We made it! We are now home on American soil, the girls have made it in the US, and we are reunited with Noah! To finish our travel journey (as our journey of a family of five is just beginning) I thought I'd give you a quick recap of what happened.
Thursday - your prayers worked! Everything went as we needed it to and described here. "T" our AWAA representative picked up our visas just before the Embassy closed at 5PM. Along with our visas each family was given a sealed yellow enveloped that could not be opened until we saw an immigration office at the point of re-entry in Washington D.C. We finished packing and head to the airport about 6:45PM for our 10:15PM flight out of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Friday - The flight home went fairly well. There were no flight delays or baggage issues which was good. We learned in our flight from Rwanda that Maya has some difficulty when planes are descending and her ears would hurt but that didn't really happen until our final flight in to Indianapolis.
We did get a prescription strength sedative (Kara, the mom in one of the other families is a nurse practitioner) that we gave to several of the kids to help them sleep. This was a big help for several of the families and with Maya. Keira slept very well (adoptive families - Benadryl works like this as well... this is what we used with Noah last time so be sure to take some) Spending 26 hours in planes and airports is a long time for the kids so helping them get some sleep is important. My Mom and Sister did an amazing job with the girls on the plane, especially Maya who can be stubborn at times. Here's a picture of them with her.
When we got to D.C. we did learn that the IR-4 Visas had an error on them. They said all the children were of Ethiopian nationality (not Rwandan) even though it had their birthplace right as Rwanda. This is something we noticed on the flight home but at that point it was too late to do anything about it. The Higgin's family got held up in Immigration for this, our officer did not catch it. We were told this may cause issues during readoption so we'll see. Lesson - double check all government documents you get from anywhere (remember one family had a similiar issue with their Rwandan Passport for their child in Rwanda with an incorrect birth date.)
Anyways, we're back home now. I'm writing this at 6AM Saturday morning. The girls went to bed very well last night. Maya woke up about 5AM but went back to sleep, I couldn't. Feeling a little overwhelmed as we start our first full day as a family of five, but God spoke to me through this verse today:
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." - 2 Corinthians 8:9