Saturday, November 26, 2005

One Big Happy Family

It's been one week since we returned home from Kazakhstan, and I have to say that it feels GREAT to be home. We were extremely exhausted and jet lagged, but we are adjusting very well. As soon as we arrived, my frind Julie took us straight to In & Out Burger for a double double, fries, and Diet Coke. It tasted so good! When we reached our house, there were balloons and streamers all over the place. It was like I just got home from the hospital. Stepanie and Darren put them up to celebrate our homecoming. The first thing I did was run in and see my doggies. They were sooooo excited to see us....they went crazy! I had tears of joy in my eyes. I was so overjoyed to be home with McKenna and have my dogs back. This day has always been on my mind, and finally we were in that moment. It was hard to believe. The first couple of nights were hard for McKenna, because of the time differenct. She thought our daytime was her nighttime, so her sleeping time were all thrown off. I couldn't sleep, because I was so excited to be home, and I had a million things on my mind. Craig was tired too...he would fall asleep really early, but get up at 4am and couldn't go back to sleep. We are now caught up with sleep, and Mckenna is on a regular schedule. We've been taking her on walks to the beach w/the dogs, and she just loves it. She is the most amazing baby...she never cries, and is always happy. This is definitely a blessing for Craig and I. I will post a family picture when my new digital camera arrives. Good night until then...

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Final Hours

We went to the US Embassy today to get our final paperwork and McKenna's Visa and US Passport. It's hard to believe that it's all over and we are headed home. We met some other couples here at the Embassy that will all be leaving on the same flight as us. One couple was from Phoenix, Arizona,adopted a baby girl,another couple from North Carolina with another baby girl, and the last couple from Sacramento with a baby girl. It was really neat to see all these American Families with babies from Kaz.

We went shopping for some gifts and found some interesting things. There are these quilts called "two swords" or called by Americans "The dream quilt". It is all different pieces of fabric sewn together w/very detailed hand is very beautiful! The quilt is 90% finished, because they feel that it represents life, and that is why they cannot finish it...(it is left undone, because it represents ongoing life). They are also these wooden dolls that are very popular here. When you open up the dolls, there are more dolls inside of it. I also bought Mckenna some Kazak bracelets and amber rings. Amber seems to be really popular here, they have a lot of it. Hopefully, I can give Mckenna some of these gifts when she gets older.

We are counting down the hours until we head for the airport...the count is now 8 hours. We are packing and trying to figure out what we are going to eat for dinner. It would sure be nice if we could fly home first class, but we were not able to due to the type of open ticket we had. Anyways, thanks for following our journey and we hope to see all of you soon...

We're coming home pups!!

Craig, Lil and McKenna...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Final Countdown

We have 30 hours until we leave here on a plane back to Los Angeles. We've been doing a lot of sightseeing here. Our driver took us to the mountains yesterday, and it was absolutely beautiful! We took McKenna up the ski lift...don't worry mom, it was pretty safe. Mckenna fell asleep on the way up. We also have been eating at the same pizza place for the last three days. As a matter of fact, we are here tonight again, because we use the internet here. Today, we took Mckenna to the medical clinic to get checked out...Everything was good! Tomorrow we go the US Embassy to file the final paperwork and get her Visa back to the US...we are so looking forward to getting home. We will not be able to post anymore pictures, because Craig's computer is not working and it has all the pictures on it. We will post one more time before we leave...Good night!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Back in Almaty

Well, we're back in Almaty. Our flight arrived yesterday afternoon and we're settled in for 4 more days here. Our flight leaves this Satuday at 4AM for home. The good news is that we gain a bunch of hours and arrive in LA at noon on Saturday.

McKenna has been great. Of course there are those times when I'm not feeding her fast enough or she doesn't think she tired enough to go to bed and oh boy, she let's us know it!!

She smiles alot and seems really happy.

Almaty is a much bigger city than Uralsk, more and better everything! Our apartment actually had english speaking shows and we got to watch some of Sunday and Monday nite football. Closer to home!!

Got to go now, our pizza awaits! We will post again soon. Bye for now.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Zhaus Dauren

We went to visit the Children orphanage...These children all live here because their parents cannot take care of them. Their parents may visit them, but most of the time they don't. These children remain here until they are 18. A lot these these children are sponsored by American families...what this means is that the American Family will send them $30/month and write them letters. These kids love their American Families, because that is their only connection to feeling like they are apart of a family. When we arrived, these kids swarmed us, like we were famous movie stars. They circled around Craig, because he was taking their pictures and he was wearing a Moscow Hockey Jersey. They were sooooo intrigued with him! They even wanted the shirt off his back. We passed out letters and photos from their American Families, and held them like it was a precious letter. These kids were great...I wanted to take some of them home too. I inquired about one girl that caught my eye...she is the one in the photo w/me. She is 13, has two sisters, and she loves sports...She has an American Sponsor family in NY, but didn't find out if she was available for adoption..I am waiting to hear from the orphanage. If anyone wants to know more about Zhaus Dauren and becoming a sponsor family...please let me know. Counting down the days until we get home. We will be leaving Uralsk in a few days back to Almaty, awaiting Mckenna passport..Once we get that, we are Home Bound!

Mad Hatters of Kazakhstan!!

Some picture of the locals, hey who's that cute one in the K-stan beany?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More Pictures of the Baby House

Hello. We are having an awesome time with McKenna. She did not nap at all yesterday, and went to bed at 8:30pm and got up at 12:30am..I fed her a bottle at 1:30am and she fell asleep until 6am. Boy, there is no time to sleep in...I guess I'm used to that when my puppy (Bella) would get me up at 5:30am every morning to pee. We went for a stroll to the Atrium (market and cafe) to have lunch. McKenna sat in the stroller and did not make a peep during our whole meal. We are soooo lucky! She is such a good natured baby. She took 2 naps today, but was up for most of the day. We are playing with her right now, to try and keep her up until 10pm, so that she can sleep until at least 7am. I know that our lives will change forever, but we are loving every minute of it. She pooped on the potty today..we're so amazed!

Here are some pictures of the other babies at the Baby House. There is photo with one baby...that's the other baby I wanted to take home...she's available for adoption too..enjoy!

Yesterday at the Babyhouse

We've attached a couple of the pictures from our visit to the babyhouse to pick up McKenna yesterday. The lady standing with Lil is the babyhouse director. She puts on that she's a toughy but we could tell she was going to miss these babies, a softy inside.

The other picture is us with McKenna's caregivers and her doctor. It's got to be tough for them to see the babies go after caring for them for almost a year. We gave them all gifts and our thanks for taking care of McKenna. It was kind of sad.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

She's home!!!

We picked up McKenna at 10:30am, it was a very emotional and exciting day for us. We said our goodbyes to the caregivers, her doctor and the director of the babyhouse. They were all very sad to see the babies go. We gave them gifts to thank them for taking care of McKenna. They were very grateful.

We brought her back to the apartment and she looked confused because of the new surroundings. It took her awhile to feel comfortable here. We fed her lunch and tried to get her to nap...but no way, she wouldn't have any of that. So we played, and played and played.

We heard that all the babies are potty trained so we tried putting her on the toilet after she ate. Lil sat on the toilet behind her while McKenna sat in front of her naked (Lil wasn't) and she actually pee'd.

Fed her again and finally got her to sleep, yeah!!

Tomorrow we're buying a stroller and maybe heading to the park.