Friday, October 12, 2007

We're still here!

YIKES! I think we almost lost our loyal following of Bloggers! I do apologize for letting so much time slip by. Honestly, it was incredibly difficult to leave our little Norah, and I fear my emotions may have come in the way of returning to the Blog. However, it hit me yesterday, thanks to a kind email Larry received from one of his friends from work. She told Larry how much she enjoyed the Blog, and how much she has missed it, and wondered how we were all doing. I think I may have underestimated how many amazing people are out there cheering us on. So, our sincere gratitude goes out to each and every person sharing this journey with us. Larry and I created this Blog for Norah, so that one day, we can show her how many people were watching, waiting, and falling in love with her. After all, the journey is just beginning….Larry and I celebrated our 8th Wedding Anniversary on October 9th. Although we are blessed to have a loving marriage, we are now even more grateful to be a family of 3. We are extremely eager to return to Kazakhstan to receive Norah. We know she is in excellent hands thanks to Dr. Irina's wonderful staff and baby house. All the same, we miss our little girl with all of our hearts. We leave November 1st and will return Nov. 8th with our bundle of joy. We plan to continue to Blog-so look for new pictures and stories of Norah once she's home. We are thrilled that there are so many people out there supporting us. Thank you for all the beautiful gifts, cards, thoughts and prayers.

*I want to give a special, special THANK YOU to Sue Johnson, my friend from Villa Saint Martha. Larry and I can’t wait to see Norah in the gorgeous little dress you knitted for her-and she even has a dolly that you made to match. She’s going to look so cute. Thank you Sue-what a special gift, we will keep it always and say “remember when”….Love, Christy

Friday, September 21, 2007

We're Getting Closer!

Hello all, our preliminary court hearing went very well. People who attend our hearing included; The Judge, Prosecutor, MD of the baby house, Olesya-our translator & coordinator, and the Administrator of Education. The questions went well, “What do you do for a living, what is your yearly income, why did you choose Kazakhstan, why didn't you adopt in American? They aksed, "how many siblings do you both have?". Then, they asked if our siblings would let us adopt their children-oh my gosh, what a funny question! Larry did an excellent job answering all the questions. Typically in this country, the men take the lead in these types of situations. We will have our 2nd court hearing next week and then we will return to Pennsylvania.

Most likely we will be returning to Kazakhstan on November 1st (arriving in Kostanai on the 3rd) to bring Norah home on November 8th. I wish our return could be sooner, however, due to a holiday, Norah’s paperwork may be delayed a week. Visas are only signed on Thursdays which can make things challenging.

We're having a very difficult time with the thought of leaving our precious little baby. Today, we met with Dr. Irina, the Director of the Baby House to thank her. She wished us all a long, happy, and healthy life, she said, "This baby will be a continuation of you both". We all teared up-life is so precious, what a gift this trip has been for Larry and I, we've never before been so in the moment. So, here's hoping this finds you at home all "in the moment".
Love to all~Christy, Larry & Norah

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hello Whispell's of Colorado!!

Hey Brett Sean!
Cousin –how great to hear from you! What do you mean I’m “No Spring Chicken”-after all, you’re only 1 month younger then me!! Just remember, I’ve seen you in the bathtub! I’m glad to hear Kim, Mike & Dani are doing well. Please send a big “Hello” to Theresa, NY and Ashland, OR from me. I owe you a phone call! Please keep us posted whenever you’re in New York-we can drive up with Jenn & family to see you all (or, you can come to Norwich). We have to get together-time goes too quickly-especially now that we’re 40!!!! I loved your poem –I’ll add it below in case folks miss the comment section. It’s so good to hear from you-unfortunately our email does not work here in Kazakhstan, but Blog us anytime and I’ll bee back on line soon once I’m home at
~Much Love, Christy
If I had my child to raise over again I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later. I'd finger-paint more and point the finger less. I would do less correcting, and more connecting. I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes. I would care to know less , and know to care more. I'd take more hikes and fly more kites. I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play. I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars. I'd do more hugging, and less tugging. I'd see the oak tree in the acorn more often. I would be firm less often, and affirm much more. I'd model less about the love of power and more about the power of love.
-Diane Loomans

Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary Jennifer & Mikey!

Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary Mikey & Jenn! How did that happen? How did 9 years just zoom by? I remember bringing Larry home to meet the entire family at your wedding. We had just gotten engaged that August and then he flew to New York to meet everyone. What a beautiful wedding you had and now, we have Taylor & Logan. We are all so lucky!!

Great News! We just received word that our preliminary court date is this Friday-September 21st at 11:00 am! Our final court date should follow with-in the week, then, we will be returning to the states for approx 5 weeks, anxiously awaiting a return trip to receive Norah.

We also received a wonderful email from our Pediatrician-Dr. Lisa O’Mahony. Dr. O’Mahony specializes in working with infants who have been adopted internationally. The following is a snip of what Dr. O’Mahony shared with us in her email; “The medical report on baby Abrams is reassuring. Her height, weight, and head circumference at birth place her at the 95th %, which suggests healthy intrauterine growth. Apgar of 7 suggests that she did not require any significant resuscitation at birth. The baby seems to be thriving and growing and all the medical specialists give the baby approval. If a child is thriving and developmentally appropriate, that speaks well for general well being. Expect about one month delay for every four months a child spends in an orphanage. Language delay is typical. Vaccines are up to date. There are additional vaccines that will be administered in the states upon her return. Needless to say, Larry and I are very pleased with this report. We will certainly keep everyone posted. We love, love, love each and every comment from everyone-Thank you!!

PS: We also took Norah to have her passport picture done today. Her eyes where as big as pancakes during the car ride, but she seemed to enjoy sitting on our laps and looking out the window (no baby car seats here). She smiled pretty for the camera!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Gift She Has Given

Our little girl is 7 months old today, and we can hardly believe how much she has grown since we arrived at the baby house on July 27th!

Amazingly, we received word that Norah’s birth mother came to sign the final relinquishment papers today. Not all birth mothers come to sign the final papers for their children. I believe by her coming, it shows a great sense of character. In my mind, she cares enough to make sure all the paperwork is finalized so that Norah’s adoption will go smoothly. I believe she wants her baby to have a “Ma-Ma & Pa-Pa”.

