Craig and I spent our last few days in KZ preparing to bring home our new sons in January. We left a suitcase full of clothes for the boys in KZ, we only need to buy shoes and backpacks for their trip. We have written a letter to Aniyar and Madiyar explaining the timetable for the next few weeks so they know just when we'll return for them; our ever wonderful Yulia has translated and faxed it to the orphanage for us. We completed the necessary paperwork for new birth certificates, visas, etc. to be issued and now just have to wait for the finalization period to run its course (January 6th is the magic day) before everything can be filed.
Once the details were taken care of, we spent the rest of the time before our flight home visiting with our friends. Yulia and Jenya fed us, took us shopping, and took us to see Ice Town, an amazing collection of ice sculptures and slides made out of ice for all the citizens of Ust-K to enjoy free of charge. We walked around in the freezing cold, marveling at the beauty and creativity of the place...only in Kazakhstan, where it stays cold enough for this ice exhibit to last until Spring!
We flew out of Ust on Monday, December 22, arrived home here in Massachusetts on the afternoon of December 23. The trip was exhausting as usual but went off without a hitch; when we arrived at Logan Airport, our kids were there to greet us...there was much jumping, screaming, and hugging going on and we enjoyed every second of it!
Today has been a whirlwind of last minute food shopping, wrapping, and cooking...not to mention all the snow shoveling Craig did in the aftermath of the storm we had a few days before we got home. Craig still has a cold and we're both feeling like the walking dead...but we're home for Christmas and that's what counts. I read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to Tanya and Max tonight, we tracked Santa on NORAD, and we've left Santa a lovely plate of cookies and a cup of eggnog...organic carrots and fresh water for the reindeer...the children are nestled all snug in their beds, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon will be...here! Better get to bed myself if I don't want to run into the jolly old elf.
Happy Christmas to all...and to all, a good night.