Thursday morning (Thanksgiving Day) began at 4:30 AM. The night had been rather rough with multiple wakeups and I did not wake up feeling rested which did not bode well for the plane ride home. We finished packing up and let O sleep until the last possible moment. I woke him up, dressed him, and put him in the carrier. We walked down to the KAL bus stop and actually ended up being there a few minutes early. It was cold so O and I waited in the lobby of the Best Western. The bus arrived and thankfully the bus ride seemed fairly quick with no traffic that early in the morning.
We checked in, ate breakfast, exchanged our money back, and returned our wifi egg. Going through security wasn’t too bad at all and we were at our gate plenty early. O fell asleep for a few minutes and then it was time to board. The plane was a lot more full than we had hoped and even though we had bulkhead seating there were no empty seats on our row.
I’m not going to lie, the flight home was rough. Owen did okay, not as well as Lukas did on his flight home but overall it could have been a lot worse, I know. He did nap some but never slept for more than a couple hours at a time. There were times he was just not happy. The exhaustion really set in for me about halfway through and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it the rest of the flight. I just kept praying and asking the Lord to give me the strength to make it to the end and to make the flight go by as quickly as possible. I would walk Owen back and forth and just feel like I was going to fall asleep standing up. Then at some point, I just felt so nauseous. I wasn’t able to eat the last meal they served because I just felt so sick and tired. Sometime in the last 4 hours of the flight I was able to doze off for a little while during one of Owen’s naps and thankfully that helped me feel much better.
Finally, finally, FINALLY, we landed in Atlanta. I have never been so glad to get off of an airplane. Well, maybe I have, about 3 and a half years ago. :) We went through immigration first and gave them the big packet of paperwork from the visa interview. It did not take them very long to process everything and approve Owen’s arrival into the United States as a U.S. Citizen! Hooray! We picked up our bags, went through customs, rechecked our bags, and then set out to find our next flight that was leaving in roughly 4 hours. By this time, exhaustion had set in once again and knowing we had to wait that much longer for our last flight was just so disheartening.
We found some breakfast/lunch and that helped a little. I then put Owen in the carrier and walked up and down the terminal to try to get him to go to sleep. I called Lukas while I was walking and proceeded to have a 40 minute phone call with him. He would not let me off the phone. He kept chatting and wanting me to tell him about our trip and to ask him things about his time at Gramma’s. Every few minutes he would say,”Hold on, Mama, I’m gonna have to set you down for a minute. Be right back.” And he would be gone for a minute and then he would be back to chat some more. It was so cute and I loved finally being able to talk to my sweet boy. My mom said he walked all over their house while talking to me.
Owen slept for a little while and then it was time to start changing clothes and freshening up for the flight home. It did feel so good to change clothes and brush my teeth and put on some makeup. Then it was finally time to board the flight to Raleigh. Thankfully it was only about an hour flight and Owen fell asleep once again. He woke up happy and one of the passengers near us declared him the best baby ever on a flight!
Finally we were back in NC and ready to see a certain 4 year old and the rest of our family! We walked off the plane and I cannot tell you the relief I felt to finally be off of a plane for a very long time. It was time to have our family all together at last!
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…
And these next few pictutres… As long as I live I will never forget this moment and I am so so thankful to have it captured on film. Our boys meeting for the first time was so special and little Owen reaching out his hand to Lukas was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.
A huge thanks to our friends Heather and Bill for being there and taking pictures for us. These pictures are priceless and will be something I will treasure forever.