Saturday, October 25, 2008

HOME

Praise God, we are home. I would like to post more and will, but the Princess is having "re-entry" issues going back to the beginning with her attachment issues. There was a LOT of stimulation for a baby who just travelled 30 hours across the world and came home to lots of people who were VERY excited to meet her and then the added bonus of a car seat and my forgetting to feed her on time (BAD MAMA!!). I had great plans of coming home and sleeping about 48 hours straight but The Princess had other ideas *smile*. She is very cautious of Kevin and Joshua, wanting to like them but feeling a little insecure like maybe mama is going to leave her so she has to be able to see me pretty much at all times that she is awake.

Josh has a football playoff game today and I'm VERY nervous about going but I need to for him and promised him I would. I am hopeful that it will be her sleeping time since she is still on Kygyz time.

The flights were, um, interesting. The flight from Almaty to Amsterdam was fine and we had bulkhead seats and Ellie watched TV (with no sound but she didn't seem to care) and slept. The KLM staff LOVED her and did anything they thought she might like. She was treated like a true princess and I am so thankful to them. At one point, however, when she was trying to go to sleep, we had to go to the bathroom just for quiet and so that we wouldn't bother everyone with her crying. Jennifer said she heard her through the walls. *smile* Once asleep, however, you aren't waking her up. During my time in the bathroom, I continued repeating Betsy's mantra, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." over and over. It seemed to work for both of us. I'll admit I've used it multiple times since then, and it worked every time.

This is what Ellie did on the plane.

This was the plane that brought us from Almaty to Amsterdam.
The flights were, um, interesting. The flight from Almaty to Amsterdam was fine and we had bulkhead seats and Ellie watched TV (with no sound but she didn't seem to care) and slept. The KLM staff LOVED her and did anything they thought she might like. She was treated like a true princess and I am so thankful to them. At one point, however, when she was trying to go to sleep, we had to go to the bathroom just for quiet and so that we wouldn't bother everyone with her crying. Jennifer said she heard her through the walls. *smile* Once asleep, however, you aren't waking her up. During my time in the bathroom, I continued repeating Betsy's mantra, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." over and over. It seemed to work for both of us. I'll admit I've used it multiple times since then, and it worked every time.
The flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, on the other hand was less than perfect as can be attested to by Jennifer. We knew we were in trouble when we got on and the people in the row behind us said, "Oh great. This is going to be a long flight." They continued to make snide comments throughout the ENTIRE flight about how AWFUL it was that they had to travel with all the children and babies on the flight. There were two families beside us with kids and one screamed for a full hour, "I WANT MY CHOCOLATE CAKE" because his mother gave it back to the flight attendant. At one point, another passenger screamed, "Give the kid the chocolate cake already." We were all mortified for the mom who just ignored her. *sigh* Another child, one row back, screamed the ENTIRE flight -- off an on. Every time Jennifer or I thought we were getting to sleep, he'd let in screaming. Ah... everyone was glad for that plane to land. Ellie, on the other hand, went to sleep and slept well over half the flight as it was her "night time". We were fortunate to have a seat in between us where she was able to sleep on pillows.
As we landed in Detroit, I looked at Jennifer and said, "She's an American citizen." Jennifer took her photo just as we landed.

As she became an American citizen.


Jennifer getting off the plane -- finally in America!!
We were so glad to be in America!! The customs people in Detroit were so kind and helpful and got us the paperwork we will need to finalize everything for her citizenship. To be honest, I haven't read it and don't have a clue what it is. I just kept the paper.

We passed through customs after we realized we had to get our bag age there and re-check it. Poor Jennifer who was still feeling the effects of being so sick had to load it all because we didn't realize we had to get it until we were already in a HUGE long line for final customs and we didn't want lose our place.