I’ve been thinking of Norah’s birth mother a lot these past few months and find myself wishing that I could convey to her how grateful we are for this most amazing gift. For as long as I can remember, I’ve silently said prayers before I go to sleep, family and friends have always been in my prayers and now, I will certainly add a prayer of gratitude for Norah’s birth mom; gratitude for her courage, strength, and overwhelming gift of life & love.

Dr. Irina, the orphanage director said to me, “now, it’s up to you”. I feel, I was born to be a Mom, ‘had to be a Mom’, and now, I know, I was born to be Norah’s Mom. So, when I thank God each night for my beautiful daughter, I will be sure to thank him for Norah’s birth mom, who gave her life and faithfully passed the torch to me. I wish I could say to her; “this baby is so loved, she is safe, she will never be hungry or cold, she will laugh & play, she will travel & see the world, she will go to wonderful schools, and she will have family & friends who will love her all the days of her life. We are grateful to you and we are honored to be Norah’s-“Irina” parents, she is the light of our lives.” That is my wish that she could know in her heart the unbelievable gift that she has given.

Sunday, September 16, 2007



Central Asia or some say Eastern Europe; located south of Russia and northwest of China

Total Area: 1,687,443 sq miles (2,717,300 sq km)

Land Area: 1,657,945 sq miles (2,669,800 sq km)

Comparative Area: Ninth largest country in the world; Four times the size of Texas, Five times the size of France

Total 7,459 miles (12,012 km). The Republic of Kazakhstan shares its longest borders with Russia, 4,251 miles (6,846 km) and China, 951 miles (1,533 km). It also borders 1,183 miles (1,894 km) of the Caspian Sea.

Independence: December 16, 1991
National Holiday: Republic Day, October 25 (1991)

Population: 14.9 million

Ethnic Diversity:
Kazakh 51.8%, Russian 31.4%, Ukrainian 4.4%, Tatar 1.7%, German 1.6%. There are over 100 other nationalities.

Religions: Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, other 9%

Kazakh, spoken by over 52% of the population, is the state language. Russian, spoken by two-thirds of the population, is used in everyday business and enjoys official status under the Constitution.

Literacy: 98%

Monetary Unit:
Tenge (KZT) – 1,000 Tenge equals about $ 8.00 (American)

Capital: Astana (since December 10, 1997).

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy Birthday Uncle Bobby

Happy Birthday Uncle Bobby!
The wonderful thing is, we can always remember that Norah officially crawled on your birthday! Up until today, she has only been creeping. But this morning, she took right off and crawled half way across the room! We hope all is well at home. Please tell everyone-Steve, Sarah, Bryan, Alisha & little Mr. Nate & of course Carlee that we said hello!

Larry and I are trying to keep our heads up; our translator told us yesterday that we have been assigned to a “new Judge”. Unfortunately, we were suppose to go to our preliminary hearing by Monday, now the judge is saying she wants more time to look at our paperwork. Apparently, the judge will let our coordinator Olesya know on Wednesday when we will appear in court. We are basically at their beckon call, so all we can do is wait.

We are anxious to come home because the sooner we leave, the sooner we come back to bring Norah home. This has been such an incredible journey, we’ve learned so much about the amazing cultures of both Kazakhstan & Russia. Emotionally, it’s taxing, but of course, worth every second we are with Norah.

PS: Irene!!! Larry and I were so excited to read your comment (I was all teared up!) We hope you’ll continue to be with us on the Blog, please comment as often as you want, we love all the comments because one day they will help us to tell Norah the beginning of her life story. The comments mean so much to us, we are grateful for all the people that are out there supporting our family. We can’t wait for you to meet Norah.
Big Hello & Hugs to Bob, Zoë & Ryan.
Love you lots. Christy

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Alexandra's First Day Of School!

Hi Alex! Mommy wrote to tell us that it’s your first day of school today! Wow, we can’t believe you’re such a big girl. We hope you have a wonderful time at school; we can’t wait to hear all about it. What is your teacher like? Do you have a very best friend? What’s your favorite thing to do? Please give Mommy, Daddy & Andrew a big hug and kiss from us. We miss you all and can’t wait for you to meet Norah. I bet Norah will love it if you show her how to do puzzles (you’re so smart & fast with your puzzles) and maybe you can introduce her to all of the stuffed animals in your room!
Love Auntie, Christy

Monday, September 10, 2007

Logan Man goes To School

Hi Logan Man! Buddy, it’s your first day of pre-school, how did that happen? I remember holding you just minutes after you where born...we were all so amazed to finally have a precious little boy in the family. Uncle Larry & I can hardly believe you’re such a big boy now! We are so proud of you. We know you’re going to love school. The playground will be so much fun, and just think of all the new friends you’ll meet. I can tell you first hand that you have a wonderful teacher. Can you believe that your teacher "Ms. Hannon" and I grew up together? She is such a nice lady & most of all she is so much fun-she loves to laugh. We can’t wait to hear about all of your grand adventures. Before we left to come to Kazakhstan, you told me you were going to "teach the baby how to run faster then anybody”. We think Norah is going to run like the wind once she learns a few pointers from you. Guess what, Norah also loves balls-just like you! We love you Logan & we miss you so much-please give Mommy, Daddy & Taylor a big hug & kiss from us. XOXO Aunt Christy

PS: Hello Everyone! Norah is crawling a little bit further each day, she is just beginning to put her fingers together when we do the "Eensey Weensey Spider" (her favorite past time). She is much more talkative and seems to be making more and more sounds. She absolutely loves it when Daddy tickles her, her laugh is priceless. We are anxiously waiting to hear which day our 1st court day will fall on as we begin the process of officially adopting our precious little “Smolyaninova Irina Smolyaninova”. The name placed first in this part of the world is usually the father’s last name, however, because Norah’s birth mother is single, she has her Mother’s name in first position and last.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Lesson from Nature

The Loss That Is Forever

When a tree is struck by lightning,
if it survives,
its growth is altered.
A knot may form where the lightning hit.
The growth on one side of the tree may be more vigorous
than on another side,
The shape of the tree may change.
An interesting twist or curious split has replaced what might
have otherwise been a straight line.
The tree flourishes;
it bears fruit,
provides shade,
becomes a home to birds and squirrels.
It is not the same tree it would have been had there not
been a lighting storm,
but some say it is more interesting this way.
Few can even remember the event
that changed its shape forever.

By Maxine Harris
The above poem is from the book: Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. The Author writes about the voices of adopted children being poignant, questioning, and full of loss, fear and hope. It speaks of the crucial importance of grief. The Author, Sherrie Eldridge writes, “Adoption Loss is somewhat difficult to understand”, she gives the gardening technique of grafting to illustrate.

