Friday, June 08, 2007

Our Last Day In Kazakhstan

We had a wonderful last day in Kazakhstan before heading home, thanks to our dear friends. Salta and Ayana, and Salta's parents treated us like royalty, and we felt more like family than long distance friends. Salta's parents took us to a WONDERFUL restaurant which offered a beautiful setting and traditional Usbek/Kazakh food. It was so special and we loved every minute of it. Sadly I can not recall the name of it, but will post photos and maybe someone else knows of it and can share the name. The boys enjoyed playing with Askar, Salta's 6 year old little brother, and we so enjoyed seeing Lyazzat again, Salta's mother who was also our coordinator in Almaty for Joshie's adoption. Although we know Salta and Ayana far better, Salta's parents are our ages so we have much in common. Bulat, Salta's father, had to return to work but the rest of us went up the mountain to Medeo and took photos, then returned to town where Lyazzat bought our family a gorgeous coffee table book about Kazakhstan which was in English, Russian and Kazakh and will be a treasured item in our home. Later that evening Ayana treated our family to a late pre-flight dinner out at Il Patio, a really nice Italian restaurant and we had fun teasing her about her handsome and very sweet new boyfriend. He was good natured about being around our bustling bunch of boys, and we all had a great time our last night in Almaty. Next it was on to the 2:40 AM Lufthansa flight, where we were delayed checking in for 1 1/2 hours as all of our passports were scrutinized first at Lufthansa check in and then at Passport Control. Seems no one in authority understands the dual citizenship status of our adopted kiddos and if had to be explained over and over again. We must have had every passenger on that flight mad at us for holding up one of the check in counters for so long!

We will miss our friends in Kazakhstan so much, our dear Salta and Ayana. We treasure our friendship with them and this time it was very hard as none of us know when we might see one another again, although we all agree that it won't be the last time. We had Salta's parents extend a heartfelt invitation to our family to come visit them when they move back to their new apartment in Astana and they would show us around...and we seriously might do it someday if we can ever come up with the money for airfare. And we too told them all they were welcome anytime in America again and we'd love to have them there. As I hugged the girls one final time before going through security, I realized that age makes no difference when it comes to friendship, and that hearts connecting is the most important thing in life.

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