We made it home yesterday!!!! After a 12.5 hour flight with a 14 month old....we made it :) We got to the Moscow airport around 10 AM Wednesday & had a few issues with check in. Jonathan's infant lap ticket did not show up on our reservation...we had a feeling that may be a problem because it wasn't on our flight itinerary & had asked our travel agent about it before we left for our trip. She had said it was all fine....obviously not! Anyway, the guy who checked us in was very nice & spoke decent English. He got it all fixed & didn't charge us for it again. We got our boarding passes & made it through passport control pretty easily. Jonathan has a Russian passport with a U.S. immigration visa, American parents on his birth certificate & paperwork....we had to show the adoption decree to the passport officer, but all went well & it only took a few minutes :) We had over an hour before boarding, so we took him to the airport's playroom for awhile so he could get some energy out! They have a very nice set up there for kids...I was impressed! We got some lunch & then it was time to board....it was kind of sad & exciting at the same time to say goodbye to Russia.
There were several small kids on the flight & they all took turns being cranky. Jonathan hardly slept, I got sick, we were cramped & miserable, but we knew at the end of the misery we would be home!!! We finally landed at LAX around 3 PM with Jonathan dressed in his USC outfit & we had all missed a full night's sleep on Russia time. Customs & immigration was INSANE...we have never seen it that crowded when we've travelled internationally before. It took us over an hour to get through & get Jonathan's immigration paperwork processed. Finally we were done & practically ran out of there to meet the kids & two of our babysitters. They were all very excited & I cried when I had ALL 4 of my kids in my arms :) We finally got home around 7 PM & family was here waiting impatiently-they met us in the garage! Jonathan handled all of the chaos really well & loved his room. We had dinner, let everyone hug & squeeze on him, then got him bathed after everyone left. He fell right to sleep in his new bed & slept for 10 hours :)
The kids have all done pretty well with the adjustment so far today...Tara broke her wrist a few days before we got home & has been having a little bit of a hard time with needing attention, but overall they have really been so excited about their new brother. Ben is THRILLED that his brother is finally here & even went with Jonathan & I to Costco today....he HATES shopping!! He just wanted to be with him & admitted he missed his mommy (don't tell him I said that!). They have all taken turns feeding him & have been great about entertaining him. They have experienced his temper tantrums...Tara is very mothering & wants to smother him & fix it when he is in one of his fits. School starts for the 3 big kids on Monday, so we will learn what our new normal is going to be in just a few days! Lilianna has a lot of change going on with being a big sister for the first time & starting kindergarten. She is very independent & fiesty, so she is handling it well :)
I have made a vow to never complain about laundry again after dealing with it in Russia!!! I love my American washer & dryer...I was so excited to have them back I got all of the mountains of laundry done today with a new appreciation :) We had In-N-Out for dinner & Tara got her purple hard cast on her broken wrist today. Next week is very busy- school starts & we will have a 5th grader, 2nd grader, & kindergartener!!! Jonathan will see our pediatrician & have some bloodwork done. Our social worker is coming over to do our first post-placement report. Welcome back to reality, I guess! The house is a mess & we still have unpacking to do, but we are SO HAPPY to be HOME that I don't care!! If I could find the camera I would post pictures of our last few days in Moscow & homecoming pictures...that will happen eventually! If you're on facebook you can see a few pictures that my sister in law took for now.
Last of all....THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who prayed for us, encouraged us, gave financially to our fundraising, helped take care of our kids for our two trips to Russia, gave us baby donations for the orphanage, gave us EVERYTHING we needed for Jonathan, etc.....there are so many of you that we appreciate so much!! We couldn't have gotten through this tough & emotional process without you! We thank God for you & what you mean to our family! Thank you, God for our new baby boy!! I cried last night when I put him to bed in his new room which has been empty & waiting for him for over two years. I can't tell you how many times I prayed over that empty crib & to see him sleeping in it was a very sweet moment :) Thank you for helping us get our son home where he belongs!