Since we got home I've gotten these strange sudden feelings of realizing how real this finally is! I feel like I need somone to pinch me and wake me up! I can't believe that she is here, with us, where she belongs....after all the obstacles, tears, difficulties, tough days, doubts, fears, and unknowns. The entire process we felt as if at any moment someone could tell us something was wrong, she wasn't ours, someone else got her file, she isn't adoptable, we didn't have the right paperwork, we missed a deadline, she can't be ours. Even since we've been home, those feelings still creep up and then I remind myself nobody can ever take her away. We not longer have to apply, audition, prove ourselves, beg, or plead for her to be our daughter. She is here, in her home, with her family. She never has to go to bed sad or alone. Now she has a moma and daddy to rock her to sleep and kiss her chubby little cheeks. She has family, love, belongings, and a whole bunch of people who love her and can't wait to meet her and be a part of her life!
Okay, backtracking to the day we left Ukraine. We slept about 4 hours that night and were worried sick our flight would be cancelled. It wasn't. They gave us a hard time at the airport because we didn't have Zoya registered with them (the travel agent told us we could just do it there), but we did finally get her a lap ticket. She fell asleep for the first hour of our first flight (total length 3 hour flight). She was pretty happy most of the flight. We had a 7 hour layover in Frankfurt and she started getting pretty cranky, as we had woken her up at 2:30am to go to the airport. We got stuck at the security checkpoint and everyone was asked to go back upstairs and wait. Apparently they found something they thought could be a bomb in someone's luggage so they closed down for a while. Zoya started getting pretty cranky! We had to find a spot on the floor to change her as a whole bunch of people were crowded in a little space all just waiting. In Frankfurt we let her crawl all around the floor, took her for some moving sidewalk rides, and met some people and shared our story! Finally it was time to get on our longest leg of the journey from Frankfurt to Philly....8 and a half hour plane ride. She slept the first two hours! Bonus! But then for the next 4 or 5 hours she just was not having it! She was crabby, tired, squirmy, and sick! Shawn walked her around the plane, then I did, nothing was working. She cried a little bit (pretty loud) but it wasn't a constant cry so that was good. I almost cried at one point when I realized we still had over 4 hours to go and I was crashing, tired, stressed, and worried about Zoya. We made it through though and got to Philly for a 5 hour layover! We ate some pizza and cookies! YUUMM American food! We fed Zoya and went to wait at our gate. We met a woman whom we shared our story with and she was crying! Zoya fell asleep right before the third and final leg of the trip (under 2 hour plane ride) to Erie. She slept the whole time!
Zoya laying on the empty seat next to us listening to her music old school style like a boom box! Ha!
We got the bulkhead seats and so we had a bassinet for Zoya on our long flight.
Even though she fit, she chose to scoot down and hang out her leg and arm! She is one crazy sleeper! All over the place when she sleeps!
And when we arrived in AMERICA (in Philly) we saw this at our gate:
A DOUBLE RAINBOW!! AT THE END OF OUR RAINBOW! What an awesome sign from God!
When we got off the plane we were exhausted but felt so excited, relieved, and over the moon with our new girl! We knew a few friends were meeting us at the airport, but we had no idea how many people would be there! They were holding a big yellow banner that said, "Welcome home Zoya." As soon as we saw all our friends and family we both started crying. I did the ugly cry face as hard as I tried not to!
Here are some pictures from our first night and day home:
Sleeping in her bed. She slept from 1am until 7:30 and has taken 2 naps today.
Getting ready for breakfast!
Loving her Jeep Walker!
Splish Splash she was takin' a bath!
So happy...lacking words to describe these moments. They will come to me after I have some sleep!