May 2nd

14th and final day of bonding!

Ok we are officially done with our 14 mandatory days of bonding. We were praying so hard for a court date to be this Friday and we could have surprised the kids and been home on Monday the 7th. That did not happen. We do have court on Monday and we are just grateful that’s it’s been set. So we will be home on Thursday though unfortunately, not with Almira. If all goes well she should be home about the second week of June. Habiba worked hard today to find any contact for Almira’s mother in her small village and she couldn’t come up with anything. She will try to go to the village tomorrow but she doubts she will ever be found. We think that’s going to be enough for the judge.

Happy days for the other American family out here, they got custody today for their new son. The mom will be staying out here until June like we did for Gianna. They had a little party at the orphanage today for Tuma’s leaving. When we got there, Habiba told us Almira has already picked up her Poppa’s strong will when they took away some of the party candy and toys she said boisterously “just give them to my momma to hold.” We spent our visit with her and an old friend of her and Gianna’s that was adopted by a caregiver. We have it on video tape; they were so crazy together laughing, running and arguing. It was so funny we never laughed so hard here before (we needed that). While they were going at it, we heard them say the name “Aidanna” we have no clue if it was our Aidanna but wouldn’t that be neat if old friends were just reminiscing.

We were very surprised that Almira completely understood that Tuma left with his family and wasn’t coming back. She kept pointing straight up when she said Tuma left for home. Habiba told us not to worry about leaving her, that’s she’s smart and will understand that’s how it has to be. She has seen it happen a dozen times before and knows the parents always come back. She joked that after we leave now, she will have to handle Almira likes she handles Bill, she said Almira will probably ask to use a phone everyday to see how her “papers” are going and to hurry up! Bill joked that he hid some “Tenges” (Kaz money) under her mattress to make any pay-offs if necessary!
About 60,000 Tenge... We're rich huh? (Only about $500.00 U.S.)
Saturday is Almira’s 4th birthday. We have been planning a party at the baby House but Habiba suggested we may have it at her mother in laws house, BBQ and all. We were a little afraid of confusing her because she has never stepped foot off of the baby house grounds. We feel it’ll be fine because she’s knows its Habiba’s house and not ours. So now we are really looking forward to this. I think they wouldn’t mind if we buy her a new party dress for the day either.

Albina hasn’t had time to meet with us so we could hand out the donations including the ones from the families at St. Theresa’s. It will be very soon and big thanks again to everyone that helped out these precious kids. We also have had dear friends and family donate money too. So far, Albina is letting us buy some fruit and yogurt, but Bill would like to convince them to include ice cream and more fun stuff but there’re pretty strict. Bill actually asked if he could take the whole group of kids (20) out on a field trip to the May Day celebration. I think they are still laughing about it two days later!
The official signing of the "days" is complete.
It was COLD....
and WINDY today...
The most IMPORTANT part of this page is...
Mr. Baseball
Last minute pointers from Gianna

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