Next month marks our five year anniversary of bringing our daughter home. While my previous blog was predominantly about our adoption journey…I haven’t spoken much about it here. So in celebration of our 5th Gotcha Day, I thought it would be fun to share our travel journals (and photos) here. While this is brand new for many of you, I know that some of you read these the first time around. But I’ve got something fresh in store for you to! Photos! The first time around I wasn’t able to share our daughter’s face. This time I am.
I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into our journey to our daughter. There were plenty of ups and downs and lots of chaotic moments…but it was worth every second to have the privilege of being her mama and be able to call her my own.
May 18th, 2011
Delta Flight: Seattle to Amsterdam
Daddy and I are on the plane – finally on our way to you! After almost two years of waiting to see your face, it’s hard to believe that now it is only a matter of hours.
Over the last several weeks, we have been preparing not only for this trip, but for your arrival home! We have been finishing the nursery, packing, shopping, packing, getting vaccinations, packing… We feel so ready to have you in our arms forever!
This morning/early afternoon, Grandpa and Grandma came to pick us up and take us to the airport. After almost eight weeks of packing, I felt (for the first time EVER!) oddly prepared! I think I cried all morning, a lot of the way to the airport, and even spontaneously now as we are in flight! Leaving your big brother was one of the hardest things I ever had to do (I cry even now thinking about it!)…but I did it! And Hollywood put on a brave face for me, hugged and kissed me, and waved “bye-bye” with an excited smile! I guess all our preparation paid off.
As kind of some extra “kisses” from heaven, our local Ethiopian friend from church showed up in his taxi at the airport! He was just working – but wow! So amazing to see him! He helped us with our luggage and gave us big hugs before sending us on our way.
As expected, I cried while watching everyone drive away and had tears streaming down my face as we walked into the airport. Immediately we felt lost and confused, but a friendly Delta employee not only showed us where to go but helped us every step of the way! She opened a special counter for us, comp-ed ALL our baggage (including our oversize and overweight rocking chair for Hannah’s Hope and our *OOPS* slightly overweight suitcase), and after about a half an hour (SO glad we were early!) we were on our way!
By the time we got to the security lines I had to go to the bathroom SO BAD so daddy got in line while I (quite literally) ran to the bathroom and cut my way back into line! It was well worth it. All the security was very helpful too! I had one item I forgot to put in the quart-sized zip lock (who knew hand lotions were now considered liquids!) and my home-made (actually ANNIKA-made) granola bars made them look twice…but even the man who searched my luggage was very friendly and even taught us some phrases in Amharic! I can’t remember them now, but that’s what the phrasebook is for!
We arrived to our gate in plenty of time! I updated our Facebook status for all those praying for us (and you) and then we sought out some decently healthy food – tortilla rolls with meat and cheese and a smoothie. The ENTIRE time at the airport BOTH my phone and daddy’s phone were blowing up with text messages and voicemail with encouragement, well wishes, and prayer! I have to tell you, we have never felt so loved! But the BEST of those texts, were pictures sent from Grandma and Grandpa who had taken your brother to the ZOO!! Woah – what a lucky BOY!!! A couple pictures of the plane and another bathroom run later Delta was ready to board! WOW!
Our seats are near the back of the plane, but daddy and I are seated together by the window – which is PERFECT for us! And you better believe we have you and your brother’s picture in plain view to the reason for the trip with anyone who will listen! We have already met some amazing people on this plane. A mother and your young daughter are on their way to Romania to see their husband/dad for the first time in a month! The little girl was giddy and counting down the hours – I told her that I thought her dad was probably doing the same because he was missing her SOO much! Another woman came to America to go to school 19 years ago (when she was just a child) and is headed back to Kenya for the first time to reunite with her mom! She was on the verge of tears just telling me about it – it was so sweet!
Well…we are about halfway at this point and already I can feel my legs and feet swelling and my skin is dehydrated. Not fun – but worth every second just to see you my dear!
Until next time….ALL my love,
P.S. You love daddy the most subconsciously. (Daddy hijacked my computer.)
*Continue to follow along with our Travel Journals to Day 2