Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 6 - Playmates!

I am sooooo happy to report that Sven has finally found himself a playmate!!!! Mlle. O has now assigned us our respective roles: I'm the cuddly one....and Sven is the entertainer. After cuddling with me for the first 45 minutes, she decided that Pappa was pretty funny himself and ventured towards him... and just flopped down and began to play with him and Yannik. I immediately backed away to see what would happen. She just looked at me a few times and then decided to have some fun.....YAHOOOOO!!!! I actually cried tears of joy... I think that this process is just a series of milestones that we will be experiencing with time...all in it's own time.

We received the translated medical report. Pretty much corresponds to what they had told us. She will still need to be checked out by a doctor in order to meet the Canadian immigration requirements since we are going the sponsorship route.

I ventured out by myself today...and began some Christmas shopping. We hear that Ded Moroz (Father Frost) is making his way to Petro... we need to be prepared ;0)) Yannik has begun "camping" next to the Christmas tree! We also went to a restaurant at the Tsum market. They gave Yannik some dough at the end of our meal for him to make whatever he wanted. He made a smily face and then they baked it. Not only was it really was pretty delicious and sweet too!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 5 -Tickle Tickle Pappa

Sven discovered that the way to his daughter's heart may just be through tickling her silly. She was just laughing with delight. A small milestone for Sven!! She still doesn't want to be held by him...but laid her head on his lap - another milestone.!!

Mlle O. was all smiles today...lots of playing and cuddling. She sure loves the musical phone we had brought.... she was tapping her feet to the music! It feels like we have known her forever....can't believe it's only been 5 days. I'm always sad to see her march down the hall to her room...whereas she seems happy to go! Guess we're pretty much just kind people who play and then leave... Can't wait for her to realize that we would like to stick around for good!

Speaking of milestone... I had one this morning: baking in Kaz...with a stove that doesn't have temperature readings in F...just 1-6. I never managed to get it beyond 3...but the muffins were really yummy! I had asked Irina...they don't have muffins here - how I miss my whole grain raspberry muffin from Tim's! Mine were pretty good - we gobbled them up pretty quickly!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 4 - A Saturday date with our gal

The orphanage director is allowing us to continue bonding over the weekend, so we were able to go visit the little one today. I guess you could say that slow and steady wins the race according to Sven. She now lets him massage her shoulders and grins at him...but still won't let him hold her. She did "forget herself" today and sat on another boy....a much younger one ;0)) Yannik held her while we read to her.

She's picking up stuff really quickly. Seems to be a quick study...all good signs.

She's really happy in my arms...doesn't appear to be too interested in playing...just alot of cuddling...Guess I won't complain...she's a joy to hold...she just buries her head and smiles. She actually laughed quite a bit today and is babbling more.

She appears to be slowly gaining confidence in us one day at a time.

This morning, we finally had enough energy to get out for a stroll about town ;0) (jet lag has been plaguing us since our arrival). It was just so beautiful. O degree celcius and a bit of snow...We went to our favorite coffee shop and met up with the owner who was glad to see us... He speaks English and we had a great chat....We love it there.

Yannik and I also made progress on our Christmas tree ;0) The owner of the coffee shopw as telling us about the big party New Year's Eve in the square...a great time for families. There will be a huge pine tree, lights and rides....Can't wait.

We had to post pictures of the winter scene... I actually think that Petro is more beautiful in the has this serene feel to it. The people are yet again so stylish in their winter coats and hats...It's great to people watch.

So... until we can post some pictures of Mlle O...we'll just have to continue posting some of Petro...and of us... We can't wait to post some of her ;0)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 3 - Miss Cleopatra!!

Mlle O. appears to like the life of leisure. She's so funny. She is def. comfortable in my much so, that she just spreads out, head back, smiles and sighs...She waves her hand in the air and lies back... reminds us of Cleopatra!! She's a hoot. Actually, we think that she is just so happy to be held and to have someone take care of her. Today, she just wanted to cuddle. She was also alot more vocal...the most that we've heard of her. I just repeat her sounds and she beams...she probably thinks that I am now speaking Russian!! I wish. I did learn quite a bit of new Russian words. We brought a picture book with us and we pointed and told her each picture and repeated in Russian. She seemed to "get it". It's really funny to hear what each animal says in Russian...while I know the sounds in French and Sven in English. It must be quite a thing to overhear us - the tower of Babel!

Today was a muslim holiday...We headed out for our first outing at the Pizza House and it was packed full of families who were celebrating their holiday. Yannik had a great time playing with the other kids. He really seems to be adjusting well to everything and is taking everything in stride. Home schooling is going really well....He's eager to get going in the morning - good sign!

PS - the camping food is a hit! It's surprisingly really tasty.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 2 - First giggles!

What a difference a day makes! Mlle O. was very cuddly and smiled so much more today!! At one point, she was positively beaming up at me and let out this huge sigh..(like to say, wow.. I've got it good!)...I can't tell you how happy we were... We can't stop hugging her.

