Monday, July 18, 2011

the last 72 hours

Most importantly we're home!

We left our guesthouse in Kampala at 4pm on (8am central) on Friday July 15. Our flight left at 11:30pm. I won't lie, getting these kids through all the check in lines and security etc was a living nightmare. They screamed and kicked the entire time. It was awful and everyone else was hating us and dreading the flight. Once we got into the seating area Wes & I just looked at each other dreading what the next 30 hours of flights and layovers could look like. We gave the kids some cheerios which calmed them down a little bit. We had one more outright sit on the ground kicking and screaming fit on the tarmac trying to get onto the plane when we were boarding. Once we got on the plane and sat down God intervened, we were assigned the 4 middle seats on the plane. Wes sandwiched them in and they never tried to get out into the isle. They enjoyed hitting all the buttons on the tv and remote control (our apologies to the stewardesses). They didn't like the seatbelts very much so they also didn't stay on for very long! Once we took off Malakai fell asleep and Amiya fought sleep until 2am. Our flight landed at about 7am which meant no one except for Malakai slept very much.

We had a 6 hour layover in Amsterdam. We are so thankful they had little luggage carts that the kids loved pushing around or sitting in the top basket. We pushed those things literally all over the airport. The airport also had a little kid area where they could play and we even managed to get them to sleep for about 30 min before we boarded our next 10 hour flight. For a 10 hour flight from Amsterdam to Memphis I think the kids did amazing. They got a little antsy and we had to take walks up and down the isles a few times. Thankfully the couple sitting behind us loved kids from what we could tell, they played peek-a-boo and gave high fives the entire way.

Once we reached Memphis we had to go through customs and immigration. We were missing (and still missing) our 2 biggest bags with all of our clothes, most importantly all of the kids cloths minus 1 dress and 3 shirts we left at home and our dirty clothes and pajamas that we packed in a separate bag. At the time it didn't matter, we were just thankful to be this much closer to home! Once we got to our gate, we all changed clothes and tried to clean ourselves up a bit. We all stunk! We were also finding out our flight was going to be delayed due to maintenance issues and eventually started getting texts from friends in Birmingham about our flight being cancelled. Frustrating part was they weren't telling us in Memphis yet that the flight was cancelled, they were still trying to fly a certain piece in from Atlanta. Once we started getting those text messages, we started looking into rental cars to drive home.  Praise God we didn't have to rent a car! One of the guys in our small group has a brother that lives in Memphis. The brother drove us half way to Birmingham and where we were met and driven the rest of the way home. Wow, we are blessed to have these people in our lives. I don't think we realized how exhausted we were until we all got in that first car and passed out! So glad and thankful we didn't have to make that drive by ourselves! We got to the house about 2am and were greeted by a sparkling clean house stocked with food, toilet paper, paper towels and more. We were overwhelmed and again blessed by people who have created an incredible experience to come home to! THANK YOU EVERYONE!!

Both sets of grandparents were in town to greet us at the airport. Since we didn't fly in, they all came over on Sunday morning and loved on their grandkids, helped put some things away and play with the kids. We were both exhausted still as we only got about 4 hours of sleep before the kids woke up. I guess I won't ever have to set my alarm clock again!! We tried to do a little laundry yesterday too-wash our dirty clothes so thankfully just 1 small load only to find out our dryer isn't working! It's 7 years old so I'm really not surprised by this, both our washer & dryer have been acting up. We've got all the clothes drying outside so it's not the end of the world :) We're also still waiting on our luggage. It's been found (hopefully all intact) and we'll be meeting the guy delivering luggage so we can get it sooner rather than later. It was supposed to be delivered last night by 10pm but didn't happen. We may be wearing PJ's today so don't judge if you see us! Oh the kids went to bed at about 9pm last night and conked out! So glad they are adjusting to the time difference and that also meant we were able to get in bed at about 11pm.

So much still to do and unpack. We haven't done much unpacking of the luggage we had received so we still have a lot of settling in to do! The kids are doing great. I'm kind of expecting them to get to a phase of realizing this isn't temporary, it's forever! Well, time to get these kids in the bath tub and go meet to pick up our luggage. Hope to see everyone soon!


  1. So glad you made it. This will be a distant memory soon, I promise. :-)

  2. I have just spent the last hour catching up on your story! What a beautiful story and I am so glad you shared. You and Wes are going to be great parents!
    And everybody who has a child has to deal with the meltdowns, especially in public, so don't feel like you are the only one :)
    So glad you are home with your two children, one day they will understand how blessed they are that God brought you four together and they will be able to witness through that.

  3. Welcome home Wes, Danielle, M and A! I ran into Roger and Becca at SL Camp and they told me about your adoption. I had no idea until then, but I am so thrilled for you! Josh and I just began a Colombia adoption! Hope we can swap stories one day! I started a blog and linked it to my name if you'd like to read our story!