Well, our two kiddos are napping so I’m going to attempt to write out a quick post before they wake up and once again demand all. of. my. attention. Hey, guess what? Two kids are a lot more work than zero kids. Who knew?
But while they are napping every day I will try and give y’all a brief look at our trip and how we are doing now. I’ll start today with last Sunday:
By the way, this post makes me look like a crazy person. Please don’t judge me.
Day one: Sunday
This day was nuts. Our flight was leaving at 1 so we planned to leave the house at 9. Since sleep was basically impossible, we were both up extremely early packing last minute items and trying to get the animals ready for their week long visitor. Most of the cats and dogs do fine when we are gone but Woody, our special needs beagle, has a very hard time with change. And he hates when we leave. Especially when we leave with suitcases. And this time we were leaving with 4 suitcases. Holy beagle breakdown. Poor guy cried all morning. And was howling at the top of his sweet little lungs when we finally walked out the door. He didn’t make it easy to drive away.
The drive to the airport took about 2 hours but it seriously felt like 15 minutes. I was starting to get very nervous about our flights. I do not like to fly. I actually hate it just a little bit. The last time I flew was from Paris and back and being on a plane that long and crossing an ocean was not something I enjoyed and definitely not something I was looking forward to again. And three flights that totaled 24 hours was pretty much my worst nightmare. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I seriously considered staying and letting [L] bring my babies home to me. I might have even mentioned it once or twice on the way to the airport. [L] was not on board.
So we arrived at the airport, found our check-in desk, and tried to get our tickets. When the kiosk wouldn’t work for us, I glanced up at the flight board and there it was: Newark 1:22 – CANCELLED. Those 9 red letters had a powerful effect on me. My first (shameful) thought was, “I don’t have to get on a plane!” But my next (mommy) thought was, “I can’t go get my children!!!” This second thought was much stronger and I immediately broke down in tears at the counter. The nice lady with United looked at me like I was crazy and told us we had been rescheduled on a Delta flight that left 30 minutes later. Oh yeah, there are other planes at the world’s busiest airport! Not that big a deal!
But as it turns out, our Delta plane was a very big deal. [L] and I did not have seats together but we were hoping (and assuming) that some kind soul would switch. Wrong. Even though I boarded the plane in tears and begged and pleaded, Ms. Row 35, Seat B was not budging. She was so sorry (liar) but she had a condition that caused her to have to go to the bathroom all the time and she just had to have her aisle seat. I might have believed her had she not only gone to the bathroom one time the entire flight. One time people! So I had to weather our first flight in a teeny tiny airplane all alone. And I will be honest, I did not weather it well. I’m not sure if it was the itty-bitty airplane or the more than usual turbulence, or possibly the ridiculous flood of emotions and stress that I was suddenly overwhelmed by but I did not handle it well. at. all. I cried the entire flight and basically decided that as soon as (God willing!) that horrible plane landed, I was renting a car, driving back to GA, and then waiting patiently while [L] flew to Africa for [A] and [G]. As we got off the plane, I told [L] “we have to talk.”
As we sat and ate cheeseburgers in the Newark airport, I laid out my insane plan and encouraged [L] that he’d be just fine traveling to Africa and back with 2 kids he just met. No worries! Or, we could cancel the entire adoption. Either way. But I was not getting on another plane. First he looked at me like I was crazy. Then he looked at me with fear. Then he looked at me very sternly (which is actually hilarious for [L]) and told me to get over it, I was getting on that plane. We continued to disagree about whether that would actually happen during our entire layover and when it was time to board, there was still no clear winner. Basically we boarded our flight to Brussels like this: [L], walking ahead begging me to go. Me, dragging my feet begging to stay. Keep in mind also that by this time, I had already popped my happy pill. But for some reason I was completely petrified, totally terrified of getting on that plane to Brussels. I mean I could barely make my feet move to step onto that plane. I seriously have no idea what was wrong with me. I hate to fly but I can usually get on a plane and get over it. I’m pretty sure I was just having my long overdue mental breakdown from months and weeks of extreme adoption stress in the middle of the Newark airport as our plane prepared to leave. Perfect timing.
I did make it on the plane. I wish I could say that I did it for [A] and [G] but, to be completely honest, I can’t. I knew in my heart that they could come home whether I went or not and, at that moment, they were not enough motivation to overcome my fears. I’m ashamed of that, but it’s the honest to goodness truth. But I got on the plane because [L] was seriously about to cry (ok, he totally did) and he looked at me and said, “Please Kati, I cannot do this without you.” So, for him, I got on that plane. And I will forever remind him of that fact. It’s right up there with, “Hey remember that time we went on a cruise and you forgot to pack my suitcase?”
Unfortunately getting on the plane turned out to be the least ridiculous part of this story. Because, once I was actually in that metal tube and take-off was inevitable, I completely lost it. I begged the flight attendant to let me off the plane. I pleaded with the Chief Purser. I remember I told him, “If you make me fly to Brussels, I’ll have to live there! I can’t get on another plane home! I don’t wanna live in Brussels!” Y’all, I even got them to call the pilot. I mean I had a complete melt-down. I am so not proud of this but it is what happened and, hindsight, it is kinda funny. Not to the flight attendants I’m sure and certainly not to the people around me who thought I’d lost my ever-loving mind but I’ve never had a public panic attack/mental breakdown so, hey, whatever. It happened. It’s over. I’ll blog about it. But the flight crew was awesome. I can’t say enough about how well they handled such a nutcase. I got lots of hugs, plenty of water, and even some extra happy pills from a flight attendant who will not be named but who I now consider a close, personal
Thankfully, the flight was smooth and, by the time we landed in Brussels, I had
taken enough pills pulled it together and was ready to finish our journey to meet our children!