(To wrap up…)
We boarded the USAirways Airbus A330 shortly after 11:30 & it took off shortly after noon. We were in 14c/d/e (middle section) but no one was in 14f, so Jim moved over to allow Laura to have her own seat. Jim watched "Meet the Parents" first.
Food was chicken in TexMex sauce. During the flight Jim also watched a Scotland golf special, extreme sports special, ESPN sports century bio of Jack Nicklaus, Euro news special & History Channel Quiz on the 50 states.
Laura napped early in the flight & during landing. Supposed to arrive in Pittsburgh at 3pm, but landed 40 minutes early!
Consequently no "picture" of the family peering through the small space to see us going down the escalator. (They were just arriving at the airport)
Went to passport control-needed an extra form for Laura, which a woman computer filled out.
After passport control went to the INS office, where Laura’s packet was reviewed.
Got suitcases, though customs, rechecked baggage (to go to regular baggage claim)
Though security 7 out to meet BeeMa. Michael, Aunt Patty, & Aunt Carol.
Michael was very happy to meet his new sister & also very excited to see his big sister Sarah after three weeks!
Picked up suitcases and took Laura to her new home!
Now that I've sent pictures, let's say a few words......
We got Laura to say "cookie" today when we'd give her cookies. Although it sounded more like "cocky". She also says "num nums" for M&M's. Today, it's raining, so we played with her inside, and will play inside with her this afternoon. Her passport photos were taken this morning - one of the pics (183) is of the photographer setting up for the pictures.
Airport stuff to know:
You will arrive in terminal 2 at hall (concourse) E. Follow the signs (all signs are in German & English) for the "Skyline" to terminal 1. You will walk a long way before you get on the skyline, which is a people mover like at our airport. Take the skyline to terminal 1, hall B. Follow signs to hall B. You
will enter the large waiting area of hall B. An information desk will be there. Past that is a McDonald's. Across the way from McDonald's is a large departure board. We sat for a couple of hours on the chairs there, waiting to see what gate the Almaty flight left from. The 11:15 flight's gate wasn't posted until around 10:15, so we couldn't go to any specific gate and wait, since the hall B gates go in all directions from that central point. Our
flight ended up leaving from B20. If your flight leaves from A or C, you'll have to follow signs to those halls. By the way, Sheila said that the McDonald's takes US dollars. At check in, give the person your ticket PLUS the USAirways envelope with the bar-coded baggage tags. She must scan those tags or you will not be allowed on the plane.
First of all, the Lufthansa crew makes all announcements in German & English (as did the USAirways crew). All crewmembers speak English. You will fill out Kazak customs forms (2 copies, plus a visa form). I answered honestly. For cash, I listed cash, plus my wedding ring as "gold ring". Originating country is Germany and destination is Kazakhstan. I answered "no" for each of the bottom questions. Sign the back. On the visa slip, your purpose is adoption and the organization is Gulder Public Foundation. You will present these at the airport customs.
At the airport, you will deplane down steps and get onto buses to be driven to the terminal. You'll go inside & up stairs. There, you will get in the "foreigners" line for passport control. After the guy stamps your passport, you'll go downstairs to baggage claim. Get a luggage buggy and put your suitcase & carryons on it. Get in the "foreigners" line for customs. Put your stuff on the x-ray conveyor; load it back on the buggy, and go to "foreigners" customs, where you'll give your passport and the forms you filled out on the plane. After that, go to the exit sign (with your baggage cart) and proceed outside. You will push your cart outside for a long way - around the construction area (they're rebuilding the airport), up a little hill, and then down. At that point, you'll see a crowd of waiting people - we'll be there, and we'll pick you up!
Sarah says I wrote a lot.
She also said Laura said "crackers".
Talk to you at 10AM eastern time.
Love, Jim & Sarah