Jim woke up at 5am again and lay in bed until 6:30, when he heard Sarah in the bathroom.
Turned on ESPN-no Pens game-bummer! They had last weekends LPGA tourney from Austin, TX on. Jim took a shower at 7am & Sarah ate a banana. Jim will eat breakfast now & Sarah will take a shower. We plan on being ready for 9am again.
Don & Igor picked us up at 9:45am. We went to see Laura. As we walked up the steps, her group was heading outside.
It was a bit cooler this morning-Sarah & Jim wore jackets. The kids were bundled up.
Played with Laura in the grass for a long time-well after the rest of the group went inside.
Igor walked to the corner store to get cookies and M&Ms for Laura.
Today we went to see Laura for an hour. We came back for three hours. Then we went back and saw Laura again this time I brought my Rugrat watch and Laura's musical bear. After a little bit she got tired of it and played with her friends. When Christina (one of her playmates) came over and started playing with it. When it was time to go Kristina thought it was hers and didn't want to give it back to me.
We left close to 11:30 & headed for the Ramstore Mall. It's a three level mall with indoor parking. Went up to the 2nd level to the Ramstore supermarket, which is like a super Wal-Mart but not as big. Bought food-cookies, candy, Pepsi, Kazak beer (Igor's recommendations), toast, bananas and strawberries. Don bought a couple of English papers at the newsstand at the first level.
Came back to the apartment and saw the Pens lost 5-2.
Waiting for Igor to bring over some papers to sign. Olga may be coming over a t 2pm to clean. Will go back to the orphanage around 3:30pm.
Just got off the phone with Suze-paperwork didn't go though and she won't be here until next Thursday night with court on Friday the 11th!
OK, at 3:45pm today Igor picked Jim & Sarah up. Jim signed 2 more documents in the van & Igor met one of Tatayna's people & gave her the papers.
Got to the orphanage at 4:20pm. Kids were sitting down to dinner-Laura waved to us-and then we waited outside (15 min) for Laura to eat.
We played with her for quite a while on the front sidewalk. When the rest of the group came out, we all went in back to the grassy area.
Brought the Rugrats watch and Musical Teddy Bear. She liked the musical bear, but not as much as Christina liked it. Christina did not want to give it back to Sarah when it was time to leave! Stayed at the orphanage until just before 6pm. Had lots of fun with Laura. Shortly after 7pm, Olga & Edward came over with dinner. Today's large feast was beef cubes with beans & peas. Sarah wasn't interested, 2 salads again, plus bread. Too much food! Fruit pastry for dessert. Without Vic being here many leftovers have been flushed....
Today's visits went very well Laura calls Jim "Papa" and knows who Sarah is, but doesn't say her name. Jim says she's not talking alot only when she gets excited. She does like Sarah's talking Rugrats watch and will talk back to it, although Jim doesn't know what she is saying to it. The watch has been a big hit with other kids too, Sarah said a boy wanted to see it so she let him hold it, but he didn't want to give it back and she had to grab it off of him!
They visited the orphanage in the morning and afternoon and spent most of the day outside. Sarah was sitting on the grass, which apparently is a big no-no, the women there yelled at Igor to get a chair for her to sit on. It was 85 degrees, but you could see in the pictures that Laura had knits on, Jim reminded me to bring a heavy outfit for the day we leave the orphanage. Michael had two snowsuits on when we left Magnitogorsk!
Sarah told me that there were 4 girls and 5 boys in Laura's group. Jim said there is one girl who is a little bigger than the rest, who is quite personable, she was found wandering the streets, so they don't know exactly how old she is, but it sounds like she will have a home soon as Jim said that Margaret from EAC found a family for her.
Sarah said the food was good, chicken and rice, some white stuff and bean salad. Jim had Borscht. He said Olga is a fantastic cook, but made way too much food for them and they have leftovers in the refrigerator. Edward, who is Olga's brother in law, came with her and told Jim what all the food was.
Jim and Sarah went to the currency exchange and the went to the store and bought 2 liter bottles of Pepsi and then went to the Internet cafe, Sarah is feeling a bit sluggish (jetlag?) and didn't email anyone but wanted to make sure I sent the Barf dishwashing detergent to Becky and Mike!
Jim signed my name to a bunch of documents today, trying to copy my signature (I reminded him he has my power of attorney with him) and since his signature is almost unreadable I can't wait to see how he signed mine!
