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.

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.


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.

Slip Sliding Away

AJN Sled

We started our morning with breakfast with all of the families that were with us in Karaganda: the Makoskes the Fox-Shaddocks, the Brookses, and of course us! We ate at the American Bar and Grill and boy, did the food taste good. We had pancakes, omelets and oatmeal---maybe another time or place and the food would not have tasted that good, but for us today---it was delicious. We have such a connection with these families having lived through this experience, and we feel blessed to have such great new friends.