On Sunday, after our marathon sightseeing Saturday, we got up and had breakfast while we waited for Boris to come pick us up. We had a few logistical issues fitting the luggage in the car, but we finally got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Through all this adoption travel, we made "status" on Delta and got to bypass the hour line to check in and went to the express desk. No issues checking in and no issues going through passport control. She is petrified and crying in this picture because she thought Mama and Papa were leaving and she was staying with Boris and Irina.
It took a few minutes for the KGB (okay, they aren't KGB, but I don't know what they call their passport people and KGB sounds fun :) ) to approve all the paperwork. We were travelling with some medications for Sweet Girl and we had no issues on that end getting them through for other who might be in the same boat.
We sat at a little coffee shop and had our last meal in Sweet Girl's home soil. She gobbled it right up. Good thing too because two cokes, a water and 2 apple danishes cost me $20.
We went on a last minute trip to the "toy-o-let", looked at the planes out the window and then we were boarding!
So far so good!
Then the fun began. She didn't mind the plane at all, but she was too overwhelmed to sleep. She knew that as soon as she said "toy-o-let" that we'd let her get up and walk to the bathroom. So about every 20 minutes she'd do this. Then about every hour after the first 3 hours, she'd get upset and start repeating something. One time, I took her to the back and tried to get her to say it for the flight attendant, but she just conned them into giving her a juice. (I have learned since then, she was saying something like "I want to get up")
Overall, on the 9.5 hours flight, she drank an entire milk, 2 cans of orange juice, 2 cans of apple juice and an entire bottle of water. She ate the carrots in her salad and half of her bread. Then she ate tomatoes off a sandwich and the little snack size candy bar that came with it. And lastly, she ate an entire bag of trail mix. She refused to watch a movie, cartoons, the ipad, or anything that might give either Rob or I two seconds of peace. She constantly tried to stand up and kick the seat of the guy in front of her. All of her behaviors were normal 4 year old things or testing boundaries things. We were firm and consistent on some things (kicking the seat) but tried to be very relaxed on others (bathroom every 20 minutes). At about halfway Rob and I looked at each other and I think we were both thinking that we wouldn't be taking another plane trip anytime soon.
FINALLY, we landed in JFK. The landing immediately made Sweet Girl a US Citizen. She celebrated by choosing that moment to lean over and fall asleep. Perhaps, somehow she knew - this long road is finally done, now I can enjoy the fruits of my labor :)
We went through US Customs and Immigration with no issues whatsoever, they didn't even take us to a secondary screening! He just flipped through the pages of the sealed envelope and said, "Welcome to America, you're done!" US security was no problem with the medications either and we were on our way!
She was very impressed with Mama and Papa's machina and her seat. She had no problems getting buckled. She stayed awake until we made a quick drive through stop (which she was facinated with!) and then fell asleep with her juicebox in her hands.
Once we got home, we made her a little pallet on the floor of our room and we all slept perfectly soundly...
.. until 3am when she was bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for the day. ::YAWN::