Friday, December 26, 2008

Home for Christmas!

So I made it home for Christmas - YEAH! It's such a long trip - I was picked up at my hotel in Almaty at 1:00 am on Tuesday in the middle of a snow storm! The driver was going probably 10 mph it was snowing so hard. It stopped before the flight time of 4:10 am and after we backed out of the gate, these guys came to de-ice the plane with this hot, foamy stuff - then we were off! I only had a 7 hour layover in Frankfurt (ha, ha) and then it was on to the 10 hour flight to Orlando. I stayed overnight at the Orlando airport hotel and Kira flew in from San Antonio the next day. We were home by 4:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday.

So now we just have to wait about the month or so until Angelina can come home. I miss her so much! Hopefully all the remaining paperwork is in order and soon she will be here. I will update the blog one last time when she makes it to the US!

Happy holidays to everyone - I know mine is!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Last stop Almaty!

I'm in Almaty and will sign papers at the consulate this afternoon and then it's off to Frankfurt at 4:10 AM on Tuesday and I will be back in Orlando by Tuesday night at 6:30 - just in time for Christmas. I'll see some of you soon and others not - but Happy Holidays to everyone :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's official!

So court was easy and short - only about 15 minutes and easy questions - so it's official! I had to sign tons of papers today and there are still a few more for tomorrow and then on to the embassy on Monday. Then back home. I'll try to see if there's anything exciting to take some pictures of in Almaty - there really wasn't much to see here in Shymkent.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Court date is scheduled for Friday!

Today I found out that my court date is scheduled for tomorrow - which will mean I can make it back to Florida on Dec 23 as planned - YEAH!! My court time isn't until 5:30, so I'll still get to have one more visit with Angelina tomorrow and then I will fly to Almaty on Sunday so I can sign papers at the consulate there on Monday. Then I will leave from Almaty at 4:10 AM enroute to Frankfurt.

Today we took Angelina for her passport picture - of course without a babyseat - just like in China! She had her eyes wide open and was watching the scenery - I don't think she gets out much! After that we still had about another hour for a nice visit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's snowing!!

It's snowing! It's been snowing since last night and is supposed to continue for the next several days. Here are a couple of pictures from right around my apartment - including the biggest mall in Shymkent.

I guess I will find out tomorrow if my court date is scheduled for Friday or not. We went out today to print out some pictures of Angelina and me to make an album to take to court. Hopefully it will work out for me to come home for Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

She definitely knows me now!

Today I had another nice visit with Angelina - she definitely knows me now - which will make it hard for both of us when I have to leave her for about a month. She was mostly in a good mood and didn't even take a nap while we were there. She had on another nice outfit when we got there, so I still didn't change her into the clothes I bought for her. But she really looks plump in the outfit - it's because she has 3 layers of clothes on! And it's the very nice interpretor Ira in the picture with her. When we were done at the babyhouse we went to Farida's office and I signed some more documents - then she went to take them somewhere else - I hope I know soon if I will get a court date for Friday - since it's Monday already! Tomorrow is another national holiday here and the babyhouse is closed both tomorrow and Wednesday. It is also supposed to start snowing - so I may not have anything to add until Thursday - but hopefully I'm in the last week of the journey!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tired today...

Angelina was very tired today - she was yawning as soon as she came in - but she did have a big smile for me right away - I think she is beginning to recognize me :) She played for a while, but was yawning and rubbing her eyes. Then she had about a 40 minute nap and woke up and was still cranky! She was just about to fall back to sleep when they came to take her back. She had on a new outfit today, so I didn't change her into some of the clothes that I bought for her yesterday. Now it's the weekend - so I don't get to see her for 2 days. The weather is supposed to get colder and wet - so I don't know if I'll be going anywhere this weekend - if I do, I'll post some pictures.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another nice visit

We had another nice visit today - although she had a short nap while she was with me again. I guess middle of the afternoon is always going to be close to nap time. Before we went to the babyhouse, we stopped by the bazaar to get Angelina some new clothes - apparently I could have brought some with me - but I would have brought clothes that were too big anyway. We bought some that were for 8 months today and when we tried them on, they were very big - just like the clothes they have for her there. I would say she's closer to 6 months size.

Yesterday the translator Jenga got several papers from the babyhouse that are needed to schedule the court date. He got them earlier than usual, so hopefully I will get the court date for next week Friday, so I can be home for Christmas. Then we will just have to wait a bit longer for Angelina to join us.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2 hours again!

Today we had another good 2 hour visit. This time she was in a good mood when I first got there and then got kind of tired. I guess it makes sense, since we start the visit at about 2:30 and 4:00 is supposed to be nap time. She played again with the toys I brought, as well as some from the visiting room. She was also doing her bubble blowing again today - she sticks her tongue between her lips and just blows away! It's so cute :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

2 hour visit today!

Today I got a 2 hour visit with Angelina - apparently they forget sometimes that the babies are in with the adoptive parents - as I hear that we are only supposed to get about an hour visit. When they first brought her in, she was in a bad mood - all fussy and crying - so I rocked her to sleep and she had about a half hour nap and then when she woke up, she felt great! Ira even got her to smile with us - she also played with the 2 little toys I brought along. I put a diaper on her today and man is she small! But she is very alert and moves around a lot and pushes herself up when she's on her belly - so I'm sure I can put a little more weight on her once I get her back home! And her hair is shaved - just like Kira's was - so that it will grow back in nice and thick!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Excursion to Tashekent - Oops - it was Turkestan!

Today the driver Costa and my interpretor Ira took me to Tashekent - about a 2 hour drive - where there was a mausoleum from the 1400s. A guide there spoke English and she took us to the various rooms inside and explained some of the history of the place. It was interesting and very pretty. On the way we saw many cows, goats, sheep, horses, and camels. The area reminded me of the plains around Lubbock - very flat with cotton fields. It's funny - it was quite a nice day in Tashekent and the sun was shining, but on the way back we went by some trees that still had frost on them in the middle of the afternoon!

More pictures of Angelina to come on Tuesday...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Here she is!

So I went to the babyhouse today and met Angelina. She was born April 25, 08 and is small for her age. She is of Kazakh decent, so I think she looks Eurasian. I got to meet her in the morning for just a few minutes and then we went back in the afternoon and I got to spend nearly an hour with her. She liked the little toys I brought, but she did seem to be getting kind of tired - maybe it was close to nap time. I will keep taking pictures to add to the blog, but adding this one picture now took over 5 minutes with the dial up connection here in the apartment. There is an internet cafe in the mall next door that has free wireless internet - with the purchase of some food - so maybe I will go over there and try to see if it is quicker!

So now I will get to visit her daily - except on the weekend and next Monday here is a holiday, but all those days still count toward the 14 day bonding period. Farida - the adoption coordinator - is now trying to schedule the court date for the 15th day - which would be Friday, the 19th. Then I will be able to make it back to Florida for Christmas.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Finally here!

Question of the day - just how long can a person stay awake and alert? Answer - as long as she needs to!!!

It's now 1:15 in the afternoon on Thursday here in Shymkent and I've hardly slept since I left my house on Tuesday morning! I don't know how people really sleep for hours on planes - it's just so uncomfortable! Anyway, I made it here and am getting settled in a bit and am going to sign some paperwork this afternoon. Tomorrow morning I get to go to the baby house and meet my new daughter :) As soon as I can start taking pictures, I'll post them here.

It's very much like China here in Kazakhstan - it's like you're stepping back in time! There is lots of new construction here in Shymkent though and they tell me the city is growing quickly. I'll try to get out and take some pictures of the city sometime too - after I've actually gotten some sleep!