Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friday Travels... Welcome to America Jhon!

Taking a step back to remember our homecoming. :)

Friday dawned bright and EARLY. I was wide awake at 5 a.m., thinking of all that I still needed to back. After some tough goodbyes, we were at the airport before we knew it. Our driver helped get us situated and even walked us all the way to international departures.  I thought we were set!

I was wrong.

Seriously. Everything that could go wrong...

Anyway, Jhon and I got in line at Emigration. I thought this was pretty straightforward. Show our passports and tickets and they would let us leave the country. Um, nope. 

Without going into the whole long story, the guy "helping us" was a grumpy gus. Just hostile from the get-go. He asked for our passports and wanted the "permiso." Well, in my not-100% state, it took me a full minute to figure out he wanted the document that Mark signed back in Mocoa, giving me permission to leave the country with Jhon by myself. This should have been ALL he wanted. But he wanted everything. He went over Jhon's birth certificate and our sentencia (judgment of adoption) with a fine tooth comb.  He talked to a manager. He read it again. He left again.  He got up and left his station WITH MY PAPERWORK AND PASSPORT at least 6 times. He would not tell me the problem and he would not let me speak to anyone in English (there were 2 women in other booths that spoke English - one talked to me early on, but never came back).  Anyway, long story short, after FORTY-FIVE minutes of this nonsense, he finally let me go. 

Whew. Heart attack averted. 

After that, the rest of the day was a piece of cake!  All in all, Jhon was an A+ traveler.  

After a five hour(ish) flight, we arrived in Atlanta. Immigration took about an hour, but Jhon did great.  And once we passed through those gates, he became an American citizen! Wahooo!  We celebrated by finding our gate for our next flight and taking a photo. :)

Followed up with first meal as a American.  Appropriate, no?

Then we waited for awhile.

Our next flight wasn't set to leave until 8:30, but it was delayed and we didn't leave until after 9.  Jhon passed right out and slept the whole way.  We arrived in GR around 11 p.m.

It turns out, Mark, the kids (and 2 of my awesome friends) were waiting for us! My stomach was in knots the closer we got!  Poor Jhon was just bleery eyed and exhausted.


Is that the right plane??

And then we were coming down the hall and I saw them and fell apart. :)  The kids were SO good. Mark had made sure they didn't rush us and stayed back so as not to clog the hallway. Unfortunately, I was not so reasonable and I made them come at us. :)

Abi gave me the best hug and I cried and cried.

Jhon was super overwhelmed but did great!  He was SO excited to meet everyone and went right to Mark. He had been talking about his "papi" all day. So sweet. :) I think he loved the balloons ("bombas").

Red eyed, travel-weary and so happy. 
Our family of 8.

[Ally celebrated by puking around midnight (and all weekend).  Welcome home indeed.]

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