Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Well,  not home exactly but close. Clint got a flight back to Georgia today but Matt and I have to wait until tomorrow. It's okay though since we're in DC hanging out with my family, but we'd still like to be in our home. We had an uneventful but long flight and we're so ready to get rid of our luggage, sleep in our own beds and see our friends.

It's really a mixed thing though because we miss our little guy terribly and feel so bad that he couldn't come with us. He was really upset about it too which makes it that much harder. We are praying that it will be fast even though we've seen on some other blogs that the Kazakh passport process just slowed to 3-4 months. Hopefully this isn't the case and we'll be back to get him in 6 weeks.

Because he's so "old" he should have already moved up to the big kid orphanage so we're also praying that he is allowed to stay in the baby house in familiar surroundings with the caregivers and children that he knows. If he does  have to move it will be yet another trauma in this precious little boys life and I just can't imagine how we would all cope with that. I know God has this in His large and loving hands so we'll give it to him and not worry, but please pray with us!

some of the precious children in Nathan's group

Friday, August 27, 2010

Leaving Semey

Forgot to mention that we will be leaving Semey to fly back to Almaty in the morning so this will be our last chance to access the internet here. We are hoping we'll have be able to tomorrow in Almaty but we don't know for sure. If you don't hear from us, we'll be heading to Germany at 4am Sunday morning our time here (6pm Saturday at home). See you all soon!!

The Circus is in town!

Last night we had what is probably a once-in-a lifetime experience - we went to a Kazakh circus. It's supposedly been in operation for about 46 years. It was surprisingly good and we had a blast...good stress reliever after court!

It was in this tent in the middle of a field surrounded by some apartment buildings. The whole time I just kept wishing my sister-in-law Meaghan was there to take some good pictures. Totally amazing cultural experience!

There were four of these guys out front of the tent for a photo op. They are standing in front of a Kung-Fu Panda poster, which I thought was odd, but everyone was gawking at them and I realized that they are the only Africans that I've seen here. Everyone is absolutely white or asian. Nobody was being ugly about it, but they were definitely an unusual sight. It made me really miss home! 

We treated Pasha, his son Costia, and Igor to the show instead of taking them to dinner since they really wanted to go. Pasha ended up having to run paperwork so his wife came in his place.

Before the show they lifted kids up in these harnesses beneath balloons and the umbrella and spun them all over the place, and you could stand right between the two elephants for a photo. Certainly wouldn't happen in America!

These guys definitely had the coolest act -- fire breathing and limbo-ing under a pole like 8 inches off the ground. Very impressive.

To change subjects, we were disappointed yesterday because it only took like 3 seconds for the passport photo and before we knew it we were back at the baby house. Luckily Clint ran next door and got some ice cream so it wasn't a total disaster. 

There is now a two-week appeals period which is to allow other family members a last chance to claim  him. When that is over his Kazakhstani passport will be issued. That is what takes so much time. Once it is done it will be sent to Astana where they will issue a visa for him to leave the country (weird that they care who leaves). At that point we'll be able to come back to get him. Let's just pray that it takes less than the 10 weeks it took the last group. We've been told that it'll definitely be less, but who knows. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's Official!

We did it - we passed court!!! Nathan Mohammed Brogdon, you are officially ours!

We only have a few minutes to post this so I'll do a more thorough job later, but for now just know that court was a little nerve-wracking. We had the "hard" judge who they call Texas because she has huge blonde hair. Everyone here is very stern looking...don't smile very often in pictures or formal situations so that's rough too. Clint gave the main speech with all the details (very patriarchal society) and I gave a short emotional one. 

They asked a bunch of questions and one of the main issues was Clint's job (thought we might be adopting in order to grow our church). They also had some misconceptions about "baptist" because here it has a totally different connotation. They questioned me about whether we were allowed to seek medical care and random things like that. Another major problem for the prosecutor was that not many people had been shown N-M. She wanted to have more people look at him before they selected a family. Everyone else there told her that the reason more people haven't seen him is because nobody wants him since he is so "old". Sad but true in the adoption world. Anyway, we were in great hands with our team here (and of course the Big Guy's hands as well!) and they finally made their decision -- we couldn't be happier! 

Ministry of Education lady, baby house doctor, Olga (coordinator here)
We are also excited because at 3pm today we get to take little N-M out of 'jail' to go get his passport photo taken. This will be our first time out and we think we'll go get some ice cream too. 

Yesterday as we were bringing Nathan back inside he said America and looked really sad. As we headed to his room he started crying pretty hard and wouldn't let go of me. Clint ran outside to get Igor so we could ask his caregivers what was wrong and it turns out he knows we're leaving soon and he wants to go back to America with us now. It was really heartbreaking and now we're dreading our visit tomorrow (last one before we leave) even more. It looks like we'll fly to Almaty on Saturday and then leave for the states on Sunday at 4am. Should be in DC later on Sunday and then back to GA on Wednesday. So glad to be heading home but we'll miss our little guy terribly. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Getting SO Close!

