Friday, October 30, 2009

We're Home!

We finally made it home after 2 long days of travel! Jack was really good on all three flights. We started out of Vladivostok for Moscow on Wednesday afternoon. Fortunately we had a bulkhead row near the front of the plane for that trip. The extra leg room provided a small play area for Jack and a place for Michelle and I to stretch out for the 9 hour flight. We had a bottle prepared for the takeoff to help Jacks ears pop with the increased elevation. Jack napped and ate on the plane with no trouble at all. Mommy and Daddy were extremely proud (and admittedly relieved) that he was so well behaved on the first flight of his life.

Upon arriving in Moscow, we grabbed our bags and headed for the Novotel Hotel near the airport. We arrived at the hotel around 5pm Moscow time which was about Midnight to our bodies after the 7 hour time change from Vladivostok. We basically just checked into the room, then settled in for our bedtime routine despite the fact that it was so early local time. We knew we would be up in the middle of the night because we were going to bed so early, but we also knew that we needed to take advantage of rest any opportunities when they present themselves on these travel days. We were up in the middle of the night for another feeding, then we all got a little catnap before starting out for the airport for our longest day of travel as a family of 3.

We checked into our flight from Moscow to the US with very little trouble which was a concern because this is where Jacks visa came into play for the first time. Fortunately we had no problems with any of our passports or visas. We made it through all the passport and security checks and finally made it to our gate, where we could at last start to breathe a sigh of relief. Everything was in place for our departure from Russia.

At the beginning of the flight from Moscow to New York, Jack cried for about 30 minutes of the first hour of the flight. We think this was more a problem with the disruption of the routines than of anything to do with the flight itself. So, we finally got Jack settled down and he was close to a perfect gentleman for the remainder of the flight. Just a side note on this flight, one of the movies shown was "Marley and Me", the movie about the the relationship between a family and their dog. Michelle and I are "dog people", and we stayed away from this movie because we knew how it ends (this is the same reason I have never seen Old Yeller). Anyway, with Jack asleep and nothing else to do on the long flight, we watched the movie and quite predictably we were a wreck at the end of it. It was a cheap shot on the part of Delta to show such a heart wrenching movie to the two of us near the end of such an already emotional journey! They could have shown "Scarface", and we probably would have bawled like babies. Having said that, the movie was great and there was a line in it that really summed up our adoption journey. One of the characters was talking about how his life wasn't quite going according to the plans he thought it would when he was younger. He wasn't complaining, he was just saying that he had one vision of how his life would be, yet it turned out differently, to which another character stated "sometimes life has a better idea". Looking at Michelle holding Jack right at the moment this line was spoken, it hit me like a giant light bulb.... yeah, sometimes life does have a better idea than what we thought would happen when we dreamed about what our lives would be like when we were younger. At that moment, there was no place I would rather have been than with my wife and new son on a flight home from adopting him.

At 2:57pm on Thursday October 29, 2009 we landed on US soil instantly making Jack a US citizen. He was asleep at the big moment, but Michelle and I hugged him and told him that we loved him and that this was a big moment for our family. We made it through customs with Jacks immigration paperwork then headed to our next gate for the flight to Norfolk. We had some downtime so Jack took a nap and Michelle and I had our first American meals (Wendy's burgers) in over a month. Jack slept the entire flight from New York to Norfolk, then Michelle's friend Jill picked us up at the airport and drove us home. Though we were fighting exhaustion, the feeling when we walked in the door of our home with Jack in our arms was amazing! We were finally home! For all the families following our blog who have yet to bring their child home, please know that the feeling you get when you walk through your front door at the end of your journey is worth every minute of the lead up to the adoption.

Today we rested and tried to get Jack acclimated to his new surroundings. He seems to love his new home, toys, books and especially his black cat, Mike. Michelle is feeding him right now, and we'll try to establish our routines again, including bath time once dinner is through.

We plan on keeping our blog going for a while so our family and friends stay up to date on how Jack is adjusting to life in the US. We appreciate all the love and support you have shown us along our journey and we invite you to continue along with us.


  1. We are so glad to hear that you made it home safely! What a wonderful post as we are so anticipating that same walk in the front door of our home with our son in just a short time. Please keep posting as we love to see how Jack continues to strive and adapt to his new home.

  2. As one of those families who will be following in your footsteps, it has been wonderful to be able to follow you through your journey to adopt Jack. You have a wonderful attitude and obviously much love to share with're right, sometimes life DOES have a better idea. Seems like you are right where you are supposed to be, and with the child that was meant for you (and for whom you were meant).

    I hope you will keep your blog going - because your journey isn't really's just beginning!

    (you can follow us if you want to at )

  3. Welcome home! The feeling of actually being back on American soil is so incredible. All the little things we take for granted are nice; drinkable water from the tap, fresh fruit, decent roads, good cuts of meat. But the most important part is being home with family and friends!

  4. Welcome Home! Such a great line for all of us to remember "sometimes life has a better idea!"

  5. Welcome home! He has the same serious look our son did in the beginning.

  6. Welcome Home! Glad he did well on the flights. Take care!

  7. Welcome Home! Glad the flights went well! Thinking about you guys a lot!