Saturday, April 5, 2008

Amsterdam Airport

Local Time: 3:45 p.m. Cincinnati Time: 9:45 a.m.

Amy here...

Just sitting here at the airport waiting for our flight to Almaty. We had a nice flight over the pond -- it helps to be in first class! I was quite cozy with a blanket and pillow, lots of leg room and seats that recline into a sleeping position. We both slept for at least 4 hours, something I really needed. The last few nights at home were difficult for me.

Knowing we were leaving the next day, I was crying my eyes out at bedtime Thursday night. Lana said to me, “Are you trying to be brave, Mom?” Yes, dear I’m trying to be brave. I’m just not doing a good job right now. She says, “that’s ok” and runs off to get me a tissue. Friday morning, before sending Connor to the bus stop with Jesse, I break down again. Connor comes walking into the kitchen, and after seeing me crying he says “Oh no, not again!” He was willing to give me a big hug, but really wanted nothing to do with a cry baby Mommy. Thank goodness they are stronger than me.

And We’re Off…

Friday 4/4 – 6:18 pm from JFK

After more than a year and three months of planning, document preparations, background checks, homestudys, and general poking and prodding required by the adoption process, we are finally beginning the actual trip to meet our child! Everyone that knows us realizes that we have done our best to plan ahead for all contingencies for this most important event. Is our adoption agency’s in-country (Kazakhstan) staff prepared to meet us? Do we have enough cash? Do we have our international doctors lined up in the states to help with heath related questions? Check, check, and check.

So, you can imagine our surprise to realize that we have done all this planning only to find out that ‘Almaddy’ is actually a city located in Kansas. Well, at least that was the impression of the Delta ticketing agent when seeing KZ on our tickets. When we informed him that we were, in fact, flying to Almaty, Kazakhstan, he felt that made more sense, seeing that our connecting flight was through Amsterdam.

With our confidence renewed that our bags would meet us in Kazakhstan, we headed off to the gate to go to JFK.

Having no issues with our first leg of the flight, Amy and I our now hanging out at an international terminal in JFK awaiting our flight to Amsterdam. During our downtime, we have been reflecting on the fact that our amazing adventure would not be possible without the support of literally hundreds of people. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful, caring, and selfless family, friends, neighbors, work colleagues, adoption agency staff, and professional healthcare support staff that this will certainly be a community accomplishment. In fact, I would like to send thanks out to a few individuals that have gone way beyond what is reasonable:

• To my parents and ‘Grandma T’, for agreeing to take care of our most prized ‘possessions’ while we are on our travels. Please don’t let the little buggers take advantage of you too much…
• To Sandee, for your ongoing ‘legal’ support.
• To Misty and Shane, for being so generous with your time and explanations for how things are really going to work once we get to Shymkent. Can’t wait to try the Turkish restaurant.
• To my Fidelity colleagues, for covering for me during my extended absence. While I’m guessing that a few may actually be looking forward to me being out of their hair for some time, it’s a great comfort knowing that I have a such an understand team (ok, so you guys are gonna hold the work until I get back, then hand it back to me – got it ;) ).

The list goes on, and on, to our children’s teachers, coaches, sensei (karate is great until your 6 year old can whip you)… You get the picture. Regardless of the outcome, none of this would be possible without our family, friends, and community. We will forever be in your debt, and love you all! Thanks a million.