Saturday, June 18, 2011

Travel Journal: Day 9

May 25, 2011

Traveling Part 2

Dear Lil' Miss,

Today was another early morning for us…but we were so ready to go home, we didn’t really care.  KLM had given us little travel packages with spare shirts, socks, razors, shampoo…ect.  Although your hairstylist mama was NOT too excited about using hotel shampoo (with no conditioner) on her hair, my hair was SOOOO greasy at this point I had no choice.  Two days without a shower PLUS when I get stressed I run my hands through my hair a million times.  I was desperate (and it was well worth it, in all honestly).

I kept breakfast small this morning, even though I was tempted to overdo it.  I was full of nerves again, and nerves = nausea for me.  I kept to toast and orange juice and then we rushed to get down to the bus on time.
We made it to the airport in plenty of time.  Security seemed pretty standard getting in and went rather quickly.  We double checked our tickets before heading to our gate, and as it turns out our “made up” KLM flight (which was basically scheduled JUST for our flight that was cancelled) had kind of screwed up all our connections….but the KLM staff at the airport re-did our tickets for us.  Just a little waiting and we were on our way!  We had another security check to go to before boarding and THIS was the most intense security we have ever experienced! 

We waited in a line and each family had to talk to a security officer and answer some questions.  He checked our passport and led us to another line where we had our luggage scanned and went through a 360 scanner ourselves – it was like nothing I had ever seen.  And then when I stepped out a lady patted me down.  It honestly doesn’t bother me….I’d rather know this was a safe flight than worry about the pat down!

We sat and waited for our flight as the room got more and more crowded.  We were pleasantly surprised upon boarding the plane that we had bulk head seats!  Extra leg room for daddy and plenty of room to lounge for mama (daddy doesn’t complain about me putting my legs on his as long as he can stretch out…which also means less swelling for me =)!  It was extra chilly since we were right by the exit, but I know now to bring extra blankets for next time. =)

This was one of the hardest flights.  For one, we were two days delayed getting home and counting every hour (and towards the end, minute).  But we were also leaving at 11am and arriving in Seattle at 11:30am….we were going to be ready to zonk out when we got home, but we had your busy big brother to take care of….and he was looking forward to seeing us JUST as much as we were looking forward to seeing him!  Thankfully it was a smooth flight.  Daddy and I each had a couple short naps, but we were still EXHAUSTED. 

When we had landed, daddy and I stood up and grabbed our stuff as quickly as possible to get our BUTTS off that plane!!  BUT…we had more lines to wait in.  Of course JUST as we got in the line for customs they opened up two MORE lanes….let’s just say it took FOREVER!!!  Not looking forward to that when we have you in our arms….but we will deal =)  From there we headed down an escalator only to wait for our luggage to show up.  We still weren’t allowed to have our phones on at that point, so I’m sure Grandma and big brother were sooo sick of waiting.  Thankfully our luggage was some of the first on the belt!  We are still surprised it all showed up with all of our delays – but THANKFUL!  We headed out to see your brother!

Our reunion was a sweet one!  As soon as I saw him (grandma was walking him towards the bathroom...dirty diaper) I yelled out his name!  He turned and a HUGE smile spread across his face as he RAN towards me!  It was everything I dreamed it would be!  I was SO excited to have him in my arms I carried him all the way to the car WHILE helping with luggage.  (Although daddy and grandma got most of it.)  He was giddy excited and talking non-stop all the way home (I’m sure that doesn’t sound like anyone you know!)!!!

In the car he was rambling on and on about all the fun things he did at grandma’s house.  I was frustrated that I couldn’t understand a lot of it (I guess that’s what 9 days away from your 2 ½ year old will do!!), but overjoyed to hear what a great time he had at grandpa and grandma’s! 

When we pulled in our driveway it was a bittersweet moment.  We really were happy to be home, but we left our heart in Ethiopia…we both were very aware of the little person who was missing.  After loading all the luggage in the house, grandma sat down to watch a few videos with us.  She was SO excited to see your sweet face, and I watched through blurred vision as tears spilled onto her cheeks watching our video from the moment we met you.  I can’t tell you how hard it is to be sharing videos of our first moments with our daughter while having our arms empty.  It just doesn’t feel right.  I’m sure a lot in our life just won’t feel right until you are home.

We had the joyous task of giving gifts to your big brother from your birth country!  We brought home a small African drum with an arm strap and a big giraffe painted on it.  We showed big brother the videos we had from our cultural night of the men playing the drums and he spun in circles excitedly, trying to repeat the motions!  We also brought a tiny drum on a stick, with wooden beads attached to strings.  You roll the stick between your hands and the beads pound on the drum.  Your brother thought it was HILARIOUS!!!  I just wish I had a video of his excitement!! =)  We also brought home a traditional outfit for him, but he didn’t seem too excited about that yet!  =)

Grandma had to leave soon after that, since she still had a two hour drive home.  Grandma (and grandpa!) was SUCH a huge help, what a blessing to have family supporting us through this!!!  I’m so glad they are all so excited to meet you!!!

When it was nap time, your brother was not too thrilled to go down.  Mama ended up crawling in his twin bed with him until he fell asleep.  Of course, I feel asleep too!  I was very thankful I didn’t wake him as I crawled out of his bed and into my own, where daddy was already snoozing.  At this point in the day, it was the middle of the night in Ethiopia…and our clocks were VERY confused by all the traveling!  Waking up from our nap (by your crying brother) was a very rude awakening to exactly how much the jet lag had affected us! 

Now we are just waiting on your new birth certificate (with our last name as your own) and your passport so that AGCI can submit our file to the embassy!  It could take up to a week for the embassy to review it and once we are cleared, we will book our tickets to bring you HOME!!!  We are praying and pleading with God that it will be a short wait, but regardless, we are leaning on Him for the strength we need to make it through this difficult time.  Longing to see you again…

With love,


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