Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Travel

Emotion. Exhaustion. Concentration. These have filled the last day or two for us.

Our little children, the people that my life centers around each day are not here. It’s strange to not have them with me, it’s weird to be alone with my husband. Alone, traveling through airports and foreign countries. It’s different, but we have clearly had our Lord with us the whole way.

Our flight from Seattle to Frankfurt was wonderful. Perfect, at least nearly perfect. Tom seems to think that the landing deserved a mid-class rating, he has had better and he has had worse. I however don’t travel much at all and I don’t like flying at all, so when I can come down and not get too worked up…well, that’s a good landing to me.

Usually when I think of God having plans for a flight, my mind hovers around the idea of us blessing or ministering to others. Even if it’s being in a joyful mood, reflecting God’s peace and His love can stand out. I didn’t even have to try to do that (which is the way it should be). I was joyful and surprisingly at peace for most of our flight. Tom and I were seated together, so there weren’t any long conversations with strangers that were seated next to us. I do love those conversations though and I had a couple of short ones with people that weren’t seated directly next to us. Through this WE were blessed.

As we got situated on our flight I just sat and listened to all that was going on around us. I don’t like to talk much while preparing for a flight, I like to focus on calming myself. I noticed that the lady seated behind us was speaking with the flight attendant (we were nearly the last row at the back of the plane). She was very talkative and joyful, excited to go and visit her grandchildren in Rome. I even mentioned to Tom “someone is joyful today…”.

In the mid part of our flight I stood up for a little bit in my seat area to stretch out for a little while. We ended up talking for some time about her grandkids, where we all lived, her parents who had lived with her for a couple years before passing in the last two years. Just chatting. She told us her destination of Rome, we told her about our final landing place of Ukraine. We shared about our kids- all of them. We told her about Ana, and how we were excited to meet her and bring her home, but that it was also hard to leave such little kids at home, but that it was all part of the process and we knew it would be good because the Lord had planned each step of the way.

We finished talking and got back to our viewing. How blessed we were to have the individual screens on the back of each seat as well. That sure made the 10 hour flight seem much shorter. We were only a couple of minutes back into our shows, when our new friend peeked between the seats and started talking to us. She had some cash in her hand and asked if it was okay if…and she saw the look on my face and said, “Use it for your little girl when you get her, or have a celebration dinner when you get to her.” And she was insistent, so we allowed her to bless us (well, Ana…because we will use it for things she needs). She said that we had made her flight (right…WE made HER flight…I think it was the other way around). SEE- I am growing in my ability to receive. I didn’t fight her too much =). I have learned through our giving that it really is a blessing to give and that it’s important to allow others to bless us in all different ways as well.

Later, as I was fixing things in my purse so that we could prepare to exchange for Euros in the airport, I saw how much she gave us. Twenty would have been an amazing gift from someone on an airplane that we had never met. Heck, $10 would have been! But she slipped us $100! It nearly made me cry when I realized that. What a generous woman to even think of giving that much to a family that she had never met, that she would never see again.

That was our airplane experience, then came the long wait at the Frankfurt airport. We had planned on leaving the airport for a little while, but when we got there we had a hard enough time getting food for ourselves that we decided to stay in the airport. It wouldn’t have been fun to get lost and I think that to forgo getting lost would require brain function. Brain function was not something that was being experienced anywhere near full capacity. It was best to stay.

You see, I was tired at 4pm our time. That’s two hours after we left home folks. I am used to getting a small nap in lately, and I had been doing a lot in preparation for our departure, so I was tired. Unfortunately, I am not gifted with sleeping on an airplane while pregnant in the same way I have been in the past. It just didn’t work. SO…we got to Frankfurt a bit tired and in need of sleep. We walked around the airport for a bit and ate something, then we searched out a spot to sleep for a little while.

We ended up stepping out of security to these lounging chairs (and don’t get the idea that they were cozy by the word lounging because that wasn’t the case) and tried to sleep for awhile. Tom didn’t even try. It was too loud and there was too much going on. I rested my eyes and tried to sleep, I was just not able to fully fall asleep. You know, you need to be laying down. That’s the whole issue with the airplane- not laying down enough.

We went back through security and had some lunch, played a game, and spent time wandering the airport. Then we found it. We found a special spot that was empty of passengers waiting to board with long rows of chairs. It was void of most noise, and contained only sleeping and silent people. It was great! Tom hesitated to lay down, but after I talked him into it he quickly fell asleep. I slept for a bit, but one of us should really be awake to make sure nothing happens to our luggage that is with us, so I started typing this for you =).

Toward the end of our stay at the lovely (expensive I might add) Frankfurt Airport, I started to get sick. It was pretty terrible and not fun at all being sick in an airport in a foreign country. We were lucky to only have a few people at our gate waiting, perhaps because we were there 4 or 5 hours early. I layed across some chairs and tried not to focus on feeling sick. Tom prayed for me and I took some medicine and started to feel a little better right before out flight. I was not up to par, but was at least not loosing my stomach every 10 minutes, which is what the airport was like.

