Friday, January 22, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

Sorry for the delayed post, but we all had a little sleep to catch up on. We began our journey home at 2am on Wednesday which was 6pm Tuesday night in San Antonio. We had a short 3 hour flight from Kiev to Frankfurt and then a 2 hour layover in Germany. The kids did well on the flight, but when we got off the plane things got interesting. They all started screaming at once because they were hungry. We had food for them, but could not prepare it fast enough. As we weer struggling to get them all calm, we noticed people all over the airport staring at us. I wonder what they must have thought. After about 30 minutes, they were calm and so were we. We boarded the plane at 10am (2am in SA).

This next flight was the long one. It was a 10 hour flight from Germany to Chicago. Faith and Elisa sat in front of Brittany and I and the two babies (Vanessa and Elijah were sitting on our laps). One of the greatest delights of our trip home was watching Faith with Elisa. Faith is 12 years old and handled Elisa with such poise and patience. Elisa was the most difficult by far, but Faith had a way with handling her. Elisa definitely has some sensory issues, but Faith knew just how to work with her. She would pat her gently and help her get comfortable and even when she was screaming, Faith was calm. I was amazed at the maturity of my oldest daughter and she made me so proud to be her father. The kids all had their moments on this flight, but overall, they did very well. I got peed on twice and thrown up on 4 times (all by Vanessa), but that just helped us bond....

We were worried about what to do with our 5 hour layover in Chicago, but the long layover turned out to be necessary. We started at customs where the lines were long. We made it through relatively quickly and then picked up our baggage. At that point, we went to the Homeland Security area where we had to turn in our immigration paperwork. Although this process took about an hour, the people working there were great. Seeing us with all of the kids and baggage, they waved us through the customs security point and told us to have a nice day. After all of that, we had to recheck our bags and then take a train to another terminal. The Chicago airport is HUGE, so it took a while to get to our gate. By the time we got there, we had about an hour to get some food and feed the kids who were getting pretty fussy.

The last leg of the trip was a breeze. We left Chicago at 5:30pm (SA time) which was 1:30 am in Kiev. Needless to say, the kids were tired and they slept through the entire flight. We arrived home at 8:30 pm to end our 26 hour journey.At the airport we were greeted with yelling and cheering from our family and closest friends. I believe there were about 20 people there waiting for us. I was so tired at that point that I probably didn't look at excited as I was. We passed the babies around from person to person. They hardly woke up as people were kissing them and pinching their cheeks. This was just the start of all of the loving they are going to get from now on. We got home and went straight to bed.

It is such a relief to be home and to know that no one can take these babies away from us. Throughout the 2 trips to the Ukraine, there was always an underlying tension that something may go wrong; we may get denied, they may get sick, we may not get passports or may not get visas. There was always another step that we had to go through, but not anymore. When I laid them in their cribs I could finally breath a sigh of relief. We had completed the journey that we started almost a year ago and Elisa, Vanessa and Elijah are now home. Now it is time to begin the next phase of this journey.........

8 comments:

  1. Congratulations and Welcome Home!
    We are the New Dickinson Family. We adopted Marcus and Macey last March from Ukraine. We actually met and flew with DJ and McKenna on thier way to rescue Reese. Anyway, I have enjoyed your adoption journey and now look forward to your new home life with these 3 precious babies the Lord has blessed you with. The real journey begins...Enjoy!
    Blessings,
    Meghan

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  2. WOW! Welcome home! So glad you made it! Cannot wait to see more pictures and updates onthose gorgeous children!

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  3. Yeah!!! We are soo excited for you! Now, you guys have to get some sleep :)

    We are praying for you as you begin your journey at home now.

    Love,
    The Adamsons

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  4. Thank you so much for letting us all follow your journey to these treasures. PLEASE keep the updates coming. Your family is such an inspiration.

    Tara

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  5. Congratulations!!! Tears are flowing as I read your story about how thankful you were to have them home and no one can take them from you!! Please give updates as you can!!! I can't wait to watch your little flowers bloom.

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  6. Congratulations!! I have been following your journey for a while now and can't tell you how exciting it was to hear you say that you laid them in their cribs at HOME!! My only complaint.....PICTURES!! I can't wait to see some with the WHOLE family. And may you be Blessed forever because of your willingness to save these Angels!!

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  7. I've got goosebumps!! WELCOME HOME!!

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