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October 27, 2006

Will this trip never end??

I have to say, as much as we loved our time in Kokshetau, this part of the trip
has seriously been a pain in the tail.  We’re not officially tied down in our
apartment, but since we know absolutely nothing about Almaty and don’t have an
available driver to take us anywhere other than our various appointments, we’re
kind of stuck.  Still, we do have our own version of entertainment going on
here.  Ryn woke up first this morning, and she and I had just a little Mommy/Ryn
time before Maggie woke up.  She is so beautiful!  And she’s so loving –
especially first thing in the morning.  She wakes up smiling and loves just a
little bit of cuddle time before we make our way to the kitchen for a little
morning juice.  Here are a few pictures of my little Ryn first thing in the

Maggie seems to wake up a little more like Mommy.  We’re not necessarily the
most cheerful folks first thing in the morning, and morning people really get on
our nerves.  I wish I could’ve gotten a picture of the look on Maggie’s face
when Ryn started trying to share her juice with her this morning.  Easy
girl…back slowly away from the sleeping bear…  Still, once she was awake and had
some juice, fruit and yogurt in her, she was just fine.  Here are a couple of
pictures of the girls at breakfast.  Aren't they too cute?  Or am I maybe just a
little bit prejudiced?  No, of course that's not it.

Today we had to go back to meet with the lawyers briefly (of course, right in
the middle of nap time – there’s no other possible meeting time!), though I’m
not completely clear on what we accomplished by that appointment.  It was a
“group” meeting, which included me, Dave, Maggie and Ryn as well as the whole
Larsen family.  I couldn’t tell you a thing that happened in the meeting other
than somebody yelled at me for trying to figure out whether to pay the driver in
dollars or tenge.  I’m still not clear about that, but I guess somebody will
tell me when he’s ready to be paid.

After the meeting with the lawyer, we went to the U.S. Embassy to get the
official citizenship package for the girls.  After all the build-up, that was
the easiest and most pleasant meeting we’ve had yet!  The embassy guy’s name was
Jeff and he was very patient and understanding and mostly seemed amused by the
sight of the two of us trying to wrangle a pair of very tired and wiggly girls. 
He handed me the package, warned me that I had to get new immunizations for the
girls within the first 30 days home and wished us well.  All done in under 10
minutes.  If I could’ve gotten across that desk I think I would have hugged him!

So, our last hurdle in Kazakhstan is done – and tomorrow we’ll be on our way
home.  Look out Georgia… the Hunter girls are on their way!