Baruch hashem, we're back from Milwaukee. Mission accomplished, and Raizel and Avi are 100% Jewish. And we used a court with an impeccable reputation so their status and that of their descendents will never be in question.
Baruch hashem, they fixed the cockpit problem on flight #1 and we were able to take off after only an hour delay.
Baruch hashem, the second flight was able to take off with only an hour delay.
Baruch hashem, I found a nice security guard in a parking lot at 1:00 in the morning who explained to me that even thought that great big hotel said Hyatt on the front, the back entrance was Amerisuites, where we had a reservation. (Huh?) Yes, the Hyatt was Amerisuites. Hm.
Baruch hashem, I got 2 hours of sleep instead of 0 when we had to get up and go meet the beit din (court).
Baruch hashem for google maps. I got to the beit din without getting lost and I got there exactly on time.
Baruch hashem, Avi laughed when he got dipped in the mikveh.
Baruch hashem, Raizel had her mama waiting right there to wrap her up in a towel after her dunking.
Baruch hashem, I only got my sense of direction mixed up for about 30 minutes (total; many mixups!) going back to the hotel. I had to go off my map and pick up the legal document from the kollel. Uh oh. That's not part of the map plan. Uh oh.
Baruch hashem, we got back to the hotel in time to pack our bags.
Baruch hashem, it took us 3 minutes to drive to the airport.
Baruch hashem, I got to the airport at 12:15 and they booked me on an earlier flight to Chicago.
Baruch hashem, I got to the boarding area of my airplane 15 minutes before boarding.
Baruch hashem, we were only delayed one hour in boarding, then two hours waiting for a de-icing machine to wash down the plane, then one hour to taxi since only two runways were open due to snow accumulation.
Baruch hashem, the emergency alarm went off and we had an aborted takeoff. Something was wrong with one of the emergency doors and it wasn't sealed properly.
Baruch hashem, this flight getting canceled probably avoided some other disaster.
Baruch hashem, I got re-booked onto a flight that left Chicago at 10:00. I wasn't supposed to be able to get onto that flight, but I went to the counter anyway. He offered me back to back seats. I thought GREAT someone else can deal with Raizel who was about fit to be tied at this point, understandably. But no, I told him it would be better if we had seats together, and somehow he found 2 seats on an overbooked flight (?). Maybe sometimes in this pc world, people do give consideration to women and children.
Baruch hashem, WE GOT HOME!!!!!!!!! At 1:00 in the morning. On the only flight that made it from Milwaukee to Portland that day. No luggage, no car seats, but who cares? And Dean (!) and Eli (!) and Amirah (!) were all there to meet us jumping up and down. It has never felt so good to hug all my loved ones.
Raizel is not doing so well. Her bronchial condition got pretty bad last night. We gave her albuterol (thanks to Amirah's former (please, hashem) asthma we have a supply on hand. It didn't seem to help though. She's at the doctor right now.
That was by far the roughest bout of air travel I have ever had. A good reminder why I always used to avoid O'Hare when I had more occasion to travel that way and why United is not my airlines of choice, my latest reason being that they do not provide pre-boarding to families with young children, or any consideration at all, for that matter. And being stuck on a not-moving (mostly) plane for 5 hours, with no offer of even a beverage is horrible. And non-potable water in the bathroom. Ugh. Anyway....
BARUCH HASHEM, WE'RE HOME AND RAIZEL AND AVI ARE JEWS!