Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A good news day!!

Our agency just notified that we are officially registered in Petropavlovsk...Yahoo!!! The Consulate also confirmed that it has forwarded our letter to Kazakhstan... so, all in all, quite a good news day! Now begins the wait for our LOI. The agency's in-country coordinator hasn't provided a time frame for Petropavlovks.. but has just indicated that it always takes longer for a child under 18 months. So, here is hoping for some more good news and a speedy LOI.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good news and a second chance!

We just received word that our dossier will likely be forwarded to Petropavlovsk - at the very north of Kazakhstan, at the border with Russia. The agency said that it would confirm. As it turns out, a chatgroup friend adopted her daughter from there, so they will be a fountain of information I'm sure. We're of course really happy to have received the good news.. but this time around, perhaps a little bit cautious. We have been given a second chance - and hope to be successful this time around. Funny... kind of have a good feeling...hopefully it'a sign!

We also received news that some of the additional paperwork that we were missing on our original dossier was to be released from the Consulate today and sent directly to Kaz. Hopefully this will do the trick as well. The country had changed some of its criteria since we had applied and our dossier did not contain the new required wording... this has been addressed... so that's a relief. We'll post when we get additional information. Right now, we're busying ourselves with getting information on the city.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A helping hand!

People can be so kind. The province is helping us out by quickly forwarding our paperwork to the agency. With this new paperwork, our dossier can be forwarded to the new region chosen for us once it gets translated. Hopefully this update will address any concerns. CAFAC is still waiting news from their in-country coordinator as to our new destination. We feel optimistic again as we are now moving forward. It helps so much knowing that others understand our situation and are helping us out. So... thank you to all of those who are helping us... we appreciate it. A helping hand from some... and friendly words of encouragement from others... it means the world to us...we couldn't do this journey alone... and we appreciate all the help along the way.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In the meantime...

What keeps on going? We get to play with a great little pirate....merci Yannik pour les sourires....

Approved once again!!

Good news today...Our update was approved by the province. However.. we seem to be facing some delay. Looks like our update may only be sent to the agency beginning of September. So despite the good news.. we're a little bit disappointed. We should find out this week or next where our file will be transferred to. We are keeping fingers and toes crossed on this one. Other good news today.. a chatgroup friend currently in Uralsk just received custody of their 8 month old son and he is absolutely beautiful. It really sank in. This journey is definately very difficult at times... but will be worth it.. so, we're hanging on for the ride.... hopefully it will be smooth!

Monday, July 21, 2008

More determined than ever!

Now that we've had a few days to digest the news.. we have had time to regroup and are more determined than ever to see this through. We are preparing our homestudy update and therefore will address their concern. Our agency will be in position to let us know in early August the new region to whichl we'll be assigned. We really have no preference...we just want our dossier to be accepted in order to travel to meet our child/children. We've therefore decided to try again. In the meantime, we are treating ourselves to extra vacation time with Yannik. He too deserves a break! I'll always remember what he told me when I told him we would have to wait a little bit longer for his sister. He said.. that"s ok.. we can the meantime... I'll play with you!" It's a good lesson to hear... so... we' re off on vacation to play together ;0))

Monday, July 14, 2008

A major "Bump in the Road"

This is a very difficult post to write. We were pretty shocked to find out today that the officials in Uralsk rejected our dossier and that we would have to re-submit our application to another region. We are told that it will delay our travel by 6-8 months as we prepare udpated documents. We're still hanging on to the hope that our daughter/sibling is out there waiting for us... we'll just have to be a tad more patient.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A BIG step closer!!!!!!!!!

We received news today that our Dossier has been released from both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Ministry of Education!!! It was a wonderful surprise... we were preparing for a longer wait at MFA...Our dossier has also officially been assigned to the region of Uralsk!!! That was the last big hurdle... now we simply have to wait for the regional authorities to send us an invitation to travel. No clue as to the timing of yet... We do know that most of the gov office close during July and resume activity in August....We're so's now really hitting us...soon our family will be expanding...we can't wait.

