Bonding was excellent today. During the morning session, we were observed by the orphanage director and we expect to be observed 3 times this week by the Minister of Education. At the end of the week, we will be trained for our speech for court. We will meet with the interpreter and coordinator a couple of days later to practice our speech and then they will let us know if we are ready! Today, I finished my 8th day of bonding and I have 7 more to go. When this is finished, I wait 3 -4 days for my court date with the judge here in Semey. The judge here has been granting immediate custody ... so I could have Noah with me in the apartment full time ten days from now and be officially his mother. After this, there is about a week to week and a half wait for papers to be readied. This includes Noah's passport, adoption certificate, and new birth certificate. Once ready, I am cleared to travel back to Almaty where I will stay for 4 - 5 days. Here, I will meet with an American doctor to have Noah evaluated and tested for HIV (again). I will also have an appointment at the American Embassy. Once cleared by the Embassy, Noah and I can fly back to Atlanta, Georgia!!!
It was so wonderful to share with Crystal her first full day in Kazakhstan! After the day was over, Larissa, the interpreter, said that Crystal had added sunshine to the day!! Sam, the driver in Almaty, loooooooves Crystal. Pasha, the driver in Semey, wanted to take Crystal home with him! Noah giggled and smiled for her! Crystal is going to definitely leave her mark on Semey, Kazakhstan!
Ater the first bonding session, Crystal told me she needed to use the restroom. I said, "Just wait until we get to the restaurant for lunch." Well ... we drove 30 minutes out to the country to Pasha's favorite hole in the wall. Here they serve ONLY pork shish-ke-bobs, grilled onions, and bread! Well ... when we got there, Crystal asked Larissa, "Where is the restroom?" Larissa said, "Outside." All they had was an outhouse! Ha! OH, I just had to follow Crystal out there and get a picture! PRICELESS! They cooked the shish-ke-bobs outside on this little grill amidst about 4 stray, scraggly, dogs that were just hoping upon hope for a bite.
After the afternoon bonding session, Larissa took us bowling. Semey did not know about bowling until 6 years ago ... so they are very proud of this bowling alley. We had a super relaxing time as we played. Who won? Crystal, of course! We had a couple of beers there and laughed and laughed. Then we went to have pizza at a Korean restaurant ... yeah, I know ... very strange. The pizza was very good ... and again ... we laughed and laughed.
It was such a good day!