steve's blog

What's "Wrong" With This??

Snow Ball

All the boys played a little snow ball today. I had promised the boys that if it got UP to ten degrees below (that's celsius), we could play some ball. (Minus ten is comfortable with no gloves on your hands for about ten minutes--there have been days where a minute with no gloves sends you running around with your hands deep in your coat pockets.) We had to make some bases, so we gathered what we could find, and came up with our Ritz cracker box for home plate, a

Aliya Grace Nelson


It has a permanent and sweet ring to it, doesn't it??

Our translator Lena just called and said the court has approved Aliya's adoption with finality, and issued an adoption certificate. The quest for the rest of the paperwork is underway.

Welcome to the family, Aliya!!!

Feeding the Hungry

Ramstore Shelf
Ramstore Warning

We've received a variety of e-mails since we arrived from other families who recently travelled here, or who will travel here soon. Some will bring their kids with them to meet new siblings. It's fun to talk about what kids will eat while here--and many other weblogs adoptive parents have kept spend a lot of time on food.

Aliya's Home

51 Gogol Street

This is a photo of Aliya's current home at 51/1 Gogol Street in Karaganda Kazakhstan. Three windows right above the entryway, on the fourth floor, is our kitchen, and you might be able to see Amy peeking out at me and the kids playing in the snowlot downstairs.

The Eyes Have It


We took a vote from the kids today, and they decided they had been looking at the ceiling for too many days in a row. So I took Austen, Spencer, and Cassidy out for lunch. Hot dogs, french fries, and whatever soda they wanted. Excellent move.

Reluctant Half Steps

Dad & Aliya

Part of the joy of keeping a website on international adoption is NOT having an FAQ section for common questions--because there really aren't any common ones. Almost everyone who posts or e-mails us, or folks we've talked to at home before leaving, have different questions about the process. And if there were a common or "frequently asked" question about our adventure, there are no easy answers.

One fairly common but unspoken question is "Why are you doing this?"

Birth Order

Goolnaz =

Aliya has the great fortune of being the youngest now of four crazies. As an only child, I can hardly appreciate how much fun this must be--but I can watch it. All day long, in our tiny apartment. Here are some photos of our yesterday--one day in the life of Aliya, and all the new influences surrounding her.

Kazak Culture

Aliya & Aliya

We got quite a treat today. Our new friend Rob runs a Kazak cultural center devoted to the traditions and culture of the native people from the "Silk Road," including parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and parts of other countries. He arranged to have someone pick us up and drive us to the cultural center where they treated us to a wonderful Kazak lunch.

First Family Photo

First Family Pic

This is the first official photo of the newly expanded Nelson family that worked. It was taken at the Cafe Ankara in downtown Karaganda, just after breakfast this morning. Soon we'll have one where the baby is charming the camera instead of being charmed by her sister.

Slopodan Goolnazovich

Slopodan Goolnazovich

Now that the competition has heated up in the chow line, Aliya doesn't want to be outdone. She can pack it in, for sure, but she can also wear her meals very well. This here is rice cereal with formula, some apples and carrots, and some graham cracker. We're leaving it there for her next meal.

Since she's destined for competition in this area, we wanted to give her a catchy stage name that she can use, and wanted to orient it around the word "slop." So there you have it.