Woke up 5-6 hours later, Sarah came in and we chatted awhile. Played cards in the dining room and had toast (with butter, Sarah had cherry jelly) Took pictures (the snow capped mountains are beautiful). Checked our cable TV in the living room. Lots of US & European channels, also Russian, Chinese, etc. Found ESPN Penguins/Sabres game 3 was on live (Its Monday night in Pittsburgh) There was only about 5 minutes left in the 3rd period with Sabres leading 3-1,
Watched the rest of the game and plan to watch game 4 Thursday am (6am Almaty time)
Unpacked suitcases and put stuff away. Jim took a shower followed by Sarah.
Dons coming around noon. Around 3pm were going to Baby House #4 to see Laura!
I am in the apartment watching tv.For breakfast I had toast and jelly. At 3:00 my Dad and I went to see Laura, my sister. When she first saw us she started crying, but she was better when we got her away from her age group and went outside. After a little bit she let me hold her. Tomorrow we are going back aat 10:00 to see her again.
At 11:15, Don called & said he'd be over around 3:00. Sarah & I snacked on crackers. Around 12:30 I laid down to snooze. At 2:50pm Sarah (who was watching cartoons) woke me up. 5 minutes later, Don was at the door. He took some papers & money & we left.
Igor & Tatyana were waiting in the van.
It took us 20-25 minutes to get to Laura's orphanage.
When we got out of the van, she was in the second floor window. We went inside and down the hall to the doctor/directors office.
The orphanage is similar in layout (but bigger) to Michael's in Magnitogorsk.
We talked with the director for a short time and headed up to Laura's group room. She was tense and wouldn't come near us. Other kids went to Sarah, but Laura just cried. After a few minutes we all went outside.
She sat in a stroller for a long time as Sarah & I talked and played with her.
She was eating cookies and drank milk from a teacup.
As the director spoke Russian to her she either nodded her head "yes" or shook her it "no"
Both Sarah & Jim pushed her around the grounds in the stroller. Sarah also picked her up and held her. Then Laura was running on the sidewalk and playing with Sarah.
Sarah had a tiger (which Laura made barking sounds to) and a baby owl. Laura would take them from Sarah and give them to Jim, directors, Igor, Don...whoever was standing there.
The director took out her keys & Laura played with them and the keys to the apartment. She didn't respond to Laura but to Aiman. Which is Kazak for "the beauty of the moon".
As a large group of kids came out, Laura was then taken inside.
We then went to the directors office for tea (with milk-Sarah didn't like it with milk) & cookies, cakes, fruit. We then left. The director came with us. Along the way, we picked up her son and dropped both of them off somewhere else.
We got back tot he apartment at 6:15pm. Don said we'd go back before 10am tomorrow.
Jim immediately called Suze and gave her the phone # of the apartment. She called back a couple of minutes later. We talked for 15-20 minutes. Just after 7pm Olga and her brother in law Edward arrived. Edward speaks English. Olga fixed a large meal of 1/4 chicken (each) fried potatoes, corn, cukes and tomatoes (as juicy as the ones in Magnitogorsk) cabbage & bread. Needless to say Sarah & Jim couldn't finish it all. Sheila called & we traded stories on our new kids. Later Sarah & Jim played Rummy on the living room floor as we watched Sponge Bob, Rugrats & CatDog...all in Russian. Saw the May Day grand Finale fireworks room the balcony.
Time to got to bed.
Jim and Sarah are now in Almaty Kazakhstan. Jim says they hardly
slept on the flights so they had been up for about 30 hours. They
are going to see Laura tomorrow at 3pm (or 2am EST) so they are
going to sleep in. Their fellow traveler, Sheila from Chicago is
in a flat in another building and is going to see her son tomorrow
at 10am. (He's in a different orphanage).
They called from the phone in the flat, no report on if Jim can watch the Penguins yet!
The flat they are staying in has 6 rooms, 3 cribs and 1 stroller.
That was the extent of Sarah's report for today other than a "Hi".
Jim hopes to get on the internet in the next few days.
I'll forward their emails until Saturday when I get to take my plane rides.
Jim called this morning after the first visit with Laura. He said she was beautiful and has brown hair (not as dark as it looks in the video). She was looking out the window when they arrived, Jim thinks they had been prepping her for the visit from Papa and sister. When they went into her playgroup all the other kids surrounded Sarah, but Laura stayed across the room assessing the situation.
It was 80 degrees out so they (Jim, Sarah, Laura, Tatyana (who is the adoption coordinator) Don (who is the EAC representative) the doctor/orphanage director and Igor (the driver)) went outside to the courtyard. Sarah said that Laura let her hold her, but Sarah said she wouldn't sit on her lap. The doctor told Sarah how to hold her by wrapping her arms under her butt. They played with the doll Sarah took and stuffed animals. Sarah kept calling Laura, but since she hasn't heard that name before she would only answer to Aiman. Laura was pushed around in a stroller by Sarah and then Jim, and she went to Jim after getting used to seeing him. Laura had cookies and warm milk, drinking from a cup. She had a lollipop too. (guess I'm going to have to take some with me)
Tatyana said the doctor was observing and taking mental notes on their interaction that she would testify to when we go to court. After the visit they all went to the directors office for tea, cookies, and oranges. Sarah asked for another cup of tea because they put milk in their tea and she didn't care for that.
Don told Jim she warmed up very fast to them and thought that having Sarah there made a big difference!
The orphanage was recently renovated by the Phillip Morris Co and Jim thought it looked alot like the orphanage in Magnitogorsk, but larger.
Wednesday they will be seeing Laura at 10am but they are going to buy some cookies before visiting. All the snacks we bought for her are here with me.
Jim did find out that Aiman means (the Beauty of the Moon".
Before Jim and Sarah left the flat they were playing cards and just happened to turn the TV on and guess what they found...ESPN. Jim said if he had known he would have been able to watch the entire Penguin game! Since it's an 11-hour difference he was watching the Penguin game live at 10am, so he watched the end of the third period and you know he'll be tuning in on Wednesday morning.
Sarah watched Rugrats and Rocket Power, but in Russian. He said Chuckie didn't sound right!
They have Fox News, CNN, and Chinese, Korean, German, Russian and Kazak stations.
They are on the 5th floor of the apartment building and there are only a few steps before the elevator,
You can see the mountains from the flat, and the room Sarah is in has a balcony looking out on them. Jim thought it looked like Denver with the snow covered mountains in the distance. They will be seeing them up close on Sunday.
They were waiting for Olga was coming to cook for them and from all accounts is a fabulous cook!
There is an Internet cafe/game room across the street from the apartment building called the Fight Club where Jim and Sarah are going to visit either later today or after they visit Laura tomorrow. They have taken lots of pictures.
That's it for today!