Well, we made it. Some of us in better shape than others, but we made it. Unfortunately, on the first of three plane trips (the one from Miami to Frankfurt), Larry got sick. He apparently ate something and spent most of the eight hour flight in the bathroom. Our six hour lay-over in Frankfurt consisted of finding chairs for Larry to sleep on and hoping that he could keep down the iced tea I found for him. I know that iced tea is probably VERY wrong for someone in his condition, but the Frankfurt airport doesn’t have Gatorade or Ginger Ale and the soda he tried to drink on the plane didn’t work either. Fortunately, he kept it down until part way between Frankfurt and Almaty, Kazakhstan. While I got some sleep on that flight, he plotted his potential courses to the bathroom. After that, things began looking up for him.
As we landed in Kazakhstan, I looked at Larry and said that we were about to land in the country where our child is. He looked at me as if to say, we’re about to land in a country I haven’t thrown up in yet. Certainly a moment to remember.
Once we cleared customs in Almaty (very quickly and uneventful), we were picked up by Nikolai, who took us to our hotel for a few hours of much needed sleep. At this point, it was around 1am on Monday. We had been travelling since 4pm on Saturday. So, with the time changes, we had been travelling for about 24 hours. The hotel was fine. It was exactly what we needed … a bed and a shower. We wouldn’t need to meet Nikolai until noon that day, so we had plenty of time to sleep, which we did.
From Almaty, it was off to our destination city. Now that plane ride was … interesting. Larry tells me that the plane we flew on was older than the one that India Jones took to Asia in the first movie. I had never been on a plane with curtains on the windows before. It was loud and hot, but it got us here in one piece.
When we arrived, our translator/coordinator, Olysea, picked us up. We have only known her for a day, but she is a godsend. She is very sweet and knows the system very well. We got to the hotel which is better than we could have imagined. There is plenty of space and a very large bathroom. Once we figure out how to get the shower to drain faster and how to get water that is not scolding hot, we will be in business. And mom, don’t worry … there is a hair dryer in the bathroom. One problem down :)
There are other families here from Adoptions From the Heart. We met one of the fathers last night. He is very nice and has been here almost two months. His wife just returned to the States (Rosemont PA, actually) and will return here in a few weeks for their court date. He is going to be a great asset to us.
As for the weather, we’re apparently going through a heat wave. It was about freezing today and even snowed an inch last night and a bit more when we walked to lunch today. It’s melted by now, so it should turn good and icy over night.
Now, what you are all waiting for … news of our first visit to the baby house. It was today. Everybody in their blogs has described this experience as surreal. For me, it was amazingly real. It was over before we knew it, but it is all we have until our next visit tomorrow. I am not going to post much on what happened. In short, we are going to begin visitation tomorrow with one particular child. We need to get more medical information from the baby house here and consult with our doctor at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) before completely making our decision. We hope to have that done by early next week. Olysea is checking to see when we will be able to start our official bonding time with this child. We could only spend a minute or two together today, but we are hoping that everything works out with this one. I know I am being vague, but I need to be for now. Thank you all for understanding.
Thank you also for your comments. It certainly helps keep us connected. From what we understand, we're about to star in the movie Groundhog Day.