Archive for January, 2009

Toddlers Welcome!

Recently we told our agency to change our requested age range from 0 – 2 years to 0 – 5 years.  The timing is good because we’re already redoing our home study because it’s getting too old.

While we originally thought that increasing the age range might help speed things up, our agency assures us that it won’t.  Never the less, after e-mailing and talking with very enthusiastic parents who have adopted 3 – 5 year old children from Kazakhstan, we’ve decided that a child anywhere in that range would be wonderful.

After age 5, children are moved from from “baby houses” to an orphanage for ages 5 – 16 where they are much less likely to be adopted.  After age 16, they’re usually out on the street.

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A week ago, one week after we were told our dossier was in Uralsk not Astana, we were told that our dossier is being returned to the Ministry of Education.  There were too many dossiers in Uralsk.  We’re assured that there’s nothing wrong with our dossier.  There were just too many.

So, we’re back where we were two months ago.

Although it was a low point, we’re coming around.  You kind of have to.

Unfortunately the timetable news isn’t good.  As best as we can tell, we’re still many months away from finishing.

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It seems that we were mistaken when we thought we were going to Astana. Before Thanksgiving, our agency had asked us if we wanted to volunteer for Astana. (There’s a drawback to Astana that I won’t get into here.) After a day’s soul-searching, we did volunteer. We thought that was it.

Two days ago, we found out our dossier was in Uralsk! That’s OK with us. I just hope it’s been there two months, instead of taking two months to get there.

We don’t know much about Uralsk, yet. It’s in northwest Kazakhstan and has a population of about 300,000 people. It’s not as cosmopolitan as Astana, but we won’t be roughing it. It’s about a three hour flight from Almaty. So after flying I-don’t know-how-many hours east to Almaty, we’ll fly 3 hours west to Uralsk. Uralsk is often spelled “Ural’sk” or “Oral” on maps.

Uralsk is on the Ural river, the boundary between Europe and Asia. So we can play: “Now I’m in Europe. Now I’m in Asia.” It’s closer to Moscow than Almaty or Astana. (Not that it’s very close to Moscow.)

Uralsk is a region where international adoptive parents (usually?) take only one trip which lasts roughly 6 weeks. Our friends Keith & Jacquie are also going Uralsk to find their child. They leave February 1st!! They found out they were assigned to Uralsk about 4 months ago, not that those kinds of comparisons are very useful.

I’ll repeat a couple of links for reading about people who are currently in-country or recently returned.

  • Kazakhstan Adoption Blogs has a list of blogs of people who are in Kaz right now bonding with their kids. Read along daily!
  • Kazakhstan Adoptive Families has a list of blogs of people who have already returned, sorted by city. So you can check out stories from people who found their child in Astana Uralsk.


We’ve started re-doing the paperwork, again, because most of it can’t be over a year old when we get there. We’ll carry the updates with us when we go and they’ll be translated while we’re there.

Some friends gave us a huge amount of their baby stuff last weekend. Thanks Doug & Kathie!

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