We witness a miracle each time a child enters a life. But those who must make their journey home across time and miles, growing in the hearts of those waiting to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny. And placed among us by God's own hands.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ethiopia Travel Log: Arrival Home!

FRIDAY March 7th,

So the last thing that anyone wants to do after finishing a 16 hour plane ride is to arrive at a confusing airport, stand around in more lines, and get back on another plane. But this is of course exactly what we had to do. When you arrive on an international flight in Washington, DC you go straight through to immigration, I did not even see a bathroom. So we stood around in line, went through a checkpoint, had to collect our luggage, which was spread out all over the place and mixed in with other luggage tossed on the floor. Again, thank goodness for free luggage carts. Then we slowly moved our way to the real officials who opened Tensae’s sealed envelope of immigration paperwork (prepared by the adoption agency in Ethiopia) and again no problems so we moved on to another checkpoint and then maneuvered our way to a elevator and all the way through the airport to re-check our luggage onto our United airlines flight. At this point we find out that our seats were not assigned by our travel agent and we have three separate seats, thankfully 2 of them are only separated by one other person and the third seat is a window seat. So they tell us very nicely that we have good seats to negotiate and we should ask someone to switch with us. We then head to the bathroom to change clothes and clean up as much as possible. Despite all our efforts we still look like we have not showered in days! We had just enough time to pick up a snack, finding out that Tensae likes French fries and a vanilla shake. When we get in line to board, the plane early we are shocked when the unfriendly airline person tells us that on United airlines young children are not considered a handicap and cannot board early! We were both irate, as if it was not obvious that we were exhausted and had a very unhappy child. Thankfully the other people on the plane were rather understanding, a nice young man switched seats, a few asked us about the adoption and I apologized in advance for any crying and screaming. This time I did not even buckle her in I just put her in the sling and held her until she fell asleep (after more crying of course).
So, at around 2pm we landed at DIA in Colorado. We were very excited to see Ethan so it was really nice of Tony’s parents to drive both cars so that he could be there. We took some quick pictures, gathered our giant pile of luggage and headed to the cars. I prepared myself for another tantrum when we buckled her into the car seat but amazingly, she did great. I think it helped her to see Ethan sitting in a booster and seatbelt. She and I fell asleep on the drive home and then she woke up and explored the house. I was surprised with how well she was doing but of course after dinner and a bath we finally had another major tantrum. I would say that this was the worst that we have experienced so far and hopefully the last of that degree. Given however the plane ride, time change, new environment and language barrier I think, she had every rite to throw an enormous, completely out of her mind, fit. I went ahead and put her in bed with us when she fell asleep and we all slept 10 hours.

1 comment:

  1. Well actually we thought all three of you looked wonderful. A beautiful girl. Two brave and compassionate parents. Not to mention the wonderful time we had had with Tensae's big brother.