Friday, August 31, 2007

dapper little guy


I think with that little expression - z will grow up to be in a boy band.
He is definitely wearing this little tux for christmas pictures!

hotel grand eurasian


The Pro's - it was right across the street from the embassy which made it easy to run over there when they called me Wednesday afternoon and told me that I couldn't get a visa for Z! Yikes! There was alittle shopping center attached to the hotel with a small grocery store on the first floor. The front door had credit card signs...but they only took money. We found that out the hard way! There is also a little children's store on the 3rd floor and an assortment of clothing stores which included some kid stores. There was a restaurant that was pretty good for room service...I highly recommend the french fries....and that is about it! This whole trip I yearned for the nice and yumminess of the asia mountain guest house! We ate a lot of chips and m&m's!

Really the only con was that it was soooo smoky - our bathroom must have adjoined to someone smoking like a chimney - we had to keep the door closed with a towel under the door to keep the smoke out of the hotel room.

One morning we were in the elevator - I was carrying Z and keith was standing next to me. A man got into the elevator with us and in broken English asked keith if baby was boy or girl....Keith said boy and the man said "he has your face". It was really funny. Keith could not be more blond/blue eyed!

SOS clinic

The drive to Almaty was such an arduous ordeal. We left around 430 am. I was amazed at how close to the border we were - it literally took like 10 minutes to get there. Our coordinator took all of our passports and went into the kyrgyzstan exit point - we stayed in the car. Then we drove to another little checkpoint that we also did not go into. The third checkpoint we drove to we all got out and went through a little line with a small piece of paper and our passports. Overall it was not the scary, iron curtain - esque experience I expected.

The drive from the border to Almaty took forever! It was soooo hot once the sun came up! The traffic was terrible in Almaty and the pollution was not very amenable to wide open car windows. I would say this was the worst part of our trip - but the food poisoning in Newark, NJ and subsequent 2 hour flight to Birmingham sucked!!!!

We finally made it to the SOS clinic around 9am. We saw the doctor almost immediately. It was a man from Australia who I could not understand for the life of me. It was his first day at the clinic and was jet lagged....I totally commiserated on that level. During the exam - Z was naked on the exam table and BAM - let loose with a huge watery bowel movement that literally shot onto the doctor's pants. Now how is THAT for your first patient at your new job! He still got a clean bill of health.

little stories

One of the things I really wanted to write about while we were in Kyrgyzstan was day 2 in Bishkek. In the morning we went to see an official whose actual position I am kind of unsure of....I think it is a regional education official. I had met her before on my first trip. It is weird to meet with someone and be completely unable to understand what they say. There is a very tiny elevator in the government building- it only fits 3 people. The last time I was there, someone got in the tiny elevator with us with a lit cigarette! The building doesn't have air conditioner and all of the lights were off.

After we met with that official - we went on a little sightseeing tour with our in country coordinator. I was a little unprepared for the hot 3 hours we spent walking around bishkek. We went to Ala too square. there was a wedding party there - they were actually getting married I think. Our coordinator said it was good luck to be there with a wedding party - yeah us. It was not good luck at that particular moment. While we were there - Zeb had a major diaper blowout. Keith (who is the expert poopie diaper changer in our family) took him back to the car to change his diaper and literally - stuff flew out when he opened the diaper....then the fountain of pee shot straight into the air. It was a huge mess in the 100 degree back seat of our taxi. It was hysterical. Keith kept his cool though!
We also went to a park that used to have an eternal flame in memory of all of the soldiers from Kyrgyzstan who died in WW2....however, the eternal flame was out. The park was kind of in disrepair - but there were a lot of beautiful stone statues and flowers.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Gotcha



Believe it or not.....I brought clothes that were too warm!
The day started with our driver picking us up at the hotel at 10 am. We went to exchange some money so that we could give the gifts to the orphanage workers. Then we picked up 3 cakes - one went to the caregivers in Z's baby room, one went to the doctor's and I am not quite sure where the last one went. It was kind of a blur. Even though our coordinator speaks english - i still don't understand her 100%...I understand her words but sometimes not the actual meaning. I wasn't sure if I was taking Z on Monday or if we were going to take him home on Tuesday. I wasn't sure if I was taking him when I first got there or later. I brought clothes and diapers - but the caregivers wanted to change him and they didn't want to use my diaper so they put his clothes on him without a diaper - then they wanted a second layer of clothes - which I was prepared for....but then my hat was too heavy for him so they put one of the little pink orphanage ones on him. Then we went over to the doctor's office and the doctors immediately took off the second layer of clothes and told me not to give him a bath because he had had a chill earlier in the day - they also thankfully put a diaper on him.
Then I signed the book in the director's office to sign out Z. See the picture above.
Keith took lots of pictures of the baby house and then we left - it was around 11am.
Our driver took us to a baby store where we bought some formula like the kind they use at the baby house and some bottles. We went back to our hotel and chilled out until 130 when we headed to the american embassy to pick up a sealed envelop of stuff for the adoption unit in Kazakhstan.
The embassy seemed very secure - we went through 2 metal detectors. There was also a bullet hole in the window of the outside check point. There was a new woman in the position - whatever position it is that processes whatever it is that needs to be processed in KG! Our coordinator said that sometimes they ask questions before they give you the packet...like when you came for the first visit, when the birthmother relinquished custody etc. She didn't ask us any of that stuff though.
Then we went back to the hotel - it was quite a day.
Next post will be about sightseeing in bishkek and the james bond-esque early morning border crossing!

