Friday, September 29, 2006
(This was written yesterday...we hope to have daily access but no guarantees.)
This morning was so different from every other morning we’ve been here. We went down to the dining room for breakfast – it’s usually just adoptive families there but not today! There were swarms of people. We sat at a table and they had a lovely buffet – eggs, bacon, porridge, potatoes, mushrooms, beans, sausage, and assorted breads and pastries. Well, 2 Russian guys joined us but didn’t even acknowledge that we were all sitting at the same table…kind of strange. Anyway, we headed out to leave for our morning visit and talked to one of the front desk ladies we’ve gotten to know. She told us that a lot of the people here are media and from the consulate. She confirmed that there will be 4 presidents meeting but said she did not know how long Putin would be here – maybe just a few hours on Monday. She said security is not very easy at the hotel. Marina also told us that the president of Kaz is very good. This is the first political discussion we’ve heard…our translator doesn’t keep up with politics much. So, it was interesting and entertaining. We have not had any trouble getting in and out of the hotel today. The officers look at us a little funny but that’s it.
Patrick is great. He seems to be feeling fine but still has a runny nose. The doctor prescribed chest massage – sounds good, huh. Well it’s not. This is a not happy mama. They beat his chest and back very hard and he screams and cries. I’m afraid they are hurting him. It is such hard beating. Yesterday it did not seem like the nurse did it so aggressively. I was so mad and kept praying they would just stop. He let Andrew hold him really for the first time today which was exciting. Patrick has been tolerating him so far and engaging him in play just a little but today he was more open. It was wonderful to see. He is such an even-tempered kid. He is so happy to see us every day and doesn’t want us to leave. Hopefully it won’t be much longer.
We had lunch with Josh, Saige, Andre, and Gregory at the Children’s Café. We braved the menu again and just ordered several things. Everything was delicious! We evidently ordered some kind of salad with cucumber, cheese, onion, and mayonnaise (2 of these); hot dog crepes (as in a hot dog wrapped in a crepe/egg thing) – we ended up with 3 orders; pork smothered in ketchup, mayonnaise, and pears (actually was one of the best things we ordered!); marinated meat with olives; creamy prune salad with walnuts; banana cream cocoa dessert; and coca-cola. The boys had an absolutely disgusting milkshake thing – tasted and felt horrible! They seemed to like it pretty well. Anyway, it was fun! There were probably 20 pages of menu items. We spent maybe $20 for all 6 of us! It’s like a mystery dinner when you order and you wait for each thing to come out (they don’t bring everything out at once) and you are surprised by what kind of food it is!
We have been packing to move – what a pain! We have way too much stuff and it’s not packed well at all. We will definitely do better for when we head to Almaty. Hopefully we will have a lighter load by then but we’ll see. We still have all of our donations and gifts to distribute.
The hotel computer is down so I’m not sure when we will get a chance to post which is a bummer but we will keep up with the blogging and post them all as soon as we can. We will also try to post some pictures of our trip so far (but not of the boys - yet!) – they takes so long that we haven’t really been able to but we will try maybe tomorrow.
Our time to visit Calvin has been moved up an hour so we will leave in about ½ hour to visit him and move in to our apartment where everything is new. :) We have to pay for one week’s rent up front so we have to get more money exchanged so we can pay in tenge. We will miss this hotel – everyone is so nice that works here and they are so familiar with working with adoptive families. They make copies for us and are so excited when the kids come to the hotel when court is finished. Sadly, they likely won’t get to meet our boys. We could not have asked for a better place to begin this journey in Uralsk.
Well, we had a good visit with Calvin. He had has snack and played with lots of toys. He especially liked these tubes that stretched and contracted. He was still a little grouchy today but overall was happy and playful. He is intrigued by putting things in a bag or box and then emptying it again. :) He is so fast! He especially loves it when Daddy flies him all over the room. He let me read him a couple of books but not all the way through. His eyes are so expressive and sweet. He has long lashes also but they are thinner then Patrick’s. We still can’t believe how tiny he is!
After visiting, we went back to the hotel for our many bags. We helped the other two families move into their apartment and then our driver took us to ours. Let’s just say I cried for just about the first time since we’ve been here. This is not a good situation for us. We have no place to put our things…the lady has stuff everywhere and we were hopeful she would clean it out but no. She even left her stuff all over the bathroom. It’s very frustrating and very difficult. We have to have the boys stuff out to sort through twice a day to get it together for visits plus our own things. Not to mention the fact that it is musty and awful smelling. We are going to try and buy some candles tomorrow just to help. The lady is very nice and wants us to be happy here. :) We will try. She showed us again how everything works and told us her life story. Our translator could barely keep up. Our driver and translator (Igor & Almira) left and the lady stayed a good 20+ minutes trying to gather her things all the while talking to me in Russian and showing me everything again. This has been a tough evening. We are also concerned that this is not a very safe environment for the boys so we are hopeful we will not have to stay here too long after we get custody of them. We want to move back to the Pushkin ASAP but aren’t sure that will be possible…it might be rude to even ask. We would actually count our losses in favor of the hotel.
So keep us in your prayers. I think this is maybe the first time we have both felt horribly homesick. The boys keep us going! God is faithful and we know this is just part of the journey.