Monday, May 19, 2008


We contacted our agency this week. It appears that our file is still with MFA. We had to send a new letter to Astana based on a new adoption policy... so hopefully this will speed things up. In the agency's opinion, we are still likely going to Uralsk.

On the homefront, we have begun buying girl clothes ages 12-18 months....and girl's toys. Yannik is getting really excited as well. Seeying him with younger kids, we know that he is going to make such a great big brother ;0)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Some of the preparations have begun !
We can't wait to bring these new friends to Kaz!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


More progress!!! Our agency just contacted us to let us know that our dossier would be most likely sent to Uralsk (pronounced "Oral") in north-west Kazakhstan, near the Russian border and close to the Caspian Sea. It is actually situated in Europe, but a bridge dividing the city takes you into Asia. We're pretty excited... sounds like things are moving along. We'll post additional information once we received it.

If you want to learn more about the city, check it out on Wikipedia:,_Kazakhstan

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Video Encyclopedia of Kazakhstan

If you're curious to learn more about Kazakhstan - take a quick look at this video from Video Encyclopedia of Kazakhstan. It's a good introduction to the country.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Things are moving along!!

Our week started off on the right foot with the news that our dossier was on its way to Kazakhstan and it's ending with equally good news: our dossier has arrived in Astana (the capital) and is in the capable hands of our agency's coordinator there. It will be presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday. We can't wipe the smiles of our faces!

Monday, March 3, 2008


We just received news that our dossier has finally been sent overseas. We're so excited! I yelled Youppi and our little guy asked what the fuss was about. It's a tad difficult explaining all of these steps to a 4 year old... but he was just happy because we seemed so excited.

It's one step closer to meeting our baby girl. What a fantastic way to start off the week. Now begins the next phase... waiting until our dossier is registered in Kazakhstan. This will probably take a few months. We will next be notified when our file is released (i.e officially registered in a region) and from which region of the country we will be adopting our baby girl and possibly a sibiling.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Say it in Kazakh!

A few uselful sentences taken from the website:

Good morning! --- Qayirly Tan [Ka-ihr-ly Tan]!
How are you? --- Qalynyz Kalai [Ka-ly-nyz Ka-lai]?
My name is... --- Menym atym... [Meh-nym ah-tym]
It is nice to meet you. --- Sizben tanyskanyma ote kuyanyshtymyn. [Syz-behn tah-nys-kah-nyh-ma au-teh kuh-ah-nysh-tyh-myn]
I am a Canadian. --- Men Kanadalykpyn.
I love you! --- Men seni suiemin!
Thank you! --- Rakhmet! [Rah-k-met]
I don't understand --- Tusinbedim
Do you speak English? --- Syz aglshynsha soileisesiz be?

Father, dad --- Ake, ata
Mother, mom --- Ana, schesche
Son --- Bala (also means boy)
Daughter --- Kyz (also means girl),
Brother --- Aga

Where is...? - ... qaida? (The sentence structure puts interrogatives at the end)
... a hotel? --- Konak yui qaida? [Koh-nak oui qai-dah?]
... a restaurant? --- Meiramkhana qaida? [May-ram-khana qai-dah?]
… a hospital ---Aurukhana
… a pharmacy --- Darikhana
... a museum --- Murazhai
... a grocery store --- Azyk tylik dukeni
... a post office --- Pochta bolymshesi
… a restroom --- Daretkhana
... the nearest bus stop --- Zhakyn zherdegi avtobus ayaldamasy
... the taxi stand --- Taksi toragy
... the train station --- Temir zhol vokzaly
... the airport --- Auezhai

The waiting game!

Having completed our home study and it having gone through all of the administrative steps here in Canada, our dossier is currently at the Kazakhstan Consulate since late November. We were told that generally, the Consulate General forwards the dossier within 2 months. For us, it will be a longer wait...we are now at the 3 month mark and hoping that the Consulate will be forwarding our dossier any day. Our agency is on top of things and we are now anxiously awaiting news that it's been sent. No easy task. It will make the world to us knowing that our dossier will be overseas... In the meantime, we are busying ourselves obviously with our 4 year old and trying to get as much information as possible on Kazakhstan, travel, etc. and trying to match up with other families who are adopting from there.

