Saturday, February 26, 2011

On The Way to Abby

Here are some of the toys we bought to play with Abby: baby doll with bottles, dish, spoon; small baby blanket, Polly Pockets, Magna-Doodle, puzzle with cube blocks that makes cow, duck, horse, etc. depending on which side of the cube is used; foam board upper and lower case ABC's, coloring book, sticker book, Play-Doh, crayons, markers, UNO, Matching, Old Maid, Go Fish, foam sticker craft. I tried to think of things that could be played without requiring many words since obviously she and the McClain's speak different languages.
Goodies to munch on the way and while there; books for reading (Radical and The Connected Child for me, The Hole in the Gospel for Kevin; small-size items like individual sink-load pkgs of Tide, mouthwash, Pepto Bismal, body powders, bar of soap, Qtips, small bottles to put shampoo and hair gel in; spray bottle to put Fabreze in (I love this stuff when you can't do laundry every day), notebook for journaling, cash book for recording purchases; nail clippers; map book, phrase book, sights book, etc about AbbyLand. Also took oatmeal packets, tea bags, needle and thread, hand sanitizer and small pkgs of tissues (just in case the rest areas don't come with TP and soap)
Check-in area at the Boise United desk
Had to grab some coffee and tea prior to our first flight.
Chicago airport Food Court--ham and cheese sandwich

I'm not auditioning for the jazz band.
Kevin trying to thumb a ride to Frankfurt

Our trans-Atlantic flight was very sparsely occupied

Kevin stretched out in the Frankfurt airport

Had to delete the last two pictures because they kind of give away our destination. Rats! I'll have to put them back in after our adoption is final.

So here's from my journal entry Feb. 11, 2011:

Took me awhile just now to figure out what day it is. I have been so busy getting ready to fly that it still hasn't totally occurred to me that we just left Chicago and are now officially on our way to Frankfurt, Germany. We were delayed with the de-icing procedure. Thank you, Lord, for getting us safely in and out of Chicago (so many canceled flights in previous weeks due to weather.) I'm glad we didn't take the flight with only 39 minutes layover in Germany or else I'd be stressing right now-- though the pilot estimates we'll only be 12 minutes late.

We're on a BIG double decker Boeing 747. The flight is to be 7 hours 33 minutes long (I was mistaken on this--more like NINE hours and 33 minutes.) I think there are less than 10 people in this whole rear (economy) section of the plane--it's hard to tell exactly because some people are already laying down. If my math is correct there is capacity for about 118 back here. We are in row 59. Of the 8 seats across row 59, ours are the only two that are occupied.

The middle section is of similar size, I think. I see more heads up there (the Economy Plus section) but FAR from full. This suits me fine. I like not being crowded. When I purchased the plane tickets I purposefully chose this row far to the rear because there are only two seats: we don't have to climb over another person or have them climb over us. Kevin is window; I am aisle.

I am so tired. I didn't go to bed at all Wednesday night. I had done lots of errands on Wednesday: First Federal in ____ to get crispy money; First Federal by the cinema to leave loan application papers (we'd hoped to sign prior to leaving but apparently the loan officer had filled out the wrong forms or something. Our plan was to immediately use the cash to pay off the cash transfer on our credit care to avoid interest, then to pay off the loan with our income tax refund); Harvey's to make copies of our passports to put in each of our suitcases; Physician's Center to pick up prescriptions; Kurts to drop off prescriptions; Fred Meyers to fill the suburban tank for Tina's use while we're gone; WalMart for UNO, coloring book, sticker book, PlayDoh, foam sticker craft, jerky and Neutrogena; back to Physician's Center to get forms for Billy's behavioral health med follow-up; Kurts to pick up medicine; school to leave lunch money, Billy's form, and note about kids riding the bus. I did well but I knew I couldn't get to school in time for Caleb and Steven so I'd left a message with the high school for Scheri to get them. Unfortunately, I didn't think to tell the elementary school so they called my Dad to pick the little boys up. James (schools at home with an on-line charter school, IDVA) had done lots of reviews for tests tomorrow. We had Bible study and youth group. Then I spent several hours finishing up some paperwork and printing of 20-some pages of pictures of our house and our family for Abby.

