Thursday and Friday, July 27 and 28, 2006


We’re done!!!  It’s official and Jonathan is ours!!  


Yesterday (Thursday) we had our final hoop to jump through; The US Embassy visit.  We had no idea what to expect but weren’t too worried.  Our driver picked us up about 2:15 and we drove to the Embassy. 


I found it interesting that there are no signs saying it was the Embassy (I guess that isn’t that unusual) we had to park across the street and we couldn’t take any pictures.  We got there and had to go through security and be escorted to the interview area.  We weren’t allowed to take any bags with us and had to have a special numbered sticker on our clothing.   Once we got to the room, we just waited to pay for Jonathan’s visa and then be called by the Embassy Consulate officer. 


The gentleman was an American and was very kind to us.  He was happy to see our family together and proceeded to review a few documents with us.  The first was that we promise to have Jonathan vaccinated with any remaining vaccinations that he should have had up to this point.  The other two are a blur but we signed them just the same.  We had carried a special packet that MAPS had prepared for us of documents we might possibly need but he didn’t ask for any of that.  He made it very easy on us.  He was concerned with our experience and asked us a couple of times if we had any problems or needed to communicate anything with them about the process.  We did not have anything to complain about and wouldn’t have if we did. 


He then explained what would occur once we stepped on US soil and that immediately Jonathan would be a US Citizen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He will however maintain dual citizenship with Kazakhstan and will one day need to declare.  The gentleman reminded us of our annual post placement reports and also warned us that if we wanted to visit the country to do so before Jonathan was 18 or after he surrendered his Kaz citizenship.  The reason, we were told is that if he came back at age 18 and was still a Kazakhstan citizen, he would be forced to serve two years in the Kazakhstan military.  Note to self!!!!


He congratulated us and Oleg (our Almaty coordinator) congratulated us and that was it.  Now the only thing we had to do was stay occupied until Sunday when we leave for home.  We are very anxious to get home.  Four people in one hotel room is getting a bit cozy.   Rachael has explored every nook and cranny and there isn’t any place left to look.



We did find the Ramstore which also had a mall of sorts attached to it so we did a little browsing.  We loaded up on some food we could eat in the room and were on our way.  We did stop long enough to enjoy some ice cream at Baskin Robbins.  Bryan fed Jonathan some sherbet which he LOVED however, it didn’t take long before he was crying and fussy and ultimately spit up on me.  He waited to spit up until we got into the very large, very warm cultural museum but once that happened, he was a happy camper.  I guess ice cream is not in his future for awhile. 

Today (Friday) we didn’t have much on our agenda.  Our big goal was to try to feed Jonathan and get him to nap on a structured schedule although I’m not sure why since it will all be thrown off as soon as we board that plane.  It’s a plan anyway. 


We all woke very early again and just played in the room until it seemed reasonable to go swimming.  Jonathan loved the water this time so the four of us had a good time and stayed cool for an hour or so.  As nice as this hotel is, it is very hard for the cooling system in the hotel to keep up so the rooms get a bit warm and the cool water of the pool feels really nice. 


We got an email from a fellow adoptive parent with a restaurant suggestion so we decided we were going to follow up on that for lunch.  It was called the Line Brew and Rachael was able to find some chicken that she liked which was helpful.  That was the big event for the day and we headed back to try to get the J-man to nap.  Thank goodness for the Monk Season 4 we brought along with us.  Well, one more day and we are out of here.  Can’t wait to see our family and friends and be in our own home. 


Love to all!


Bryan, Maggie, Rachael and Jonathan



Bryan said "You would cry too if you had to wear this hat!" 



The eyes get us every time.  He isn't short on saliva either. 



The Cultural Museum in Almaty.



Rachael and Jonathan at the Line Brew Restaraunt.



As close as we will come to the Eiffel Tower for awhile.  This was a perfume/makeup department store. 







Aahhhh!  Baskin Robbins.......