A Lesson from Nature
A grafted tree. Magnificent to behold. One of a kind. Contrary to nature. Luxuriant leaves and intricate roots. Loaded with horticultural challenges for a Gardner,
but ultimately yielding a tree with unparalleled beauty.

The adopted child. Magnificent to behold. One of a kind. Biological features often contrary to yours. Intricate roots that need to be healed. Loaded with behavioral challenges for parents, but ultimately yielding a life of unparalleled beauty.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Taylor's First Day of Kindergarten!

Taylor, I can’t believe it’s your very first day of Kindergarten. It seems like just yesterday, you were a tiny bundle in my arms, the first time I met you, my heart was racing, because I was so happy to see your beautiful face.

Taylor, I wanted to tell you, if you can believe it, I remember my very own first day of kindergarten! I was a little bit scared because I didn’t know what to expect. Just like you, I went to Stanford J. Gibson Elementary School. Once I got there, I had so much fun. My teacher’s name was Mrs. Curly and I had so many friends; we painted, sang songs, and even got to go outside on the playground!

I wonder if other 5 year olds are a little bit scared on their first day of school. What do you think? It’s O.K. to be scared; you can even talk to your new teacher about your feelings. I can’t wait to hear all about your first day at school. I’m wondering about what exciting things you will do? Will you paint? Will you hear a funny story? Will you sing a song? And, what if you go outside on the playground??? That sure would be fun!

We love you & we’re thinking of you on your special, special day.
Just think about it, when Norah is ready to go off to kindergarten, you can teach her all about it. Lots of love, Aunt Christy, Uncle Larry & Cousin Norah xoxox

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone is enjoying the Labor Day festivities. We are just dreaming & drooling over thoughts of all the BBQ’s that must be going on without us! We’re all doing fine-just wanted to add a few more pictures. Thanks for all the great comments! Hi Brittany, I’m so glad you & Victor are able to follow the Blog. You’re friends seem to be in full agreement with Larry & I, Norah is one of the most beautiful babies we have ever seen-she takes right after all of her gorgeous cousins!
Love to all-please eat a cheeseburger & hot dog for us-oh, and Pam-have another S’more in our honor-what a great idea, a S’more party! -Christy, Larry & Norah

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sweet September

Hello Everyone. We hope all is well in the good old US of A. We miss everyone very much and we’re just counting the days until we can bring Norah home. The weather here has been beautiful. Larry and I have gone to 3 different Russian restaurants on our own (The Beer House, The Bistro, and The Café). I had our translator write down a few dishes that I knew we would like. For instance the “Screaming Pig”, is a pork chop baked with onions, mushrooms and condensed milk. Some of the names of the dishes are quite humorous. We can’t wait to come home, go grocery shopping and just eat at home.

Norah is doing wonderfully. She has crawled a few steps, but still appears to become a bit frustrated as she can’t move as quickly as she would like to. She almost sits by herself too; she seems to be very strong.

Our translator Olesya is on vacation in Turkey. We are on our 7th day of “official visitation”. Our papers will be brought to the Judge on September 10th. We are hoping to have our first court date on Friday, September 14th or Monday, September 17th. Our final court date will follow on September 21st or 24th. Larry and I will then return to the states for approx. 5 weeks (or possibly less if we’re lucky). Then we will return to Kazakhstan to receive our precious little one.

Love to all,
Christy, Larry & Norah

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Aunt Sandy!

Happy, Happy Birthday Aunt Sandy, we wish we could be there to celebrate with you! You may be interested to know that you share your birthday with another important date. The Republic of Kazakhstan celebrates the 15th anniversary of its independence today! Also in the news, Little Ms. Norah has just sprouted 2 front, bottom teeth! Yesterday, she fell asleep on Daddy and today, she and I spent some special time gazing at each other’s eyes. Larry and I just can’t imagine why we have been so blessed. We are grateful for Norah and grateful for all of you-our family & friends.

PS: Hi Lori!!! -Jenn told me she spoke with you, I’m so sorry your computer has been broken-can’t wait for you to Blog on and can’t wait for Norah to play with Nicholas & Elizabeth. Thank you for thinking of us-we miss you all.

Love, Christy, Larry & Norah

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blogging Is The Best!

Norah grows more beautiful with each passing day. It won’t be long before she crawls, she is up on all fours and pushes her little bottom back and forth while she makes her happy, “ah, ah, ah” sound. Norah and Mommy are recovering from colds; I always use to feel bad that my sister with two small children was sick so often. Now I know when you spend a lot of time with your baby’s hand in your mouth, the germs flow freely. It’s worth it! Larry is finally recovering from jet-lag, a side from being with the baby; we spent the last 3 days in our room sleeping.

Allyson thanks for your comment!! We hope you’re settling in PA, can’t wait to come home and spend some time with you. Are you sill looking for another job? Debbie-yes! Please mail Macaroni & Cheese!!!!!
Lu-Lu: we get home best guess, late September. I'll keep you posted. We'll be home for about 5 weeks then return to pick up our girl.
Diane Winters!!!! Hi-I miss you guys-hope all went well with DPW visit. Love to see you on the blog-hope Susan enjoys her new home!!

Hope everyone is doing well.
We love & appreciate the comments.
Christy, Larry & Norah

Monday, August 27, 2007

America The Beautiful.....

Hello America! Well, 36 days into the trip of a life time, and Norah & I sure are happy to have Larry back with us in Kazakhstan! Daddy is pretty tired and the jet lag is hanging on like no tomorrow-but, I’m sure in a few days he’ll be fine. As I’ve already mentioned, the food here is very good, but I sure do miss some things back home. Especially our families & friends!! Oh, and what I would give for a cheeseburger right off the grill, a brownie, or even I hate to say it, a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich-on my favorite bread from Wegmans-ha yes, Wegmans, oh how I miss Wegmans!! It’s amazing to me that there is no peanut butter in Kazakhstan, no brownies, no real pop-corn (like we know it anyway). I guess what I’m really beginning to miss is the familiar, the comforts of just ‘same old, same old’. With that said, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world. Spending each day with Norah is priceless. Today we saw Norah from 1:00-3:00 pm; she had a MD physical this morning during the time we normally visit. It was interesting to spend the afternoon with her. She had mashed potatoes, with ground beef and apple juice for lunch. She drinks the apple juice right out of a tiny shot glass-I really haven’t seen anything like it. Larry and I can’t wait to bring her home-we are so blessed and grateful. Thank you for thinking of us-and for all the prayers.
Lots of love,
Christy, Larry & Norah.

