I wanted to post this two days ago but I have been sick, and I haven't got much done. Anyways, we got home one year ago on the 12th with our Andrew, and was united with our girls. I never told the story of our journey home because I couldn't re live the experience when we got home last year, but I don't want to forget things that Andrew should know, so writing it on my blog is the best way to journal it for Andrew one day to read. It is a long story so I apologize for all the horrible things that happened that I had to write about.
The night we were leaving Kazakhstan we put Andrew to bed around 8 or 9pm, and then we got our stuff packed up and ready to go. We decided that it was pointless to go to bed that night because we were going to start heading out around midnight, and we didn't want to take a chance of not waking up. Our poor little Andrew only got about 3 or 4 hours of sleep and we had to get him up to leave. One thing that made my husband and I uneasy about our arrangement for leaving, was that our facilitator decided to head out of Kazakhstan and she went back home to Kyrgyzstan two days before we left to go home. She made arrangements for a young man to come and pick us up and take us to the airport. She set up a meeting with this young man who was around 20 years old. He spoke pretty clear English, but I was nervous that he might not show up, and who knows what we would of done to get to the airport.
We waited in the lobby, meanwhile Cain was checking out of our room, and we got the lovely surprise that our room was about double of what we were told by our agency because we were there during their Christmas. Yikes!!!!! How were we to argue at that point, we were leaving, and we don't speak Russian. Finally our guide showed up and we were off to the airport. I think he didn't have a car of his own, so he got a driver for us. This young man went in with us to the airport and got us in the proper line, and he was off. I do believe he was only paid a small amount for taking us there, so the longer the driver was there, the less he was making. Anyways we waited for our turn and we handed the guy our tickets, and they kept shaking their heads and pointing to the board. To our shock we realized that our flight was cancelled, and we would not be leaving till the next day at noon. Originally our flight was suppose to leave at 4am. Then I had some jerk say to me that spoke little English, you should always check the flights before you leave the hotel. Well duh! Of course I know that now, but we just assumed that our facilitator would of checked on that for us but she didn't. I remember standing there and telling Cain that I was going to start crying, and he said no you can't right now. I remember looking over and seeing a mob of people just camping out in the airport ready to make a night of it. How was I suppose to stay up all night with an infant who just wants to sleep. I remember panicking because we had no interpreter to help us change our flights. I remember then just saying a prayer "God, I give this all over to you, please help us".
Then before I knew it this young man that took us to the airport came walking out of nowhere. We asked him why he was still there? He said "because I just didn't fill right leaving you here, and I didn't know why". I knew why. God told him to stay there. He then went with my husband to start sorting out our tickets. They quickly came to the conclusion that they were going to have to leave the airport building and go across the street somewhere. That left me with Andrew, and all the luggage to take care of. I found a spot to sit and then Andrew decided to poop right through all of his clothes. I couldn't believe it. Couldn't you pick a better time! We did find out later that Andrew had a parasite so he would do this several times a day. So at this point, I couldn't take him and all our luggage to the bathroom, so I was stuck changing this most horrible smelling diaper right there around all of these people. Meanwhile a lady looks over at me and says isn't he cold? Well of course he is cold, but I have to change his diaper and all of his clothes!
Then if all of this wasn't enough I was just passing time and I looked on this giant TV screen that was in the airport to see pornography on the screen. Okay, at that point I was beyond uncomfortable, because my husband left and I didn't see him for quite some time, and I was basically stuck sitting there watching all our stuff because I couldn't possible go anywhere with Andrew, and all the luggage. Then again I remember praying "God please help us, I give it all over to you". Then I looked up and I saw some Americans that we met two days prior, at our embassy appointment. They adopted from Kazakhstan. What a miracle again! The lady came over and talked to me and they were on the same flight in the exact same situation. I told her, her husband, and another lady who was there on trip one to adopt, where my husband had to go to change the tickets. So the mother and the little boy stayed with me and the other two went to find my husband for me. Praise God we found someone to help us.
