Safe in Karaganda

Four Weary Travelers

Early this morning, in the desolate outreaches of the Karaganda airport 30 minutes from town, Four Weary Travelers got off the plane about 48 hours after they left home for LAX.

Hallelujah!!! We are one grateful family!!


Safe in Almaty, Kazakhstan


All four weary travelers arrived safely in Almaty this morning, with all their luggage and humanitarian support intact--all the way through customs (including those HiHo cupcakes for some of our friends who live here--who sent those?)

We are grateful for a glitch-free trip, and look forward to their arrival tonight in

Hey, It's Time to Party

Cakes For New Parents

It has been 2 days since the court declared Aliya ours. And she truly feels like she is ours--not because a judge said so, but because she is here with us and she has found her place in our family. Immediately after court, the four families split into two groups, the men went with Lena to the store and the women went to the baby house. It was time to celebrate!! It is customary to have a party at the baby house for the caregivers and with the director and doctors...

In the Air


The boys are on their way to us, traveling with Amy's parents. They were scheduled to leave LAX at 5:45 PST. They will arrive in Karaganda to meet us at 9:40 p.m. our time on Thursday, (which by now you know is 7:40 a.m. PST on Thursday). Ten hours to London. They will be at London Heathrow's fabulous Terminal Four for a few hours, then 10 more hours on the plane to Almaty (with a token stop on the tarmac in Ekaterinburg, Russia, with a first glimpse of lots and lots of snow).

Three Sock Confirmation Memo

Three Sock Confirmation

We neglected to document our compliance with the local regulations for removing Aliya from the baby house. You saw real, unaltered photos of her in her snow suit--but under that thin shabby layer of additional warmth, there were actually also three pairs of socks. This photo proves it.

Local Scenery

Some photos of local scenery have been added to the "Road to Malutka" Image Gallery, at the right. We made the trip along this road from the hotel, past where our apartment now is, across the bridge to the baby house, well over 30 times since we arrived three weeks ago.

Come Soon!!!!

Austen & Spencer--

By the time you read this, it should be Tuesday morning, and you will be getting ready to go to the airport. The day is finally here!!!!!

We are so happy that our family will be together again soon, and we look forward to doing as much fun stuff as we possibly can in Kazakhstan.

We Finally Got Our Day In Court

Mr. Sunglasses

Approved!!! Aliya Grace Nelson is now part of our family. The court confirmed her birthdate of May 11, 2004 in Karaganda Kazakhstan, and we will be listed as her parents on her birth certificate. The judge and prosecutor had special concerns about whether our house is big enough for all of us, whether we were adopting because the government gives us financial support, and what our particular reasons are for wanting to adopt after having three "biological" children. That was it--they invited all four families back in and made the official pronouncement for all:

Saturday Evening Post

Bath Time

Through the ice on our windows, I believe today is a blue sky sunny day---only 1 degree, but beautiful none the less. It dawned on me today, that Aliya feels all mine---I have lost that watched over feeling that always made me feel like I was babysitting and it has been replaced by the mom feeling and it is wonderful!!

Aliya is doing great! As Steve and I were trying to decide what came next for her earlier today--bottle, cereal, bath, nap, toys--whatever, Steve commented that he had no idea and said, "it's just one big experiment" and that sums up our days here now. There are some experiments we are conducting here that will NOT continue when we return, like the one in this next photo (click "read more" to see it).