Saturday, June 21, 2008

Day 9: Greetings America!

Somewhere over the vast expanse of blue called the Atlantic Ocean, day 8 turned in to day 9. Actually, it could have been somewhere over Africa still or near Rome - but honestly - on a flight like that - ya start to lose track of pretty much everything.

The flight itself was pretty uneventful. We boarded the plane pretty late with an already snoozing Meron. God blessed us yet again with a great bulkead seat and once we leveled off at our cruising altitude, they brought us the bassinet and got us all hooked up. Meron settled in for a pretty good snooze of about 4 hours. Wish we could say the same for us.

The plane a had a BUNCH of kids on it. I would guess around 20 families or so with their children they were bringing home. This was great - it meant nobody was too irritated by crying or parents pacing the aisle. Not that we had to deal with either really - because Meron was spoiling us yet again. I did get to do a few laps with her hanging out in the Baby Bjorn - but other than that she was a champion. She actually handled the flight better than her mom and dad I think!

We landed in Washington DC bright and early and right on time. It was a fast descent and Meron tugged at her ears a little but she survived it and we were heading in to clear customs. Here is where we had our first real hang up of the trip. We had 3 hours between landing and take-off for our flight to Atlanta. By the time we got our luggage and cleared the customs line with Meron's secret envelope we had less than an hour to get checked back in and make it to our gate. We actually started thinking we might not make our flight.

But alls well that ends well and not only did we make our flight but the agent at the gate counter hooked us up with great seats (we initially weren't even sitting together) and we had time to spare. We both were feeling pretty crappy at this point. It felt like we had been awake for like 3 days and I was starting to feel sick again - sore throat, headache. We just wanted to get home.

The flight from DC to the ATL felt like nothing compared to what we had just survived. Of course Meron couldn't let us have just a simple flight - no way now how. She had to see what the restroom looked like on this smaller plane - what better way to do that than to blow out her outfit. Laura spent a good 15 mintes in there getting her cleaned up and by the time she came out we were prepping to land.

There was an overwhelming feelng of happiness to know that our next stop was going to be home. We stopped and got Meron changed into her "welcome home outfit" and then headed toward the baggage claim.

We were three tired, weary, beat-down but happy Hoffmans.

Coming up the big escalator towards baggage claim we didn't know what to expect. We knew a few friends were coming out to greet us but we weren't prepared for the massive amount of people - the cheering - the signs - the clapping. Man. It felt good to be home.

Thank you so much to everybody who came out to welcome Meron and us back to the good ole USA. That meant more to us than you'll know. After having travelled for about 27 hours and being awake for close to 2 days, this jubiliant welcome really energized us and helped us get through the rest of the day.

After taking pictures galore and thanking everybody for their prayers and support - and also Meron jumping from arms to arms to arms - we headed out of the airport towards the house. We pulled into the driveway to find the house decorated with pink ribbons and bows, a huge banner on the garage and a giant chalk drawing in the driveway welcoming us all home.

Man it felt great to be back.


emily said...

Welcome home. What a blessing.

Anonymous said...

Have been lurking and following your journey..congratulations and welcome home, Meron! We have adopted four domestically and I would love to go international, if I could get my hubby to agree to another! So happy for all 3 Hoffmans!
Jennifer in New Orleans

MandyJo013078 said...

That is so great that you guys made it home safely I've been checking and checking to see you guys made it home! Meron is so cute and sweet! Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip. I've contacted a few agencies about Ethiopian adoptions. I'm doing research and weighing my options. Again I'm glad that you all made it home safe and I'm glad that I got to follow along on your journey!

Gwen Oatsvall said...

Praise the Lord ... I am so excited to see you home w/ your sweet angel ... ATLANTA? ... you are lucky i didn't know you were landing there or I might have made the 4 hour trip to see sweet Meron !! lol ... I am so thankful to have followed your journey and i can't wait to follow the next one ... you have blessed me w/ your story and how you have shared Christ along the way !!!

Maria and Family said...

Soooo happy you guys are home sweet home! I have loved following your Ethiopian journey. We are in Floria and would love to hear which airline /flights you used.
Meron is beautiful !!

Lauren said...

I'm sooo happy you finally made it home. I've really enjoyed reading about your journey in Ethiopia. How are the pups doing with Meron?

Sara said...

Thanks for posting a picture of the bassinet on the plane. I have been wondering how that works.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Hoffmans!!! Praise God for the safe trip Meron officially become member of your family. We would like to either visit or invite you home. But take rest for now and enjoy the quality time and we will arrange that later. Congratulations!!! and we are so excited that you are back home.

Challa & Masresha

Janet said...

WELCOME HOME! I just found your blog and have enjoyed watching your trip! We just got back from Uganda a couple of months ago, with our two new little ones!

I loved seeing the pictures of your return home! How sweet it is!!!!!!