We Are Back In The States!!!!!!!!

7/28/2007 01:15:00 PM Edit This 6 Comments »

Yes, it's true. We made it back to the states and almost home. Since my sister Angie is 8 months pregnant and can no longer travel, she & her family and my other sister Lynn and her 7 year old daughter Brooke all meet us at the Houston airport so they could meet Lexie and welcome us home. We are staying for a few days and should be in Port Orchard some time next week. Unfortunately, Lexie & I brought some extra little friends back that we didn't know about and so we spread the love. Yes, we have scabies. It's pretty common for children in orphanages to get them and since I've been scratching almost since I got there, I thought I might have them but the doc at the Medical Center in Almaty said that we didn't and travel was no problem. Well he was wrong!! Now Angie, Jim, 8 year old Cody, 7 year old Brooke, 6 year old Mackenzie, Lynn, Mom, Lexie and I have all just done the treatment last night. The International Adoption Physician I took Lexie to said we should no longer be contagious after the first treatment but to do one more a week later to be sure since I have one of the worst cases she has seen (lucky me.) But Angie's OBGYN said we could be contagious for a week or more so her suggestion to Angie was to kick us out and for us to go to a hotel. A little extreme but Angie can't take the stronger medication to get rid of them. There is no danger to her or the baby she'd just be itching without relief until the baby is born. So anyway, of course we stayed but after doing the treatment we have now scrubbed the house, cleaned the carpets and the cars are being detailed. Everyone in Port Orchard is actually luck we took this little detour. We'll find out on Monday if the treatment worked for Lexie and I or if we have to wait until next Friday to do another treatment since you can only do it once a week. The itching isn't as intense so I'm hoping all those little critter are dead now. Our homecoming was more eventful then we'd hope but it's GREAT to be back in the land of clean water, good food and English.

Lexie was just great on the planes. Our first flight left at 3am so we were at the airport at midnight which meant she was up most of the night. We luckily got the bulkhead with the bassinet and once she did fall asleep I could put her down and save my shoulder. The first flight was a little over 7 hours and then we had a 3 hour layover in Frankfurt but with bathroom breaks and saying goodbye to Rosa and Irene then having to go through security again where we had to meet US standards which meant we had to throw away a couple hundred dollars worth of products since we were told they wouldn't be checking again and in KZ you don't have any liquid size restrictions for your carry on. I thought Mom was going to cry when they started throwing her face cream and moisturizer away. Anyway, the second flight was 11 hours long and we were in the 4th to the last seats in a very full plane. We had a great flight attendant that talked two men in the last row who had one of the few free seats left on the plane between them into switching with us, so Lexie had her own seat. It made the long flight so much better. In the 24 hours it took us to get to the states she only sleep about 6 hours but she was so good the rest of the time. Even the people in front of us were saying how good she was. She was so cute when she'd flirt with all the people that went by. Of course we were all exhausted when we landed and between customs and having to go to the "special room" where Lexie was officially declared an American citizen (yeah whoooo) and then retrieving our luggage it was 2 hours from when we landed until we found Angie, Lynn & the kids waiting for us. Alexis had them all in the palm of her hand in a matter of seconds since she put on her biggest smile and hugged them all. They took us to lunch which was wonderfully eatable but Mom and I could barely eat since we were almost asleep in our plates. After an amazing clean, warm shower we napped for a few hours and then they had a belated 1st Birthday Party/Shower for Lexie. As usual, my family went overboard and I truly love them for it. She got lots of toys and useful equipment and cute outfits. My brother-in-law Jim made sure we got lots of big loud toys to pay me back for all the big loud toys I have gotten their kids over the years. He's warned me there were more to come. Bring them on.

Then we went swimming the next day in their pool and Lexie is a total fish. She loved her bath but she really LOVES being in the pool. She isn't afraid of anything, even being splashed by the kids and she puts her face under the water and comes up laughing. Of course, Mommy doesn't think it's funny but we had a great time. So we are resting up, de-bugging and should be home in Port Orchard some time next week. It's up to the doc to let us know if it will be Wed or next Sunday but I'm SURE none of you back home want to experience Scabies first hand. I'll be happy to share my experience with you if you are curious. As soon as we get the okay we'll be seeing everyone in Washington soon. Once I get home and have some time, I'll add a post to fill in the blanks between when she left the baby house and we we left for home. Did I mention that I had Lexie's portrait drawn by a street artist and oh yeah I rode a camel. Look at those feet!!! Just a little teaser for what we did in Almaty.

