We went to bed very late last night, just after midnight. I planned on getting up at 3 am so I could shower before leaving. So, I didn’t fall asleep until between one and two so I basically got about an hour of sleep. I was showered, packed and we were out the door at 3:55 am. I rented a van so Lucy, Sasha and Yulia could come to the airport with us. I really had to fight back worried feelings that something was going to stop me from leaving Ukraine. We got to the airport right at 4:30 and went to check in.
It turns out there was a problem, or you could say a very stressful moment. I was told that we were all on the same flight to Paris but the computer did not show that my connecting flight was changed from the original 18th to the 15th. I could feel the stress building and I, as patiently as I was capable of at that time, said to the woman, “What do I have to do to get on that flight?” She talked with the ticking agent, of course this was all in another language so I didn’t know anything for a while, and told me to go to the ticketing window. I did, not knowing what for. That woman knew I was coming and gave me a print out and told me to go back to the woman at check in. I did, and YEAH, she found my flight and all was well. Whew! What a moment. I had stood there during all of this thinking, no….I cannot stay another day….oh, please fix the problem!
This airport is different than what I am used to at Salt Lake. (Not that I ever fly) You walk up to a partitioned off area which is the security check. I might add that there security check was not as thorough as some. We said goodbyes and didn’t draw them out too long, which is probably better. I will miss Lucy and I am so grateful to have met her and become such good friends. She is amazing and is more than willing to help others that come to adopt. I am also really grateful to have had the chance for Vitaliy, Sasha and I to have spent so much time with Sasha and Yulia. They came in on the train on Tuesday night and stayed with us all the way to the airport. Some moments were a bit difficult but the overall result was worth it. The good thing about the partition is that you really can’t see beyond it. I think it is easier on the goodbyes.
Security check was easy but the customs check was a little more complicated. This man with absolutely no personality and the inability to speak to a woman so he directed all his conversation to Vitaliy, asked for my court decree and proceeded to read it, at the rate he did, all the way through. We waited and waited and waited. He asked Vitaliy a couple of questions, which of course I had no way of knowing what they were, then finally, I mean finally, he let us through. That was the last stressful moment I had on the journey.
The first flight seemed fast even though it was almost three hours long. We even got to see the Eifel Tower from the window of the plane. I am such a dork because all I could think is that “I saw the Eifel Tower with my own two eyes!” The plane landed in Paris. We followed the signs to a shuttle that would take us to our next terminal. The shuttle is actually a very large bus.
Side note- At the Kiev airport they board you onto a large bus just outside the gate, leave the door open so the freezing air comes in and you sit there until everyone has checked through while the exhaust from the bus filters into the bus. Then everyone gets in and you think you are in for this long haul but they basically drive down the road, make a u-turn and drop you just across the street from where you stood in the bus. Now if this had happened to me on my arrival I would have thought it weird. But seeing that I have spent a month in Ukraine it seems perfectly natural.
Back to France…the shuttle dropped us off (a long way from where we started) at our terminal. We had to go through another security check. When they saw me with children they pulled us to the front of the line. They were amazingly nice and wonderful to us. Then we headed to our gate. There was actually someone there pleasant and happy to help. I gave him our stuff and said that we were not seated together could he help? He did his thing, handed me new boarding passes and told me to have a great flight. We were given the bulk head seats all together just past first class. The seats are spacious and comfortable. Next stop Salt Lake City. If I have a problem at customs, I don’t care because I will be in America and that is all that matters.
I am still in incredible shock about coming home. I sat in the airport in Paris and just kept thinking, I am really going home. I can’t even find the right word to describe it. Maybe just “unreal”.
We are now 2+ hours into our flight and have almost 9 more to go. I can’t wait to see everyone and I know how excited the boys are. They are both very happy to be going home. Love you all! See you soon!
Another side note.....We are home. I will post my blog for day 35 1/2 tomorrow when I hopefully can think straight!!!