We flew from Addis Ababa to Dulles (about 15 hours of flying). Marya did splendidly. Because our flight left at night, she slept a majority of the flight. Since the embassy said she was under two, she was a lap "infant."
In Dulles, we went through customs which was pleasantly short and simple. Marya was obviously tired, but still a happy girl. We played in the airport to kill time.
Next, we had a flight to Charlotte. My sister (who is 6 months pregnant) jumped through hoops to meet up with us at the airport for an opportunity to meet Marya! Marya loved her belly :)
The last flight from Charlotte to Raleigh, NC was difficult for Marya. She was so exhausted and done with traveling. She fussed a bunch on the plane, but luckily it was a short flight (only 45 minutes). Last part of the trip was the 2 hour drive home from the airport. Poor Marya had never been in a car seat before, and being crabby from lack of sleep and long travels, sitting in a car seat seemed like torture. I sat in the back of the car trying to comfort her as she finally fell asleep from crying.
The 2 hour drive from Raleigh seemed like the longest part of our trip. The other cars just wouldn't seem to go fast enough. Didn't they know we had to get home to unite my family?
We had my dad and my in-laws keep the kids up so they could see us (but the kids didn't know we were coming, they just thought they were having a movie night). When we pulled in the driveway, I had Dustin hold Marya while I went in first to give Audriana a big hug because I knew that she was having trouble with the separation anxiety.
When I walked in the door, it took the kids a minute to realize that I was there. All of a sudden you see this look of excitement and pure joy come over Audriana's face as she very sweetly squeals "Mommy!" Awww...my heart melted as she ran over to give me big hugs with a smile that lit up her entire face! The boys came over to join in the hugs.
Next, Dustin walked in the door with a very sleepy Marya. Audriana was the first to respond: "Daddy has baby...awwww" Audriana went up to meet her sister while Dustin held her. Audriana was so excited she started running round and around the coffee table with a big smile on her face.
The boys went over to say "hi" and give hugs and kisses. The night was kind of a blur of smiles, hugs, and kisses. It was perfect! Although you would think that Marya was completely overwhelmed with all the stimulation, she did fine.
It was late when we arrived, so after the commotion slowed down, we all went to bed to a deep peaceful sleep. My whole family together under one roof. Thank you God for all you have blessed us with, we are eternally grateful to you for all you have bestowed upon us. We ask for your continued guidance that we may live as you would have us to live. We ask for your strength and patience through our transition.