Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Catching Up - Trip Home and Happy New Year

It will take me a while to get caught up on my blogging, but I'll try to catch up a little bit over the next few days. First, let me just say Happy New Year to everyone! We are starting off 2011 in a wonderful way and hope that it is a year of blessings for each of you as well.

Below are a couple of pics from our last days in Kiev. Here is Maia in our apartment.

 Our sweet girl with Olga at the airport (Olga has loved Maia for longer than we have. She is the reason that we have our daughter. Olga advocated for Maia to be listed as a waiting child with AAC). We know that she will miss her as well and thank her for the gift she has given us.

So... on our last morning in Kiev, Vlad (driver) picked us up at 6:15am. We then picked Olga up on our way to the airport. Thank goodness she was with us because when we checked in, the airline did not have us listed as passengers. It was a miscommunication - our names were on the list of paid passengers, but not on the list of tickets passengers. She got everything straightened out and we headed to the security checkpoint. Things were kind of chaotic there so I didn't get the opportunity to really say good-bye or thank her appropriately. God truly blessed our process by giving us Olga as her coordinator. For anyone who is looking for a coordinator for their Ukraine adoption, I can not say enough about her.
Our flight to Zurich was pretty uneventful. We left Kiev about 20 minutes late, but made up the time on the way. Maia did well. Our flight from Zurich to O'Hare was delayed by an hour. We had a bite to eat in Zurich and I bought some chocolate. The trip to O'Hare was long - flight was about 10 hours. Maia was pretty tired by this time. There wasn't much room for her to sleep and she does not enjoy being held so she was cranky off/on. A few tantrums and wailing, but it could have been much worse. And there were other kids on the flight who were equally cranky so I didn't feel quite as bad. We got to Chicago and went through customs without problems. Handed over the necessary paperwork and our girl became a US citizen! Afterwards, we went to get our baggage and check in with our airlines. As we walked by a arrival/departure listing, Mark said "I think our flight is cancelled." Sure enough... the ticket agent said, "We've got you booked on a flight tomorrow morning." At that point, I had been awake about 24 hours and Mark must have seen the look on my face because he said to the woman, "That is unacceptable - you need to do something else to get us there." She was able to get us on a flight to Minneapolis. We got to the gate and found out the flight was delayed for 1 1/2 hours - ugh! But, eventually we boarded and left. On that flight, Maia did great. There was a little girl across the aisle from us who screamed for the last 15-20 minutes so I was thrilled that Maia slept through the flight.
The change in our arrival location changed our welcome home party and unfortunately, we don't have any pics. Mark's parents came to pick us up and my parents met us there, too. A little funny related to that... my dad is not particularly fond of little kids, but most of them seem to love him. Of all the new grandparents she met that night, my dad was the one she reached out to - lol!
We reached home around 12:30am on Thursday morning. Things have been busy since then, but we are doing ok. Definitely seeing some temper in our girl, but she is adjusting well considering all the changes that have happened in her world over the past week.
Tomorrow is Miss Maia's birthday and we can't wait to help her celebrate!

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