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Adoption Trip to Russia

Journey to Emily and Amanda

D-Day!
Off to Russia!!

Well, the day we had been waiting for since the beginning of August had finally arrived. John had to work for the first half of the day. I was upset, but I understood and I knew that if he was working he would have less time to be nervous about the flight. We were all VERY nervous about flying on a BIG jumbo plane all the way across the Atlantic to RUSSIA!

I finished up what I had to do at home, our luggage was already at John’s moms. I kissed the cats goodbye and told them I’d be back in a week or so.

Just before I was getting into the truck to drive to Dottie’s, my neighbor, Chris Oleary came over and wished us well and told us we were in her prayers.

I got into the truck and cried as I drove away from the house thinking to myself “life is going to be very different from this moment on”. I was not sad, just apprehensive and nervous about the emotion filled week I knew lie ahead.

I got to Dottie's at around 12:00 with only a few minutes left before we left for JFK for our 3:00 PM flight on Aeroflot. John made it home from work with only 5 minutes to spare.

Al, John’s Dad, drove us to the airport. We were all getting nervous but I continued reminding myself that the Lord had us in the palm of his hand. He drove us to the Delta terminal, where Aeroflot departs from and kissed us all goodbye. We loaded up 2 luggage carts with all of our luggage and headed into the terminal. We had to pass the luggage through an X-ray belt and then on to the FIRST CLASS check in! What a pleasure that was!

We were checked in within a matter of moments, taking out our passports and visas for the first of many times during the trip. We were told we had and hour and fifteen minutes before departure and that we could wait up in the Delta First Class Lounge…we were starting to think “we could get used to this”.

We went up to the very nice lounge and right outside the window was our plane, a Boeing 777 that looked VERY big to us. We had a soda each and some chex mix that they offered and we waited nervously.

Finally at around 2:15 we left the lounge and went to the boarding area. I think we were all in shock that we were actually getting on a BIG plane and flying to Russia to adopt our girls.

We got to board the plane from a different door than coach, which was kind of neat. We sat in the last row of non smoking business class. John and I were in the two seats on the right side and Dottie was sitting on the aisle seat across from us in the middle of the plane.

The plane was fancier than we could have imagined…for a plane that is. The seat were nice and roomy, they had recliner mechanisms in them and each seat had its own TV. On the wall in front of the section was a big screen showing our Departure destination and our arrival destination with a dotted line mapping out our course. That really helped us with our nervousness. It was kind of nice to look at that map and know how far we had come and how far we had to go.

The flight attendants offered us newspapers, juice, or water before we took off. They spoke minimal English, but were very cordial to us. The section we were in only had 3 or 4 other people sitting in it.

Then finally the plane pushed back from the gate and the big screen at the front started giving the safety instructions in Russian and then in English.

It was time to take off, it was really the moment we had been so nervous about! The taxi was not very long and all of a sudden the next thing we knew, we were in the air. We barely felt the plane take off, unlike the way you can feel every little bump on a MD-80.

As the plane soared and I looked out the window, we all prayed silently that the Lord would guide and protect us on this journey of a lifetime. I also prayed that HE would protect our little ones until we had them safely in our arms forever.

I won’t go into detail about the plane ride except that it was a WONDERFUL experience. We ate 2 meals, dinner about 2 hours after take off and breakfast about 2 hours before landing. They gave us a lot to eat and it was all pretty tasty. We took off at 3 PM Eastern Time from JFK and we landed at 7 AM in Moscow, Russia...an 8 hour time difference.

None of us slept on the flight, except for maybe a 15 minute cat nap. We watched the map on the big screen constantly and we passed over Canada, Greenland, Ireland, England, (London to be exact), France, Germany, and lots of other places. It was kind of amazing to think that we could get on a plane and in 8 and a half hours be landing in a whole different part of the world. (more...)

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