We've been home since Monday night, 3 days! I had lots of images of what a 12 hour travel day with two flights and a 5 hour layover MIGHT be like. But life has a way of surprising me every time! Fortunately this time it was a GREAT surprise. :)
We started off late to the airport. Getting everyone out of the house by 5:30 a.m. was harder than it seemed it would be. We got to the airport and realized we had paper work to fill out times 4! Then it was time to say goodbye to someone who was not only our best friend in Nicaragua but who had been a steady presence in our kids' lives. Tough stuff!!
Once through security we were told that they were holding the plane for us! We RAN through the airport. Our 4 littles loved that and they ran giggling the whole way!
They LOVED flying! We are blessed with adventurous children who LOVE trying new things! Our youngest, Eva, shouted "FLY! FLY! FLY!" as the airplane took off! They handled the flight like pros!
I honestly don't know if they truly realize that they were leaving behind their home country, their culture, those they have known, likely even their language. All I know is that they seem very ready to embrace their new life in the United States with no hesitation. They took the whole day in stride and I hope that at some point soon the language barrier will be completely broken and I'll be able to find out what they were really thinking!
We landed in Atlanta, GA at 12:50 p.m. EST. We had to go through customs and gov't officials had to look over the children's adoption paperwork. This was the hardest point of the day. We were all quiet hungry and a long wait was not the most pleasant part of our day!
Once finally approved, we moved on to get our 13 pieces of luggage and move it onto it's next spot to head to Maine. We spent the rest of our layover eating, shopping for something to read on the next flight, watch planes take off and chatting with other passengers. :)
The trip from Atlanta, GA to Portland, ME was very smooth. As we entered Maine and started the descent, the air was so smooth it felt like we were floating... The packed plane grew silent as we drifted over the lights below us. It was magical! We literally floated downward in silence!
Once out of the plane, we made our way through the airport heading to the stairs and realized...Eva's baby Natalie was left on the plane!!! Robin ran back and saved her!
As we headed down the stairs, we were greeted by these awesome kids and their parents, all of them our church family that we missed so much!! A party broke out right there in the airport! It was my water in the desert!!
Once in the car we headed home along our familiar streets. I wondered what our kids thought of the change in scenery from palm trees to pine trees and the change in temperature from warm and humid to dry and cold!
As we pulled into the road before our road, about half way in I noticed cars parked with hazard lights on and waving flashlights. I thought, "Oh no, a car accident!" But know, it was more of our friends/church family waving flashlights lighting our way home!! As we turned onto our road more of our friends were lighting the way!! It was really quite awesome to us that they would be willing to stand in the cold and wait for us to welcome us home!
We parked in our driveway and noticed Christmas candles in every window. And our house...the pantry, frig and freezer were full of food, there were family photos placed around, and a beautiful hand made lamp with carved leaves hanging from the shade with each of our names on them! It was quite a homecoming!! All gifts from our church family!
Again, in time I hope to know more of our kids' reactions. We still have a language barrier when it comes to long conversations! It was a beautiful homecoming that I will remember forever!
Next time I'll share about our first week home!
"A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance." Ecclesiastes 3:4