A few sweet thoughts since coming home, then I'll share the saga.
Last night when we got in bed (temporarily) Buddy said to me, "You and Jesus are my heroes.) Good thing I was so tired, I would have been laying in a puddle of tears.
This morning, after maybe 3 hours of interrupted sleep, I tried to rest while S and C were playing with H. However, I'd yet to see Caleb and couldn't wait any longer. I went in and woke him up and he gave me the sweetest hug. Then he said, "Is Hannah still here?" As he went down the hall, he told me he wanted to go say Hi to Hannah.
This morning Catherine told me she still likes having Hannah.
Back up a day and a half...
I tried to go to sleep after saying good bye to Giorgi, but Hannah decided going from a crib to a kinig sized bed meant you take up the whole bed in which ever configuration you can. Another night for me on the couch. (I'd slept out there when she wouldn't stop talking and I was really tired.) By that time, it was only 4 hours til I needed to be up, and I was thinking about the Hauflers, the anticipation of going home, the whole last good byes. I slept very little and kept checking to see how much longer I had to sleep. I finally got up, made sure everything was packed, and lay down to rest until the call came. When it did, I had time to take everything down to the street. The couple that lives downstairs came out and offered to help me. At 3am! The lady was going to make me tea, but Zhura and Lika were there. I went and scooped up Hannah and down we went. She was so happy to see Lika and Zhura, and to ride in a pe pe-a again! I was so glad Lika decided to join us, but it was so hard to sit there and know the inevitable was coming. We got to see the lights of Tbilisi as we drove and reflect on the thing I'd seen while I was there.
When we got to the airport, there was a little lady, probably in her 70's or 80's, begging. Dear Lord, how awful is that? I expected Z and L to take me inside and leave, but the stayed with me while I checked in, helped me get up stairs to the passport checking place, and waited while they checked us. The ladies had a little trouble understanding H's last name. I was so thankful they hadn't left me so I could get some help explaining the adoption. I had to show them the adoption certificate and new birth certificate, then they were ok. Then we were off. I had that nauseated feeling again as we said our final goodbyes. That makes me cry again! I just couldn't have asked for sweeter people to be with me. The fact that Lika came so early when she didn't have to really touched me. (Zhura didn't have a choice!)
We got to the gate and got through just fine. My carry on was probably heavier than Hannah, though! As we sat waiting, the lady from security came up to me and asked about the scissors I'd carried through 4 airports and were TSA approved. She said. "It is a problem" and took them from me. I really liked them! They let me push the stroller onto the plane and to our seats. Remember how great it stears? That was an adventure. There was a nice gentleman who sat beside us, who tolerated her very friendly nature. She kept touching him while he was trying to sleep, trying to get the cigarettes from his pocket, trying to take his drink. There was a family sitting in front of us who were with YWAM and had been in Georgia for 5 years. The daughter played with Hannah through the seats, which was really sweet. Every leg of the journey, we had a little testing time, but we survived each just fine. She slept for part of the almost 5 hour flight to Amsterdam, then we only had 6.5 hours to kill in the airport there.
That experience wasn't so great. I had her in a diaper and hadn't changed her from her jammies yet, so I decided to take to the potty and get her changed. However, she HATED being on the changing station and cried so loud, I thought someone was going to pound on the door and demand I stop abusing my child. I got her calmed down and all seemed well. Until she had to go potty again and I laid her down to get her dressed. Worse the second time. To fill a little time, I was going to try to do some PT with her, which was probably a bad move, because I laid her on the chairs and she freaked out, not at first, but after a few minutes. This was not any fun at all! How long can a child sit in a stroller or chair and not want to do something different? But I had no options since she couldn't deal with it. I met a nice family from Frisco, TX who had been in Capetown to help her mother sell her house and move. They homeschool, which was good, since they'd been gone 6 months.