PS: Taylor May, I wanted to tell you, Uncle Larry brought me your wonderful note that YOU wrote! When did you learn to write I love you Aunt Christy?? Your printing is excellent, I’m so proud of you-just wait until your kindergarten teacher sees how smart you are. I’ll see you soon. I can’t wait to play our jewelry game again. xoxoxoxoxo

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Daddy is back safe & sound

Hi Everyone! The Abrams girls are so happy to have "Pa-Pa" back. It was another long trip for Larry, but we are looking forward to family time with all 3 of us.

We are sad to say good-bye to our wonderful neighbors; Galen, Amy, Sophie & Alex Gish. They leave tomorrow for Almaty, Kazakhstan. Paperwork permitting, they will return to PA as soon as possible. We will be excited to see them again once we return home.

Uncle Bobby-so sorry to hear you weren't feeling well-glad to hear you are now on the mend. Take care of yourself-we need you! I hope Grandpa & Eunice are enjoying the Blog-thank you so much for taking them printed copies.
Love to all, Christy

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Hello all!
From my perspective, Norah's medical review went very well today. Dr. Irina (The Orphanage Director) was very gracious. She shared that she was pleased with "baby Irina" going home with such a happy, young Mother (she may not realize I'm 40! But hey, 40's the new 20!). Ironically, Norah's first & last name are exactly the same as the Orphanage Director's. Also, Norah's Birth Mother has the same first name as our coordinator 'Olesya'. I found out today that Norah did have an pneumonia as a baby, she bounced back after treatment. The Doctor reported she was of excellent birth weight and height (as soon as I compute the figures of the metric system I'll let you know her current weight & birth weight). Her Birth Mother carried her full term, which is anther good indicator. Her Birth Mother was in labor for 6 hours & 40 minutes. It was reported that her birth parents are young and healthy, and due to the birth Mother's young age (19), she could not financially take care of Norah. Norah's Birth Mother is of Russian heritage with fair hair and grey eyes. Her birth Father is of Kazak heritage and has brown hair and brown eyes. I saw the "letter of relinquishment" that Norah's Birth Mother had to write for the file-it was written by hand in Russian, I almost started crying, because I just can't imagine how difficult it must of been for her to write this letter.

After the medical review, I received an amazing full tour of the baby house. It's truly an immaculate place, full of many, large, airy, light rooms, beautiful enormous windows, high, open ceilings, pretty, happy colors on all the walls. They even have a swimming pool! At the end of the tour they gave me homemade bread (delicious) and a cup of a warm lemony tea. It was very nice-I'm so sorry Larry missed it. Maybe they'll give him a sneak peek once he returns. Enjoy the new pictures. Unfortunately, Norah has some bug bites on her face, but they don't seem to bother her. Love, Christy

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 21st rings a bell..........

Nine years ago today, Larry proposed to me. We often tell or, I should say, I often tell the story to my friends and family over and over, because truly, it is one of my most cherished memories. I’ll spare everyone the details here, but I just want to say; Larry, nine years ago today, after less then 3 months of dating, you asked me to be your wife. I must admit, 2 thoughts flashed through my head; the 1st, “Is he crazy?”, and the 2nd, thank God was, “Yes”. So dear husband thank you for the most memorable, romantic proposal. I can’t wait to tell Norah, about our weekend in San Diego, The Hotel Del Coronado on the beach at sunset, the dress you bought me, and the most gorgeous diamond ring which will never leave my finger-until one day, it will be Norah’s.

All is well here, I miss everyone like crazy! Pa-Pa will be back in 3 days!!!! I have the official medical review and full tour of the baby house tomorrow. I wish Larry could be here for this, but unfortunately, our interpreter Olesya will be on vacation the next 2 weeks and she wants to have the meeting prior to her departure. I’ll be sure to take careful notes and asked lots of questions. Love to all, Christy & Norah

Sunday, August 19, 2007

6 Months Old on August 18th!

Norah turned 6 months old on August 18th, what a gift it has been to spend this precious time with her. We can’t wait until “Pa-Pa” returns this Saturday, August 25th!! Larry flies out on Thursday the 23rd and will arrive here on Saturday early morning of the 25th. Our first “official visit” with Norah will begin on the 27th. We are anticipating our first court date to fall on September 14th or 17th. Our final court date will then be September 21st or 24th.

For those of you who may not know, Kazakhstan is a country that has a 2-trip process for international adoptions. Although technically, I would be allowed to stay here for the 5 weeks in between trips, I’ve made the extremely difficult decision to return to PA with Larry. This came after many days of agonizing and much ambivalence.

During the 5 week period (or less, God willing) our interpreter Olesya retrieves all of the necessary paperwork and will complete all the other seemingly endless yet important, tasks such as obtaining Norah’s passport. It’s been absolutely heartbreaking for me to think of leaving Norah. However, I’ve been focusing on the positive; Larry and I know that she is well taken care of, her surroundings are familiar, and for her, this is the only home she has ever known.

When I come home with Larry, it will give me an opportunity to replenish & truly prepare for Norah’s homecoming. Larry and I came to the agreement that if I stayed in Kazakhstan by myself for an additional 5 weeks, after having been here for almost 70 days already at that point, I may arrive home completely drained. The best analogy I can come up is when a Flight Attendant announces right before take off; one is instructed to put on their own oxygen mask prior to assisting others. So, I’m putting on my oxygen, and I’ll breathe big deep breaths and I’ll return to my beautiful Daughter as quickly as the bureaucracy allows!

Also, Dear-“Husband & Pa-Pa”, thanks for taking such good care of us-we know you’re working so very hard for our family and we really appreciate it, we miss you and know that you will arrive safely to us. On a funny note, I was impressed with your list of Russian words that you added to the comment section of the Blog. Did you happen to notice the Russian word for work? It is “rah-BO-ta” and I find that quite ironic as it looks like the American word Robot!!! There is a reason that there is 90% literacy rate here in Kazakhstan-our fellow Kazaks & Russians are very smart!!! What can I say, sense of humor goes along way when you spend so many hours alone each day.
Love to all, Christy & Norah

Friday, August 17, 2007

Lets not miss a moment!

