I'm going to hop on here quickly and let everyone know that our world travelers got home safely. The four younger kids and I cleaned the house this morning and then headed to the airport. Everyone was very excited. We met Pop and Nana (Alisa's parents), Bumpa (Marsh's dad), and a dear friend, Irina Cline at the airport to meet Alisa and the four older kids as they arrived in Salt Lake City.
As they turned the corner and came down the escalator, they noticed our greeting party and we all waved. Emma and the little boys couldn't wait to meet Nastia and see Ruslan again. Lucy and James also really ached to snuggle Mommy again.
Emma was a little anxious over how Nastia might feel about her. She wondered if there would be distance between them since she wasn't able to be there in Ukraine with her like Patty Lyn was.
As they reached the bottom of the escalator, Nastia bee-lined directly to Emma with a big smile and gave her a giant hug. Emma was ecstatic. They have been bosom buddies the whole evening and are now bunked down together.
Ruslan looked tired, but very excited to be "Home".
We stopped for some dinner at a buffet on the way home and it was fun to see the kids realize that they could have whatever they wanted and however much they wanted. Nastia especially took advantage.
Then, as we were getting ready to leave for home, both Ruslan and Nastia came to me and said, "We can’t wait to get home and see our rooms." Nastia added, "I really want to see our rabbits. I love rabbits."
So we drove home, and, once there, most of us went out to do chores and show Nastia the farm. Chris was already zonked, so we helped him get to his bed. Poor guy.
Nastia was in heaven. Emma showed her the ropes on feeding and watering the rabbits (the chore she requested) and then they went to the swings. They were flying high in a matter of seconds, laughing and giggling together.
Ruslan reacquainted himself with the dogs and goats. He told me, "They remember me."
Pretty soon we all gathered at the swings. Every part of it was in use. All the swings, the ladder, the slide, and even the side posts had someone swinging, climbing or leaning. Ruslan was joking around and making everyone laugh. Nastia was swinging high with Patty Lyn and Chase. Emma was pushing Lucy in the toddler swing and James was climbing around the ladder and slide.
Nastia suddenly exclaimed, "This is so much fun to be all together doing this." It was great to hear her feelings.
A few minutes later she said, "It is such a wonderful evening. We are spending our time in a great way." I translated for Alisa. It was fun to watch Nastia find so much joy in her new life.
We finally came inside and got ready for bed, then the travelers shared their trip spoils and surprises. When that was done, we sang a song and said a family prayer, and everyone headed to bed.
Emma and Nastia resurfaced at one point to get a drink of water. I took the opportunity to ask Nastia if she was comfortable in our home. She quickly replied, "Yes, very comfortable!"
Of course, challenges will come. We won’t kid ourselves. We know we’re just passing through one door of challenges into a whole new set, but for now, we’re enjoying the memory of our first happy evening with the faith that life’s ongoing journey will provide many more worthwhile moments ahead scattered among the challenges. It tends to be the typical recipe of life and we choose to embrace it.
Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts that have helped us get to this point.
I should clarify that I am enjoying this evening’s memory, because Alisa has long since passed out. Jet lag. Poor kid. This has been quite an adventure for her. I don’t expect her to be up earlier than ... 5pm tomorrow J
Alisa woke up a few moments ago and asked me to take Lucy, who had also fallen asleep next to her on the couch. Then she asked me where I was going to put Lucy. I told her I would take her to her bed. I have the TV on watching the Olympics and Alisa then asked me how we were getting KSL. We only have rabbit ears here for Television, but we usually get KSL, so it was a bit of an odd question. I took Lucy to her bed and when I returned, Alisa admitted that she had forgotten that they had returned home. She thought she was still in Ukraine, so that’s why she wanted to know where I was putting Lucy and how we were getting KSL on the Television. Pretty funny stuff.
I’m sure things will be back to normal soon.