We stopped and got a piece of pizza and a soda and then had some time to rest before we got on our flight. Ellie started to get fussy so I put her in the sling and rode the "people movers" until she fell asleep. She slept almost the entire flight back to Nashville. The flight was overbooked so we didn't get our seat between us but she was very nice, loved hearing our story and helped us change little miss into her "American" outfit for arrival. Right before we got ready to change her, she had a blow-out that ran up her back. Poor Jennifer had the aisle seat so she had to change her.
I think both Jennifer and I ran up the walkway and there was Kevin and Joshua waiting. I burst into tears because I was so glad to see them. Daddy and Josh brought roses for me and Jennifer and Ellie (although I ended up never sharing them with Jennifer in all the confusion). I passed off "The Princess" to her daddy and truly don't remember much until we got back to the entrance where we were first met by our neighbors Linda and Todd, and our two Nashville Krygyz friends, Kat and Andrea, who also brought AP. I was so glad to see familiar faces and there were hugs all around. We then went down to baggage claim and met our family and friends who had sweet posters and presents. Our friend Katie had made us an Easy-Bake oven cake decorated with a smiley face. Our church friends had made us a poster. Josh had made us a poster and then left it at security and we never managed to get back to get it.
Changed and ready to get off the plane to see everyone.


Coming down the gate.


Hugs for Josh!!!

Reuniting with Daddy and Josh

Hugs for Daddy!


Checking out Daddy

Josh entertaining Ellie!



The grandparents and friends were all so excited to see her! Jennifer had gone on to meet her family and get her luggage and they returned to tell us that one of our bags didn't get here. SURPRISE!!!! *smile* How in the world all the bags got checked together in Detroit and didn't make it is beyond me, but we filed the paperwork and was told they would likely deliver it later that night. It was the bag of souvenirs.
Our friends Iris and Dianne captured it all on video, and I'm certain someone has photos of the time at the airport, but I've been asleep and don't have a clue who yet. I'll post more photos as I find them.

Kevin went to get the van and Ellie had her breakdown while holding her DeeDee's hand. I put her back in her carrier and walked with her away from everyone. Bless her heart, 30 hours of travel and all the new faces and love was just too much for her little mind and body.

Everyone helped us out to the car where I realized I didn't have a clue how to work the car seat. *haha*!!! Thank goodness Michelle, Amanda and Lisa were there because as mothers of kids still in car seats, they were able to strap her in. The car seat didn't bother her, but she began to wail and I realized she was due a bottle about a half an hour ago. Kevin quickly drove to the Walgreens to get water and once she got her bottle she was fine. Let me tell you, however, that girl has some lungs!!
I was so happy to arrive home and find that my mother-in-law had made a full dinner of good-old-fashioned Southern cooking: green beans, corn, squash, fried tomatoes, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, ham and cornbread. YUM!!!

It was a hard night as I was SO tired and wanted to sleep but Ellie, on a different schedule, only napped a couple of times and only wanted me. She would go to Kevin and Josh when she was awake but come time to sleep, it was only mama.
Finally, this morning (see, it's taken a long time to post), I told Kevin I was about to pass out and had to go to sleep. I was supposed to go to Josh's football game, but I went to sleep around 9 and didn't get up until just a bit ago (9:30 p.m.). Ellie woke once and took a bottle while Kevin and Josh were gone to his football game and basketball game. When they returned she got up once and Kevin fed and changed her and said she fell asleep on his chest (major accomplishment -- yay!). She and I slept some more and now we are all up.
Our friend Iris has brought us chili and I'm off to get a bowl since I haven't eaten since breakfast.

We are seeing progress but it's going to take some time, patience and lots of love to get her to where she feels comfortable in her new home and new environment.

On a great note, Josh won his ballgame today 42-6. They are now off to round 2 playoff game next week!!! Basketball was not so successful unfortunately as they lost.

4 comments:

Michelle said...

Yea! A post! I'm glad you got some rest and she is bonding with Daddy & brother. I am so glad you are home!

Bridget said...

Maria,

I am so glad you are home! I was crying full-tilt reading through your post (the Irish in me is just awful at happy stories). I loved the little American flag. Welcome home, welcome home, welcome home. Your friends sound so wonderful. Your mother-in-law is welcome to my home anytime to cook!! That menu sounded great. Aw, Ellie is so beautiful. I am so happy for you, your family, Jennifer (who gets the BFF 2008 National Award) and your community.

Congrats again,

Bridget

Cindy LaJoy said...

Congratulations! What a road you have walked down. As you already know, you are actually just beginning a new one. Please let me know if I can help in any way as you work on attachment issues with her, I'd be happy to chat anytime and will hold all of you in prayer as you work on so much.

She is simply beautiful and definitely worth all you went through to get her home.

Suzanne said...

Oh Maria.

I am so excited that you are all home!!! Congratulations on your new family of FOUR.

Suzanne