Hi everyone-thanks for all the great comments! I’m sorry I didn’t make it on the Blog yesterday; it appears that I had a bout of food poisoning and I’ve literally been in bed over the past 30 hours or so. I’m not exactly sure what I ate, but I doubt I’ll ever eat mushrooms again! I was so sick I missed one morning with Norah, this was the worst part, missing time with her.

Today, I feel much better-still working on re-hydrating myself. During the past 48 hours I’ve only eaten mashed potatoes, Fanta orange soda, sprite and tons of water-oh, and a few bites of lemon meringue pie (very different then ours, but very good)-thank goodness, I’m out of the woods.

Norah was wonderful today; she always has a big gummy smile for me and kicks her legs as if she’s eager to come to me. Every morning, my driver Andre drops me off outside of the baby house, after walking over a small man-made bridge; there is a short road/pathway that leads to the play yard of the baby house. (*see pictures of Larry above) Often, there is a small pack of what appears to be stray dogs at the entrance. Although nothing would keep me from Norah, I sometimes feel a bit nervous not being familiar with these dogs. The dogs never seem to have much interest in me or the children. The children often call out in Russian “sa-BA-ka, sa-BA-ka” this is the Russian word for dog. There are many cats and dogs (by themselves or in small packs) all over the city this is unusual for me to see, but it just appears to be part of the culture. The other word I often hear the kids call out is “ma-SHEE-na” which is the Russian word for car. The children watch for the cars to drive by on the road outside of the fence at the baby house and yell, “ma-SHEE-na, ma-SHEE-na!” Can you imagine what they would say if they could see Uncle John’s tractor collection!

As far as I can tell, the caregivers at the baby house speak almost no English and I of course speak only a very few words in Russian-we do our best with body language to communicate-it’s interesting, but not always successful! The caregivers are always trying to help me for instance by bringing a stroller to push Norah in when she and I are out walking. I of course do not want to put her down for one second. Sometimes, I’ll push her for a few moments to be courteous to show appreciation, but only moment later I scoop my girl up in my arms and hold on tight for our short time together. I believe touch is so important, and I am reassured at how well Norah is responding-she loves it when I touch her face lightly like a feather or tell her the story of the 5 little piggy’s who live at the end of her exquisite tiny feet. When we play these games, she becomes very still like she doesn’t want to miss a moment and neither do I!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

You're All With Me!

It's impossible to thank all of you properly for taking the time to make such great comments on our Blog. Especially now with Larry gone-it helps me feel connected!

Jenn & Mikey have a wonderful vacation-wish we could join you in Myrtle Beach, SC be safe!

Pam, congratulations on beginning another marathon, I admire your dedication and can only imagine the physical commitment it takes to do something like that-and thanks again for taking pictures to Grams!

Thank you Uncle Bobby for taking pictures to Grandpa-and for being apart of our Blog!

Debbie Sue, so glad you're home safely-keep cool in Arizona-give Jim a "wet willy" for me.

Stacey my friend, hearing Aides?...It will take time but eventually, you'll appreciate them-you realize this puts our friendship on an entire another level-we're hearing aide buddies!!!

Nan, I realize reading your wonderful comments-how much I've missed you-my other pea in the pod!!

Lisa, Charles & Deanne-Hello Texas-hope all is going well-can't wait for you to meet Norah--maybe one day you can teach her how to water ski on Chenango Lake...many of my favorite memories are with your family at your Chenango Lake house (Mc)!

Aunt Sandy & Uncle John-thanks for keeping me posted-Aunt Sandy, you have the best questions-can't wait to answer them all!

Cindy, Lorilee, Karen & Paula-so glad you're with me! Please let Melissa know how much I appreciate having our bracelet, I wear it everyday and it truly gives me strength!

I know there may be many more of you joining in on our Grand Adventure-some people have not been able to add comments due to technological challenges-that's OK, I'm just glad you're thinking of us.

"Sue/Mom"-thank you for calling me so much to check in and see how Norah and I are doing. I really appreciate it-you're a wonderful Mother-in-law and I can't wait for you to meet your
granddaughter Norah-she sure will love you!

Mom & Dad thanks for calling me everyday! We love you.

xo Christy

24 Days into the trip!

Hello everyone, wanted to share a photo of one of Norah's wonderful caregivers "Nadia". Norah seems to really like Nadia and that makes me feel reassured. I am 24 days into the trip-Norah and I really miss Daddy. My time with Norah is priceless & irreplaceable. She seems to love being held and sitting on my lap. She frequently puts her hand on or in my mouth and has learned to do the best Raspberries-she's so cute!! She smiles, we walk & she holds one or two of my fingers-never been so happy in all my life.

Love to all,
Christy & Norah

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Auntie Liz!

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to wish Auntie Liz (Daddy's big sister) a very happy birthday. Please give cousins David, Rachel & Scottie a big hug from Norah. Hope all is well. Mommy & Norah really miss Daddy, especially now that he's been gone a week-we can't wait to see him when he returns. Norah was a happy girl today, she had a big bowl of warm cereal, with smashed bananas and apricot juice for breakfast. Then, it was outside for a walk around the baby house, plus games & songs with Mommy. Norah has discovered her feet, and now loves to sit on my lap and rock. Thanks for all of the wonderful postings. Love to all-Christy & Norah

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Johnny Jump Up!

Hello Everyone-it's a another wonderful day in Kostanai. Guess what Pa-Pa? Norah is up on all fours! Our strong little girl just pushed herself right up into a crawling position! She hasn't decided to move forward or backwards yet, but it appears that it wont be long. I'm so amazed at every little thing she does, I feel like I'm living in a brand new world, it's so easy to be 'in the moment' when in the presence of children-it's the best! Norah also loves the Johnny Jump Up, she shifts her body to one side and manages to reach the floor to twirl and jump on her tippy toes, I made a movie of it! Hope all is well on the home front! Love, Christy & Norah

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Eensey Weensey Spider


Norah seems to be fascinated with my fingers and hands. She loves ‘The Eensey Weensey Spider’. She’ll watch my fingers go up & down the spout over & over again. For those of you who know me, I’m the worlds worst singer (truly can not hit a note); however, Norah is the most adoring audience, I’m in love!

