On the Wings of Prayer

27 Dec

I wanted to take a moment to describe when we left Moscow and our miracle flight:

On Wednesday morning, we had to be ready to leave by 8:45 a.m.  Colin did not have a good morning in the apartment.  I think it was due to him sensing (and seeing!) that something big was up.  We were so thankful when our facilitator’s wife came a little early and helped us finish getting him dressed so we could finish packing and double checking the apartment for any forgotten items.  Poor baby didn’t seem to sleep that well the night before his big trip so I’m sure that yet another reason for some of his fussiness. 

Once in the car, he was great.  Colin watched the lights of the buildings and the Christmas decorations as we left central Moscow and made our way to the airport.  It was a long drive.  We got there by 10 or so, I think.   Our facilitator’s wife helped us to get into the airport and ready for bags’ screening and check-in.  She couldn’t go with us to where our bags were looked through (I think this was just carry-on bags).  Colin was content in the carrier and watching all the people (including many many children) around us.  I recognized an adoptive family from their blog and then noticed a few others who’d be traveling with us to Atlanta.  Yes, they do stick out sometimes.  (I think that when Colin and I were alone we didn’t stick out as much as some because I have been asked questions by other travelers in Russian before and had to open my mouth and prove my inadequacies with Russian!) 

At check-in, we found out that the flight was full so there was going to be no bulkhead seat for Colin.  I guess a family had requested it before we arrived at the airport.  Colin did well as we continued to make our way through the obstacles between us and our flight.  We went through passport control with no problems.  Then, we faced a long, tedious line for the security check where all shoes and coats and belts, etc. must be off.  I did not get to keep wearing Colin.  The woman made me empty my pocket of lipgloss and his mittens even though I was trying to hold a squirmy toddler.  At our region’s airport, I’d been waved through pretty quickly after removing my shoes.  I guess this particular screener was more a stickler for her job.  (I can’t imagine that  I looked like much of a threat with my cardigan sweater and big-eyed, towheaded baby in my arms!) 

We headed to a seating area to feed Colin after we made it through the security fun.  After he ate, we walked around the airport.  We also stopped at a souvenir shop to buy some last minute gifts.  Colin loved the store and got kind of hyper in the store.  A nice store clerk gave him a little matryoshka doll with which to play (I think it didn’t make it home to the U.S.). 

Alan and I decided to eat a quick sandwich before entering our security/waiting area for the flight (where there are only snack machines).  We sat down in a restaurant where a fellow adoptive family was finishing their meal.  We talked to them before ordering with the waiter.  Colin got restless waiting so I had to go walk with him.  Finally, Alan asked about the order only to find out the waiter did not place our order.  What???!!!???  We rushed off to buy quick sandwiches elsewhere and gulped them down.  Colin tried pickles and loved them while we ate.  Then, we rushed to get through our security check and the waiting area where they were about to start boarding passengers. 

While waiting in line, I saw a little dog and pointed it out to Colin.  We have been trying to prepare him for his doggy who is waiting for us in Tennessee.  The dog growled at us so that didn’t really help us with getting Colin used to dogs!

Once on the plane, the flight was uneventful….YES, uneventful!!!  Colin slept for over 3 hours (close to his regular nap time) and then he slept again for at least 1 hour before the plane prepared to land.  Highlights of the flight for him included watching people, pulling the window shade up and down, and letting Papa hold him some.  We believe he was the best behaved baby on the flight.  We totally felt enwrapped in prayer the whole flight to Atlanta so we want to thank all of you who prayed us to the U.S.  God answered all of our prayers beyond our imaginings!

Once in Atlanta, the trip began to go a little awry.  First, the pilot didn’t line up the plane correctly for the passenger ramp so we had to wait at least 15 minutes before passengers could leave.  Then, the immigration processing area was understaffed (it was Christmas Eve after all!) and we and the other families with children from Russia were stuck there for over an hour (along with other travelers whose visas/passports/paperwork needed checked).  Colin ate snacks and walked up and down the waiting area with me.  Alan and I began to get nervous (as did the other families).  Would we be able to make our flight to Louisville?  It began to look like it wasn’t going to happen.  Alan and I were hungry and became cranky with each other (I don’t like to admit this but it was around 6:00-8:00 p.m. and we had been going on adrenaline for so many hours that our steam was running out….For future adoptive parents, I encourage you to specifically pray that you will be patient and strong during the immigration processing time because it can be sometimes stressful.  Make sure you have grown-up snacks stashed in your bag, as well as baby ones, so you can refuel while you wait.)  Finally, our names were the first to be called and we went up to the counter and were there for just a few minutes (as I described in my previous post).

Thus, concludes our account of our international flight home with Colin. We will try to share some photos of our arrival in Atlanta in the near future.  (Our friends J & K have them on their camera). God has mightily worked on our behalf to bring us together as a family and to safely bring us home.  We give Him all the praise and glory!  We look forward to seeing how He continues to work in our lives as we near the start of a new year!

Thanks for stopping by,

Heather, Alan & Colin

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2 Responses to “On the Wings of Prayer”

  1. Marcia Brandt December 27, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    We pray you are destressing. International travel is stressful WITHOUT adopting a child!

    We will miss you today at the family gathering – but next year we will have a little one to be the center of attention again! Tell Colin his aunties and uncles and big cousins already love him! (Grandma and Grandpa go without saying…)

    Love you!

  2. Kristi Werre December 27, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    Heather,
    I have loved following your blog during your trip. You write with a lot of detail which I like because it’s easier to really picture what’s going on. Colin is such a beautiful child and I can’t wait to hear more about his little personality and how he adjusts to his new home (and dog!). I’ll be praying that this time of transition and bonding goes miraculously easy and that God will attach you three to each other. What God attaches, no man can break apart!!! 🙂

    Kristi

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