Monday, August 11, 2008

So Glad to be Home!!!

Our flight home was very reminiscent of our entire trip to Ukraine. It did not go well. Our first flight was to Vienna. It was only a two hour flight, but when it came time to land there was a problem. We were descending, descending, descending...and all of a sudden the plane starts climbing again. Me, being the totally cool, calm, non-panicy flyer that I am, immediately began to think the landing gear??? Not too sure what the problem was, but we flew around for a little while and then landed with no problems.

Our connecting flight was to Toronto...9 and a half hours. We were dreading that one. It was SOOOOOO long. Then when we got to Toronto it was storming. Apparently during thunderstorms, planes can not land or take off, so we got to fly in circles over the city for an exta hour until it was safe to land. Ugh! So now we were running behing for our next flight to Edmonton because we still had to get through customs and immigration. So we are running like mad through the airport to catch our next flight. The immigration lady told us all kinds of stuff which I can't recall because we were in such a hurry. Hopefully it's not too important!

We made it to our next flight on time, just to find out it was delayed as the pilots had not yet made it to Toronto because of the thunderstorm. So we waited an hour to board the plane. Finally we got to board. Once all passengers boarded the plane, an announcement came on that the pilots were still delayed. Long story short...we had to sit in the plane another hour and a half until it finally took off. We were supposed to land in Edmonton at 8pm but didn't get home until close to midnight. Let me tell you....I do not want to go on another plane trip for a very long time!!!! does that sound like quite a trip, or what? Add into the mix a 6 year old. I must say, she did very well for the most part, but by the end she was getting irritable. Can't blame was I. On our 10 hour flight we were not booked seats together. In fact, each of our seats was about 10 rows apart. We explained our situation to the flight attendants to see if we could get seats changed so we could all be together. Unfortunately, there was only 1 person on the plane who was willing to change seats, so only 2 of us could sit together. So Terry and I did rotations sitting with Emma.

It was SOOOO great to see our family and friends when we landed in Edmonton. That, on top of the fact that we were in Canada, such a blessed country, was very overwhelming to me. There's so much we take forgranted here. I knew that before we left, but I don't think people truly understand it until they've experienced another part of the world. My first shower at home was the best shower I've had in my entire life!!!!!

Emma was very excited when she got home. Our house had been decorated by our dear family with a ton of helium balloons. Her new bedroom was also set up and decorated and filled with new toys. It was quite an experience for her. We celebrated with chocolate cake and iced tea. Emma didn't get to bed until 3 am.....that's 28 and a half hours since we got up to catch our plane. She only got a couple of hours sleep during the trip home. Terry and I stayed up till 5:30am unpacking. Then I was up at 6:30 with Emma. Needless to say, yesterday was not a good day. With the lack of sleep, Emma was quite a terror. It'll probably take a few days to get sleeping patterns back to normal with the time change. Emma got more sleep last night and did much better today.

I, on the other hand, have not adjusted to the time change at all. I've had very little sleep the past few days and feel like I'm running on fumes. And when I do doze off here and there, when I wake up I can't figure out where I am. It's all very strange. We've been in Ukraine so long, I keep thinking we're there. At one point last night, I rolled over and saw one of our dogs laying on the floor and was completely confused as to why she was in Ukraine. I know...I'm kinda losing it. :) I'm hoping for a better rest tonight so I can get back on track!

One other thing that's funny is our language. We got so used to saying things like "yes, no and thank-you" in russian and we catch ourselves still doing that here. I had to laugh at Terry today as he was talking to one of our dogs and telling him that he was "dobre" (good) I told Terry our dogs don't understand russian. He didn't even realize he had said it!

I've posted some long awaited pictures below. My favorite is actually a shot that was taken by our American friends. It's of Emma eating water melon. Another favorite is the day we picked up Emma from the orphange and I got a shot of her waving good bye to all her friends.

I also wanted to say a HUGE thank you to our family and friends for all of your support over the last two and a half years. We have had so much prayer support as well as many financial donations which helped out so much. Thanks to our family members who took care of things while we were away...getting our mail, paying our bills, getting Emma's room set up. We were overwhelmed by everyone's love and generosity. Also, thanks for all your emails while we were away...they were the highlight of our days. We can not say thank you enough. And thank you in advance to those I know will continue to be a huge support. We love you all so much!!!

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