Saturday, November 19, 2011

Back in the U.S.A.

We have arrived safely in the USA
We left Zambia thursday morning and when we arrived at the airport, the entire computer systems were down so we could not check in but had to wait in line with our 10 bags for about an hour until it was fixed. We ran into a few snags as we were exiting the country, James's work visa had expired and there was discussion about that as well as needing Grace's adoption documents. She is traveling on a Zambian passport with a US visa stamped in there, but I had packed the documents and did not know where they were. Halfway into the conversation trying to make it by without the documents I found them and the man replied, "of course, this is all we needed".
We arrived into London that evening and were not sure how things would work out with Grace not having a visa for Britain. They kindly allowed her in for the 24 hrs and we then booked a hotel and stayed the night there. We all were able to get a good rest and then had to be back to the airport Friday morning. We arrived in plenty of time got checked in, figured out about the bags that were in transit and then headed to get breakfast at Krispy Kreme! We finished there and headed for the gate. We were stopped at the check point because there was an error with the kids boarding passes. We were then sent back to the desk and were told that we did not have enough time now to work out the problem and catch the plane. We kept asking for them to try and work something out but it was to no avail. So we missed that flight and a few of us girls were a bit emotional…

They found us another flight which had us arriving only 2 hrs later into Louisville and ended up giving us about $100 worth of food vouchers because of their error. That ended up being a blessing as that is what it cost for us to get lunch at the airport. So we boarded the plane headed for Atlanta. We arrived into Atlanta and discovered that they did not have any of our bags. We then had to describe the bags to the agent and get to our connecting flight which was a bit tight. Right as he was asking about the bags Jackson said his stomach was hurting and I envisioned not so pleasant things happening right there in the airport. I ran him to the bathroom and he ended up being ok.
Taking no chances on that one.

We made it to our connection a bit stressed but at least we were there.
We got into louisville at 10pm and were welcomed by about 30 friends from church, there was a real cheer that erupted as we walked in. It was very sweet and embarrassing at the same time.
We spent awhile greeting everyone and getting hugs and then left the airport, with no baggage.

No baggage is a hassle no matter what, but we literally had nothing with us, except for our toothbrushes. Not even pullups for the bed wetters! We were brought to the house, that has been so kindly rented for us while we were here, and crashed. The next day, Saturday we had the choice of a feast for breakfast- waffles, bagels, pop tarts, about 8 different cereals to choose from. Our pantry had been stocked with some of our favorite things that we have missed.
In the afternoon we had an emergency shopping trip to Target, which was highly stressful and overwhelming! In my "dreams" of shopping in Target for the last 2 years, I was calmly, slowly, relaxingly, walking down each aisle just browsing. What actually happened was 8 people racing around trying to find things that fit, things that they liked and things that were within a decent price range, extremely jet lagged and in some cases, cranky too!
I gave the instructions before we got to the store, "one pair of pajamas, one church outfit with shoes, package of socks, underwear, 2 long sleeve shirts and one pair of pants- trousers" ( and yes we do call them trousers now!) We were able to get what we needed, and then thankfully our bags arrived sunday evening.

My mom was able to come for a quick trip up to see us on Sunday for a couple days. She and I were able to spend some time shopping which was still overwhelming. I walked into walmart with her and said, I don't know.. I am so tired and don't know what to do, I just need my mom!" so she was there to help and lead me around the store. I knew there are so many choices here in America but was still overwhelmed and surprised at the options.
30 different choices for tuna fish. I couldn't even decide… I was buying butter today. who knew you cant just buy butter. its butter spread, butter with olive oil, butter with cinnamon, butter thats not really butter, butter that tastes like butter but isn't even butter, light butter, fattening butter, sticks of butter, butter flavored spray… it is maddening!

We have so many things we want to get while we are here and bring back home. I have 4 different lists on scraps of paper. The things in Zambia are so expensive and the quality is not good, so you pay about 3 to 5 times more for an item and it is actually worse quality. The kids need clothes, we have electronic items we were planning on buying, some household items, food items, etc.
Everyone needs a new shoes, the list just goes on. I am trying to pick up things as I see them or remember them and then go ahead and pack them in the bags now so that it is put away. Everytime I bring something home, Grace is interested in it and wants to carry it around or wear it or use it, so I am trying to hide some things from her.

She did AWESOME on the flights. I know many people were praying for her and we were very thankful. She is adjusting well, being very friendly with everyone, but has had some trouble with the girls having their friends over or especially Emma leaving to go to her friends houses. She becomes very upset and a bit possessive of Emma.

We have been able to get together with some dear friends already this week and have enjoyed spending time with them again. We have already had Momma Due's chicken and dumplings, and ice cream. Lots of ice cream! James gave a presentation in Sunday School last week, and will be again reporting on the work this week as well as preaching in the morning and evening service.
We leave on Monday to head to Mississippi to spend a week and a half with James's family for Thanksgiving. We are all looking forward to being "down south" again, and for everyoe to meet Grace!

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