It's my humble observation that most Americans are control freaks...we need to know what's happening, have a plan, see forward movement toward our goals, get answers to our questions, etc. We're not very patient, either...we want everything to happen as quickly as our fast food order is prepared. I'm certainly guilty of this, anyway...and for someone like me, being in KZ can be both a blessing and a curse.
I already told you that we still don't have a court date and that means we are in limbo until at least Monday. On Friday, the weekend loomed rather largely with nothing scheduled and no news to report...sigh. OK, that's fine, we got up Friday morning with a good attitude and Plan B; we had places to go and people to see even if we didn't have our court date. I was feeling better after a pretty good night's sleep and we headed to the notary at 8:45am. We signed a new power of attorney which will allow our representatives to file our adoption with the Ministry of Education in Astana once our adoption is granted (from my lips to God's ears, as my mother would say!) and then we hopped into Arman's car to go to our planned visit at the pre-school orphanage. We were surprised when Arman headed back to our apartment; I asked him if we were still going to visit the orphanage and he said yes...but in the afternoon at 3pm. Okey-dokey...apparently, the reason for the change of schedule and the change itself was on a need to know basis and we didn't need to know until the last minute. We found ourselves back at our apartment at 9:30.
Luckily, Craig had something to do...Alma has a small netbook computer that she needs changed from English to Russian and Craig agreed to work on it for her. (Yes, even in Kazakhstan, Craig is still the Go-To Guy for computer problems.) After a couple of hours of tech support for Craig and reading for me, we walked into town for lunch at the Korona. We bumped into more of Alma's Americans there, all of them adopting from the babyhouse here in Ust. We whiled away another hour or so chatting with them and then headed back to our apartment so we wouldn't be late for our orphanage visit. Arman arrived at 3:00 as planned but as soon as we got in the car, he said we weren't going to the orphanage; he said there was a conference or meeting going on and it was a bad day to visit. OK...time for Plan C. Arman was great, he helped us with a few errands including ordering our photos to be printed for court but by 4pm, we had nothing else to do.
What do these Americans do when the going gets tough? Why, we go shopping, of course! Arman took us to a store that he says is like Wal-Mart in the US...actually, it's more like a warehouse store (think Costco or BJ's) where many items are sold in bulk, the first of its kind here in Ust. It was a lot of fun browsing there...we bought everything from DVD's that will play in Russian and English to foods like smoked string cheese and plov (a Russian dish that's like fried rice with bits of meat and veggies). Most exciting of all, I found the Korean spice needed to make spicy carrot salad at home...and Kate, I also bought shashlik seasoning. We can now make our own shashlik kabobs on the grill!
Saturday, we made our cappuccino walk into town, had our coffee and then walked straight back to the apartment. We had plans to spend the afternoon with our friend Olga (we met her in 2004 when we were adopting Tanya and have kept in touch via email; she also helped us arrange our visit to the boys and translated for us in 2007) and we were looking forward to seeing her. Olga picked us up at 1pm and we went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant, another first for us here in Ust. The place was very nice; the food was excellent and served in massive quantities. We ended up with a large bag of leftovers to bring back to the apartment. After lunch, Olga took us to pick up our court photos and helped us correct an error they had made in the printing; it's so nice to have friends who are also translators! Olga dropped us off at our apartment around 4:30 and we were in for the night, wondering what in the world we would do with ourselves until Monday. Yulia called and saved the day; she wants to pick us up tomorrow and take us to the Comfort store that Craig has been hoping to visit, then out of the city for a walk in the fresh air of the forest. She say the air pollution is bad right now and we need to get out of town for a rest...smile...that's our Yulia, always taking care of us.
OK, the truth is, we're a bit restless and anxious. We'd be a lot happier if we knew our court date and had our goal in clear sight (see, there's that control thing I was talking about!); we miss our kids at home and worry about the boys who are waiting and wondering in Ridder. The suspense is killing us and there's not a darn thing we can do about it...around here, if you ask why there are delays, people shrug philosophically and say, “It's Kazakhstan.”...but we also realize how lucky we are. After all, we have gotten this far and we're not without support. Even as the temperature drops and fall slowly turns toward winter in this part of the world, we're surrounded by the warmth of our friends here in KZ. That and the love our family and friends at home will help us go the distance...just keep your fingers crossed that Monday will bring news about our day in court!