Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Getting Home

With each of our adoptions, the trip home has been an adventure of its own. This trip? Pretty boring! Boring is good!

I never sleep the night before we leave. I sit up packing, cleaning, drinking coke and generally just being really anxious to get moving. And, I'm sure the coke really helps that. ;-) The trickiest part is letting the kids sleep as late as possible while still having enough time to get them breakfast, dressed and ready to go, the suitcases down to the main entry of the building, and the last of the clean up done. We arrived at the airport, got checked in and to our gate, only needing to wait about 25 minutes before boarding.

Audrey was pretty afraid during the flights. This is the only look I got the whole trip home.

Before traveling I was really worried how I would manage feeding Audrey on the plane. It is an extremely messy process and difficult to contain that mess! I needn't have worried, because she wouldn't eat or drink for me the whole way. No, she was pretty scared, even during layovers.

I always get wheelchair assistance bringing my kids home. Axel, in particular, needs some assistance. When I'm traveling alone with him I can manage on my own, but traveling with Audrey and Axel together I needed an extra set of hands.  It makes getting around the airports, particularly a traumatized child, so much more simple and fast. In Vienna they were especially helpful and brought us through a totally different passport control area, screened our carry on, and had us right up to our gate in a matter of minutes. We only had to wait about 15 minutes before boarding our flight, which was great! We did get to watch two elderly women fight over which one was supposed to get in the wheelchair first. That was ..ummm…interesting.

That long flight was pretty uneventful. We flew Austrian Air for the first time, and the food was actually quite good, the flight attendants were very attentive, and it was just a good flight! Because of how much help Axel needed going up/down the isles when we went to Serbia, this time I requested seats either at a bulkhead, or in the very back close to the bathrooms. This proved to be a good move! I was able to go to the bathroom myself and still keep an eye on the kids while I was waiting. Not that they were going anywhere, but I sure felt better about it. We had plenty of room to move around and it was just generally a comfortable flight.

When we finally got to our gate in DC, it felt so good to be able to call Dean and work and let him know we were in the US, Audrey was now a citizen, and we were only a couple hours from home!!!

Getting on our last flight in DC, we had to go out on the tarmac and climb up the very steep steps of the plane. Yeah..umm…these were MUCH steeper than the plane to Belgrade. The flight staff is not allowed to physically assist a person up those stairs, so I had Axel ahead of me, pushing him with my shoulder in his butt, which carrying Audrey on my hip plus getting the carry on up the narrow steps. Fun times. But we did it, and all was well.

My only complaint about the entire trip is the immigration officer we dealt with in DC. I don't really understand it, but every single one, through four adoptions and two ports of entry, have been nothing but a bully. Not a single one has been friendly, and every single one has absolutely made up a reason to YELL at me, bully me, and threatened to make our entry into the country extremely difficult. They're just mean, and I think the Department of Homeland Security needs to have some kind of training in place to address that issue. I don't think they do. If they do, it doesn't matter. These officers know travelers are exhausted and easy to push around at this particular time.

Next stop? Home!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that really stinks about the Immigration officer at Dulles! When we returned home there (we live 10 min. from the airport) after our Christmas trip to England, the one we had was actually quite nice. He could have given Steve a hard time (he has a black mark on his passport from doing the wrong paperwork about 20 years ago), but instead told him he'd let him pass but highly suggested he become a US citizen to make that issue go away. LOL Anyway, glad you're back safe and sound, and can't wait to read about Audrey's transition into your family!