Who knew I’d meet the love of my life in KAZAKHSTAN? So many people have asked Larry and me “Why Kazakhstan?” Truth be told, one step at a time, our path simply lead us here. Initially, because of Larry’s Russian family heritage we were interested in adopting from Russia. However, through our research and talks with several adoption agencies, and honestly just a gut feeling, we continued to gently nudge our way to what is part of the former Soviet Union. We discovered that we would still experience the rich Russian culture as about 50 % of Kazakhstan’s people are Russian, and the official language here is Russian. Interestingly we’ve come to learn that by 2030, the country will return to speaking their native Kazak language.

In the beginning, I thought to myself, ‘I can’t even pronounce Kazakhstan’. After being explained the process of international adoption from this strange sounding country, I went home feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I was quietly thinking to myself, “How many hours, layovers and plane trips does it take to get to Kazakhstan?” “How many months will we be in this foreign place?”, “How many court hearings?”, “How many trips to bring our little one home?” We’ve been told many things from many different people; “you may not have hot water in Kazakhstan”, “you’ll lose weight in Kazakhstan, because the food will be horrible (no such luck)” and “do not expect the American Standard in Kazakhstan”. Despite all of this (none of which we found to be true by the way), some place inside this little voice kept saying, “Follow the path to Kazakhstan”.

Now that we are here, I have realized not only did this path lead us to the most amazing gift of our life, but we have a beautiful hotel room, hot showers every day, the food is, as we’ve already mentioned, some of the best we’ve ever had, Kostanai, Kazakhstan is beautiful and yes, different then American, but, that’s what makes it such a grand adventure!

So, I want to say to my Niece Taylor May who frequently asks the question, “Aunt Christy, what are you happy about today?” Today, I’m happy to be in the wonderful country of Kazakhstan with my beautiful Daughter, Norah Caroline Irina Abrams (Oh my God, I have a DAUGHTER!!). It seems there’s no greater joy then feeling one is in the exact right place at the exact right time; here’s to serendipity!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Hello Massachusetts!!

I just had to do a second blog today for "Auntie Pam", Uncle Dan, Alex & Andrew-I'm so glad your computer will now let you leave comments! Thank you so much for taking pictures to Grandma Shirley-we miss all of you and can't wait to bring Norah to Massachusetts! Please let Alex know that Norah loves her too-she can't wait to go to the beach and stick her toes in the sand! We love you guys! xxoo Christy


August 10, 2007


10 tiny fingers
10 tiny toes
the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen
your strong little legs
the care that you have received
the plane that brought us safely to your smile
your mouth sucking on my arm
your precious hands grasping & reaching
your Daddy…who lets me ride his coat tails so many times
family that waits at home
Aunts that love you so
Uncles that will make you laugh
Cousins that will play all day
Parents that gave us life
your Birth Mom who gave us you
Grandparents who are so excited, and more then in love with you already
all of our friends who lovingly support us
eyes that will light up and fill with tears when they see you
Daddy’s strong arms
Daddy’s laugh & sense of humor
Daddy’s warm, tight hugs
technology to reach home
the past 16 days of bliss with you each morning

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Born In My Heart

Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously
My own.
Never forget
For a single minute,
That you weren't born
Under my heart,
But in it.
~Author Unknown
All is well today August 9, 2007-so difficult to leave Norah.... our 1 & 1/2 hour of visiting time at the Baby House feels like 2 minutes. I found the above poem in one of my books-I think it's beautiful and it reminded me of a moment I had with my 3 year old Nephew not too long ago. Logan asked, "Aunt Christy, is the baby growing in your belly?" and without hesitating, I replied, "No Logan, the baby is growing in my heart." Logan gave me the biggest smile & hug and patted my heart just like one would pat a pregnant lady's belly-what a priceless moment.
Debbie, I'm thinking of you & Allyson, I can only imagine how difficult it will be for you to leave her on Saturday. Norah and I can't wait to come home and spend time with her-we'll take good care of her-she's so brave to move across the country to PA all the way from AZ.
Jim & Mikey I couldn't help but notice that Larry posted pictures of the gorgeous Russian dancers (front & back shots I might add)-we'll have to get better close up shots for you in the future-the women here are unbelievably beautiful.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

More pictures.... from PA!

Hello everyone,

I am back home in lovely PA for a few weeks. I thought I would post some pictures since it takes seconds at home and it's free vs. the 8-10 minutes per picture in the hotel at a cost! My headings are not as exciting as Christy's and I am posting these without approval so let's hope you all approve of them!

Love to everyone!

ZDRAHST-vwee-t'yeh! (Greetings)

Hi Everyone!! "Uncle Bobby" I know, I know, you want me to say "Uncle Bob", but seriously, you'll always be Uncle Bobby to me. You're right by the way, it will be such a pleasure to see Norah will all of her beautiful cousins-we really have to get together more often-time flies by so quickly. I can't wait for you to share some of your worldly wisdom and would you please infuse Norah with your amazing music ability!!

Lorilee, I'm so excited to see you & Paula on the blog-I love you guys--so glad you're checking in. I'm so happy when I'm with Norah, I can't explain it-I'm just grateful beyond measure. Can't wait for Norah to play with Olivia, Harry, Ella Joy, Hannah, Julia and Abigail!!! I hope Cindy, Lori, Melissa, Leslie and everyone received my email regarding the blog site. Lisa left us a wonderful message too-we appreciate hearing from all of you. Please keep us in your prayers our first court hearing is August 27th. Who knew what a joyous place Kostanai would be-it's such an unexpected gift, a blend of beautiful cultures, gorgeous people, exotic smells and the food is heavenly, although I must admit, I truly miss ICE!!!

Aunt Sandy-you would love all the flowers here-flowers, flowers everywhere and yes, lots of vegetables and small gardens-most people here live in apartments, but I have seen small gardens at some of the houses. This is quite a healthy place-all menus include fresh vegetables, fruits, a lot of salads -no addatives, no corn syrup-and everyone walks a lot-it's a great life style!

Just one last note for Daddy-a most important point: I found out today that Norah, your soon to be 6 month old loves, and I mean LOVES BOOKS!! I was amazed, our friends Amy and Galen had a book with them called I think 'Ears, Noes & Toes'...anyway, Norah sat through the entire book-she was transfixed!!! So, please bring some books back Daddy! I also learned more about Norah's schedule, she has 2 bottles one at 6 am and 1 at midnight. She also of course has cereal, with fresh grated fruit; bananas, pears & egg yolk. She still takes 3 naps per day. They told me she would no longer receive a bottle once she turns 8 months old.
We miss you Larry -hope you got home ok-and had a good nights sleep-we love you. xo

Monday, August 6, 2007

Villa Saint Martha Gang!

