Friday, June 3, 2011

visas and home- Day 19-20

We had an Embassy appointment at 10:30 to do our interview, get visas and our packets for each child to get back into the country.  We decided to go to the IOM clinic first just to make sure that they did indeed send our medical files with a courier, we can't do out interview without the medical reports in the hands of the Embassy.  We arrived about 9am and they had been sent.  We went to our interview and that went well.  They consulate gave back our original documents and told us to return at 3pm (only one person per family had to show up) to get the packets and then we would be good to board our plane.  Lauire and I went (Rusty was sick and the kids were napping) and we got there right on time and guess what... they needed 3 more documents (the ones that the consulate handed us when we finished our interview).  The Williams and ourselves both specifically asked if we needed anything else and the consulate said NO to both of us.  You can imagine that we were frustrated and concerned!  We were a 30-45 minute drive back to our guest house.  This was literally the first trip that we did not carry every piece of paperwork with us, we took it to eat and to do everything until this point.  We hopped in the van and told the driver (great guy) to get us to the guest house asap and he did just that.  We grabbed those 3 documents each and every other piece of paperwork that we had related to the adoption, just in case.  We made it back to the Embassy in 20 minutes and ran in and gave the lady our documents and she says... we actually need copies of these and don't do copies here!  Seriously!  I think at this point she saw a little anger in our eyes and quickly agreed to make copies for us even though it is not the policy.  About 20-30 minutes later we were on our way with visas and packets in hand.  We made it to the guest house where they wer serving an authentic dinner and then did a coffee ceremony for us... a sign of friendship, very cool.  We ate and then drank and headed for the airport with our driver (tess-fay)... not sure how you really spell it.  The lines were crazy long and the kids were impatient but we made it on the plan for our LONG flight. 

The lights were dimmed right away and Benjamin was on his way to la-la land and then all the lights go on and they start serving drinks.  We declined (he was not happy) and then Rusty had him dozing off again and they bring dinner out!!!!!  At 11:00pm... we declined again an I am irritated!  He finally fell asleep and slept through our landing and take off in Rome... interesting but he slept.  Hope slept for at least 8 hours and I was holding her... no bassinets left and we got the airport 4 hours early!  Both kids did better than expected.

We had an 8 hour delay in DC... not fun at all.  Benjamin was tried so Rusty got him to sleep and laid him on the floor.  He woke up due to leaking out of his pull-up and he was mad.  We said good bye to the Williams family and Becky... sad moment, we had been through a lot together.  We finally got him settled, got some more to eat and waited a little longer.  we all changed clothes to look a little fresher and then Hope had a blowout all over me and her, I was not happy!  We both changed and waited to board. We boarded the the flight to Nashville and had a 30 minute delay on the runway due to rain.  Hope slept and Benjamin fidgeted a lot.  Carter played his DS and Aubry slept.  We were happy when we landed after our 2 hour flight... we made it home!

We had a crowd waiting to greet us and to meet Benjamin and Hope.  She was shy and he ran right out into the crowd and started playing with the kids... you know him, he's not shy!  He tried to run off several times but my brother was on Benjamin duty so we could talk.  It was a great feeling to be home at last, to see Andrew and our family and friends.

The car ride home was good, we were concerned after the continued struggles with the seat belt on the airplane.  He liked his seat and Hope did well.

We rode home in a professionally cleaned car and came home to a professionally cleaned house... what a great feeling.  Our yard was mowed, the flowerbeds were mulched and we had more food, clothes and toys than you can imagine.  Benjamin was in heaven, the look on his face was priceless.  He was over stimulated for sure.  My parents and sister-in-law had dinner for us.  Our laundry was started as soon as we got in.  We had diapers, laundry detergent, paper goods, beds and everything and anything we might need to make our transition smooth.  We are well loved!  We have meals 3 days a week for a month and the list goes on.

Benjaimn went to bed very easily as did Hope.  So now the madness of paperwork and travel is over our journey begins.  A journey that God has known about and that we will find out about one day at a time.  Have I mentioned that I am glad to be HOME!

A few things that i am more grateful for...
-running water that you can drink
-a comfortable bed
-air conditioning
-a washer and dryer
-people that speak my language, communication

here are some pictures but they are out of order...
 aubrey and her best friend haley at the airport
 waiting on the train to take us to our gate at dc
 benjamin does not like our dog bandy, checking her out through the glass
 meet benjamin dulles airport
 on the train to go eat in the airprot
 he can say her name but wants her at a distance
                          on the long flight, ate, played, used the bathroom and made funny noises
benjamin always"knows" where he is going, he loved the escelator

                          the morning of the day we were leaving, a little play dough time in the briefs
benjamin loved carrying his backpack, it slowed him down a bit, it was very heavy but he insisted on wearign it the whole time, i think it was theraputic for him
                                                                  preparing the coffee
 roasting coffee beans
loving the popcorn at the coffee ceromony 
                   becky took a group shot with the driver/babysitter/translator/bag carrier... he did it all
 our driver with the 3 oldest rwandans
 ethiopian air, here we come

hope is ready to sleep on the flight!
 sunrise out the plane window
our final flight!

we had dozens of people, balloons, signs waiting in the airport
there are soem pictures of that on facebook, others took them!

next week i will do a week home review... i can say that things are already better in many ways but will share details next week:)


Jeanine said...

Well, you know those pics make me miss Ethiopia! I am glad things are already getting better. Being home makes SUCH a difference. Can't wait to see y'all once you are rested and get some playtime in with our combined TEN kiddos! How cool is that?

Carrie said...

YES!!! Welcome home! I've really enjoyed following your journey, and of course I loved seeing our fundraiser shirts on your children at the airport. Thanks for taking us along on your journey to Rwanda and back. All the best as you settle in as a family of 7.

Kat said...

Yay! Thanks for sharing your journey! I hope to meet y'all one day when I'm visiting family in TN!

The Hasley Household said...

I LOVE the pictures of Benjamin and Hope at your house. So very precious to know that they are home and that their lives are being fulfilled in so many ways. Welcome Home!

whitney davis said...

tears of joy!! praise our great God for finally bringing your family together. we love yall.

Tristen said...

Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and trip details. So exciting. I bet your glad to be home and start your life with your kids. Sounds like you have a wonderful community surrounding you! :)