The Bradys in Kazakhstan

Join Michael, Eileen and Owen as they travel to Astana, Kazakhstan to find the newest member of the Brady family.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hello America!


We're home safe and sound. All in all, it was an uneventful journey if you don't count the airlines checking our stroller to Chicago so we couldn't use it in Frankfurt or me not having one of the papers needed for Jonathan's immigration. All was solved and he became a US citizen about 10am in Chicago. He's now sleeping peacefully after enjoying playtime with Grandma, Nana and Owen. He and Owen loved their bath together and it sure won't be the last one! I am so happy to be home now and I can't wait to sleep in my own bed.

This trip home would have been so much harder if not for Cindy. She worked so hard, handing me paperwork, feeding Jonathan while I held him on the airplane, carrying him when we didn't have a stroller, walking him up and down the aisles trying to get him to sleep. She was so patient with me and Jonathan and was always eager to help and assist. I am so thankful for her friendship these last 30 years (!) and doubt I'll ever be able to thank her adequately.

And thanks to everyone who sent prayers, comments and emails. All were very much appreciated.

I guess that's it for this blog. You'll have to check The Brady Family Webpage for news and photos.

eileen

Friday, June 30, 2006

Good-bye Kazakhstan!

I can hardly believe this chapter is about to close. Kazakhstan will always hold a place in my heart as the country where my youngest son is from. I have truly enjoyed living in his country for two months. The two cities I visited were so different, I am glad I got to see so much of Almaty this week. I told Jonathan today as we were driving around that we'd be leaving tonight and that we would bring him back someday to see the place he was born.

At home, Jonathan wanted to help pack.

For our last sightseeing tour, we headed up to Medeu into the mountains. It was so beautiful up there with all the wildflowers. We ate a terrific lunch at the ski resort. Here we are with the Olympic sized skating rink behind us.

A few people have asked to see a photo of the snow-covered mountains we can see from our window. Here they are, on a cloudy day bringing a cool rain.

Okay, so that's my last post until we get home. I'll ask for prayers and good thoughts for a safe travel with lots of sleeping for Jonathan. I'll post once we're home and settled.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

At the Embassy

Today we did some errands, including stopping at the US Embassy to pick up all of Jonathan's paperwork. He's cleared to head to the United States. Hooray!

Here's my boy hard at work with his toys.

And he's loving his first ride in the rain.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It's a Small, Small World

(Internet was down. Happy belated Birthday, Kate.)

Once upon a time, young Michael Brady walked the streets of Almaty as an idealistic Peace Corps volunteer. I bet he never thought that one day his wife and son would be walking in that same neighborhood. We found his streets
and saw the Academy of Sciences located right across the street where he lived. What a small world.

On our way home, we decided that since Jonathan was asleep in the stroller, we'd stop at our favorite restaurant for some dessert. Of course he woke up right after we ordered. He munched on Kazakh cheerios, called Start, while we watched the clouds roll in. Within minutes, it was rainy and so windy. We were getting chilly but couldn't leave until it let up. We had already paid and were just waiting it out when the waiter brought us some BLANKETS. Unbelievable. He walked around and handed them to all the patrons.

After dinner we were watching the rain from our balcony when we saw a perfectly arched double rainbow. What a blessing.

Evening Prayer

Today, Owen said he wanted to try something new. He had been reading a book where they kneeled and said a prayer before bed, and he wanted to try that.

OK.

At bedtime, we kneeled by the bed. I started to say a prayer, but Owen interrupted me, saying he knew what prayer he wanted to say.

"Dear God, please take care of Jonathan and make him as cute as I am."

Incredibly thoughtful, or incredibly egotistical? You be the judge.

(Personally, I think it's probably from having two adoring grandmothers around).

Monday, June 26, 2006

Update from Almaty

Sunday, June 25

We made to Almaty and are settled in our apartment. The internet connection worked right away - yippee!

The apartment really nice, very modern and well decorated. I think it's a bit of a step up from my huge Soviet style apt even though it's smaller. There's a much better view - the snow covered mountains right from the balcony that wraps around the living room, kitchen and our bedroom.

Jonathan is having a harder time today. Maybe it's hitting him that his whole world is being turned upside down. He's been a bit fussy and unhappy although he really loved his second bath. Just so you don't think he never has a sad face, here he is.

But not to worry, he was plenty happy later on.

I really feel like we're on the home stretch now. I am thinking this little boy is really going home with me!

Monday, June 26

I didn't get to post last night. Today we went to the clinic to get Jonathan's check up. You'll be happy to know his spleen, liver and spine all get a thumbs up. He's 19 1/2 lbs and 27 inches. The doctor went over the vaccinations that he received here and we'll do additional ones at home.

Cindy and I found a terrific restaurant one block from our home with an English menu, and outside seating. We used the stroller Murat is lending us and enjoyed a tasty lunch. Jonathan fell asleep and is now napping. Happy Monday, everyone!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Meanwhile, back in the USA...

Owen visited "cousins" Christopher and Matthew. They enjoyed playing in and under the hammock...







...and it tired them out.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Custody

It was a momentous day but I don't think Jonathan thought so. We said our goodbyes at the orphanage and he fell asleep in the taxi on the way home. I had predicted that so I had a bed all made up. He slept for over three hours, so I finally went in and woke him up. He was as happy as ever.

He explored the apartment, played with his toys and smiled a lot. Then it was time for lunch, which he had slept through. Boy was he hungry. I made some soup and mashed potatoes, trying to imitate his lunches he's been used to. He ate plenty.


Later we had to walk to Republic Blvd to get his photo taken for the US Embassy. We had the Baby Bjorn carrier, but he was still too heavy for me. Good thing Cindy is strong. She carried him halfway there and all the way back.

When we got home, we decided it was snack time. He gobbled up a jar of fruit and some diced peaches. I need to learn his signs for "I'm hungry."

At bathtime, he had a grand time. I only put a little water in and gave him a few cups to play with. He sat still for the hairwashing and didn't try to stand up until he'd been in there awhile.

After dinner, (jar of meat and carrots, leftover mashed potatoes and some diced peaches) he was so sleepy. His signs for "I want to sleep now." are unmistakable. I put him in the bed, and left him. He wimpered a little, so I laid down next to him. He patted me on the arm, smiled and went to sleep. What a gift from God we have.

We are leaving for Almaty first thing in the morning. We'll be staying at an apartment, so I'm hoping to be able to hook up to the internet with little trouble. If you don't see a post for a day or two, say a prayer that we can get it straightened out soon.