I'm also happy to report that she's now more intrigued by Sven....She just needs some time to warm up to both he and Yannik....She's simply not used to men. I had her touch their faces, noses and hands and she just laughed and had this look on her face. I think she thought, how bizarre are those fellows ;0))

She also took to her doll today as well as her blocks. She was alot more active. She is starting to respond to our nickname for her. She also looked back as we said "paka" - bye...all good signs, but the one I hold most dearly too is how strongly she holds me and walks straight into my arms.

Sven and Yannik are making a snowman right now before the snow melts. It's warmed up today. Yannik also made a snowman with me indoors...and our Christmas tree ;0)) We've decided to make a Christmas mural! This morning we strolled out to the Iceberg to pick up a few items and I ventured into the stores again to see whether I could find something for Mlle O. There are absolutely no signs of the holidays...a tad depressing... I miss the we are going to make up for it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 1 - A good start!

Today began our first day of bonding. One down, 13 to go. Mlle O. was less timid today... In fact, she is quite fond of cuddling to my delight. We even managed to get a few smiles and a full laugh at one point. She is quite a serious little girl...and loves to play with blocs, much to Sven's delight. (Between the blocs and the doll...she chose the blocs!) We had a very good first visit... a great start according to Irina!

I had a hard time letting her go after the 2 hours. She is simply awed by Yannik and her eyes follow his every move....which makes him very happy. He is pretty taken with her as well. She seems a bit more timid with Sven since all she has really known so far are women. However, by the end of our visit, she was warming up to him and let him "stroll about" with her. She reminds me alot of Sven's side of the family...especially our nephew, Matthias!

Today was also day one of "school" with Yannik. I told Sven that perhaps I had missed my calling... I had lots of fun... and so did he. We practiced letters and numbers, read and began his travel journal. He is a pretty good student... even listened to me :)) He's alot more patient than his mom...that's for sure :))

It was another snowy day here... Feels like Christmas, without the decorations. Though Astana was "decked out" for the holidays, there is still no indications of it in Petro. We're told that they really celebrate New Year's eve. We therefore took it upon ourselves to begin decorating the apartment since we'll be here for a while. We might as well make ourselves at home and make it festive!!We made our first paper snowflakes ;0)) It's a start!

Can't wait to see the little one again tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Meeting Mlle Oborn!!

I know...I know.. everyone has been waiting for this post... and let me just start off by stating... that so have we! We have been wanting to write this post for so long!!...and then the internet didn't work!

Ok, so let's just say that although we may be just slightly biased at this point, today we met the most beautiful little girl!!!!!!!!! We can't share much information at this point for obvious reasons, but we just wanted to let everyone know that we have just met the newest member of our family :)) and that we've asked to begin the bonding process.

For now, we'll just call her "Mlle O". She is a year and a half and of Russian ethnicity. We met briefly with her and she stole our hearts. Yannik confirmed to everyone that she was indeed the one! He gave her the big two thumbs up. We will be meeting with her 2 hours a day, from 12-2pm. The director of the orphanage is allowing Yannik to come along. He is still charming the ladies here :))

We met Mlle O just has she was going for her nap, so she's a trooper. She was pretty unsure of what to make of the three of us, which everyone thought was a good sign. Now, we just have to reassure her that we are indeed ok :)) (She was probably thinking to who are these three goofy characaters who just keep beaming at me!) She did come in my arms with some coaxing and a cute fuzzy rabbit. She was so sweet and timid and has the most amazing eyes...our hearts just melted.

Thanks for all of you who encouraged us and told us not to give up.....She's def. worth the wait.

PS - She's def. a "pretty in pink" girl. Very tiny and feminine.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sleepless in Astana

It's now 4 AM. The three of us have not been able to sleep a wink. Yannik is chattering away...Sven is listening to music and I'm reading Pride and Prejudice. A real party in the Altyn Dala Hotel. I think that sleeping in till almost 2 pm yesterday may, in retrospect, have not been the best idea. Jet lag is alot worse than last time. We're full of energy and hungry :)) I have to admit to being pretty nervous as well in light of our last experience. I keep thinking of our visit to the orphanage and just praying that everything works out for the best this time around.

Until then, I guess Yannik and I will watch a bit of Caillou and hope that he can somehow lull us to sleep....but by then, we'll have to get up and get ready. Our flight leaves at 9:20 and our drive is picking us up at 7:30.

Goodnight everyone, Zzzzzzzz.

a fun afternoon in Astana

Hi, everyone.

We've made it to Astana! We were pretty tired and actually slept in till 1:30 (p.m.). Daylight savings time is not observed here, so we are actually 10 hours ahead We headed out to the Mega Center which has a fun amusement park very similar to the one we had gone to with our New Brunswick friends this past summer. We weren't disappointed. We had a lovely lunch... including a treat: Movenpick ice cream - something we won't access to in Petro! Hmmm, one of each, Sven? Yannik also had great fun and yes, once again, made friends!