And a note about German airports, or at least Frankfurt, I have to say that their soap smells very good. And...they keep the bathrooms cleaned ALL the time. I'm pretty sure there was almost always someone cleaning the bathroom when one of us would go to use one. Sanitation gets an A from me, but expense...well, I won't even go there.

When we stepped off of our plane, we were outside. It was like that in Germany too. Now, I don't travel much, so I am not sure if they do that in the US in some places or not, but it was different to me. It was good, we just got on a bus that took us to the building, where it was time for customs. The moment we walked into the airport, haze. It was filled. with. smoke. Uggh, not something I really want to be in, especially while pregnant!

We had filled out our forms and were the last in line, when we went up to make it through security. It had a blank for where we were staying that asked for address, and since we didn't have one that we knew of, we just didn't fill it in. Well, we got sent back (and put the name of the capital city in hopes that would be enough even though we weren't going to stay there). Then as we were writing it in, a HUGE line of new people came in and got in line. We had to wait a whole lot longer to get through. I'm pretty sure out poor driver thought that we would never get there!

As we were walking out of customs, we met with our driver Nicholay (I hope I spelled it right). He was wonderful. He was very kind and showed us everything we would need- that night. At 2am. When he had to get up and be at the airport to pick up another family at noon! And today is his birthday (or tomorrow....I'm not sure because when he said it I wasn't sure if he meant later that day, since it was 2am...or Monday). He helped us with exchange of money, took us to grocery stores (2 of them and showed us another) within walking distance of our apartment. He told us all that we would need to know and answered any questions we had. I very much like him.

Our apartment is much larger than I expected. I guess I was picturing a hotel type size, like a bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette. I will try to post pictures later for you to see what it looks like.

So, that extremely long post is all I have for now for you. We are getting ready to go out for a bit now. We are going to check out the city and some restaurants, and perhaps try to meet with two other couples that are here right now.

Prayer that we need:

Our health, especially protection for the baby. I was cramping a bit this morning, and though I don't think it was a big deal it still makes me a bit cautious. We are around second hand smoke and different's all a lot for the system to adjust to. And then the lack of sleep and time change isn't totally easy on the body, making things less strong for fighting off illness.

Alexis and Ben. They were both sick after we left and Alexis came down with a pretty high fever of 102. My mom said she was miserable and watched television and drank juice all day. She seems to be feeling better now. Ben wasn't feeling great when we left either, but seems to be okay now too. Please pray for their health.

Our appointment with the SDA tomorrow. This is where we should get our referral for Ana! Pray that all goes well and that we get our appointment that day so we can go and see her. Depending on what time we get our referral (a piece of paper), we could travel out Monday! That means we could meet our little girl as early as Tuesday. Of course, it's possible that we won't get our referral until Tuesday as well, so when we meet her is kind of unpredictable right now.

That's all I have for you right now. I will update perhaps later today after we explore and also try to put some pictures up for you. It sure is a place filled with beautiful culture. The supermarket we went to last night was just beautiful!

Until later-


  1. I'm sorry you're both sick. Apparently Bens fever on Thanksgiving wasn't just from teething! It doesn't seem to last long though so hopefully you'll feel better soon.

    Love you both and thanks for keeping us updated.

  2. I will be praying for you tomorrow. Hope your SDA appointment is smooth and easy and that you get your referral the same day!

    -I'm blogging for Nadya; to help her find a family -

  3. HI!
    So happy to hear you made it to Kiev in one piece with all your luggage :) so sorry you were feeling sickly :(
    I hope your appt goes well and you get your referral Monday afternoon and meet your beautiful little one on Tuesday :)
    Chat won't be the same without you Monday night :)
    Love the story from the plane, how amazing!

  4. I am praying for good health for all 5 of you! I am relieved that you made it to the Ukraine safely. Thanks for the blog. Love you guys.

  5. So happy to be able to follow along here with you :)
    Ukraine is so..different, so beautiful, & so exciting :) I know the pain of missing your little one's..I didn't know missing them could hurt soooo bad while we were away. I lived for the phone calls from them. Praying for your health & for your little one craddled inside..congrats by the way!...& that the smoke there in Ukraine won't kill you cause EVERYONE in Ukraine smokes, yuck!)Is Yulia your facilitator? We had a Nikoli as our driver too who always went over & above in way of helping us. Praying for you all & blessings :)

  6. I slept in the Frankfurt airport last May. When I woke up, my traveling companions had deserted me (leaving my luggage unattended) ... I was actually afraid I'd missed my flight and they'd flown home without me. :) Seriously, I woke up right before boarding time. Yikes!

    Hope you are all feeling better. Praying for little one in your tummy.