Friday, August 29th, Saturday August 30th and Sunday August 31st

When we arrived at the Babyhouse today, we were treated to a special program performed by the two through five year olds to celebrate Constitution Day, a Kazakhstan Holiday. The performance featured songs, dances and games and was absolutely adorable. Several of the children who are being adopted by our friends participated in the show making the children’s presentation even more enjoyable. It is obvious that the caretakers try very hard to build confidence in the children by having them perform for an audience. The children’s program was very touching. A row of beautiful children were sitting in front of us and they did not participate in the program. We wondered why until it was time for the children to leave the room. We then saw that these children had disabilities and many had trouble walking. We will pray extra hard that these very special children find their forever  families.

Dana’s head caretaker, Maigul, greeted us after the children’s program holding our darling Dana. Maigul is very loving with the children. Dana was crying when we first saw her but as soon as Maigul put Dana in Donna’s arms, Dana quieted down. She is really starting to bond with us and we have become so attached to her. Our great love for this precious little child grows more and more each day. We played with Dana for a little while until she fell fast asleep in Donna’s arms.
The Babyhouse was closed to visitors on Saturday and Sunday and we were not permitted to see Dana. Saturday was a particularly tough day for us because we missed Dana so much. We decided to do a little sightseeing and started with a spectacular Russian Orthodox Church which was built 100 years ago using no nails - yes, you read that right! We then did some souvenir shopping at what is called the Tsum Store.

On Sunday, we took a spectacular trip to the breathtaking Kazakhstan mountains. The mountains were truly a beautiful sight to behold, an amazing and wonderful creation of nature. We enjoyed the mountains immensely. We are not skiers so we rode our first ski lift ever to tour the mountains.  It was fun! We then met our t ravel partners who cooked a delicious meal for us at their apartment and then it was off to bed. We were so excited at the thought of seeing Dana again - yea!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 1st
We got to see Dana today - yippee!!!! She was simply adorable and seemed so excited to see us. We found out that she loves baby massage! She likes to play on the floor but every so often she cries to be picked up. We realize that she needs to feel secure and she enjoys it when we hug, kiss and cuddle her! She has had to share affection with ten other babies for the first eight months of her life so we are more than happy to spoil her! Dana kept squeezing Dan’s nose today and this was really cute! She also kept kissing Dan. She already knows that she’s Daddy’s little girl. We also played Dana’s first Disney tunes for her today - “La Vida Mickey.” She bounced to the rhythm and giggled proving that not only does she like the main mouse himself, but also Latin music. Rick Martin will be proud. At the end of the visit, she fell asleep on Mommy Donna’s shoulder before we left and then we headed out to do some food shopping.

The people of Kazakhstan are generally very friendly and helpful. Both the Kazak and Russian women are extremely thin and look like models. They wear very, very tight pants or extremely short skirts with super high heels. They are very fashionable. Anyone who knows Donna is sure to have heard her always complaining about the fact that she needs to lose ten pounds. Well now she is saying, “The Kazakhs must think that I’m so fat!”. This is definitely a skinny country. The only woman that are overweight are over fifty. The men look normal.

Today was the first day of school here. All of the children were uniforms. The girls wear a uniform similar to a Catholic or private school and the boys wear a suit. On the first day of school, each student brings a big bouquet of flowers to the teacher. The teacher goes home with an armful of flowers. What a great tradition. Are all of you American kids out there listening? (Ha Ha)