Wednesday, September 3rd and Thursday, September 4th

They brought Dana to us on Wednesday in the cutest little pink pants! She is such a doll. We are working on her development and gave her a lot of tummy time today. She usually doesn’t like tummy time, but she did much better today and really seemed to enjoy it! She’s standing up a little better when we hold her, too! Her favorite toys are teething toys, balls, big toys, blocks and books with photographs, not drawings. For some reason, she’ll sit still when you read her a book with photographs but she wants to eat any books with drawings or cartoons. She’s so silly!

Bob and Sharon and Brenna and Steve got to take their children out of the Babyhouse today. They have been here for four weeks - they have stayed in Kazakhstan the entire time. They went to court after two weeks (we go to court on Monday) and then stayed in country to do their two week wait before the adoption can become final. The two week waiting period exists in case anyone wants to appeal the adoption. We will be flying back to the U.S. to do our two week wait.  It will be a grand celebration for us when it is our turn to take Dana out of the Babyhouse. Although she is being well cared for, there is no one to give her the one on one attention and love that she so deserves. Our journey to Dana has been long and challenging  and we still have some hurdles to get through before we bring our angel home. It is so hard to wait for our precious Dana to become our daughter. Oh our darling Dana - we hope that you can come home soon!

Wednesday evening, we went out for a really fun dinner with our travel partners, the Kunhardts. After dinner, the restaurant presented a show featuring traditional and contemporary Kazakh and Turkish music and dancing. Many performers played traditional Kazakh instruments. The singing was wonderful. The dancers wore beautiful native costumes. The dancing was lovely to watch and seemed to be an interesting blend of Asian and Middle - Eastern styles. The dancers had beautiful faces and bodies. We laughed that Dana might have a chance at having the incredible body of those in the land of her birth if she never touched a McDonald’s french fry , a Dunkin’ Donut, a Baskin-Robbins ice cream cone or any other favorite American snack.  Since Dana is coming into a family who loves to eat, we don’t know how likely this will be.

Our travel partners dubbed the show, “Kaz Vegas”, because it was very flashy with black lites, strobe lights and dry ice. We loved it and had a great time. After the show, the music continued and we did some slow and fast dancing. There were many Kazakh families at the restaurant who were having family celebrations for one reason or another. They were enjoying watching us dance and even invited us to the dance floor several times. The Kazakh people are very warm and friendly and they really made us feel at home. What a fun and relaxing evening!

It still amazes us to think that we are on the other side of the world. Aside, from language differences, we really don’t feel like we’re that far away from home. Almaty is like New York City with less traffic and shorter buildings. When it comes to people, traveling to different parts of the world has taught us that people are really not that different from country to country. There are good people with wonderful smiles and warm hearts all across the globe. When we started our adoption journey, Kazakhstan was just a place on the map. Now, it is a place in our hearts.

On Thursday, we visited the Babyhouse to see our sweet Dana for only one hour. Then, it was off to our facilitator’s office to sign some papers for our adoption. Each paper that we sign brings us one step closer to bringing our daughter home - HOORAY!!!!!