soooooo this will be a quick post but i just wanted to “officially” say that we are here! it was a blur and it is still a blur but i am pretty sure we are alive. 🙂
the best part of the trip were the many answered prayers! the hardest part of the trip were the goodbyes and then the sleep deprivation.
sunday morning we got up and went to church, then said goodbye to uncle andrew and auntie casey, then went to lunch and yogurt, followed by goodbyes to uncle aaron, auntie cacey, spencer and emma. it was pretty rough. addy and spencer were trying to understand why everyone was crying.
sunday afternoon we drove to modesto with grammie, pops and auntie dora. we had dinner with grandma and grandpa ducky and spent the night at their house.
monday morning we got up and all drove to san francisco international airport. we found a nice porter that helped up load all of our blue bins and told us to just go ahead and zip tie them and there wouldn’t be any problems. i was a little nervous because they had been weighed using a scale at home and i was planning on taking a few items out of each one that was too heavy.
we got up to the ticket counter and the german lady that helped us was sweet and kind! the porter started sliding the bins across and she never once checked their weight! most said 22 kilos (the max) but a few said 23 and 24 kilos and one said 25 kilos! she changed our seats around and we were done in a few minutes.
while we were checking in, grammie and pops were bringing in our carry-on baggage. we were allowed a LOT of carry-ons but i do not think i will ever again bring the max. we were each allowed one 56 cm suitcase (four total) plus a personal item/backpack (four more), plus mercy got a diaper bag, stroller and carseat!
we went to the food court and tried eating some lunch. it’s funny how those last few minutes are kind of blurred together and i wish i could rewind them. ♥ it was time to go through security all too soon and we finally had to say our goodbyes to grammie, pops, auntie dora and grandma and grandpa ducky. christian made a joke that hopefully tsa didn’t suspect anything weird since we were all crying and puffy eyed as we went through.
security was intense the first time. we split it up and tried to have a method…including christian taking the three laptops through and i chose a “pat down” instead of taking mercy through the new machines and got all the baby food/meds/milk tested. i don’t think we could have done it without sarah…collapsing the stroller, grabbing jackets, passports, etc. it was pure crazy! by the time we got to our gate, we actually only had twenty minutes to boarding!
once at the gate, lufthansa offered to check any carry-ons that could be checked through to kiev so we sent two suitcases that didn’t have really valuable stuff with the flight attendant. we ended up using addy’s carseat in her seat which i think really helped her sleep through some of the flight.
the flight to frankfurt went really fast, surprisingly. traveling with kids makes those long flights quite a bit less fun but all things considered, it was good! the kids were pros and really didn’t melt down at all. the flight times weren’t the best (2:40pm to our body) because neither girl was sleepy until the last couple hours of the flight.
once we got to frankfurt (possibly the most confusing/weird layout/uninviting airport ever…except the people were really nice!) we checked all our carry-on bags for the day and took the train into the city. we didn’t do much but looked around. frankfurt is a really pricey city, it seemed!
the flight from frankfurt to kiev was quick and easy, although packed. we made friends with the nicest german (daddy of two young kids) flight attendant and he even spent some time holding mercy and chatting with addy! we landed around 1:30am local time in kiev and it was a breeze. i guess world cup 2012 is going to be in kiev so basically the days of interogation and drawn out customs and scary russian speaking men is over (at least for now). all of our luggage (8 tubs, 3 suitcases) came off comepletely untouched and we were outside in thirty minutes!
steven and cristi met us and loaded up our stuff. we drove straight through the night and got to chisinau around noon (i think!). the girls finished the trip off like champs. the only challenge has been their internal clocks. addy’s first two nights she fell asleep around 9pm and slept until midnight (11a-2p to her body, her typical nap) and then was awake from midnight until 5am until finally falling back asleep at 5 (7p to her body, her typical bedtime!). it was a little brutal. okay no, it was a lot brutal! mercy just wants to eat three times a night, typical “breakfast,” “lunch” and “dinner.” last night seemed to be the break through because although addy woke up at 2am to use the bathroom, she fell back asleep!
we have lots of praises. everything got her safely. even a sewing machine and a serger in two different carry-on bags. our bins were completely untouched! we didn’t have to pay a single “tax” getting into ukraine or crossing over into moldova.
we already have a two bedroom apartment and it takes about 3 or 4 minutes to walk to it from steven and teresa’s! we have been cleaning and hopefully will be sleeping there in a day or two. we were blessed with some FREE furniture, saving us lots of money!
we started our visa process and so far, so good. it looks like we will be getting FIVE year visas to begin with!
i am sure i am missing something but i am still a little sleep deprived. thank you for praying for us. continued prayer requests would be:
1. that the girls would continue to get back on sleeping schedule
2. that our apartment prep would go smoothly and quickly
3. that we wouldn’t be too homesick (i definitely am!)
4. that we would settle in easily…our apartment, language, etc.
love of lots from moldova!