Jenn or Mikey-would you mind emailing our Blog address and attach a few pictures to my friends at Villa Saint Martha.
Thank you so much-I'm not sure if my friends will be able to enter the Blog at work-but I know they would love to see a few photos of our beautiful girl. My email still does not work-thanks for your help!!! Love, Christy

We Miss Daddy!

Larry should be in Germany by now waiting for his flight to Philly-poor guy! What a long trip. All is well here. Norah & I had a girls day together-our colds are just about gone-I hope! I told Norah that we are all so lucky to have her join our families. Her cousins are very excited to meet her and play with her! I spoke with cousin Alex yesterday and she was on her way to the beach with Grandma! Can't wait to join them! We miss you all. Love, Christy

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Uncle John! (A day late)

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Uncle John, Happy Birthday to you!! Norah’s a lucky girl to have such a wise Uncle with 7 decades under his belt! Sounds like you had a wonderful party in Norwich-wish we could have been there to celebrate with all of you.

Norah is mostly making “ah, ah, ah” sounds we haven’t heard bah, bah yet-but with her only being exposed to Russian, I’m thinking her first sounds may be a bit different. We have tested her hearing-it seems to be very good. She follows all noises, and soft voices, she is extremely alert and hyper-vigilant. She seems to enjoy standing or laying on her tummy-she doesn’t seem to like lap sitting or back laying positions for long.

Jenn, you asked about how to say you’re welcome, it’s: “N’YEH za ch’ta”. Greetings is “ZDRAHST-vweet’yeh”. I love hearing the language it has a romantic, covert spy sound to it. The Russian language has a totally different alphabet then ours-so I’m typing words phonetically for you-with help from our Russian dictionary…you know if I did it on my own we’d be off in left field! We’ll attach some pictures of food-may things are served in beautiful little ceramic pots.

Larry is getting all packed up as I type this he leaves tomorrow morning after we see Norah-we’re going to miss him. Even though we only have 1 ½ hours with Norah each day, it’s wonderful to have both of us there to be a team with her care.

I was thinking, maybe this year for Christmas, instead of exchanging presents we could all pitch in and send some things to the Orphanage in Norah’s honor. One item they would benefit from is an activity play saucer. I haven’t seen anything like that here –and it would be wonderful for the babies.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Spa-SEE-ba" Thank you for all the comments!

Thursday, August 2, 2007
Today we went to a European Micro Brewery and had our first beer in Kazakhstan-it was delicious, we also enjoyed potato pancakes, there are many potato dishes here; pierogies, dumplings, crepes, mashed potatoes on every menu-Yum O!! The food is truly amazing-next to Norah, we have more pictures of the plates of food then anything. In addition to our interpreter Olesya, we have another beautiful guide/interpreter who keeps us busy, “Nelly” she works at our hotel, but also works with us to teach us the culture-she is very warm friendly and did I mention beautiful. Today, she took us to a movie ‘Ratatouille’-the American movie although it was in Russian and yesterday we went to the Kostanai museum of history. Larry loves to have all the menus translated-he is just fascinated with how wonderful the food is. Tomorrow we go to a Shish-kabob restaurant that is a bit out of town-this will be the first time we haven’t walked-we walk every place-which is great. The weather continues to be beautiful, warm and always breezy. Mommy has a cold and unfortunately couldn’t go to the Baby House today-so it was Daddy’s day with Norah. He reports she ate very well and didn’t even laugh at Daddy when he put a scarf on his head! She is very playful and rolled all over the room. Daddy brought back great mini-movies for Mommy to show her all that went on. Every day is an adventure. We love the posts please keep them coming!!!
Spa-SEE-ba! The Abrams xoxo

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Light Of Our Life = Her Face

August 1, 2007

Rainy & warm today in Kostanai, unfortunately Norah has a little cold. She feels a bit warm with gookies coming out of her nose, but we know she is in good hands at the Baby House; they will take good care of her. It is becoming quite painful to leave her each day. We spend a 1 ½ hours just holding, rocking and playing with her-it’s blissful. She seems to really enjoy it. We’re not sure if we’re just imagining this, but today when they brought her to us, she seemed to know us & her face lit up like my 40th birthday cake!! J
FYI: Larry leaves Sunday and will arrive home Monday night in Philadelphia. He’ll be home for 2 ½ weeks then back to Kostanai!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Another Wonderful Day In Kazakhstan!

Monday, July 30, 2007
Hope all is well at home. Today we had a delicious lunch of beef dumplings with onions and beef stew with mushroom, potatoes and onions-“Delish”! Most importantly, we spent the day outside with our beautiful girl. Norah was born on February 18, 2007-so she is 5 months and 12 days old. Her full name is Norah Caroline Irina Abrams. Irina is pronounced “Erina” with a rolling r. We’ve been calling her Norah-Erina or Norah-Erika which is her nick name at the baby house.

FYI: Our trip has been extended to approximately September 24th, after that we can most likely return to the US for 5 weeks then will return to bring our girl home. Larry is debating to come home at the end of this week to put in a few weeks of work. He must return by the 27th of August-for our first court hearing. I feel bad that he’ll be making 3 round trips. It’s so expensive and exhausting-but we’re not sure what else to do. I’ll be staying here; our neighbors will still be here with me so I will not be alone.
We love everyone’s postings & calls “Spa-SEE-ba” this means Thank you in Russian. Love, Christy, Larry & Norah

Sunday, July 29, 2007

What's Going On In Kostanai

Sunday, July 29, 2007
11:55 am (Kazakhstan) & 1:50 am (East Coast)

