Done with the paperwork. Done with the medical exam. Done with visa and passport. Done wearing three layers of clothes. Done with carbonated water. Done boiling water everytime I need to make a bottle. Done converting money and weight and distance. Done guessing what I'm eating. Done slipping on ice and dodging falling icicles. Done washing every dish by hand. Done hanging my clothes to dry. Done sitting in the shower bathing with one hand. Done with FB/blog being my only form of communication. Done squishing my baby into her snowsuit. Done wearing the same clothes over and over and over and over. Done watching Russian television. Done with converters. Done with no seatbelt. Done with a ton of stairs. Done entering a code to get into my courtyard, a security key to get in my building, and another key to unlock both of my doors. Done with wet boots. Done with hard mattresses. Done waiting.
It's DONE! We are free to leave the country :)
Obviously, it's been hard. SO hard. But I am going to miss it.
I'm going to miss these amazing buildings. I'm going to miss walking. I'm going to miss the underground. I'm going to miss the chocolate and the promodoro pizza. I'm going to miss the simplicity. I'm going to miss learning a new language. I'm going to miss my new friends.
I NEED to leave... so that I can miss it later.
I kind of can't believe it. I don't think I will until I am in the States (and thru customs/immigration... do NOT let anyone open the packet, do NOT let anyone open the packet). I want to be home more than anything, but it's almost like I don't know how to not be here. I don't feel like a mom of four. I feel like a mom of three AND a mom of one. I do think it will be an easy transition, but I can't picture it at this point. It feels like a dream.
I think we are pretty well prepared for the trip home. I don't think it will be much different than the six hour train ride (except not miserably hot) or the eight hour day we had today and AG did great on both. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to feed her, since hauling around loads of baby food just isn't practical for us like this. She did try several new foods today (yogurt, cabbage rolls, olives, tomatoes) and did great with them so I think we'll be okay. I'm very excited that three families will be on the first flight together and even more excited that two of us will be on the second/long flight together!
We had one last celebratory dinner tonight.
Our last night.
Betrothed: Anna Gray and Cooper
Right now, I am purging our suitcases (they weren't kidding when they said you won't want to bring a lot of it back- coats, clothes, toiletries...trash! So not worth lugging around the world). Anna Gray is rolling around on the bed, stretching her legs and telling me stories of her grand adventures. She's pretty pumped for tomorrow. It's 9:30pm now and our ride to the airport is coming at 2:45am. We will arrive home 24 hours later. If you are coming to the airport to see us arrive, know in advance that we will not be fresh :)
We will not be fresh but we will be HOME!!
I am bringing home gray hair I didn't have when we started, some pretty substantial bags under my eyes, eyebrows that could pass for bangs and MY DAUGHTER.
We are praying for safe travel, smooth flights, and "no adventures", as the orphanage doctor wished us. We are also praying the pediatrician comes thru on eyes drops for little missy's eye infections sooner rather than later.
I want to say again...
Thank you. Each and every one of you. You have given your time, your talents, your prayers, your cares, your worries, your love, your money.... you are bringing us home. You are bringing HER home.
I'm going to steal something another RR friend wrote because she said it better than I could:
God is awesome. I love his people and what we look like when we follow him. Friends, this God-thing we are doing, well, it's not just for crazy people, or really nice people, or gifted people. We are none of those things. Not even crazy, though people do tell me that all the time. It's for GOD'S people. We are all called to follow him. That means he will totally change you, your plans, your family, your comfort, your wallet, your everything. And it's good. It's worth it- the only thing actually worth doing.
Don't waste your lives. Spend them totally and completely and you will not be sorry.
I have no illusions that the next time in our lives will be easy. We left easy when we said "I do". But, God will be there. Suffering is not to be feared, and is the place to find the purest joy. Because He is there.
I can't wait. I can't wait to see my kids. I'm CRAVING them. I need to feel them in my arms, I need to see their faces and hear their voices. I can't wait to see Anna Gray and her Daddy together again. I can't wait for her to learn her name. I can't wait to see new siblings bond. I can't wait to show her the world that she gets to be a part of now. I can't wait to see her live a LIFE. An unrestricted, promising, hopeful, celebrated LIFE.
LAYLA, BRYNN, AND CALE:
Your mommy and your sister are coming!!!!!!!!