This airline wasn't going to let me take the stroller to the plane. I would have had to carry her a good deal of the way. The realized she couldn't walk and let me take it to the gate. However, they checked it and I couldn't get it until after customs in Memphis. Hannah got some melatonin and actually slept on the 10 hour flight. She would just lay down and go to sleep, wake up, play for a bit, then lay back down form more sleep. I should have joined her, but I had a good book instead.
By the time we got to Memphis, I was so ready to be done! I was tired, I missed people, I didn't want any more testing, I wanted familiar and comfortable. What I got was a ride in a wheelchair, holding Hannah while we went through customs, waited for her visa to be stamped, (she was instantly a citizen), collected and rechecked our luggage, and got to our gate. The lady, Gracie, was very kind and let me take the wheelchair and go where ever I needed to in the airport. I washed my face, put on some makeup, brushed H's hair, and went to the gate. I thought it was EST and the flight was 2 hours. What a pleasant surprise to find it was CST, and the flight was 55 minutes! Before we got off the ground, the final testing came. In the end, she cried like she did in the Amsterdam bathroom. Imagine how tired she must have been- short night Friday, no nap Saturday, long day Saturday, with little sleep Saturday night, short nap Sunday, awakened early Monday, 20+ hours of travelling Monday, and stuck in the airplane again. She couldn't take another "ah rah, shades le bot." No, it's forbidden. It took a bit for the comfort to kick in, but then she was fine. No sleep on this flight, although my body was really asking for it.
Since I couldn't get the stroller, I had to wait for a wheel chair, and it was terrible delaying our reunion! When we got to the waiting area, I was so surprised to see not just Charissa and my parents, but my friend Denise from 30 years ago, the Schmeekles from CC, the Everetts from CC, and the Thorns from CC who had to have driven over 1.5 hours to get to the airport. It was so wonderful to have hugs and see faces. Hannah did awesome meeting so many new people. Catherine was thrilled to see her. It was the sweetest thing ever. Lots of hugs and tears all around. Can't say what the best part was, cuz it was all so fabulous.
As we were leaving the parking lot, we saw our friend John. Shawn, his wife had misunderstood when our flight was coming in, and they had raced from B'ville to make it in time to greet us. We got a few minutes together, and then we were off to the house. Such a beautiful place to be! Caleb was tucked in bed, peacefully sleeping, and we endeavored to follow.
However, H wanted more lights on, cried as soon as we left the room, even though C was in bed above her, and did not respond to her Melatonin as I had hoped. I was so exhausted, Buddy let me go to bed and he lay on the floor by her bed. But I could hear her crying and knew when she asked to go potty at about 12:30, then wanted a drink. My first thought as I got up was that I wasn't on hard wood floors any more and how odd it felt. She cried off and on until I finally went in at 5:30 so Buddy could go to work. I think she finally fell asleep around 6, and at 6:30 I got up to go to my bed. How did she know? She started crying. That was it. The day had begun.
The kids were so happy to play with her, I ask them to play while I rested a bit more. But then I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about Caleb and really wanted to see him. I went in and woke him up so I could cuddle with his cute little self. He didn't disappoint.
It was so nice to make breakfast for the bunch of us and realize I need more bowls, and we need a desk chair now, since I have to use the dining room chair we've had at the desk. They all played so nicely together and Caleb is sharing his toys with H, so sweet. Catherine is helping dress her and do her hair. Samuel is being a sweet big brother, too.
They all wanted their suvinirs, so out it all came. Samuel really liked his sword, but got a nice wound on his leg when he tripped over my stuff. This is why we put it up and will keep it up. What a start to the day!
Mom came over by 9 and then Denise came about 11. We had a great time together. S & C went to science camp (thanks Linda) and C & H took naps while we chatted and looked at pictures.
Buddy was home early, and H was really happy to see him.
Now the day is closing and I am drooping after no rest today. Time for bed for the kids, then in I go. The kitchen can wait, the mail can wait, the last bits of travel can stay for another day. We're together as a family, and I have to say, it's a very good thing.
Sleep tight, I know I will.