Greetings from hotel Medeu: / phone # 0117-3142-545-845 / room # 206. We thought it would be fun to share what a typical day in Kostanai is like for us: First of all, the days have been flying by; we are so busy taking care of our primary needs, walking to market to pick up water & supplies. We can only buy a few things at a time because we have to carry everything. We wake up each morning at 6:30 am, shower & get ready to have breakfast at 7:30 am at the hotel. We usually drink a liter of water “water with out gas” which is your typical American bottled water-they also have, “water with gas” which is sparkling water. (No Diet Pepsi & No Ice for Christy). Larry on the other hand loves the coffee and tea is very popular served with honey, milk, lemon, condensed milk or even jam. For breakfast (everything is homemade), we usually have bread with jam, eggs with chicken and potatoes, and Larry’s favorite “Ellada” a breakfast salad with sheep’s milk cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, Bulgarian pepper, fresh pickles and flour oil. Our driver “Andre” picks us up for 1000 Tenge round trip and we go to the Baby House every morning from 9:30 -11:00 am. (It’s the best part of our day!!).
When we come back in the afternoon, we usually have our main mid-day meal. Fortunately for us, our neighbors (who are from Harrisburg, PA) come with us and they have been studying Russian for over a year-which really helps because most of the menus are in full Russian. Amy and Galen know many of the great restaurants and sights to see so we have been having an amazing time. We have really fallen in love with the culture. The town square is beautiful, children and families are out and about –everyone walks all over here. It’s daylight from about 4:30 am until 11:00 pm this time of year and we love all the sunlight!!! Christy’s favorite thing is the Hot Chocolate with whipped cream-it’s like homemade, warm chocolate pudding in a cup-delicious! We think Rachel Ray should come here to do her $ 40.00 a day in Kostania. The food is really good-foreign but truly good! Since the fall of the Soviet Union, and especially during the past 5 years, small Russian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Kazak cafes have been popping up all over. We actually even found pizza-a thin crust-it was very good. The people seem interested in us; they are friendly and want to try a word of English or two. We are doing the best we can to learn some Russian-we want to continue to use some Russian words with Norah when she comes home. At the Baby House, her caregivers call her “Irina or Irrika”. Yesterday we went to an enormous outdoor market-it seemed to go on for miles! The locals have little huts with everything; kitchen sinks, household items, clothing, and food, you name it! Larry says it’s like their version of home depot, Wal-Mart and a super market all rolled into one. We are looking forward to going bowling, and to a Russian movie. We had our 4th precious day with Norah-she has a little bit of a cold and fell asleep on Daddy. She is beautiful! We’re so in love. Talk to you all soon. Love Christy, Larry & Norah xo

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Many Thanks From Kostanai!

Saturday, July 28th
Thank you for all of the wonderful postings!!! It makes Larry and I feel like you’re all sharing this experience with us. We were both in tears to read what everyone is thinking. Please keep the posts coming-we love and appreciate it!

Ann, Tony & Sarah, our hearts go out to you, we’re so sorry for the loss of your sister Sharon. Larry and I are thinking of you and will keep you all in our prayers. It’s true what you say, it seems we’ve had many angels with us on this journey.

Mom & Dad-Happy 45th Wedding Anniversary, we miss you & love you and wish we could be there to celebrate with you-we sent out your card from the states and hope you’ve received it.

We’re thinking of you Debbie & Jim-as we know Brittany & Allyson are driving across the country-our brave girls! We can’t wait to see Allyson once we come home. Safe trip to all-please keep us posted.

Logan Man, we’re so happy that you approve of the name Norah! Taylor May, I hope you’ll save Norah one of your tiny little strawberries-your cousin is the best little snuggler-just wait until she snuggles with you! I wanted to tell you, they have no chocolate chip cookies or brownies in Kazakhstan can you imagine?! J

Today was our 3rd day with Norah she has truly captured our hearts. Yesterday when we were pushing her in a baby carriage (no 5 point safety harnesses’ here-Mikey!)…anyway, we passed a young toddler group of about a dozen children maybe 18 months-2 years old. They are so adorable I can barely stand to look at their little faces. They all waved frantically at Larry and me. I want to bring them all home. If anyone is entertaining the thought of adopting-we can not begin to explain what a wonderful baby house they have here in Kostanai. It’s an amazing place.

People here stair at me a lot-I guess I look very foreign, I don’t wear high heels and beautiful, form fitting dresses and I obviously don’t have a Russian dancer’s body-the women here are absolutely gorgeous!

Larry can’t get enough of the “Groc” –the local supper market. He asked me to take a picture for Jim & Mikey of the millions of kinds of beer they have here-I almost lost my camera!!! A Russian woman came over to me and I got in big trouble!! I almost started crying and said “I’m sorry” in English over and over. Its funny now, but it just goes to show you we need to be very mindful and respectful of this culture and it sure is a learning process!!! Another example is people do not point with there index finger here like Americans. To them, it’s very rude. It’s a whole new world. Larry wants me to add there beer and liquor are sold everywhere! (We were told they didn’t drink much here??) I believe the drinking age is 17 or 18. Everyone drinks everyplace-on the side walks and park benches-we’re going to give it a try just for the fun of it!
We’ll type more soon.
Love, Larry, Christy & Norah

Friday, July 27, 2007

Pure Joy!

07/27/2007 10:20 pm
We met Norah this morning, she is 5 months old her birthday is February 18, 2007, what a mighty little thing, strong, alert, rolling all over the place, grasping tight, she has a smile that will melt your heart. We can’t wait for you all to meet her.

We have been traveling since July 23rd, leaving Philadelphia at 5:40 pm, we arrived roughly 7 hours later in Frankfurt, Germany for a sleepless 5 hour lay over, and then, it was off to Almaty, Kazakhstan. We arrived in Almaty sometime around midnight, and felt like we were on another planet. We made our way around this foreign city, attempting to navigate menus in Russian and slept in tiny twin beds that came about 6 inches of the floor. Jet lag was definitely kicking in as we left on a small scooter plane for another 5 hour trip to Kostania, Kazakhstan (destination Norah). We arrived after 10:00 pm and were delighted to find it was still day light!!! Kostanai is a beautiful, small city with the population of about 210,000; weather is enjoyable, warm & breezy. The people are extremely diverse and absolutely gorgeous. We have never seen so many high heeled women, high fashion is the norm. Our interpreter, guide and coordinator, Olesya Dunayeva is a stunning blond haired, blue eyed Russian.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to call home, our calling card is not working and our cell phones are not functioning. There is a lovely couple right across the hall of our AWESOME hotel. Amy & Galen are from Mechanicsburg, PA and are adopting two toddlers. They have been a God send-their Russian is quite good and they have been kind enough to take us under their wing. Thank God they will be here another month. Please know that we are safe and will journal on our BLOG as often as possible. Hopefully, we’ll figure out how to call very soon. We miss you all!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Eve Of The Departure

We leave tomorrow, July 23rd-incredible, we meet our little girl the day after next!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Adventure of Our Life

We look at each other in amazment, how can this be true? We leave in 3 days to meet the love of our life! Destination Kostania, Kazakhstan here we come.