Hey guys, Daddy here. I really miss you. We might have been able to make a big snowman today. The snow here doesn't go away, and all the men and women wear fuzzy hats to keep warm. It looks like they have animals on their heads.
I can see that you are online. We are having trouble with the phones today. If you have Bestefar turn on instant messaging we could chat now. We want to tell you about our trips to the baby house today.
"Expect the Unexpected." That's what we're told over the course of some 20 months as we prepared for this day. For the last three months, we've heard that we are expected in Karaganda on January 6th, when the baby house can begin introducing us to children. On Sunday morning when we arrived in Almaty, they had scheduled our tickets for Monday night to fly to Karaganda. We planned to stay longer in Almaty to visit with friends, but when one of the new friends we met called to translate with our facilitator, she said there is no reason to wait until Thursday. If we come on the ticket they gave us, they will take us at 9:45 a.m. Kaz time on Tuesday morning to meet the orphanage director, and then the children.
Subject: Looooooooong Airplane Ride
Hey boys! Mom & Dad here-- we had a good trip, Cassie did really well. At one point somewhere over Russia. she got a bit upset, started crying, and said "I want brothers." Well, actually, she said "I want brudders!"
Twelve years today! And the snow here in Almaty reminds us of our snowy wedding day in Arlington Heights . . .
Packing in all the stuff we need for six weeks is no easy task. Then we looked at the pile of stuff we had set aside for our friends in Almaty and Karaganda. Big Mistake. But no problem, Mark came over and dialed us in. (Thanks to him too for bringing over Tina and Vicky's Tortilla Soup last night.) He could have fit three former Ukranian dictators in that bag. Complicating the packing is the fact that from LAX to Almaty, we're allowed 70 pounds per bag, 2 bags per person. On the flight from Almaty to our final destination, we're allowed only 44 pounds PER PERSON. We packed the top of the bags with baby stuff and supplies for the orphanage, and will pray for a "humanitarian" exemption on the weight limits. Hopefully they won't see the four pound bag of malt balls under all the pediatric necessities!
As we pack and get ready for our trip, and try to gather as many things for friends living overseas as we possibly can, our friends here have donated over $750 for orphans and other children in Kazakhstan. World Vision established a relief fund in the last few days for the victims of the earthquake and tsunamis in Asia (www.worldvision.org), as has Amazon (http://tinyurl.com/6up4w), and both have experienced overwhelming response.
Hi boys! This is Daddy's first private message to you. I'm glad you were able to use your secret password. We love you, and we will miss you. Take care of each other. --Love, Daddy