LOVE reading your comments and knowing we are so well loved even when so far away. Life feels very out of kilter already. 24 hours and we are all discombobulated and I know it will take at least a week to get back on a normal schedule once we end up planted in Petro. Thanks so much for all your lovely words and support. When you are far from home and dealing with everything being uncomfortable and different, what a gift it is to have words from those who love us. You are hugging us from afar...please don't stop even if we can't post very often for the next few days!
Thanks for the ideas about writing in Word and cut and pasting to blogger quickly. I brought along a memory stick which will prove invaluable and make it easy to use an internet cafe and pull up docs and photos quickly. When you are paying by the minute, that can be a huge help!
All the boys got a decent amount of sleep and won't meltdown because of a lack of it, but are now sitting here beside me playing computer games and the like. Joshie and I played in bed quietly with some little jelly like plastic lizards, and you know what he was playing? Multiplication..."Look Mom....5 lizards in a pile and 5 lizards in a pile is the same as 2 x 5!", then of course they became Daddy and mommy lizard, and teenaged mutant ninja lizard son :-)
Our meals thus far consisted of Pringles. turkey sandwiches with the BEST rolls I have had in a long time, Diet Coke and apple juice and some delicious cookie type thing of some sort the boys were raving about. Food on the plane...eh...not very good and Josh barely ate anything but has consumed 2 bananas in 5 hours.
Funny how landing here felt like landing some place that is not at all foreign anymore, and I assume Kaz will feel even more that way. After all...it IS sort of our home, at least a heart home of sorts. I would so love to return to Germany one day and find my family roots, which with a maiden name of "Roehrman" which once had the additional "n" at the end is most definitely German and my dad onec traced us to a castle here somewhere! My old high school German has returned a bit again, allowing me to recognize flight numbers when called out, and read a few words here or there and figure out ads on TV a couple of times. This will be the last place for well over a month where there will be much exposure at all to English so we are finding it where we can and enjoying it.
We are all sleeping in our Team LaJoy shirts as we tried to avoid pawing through all our luggage for just this overnight stay. The boys are happy but looking mighty grubby in what started out as white shirts :-)
Our hotel this time is nicer than the Ibis, which had started getting horrible reviews online the past couple of years. It is about the same quality and price, so anyone wanting a decent layover hotel can count on the Mercure Kelsterbach which is only about 10 minutes from the airport and has a nice shuttle bus every half hour.
Pineapple is now being consumed. Kenny is sorting through Euro, Tenge (Thanks Catherine for those efforts!) and US coins, and we will be doing a lesson on currency exchange. The boys were already horrified in the store yesterday as they calculated the exchange rates in their heads and realized how different it was. Wait until they get to Kaz and are working with numbers in the thousands with an exchange rate of about $145 tenge to $1 US Dollar! We brought along a little calculator for grocery shopping, but Dominick is very quick with numbers in his head (I am the "word person" so we have complimenting skills! hahaha!).
Ok...and now for a taste of our life we are watching something on TV that is a bunch of men in arabic dress singing something that sounds like "Nights in White Satan"...hmmmm...in Germany....Oh wait...maybe it is "Saudi Arabian Idol", seriously...very cool!!! By the way, we were asked by our new friends whom we have yet to meet who are currently in Petro adopting their daughter if we were interested in going to visit a Mosque. They have scoped things out for us already and are going to be our personal Petro tour guides, having been there once before this past summer. They are there with their 5 year old son so our boys should have fun together! Joshua and Yannik have already been exchanging emails about the superheros they like and what toys they are bringing :-) Yannik is Canadian, and also speaks French.
What a GREAT cultural experience this entire trip is for our kids!! Here I never had been further than 2 or 3 hours away from my home in Southern California before my honeymoon when we went to....San Francisco. I remember calling my mom and exclaiming about the tall buildings and my first taxi and subway rides. And I have kids calculating out their frequent flier miles and looking at people from different countries as just like them, not judging them because of their differences. What a change from my own childhood...what a special opportunity to raise kids living in such a sheltered small town and yet have them be far more exposed to the world and bring those experiences with them back home to their peers.
Adoption Angels, thanks again for this extraordinary gift of having our sons along. It was so unexpected that you would include them in your generous offer, and most of the reason I am here feeling so calm and settled is because of the very fact that our sons are here with us, we are not worrying about Joshie being set back 2 or 3 years worth of attachment work, and we are doing this as a family which I feel 100% contributes to the (hopefully) successful transition of adding new siblings to our fold. But mostly, our home is anywhere we all are together...we are Team La Joy...whether in a cramped hotel room in Germany watching odd Idol-type shows, or in Montrose, Colorado...or walking the streets of Kazakhstan...when we are all together, we are home. May our daughters feel the same way
Oh my gosh!!! Dominick just found a Kazakh TV station here!!! It is news stories and other than our sons it is the first Kazakh faces we have seen in a long time!! Man, are the Kazakh people the most handsome and beautiful in all the world or what? As I see their statesman in a news story about something I can not understand, it is those mature Kazakh men staring back at me that help me imagine what our sons will look like when they grow older. I can't begin to explain what it feels like, in some odd way having this kinship with a culture and people utterly different than ours and yet so much part of our hearts and lives. My children are Kazakh and Kyrgyz, these people are MY people in some odd way, yet they would never look into my eyes and see someone who is part of their people. Very strange thing to think about, but despite the frustration that comes from lack of a shared language and a different way of doing business, I am VERY happy to soon be amongst the Kazakh people one last time.
I know this is very long and winding, I am taking advantage of having internet service now that it is high speed which we won't have for a long time to come :-) Recording this experience and our impressions is very important to me, so if I ramble on at times over the next month about things that to you are insignificant, it is because the focus of this blog is the kids and their need to know me and their heritage better. W hat might be boring to you, might contain a detail that to our children is a nugget that they cling to someday. So please forgive me over this experience if you want to flip quickly to the next post or find pictures to illustrate that we are not easily able to post all the time.
Well, I am going to head back to the other room and try to sleep a little more. My eyes are BURNING with the lack of rest, and I hate wearing my glasses which are so thick they distort everything. Might be stuck with them for a couple of days if I can't get more sleep. Maybe all the stress leading up to this was a good thing though, as the lack of sleep isn't hitting me nearly as hard as it has in the past...at least not yet. Maybe I had trained myself to not sleep much in the weeks prior! Hahaha! Always a silver lining when one looks for blessings, right?
Good night all...or good afternoon...or whatever it is back home. I won't be emailing individually much as the blog is easier and i won't have to repeat the same things over and over again.
And don't worry Mom, we are safe and OK...I know it sounds like the end of the world we are traveling to (OK...and sort of IS as far away was we could possible go!) but we are safe, happy and being careful!
To our Hillcrest UCC crew, thanks again for the outpouring of love. Please continue to hold us in your prayers, and as you are worshipping together this Sunday we will be only a few hours from being with the girls! Pray for them, that we ARE their dream come true...and that we have an amazing coming together of Souls that is reassuring of God's presence from the very first moment.