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Copyright Our Kazakh Angel 2005
July 6th 2005 Yes Still Here!

Today we had our long awaited appointment with the US Embassy. We received Gianna’s entrance visa to the U.S. and they sealed her medical records, We technically are now “couriers” for the Untied States of America. These documents must be presented at the first point of entry to the U.S. (that would be O’Hare) we can’t wait. I also had my actual hand on her passport but it was still lacking the Ministry of Education stamp. I decided to just let the coordinator send the passport to Astana for the stamp, as there were no open seats to Astana for me to follow it through it’s course and we were assured this would get completed fast. (I hope I am not kicking myself later)

We met up with a mother from Maine; she left behind 6 little boys at home and a couple of days ago, her husband had to return home. She adopted a beautiful Russian… yes, baby girl. We plan on having lunch with her tomorrow and another American family staying at her Hotel. At least we find we are not alone with trying to get home, they have been here as long as we have. Even though they were from a different region, everything moves slowly.
The U.S. Embassy. I thought it would have gates, guards and be a large complex. It turns out it is leased space in a commercial building but it did have extensive security.
More hotel balcony views
Tonight we did a little driving around by Taxi to get out and see some of the city. We are trying to take in as much as we could so when Gianna grows up and asks questions we would have some answers for her. What we have learned is that Kazakh people are typically good family people. We had problems being in the small town of Arkalyk with some people feeling we were taking their future kids away. Here in Almaty, a large city, we have only experienced kind opinions on adoptions and as far as a “God Bless Us” from a Kazakh waitress in the hotel. We eat breakfast in the same restaurant every morning and there are the same 4-5 waitresses, mostly all Kazakh too. They all love her and she knows it! She prances around as if she is the Kazakh princess through the lobby, halls, pool etc. This is more of a hotel for corporate people so there are not many children here. She takes full advantage of it!

I have to say we feel very safe traveling around Almaty and we have come across some helpful English speaking people, of course in the Hotel it’s all English. We could easily feel (for only for a moment) that we were at home. I have been very surprised that from what we have seen, the Russian and Kazakh people really live side by side without many of the difficulties you might expect when two nationalities are so closely entwined throughout the city.
A Look back at the Arkalyk bunch
That Was Then...
This Is Now...
As far as our travel plans... These are still up in the air until we get her actual passport in our hands, we can do nothing. We are hoping for a departure date of July 10, 2005 Please keep you fingers crossed!
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I originally had a picture of the Embassy here but, in hind-sight, for security reasons, I felt it was not appropriate to show the building.
Just remember this face... That's all I'm sayin...