Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ethiopia 1st Trip - Day Eight/Home!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The flight home was really LONG.  Oh my.  Jody and I just kept saying, "How are we going to do this flight with a one year old?"  :)  We are already praying about that!

The flight is longer on the way home (17 hours!!!) because the plane is going against the jet stream, and they have to land the plane in Rome to re-fuel.  So all of that adds about 4 extra hours to the flight!  Not fun, but I was thankful to be able to get some sleep on the way home since I had the two seats to spread out on!

When the plane finally landed in Washington, D.C. at around 8:00 am, everyone on board started clapping and cheering!  It was the BEST feeling to get up and walk off that plane!  We were so excited to be back in the USA!!!

We got off and stood in line for customs, went through security, and then headed to baggage claim.  We met up with Chris and Emma to see them one last time and tell them good-bye!  We were flying on home from there, but they were going to stay in D.C. for a few nights before going home.  It was sad to tell them good-bye because we are all now bonded for life after spending the week together in Ethiopia!  We are hopeful that just maybe we'll be able to travel again with them on our 2nd trip!

Then we re-checked our bags, and headed to the nearest coffee shop!  There was a Dunkin' Donuts right beside the gate for our next flight.  I had not eaten much the whole week, especially after I got sick, and all of sudden I was hungry again!  I got 2 donuts (a blueberry cake and a plain glazed!  yum!) and the tallest latte that they had!  It was so delicious!!!

We then called my Mom and the kids!  It was so good to be able to use our cell phones again and call them so easily!  Then we FaceTimed with our birthday boy!!!  Yep, it was Carson's 8th birthday, and we were so thankful that we would later get to see him on his birthday!

Our flight to Charlotte was a little delayed, but we finally got on the plane and headed out!  We landed in Charlotte with less than an hour before our next flight home.  Jody's sister, Laura, was waiting at the airport with our adorable niece, Lila, to see us for just a minute!  We went out to see them, and it was so great to get to hug them and show them some pictures from our trip!  Because of the delay we didn't have a lot of time with them, but it was still really sweet!

Then, we went back through security to go board our flight to Jackson!  We didn't have time to go sit down for lunch, so Jody grabbed us a turkey sandwich, some chips, and a drink to share on the plane.  The sandwich had lettuce and tomato on it, and it was the like the best thing I had ever eaten!!!  haha!  I ate my half in like 2 seconds!  Since we didn't eat any fresh produce in Ethiopia, I was just craving anything fresh and green!  I had already talked to my Mom and requested lots of salad for dinner that night! :)

Thankfully, it was a quick flight to Jackson!  All of our bags made it fine!  Yay!!!  We got out to Jody's car and headed home as quickly as possible!  We did decide to make one quick stop by our favorite frozen yogurt shop on the way home!  It was soooooo good! :)

We pulled up in the driveway around 4:30 that afternoon to see a big "Welcome Home" sign on the front door (made by the kids) and then they were all running out the door to us!  We didn't even pull in the garage!  We just stopped the car right there in the driveway and ran to scoop them up in our arms!  Callie Grace was crying...and of course, I was too!  It was so wonderful to be home with them again!!!

Carson was so excited to be able to open all his birthday presents that we had gotten him before we left for Ethiopia!  And then we opened up the suitcase full of all the surprises we had gotten them in Ethiopia!  Then they wanted to see all the pictures and videos of their baby sister! Then they wanted to show us everything they had gotten while we were gone!  We were so grateful that they had been loved on so well by their grandparents!

It had been non-stop, full speed ahead since we walked in that front door!  But thankfully, God gave us extra energy, and we had a great afternoon and evening with my Mom and the kids!  Then we ate an amazing dinner that included two different salads!  Perfect!!! :)

Next it was time for ice cream cake to celebrate Carson's 8th birthday!!!  So fun!  He loved it!!!  Well, it was getting late, so we finally got the kids in bed.  They were tired, and we were absolutely exhausted!  I took a shower, but couldn't even stay awake to dry my hair.  I just fell in the bed with wet hair, and went right to sleep! 

And of course, all I dreamed about was Ethiopia and our baby girl!  Even in my sleep, she was on my mind and heart!  What an unbelievable week we had in Ethiopia!  And now it was back home and back to reality...time to process our thoughts and emotions, and try to get over some serious jet-lag! 

Thank You, Jesus, for getting us home safe and sound!  We hope and pray that we will be reunited with our baby girl soon!  Can't wait to have all FOUR of our children at home together.  We are trying to wait on Him and trust in His's always perfect!


Heather said...

I have loved reading all your posts about your trip. Brings back so many wonderful memories!

Jeremiah and Kortny said...

I love reading your blog! I'm so happy that you are going to bring your girl home soon. It took us 2 weeks to receive our Embassy Clearance. Woohoo that you have already been submitted!:)
We met a couple in Ethiopia during our first trip and we actually were able to bring our boys home together! Our boys were "best friends" and it was such an incredible experience! I hope this happens for you too!