On Thursday I vacuumed, cleaned bathrooms, did laundry, wrapped presents for the kids while we're gone. There's a nice pictures puzzle for the 11th (today) to ease the initial difficulty of us being gone. There is a heart-shaped or round pink/red box for each one of the kids filled with a nice assortment of candy for the 14th. And each one will get a little gift on the 17th--I know it sounds funny but they are actually nice Christmas ornaments that I got at Hallmark for 75% off. I took all this stuff over to my parents' house for my mom to deliver on the right days (except the ones for James).

Got supper in the oven.

I drove James on over to Steve and Patty's house where he'll be staying so he can continue his IDVA schoolwork in our absence. We had planned to take him on our way to Boise but Kevin was running late. I got lost trying to find their house in the dark and Patty had to come after me.

I got back home. Our baby sitter, Tina, had stopped by but had to go be with her mom (a recent widow) so we got the kids rounded up and took them over to her house along with the Suburban.

(Continued the story in the Frankfurt airport on Saturday am, Feb 12)

Anyway it was somewhere between 10:00 and 10:30 pm (Thursday) before we finally left our house. I slept most of the way to Inn America in Boise at which we arrived around midnight. Our wake-up call on Friday came a little before 4:30 am. We boarded the airport shuttle at 5:15. At the United desk my suitcase weighed in at 51.5#. Yikes! We took out one bottle of water. They let me through with 50.5#

Take-off for Chicago was scheduled for 6:46 AM. Praise the Lord we had good landings and take off. And I had no ear pain. It was snowing lightly in Chicago where we deplaned out on the tarmac and boarded a bus for transport to the terminal.

It was cool in the Chicago airport and in the plane. I was able to sleep a few hours on that flight and glad for my sweatshirt. Since the plane was so empty I was able to lay down across four seats. but HOT in the Frankfurt airport where we had an almost 4 hour layover. Kevin is trying to get some rest on the bench, using his carry-on as a headrest.

So now can I really start thinking about Abby? It's funny that the few people we've mentioned adoption to on our journey just assume a process of several years and that the child is a baby. They've been surprised when I say less than a year so far. I haven't bothered to mention that our 'baby' is nine years old. :) :) I think it's sad that so many want (and assume) healthy white infant--when there are so MANY other kids that need a family, too.

I'm thinking about spelling her name with 2 B's--Abbigail Anne

I guess though we need to consider the possibility that she won't want to change her name.

In a few hours we'll be in AbbyLand. Wow! Unbelievable. We'll meet Toni. See another European capital. See Cyrillic again.

Most of the other people waiting at this gate area are flying Turkish Airlines to Istanbul and take off at 7:45. Egypt is big in the international news. Yesterday the President (Mumbarek-sp?) stepped down. There's been lots of rioting. Just saw Presdient Obama commenting. Egypt's Vice President is talking now--he looks exhausted. There is concern how this will affect the Suez, oil and Israel.

From Germany we have an 8 hour time difference from home; from AbbyLand there is an additional hour. I really wanted to call the kids when we landed here. It was just a little after 10 pm their time. Probably Papa wasn't even there yet to spend the night. Unfortunately I had no phone service. And I wasn't totally sure we were supposed to even use a cell phone in that airport anyway.

I really miss the kids. Please Lord, set your angels around them, our house, Tina, my parents, even our pets. I worry that they won't turn off the oven, will forget to feed the fish, will forget the poor dog, won't play with the little boys, will forget Caleb and Steven's antibiotic.

So how do I feel? Excited. Apprehensive. Uncertain.

Abby has no idea of how drastically her life is about to change. Please Lord, continue to prepare her heart. Please give her courage to leave everything she has ever known and go to a whole new world, whole new life.

Please prepare our surroundings and our hearts to be able to parent her in a healing way. I'm worried whether she'll be comfortable with a family of a different skin color. Will people assume she's Hispanic? (Not that there's anything wrong with being Hispanic--but she's not) I can think of some people who be be good role models--Pastor Isaac and Miriam, Jorge and Yritza but they ARE Mexican and Hispanic. I don't know anyone from ___(AbbyLand). I keep thinking I need to contact the refugee center but haven't done it yet. I would love to meet some strong Christian from E. Europe who live near us. But if Abby is of Roma heritage will even other Christians from her part of the world accept her? There seems to be such a stigma. I want her to experience love and acceptance.

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