Saturday, January 31, 2015

Valerie Here: Day Eight - The Long Road "Home"

Our first flight was a success and we are now sitting at the airport in Frankfurt waiting for our connecting flight. The boys have done well so far. We got off to a rough start with vomit and upset tummies prior to leaving the hotel, but once we were at the airport everything was smooth sailing. Gabe cried momentarily when I told him we were going to Germany first, but once I assured him that America was our next stop, he was a happy camper! Jesse and Eli were so excited they could hardly contain themselves. I wish I had taken a picture of their faces at takeoff. Pure joy. Priceless! Excitement, exhaustion and nerves also resulted in a lot of drumming, but so far, so good!

Meanwhile, Richard's perspective and update...

When I talked to Val at 0430 ET this morning she said that the boys actually did fine once they got to the airport. They were escorted through security, onto the plane and got the same escort off the plane in Frankfurt and between gates. I'm hoping they'll be able to get a similar escort at IAD, but I don't know how all that works with immigration/customs - I told them they should demand it.

Either way, it sounded like the "bark" (anxiety) was bigger than the "bite" (the actual experience) and that they did well on the first flight, aside from the obvious nervousness in the pictures and video.
The real question now will be how well they do on the long haul - it looks like the flight is about an hour behind, probably due to the jetstream responsible for the storm we're about to get at home. If the boys get some sleep, then perhaps they'll have the stamina to last until tonight - but if not, it could be a rough layover.

Meanwhile, here at home some of the kids are helping my mother and I give the house one final cleaning before the boys get home. Hard to believe that they're probably going to be home in 12 hours.

A few hours later we heard from Val again...

So, our international flight wasn't a total nightmare. . . .but it was relatively close. Due to the configuration of the plane, we had to do a 3-2 split with myself, Jesse and Gabe in one row and my mom and Eli a few rows back. Eli was not a fan of being separated from mom and brothers and spent the good part of the 8 hour flight trying to escape to our row. My mom may need a week-long nap after that. And then Gabe got tired. And when Gabe gets tired he likes to scream and rage for about 2 hours until he exhausts himself. He has done this almost every night this week and he didn't disappoint on this flight. Two hours of inconsolable screaming and crying. After about an hour of trying to calm him and realizing that there was absolutely nothing I could do, I cried too (silent tears of frustration) and I'm pretty sure a few of the people around us might have as well. And right before he settled down, he vomited. Thankfully, I am an expert catcher of vomit and managed to get most of it into the provided bag. He slept fitfully for the rest of the flight and is currently sleeping on a bench at Dulles while we wait for our connecting flight. We are hitting the 24 hour mark and we still have several hours to go so please pray that this last flight will be uneventful (not to mention the 2 hour drive we have after that).

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