We have our Ava again, and it is wonderful. We got to Almaty at around 4:20 AM (flight from Frankfurt was delayed 4 hours), met Lola, got to our apartment around 5:30 AM, showered, and then tried to rest a bit. At about 8:20, we met the car downstairs, and sitting in the back seat was our Ava nicely bundled in her snowsuit. Amber quickly grabbed her, and it was just a wonderful moment that we’ve waited so long for. We gave her hugs and kisses and she was all smiles. It did seem like she remembered us – almost that she was surprised to see us!
We then went to the doctor’s office. They took her weight and height, a blood test for HIV, and then a general exam. The only problem is that she has a little head cold right now, so we’re going to try to help her feel as good as we can before the flight home. The pediatrician who brought her down on the train said she was perfect the whole way, staying quiet and very content for the 10 hour train ride. Hopefully she likes flying too. She’s been a lot more talkative so far than she was on our first trip, but other than that and being a little longer; she’s very much the same little girl we left – sweet, smart, and easy going. She still has only the one tooth, though it’s much more pronounced.
The apartment is pretty nice, though not exactly baby friendly. We have no crib, and there are a lot of low things for her to go for. The toilet is in its own room as is the shower with the only sink being in the kitchen, which is inconvenient to say the least. The décor again is a bit odd, just haphazard like Karaganda. The grocery store is a block and a half away, but it’s a long block, past their “White House” and uphill. Almaty has some really good architecture, and the drivers set a new standard for barely controlled lunacy.
Tomorrow at 3 we go to the US Embassy to finalize her US papers and get the US visa for her Kazakh passport. From what we’ve been told it’s a straightforward process, but it is all needed to get her to leave the country. She’s our child officially to Kazakhstan, now the US has to agree. According to our plan, after that Friday & Saturday will be leisurely days getting to know our baby and her getting to know us, then a long trip home with our Ava.
Internet access so far has been a little problematic, so I’m not sure how many updates we will have this trip, but here are a few new pictures: