Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patricks Day!

To those who are expecting daily posts and photos, well, let's just say spending time with Ryan has been great, the lack of sleep is not. Between listening to the poor guy bang his head against the crib as he does his nightly gymnastics and making sure he is breathing when he is quiet, sleep has eluded us. Not too mention the apartment where we are staying is heated to a toasty 90* and the only way to cool down the temp is to open the doors, windows, and even the refrigerator. The soviet communal heating system won't shut off until the middle of April. Not to complain, we are in a very nice apartment in a beautiful section of Almaty. The best part - since leaving Kokshetau the tempature has risen 35 to 40 degrees. No need for our big coats, boots and other cold weather stuff we have lugged across the world.
Leaving Kokshetau was bittersweet. We have made some good friends there, and celebrated that fact on our last night. Adrienne Connolly prepared burritos, deviled eggs and homemade salsa. What a party. We also learned a traditional Kazakh toast - a local cognac shooter followed by a salted, blanched lemon slice. Yum! Of course, being parents now - we only had one. It was sad to leave but we were ready to head to Almaty and another step closer to home.
Ryan was great on the first flight (3 hours to Almaty). We hope it continues.
We are still traveling with our friends the Stannards and their son Ryan, as well as Adrienne and her daughter Lucy. Upon arrival we immediately headed to Mad Murphy's Irish Pub to taste lovely burgers that don't crunch when you bite into them. We have also done some sight seeing around town, visited the National Fine Arts Museum and ventured to a vegitarian Indian restaurant. As most will know, Robert was thrilled with the Indian food (not his idea of the best St. Paddy's Day). We tried to sneak home a day early, though it seems alot of people here are trying to leave the country this weekend. We are off to the Embassy with Ryan tomorrow to finish the last of the documentation before leaving for home on Sunday. Paka, Paka.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Where are the instructions??

Ok, so now we are "parents". The question is: What do we do next??
We picked up Ryan yesterday and had a great first night. No problems, and he slept from 10 pm until 7:30 am! : ) We may have some food allergy issues, had some red splotches after his am bottle. We aren't sure if it's an actual allergy or that he has to work much harder to get the milk out of the american nipple vs. the goat bottle he was used to at the babyhouse. We shall see.
It's very scary how little we know. Sure we read some books and brought a couple along with us as reference material. We have already looked up 12 possible illnesses we thought sure Ryan had, but of course does not. Watching him rotate in his crib last night was a treat. We all know that babies should sleep on their backs, right? Ryan has not been informed of that, he prefers to rotate around the crib on his tummy sticking different body parts through the slats. We put him on his back and he rolls right over and sticks his fingers in his mouth.
We really are doing fine, don't worry we will figure it all out. No pictures today, we have been a little busy. We will send lots next time.
Paka, paka from the Murphys.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

and baby makes three. Posted by Hello

The Gang: Lisa and Mike McCall, Adrienne Connolly, Tracy Stannard, Inna (interpretor) Mike Stannard, Jim Connolly and Robert. Posted by Hello

Borscht(sp?) and Russian Salad. Posted by Hello

Montys anyone? Posted by Hello

Male cigar bonding. Posted by Hello

When in Rome... Posted by Hello

Farewell to Kokshetau

Today was difficult. We had to say paka, paka to Ryan for two weeks. We had such fun and he was all smiles. When we brought him back to his group he was all smiles for his ladies and we left with that memory of him. Going home is bittersweet. We will depart Albany on March 11th to complete our journey to Kazakhstan and finally have our "Gotcha Day". The day we break Ryan out and he's ours forever.
If travel plans go according to schedule, we should be home on Tuesday night. If anyone is looking for Robert on Wednesday here's a hint: Lunch at Smokey Bones (pulled pork sandwich),
5:01 pm - 19th hole for cold Budweiser, followed by an appearance at The Lighthouse for an Admiral Steak Sandwich with garlic mayo. Thursday he starts Lipitor.
Last nights celebration was fit for a Russian Czar. The Connollys invited us all to their apartment and Maria, the women who helps them, cooked a phenominal dinner of traditional Russian favorites. There was a salad with peas, ham, egg, carrots and yes mayo, that was very tasty. Maria also made borchst (sp?), a vegtable soup with cabbage, carrots and potatoes. The final dish was called Montys. The Russian version of a chinese steamed dumpling. Excellent! After dinner the Fathers retreated to the kitchen for some new father cigar bonding.
We head to Almaty tomorrow and on the plane home on Tuesday. We will send our final post from Almaty with photos of the big city. Paka, paka.

Friday, February 25, 2005

It's a women's world.Robert,Prosecutor,Amy,Ministry of Education,Judge,Babyhouse Director. Posted by Hello

A day to remember...

