Saturday, May 10, 2008

We're Home!!! Here are some pictures of a Kyrgyzstan Princess!

Combing my hair at the orphanage.......gotta look good when I go out into the big world.
Dad and Anna (yes.....she's got him wrapped tight around that little finger; she's a Daddy's Girl)
Here I am.....playing at the SOS Clinic in Almaty, waiting on my appointment with the doctor.
Lookin' cool in my dad's shades.
Mom, Dad, and Anna in front of US Embassy in Almaty.....check out the mountains in the background.....and of course I was on top of a mountain after our interview with the Embassy.
(Getting dressed at Orphanage on Gotcha Day)

WOW! The last 36 hours have been a blur! Many of those hours spent on airplanes. Anna was a super flyer. I keep saying she's my "Go Girl". She loves to go! We arrived home around 9:30pm last night. Needless to say, it was quite late when we went to bed. Everyone was really excited. The "brats" (brothers) adore their sister. And yes, we're already having sibling rivalry between Luke and Anna. You can't hold one without holding the other. That's OK ....we have big laps!
Thanks everyone for your prayers in this journey. We really felt them while we were away. Please continue to pray for our family and the adjustments that we'll all make.
Love you all,

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Embassy Visit....

Our interview at the Embassy lasted only 5 minutes......I was afraid for nothing. The consular asked very few questions. He asked Anna if she wanted to go to America and she grinned her biggest grin and giggled. He said, "I'll take that as a yes!" We're ready for our trip home beginning in the morning 3:45 am time here. Long trip home!

We're having trouble with phone cards so John Mark check your email ...
Love you all,
M & J

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"Gotcha" Day!

Tuesday around 3:00pm here, we arrived at Tokmok Orphanage and woke up our little girl from her nap. They asked her if she was ready to go to America and she said "Dah"! That's yes of course. We drove back to Bishkek, and then to Kazahkstan border. Everything went smoothly at the border. The only question that was asked was , "A boy named Anna?" They thought she was a boy. Her hair has grown a couple of inches, she just needs hairbows! The trip from the border on to Almaty was 5 hours. Adam drove slowly because Anna was quite car sick....yes, she initiated me into motherhood, again, from the top and the bottom. Oh well, that's what moms are for. We arrived at our apartment in Almaty at 11:30pm. We all had baths, ate a midnight snack and then went to bed. We slept very well.

Today we went shopping......Anna loves shopping; she will definitely be a girly-girl. I'll have to get her Aunt Mary and Cousin Shelley to take her shopping. The prices here are outrageous.......a dollar doesn't go very far here. We also went to the SOS Medical Clinic. Anna doesn't like people in white coats. She took one look at a nurse in a white coat and had a melt down. You know, the orphanage workers all wear white coats......that could have been the reason for the crying. She tells Chinara she doesn't want to go back!

Tomorrow, Thursday, we pick up her visa from the embassy here in Almaty and then wait for 5:45 Friday morning to fly home!!!!

The boys are doing great. I hear the band concert went well.....way to go John Mark! Luke had fun with Mrs. Donna while Mawmaw and Pawpaw and JM were at the band concert.

We love you all,
Melody, Jerry, and Anna

Monday, May 5, 2008

Maple Avenue Baptist Church Donation........

Our church, Maple Avenue Baptist in Smackover, has been collecting needed items for the orphanages in Kyrgyzstan, to be distributed by missionary John Wright. We were able to collect a duffel bag full of tylenol, creams, ointments, vitamins, etc. for the children in the orphanages. The pictures are of the mission team accepting the donations from our church. Our prayer is that these items will open doors for John and Julie in their missionary efforts to help the needy children of Kyrgyzstan.

Dinner With Mission Team From Canada.....

Tonight we had a wonderful time fellowshipping with John Wright and a mission team from Canada. We had dinner at the Metro Bar & Grill (good Christian hang-out....ha-ha). It really was great sharing dinner and conversation with fellow Christians. Their stories have an inspiring message. You can read about their missionary work at John's blog. This is that address. . Here are some of the pictures from the evening. Tomorrow around noon we will leave Bishkek for good. We will travel 1 hour to Tokmok for our "Gotcha Day". We will pick up Anna and then travel 4 hours to Almaty, Kazahkstan. We will be in Almaty until Friday morning and then we come home!

Afternoon in the Park....