We are staying at the same hotel as last time. Everything feels strangely familiar and comfortable. We leave for Petro tomorrow morning. Xhanara is coming to pick us up very early, so we are trying to get organized tonight. Ah... a nice shower is that super duper fancy!
Speaking of fancy...interesting decor in this hotel... We'll post a few pictures.

People here are so friendly. Some girls came up to Yannik and me asking if we spoke English. When I told them Canadian, they said . Oh...Brrrr ('s pretty cold here too!)

PS - BIG star sitings at Toronto Airport...(that is, apart from spending the afternoon with Sven's parents!) No, not Brangelina or even David Beckam...but in true canadian spirit...two of the biggest: Anne Murray...and Rick Mercer. (no, not together... now that could have been interesting!) We were still pretty impressed to be bumping into these two unique canadian icons...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


HAPPY NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY! We think it's pretty fitting to be leaving on this adventure on this special day for lots of us.

Relaxing in Toronto

It was quite a short night! We arrived in Toronto at 6:30 AM and have been relaxing in the American Express Lounge. Yannik is watching Tele Tunes, I managed to sleep and Sven hit the breakfast buffet bar, of course! We're waiting for Sven's folks to arrive. Our flight leaves tonight at a 6:15 so we have plenty of time to relax. So far, we have the whole lounge to ourselves. Great place to watch the planes as well. With only a few hours of sleep, we just appreciate the quite right now :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

All packed and ready to go!

ah....the last suitcase... and everything, goodnight! We're also unsuccessfully attempting to calm down a very excited little boy :) We're exhausted....but so incredibly happy to be returning to Petro to meet our little one!! We'll post from overseas. Please think of us.

Lots of love, Jocelyne, Sven and Yannik

Visas have arrived!

We had a little scare this morning. Our visas had arrived, but Yannik's passport didn't have a visa. We panicked and began thinking of how to get ourselves to Ottawa to rectify the situation..but our concerns were quickly put at ease by CAFAC. Yannik's information (all in Russian of course) was on our visas. Phew....we let out the biggest sigh of relief.

We are pretty much all packed... a few more items to switch around and a few more last minute supplies to pick up.

We spend the entire day tomorrow at the Toronto airport and Sven's parents will be able to meet us there :))) We were pretty happy to get that news... We haven't seen his folks in a while... so it will be quite a special reunion.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Everything falling into place!

What a great day!! We received very reassuring news this morning from our coordinators. The Director at the orphanage is eagerly awaiting our return...and we can't wait to get there, obviously! We then received news that our dear friends from Paris also received their LOI and will be in Petro around the same time.... We can't wait to meet them and their new little one as well. It will be so wonderful to finally chit chat face to face!

We did alot of running around today. Exhausted, but checking off items one at a time. Most importantly, Yannik is now fully vaccinated. We're pretty relieved. It's amazing how supportive people can be when you explain your situation and our special purpose for travelling to Siberia in winter!

Tomorrow, we tackle the packing again....and wait for our visas...Last minute again. A tad unnerving to say the least. You can be sure that we will be tracking the shipping hour by hour! We leave at 5:35 Saturday morning so the visas need to arrive Friday. to try to catch some Zzzzzs since we won't be sleeping much in the week to come.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our travel dates

We're leaving this upcoming Saturday!!! Flights booked. We spend two nights in Astana before travelling to Petro on the following Tuesday. Irina is already waiting for us. She has promised Yannik to help him build a huge snowman.... He can't wait to see her!

Preparations have been quite challenging. We need to "shed some weight" as all of our suitcases are over the weight allowance at the present moment....oups! I never realized how much a sweater could actually weigh! One thing we weren't leaving without: our Canuck hats... as well as our Russian hats...We thought it fitting! We may look like goofy Canadians...but we'll be warm!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Packing...the second time around!

Irina, our interpretor, just e-mailed to let us know that temperatures in Petro are already nearing -15 C with lots of snow! Yannik is a pretty happy boy...looking forward to making snowmen.

As for us, having witnessed our little guy eat only fries and nutella for 3.5 weeks this summer, we've decided to switch strategies and try camping food: veggies, pancakes, sauces, etc. Hmmm... wonder if he'll go for it?

Packing has thus begun...One suitcase down, I image tons to go.

As for travel dates, we could be leaving as early as next Saturday depending on availability of flights. We should probably know later on today.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Christmas in Petro, anyone?

We're the very proud recipient of a new LOI!! The agency's coordinator and the officials in Petro are very optimistic and urge us to travel back to Petro in a few weeks time. It appears that we will be spending both Christmas and the orthodox Christmas in Petro. We're really looking forward to returning and finding our child this time around. It is less stressful since we do know where we are going and can't wait to meet up with old friends.

It's a tad busy in the Oborn household at the moment...planning for winter in the north of Kaz is more challenging than spending the summer there...thankfully Canadians are used to it!!! Down jackets, thermal gear...weird... but we can't wait :)))