It was an interesting start to such an important day. If we believed in signs we might have crawled back into bed. First the shower broke, you can't appear in court for a momentous occasion without bathing right? So we improvised, and made it work. Amy gets to wear actual girl clothes today, a skirt, heals etc. Being used to clodding around in snowboots, she almost takes a fall heading down to the lobby by getting her heal caught in the hem of her coat. Saved by her husband, the MAN. We arrived at court at ten, waited for the prosecutor and started the hearing at 10:15. Robert has to do the majority of the speaking, he is the MAN of the family and therefore the leader. That being said, the Judge, Prosecutor, Representative from the Ministry of Education and the Director of the Orphanage were all women. It was to be a simple process, speech, support of speech, a few questions, confering, and then the decision from the Judge. However, after the speech and support, we were grilled by the Judge, the Prosecutor, and the Representative from the Ministry of Education. Then there was some document confusion, things that were signed by a previous Governor didn't match the dates signed by the current Governor. We didn't even know they had Governors. A half hour hearing turned into an hour and a half. Murphy's Law all over the place. But that's ok -- We prevailed.
The petition to grant the adoption of Maksim Rhysov was granted and his name is now legally and forever RYAN BANAN MURPHY. HE'S OURS!!!!!!! !!!
Nothing could change this from being the best day of our lives. Not even having to push our driver's car out into the street because it wouldn't start. Not even mid-way in our 1 hour commute back to Kokshetau when said car refused to move any further. Not even when the tempature is -21* c and you are standing outside a brokendown car. Not even. We made it back without further incident and we are heading out to celebrate with two other couples whose adoptions were granted today.
Many thanks for the words of comfort, support and prayers that came our way through this whole journey.
Paka, paka, from Dad and Mom.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Artsy mirror shot of the boys. Posted by Hello

He doesn't look comfy but he sure can sleep. Posted by Hello

I'm not sure why mom is eating these, they don't taste so good. Posted by Hello

Had a little party with my home boy. Posted by Hello

Too much excitement for an 8 month old boy. Posted by Hello

Ryan turned 8 months old today

My how time flies when your having fun. Today was a great visit marking another milestone. Ryan crawled two steps into his mom's arms. I guess he realized he was turning eight months old and decided it was about time to move some distance. I think he plans on skipping the crawling thing altogether and go straight into walking. We played around to celebrate and then he promptly fell asleep. Too much excitement and we didn't even have cake.
Our thoughts are preocupied with our court appearance tomorrow. Speeches are written, clothes are pressed (yes, real clothes tomorrow - no sweatshirts or long underwear) and we think we are ready to go. We should be done by 1 pm or so and then off to have our first official visit as parents. We can't wait.
The pictures will speak for themselves as shameless plugs for the cutest kid ever. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow, paka, paka.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

We can't get enough of these pictures. Posted by Hello

Ready for sleep. Posted by Hello

Hey Maddie, remember this chew toy is mine. Posted by Hello

Boo is my favorite game. Posted by Hello

Let me taste another book. Posted by Hello

Teething Troubles

Ryan was out of sorts today, a little cranky in between big beautiful smiles. We susupect that more teeth are on the way. He is drooling up a storm and his shirts (yes all four of them) were drenched. We dissolved two teething tablets in a capful of water and he drank it right down. That seem to do the trick as he promptly went to lullaby land. We just can't get enough of those sleeping pics. Just too cute. Robert was glad to see he was wearing a more manly shade of gray today - closer to the Raiders' silver and black.
We wanted to show you pictures of yesterdays bowling tourney but photos were not allowed inside the venue. Being so new to Kokshetau, the groovy black lighting must be kept top secret.
We are now back at the hotel after a big lunch of Chicken and Beef steak (one dish) and fried lamb ribs. Doesn't that sound good? Actually it was good. Now holed up to wright our speeches for court on Friday. Sveta will interpret and fix any gaffs we might make. Robert, being the MAN, has about two pages to recite, I, the lowly female, only agree to support my husband in asking to grant the petition for adoption. I know my place here. It should all be final at 1pm on Friday, keep us in your thoughts...Paka, Paka.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Two fingers are better than one thumb. Posted by Hello

A dentist in our furture? Posted by Hello

Teething sucks! Posted by Hello

Blackmail Material.  Posted by Hello

Too much hat and too much sweater. Posted by Hello

WWF here we come. Posted by Hello

Man enough for pink

Fashion in the babyhouse obviously isn't a priority, but somedays it's a little disconcerting to see our beloved son appear in the more feminine hues of PINK. The women who take such wonderful care of Ryan just grab for the next four layers to apply to the unsuspecting child. They understand Ryan is above worrying about such matters and is very sercure in terms of the man he is to become. This all makes some good blackmail material when Ryan is older. Not only will we have the prerequisite naked baby shots, but some girly clothes photos as well.
Fun was had by all in the Kokshetau Bowling Center today. Bowling is somewhat new here and we pretty much showed them how it should be done. It was a great time and we each got a free pair of socks for playing. Actually, we think they don't clean the shoes just hand out new socks to each player. A little weird but it all worked out well.
Tomorrow we work on our speeches for court on Friday, so no playing tomorrow. Enjoy the picks of Ryan in Pink. Paka, Paka.