Sunday, June 1, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Sorry about the delay in posting... We are home safe & sound. The interview at the Embassy Wednesday went fine and we flew home Thursday -- a grueling 25 hours altogether. The kids were as good as could be expected, and we are all very happy to be home!

For some thoughts on Jonna's progress so far, please see my latest Miami Herald post:
We would like to thank all of you for sharing this journey with us.
- Sherry, Chris, Julian & Jonna

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chillin' in Almaty

After a month in Uralsk, it is nice to be in a big city again. Almaty is beautiful with lots of trees and big parks, and we're in a great location across from a mall with an ice skating rink.

The kids did great on the three-hour flight here. There were babies cyring on the plane, but not ours!

Our interview with the US Embassy is Wednesday, so that should be the last piece of the puzzle, and we expect to fly home Thursday. We only have dial-up Internet in our apartment, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to post again. See everyone soon!

Jonna's first plane flight

Enjoying one of Almaty's lovely parks

Russian Orthodox cathedral

Ice skating at the mall

Happy family

See you soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Countdown: 7 Days to Go!

We fly to Almaty in a few hours. The Internet there is dial-up, so I may not be able to post much. But I will try.

In Almaty, we'll have a meeting at the US Embassy as well as an appointment for Jonna at the international clinic (a requirement I think for her visa.)

One week til we come home!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Countdown: 8 Days to Go

Tomorrow is the day we return to Almaty, and one week from tomorrow we fly home!

Internet hasn't been working well enough to upload photos -- sorry! But at least we have hot water again.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jonna's First Boat Ride

The weather is really warm and beautiful today, so we walked to the big park along the Chagan River and rented a rowboat.

Last night, Jonna had her first ice cream -- she ate the entire bowl and probably would have had a second!

From the menu at Galactica -- read it!!
Kids on an ice cream high

Saturday, May 17, 2008

No Hot Water!

We are on our 4th day without hot water. (It's the whole building, maybe even the whole block -- no one knows why, but this is not uncommon.) When we need a bath, we have to heat water on the stove.

Last night when I was putting Julian and Jonna to bed, they decided to have a pajama party. They were throwing their blankets and bears at each other and laughing and laughing. They are each sleeping in a crib, and they leaned over the corners of the cribs to give each other a hug!

Jonna seems attached to her blue bear and named her "Babette." She tucks her in under a blanket in the crib. Yesterday, she put Babette and Bobo (Julian's bear) side by side in the stroller. Sorry I didn't get a picture!

Besides bedtime, the only thing Jonna really doesn't like is getting her diaper changed. (They don't use diapers at the baby house... they just do a lot of laundry.) Julian does his best to make her laugh by dancing around while we're changing her diaper.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Life with Jonna

We feel Jonna's transition is going very well so far. She did go from room to room like she was looking for her old friends and nannies, but she hasn't cried much. She eats everything in sight, smiles and laughs a lot, and also throws little tantrums if we take something away.

Getting her to sleep has been the biggest challenge. The first night she fell asleep in her stroller while we were walking, but she woke up crying 3 or 4 times in the night. Fortunately, she fell asleep quickly again. Last night, the stroller trick didn't work, so we had to turn out all the lights and pretend we were sleeping to get her to stay in her bed. Once she fell asleep, she slept straight through til 8 a.m.!

I was watching her when she woke up this morning. She opened her eyes and looked around, then smiled wide and stretched her arms over her head. It's like she was saying, "I'm still here!"

Now we are waiting on paperwork -- Jonna's passport and then her visa to enter the U.S. We'll be in Uralsk one more week before returning to Almaty. Then we'll fly home one week after that, May 29 (if all the paperwork is done on time!)