We spent Monday afternoon with Chinara and Adam, our in-country facilitators. We also picked up Ksenia, our translator from our 1st trip to Bishkek. We walked around the park area of Bishkek. Exhibits were set up for the's Constitution Day in Bishkek. There were art exhibits (which I enjoyed). The doves in the picture are wedding doves. No one could tell me what they were called, so John Mark, look it up and tell us when we get home. I've never seen dove before with large plumes. One picture is of Ksenia blowing a dandelion.......we told her if she could blow off all the fuzzies, she would get her wish. John Mark calls these blowies. After walking around the park, we went shopping at a large department store. It was 6 floors of mostly souvenirs and electronics. We had fun trying on hats and we found a beautiful dress and vest with matching hat for Anna. We also bought souvenirs for the boys. There was a huge toy store that had the same type toys as America.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Out Our Window

This is the view right out of our hotel window. We are staying at the Silk Road Lodge. It's very nice with everything we need. They even have a pool, sauna, and weight room downstairs. We enjoyed a delicious meal of fried (stir-fried) chicken and rice with vegetables. Yummy! For dessert we had a plate full of fruit covered in some kind of sweet sauce: very tasty. Don't worry when you look at the pictures Mom. It's amazing how they build these new hotels with all the modern conveniences right in the middle of poverty. These are some pictures of that poverty. The woman is actually cooking over that fire in her back yard (in the rain). And I sometimes complain of all the work I have to do. Someone, somewhere, always has life harder. It's easy to see that here.


These 1st few pics. are of the tornado damage between Sheridan and Little Rock. We came through this area right after the tornado came through, and were slowed tremendously because of accidents. I knew there was a reason for us leaving Smackover late. Jerry kept trying to hurry me up but something kept slowing me down. Must've been a God-thing. He gave us traveling mercies. I guess my cousin, Philip, is helping out with the rescue teams. We were able to pull up some Arkansas news on the computer and learned there were 7 deaths, many lost homes, and many without electricity across central Arkansas because of the Friday storms.

In Bishkek!

Our flight from London to Bishkek with a stop in Almaty lasted 9 hours. We slept alot on the plane, but went straight to bed when we made it to our room. We slept for another 8 hours.....with all the sleeping you would think we would be rested; however, I could go back to bed again right now.
It is Sunday morning at home and we just talked with our boys through skype and a webcam, so we were able to actually see them and talk with them. They are being well taken care of by mawmaw and pawpaw. They will go to church and the youth's potato lunch and then this evening they have a birthday party to attend. Today will pass fast for them.

Sunday here is almost over, it is 7:30pm. We will go downstairs and have dinner at our hotel. We are staying at a very nice hotel with all the amenities. The view from our window, however, is quite different. We are actually watching the women cook on an open fire outside in the rain. They are also washing dishes and clothes outside. Sometimes we take for granted all that we have in America. Traveling to a 3rd world country helps us realize how blessed as a nation we are.

It is a national holiday here today and tomorrow. The director of the orphanage will not be there these 2 days, so we can't get Anna until Tuesday......bummer! That's OK. We've waited a very long time for her; what's 2 more days? Today is almost gone. Tomorrow (Monday) we will go shopping and try to meet up with John Wright, the missionary. Tuesday morning we travel 1 hour to Tokmok where Anna's orphanage is located. And then from there we'll go to Almaty, Kazahkstan for our Embassy appointment.

Love to you all,
Melody & Jerry

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Flight Into Tomorrow

Hi Everyone,
We arrived in London at 2:30am home time. My boys were fast asleep at home (I hope); and the sun was shining brightly here in London at 8:30am That seemed weird. We flew into the cool! Next stop......Almaty, Kazahkstan (we will stay on the plane....just like a bus stop) and then to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan which will be 2:30pm Saturday afternoon. It will be Sunday 3:30am in Bishkek...........boy, are we confused!?!

We met a lady on the last flight who is a writer and just had her first book (The Last Payload) published. Her name is Renne' Fletcher and she was very sweet. She asked what we were naming our new daughter. We told her. She said that she would use Anna's name in her next book that she is already writing. Isn't that cool! We look forward to buying and reading her books. It was good to meet you Renne'.

The boys are doing well and in very capable and loving hands. They're staying at Maw-maw's and Paw-paw's (the boys' favorite place). Be sweet boys and know that we love you! Be good to each other. I'm so proud of you two. We love you Mawmaw and Pawpaw. Thanks for being such awesome grandparents!

We'll post again in Bishkek.
Until then, keep praying us there......
Love, M & J

Friday, May 2, 2008

On Our Way!!

Tornadoes, high waters, heavy rains, traffic accidents, and cancelled flights won't stop us. We're on a mission! We are on our way to get our little girl. We'll post more, including tornado damage pictures, later. We're boarding now and heading for Dallas. From there, London, Kazahkstan, and finally Kyrgyzstan.
Love you all.
Melody and Jerry

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