steve's blog


Whatever your views on immigration policy, it has been a good thing for our family.

It is fitting that on our journey here, and home again, we travel through London and Los Angeles, on a similar journey that my mom took when she left England to search for new opportunities some 40 years ago. And it is fitting that our plane passes very near the west coast of Norway, where between Bergen and Stavanger both my grandfather and Amy's grandfather (and father) left to cross the Atlantic.

Looking Forward

We are looking forward to getting on our plane tomorrow and heading home as a family. It's 10:00 p.m. local time, and with the help of the France Family, we should finish packing shortly.

We leave Almaty at 9:30 a.m. local time, and will leave London for LAX at 7:00 a.m. Los Angeles time on Tuesday.

Speedy Delivery

Fed Ex

Now we know this is truly a sophisticated city. This truck backed up right to the Frances' front entry.

And now we know how to send supplies when they run out, too.

Praising Warmer Weather

Snowman on Abai

Well, we didn't have to get back to So Cal to have spring greet us. We looked out the window about 10 a.m. this morning, and the temperature was above 40 Fahrenheit.

This made for some sloppy roads and sidewalks, melting roofs, and some very quality snow.

The kids got together and made a snowman. No hats or mittens were needed outside today.

Old Enough to Know Better

Aliya The DJ

This is not a staged photograph. At the apartment in Karaganda in the final days, Aliya figured out how to work the CD player. She bumped a button while trying to stand up. I heard the music come on--a Britney Spears CD that the former tenant had left in the player.

A couple seconds later one of the boys was yelling for me to come and look. Somehow she had pressed the "open door" button, then grabbed the CD out of the drawer.

Unfortunately, she's dressed like Britney in this photo.

What's In a Name?

Amy and I were with Steve France at the mall today, and we were at a kiosk when the clerk motioned to us that she would have to call one of the other ladies to come help explain something to us.

She shouted out: "Aliya!" "Goolnaz!" One or the other came running over.

Amy and I both looked at each other and smiled.

Mario Memories

Mario Pizza

I had to go back and pick up this story. Sandi asked Cassidy last night what her favorite kind of pizza was. She said "Mario Pizza."


I got a call on my cell phone tonight from Tyler Johnson. He and his family (wife Gina, daughter Nadia (4), and his parents, who came to help with Nadia and meet their new grandson) arrived safely in Aktobe, KZ yesterday for their adoption.

Feeding Hungry Innertubers

Mike's Snacks

Our webservant posted a comment to yesterday's post about sledding and innertubing, and was imagining what the Mike Goulet snack shack looked like.

Mike served up hot chocolate and coffee, cookies, popcorn, chips, pretzels (a rare commodity here in Kaz) and other goodies for five families, totaling 16 kids and 11 adults.

Enjoying Almaty

Frances in Thailand

We had a relatively uneventful flight today, and arrived in downtown Almaty about 1:00 p.m. We've been spoiled already by the France Family's enormous hospitality. Faithful blog readers, they've figured out our Kaz favorites, and stocked our kitchen for us. Now that's cool.

Tomorrow morning Aliya has a visit to the international clinic, required by the U.S. Embassy before entry to the U.S., and then Friday afternoon we go to the embassy to get her paperwork.

This photo is from the Frances' recent visit to Thailand for a conference. We were hoping the Almaty scenery looked like this, but we're out of luck.