This is our whole family!
|This is all the family that was able to come to the airport.|
|This is everyone that came to the airport. Erica is taking the picture so she's not in it.|
|These two are two peas in a pod.|
|Sasha was a little tired. Must have been all that sleep.|
|A picture with Vern and Nanette|
|If it were not for these two wonderful people, we would never have our boys. I am so grateful for all that they have done for us.|
Well we finally made it home!!!!! The flight from Paris to Salt Lake City was long...11 hours long. They played four movies and they decided to play the most boring one last. It made the last part of the trip a bit slow.
Sasha slept for the majority of the trip and for his sake I was grateful. Vitaliy and I were not so lucky. I maybe slept a total of one hour but Vitaliy was able to sleep a bit longer. There is definately a difference between Delta (Paris to Salt Lake) and Ukraine Airlines. Everything was better on the Delta flight - the food, the service...everything.
When we arrived there was a long line for customs. It went pretty quick though. I gave them all of our passports and the documents from the Embassy. He did a few things, asked a couple simple questions and told us to take a seat. He was very nice. A big difference from customs in Kiev. The other guards there saw us and told us we could get our luggage while we waited. The luggage pick up was right there within the customs check point. We found our luggage and then they took us in another office area. The customs agent in there was so very, very nice to us. He asked if we were doing okay. I said we were fine but I was just really tired because I had barely slept in two days. He told me to go and rest, showed me where the bathroom was and said he would get us out of there as soon as he could. He took us in the back and fingerprinted the boys. Again he was so great to them. We sat down for a bit longer then we were done. They directed us to these very large sliding doors. I thought we would have a long way to walk to where everyone was waiting. But, they were right outside those doors. I had thought I heard Andy's voice while I was waiting earlier but thought it was just my imagination.
I was very surprised that everyone was right there and it caught me off guard. I was so very, very tired so it was difficult to focus on everyone. I immediately searched for my baby Jackson and he came running to me. I really didn't put him down until we were later at the car. It was so great to see everyone. There were lots of hugs and kisses and visiting going on and then we took pictures.
It was such an unusual feeling to be home. It felt that way off and on even today. I had fallen asleep on the couch last night for a short time and when I woke up I had this really strange feeling that I wasn't at home yet and I needed to find and get home. Then, I realized that i was at home. That happened to me again this morning when I woke up. Wendy was so right when she said that soon this would all just be a memory. I realized that when I was on the plane. It had already felt that way before we ever landed. It was over and now it was all just a memory. It still feels strange to be home. Sometimes it feels like I have never been gone at all. I am so very, very happy to be home.
After we got home the kids went straight for the bicycles. They love to ride bikes. We played for the rest of the day. Andy's mom, Sue, had bought us a bunk bed for Sasha and Jackson to share and Andy had built a top bunk to Tyler's bed for Vitaliy. Andy and the boys put together the new bunk bed and we arranged the rooms as best we could. Well, they did...that is when I was sleeping.
When it was time for bed we said a family prayer, read our scriptures and headed off to bed. This time the boys came to us for a hug and kiss after prayer, we didn't need to track them down.
I have to tell you that one of the memorable moments we experienced yesterday was when Sasha went to bed. He was beyond elated when he got into bed. He loves his bed so much. He called me into his bedroom. I went in to see what he wanted and he wanted me to see him in bed. Then he gave me another kiss and hug and told me he loved me. That was such a special moment. They are both so happy to be home.
Today when they were riding bikes I had a flash back to when we hosted them and I would watch them ride bikes. This time though, I realized that they were here to stay and that felt great.
When we first heard about the hosting and then about the adoption process, the two things that scared us almost out of the whole thing were the cost of adoption and the time we would have to spend in Ukraine. I came to the realization that money is just that...money. It comes and it goes. Then I realized that even if I ended up in Ukraine for six weeks or more, it was only a speck of time in my life compared to eternity. Now I know, more than ever before, that those two things pale in comparison to the feelings we have for these children. There is nothing we wouldn't do for them. The money came and its gone. The time spent is now over. But, the memories of the journey, the smiles on their faces, the love we have for them and the love they feel from us are things that will last for all eternity.
As always, I love you all. I have felt and been strengthened by your love and support and thank you all for being there when I needed you. Now the real journey begins. I plan to keep blogging as we go through this next phase of our lives and their individually and as a family. Love to you all!!!!