We made it home! The flight home was a bit grueling, as you might imagine. But, in spite of having a toddler and an infant, we actually got *more* sleep on the way home than we did on the way there! Avi didn't fuss at all unless he was ready to eat. Raizel had your typical 2-year-old fits from time to time, mostly during the last 2 hours of the flight when we were all ready to have 2-year-old fits. :)
Our plane arrived a little early, at 11:10. Our children became official US residents by 12:30. We walked in our front door at about 2:30 breathing HUGE sighs of relief. (A little mixup at the airport delayed our arriving home sooner, so we were DOUBLY glad to walk in that front door, bleary-eyed and all!).
And of course having A & E back in our arms shortly after coming home was stupendous. We missed them terribly, but were able to talk to them nearly every day, in between shabbats and yamim tovim. I hope we never have to be parted them from this long for many, many years. They were in very good hands and did have a nice time while we were away. It's been so good to catch up on hugs and snuggles.
We'll tell more about our adventures in Ethiopia in the coming days. We (or at least mama) slept most of today. Papa only slept 1/2 of the day and the rest of them slept too or played with toys.
There was one other family who was staying in the guesthouse in Ethiopia, and they were from Sherwood, OR, just a few miles away! We had a lot in common so it was very fun to talk. We both thought (Athlyn, the other mom, and I (Kerith)), that taking an adoption trip to Ethiopia was completely different from going on an international adventure trip as we had both done before. There was, of course, the joy of meeting our children, but other than that it really felt much more like a business trip because there was so much time spent waiting in lines and going to appointments. We really did not have that much time to explore and play. We would have had more if we had not had to chase down our German visas so our children would have the privilege of sitting in the Frankfurt airport for a few hours. They were free, but it was definitely a hassle to get it all together. Especially since what was required is NOT what was posted on the German embassy website before we left! Three visits to the embassy later, we had the visas in hand. Was it worth it to save $1600 on airfare? YES. We figured we made about $200 per hour this way. :) On the other hand, it left us with only one completely free day. We went up to some beautiful lakes about 90 minutes outside of Addis. More about that later!
Time for sleep now! People are welcome to call and stop by. We're so glad to be home!! And I'm really glad that DH has the next 3+ weeks at home still so we can put a lot of effort into integrating our new family. It's been really great so far and once we're over jet lag it should be even easier.
Love to all, Kerith