Saturday, November 26, 2005

What we are thankful for!

Chris&Barbara: We Thank God for all that we have
We are thankful for our parents for teaching what it is to Love. With Love there is happiness and sorrow involved and that it so overwhelming that it guides you to do the right thing. Love helps you live in peace. We are thankful that they taught us the gift of Faith in God. Without it we would have ended our journey a long time ago. We thank them for so much more. We are thankful to the new aunts and uncles and people in our lives who have kids. As we struggle to be contributing member for the "parents club" you have given us so much useful advice, not only with words but by actions. We will work on emulating the good and avoiding the bad. We are thankful to the nieces and nephews who will invite our children into their world. We are thankful that our family and our dogs are enjoying relatively good health. We are thankful that people have jobs that they like. We are thankful that our family is still expanding and that the kids of the clan are healthy. We are thankful that Donna and Tom are on the way to Russia to reunite with their son. We have a lot to be thankful for on this Great and Glorious day!

Grace and Michael: We are thankful to our birth parents who love us. We will pray everyday that they have peace in their heart and mind and that they know that they are loved. We are thankful for our caregivers who are extraordinary people. They have taken such good care of us. It will be tough for our parents to match their high standards. We look forward to torturing our parents as they try for perfection. Our caregivers will also be in our prayers everyday. We are thankful for our parents. They don't even speak our language and they are able to communicate with us. They are very nice and they bring us toys and make us laugh. We can't wait to get home to continue to learn and grow into loving people just like our parents. We are thankful to our grandparents. We can feel the love and excitement that they have for us already. We can't wait to meet them and be spoiled by them! Most of all we can't wait to get home and join the cousins. We love to play and share and we love to be around other kids. We thank God for the opportunity to expand our horizons. We Thank God for our Forever Family.

Here we light a candle in the 120 year old Russian Orthodox Church in thanksgiving and prayer for Grace and Michael's birthparents.

You are the best!

Thank you all for your comments and prayers. We are enjoying reading your comments as much as you are enjoying our Blog. We can't wait to get to the Internet Cafe to see if we got any new comments. And like all parents we enjoy hearing good things about our kids. Thank you for your support.

Pictured are Raushan our interpreter on the right and Almas our driver on the lft of Barbara. They are in front of the regional museum.

Thanksgiving in KAZ

What a Great and Glorious day Thanksgiving was. Of course we miss being home with the families. We were able to meet up with a few Americans and enjoy a great meal and great fellowship. Christine was our host, in her apartment. We met Christine on the flight from Alamaty kz to Semey. She helped us with a communications problem. She recognized us as adoptive parents from miles away. We sat with her on the plane and were invited to Thanksgiving. Christine is from Atlanta and originally from Liberia. she is physician. The other Americans were from Arkansas. Tara and Rusty. Also there was Donata(sp?) who works on missionary work with Christine in the villages 1-2 hours outside Semey. She goes to the University here and teaches English. They work with the Vlad who is a Russian Baptist minister. With Vlad at the celebration was his wife Svetlana(?) their daughter Eve. Eve is 6 years old. Chris had fun teaching her little games like “high-5 in the middle, down low …too slow” It was the only game he could think of.
The food was incredible, 4 different salads, beet, carrot, Garden and corn/peas. We had tons of chicken and rice. Then we had 3 different cakes and a variety of cookies and pastries. We all met at 12:30. Vlad said grace, being a minister and all. Then we ate to our fill. Tara and Rusty left for a while. The rest of us stayed and talked and sang spiritual and Christmas songs, some in Russian some in English. Tara and Rusty returned at 5:00pm and we repeated a number of stories and had a second portion of salads and chicken and sang more songs. We left at about 8:30 pm. It was full and enjoyable Thanksgiving. Wish you were here.

Follow up pictures.

This is the Nuclear test memorial that I described earlier. It is very moving, especially with the mother protecting the child. This was opened in 1999; 50 years after the 1st test explosion.

Day 14

Grace planned this picture; she even got Michael to look at the camera.
Grace: I love hugging my little brother
Michael: Yikes!! I hope she doesn't kiss me.
Grace: Listen to me I am the big sister!!!
Michael: Actually, it is nice to have a big sister to take care of me.

Big News!!!!

We are on schedule. Friday we were told that the court day is on Monday(Nov 28) at 2:30pm our EKT. That is 3:30 am your time. This is just as we had hoped for. We will not see the children that day. We will have a morning dry run for court. We have our suits and our pictures and we are ready. The pictures need to show if we are bonding with the children and if the children are bonding with each other. We still have dangers ahead. The judge can deny our request. We may be staying in Semey for a few more days post court as we wait for paperwork to be completed. It will make life easier on the kids. This way they are not stuck in a cramped hotel with their parents for longer then needed. We will keep you posted.