Life is about to change, but first I need to get my vaccinations...
Vaccinations are a luxury I now don't have time for
Barely is the ink dry on a first draft of this website than I get an email telling me to expect to travel in September, 20th to be precise.  Not that anything about this process is precise, I'm informed that this date is not settled.  Apparently it may not be possible to get my letter of invitation issued with enough time to get my visa sorted.  Hah!  They've only got to sort one little piece of paper.  How about my medical which has expired and needs to be updated, my criminal records checks which have expired and need to be updated and my employers reference letter which, yup you've guessed it, has expired and needs to be updated.

I wasn't expecting to travel until early October at the earliest - in fact until late August I had given up thinking that I would ever travel!  September 20th is too soon.  Waaaaaaaaaay too soon.

Pottering about looking at cute baby shoes has flown out the window and been replaced by a flurry of lists, flight schedules, hotel reviews, apartment seeking and cot building.  And just to increase my stress levels - my home study expired and I had to have an annual review.  Social worker turned up on a Friday after friends had been over for dinner the night before - and after a frenzy of cleaning (mine, not hers), she only sat in the kitchen.  She didn't even peek in my immaculate living room but thankfully also didn't venture upstairs to the nursery, also fondly known as the Building Site.
OK I may have time for some vaccinations after all
The vital "letter of invitation" has not arrived yet.  This allows me to get a special visa - arriving on my own and leaving with a child and has to be sent from the local Ministry for Education.  I think the man who issues them has broken his finger, or his pencil, or something and so nothing has turned up.

Was hoping to travel on 26th September but this is looking ambitious and will probably slide into October now.  September 20th was too soon but October is too late - I am ready NOW!
Still waiting...
So here I am on October 20th still in London, twiddling my thumbs waiting for the all important letter of invitation.  At least we know what the hold up is - Ust-Kamenogorsk has changed their procedures and now issues the LOI's not 7 days after application but 20.  So we wait... hoping that on Thursday 26th LOI will miraculously appear at the Kazakh Embassy and that we will be able to get our visas issued in enough time to travel on Saturday 28th.

I say "we" because I have found my travelling partners, the Henderson's and the Colloran's both from Ireland and in a moment of madness have offered to get their visas at the same time as mine and courier them back in time for their flights.  I hadn't realised how nervewracking it is to have other peoples passports!

I look forward to meeting them all in person after so many grumpy emails going backward and forward discussing our delays.  I'm so glad it's not just me - it has been helpful to share my misery with others in exactly the same boat.
And Finally...
Some decent news to share.

I have my visa and pick up my tickets tomorrow. 😀

I'm booked on a flight Tuesday afternoon next week, fly to Almaty over night, stay one night there and fly on to Ust-Kamenogorsk on Thursday.  I hope we will be able to visit the "Dyetski Dom" on the same day and start the process of bonding with Junior.

The later than expected start means I may well only be back a week or so before Christmas so anyone who's expecting a Christmas card can whistle!  The few presents I will buy will either be felt Kazakh souvenir camels (they're big on toy Bactrian camels as souvenirs apparently) or from Duty Free.  Vodka anyone?

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10.07 | 13:22

We all have heard that dogs love to chew bones, Bones are a good source of minerals and other essential nutrients to satisfy the dog’s appetite.

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07.06 | 16:37

Thank you so much for sharing. Makes me want to be there. We have told Ben and Ruthie we too will make a trip back and I hope it's soon!

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03.06 | 11:35

Tears are flowing and laughter ensuing.

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31.05 | 00:14

We're loving following your adventures!!! In Kew at the mo with my I laws. We have explained to Harry where you are but he says he misses Daniel!! Xx

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