Ak Keme


OK How tired do I totally look? I was pretty tired...I still am tired. I didn't get to blog as much as I would have liked while I was there - I was too busy sleeping and being totally amazed at how much Z slept!
I totally missed the Asia Mountain Guest House soooo much. I don't think we had a meal the entire time we were there! It was smoky and kind of dingy. I am sure it is better than most - but I strongly recommend the Asia mountain guest house. There was another family there at the same time and they stayed at Philemon House and they raved about it! I have heard another family that loved the PHilemon house.
In Almaty we stayed at the Hotel Grand Eurasia which is directly across the street from the building that houses the American Embassy and it was awesome. It is attached to a little mall that has a small grocery store in it and a litle children's store also. We went shopping. It was nice to be able to run and buy a coke and some Krak's.....the central asian, rap inspired pringles rip off chip....mmmm. The beds were super uncomfortable, and we had some sort of vent connection in our bathroom to a very smoky place - so our bathroom was very smoky. There is a restaurant in the hotel that has room service - the food was pretty good. Ironically, Keith got food poisoning from the room service in Newark, NJ last night. We made it through Kg and Kz without a problem.
It is nap time right now so I am trying to do laundry and check my email.....117 - yikes! I am going to upload some pictures to my flikr account - I will put a link on here as soon as it is done. There will be some pictures of my honey, Keith - for those of you who are curious(TINA). You probably can't see my hand in these pictures...but there is an engagement ring on it. It is very sparkly!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Oh Yeah

I forgot to mention that Keith changed the first poopie diaper. I am one lucky girl....in so many ways!
Don't worry there will be no picture to accompany this post when I get back to the US!!!!

In my lap

In my lap sits a very cute 8 month old little boy! Our trip from London to Bishkek was pretty uneventful - except for the loss of my luggage. Luckily I diversified into both my suitcase and Keith's. The only things i am really missing are - first and foremost - my shoes. The only shoes I have are blue tennis shoes which are looking fabulous with the 2 pairs of black pants that made it here. I very carefully had packed bottles into both suitcases....however I only pcked the actual drop in parts in mine....so the bottles are totally worthless!
Kuba took usto a really cute baby store after we picked Z up and we bought some new bottles, formula etc.
We got to Bishkek around 5am and made it quickly to our hotel. we are staying at the Ak Keme and I totally miss the Asia mountain guest house!!! This hotel isn't bad at all - i just like the other one better.
Kuba picked us up around 10 and took us to buy 3 cakes and exchange some money - then we headed to the baby house.
I brought layers of clothes for Z - I would just like to brag that I actually brought clothes that were too warm! I was chastised that my hat would keep his head too warm! I took lots of pictures...well, Keith took lots of pictures and then we headed back to the hotel for a couple of hours.
I am mostly unphased and just in everyday mommy mode and then I will be overwhelmed by the situation...that Z is sitting on my lap and he is staying with me. I see Keith playing with him or burping him and I get a liitle overwhelmed by seeing how much Keith loves Z and how happy he is.
Yesterday afternoon we headed to the US embassy to pick up a sealed manilla envelop that goes to the adoption unit in Almaty. This afternoon we head to the Ministry of Education meet and thank some people there - and late tonight we head to Almaty - evidently the border is closed except the wee hours of the morning. That is perfect for me in my current jet lagged state!
Z is being a total angel - i actually recall some talk about a honeymoon period that is slated to end like any second.....so I figured I better get my post in now!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

London

Well, here I am again...in London. All of the research I did.......it seems I never realized that I had to buy an actual ticket for Zeb's trip home.....ooops. So I just bought him one - it was pretty cheap...but I felt like an idiot! How did I not realize that I needed a little ticket for him!

The flight was nice....it is so much more fun to travel with a companion versus alone! I am especially looking forward to actually sleeping on the next leg of the journey to Bishkek. It is soooo much fun to look at my countdown to Zebastian and see no more days only hours. Everytime I think about putting him in that super cute little red mouse hat that I bought last March I come really close to crying. It seems like it has been such a long time that I have been waiting for him - but thinking about him has just been on hold with all of the crazy life changes I have had in the last 2 months. Now that I am on my trip to pick him up - I am just thinking about him and it is a little bit overwhelming. It doesn't help that I still don't have an actual crib at home....although there is one on order and paid for at babies r us. We do have a glider ( it is in the box....but at our house nonethe less!) We are also still working on childcare....boy do I sound completely unprepared or what?!
It will all get done and I can't wait. Off to get some starbucks....mmmmm.

We did finally get a hotel in Almaty and will be staying at the hotel grand eurasia....hurrah!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

one more hat


I am leaving for the airport - super late...had to buy one last hat and I am off!

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power