I am trying to send this post indirectly with photos so I hope they attach!
Dominick made it home safely, and the surprise we planned for him backfired and he ended up surprising all of us! We got the girls out of school to go with us to meet him at the airport, which he was not expecting. We have to take 2 cars so we hire a cab for some of us and Alexander for the other half of the LaJoy clan, because we really and truly are NOT going to test out the "9 in a Lada" theory!! The cab we were in got flagged over by the police and after 20 minutes or so we were back on our way to the airport. Upon arrival at the little Petro airport out in the middle of nowhere Dominick is nowhere in sight. Irina asked and determined he was on the planed but now was nowhere to be found. A policeman overheard us and we figured out that Dominick grabbed a cab on his own and went back into town!! Irina laughed and couldn't believe it, saying "You have been here so many times it is like home now!". Dominick had no idea we were late, had no way of calling us, and the airport is seriously out of town and there would not be any taxis coming out until the next flight late in the day so he figured he had better get himself into town while he still could!
We eventually caught up with him back at our apartment, and sadly the girls only had time to say hello and goodbye as they were only checked out from the orphanage until noon. So quick hugs and kisses and they were off and we were settled back at home where Dominick proceeded to unload his bootie like a pirate with his treasure chest. The suitcases were opened and we oohed and aahhhed over the clothing for the girls and had a good laugh when we saw a package of underwear for them knowing it would not be funny in English to them but it sure was for us. Who ever heard of "Wedgie Free" underwear??? And the bigger question...do you believe it?
The bigger hoots of excitement came when Dominick produced Target bags and hidden within was the best prize of all...American food!! I know it is not glamorous, but when you have become a "Krack" addict along with salami and odd tasting cheese that is never the same twice...Hamburger Helper and Welch's grape jelly seems like a veritable banquet of classy foods!! The boys where quite happy with their finds :-)
Better yet though were the letters and notes we received. The boys each got letters and drawings from their best friends and some additional movies and games to keep them busy, I got a very sweet note from someone I met recently who has grown in my heart and is one of those you just know you were supposed to cross paths with in this world, and I had a special delivery of movies and books from someone who knows me better than I ever would have guessed along with a few books for my classes which restocked me and will keep me happily occupied for the remainder of our time here and our flight home. Thanks to all who sent along items, it was like getting a great big hug from you all!
We all ended up in our bedroom last night, boys sleeping on the floor drifting in one at a time asked "Can I sleep in here with you guys?" just so they could be close to Dominick. Today is being spent hanging out, doing a little school work, cleaning up the wreckage of yesterday, and we are taking the girls out to dinner later. Dominick and I spent the better part of 2 hours looking at costs for the remainder of our trip, trying to calculate where is cheapest to stay with a family of 7, what we need to do over the course of the next 3 1/2 weeks we will be here, and staring at a calendar and realizing we have been here a long time and still have quite awhile to go. But we are determined to enjoy it, to relax as best we can and take advantage of this uninterrupted time together with the kids which we will likely never have again in our lives. If we work at keeping the stress level down, all 7 of us will be in much better shape. We are not going to fight that which we can not fight...changes in schedules that are out of our hands, delays and annoyances. We are here for a relatively short period of time in our lives and all is good, as long as we LOOK for the good!
We are hoping all went well for the Yagers today as they went to court to finalize their adoption of their new daughter and we sadly said goodbye to them last night as they are leaving on a flight tomorrow for Almaty. We met a lovely new couple in town for an adoption and look forward to getting to know them a little better as well. Then the Yager's are leaving on the 26th for Astana and will be there for a few days but it is sadly beginning to look like we will miss catching up with them there.
And still, the LaJoy's linger :-) Hahaha! We have joked about applying for permanent residency!! We will spend the next few days focusing on homework and visiting the Pizza House tomorrow for the boys to hang with Yannik and burn off some energy. Dominick has yet to experience Taiga or the Kazakh and Russian gift stores so we will wander around and check out those places, more just to get out than to buy anything.
So Daddy is home, all is well...and we continue to wait and simply be together. All in all, not a bad way to spend a winter.