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.....Adopting in Almaty.....The Laura Edition......
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Friday 05.04.2001

Day 6

Today when I woke up I watched TV. After that I had some breakfast. Then I got dressed and watched more TV.

Jim woke up at 4:30am but fell back asleep a bit later on. Got up at 8am, Sarah was watching TV. Fixed scrambled eggs (in microwave) for breakfast.
Igor picked us up at 9:50am, he had a photographer in the van. When we got to the orphanage the photographer took Laura's passport & visa photos.
We played with Laura inside today, as it is raining today. We played in a large playroom without any other children. We played with a xylophone & a rolling rattle like toy. Around 1:30 we got ready to leave and will go back this afternoon again. Sarah & Jim will go to the Internet cafe shortly to email more pictures.

Sarah & Jim checked in at the Internet cafe at 1pm read many emails & responded to some. Sent several pictures to Suze, plus sent 3 large 1024x728 pictures to her. Checked on George, 1 hit & sent one email to Norm from Federated's secure server email-as proof of concept that the secure server could be used, with proper authentication, from outside the USA.
Left the internet cafe at 2pm and paid 300 tenge.
At 3:45pm Igor picked us up. We drove past the Ramstore mall to some office. Igor took papers in while we waited in the van. We then headed for the orphanage. En route, Igor was flagged down by a police officer. Igor was talking with him for 5 minutes. When her got back in the van, he said the policeman insisted Igor went through a red light. Igor said green-red-green, etc. Igor finally told the policeman that he was going to report him (for falsely insisting Igor went through a red light) to the head of the traffic department (a friend of Igor's) Eventually the policeman gave in as he didn't want any trouble from the boss.

At the orphanage we played outside on the sidewalk with Laura, as it had stopped raining 2-3 hours earlier & the sun was out. We played until past 5:30pm. She ate cookies & M&Ms. She had to say cookie (cocky) before we'd give her one.
As usual, all the ladies were concerned that she was warm enough & seemed amazed that Sarah only had a thin shirt on. Before we left, Igor was asking Laura, in Russian, if she wanted to go in the van. When Sarah set her down on the step, she started screaming. A nice M&M calmed her down. We will need M&Ms for her first few car rides!
On the way back to the apt, we saw a trolley with "barf' advertising all over it.
Dinner today (only Olga came over) was a stew with beef cubes, noodles, & vegetables. It was good, Sarah only had a little & Vic got the leftovers. Sarah plans to eat salad for lunch tomorrow. Sheila called & we talked for a while, comparing notes, etc. Suze called and we did the nightly chat. Off to bed....

05.04
Hi to all
Hopefully all the pictures won't fill your mailboxes!
Sarah answered the phone first this morning and gave her report. The first thing she had to tell me was they saw a trolley with an advertisement on it for Barf, but there was too much traffic to get a picture. They spent the morning inside playing with Laura since it was raining. The picture of Laura running and Sarah behind her was when they were playing "Im going to get you". In the afternoon the played outside, Sarah said the ground was wet, but they were trying to get Laura to go to the van. Apparently she does not like cars, Sarah got her to sit on the steps of the van, but she started crying. The antidote was peanut M&Ms. Today was red day. Sarah reports that yesterday it was a brown and orange M&M day today was red M&M day. They bought the M&Ms and cookies at the huge store. Laura puts the whole cookie into her mouth. Shes still waiting to get email from Becky, Mike or anyone in the class, but so far no one has emailed her, sarbarcar@lycos.com. Sarah then left to watch Sponge Bob Squarepants, and fell asleep by the time Jim heard the Rugrats music.
They made scrambled eggs this morning in the microwave and Olga once again fixed them a magnificent dinner, stew, noodles wheat bread (she brings a different loaf of bread everyday) and pastries. She also did the laundry for them.
Laura had her passport photo taken today, Jim said the photographer hadnt seen a digital camera like ours before.
Dada and Papa are the names Laura is using to talk to Jim and Sarah is big sister. Cookies are Khaakie. They keep telling her that Mommy is coming soon. Jim was on the floor with Laura and she was checking out his mustache, and rubbing noses. He gave her a backrub and she started to fall asleep, but he thought that might mess up her sleep schedule so he told her it was time to play.
The afternoon they were asking in Russian if Laura wanted to go to the car, she kept shaking her head no, so they are devising a plan for tomorrow just to get closer to the van and work their way towards getting into it. Jim told Igor that when we have to take her for a ride hell have the M&Ms ready, Igor said "good idea".
Igor laughed when Jim said "piece of cake" and responded with "cool, cool". The Greens who were in Kazakhstan last month told us that he likes to learn American slang.
On the way back to the flat Igor spotted a speed trap and a short while later was pulled over by the police. Igor and the officer had quite an animated conversation behind the van. He explained when he got back that the policeman had said he ran a red light he said he did not and Igor informed the officer that he was a friend of the head of the traffic division and proceed to give the name and phone number (it turns out the head of the traffic division lives in the same apartment building as Igor and his family). The policeman didnt want to get in trouble and let Igor go!
Tomorrow they will only be visiting Laura once, so Igor is taking Jim, Sarah and Sheila on a tour of the city. Sheila had four hours with her son and shes an official Mom now, her son threw up on her!
Jims birthday is Tuesday and he asked Sheila, Igor, Don and Tatyana to join them for dinner at a café he spotted. He left Olga a note not to cook for them that day.
Court day is Friday, since Im only supposed to arrive in Almaty on Thursday evening I have to visit with Laura before the hearing. They are going to schedule Sheilas hearing first, take us to the orphanage so I can see Laura and then back to court.
Im still awaiting my visa, but I do have my plane tickets!
Sue

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