Sunday, March 30, 2008

An Award and the Abundance of Blessings, plus some travel shopping tips

I finally had some time to catch up on other people's blogs and all that's been going on halfway across the world!! I was reading Andrea's blog and I found out she had given me an award. It is for helping to make the world a better place! Now that is a humbling thought as I feel like I've been not so positive lately, yet also an awesome responsibility. Thank you, Andrea, you have made our world a Better Place! My original intent was to write this blog to keep family and friends posted about our adoption adventures, yet I know it reaches many more people and can encourage them. Because of that the rule is to award 5 people this award after you receive it. So I am going nominate Jackie, Jamie, Rachel,Ivy, and Hilary. But I have to make an exception to add one more and that's Kami H. These are people that have inspired me and I know that they make the world a better place because of their adoptions but also as Mom's-domestic engineers, and working women.
We are feeling particularly blessed on this second trip. Although it has been hard and different from our first, we are sooo in love with our daughter!! She is simply amazing. We can't believe how fast she can flip around and roll over, crawl, smile, and talk. We are mentally preparing for 2 who are crawling. It should be quite interesting when we get home. How are we feeling blessed?
1. We have had a wonderful agency that really cares about us.
2. We have had short wait times and really no delays. Of course we knock on wood until we get our baby on US territory.
3. Both our children are really healthy, were very young when we got them, and are the biggest joys of our hearts.
4. We have enough resources to do 2 adoptions in less than a year.
5. We have a wonderful family who is loving our son & dogs(can you believe it?) while we away and also sends up photos and updates.
6. We are adventurous hearts blessed with adventurous travel.
7. We know a God who is in control of everything so we can have peace in calamity.
8. We feel comfortable enough in Almaty to walk around everywhere and do things for ourselves, plus perfect weather.
9. We have great travelling companions and it makes a ton of difference.
10. We have friends that really understand this adoption process.
I can go on and on and on but those are the biggest on my mind right now.
What's been different on trip 1 vs trip 2
1. We had a better translator in Kyrgyz than last time.
2. The border crossing:(
3. The length of time in each country 1 day longer in Kyrygz and 2 days longer in Kaz.
4. We had to change our plane tickets to a week later this time.
5. We got a girl instead of a boy. She is taller than Michael and weighed about the same.
6. We didnt' go through 112 diapers in 5 days.
7. It isn't 100 degrees outside but perfect weather at 65-70 degrees.
8. Different hotel in Kyrgyz.
9. The babies are from different orphanages.
10. The SOS Clinic experience.
Again, I can go on and on but again those seem to stick out in my mind.
The Golden Man-represents the Kazak people
Happy Family missing Michael!

So I thought I would post some helpful travel tips for those adoptive parents waiting to travel-
I was wrong about the diapers. They are the same price in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan after checking my receipts. Blame the mom brain:)
For a Huggies size 2 and 32 diapers in Kyrgyzstan they were 371 com which with the current conversion rate of 36 com to the dollar it makes them $10.31
For Huggies size 3 and 32 diapers in Kazakhstan they were 1235 Tenge which at the current converion rate of 120 tenge to 1 dollar they cost $10.29.
Huggies wipes cost 158 in Krygyz and 505 in Kaz which is 4.38 and 4.20 for 72 of the natural care. So slightly cheaper in Kaz.
Compared to the price in the US, the wipes are cheaper but the diapers about the same for a package with no coupon. They also have pampers but they are bit more expensive and we have been happy with the Huggies even though we brought some pampers. You can see what we bought below.

Then I had to share "some of what I purchased" in the Zum store. A beautiful silk scarf with wool felting on it, a Kyrgyz Matruska style family, a yurt with a family in it, a little doll that on one side has a smiley face and on the other has a frowny face, a nativity yurt, a purse, a boy and girl kyrgyz doll, and a pillow case, kyrgyz boots, a jewelry box. They are all pictured below. Can you not look and remember what you saw like in that shower game? I'll have to post the map of which stores I went to and found barters and good deals. If you can get to Osh Bazaar, you can buy these same goods but at about half or 3/4 the price at the Zum, depends on how you wheel and deal!


Rachel said...

Fabulous souveniers!! aren't the pillow cases great??

Maria said...

Gen, I've really enjoyed following your trip this time -- your honesty and attention to detail is great. Looks like you got some great buys!! Love the diaper photos -- reassuring that I'll know what Huggies look like. :-) Have a great last few days!

Margaret & Tom said...

Great Post Gen! I like all the goodies you bought! Since I like to wheel and deal I will try out the Osh Bazaar next time! I love the yurt nativity (I think that is what it is in the picture), I want one of those for sure! Hope the weather stays fabulous, but can't wait to hear you are on US soil!

Carmi said...

Hi Gen & John, I have so enjoyed following your journey to Phoebe. She looks like Eliana did when we adopted her, quick attaching and bonding with lots of smiles.