Our second night was a little bit more eventful. Ava woke up around 1 AM, and we gave her a bottle according to the schedule that she was on at the orphanage. Unfortunately, she didn’t want to go back to sleep once it was done. Instead, she wanted to play! Needless to say, we didn’t. It took about an hour to get her back to sleep. After that, she slept pretty good until about 6 AM, but Amber & I didn’t. Ava is showing us more and more of her personality too. Her cold has her a little grumpy at times, but she’ll go straight from crying over having her nose wiped to giggling and rolling her tongue in the same breath. She doesn’t seem to cry unless she’s really upset. Her appetite isn’t what we hoped either, but we think it’s probably just the cold.
We were able to take a little tour in Almaty today as well. We’ve discovered that while Ava doesn’t like being put in her snowsuit, she is tranquilized by it once it’s on. She got lots of smiles from people on the street today too. We went up into the mountains, which are quite beautiful and remind me of the Rockies, the way they start from nowhere and go straight up. There was an ice skating rink where speed skaters were practicing too. The 2008 Asian Olympics will be in Almaty, so that’s my guess as to the training. We went to the Park of the 28 Heroes, which had some massive statues of the aforementioned 28 heroes (stopped a tank on their own), and other war heroes from various battles. Statues are everywhere in Kazakhstan! We visited a 100 year old church and did some shopping as well. But in a city this size (1.75 million people), I’m sure there was a lot we didn’t see.
I wanted to add a little bit more about the Embassy. It was actually a very simple process. We filled out one more form once we got there, handed it in, paid for Ava’s visa, and then waited to be called. Once we were called, we talked to Jeff, and it took less than 10 minutes. He told us our paperwork looked good and was very friendly. He then handed us one packet that has all of the Kazakh documents relating to her adoption in Russian and English. Included in this are her medical history, original birth certificate, new birth certificate, adoption papers, and even the hand written letter written by her birth mother relinquishing her. It was odd looking at that form in particular. He also gave us a sealed packet to give to customs in the US when we first land at our port of entry. I think the only question we got was ‘how are you doing?’! Lola told us that though it’s easy for us, they are very picky about the paperwork that is supplied to them, so I guess the pre-work is very involved for our coordinators over here. Of course, there’s still more paperwork when we get home, but the fact that we can get home with our baby is fantastic.