Before long all of them came back and they got our flights changed. We were going to have to wait until noon to leave, but we all had the same problem, what do we do in the meantime. Let's just say the lady who was there on her first trip was so feisty that she demanded that the airline pay for a room for her, her friends, and I guess us her new friends. They suggested the hotel right there by the airport, but she said no your going to put us up in the Hyatt ($400.00 rooms), and she demanded it for all of us. So they gave it to all of us! What! a bed to sleep in for a few hours, that was another miracle from God. These Americans were so nice. They had their own driver with a mini van, and they packed us in with them and off we went to the Hyatt. By the time we got there and went to bed it was 4am in the morning. Andrew of course had a hard time sleeping because we were messing up his routine, and total, I got about 2 hours of sleep. I couldn't complain because it was a soft bed, and we had a wonderful breakfast before we left to go back to the airport. Our first flight was from Almaty to Frankfurt, Germany around a 7 hour flight, I think. We had the bassinet for Andrew right in front of our seats. Andrew was a perfect little angel. He kept just napping on and off, and then would play, eat, and repeat. When we landed in Germany our layover was only about an hour or so. However, this is when things started going bad again.
We realized since our flights were changed, we no longer had the bassinet seat for Andrew. So I got in line and we talked to the lady for quite a while about getting a bassinet seat ,but she kept saying that all those seats have been taken and there was nothing she could do for me, except to wait and see once I was on the plane if they could accommodate me. The couple behind us in line had the same problem, except the only difference was the guy argued with the lady longer, and they gave him a bassinet seat. That made me so mad!!!!! Just because I'm nicer shouldn't mean that I get less!!!!!! I tried to keep it together, but when I got on that plane and I saw that there was no room between the seats I stood their in the aisle way and the tears started flowing. I never cried at the airport, but I held it in around 20 hours, and there was no way that the waterworks were going to be held back any longer. I had every flight attendant running to me asking what was wrong. I had several say they would check on the situation, but each one of them came back with sorry Mame I can't help you. I decided to suck it up and just sit there and once again I prayed to my God and I said "I give this over to you Lord, help me through this eight hour flight". Andrew was sleeping in my arms at that point, so I decided to close my eyes and try to rest. Then the head flight attendant came up to me and said he could move me to business class with a bassinet seat, but Cain would have to stay behind. I said "I will take it". I was treated like royalty. I got a seat that completely laid back, I got better food, and great service. Cain was jealous but he was okay with the fact that he got to sit alone for 8 hours and sleep. On the other hand I got another 2 hours of sleep on this flight!
During our traveling we realized that when we were to land in Chicago they only gave us 20 minutes to get on the next flight. There was no way to get through customs, immigration, check out our luggage, check in our luggage, and have time to walk everywhere. We tried every trick we could come up with like asking the officer if we could skip to the front of the line in customs because we were limited on time, but nothing helped. We finally found where we needed to go and there were no more flights leaving that night. Luckily, Cain and I learned a few things along the way. We demanded a room for the night because it was the airlines fault for planning two flights with only a 20 minute layover. The lady argued with me but at that point she didn't know who she was messing with. Finally I got what I wanted and we were put up in the Hilton for the night.
I then had to call my daughters to tell them we were not going to be there that night at 10pm. I felt so bad because they were heading out the door with grandma and grandpa at that point. When Megan got on the phone with me, she was so mad she wouldn't even talk to me. I of course was crying again, because I just wanted to get home.
So off we went to find our hotel. I felt like we were walking in that airport for hours, but I think it was because we were so tired. By the time we showered, and got to bed, I slept for another two hours. When we got up the next morning, we realized that all our clothes smelled horrible, so trying to find something that wasn't stained, or smelled bad was impossible. Finally we were headed off to get on our last flight. Yeah, for us we were chosen for the more thorough check and they searched every bag and every pocket of everything. We finally got on our last one hour flight to Cleveland. During that one hour flight Andrew decided to poop three times. The drama just wouldn't stop for us.
Finally the moment we waited for finally came and we were united with our girls. It only took 41 hours after we started our journey home, with a total of 6 hours of sleep for me. The hard part was, we got home at 9am in the morning, so we had to try our best to stay awake most of that day also. I figured it out and I went 67 hours hours with only three, 2 hour naps along the way. I was tired for a good month after that, and every night I would be falling asleep around 8pm. In fact one night Andrew was playing on the floor and I was laying there by him, and then suddenly I woke up to find that we were both sleeping on the floor.
I still thank God for watching over us on our way home with Andrew. It will be a long time before I get on a plane and leave the country, but there is nothing that I wouldn't do all over again for my Andrew.
Alisha informed me later that during this picture we took, all she could think of was how bad we smelled! I told you I couldn't find any clothes that didn't smell like those countries! Also, Alisha rolled down the window on the way home, in the middle of winter, because she couldn't handle how bad we smelled in the car! Needless to say everything got a good washing when we got home!