. Well, all our paperwork that was submitted was for two kids. However, about a month before leaving we heard that they were not allowing the adoption of two unrelated children. I have asked Tatyana on at least two occasions about this, and she is sticking to her story. We have also found out that although there are a lot of kids in the baby houses, not all are available for adoption. The law allows parents to give up the kids for a period of time (up to a year I think) with a promise that they will return within that period of time to take the child(ren) home…and they can do this several times during the child(ren)’s lifetime, if needed. Those children would not be available, they are just being temporarily cared for by the government.

We invited Karen, the American lady from Boston, to have dinner with us today. She finally got word today that she has a court date set for next Monday. We were both so happy for her. She has been here by herself staying in a small hotel room for close to three weeks now. While Gary went to workout (and be picked by Kazakh women at the gym), I called her up and arranged for us to meet her at the shopping centre nearby at 4 PM. We went shopping for souvenirs and then went back to the flat for dinner. Valentina cooks sufficient food for a family of four everyday. We are all glad for each other’s company, so we let her know that she has an open invitation for dinner until she leaves. We walked her back to her hotel-about 35 minutes each way. I feel a lot more comfortable with venturing out now. We walked past parks, sidewalk cafes, the opera house…it seems like the best way to see the city is on foot and so plan to do that more often.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Pics from 8-15

Sorry, they didn't post with the last entry.

The Simpler Things in Life

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
We went to visit her this morning at 10 AM. Every day she seems to be vocalizing more with us. We had to feed her porridge, which she definitely prefers to potatoes and meat. We thought we were doing pretty well, but a few minutes later they sent in reinforcements to assist with the feeding. Within five minutes she finished the porridge, but for an hour after that, she kept spitting up...a lot!! I guess if I were forced to eat that fast, my stomach might be a bit upset also. Overall though, it was a very good visit. She definitely seems to want to be with us and loves to be held and walked. She also doesn’t seem to like too much fussing around her. For the fourth day in a row, she was wearing the same outfit. I just hope with all the spitting up she did today, that they put on a different outfit tomorrow. She fell asleep, on schedule at around noon, in Gary’s arms.

Galina went to file the petition for the adoption with the courts today. She feels that if all goes well, we may be able to get a court date by the 29th. We both are praying that this happens, as we are both very homesick. Also, we've heard some horror stories about other families experiencing significant delays. So far, everything has gone relatively smoothly for us and we hope and pray that it continues that way so that we may be home before Labor Day.

Also some good news for Gary...he finally found a decent gym. As most of you know, Gary is disciplined about working out (unlike me) and he has been climbing the walls since he hasn’t had a proper workout since we’ve been here. We signed him up and he's working out while I'm blogging. Also he was able to watch Monday Night Football this afternoon...we are definitely learning to appreciate the simpler things in life.

Found the Cafe

Monday, August 14, 2006
Tatyana and Igor took us to the baby-house today. We went earlier than our usual time because we were scheduled to meet Karen and Galina at the fabled American Grill and Café at 1 PM. Today Kristin was really happy to see us. We walked and played with her a bit, but our visit was only an hour because we arrived at about 11 and her scheduled nap time was at 12. Understandably, they maintain very strict schedules for the children. At least we didn’t have to feed her on this visit. On the way back from the baby house, Tatyana stopped at one of the rural markets where the locals were selling fresh cow’s milk, fresh cheeses, breads and meats.

We then met Karen and Galina at the American Grill. Gary and I were wondering if it really existed. Everytime we would ask someone where it was we would get blank stares. We were joking that maybe it was one of those urban legends and when Americans are traveling to Kazakhstan, they are told to visit there. Well turns out that it really exists, and as rumoured, they have great wireless connectivity. I was able to use my laptop without a problem. It is a pity that I probably could not find the place on my own. It is about a 30 minute walk, but with the language problem, I am a bit timid to venture out. All the street signs are in Russian (totally unrecognizable) and very few people speak English. The food was so-so and the prices were a bit on the high side. After returning to the flat, we spent the rest of the evening lounging around.

Mountain Tour

Sunday August 13, 2006
Today Tatyana and Igor picked us up at the flat at 11 AM. We then went to the Hotel Kazakhstan to pick up another client, Karen from Boston. She is single and is here by herself, so I think it was a relief to her to have Americans for company. The area in which her hotel is located is more modern than our area. However she did confirm that she did not have any AC either in her room and her quarters were extremely small.

We went to the mountains, which was about a half hour drive from the hotel. It was very picturesque and it seems that a lot of the locals come here on the weekends to swim/ bathe in the river, do mountain climbing, hike, etc. After taking pictures Tayana treated us to a traditional Kazakh meal in a yurt which is a portable tent. Ethnic Kazakhs were a nomadic people, living in tribes and migrating with the seasons to locate pastures for their herds. Thus, their traditional housing was very portable and easy to assemble and disassemble.

The meal consisted of the Kazakh national dish, besparmak which consisted of chunks of lamb and horsemeat sausage served over noodles, lamb kebabs, lamb broth, and camel’s milk (which tasted like buttermilk). The word means besparmak means “five fingers” in Kazakh and symbolizes the manner in which people traditionally eat the dish-with their fingers. After lunch, we went to the National Museum to look at rugs which we found to be very expensive.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Here she is with the other children in her group (less than 12 months). That's her in the front on the right. All the other children are boys...girls seem to be a rarity here.

Same old, same old

August 11-12, 2006
Yesterday and today it was the same routine. Wake up, hang around the flat until 12:30 when Galina and Igor/ Valeri pick us up. Yesterday, the chief doctor and our attorney went to see the birth mother at her last known address. This was a formality. Tatyana told us that tomorrow she will tell us what they learned but there are no problems. Galina also translated and faxed the medical information the doctors in the States. We e-mailed them pictures. Both doctors said that she appeared healthy and her development seemed normal. Even though in our hearts we felt that this was the case, it was nonetheless very reassuring to hear it from the experts back home.

Everyday that we spend we her we are becoming more attached to her. Her face lights us and she gives us a big smile whenever she sees us. Yesterday and today, they dressed her up in one of the outfits that we had brought with us. Although the temperature feels like it is the high 80’s they bundle all the kids up from head to toe. I guess that they trying to ensure that none of the children get sick as it will easily spread to the others.

We are still struggling to feed her the entire portion. Yesterday one of the caretakers showed us how to do it. She fed her the entire bowl in less than 10 minutes. Meanwhile Gary and I can only manage to feed her less than half the quantity in half an hour. She is teething so I think the semi-solid food may be bothering her. You can see that the caregivers are really attached to the children and make the most of the resources that are available to them. We are grateful for the loving care she receives from them, but are dying to get her home. She already has the both of us wrapped around her little finger. She loves to be held in our arms and walked…and let’s you hear what strong lungs she has if you don’t do it right.:-)

Tomorrow families are not allowed to visit the orphanage so we will be spending the day sightseeing with Tatyana and another family that is here. She mentioned that we would probably go to the mountains. We're looking forward to the change.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pics again...I hope

I tried to attach to the last blog but it failed. Here they are again...I hope. By the way, our phone number here is 73-61-71. I'm sorry but I don't know the country or city codes.