I'm still waiting to hear about my visa.
Jim doesn't think he'll be sending pictures tomorrow, but I'll be talking to him. Nothing can top the response of the dishwashing liquid...Barf.
Jim and Sarah did not make it to the internet yesterday, they were waiting at the apartment in case Igor came early in the afternoon to pick up some papers that are needed for court.
They went shopping at the Ram store, a three level mall which Jim said had stores like Givenchy . They went to the supermarket, which was like a Wal-Mart superstore, although not as big. Cookies, peanut M&Ms, bananas, strawberries and 2liters of Pepsi were purchased. The pet food selection was Purina, Eukanuba, and the usual. (I didnt ask him why he was checking the pet food selection) Jim asked Igor what beers are good so he did buy one bottle of Kazak beer, but hasnt tried it yet. (He tried one in Russia too and we still have the empty bottle.) The "mall" has indoor parking and a Baskin Robbins. There is an internet café there too but it only has a dial up connection and the one across the street has a DSL connection, so Jim is just going to use the fast one.
The Tsum department store is two blocks away from their apartment, but they havent checked it out yet.
The Penguin game was not on ESPN, LPGA golf was on its place and it was followed by the Mariners/Red Sox game. Jim only found out much later on a British sport channel what the (awful) score was. He says they havent won since he left the country!
Sarah is feeling much better today, and is now sleeping on the couch in the living room. The bedroom she was in faces the street and the traffic noises were keeping her up at night. She doesnt have anything like that here at home, a barking dog maybe a yelling brother, but no loud noises all night long.
Olga once again made too much food, although I didnt get the menu today. Edward (her brother in law) told Jim he likes to practice his English by going to the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Jim and Sarah went to see Laura twice. One time the kids were just sitting down to eat when they arrived, she saw them at the door and waved to them. She came outside after she ate. Sarah can get Laura to laugh by playing "Im going to get you!" and chasing around after her. When she laughs you can see she has a full set of teeth (so I guess I should make a dental appointment for her too). In the morning Sarah took the musical teddy bear, Laura liked it, but Christina (the little girl who was found on the streets) really liked it. And she didnt want to give it back. All the kids in her group like the musical toys, but the Rugrat watch is the favorite. Sarah took it in the afternoon and put it on Lauras wrist. She likes the keys to the apartment too. The weather was still nice (75 degrees), but not as hot as Wednesday. Jim had Laura on his lap and counted how many layers she had on, shirt, knit dress, knit sweater and knit tights.
Sarah is speaking some Russian, and Laura knows that Sarah is big sister (Id write them in Russian, but Im sure Id spell them wrong).
In the afternoon the kids in Lauras group went outside and played with shovels, rakes and buckets. Don said it would be ok for me to bring a duffel bag of toys for them. Jim hopes Christina finds a home, he said she is very outgoing and talks and talks. They know all the kids in the group now, but not all their names. Jim wants to keep in contact with any family that may adopt any of them.
Sarahs impressions so far of Kazakhstan is that no one lives in a house, everyone is in an apartment and that the mountains are snow covered and nearby. They will go to the mountains on Sunday, as they wont be visiting the orphanage that day, with only one visit on Saturday. Don told Jim that Laura would be very happy to see them on Monday since she has gotten used to seeing them twice a day for a week.
The US Embassy is three blocks away from the flat and well have to go there too. They would like to change the laws so adopting parents dont have to go to Moscow and were going to speak to somebody about that. Jim said EAC has a good relationship with the embassy and wants to help whenever they can.
Ludmilla (one of the caregivers) really liked the pictures we gave her of one of children who was just adopted last month. It seems like they remember all the EAC families. Igor asked if we were talking to the Greens (who came back to the US just about the time we were supposed to leave) Jim told him that we correspond by email, he thought we were talking on the phone all the time. Don, Ludmilla and Igor all asked how everyone was doing. They even remembered the family from Pittsburgh who was there last year.
Jim was going to check with Sheila (the woman from Chicago who is adopting from another orphanage) to see if they could get together today. Shes by herself and the orphanage her son is at only allows one visit a day. Her flat is a couple of blocks away.
I still dont have my visa, so I changed my plane reservation again from Sunday to Wednesday. This way Ill arrive on Thursday evening and the court date will be on Friday. Should hear about that visa invitation tomorrow!
Michael is ready for his baby sister to arrive, he promises to teach her how to play a lot of games on the playstation.