We had an appointment Monday afternoon at the Vanderbilt International Adoption Clinic downtown. They gave us information about everything we could ever want to know once we get to Kazakhstan. They provided us with growth charts, measuring tape, developmental milestones to look for, they gave us information to reach them at any time while we're in-country. They schooled us on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and other neurological diseases. They took us line by line through the medicals we received with our referral. It was very interesting, and I am so glad we went. We'll definitely need their services while we're in Kazakhstan, to review any medical information we get, or answer any questions we may have. We met with both a physician and a psychologist. The first meeting was more difficult for me, because we looked at the pictures of Eva, and read through her information. I did quite well through the first hour or so, when the talk was in general, and the file on Eva stayed closed. Then the doctor opened her file and said, "Well, the first thing I can tell you is that she's cute!" She then started talking about her facial features and size, which she had plotted on a growth chart. That's about the time I started crying. That is also the time that the med students in the room (Vandy is a teaching hospital) started shifting awkwardly in their chairs. I couldn't hold it together. The doctor brought me tissues, asked if I wanted to stop discussing it. She went on, but it took me a while to compose myself. Something about seeing Eva's larger-than-life pictures in a file, and knowing deep down that we'll probably never actually get to see her in person, broke my heart.
The good news is that we received word that we should be getting our LOIs on Tuesday, just after Labor Day. The LOIs will contain our travel dates, and once we have them, we can apply for our visas. We are on the downhill side of this journey. Keith and I are very excited to travel. We'll miss the boys beyond belief, but I can't help but think that this will be the trip of a lifetime. I hope it goes smoothly, and we're home in a reasonable amount of time. There is some unrest in the country right now, on the adoption front, and some regions are closing down. Hopefully we'll avoid all of that and just be able to meet our daughter and enjoy the country and its culture. Yes, we're very excited.