After flying twenty hours on the return trip, we landed in Dulles in a thunderstorm, and spent almost two hours waiting to clear Customs. The line was brutal. I have never waited in a customs like like that, and at one point a woman in a wheelchair began vomiting and it was chaos. When we finally walked through to baggage claim, tensions were high in this loving marriage… hahahaha. We walked out into the DC night, raining, dark as could be, still needing to catch a shuttle to our car and begin the 1.5 hour trek home.
I kissed the kids’ sleeping heads and crawled into my bed, despite my desperate need of both a shower and a rigorous tooth brushing, and woke up Sunday morning groggy and dizzy.
We managed to make it to target for food supplies and when we left I opened my mouth to exclaim “Everyone here speaks English!” but caught myself just in time when realizing that duh… that is because we are back in America.
Re-entry is hard.
The hard part, though, isn’t the time or the jet lag or the effects of a week of delicious European food. The hardest part is that the person you have been working towards and imaging in your home is now real and when you cross the threshold back into your life, you know that they are missing from it.
I will write a post later this week just about Rosie, because my heart is a little tender. As an eternal optimist, I am thankful that we have fallen so in love that leaving is this hard. As an occasional realist, I will confess that I don’t feel that I have much of a right to complain since we always knew that two trips is part of the agreement. As a momma, I will tell you that my chest physically aches with missing her and I anticipate the longest few months. It’s all okay. It’s all covered by God. We will all get through this.
So instead of telling you about the most precious tiny eastern european girl, I will instead tell you about her country. Because our daughter was sick, our visits were severely limited the first days. We were sad, but her health is our first concern, especially since she began her little life with heart surgery. We were thankful to the baby home’s director for being so proactive in her care. This left us with plenty of time to explore, and for that I am so thankful. We have SO many pictures of her beautiful and welcoming city and it will be hard to choose a few to print for her room. Coincidentally, we returned to America on our anniversary, so we took full advantage of the opportunity to be alone together. Before we left, husband accidentally synced our photos, so every one we took ended up in the other’s camera roll, which was perfectly fine because we would go to dinner, order a glass of wine, and flip through them all, occasionally asking the other “Which one are you looking at?” when their smile was extra wide.
THE FOOD. You guys. The food. And the coffee. And the cheese. And the wine. And the cost of it all was insane. We left with $340 US dollars for spending money and with that we had three meals per day, some snacks from the local market, souvenirs, cocktails, and still had some left over. for a week! Insanity!
The people are so friendly, and almost everyone spoke a little English, which was an added bonus for these Americans. The city is so full of life, people walking everywhere, kids playing (gasp… unsupervised, which made me rethink a lot of my parenting worries!). The language is so expressive, and I loved listening to such a busy city as we walked through it. We were so very american, and struggled with the fact that here they shake their head for yes, and we were so thankful for the kindness shown to us as we bumbled through the city nodding yes out of habit. I felt so relaxed and reminded of why I believe international travel is VITAL: our world shrunk. We felt closer to people further away. We felt reminded that we are tiny players in a world’s stage.
We loved it here. We made so many memories and we cannot wait to take Rosie home to visit. A piece of our daughter will always belong to this beautiful country, and that makes it a piece of us.