Well, we had an adventurous day today! We went up into the mountains for a Health Check.
Natasha kiddingly told us that all adopting parents must pass this test in order to get their child. Boy,
did we almost blow it..ok, we did blow chunks, but that's another story. The picture you see is the
rink were the Olympic speed skaters at one time used to train. Due to a concert that was held on the
ice, the ice making machine broke and they have not been able to find a sponsor to pay for the
restorations. We parked our car just below the rink and climbed the hill to the 834 stairs we had to
climb to the top of the damn - and yes, that word was used often I must add. Given the altitude
difference and the physical demands of the climb, both Wil and I were a bit winded and shocked at our
lack of physical ability. And it does not help the ego to pass a pregnant women in a dress and heels on
her way down from the top who looks as fresh as a daisy to boot. When we did reach the top, there
was a man holding a gold eagle which is a big part of the Kazakh history. Many hunters use eagles for
hunting purposes. It was about 2 feet tall and absolutely majestic. Men on horseback passed by as
did a lone mule on his way up the mountain. We actually passed the mule miles down the mountain
and he was still hoofing it up the mountain by himself an hour later. Natasha said that it was common
and it appeared that he had done this many times before. Natasha has been a fantastic tour guide and
has provided us insights into Kazakh history and culture that have made our trip so memorable. She
has been a gracious hostess and is so knowledgeable and patient in answering all our questions.
Now for the girl - the purpose for this trip. She was a bit cranky due to teething and wanted to put
everything and anything in her mouth to get to the molar that is pushing through her upper gums.
Lia/Vica is a little rascal who is repeating what we say in an attempt to talk. She got her first taste of
Little Brown Nuthare today and really liked the book...to eat. That and Daddy's watch were big hits
as was the camera case, too. Lia was a bit shy w/ Wil and I and more independent. today. Lia is a
smart cookie and knows where the door is and goes there as if she wants out. HEART BREAKING.
We also heard her cry for the first time when she bumped her head on the floor...no shrieking but still it
broke our hearts to hear. So we add another milestone to the record book.
Lastly, we found out today that our court dates are 6/7 and 6/10. After our court date on 6/10 we can
leave and we have to be back in Almaty on 6/28. SOOOOOOO, the girl of our dreams should be
State Side by the first week in July!!! Hopefully for her first Independence Day
Celebration...YUPPERS! xoxoxo to everyone from Lisa, Wil, and Lia :oP