Hi everyone,

We are so close we can almost taste the Five Guys cheeseburgers! Don't get me wrong - we've loved this experience and think the people, culture and definitely the food here are wonderful...but we miss some of America too.

Yesterday was fun...  we had Igor with us when we brought NM back to his room and we were able to talk to one of our favorite caregivers of his. Her name is Galnor and she said she's been Mo's caretaker from the time he first arrived as a newborn.

She is such a wonderful lady and she told us that she thinks we are a wonderful 'fit'. We seem very happy and Mohammed is very happy with us. Pretty cool!!

In the middle of the day we went to the little amusement park behind Cofeman. Most of the rides were for little kids but that didn't stop Matt and Costia. They rode around in the little cars and did some bumper boats before we all had some ice cream (marojna).

The best part of the amusement park for me was the ferris wheel. I consider it a major accomplishment that I managed to get both Clint and Matt up in it since neither one of them really like heights very much. 

You have to get in it while it's moving...it doesn't stop. It goes around once and you have to get out...but there's a great view of Semey from the top! We really wish little Nathan could have been with us though.

After that it was back to the bazaar to finish up some shopping before we leave. It's a really neat place but totally chaotic. Clint and Matt both found some really cool stuff!

After lunch today we are heading out to Olga's (our coordinator here) summer house to practice for court then back to the baby house. We'll either leave Semey Friday or Saturday morning and our flight back to America leaves on Sunday. Praying it goes as planned! 

We love you guys and absolutely adore getting comments from you. Thank you so much for all of the support, prayers and love!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our Apartment

So by popular demand here are some shots of our apartment. The inside....

This shower is crazy...like a time machine. It used to be some really fancy, high-tech thing...check out the 'control pad' inside it. Sadly, none of that stuff works. 

Doublt colour lighting gantlt and soft and romance. Electrician will give the fresh airs into the room 
Desigened in LTALY :)

living room with balcony where we hang laundry

Matt's room

amazing juice here...we usually have at least four different kinds.

Our very nice kitchen. No hot water in there.

The outside.....

our back window and balcony where we hang laundry...second floor right in the middle

Our address on the new sign - we are #90.

How we get in the door -- the little disk has to be pressed up to this spot and then we get these cool beeps and voila - door is unlocked!

Our lovely entrance hall which is pitch black. 

the insulation inside the front door - straw.

The past few days have fun but we are so ready to come home!! There are more things we’d like to do and see here, and obviously we enjoy our time with Nathan but we kind of losing our minds now.

We are feeling very stretched in trying to come up with things to do for three hours a day on the same little square of ground. If Nathan spoke English we would come up with all sorts of games and talk about what was happening etc, but with the language barrier, if we can’t act it out we don’t do it (or it doesn’t hold attention for long).

Matt has been great! He decided to “plant a garden” so he took little N to dig up weeds and replant them in a certain spot. They dug and built support stakes and watered for two days at least. They also collected other stuff (petals, bits of other plants) and ground them up to make various potions. Very creative and very entertaining!! Eventually, as the workers here were making their daily rounds and sweeping the dirt the garden got destroyed, but until then it was lots of fun!

Next to the baby house there is a little magazine and almost every day we go in to get some drinks or cookies. The apple juice boxes are a big hit with both boys. Interestingly, N-M calls it ‘sook’ which is Russian for juice. (We are finding that he has a combination language of Kazakh and Russian - no pressure or anything - we just have to learn two new languages!) One day we brought these little stick cookies with a vanilla sauce to dip them in - big hit.

I stuck these pictures in so you can see how big the 4T clothes are on him. Hugely long and the waist is gigantic too -- thankfully the elastic keeps them up!

Despite the fact that it was not cold, our kiddo was dressed in these awesome tights for the past two days….too bad we have to leave all the clothes here when we pick him up. :)

Check out the sweet little daisies on my tights!

Hmmm...maybe those tights weren't so bad. At least they were blue!

In spite of our readiness to come home we are really feeling more like a family. Yesterday our coordinator, Olga, came by for our first court prep session. We were outside watching Up so the boys kept watching and Clint and I went off a little way to talk. Wish I’d had my camera because Nathan was lying with his head in Matt’s lap and they were both just as sweet as could be.

We have some work to do now in preparing our speech for court but it feels good to be close to the end. The main thing we were told that will come up is how we communicate. Since he’s older and has an established language other than ours this is a big deal for the judge but everyone here thinks we’re doing well. We all know lots of Kazakh now and Nathan is picking up English very quickly. His favorite words are still things like cookie which, not surprisingly, he learned very easily! I’m sure that once we’re home with him he’ll learn really fast and this won’t be an issue for too long.  

While we‘re on the subject of judges, guess what…. we have the hard one! We aren’t worried - we know God has this - but we can’t wait to be done.