In that spirit we'd like to offer you the chance to follow along with our journey to our son Owen, starting with our posts from January 2007. We hope you enjoy reading of our adventure and we wish you the best of luck on your own adoption experience.
Some thoughts and travel tips:
Embark on this journey with an open heart and open mind. Of course there will be cultural differences and times when the way things are done in Kaz is frustrating; but as our agency says "Go with the flow". You can't change things and your life will be much easier if you relax and remember that the people in country are doing their best to help you realize your dream.
Pack light! The majority of apartments do not have elevators and if you are going to Kokshetau you will most likely be flying that most beloved of Soviet era planes, the Yak 40, on which you will be loading your own luggage. You really do not need many outfits - the washers there have a way of aging clothes quickly anyway (don't take all your favorites) and all your intrepreters, drivers, etc. will be wearing the same couple of outfits over and over as well. Plenty of nice toiletries (Dove, Pantene, etc.) are available - as is "American" toilet paper - and we suggest buying a hair dryer there as well (saves your converter for something else too).
Be open to new things. Whether it's food or music, remember that this is an opportunity to learn about your child's culture. Take full advantage. Not only will it make your stay more memorable but it will enrich your understanding of Kaz.
Take the time to get to know your Kaz "connections" and your travel partners. We feel like we now have friends for life in both cases and meeting such amazing people really enhanced our trip.
Believe us when we say all the paperwork, disappointments, fears, anxieties, and waiting disappear the moment you finally hold your child. It is so worth it! Good luck!