Friday, January 18, 2008

Good News:

We have three new Americans!!!

Through a whirlwind of providence, we left Karkhiv on the afternoon train Tuesday with all our boys and their passports in tow. Then we arrived in Kiev late that night, put the boys to bed at midnight only to get them up at 7:30 so we could be out of the apartment at 8:00am to head out for the days' work.

We began with the doctor's office, then went to the American consulate where, because of our American status, we went right in past a long line of waiting Ukrainians. We were there for our final documents: the visas for the boys. We filled out the necessary paperwork and handed over all our documents bearing those all important blue stamps. Because I was going to be flying out in the morning, I asked if there were any things I needed to sign to assure that Steve could finish up after I left. When they realized that we both had tickets for the morning but that Steve had to stay behind with the boys to wait for the visa, they suggested that we wait a bit and see if they couldn't hurry up and get us done that day. Sure enough, by the end of the day, we had our visas in hand and were hurriedly packing to head to America!!! On our original tickets, saving us the change fee and another night of the miserable bedtime "routine". (another story) This practically never happens so that, in itself was amazing. That and getting the visas so quickly.

We were up in the morning at 5:00am ready to be picked up at 5:30 to head to the airport. I have told you before that Steve's mom and sister were planning to escort us home. They were going to fly out of the US on the same morning that we ended up leaving. Instead, they were going to meet us at the airport in Washington DC.

I was so excited to get home but the plane ride was miserable! Despite our attempts to drug the boys with Benadryl, Misha and Max never slept all day (26 hours) and Vitali slept only 2 and a half hours, and then only after he terrorized the whole coach section with tantrums and whining and throwing things. We felt so bad about it! And not just because we were being driven nuts ourselves!

The people were so nice and understanding and several people played with the boys and shared toys with them, particularly Misha, who loved to talk to people and make friends. Max was fascinated by the remotes and the seat-back televisions. He kept pretty busy with that. That and locking himself in the bathroom.

That flight was awful for us. But our miserable situation attracted attention and most people were interested to hear about our adoption and the boys, saying how wonderful it was for the boys and all. Especially remarkable were several ladies travelling home to the Deep South. One of them dug out a pack of gum and gave it to us at the gate to replace the one that we took out of Misha's mouth after he had picked it off the garbage can. Very nice ladies they all were.
Also, the Romanian-American Grandmother that was the MVP of the flight. She was finally able to get Vitali to sleep where he stayed for the final 2 and a half hours of the trip! Ahhhh, sweet quietness!

Customs wasn't any better but it was shorter. In fact, the boys were so awful there that they moved us to the head of a two-hour line; something I felt bad about but was very much appreciated.

In Washington, we saw Babushka Eimers and Aunt Laurie coming from afar; Red, white and blue balloons sailing above them. Three mylar balloons in the the shape of American flags were bopping around on the mix as well. We pointed them out to the boys and Misha and Max went running full tilt and calling, "Babushka!" I got it on video, it was so sweet.

There we got the news that our flight to Knoxville was canceled after having been delayed several times. Steve asked me if we should start crying now or wait till later. We decided to wait. :-) Laurie's fiancee has a home here in the DC area and we all were able to crash at his house. By the end of the day, 26 hours later, we went to sleep and slept soundly, the boys having fallen asleep in the car. ( thank the Lord!)

The flight out today was too full for us to make it and so we will be flying out tomorrow morning and arriving in Knoxville at around 10:00 am. I can hardly wait to see the girls and to just be home! I was disappointed to be delayed but especially so because of the girls. I felt so bad knowing that they have been so understanding and have sacrificed so willingly for so long and now, to be so excited that we were coming home only to have to wait two more days... I get teary just thinking about it!

Today we took the boys to a mall here. They rode a carousel, went to the shoe store where we settled on light-up sneakers (I took video there too, so cute to see them stomping their feet proudly to see the lights.) We also got them haircuts! They are sooooo cute in their new hairdos! What an amazing difference.

I know I will see many of you tomorrow morning. I can't wait to have you meet our boys! We love them to pieces! We hope you will too.

Keep praying pleeeeease! I won't lie; this is a real challenge! But we don't regret it, we can't, it's all just so important and we love them too much.

Da Zaftra (Until tomorrow),

Ps. It's too busy here right now but I am hoping to post some pictures here later. Keep and eye open!


Leslie said...

So thankful you have made it to the final stretch and are finally coming home. Praying and praising for all God has done!

Auntie G said...

Welcome Home with your sons!!

Anonymous said...

Laurie mentioned your website to me the other day...I am a flight attendant too. I have been so moved by your story I have shared your story with everyone I know as well as the local radio station WGTS91.9. Angela Stevens (the radio host) has been praying for God's leading in how to use use her resources for God's will. She mentioned to me that she believes this may be the place...she will be keeping in touch with me. I plan on checking her blog on the radio's website.
I have been so moved by God's finger prints all over your lives and the lives of your children.
I have a two year old...I know it doesn't compare to three girls and three boys....but what I can say is that I know "boys":)
I pray every day for God to give my son a heart for kindness, strength, courage, and honor. I know God has his hand on your lives, so when it gets crazy and the boys are testing the boundries (which really means they are exploring and seeing the world thru their eyes....many things for the first time) know that God is giving you the opportunity to see things as a child...what a gift.
I will continue to keep you in my prayers.
I have found myself looking for the latest information on your journey...very excited and of course thankful for your willingness to share such an amazing gift.

Tami said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! That final stretch is a doozy...but at least you have a great story to tell! :) Can't wait to hear about the reunion with the girls.

Nataliya said...

I'm so happy you are on American soil now! I understand, it was not an easy trip, but it's almost over, and tomorrow you'll finally be home!

Stange Family said...

i have goosebumps...
i will continue to pray.

BethPie said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. We're continuing to pray that things go smoothly for everyone during the transition.

Praise God you're all togther! :o)

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home! We adopted in 2003. I can totally sympathize and relate with your trip from H*** home. Your trip home sounds exactly like ours!!! you can read in the History section on myfamily..March 2005. Oh, 4 years later and i've realized - the hard part was over once we left Ukraine. Congratulations and many, many happy memories together! My prayers...

Kathy Marshall
Family #698