Relevant Canadian adoption agencies provides all the Canadian agencies that act as a facilitator for adoptions from Kazakhstan:

KAZAKHSTAN Alliance (Que.)
CAFAC (Man.)*
Canadian-C.I.S (B.C.)
Children's Bridge (Ont.)
Sunrise (B.C.)

*We chose CAFAC for many reasons...better fit for us...We immediately felt comfortable with them. We were also able to specify the gender of our child. Our son really wants a baby sister, so we will be adopting a girl with the possibility of a sibling.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Information on Kazakhstan

Information on Kazakhstan is somewhat scarce and you won't be finding many tourist guide books on the country. (Lonely's Planet's Central Asia does, however, contain the best information that we were able to find and it's worth the purchase). It's a bit challenging, but the best source of information is certainly the internet.

In particular, take at look at the following webistes:

There are also some yahoo.groups that are worth signing up to, in particular: (a group devoted to canadian families adopting from Kazakhstan)

We also have to mention the documentary "Long Way Round" by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. They travel from Great Britain to New York on their motorbikes...taking the long way round... and travelling 3 weeks in Kazakhstan. It's amazing and really gives you a sense of the country and its people. We couldn't stop watching it. We would highly recommend it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why Kazakhstan?

We began this journey not knowing where it would lead us. We knew that adopting a child from New Brunswick would mean a wait of at least 7 or 8 years. We already have a 4 year old son and wanted our children to be close in age. Since Sven had lived most of his childhoold overseas, it seemed natural that we would adopt internationally. Thus began the difficult work of choosing the country from which we would adopt. We first considered Russia but were advised that, at this point in time, the country would be too uncertain. A bit discouraged, we consulted to see what other countries were "opened" to Canadians. We were pulled towards Kazakhstan not even knowing where it was exactly located on the map! We knew that it used to form part of the Soviet Union. We were curious about the country and began to look more into it. The more we learned, the more we were convinced that we wanted to adopt from this country.

Biggest advantages of Kazakhstan from our point of view:

- the shorter wait. We were told on average 18 months compared to now 3-4 years in China.
- the children! (from various ethnic backgrounds: Kazak, Russian, or a mix)
- the stability of the country.
- the excellent care given to the children in baby homes. (the ratio adults to baby is 6:1)
- the possibility of adopting more than one child at a time. (we were approved to adopt a sibling group)

The biggest disadvantages of Kazakhstan:

- the lenght of duration in the country (2 months). Although it is possible to opt to travel to the country twice, we think it will be easier to reamin in Kazakhstan for the duration while awaiting the finalization of the adoption. It will be difficult to be away from home for such a long time, but the rewards of being with our child far outweighed this consideration. (they place the child with you after the 3 week mandatory bonding time)
- the costs (mostly the travel costs)
- At the time of our home study, we were the only ones in New Brunswick adopting from Kazakhstan and we were afraid of being isolated or that we would lack support. A major difference with China is that, generally, prospective parents adopting from Kazakhstan travel without a group... though interpretors and facilitators are provided once in the country.

Another consideration

What is also different from China is that you travel to the country on a blind invitation to travel. Generally, you haven't been matched to a child. The country invites you to visit certain baby homes and the family chooses their child. We think this will probably be the most challenging part of our journey..How does one really choose a child from so many...but we are convinced that our hearts will prevail. The biggest advantage to this system can't be provides for a mandatory 3 weeks of bonding with the child. The "fit" has to be good not only for the parents, but for the child as well.

Our goal in creating this blog

We are hoping that this blog will be helpful to all those who are interested in adopting from Kazakhstan. We will try to post any tips or helpful information that we come across during the adoption process and during our journey to Kazakhstan. When we began to research the different countries that allowed international adoption, we felt a bit overwhelmed. After alot of thought, we pinpointed Kazakhstan as the country from which we hoped to expand our family; however, we felt that there was insufficient information about this beautiful country and its people. We hope that this blog might encourage others to consider adopting from Kazakhstan and we wish you all the best of luck during this incredible journey. We also hope to share this special journey with our friends and family.