Thursday, January 25, 2007

Scrambled Schedules - post-blogged

Today was a little stirred up because 2 other American families were coming into Uralsk this morning. We received a call around 9:00 this morning from the Kazakh Telecom company ( telling us that our balance on our internet account was higher than normal and were we aware of that. No, we weren't aware of that and were under the understanding that we might expect to have to pay about $50 at the most for our time here on the internet. Yikes!

We made a note to be sure to mention this to Aliya at our morning visit so we can get them to check on this and understand what's going on. (We don't know if the balance is from just us or combined with the families that were ahead of us because we've only been here for 2 weeks.) Regardless, we're going to pass this issue to Aliya and Olga to figure out... until then we're stopping internet usage from the apartment and in the meantime, will try to go to an internet cafe once every day or 2 to keep up with home.

Around 9:30am we got a call from Aliya saying that she was going to be unable to be at the morning visit but that her sister, Asia, was going to fill in for her again. The American families still hadn't come in yet and their flight was delayed because of the fog this morning. Apparently their flight had been circling the airport for almost an hour and a half and had been diverted to the airport in Aktobe (I think). Aliya and Misha were needed to help bring them home.

After our morning visit we called Aliya to ask about the internet charges and to ask her to touch base with Olga to find out what was going on. Aliya was sitting at home and waiting for a call to head to the airport. She was still waiting for the families to fly from Aktobe to Uralsk and didn't know when that would be.

We received another call from Aliya around 1pm and she mentioned the other families were finally on their way in. They would be getting into their apartment across the hall from us hopefully before 2pm. When Aliya and the families came in, she came over to introduce us. Across the hall from us are Bo and Deb Bloomer and their 6-year old son, Vlad, (he was adopted from Kokshetau, Kaz. about 4 years ago) and also Bo's dad, Ted. The other family is a single mom named Jean and her mom, Madilyn. They are staying at the Pushkin Hotel about 10 minutes away from us. They were definitely tired from their long trip and I would imagine they were pretty hungry too. They had been in an unfamiliar airport for several hours with very few people that spoke English and probably no vending machines. Aliya also let us know that Misha would be late coming to get us and that she would not be going with us this afternoon.

Misha showed up shortly before 2:30 and took us to the babyhouse for our regular afternoon visit. He came in with us to let someone know we were there and in a few minutes, Nadia/Emily was brought into the PT room to us. She was in a pretty mellow mood this afternoon and was content to just sit and lay and watch Tom and I and her toys. Usually she gets a little cranky toward the end of our visits but she was content today. I think she's fighting a cold again as she's been somewhat congested lately and seems pretty tired during our visits. Afterwards, Misha brought us back to the apartment where we settled in for the night.

We found out earlier this morning that our pre-court meeting is tomorrow at 2pm but we still haven't heard many of the details. I thought we would get a call this afternoon from Aliya to set up a meeting for tonight or that we would discuss the details during our morning visit. Nope, I was wrong... Aliya and Olga and Misha showed up at the apartment shortly after we had finished supper. Tom had just changed into PJs and was checking to make sure his court clothes didn't need ironed for tomorrow and had to run in to change back into regular clothes when the knock came on the door. Misha had come to check out the details on the internet account and to see if he could figure it out... apparently they allow a maximum amount of uploads/downloads per month and once that's exceeded the rate goes way up. It would have been nice to know those kinds of details up front. I don't know if we can negotiate our way through this one or not but Tom is not a happy camper right now. ;-) Tom and I made the decision later in the night that we will not access the internet from our apartment until this is resolved.

After that, Olga and Aliya switched into business mode and we discussed what would happen tomorrow at pre-court and what kinds of questions we should be prepared to answer. She ran through the list of potential questions the judge might ask and said that the meeting would last about 15 minutes at the most. It sounds as if Tom will do most if not all of the talking. Then, Olga shared the details that she knew about Nadia's mother. For Nadia/Emily's privacy we will not post all the details here but will say that she had a normal, but premature delivery and her mother had pneumonia at delivery. Nadia/Emily did very well with treatments and although she struggled with her health for the first couple of months she began making steady improvements and gains in her development.

During the review of pre-court details I had been handwriting notes on what the questions would be, but when Olga started sharing the details about Nadia/Emily's background I pulled out my laptop and started typing because I didn't want to miss a thing. I was able to type verbatim what Olga & Aliya shared with us because it takes them a little longer to translate and speak... they were both amazed to see anyone type using all 10 fingers and to do it without having to look at the screen. I'm not sure they had ever seen this done before and Olga ended up moving from across the room to sit beside me on the couch so she could watch. ;-) Hehehe... it made me chuckle.

After Nadia/Emily's background review we bid our friends farewell and they went across the hall to check in with the Bo and Deb. Tomorrow we will get picked up for our morning visit as usual and then will miss our afternoon visit due to pre-court.

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