Now that we're not riding to Ridder each day, we find ourselves with an extra 6 hours a day on our hands. This post will be mostly musings and ramblings about how we're spending our time now.
Our first priority is to focus on the next step in our adoption process; we've written the speeches we'll be expected to make in court and are assembling a series of photos from our visits which will document our bonding in a photo journal. The photo journal will be offered in evidence to the court along with an additional journal that the orphanage director, the ministry official, and Craig and I signed each day during our visits. Tomorrow, we'll give our speeches to Alma on a memory stick and she'll translate them so that the court will have a transcript in both Russian and Kazakh of what we'll be saying in English. We'll also get the photos printed and put them into an album with captions and dates. No, we still haven't heard when our court date will be; Alma called this evening and said the court in Ridder will let us know Monday when our court date will be. Under KZ law, our court date should be held within 7-10 days after our petition is filed. For us, that would mean anywhere from next Tuesday -Friday, we'll see. Once court is done, we'll head home for a few weeks...we hope it won't be much longer.
We're doing a lot more walking. We have a shopping list which includes gifts for our friends, family, and the adoption professionals who are helping us here so we have a good excuse to wander the markets endlessly...and guess what, kids? Dad found a store that's a lot like Home Depot (OK, maybe it's more like a Home Depot wannabe...but it's pretty close for Kazakhstan) and he's trying to talk me into walking there. It's really far from our apartment and I keep telling him he's not allowed to buy Yulia's mom a new toilet but you know how he loves stores like Home Depot. I have a feeling we'll end up in a taxi headed to the Comfort store before long.
We visited the Shiny River Hotel! My internet friend, Anne, arrived here a few days ago and she and her husband and daughter are staying at this beautiful European style hotel in Ust. We spent a very pleasant couple of hours with them yesterday, swapping stories and sharing tips on where to eat and shop. Anne and Fred are adopting a boy from Ridder also but they got lucky...Borya was transferred to Ust because he has a sister here who they are also adopting so they do their visits in Ust and return each evening to the swanky Shiny River. We envy their beautiful bathroom most of all...Anne and Fred, are you sure you don't want to adopt us???
We're even bird watching...we enjoy seeing the different flora and fauna on this side of the planet. We snapped a couple of pics of two unusual birds we see often around here. The first is a type of crow—but it's white and black with a very long tail. The other is a beautiful little green-breasted finch; the coloring is quite striking.
We're also people watching...we sat in the park yesterday and admired the well-dressed ladies in their stylish clothes and high-heeled boots. Man, I feel so underdressed in my Land's End squall jacket and all-weather mocs...but at least I'm comfortable.
Of course, we're cooking and eating. We've told you about our daily trip cappuccino treat so I'm posting a pic of one of the beautiful cakes at the Korona.
This cake is named for one of our kids...who is it, guys? Click on the photo so you can read the label on the cake...let us know when you figure it out. Today, we ate lunch in one of Kate's favorite restaurants on the planet. Can you guess where we went, Kate? I had the ham and cheese crepe, Dad had the pot roast, and we both had soup...too bad you couldn't join us, it really was delicious.
Then there's always cooking at the apartment. We made a delicious pot of soup last night from scratch, chicken rice with various vegetables. It was so good, we're making more stock tonight...we're using the bones from rotisserie chicken that we buy at the market; it tastes a lot like shashlik which gives the soup a fabulous flavor.
We did more walking and shopping again today but I have to admit my heart wasn't really in it. I woke up today with body aches, a sore throat and a headache; I'm worried that I'm coming down with a cold. Another good reason to make chicken soup, right?I'm missing everyone and everything tonight...my kids at home, Aniyar and Madiyar in Ridder, our home, my own bed, my dogs...sigh. I'd feel a lot better if we had our court date...ah, well, one day at a time. We're keeping the faith, we've come this far and we'll go the distance. I just need a good night's rest...
Tomorrow, we're off to the notary (more paperwork!) and then we'll be visiting Tanya and Max's former orphanage. We've put together a slideshow of family photos so we can show everyone how our kids have kids have grown. It should be fun and we promise to take pictures.