Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's All About the Technology

Being certain that we can communicate while in Kazakhstan has become a bit of an obsession with us. If Luca was going with us, I doubt it would be such a priority. We want to make sure we can communicate with him once (or twice!) a day. That is going to be a trick in and of itself because of the time difference and his military-like schedule :).

The abundance of communication devices & accessories makes my head spin. So, here is what we are taking/doing:
  • Computer loaded with Skype: From what I can gather, where we are staying has wireless capability, so all we have to take is our laptop. I have heard about Skype from other PAPs for months. We finally had all the equipment we needed to use it and downloaded it a few days ago. IT IS AMAZING! It is basically chat that can also include video. We can buy a phone number and call landlines (people that don't have a Skype account). I chatted with Tricia in Kostanai yesterday morning. It worked so well. I also received messages from Susan yesterday afternoon when I was offline. Luca and I have chatted with Scott while he is in his office. The video capability is the best. This is how we will communicate with Luca and my mom and others. Scott has tried using a couple of headsets to no avail - we may just use the speaker in the computer.
  • Cell phone: We are renting a cell phone in Kazakhstan. We will be able to receive calls from the U.S., however, we won't be able to make them. We will only be able to call out in Kazakhstan. This phone will be used if my mom needs to get a hold of us at times outside of out Skype "dates". It also may be used to communicate with the in-country team.

Can that be it? After all this talk and thinking we are just taking a cell phone and computer! Of course there are also the extra batteries, headsets (?), cords, etc. We also have our digital camera and a video camera.

Other Stuff

Visas arrived just now! I did not know what to expect. I assumed that a visa is a separate piece of paper. Isn't everything in international adoption a separate piece of paper? My heart sank when I opened the FedEx envelope only to find our passports. Then, I started flipping through and buried on pages 21 & 24 were our visas!

Tickets are purchased.

Travel insurance has been purchased. Scott took care of this yesterday - he found out that the people who run the company have adopted themselves - once from Kazakhstan.

Scott also placed a big order with Amazon a couple of days ago - things like microfiber travel towels, extra battery for the computer, power strip, money belts, passport lanyard, etc. He also ordered a Magellan Eurosurge protector.

We have almost all of our paperwork - just missing my notarized medical form. My doctor's office does not have a notary. I used a traveling notary last time, but she is recovering from surgery and is unable to drive until next week. I am trying to get my doctor to meet me at our credit union . . . to no avail yet. I am calling her again today.

I started working on a detailed schedule for Luca and the house - details, details. Pretty amazing how many details make-up our everyday lives! I am now started to understand why I am exhausted at the end of the day.

I think things are coming together.

UPDATE: My doctor's office called and they have located a notary to use. The last piece of paperwork will be notarized on Friday! What a relief! Now I can go to Springfield for Apostilles on Monday. Last night, I felt like I hit a wall . . . today I feel like the clouds are parting. Almost there!

16 comments:

dnd82001 said...

You are doing great!

In a short while we will be in Kaz - can't believe it is finally happening and that we are going!!

Sounds like you have it all under control.

Darlene

Jennifer M said...

Wow, you're making me tired! :-) I can only imagine how exhausted you are. I'm so happy it's all coming together- that's awesome.

I was rocking Punkin' to sleep tonight, and in the peace and quiet of the darkened room I was thinking about you guys, and how in a very short (relative) amount of time, you will meet your Saskia and rock her to sleep in a quiet and darkened room. The thought made me smile.

Susan said...

yay!!! you git it girl!
bring a surge strip...so you can plug it in and plug other things into that.
we have our laptop, and phone chargers are plugged into that.

we have a local cell phone, just for usewith our in country staff andother famlies here. we don't use it to call the us...we only use skpye.

we don't use video though, because on dial up it craps out....but if you have high speed, it should be fine.
we are still waiting on high speed, but at this point, I'm pretty used to dial up so it's not bad.

we brought towels, but our apt had them..nice big soft ones.

be sure to bring a clothesline...no dryers here. I also like the travel size things of Tide (at Target) because they smell like home!!

If you are prone to sinus infections (Joe is) then bring antiobiotics for that. The dust here has aggravated Joe...but not me...

Being connected is important..it makes you feel better to have access to your blog of course, and family back at home.

you are getting it together!! yay!!!
you are so gonna love it in kaz.
it's truly truly awesome!!!

when I think how we got here "just in time" with all our agency snafu's, etc, it just makes me realize even more what a miracle it all is...TRULY.

Chris and Tricia said...

You sound prepared! Scott did a good job. Thank God Chris got all of that technology stuff together for us or I would have been frazzled about it. You can buy things here if needed, also. It is amazing how much stuff you have to get in order before you leave, but if you do it right then you won't think about it while you are away. Of course, that is things not having to do with Luca. He will be so happy to see his mama and papa on Skype. Things are coming together and you will soon be on your way. Good luck! Tricia

Butch & Tracy said...

I am so excited for you... You seem to have it all together. I can't wait to hear from you from KAz...

Tracy

Karen & Glenn said...

You "think" you have things in order?! Of course you do! We are SO excited for you, and we are so sorry we missed a post on LOI day!!! We are so excited for you -- we know how difficult it will be to be away from Luca, but the time will fly (and he will have a good time with G-Ma) and you will have your daughter in your arms before you know it.

Funny, we thought the same thing about the Visas. No letter, no explanation, nothing. Just two big stickers. Ahhhh, but how valuable those stickers are! :-) Plus, it's just so cool to have those in your passports for the next few years! You child will have a simlar Visa sticker in her Kaz passport -- Max's is so cute with his little picture on it, and I still cry when I look at it and realize how blessed we were to be able to bring him home.

We are so excited for you, and we can't wait to continue to follow your journey.

Karen said...

See, it all comes together doesn't it? Good for you. Yes, the Visa is very important. An American couple who was over there when we were were only issued a tourist Visa. Which meant it expired while they were still in-country (tourist visas are only good for 30 days). What a nightmare for them. They were holed up in their hotel room for three days while someone hand carried their visas to Almaty. Luckily, that person was honest and they got their visas back. But their visas were only extended for a limited time. Needless to say, they were in a panic to get out of Kaz with their child in the timeframe given. Yikes, what a nightmare.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
babsinatl said...

I heard this guy interviewed on NPR about packing and gave his "bundling" method a try on my trip to NYC. I thought it worked really great. Here's the link: http://www.onebag.com/pack.html ... scroll down the page a bit to click on the link to the diagram, which was the most helpful. My mother tried the method too and was not as impressed, but she's already over-the-top organized anyway, does not wear clothes that wrinkle, and does not have my burning desire to consolidate.

Baby Kaz Moore said...

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you all. Best, Susan & Griffin

Shannon said...

You sound more than ready! Since you will have wireless my next suggestion may be mute, but I brought a long phone cord and was happy I did in my Almaty apartment - otherwise I would have had to sit on the floor by the phone to use my computer....

Can't wait to hear of the adventure!
Shannon

Noah and Josh's Mom said...

Awesome! Almost there, yeah!

McMary said...

Wow so close--you are amazing--it sounds exhausting but so exciting.

Patrick & Eileen said...

You ARE doing great! Feels good to get things organized doesn't it.

I'm so looking forward to your adventure in Kaz. You'll be there before you know it :)

Eileen

Matthew and Suzanne said...

I can't WAIT to follow your journey!

Chris and Gretchen said...

How exciting! If you are taking a Mac, be sure and bring an external modem just in case...

Good luck!