Thanks for all your support and interest. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be back with Alexis in my arms.

Holding Pattern in Almaty

7/16/2007 05:51:00 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
Sorry I'm not keeping up with the blog but without internet in the room or even at the hotel it's really hard to find the time to get here. Then once I'm at the internet cafe Alexis and Mom don't find it very entertaining to watch me type. The quick version of our status is that the Kazakh Passport is hung up in Astana because they no longer accept the Power of Attorney I was told to sign, notorize and Apostille in the state. They wanted one from here so Flora had one drawn up today, I signed it several times and so did Zina for some reason I don't understand. Then they rushed it to the airport so that it could be flown to Astana. Hopefully it will meet up with Alexis' Kazakh passport tomorrow, get registared - whatever that is - and then flown back her on Wed. The bottom line is we are still in a holding pattern until it get's back here.

Lexie is just such a good baby I feel blessed with any time I get to spend with her even if it is in a cramped little hotel room or driving around in a hot little car with Mom, Lexie, Rosa, Irene & myself stuffed in the back seat or walking the streets of Almaty looking for some great local treasures that I can give to Lexie on each of her birthdays. I have done fairly well with that project. I have 13 of the 18 gifts I want for her birthdays which I plan to give her so she can have something from her birth country each year. Of course I will also be bringing home at least one more suitcase. Hey that can be for her 18th birthday when she's going off to college. I'll just get a KZ bumper sticker and slap it on it. Now I only need 4 more gifts. See life is good in Kazakhstan.

I'm getting the evil eye from Mom so it's time to wrap it up. I hope everyone is doing well and I'll try to bring my flash drive with more pictures next time.

Writing for We Are Safely in Almaty

7/13/2007 04:26:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
I wrote for 2 hours as those pictures down loaded and it all went away when I went to post it. I think I made the guy typing next to me very uncomfortable when I started crying on the keyboard. I am so sorry I haven't been able to post anything this last week but I've found full time motherhood to be rather time consuming plus things have been a little crazy.In a nutshell, we are in a hotel (it's the second to last picture with the orange sign)in Almaty and Lexie is just great and gets greater every day if that's possible. I know I've said it before but I am so lucky to have her in my life and I can't wait to get her back home so everyone can meet here.

I'll fill you in on the details later as I have to get back to the hotel where I left Lexie and Mom napping. We aren't any further in the paperwork process to get us out of here than we were a week ago when I got her new birth certificate. I am meeting with Flora tonight at 7pm to find out what is happening and what went wrong. But it looks like another couple of weeks. We are so frustrated but at least there is more to do here. I promise to fill you in soon and explain those pictures.

We Are Safely in Almaty

7/13/2007 02:00:00 AM Edit This 0 Comments »

Quick Update

7/11/2007 01:13:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
This is Angie (Lou Ann's sister) and Jim with a quick update. Lou Ann and H.R. made it to Almaty Tuesday afternoon. The hotel is nice, it has very small rooms, but it does have air conditioning which they are very happy about. The hotel has many restaurants nearby as well. Alexis is doing great and besides having a little trouble napping with all the excitement she seems to be having a ball with her Mom and Grandma. Lou Ann has not been able to get to an internet site yet, but has heard of one four blocks away that she may use soon. They are working on getting all the documentation from Kazakhstan and then they can start on the U.S. side of things. That is all for now and hopefully Lou Ann will be able to update the blog soon.

Independence Day for Lexie!!!

7/05/2007 02:38:00 AM Edit This 7 Comments »

At 4:04pm on July 4th 2007 Alexis Falen Quast left the Baby House as my daughter, so I’ve ordered fireworks all over America to celebrate. We are now officially a family and I’m officially her mom. What a great feeling!!! Of course, the day didn’t go as planned but it ended great with Lexie sleeping her first night with her Mommy. It may take us a while to get back home but no one can take her away now and that makes everything else just great. So Happy Fourth of July to everyone and when you see those fireworks just remember I ordered them for Lexie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!