Friday, June 24, 2011


I apologize for being MIA. Things were go-go-go at the end of the adoption in Zap and then once we had the boys during our stay in Kiev our hands were full! After we got home I would finally have a moment to sit at night and blog but it was like reading a book when I'm tired. It just put me to sleep.

I will go back and write in detail about all our adventures with court, gotcha day, the dreaded train ride, our first days with the boys in Kiev, and our welcome home. I even have a video up my sleeve :)

I'm serious, I will. Eventually...

First things first. We are HOME!!!

Jude-6, Gabe-6, Zane-4, Levi-5

We flew out of Kiev Thursday morning at 6:45AM. Knowing that we had to be up at 3AM to head to the airport I decided to not go to sleep the night before. (Bad idea!)
At the airport with our favorite driver/facilitator Nicco
Yes, I am half asleep

Our first flight was about 3 hours to Munich, Germany.

We were all very concerned with how Gabe was going to do. I was ready for a non-stop screaming, frightened child.

While we were driving around to appointments I discovered that when I laid Gabe down in the seat (there are no car seats) he instantly stopped crying. He had also gotten used to being in his stroller. So what we would do is wheel him up to the end of the gate, hold him to our seat, and then lay him down on his seat.
Once in his seat he didn't cry ONE BIT!!! He actually laughed every time there was turbulence. All the adults would have a look of panic on their faces and our boys would be laughing. It was quite funny.

We had gotten 2 different medications to give Gabe to help sedate him but didn't even use them. We did give both boys Melatonin which just helped to calm them.

We had a short layover in Germany which gave us time to eat and change the boys.

While we waited to board the plane there was a father with his sons that looked to be about 12 and 6. They got a big kick out of the way Levi sucked his fingers. The dad was telling his oldest that that was exactly how he used to suck his fingers when he was little.
Levi was getting anxious so I stood up with him and was showing him the planes out the window. He was laughing and snuggling.

The father then said, "There is nothing like mommy".

Wow. He could already tell that I was his mommy.

Next was a 9 hour flight to Dulles, Washington.
Guy, Levi and Genesis were in the seats right in front of me and Gabe.
We also had an extra seat next to Gabe which worked out perfectly for him to spread out.

Believe it or not I would say that that long flight was the best out of all of them.





As we were getting off the plane a gentleman said to us, "Your boys are as delightful as their mother and as tolerate as their daddy". He went on to say how well behaved they were and how he enjoyed watching them.

The real fun began when we arrived in Dulles. We had only 2 hours to get through customs and board our last flight. We stood in the very long passport line, Gabe cried the entire time.

I hope that kind gentleman wasn't in our line;)

We made it through customs with some time to spare and then loaded our last plane for Tampa, FL.

As we looked for our seats we realized that all 5 of us were in seat "B". That meant that we would each individually be seated one behind the other. I told the Flight attendant that we obviously had a problem, unless of course strangers didn't mind taking care of our boys the whole flight;)

We all stood in the very back of the plane while the attendant worked at getting people to move. I was surprised to see people say no, even after he explained our situation. I was itching to just say never mind, keep your seat, and then put my little guy right next to them.

We finally had our seats. Gabe and daddy were in one row. I and Levi were behind them and Genesis was behind us in the middle of a row with an adult on either side.

Then comes the dreaded news before take off. There would be a delay due to weather. You know it's bad when the pilot says, "It's going to be a long wait".

Two hours we waited. That, I believe, was the worst part of the whole day. By this time I was SO exhausted. I found myself trying to keep Levi from touching the man beside him and propping his feet on him, to my head nodding down heavily. Over and over and over again.
I was also feeling so bad for all those that I knew would have been waiting for hours at the airport.

We landed in Tampa at 9:30PM.

Finally we were walking down the hall to all our waiting friends and family!!!!!

We are so happy to be HOME!

I have a ton of video and pictures but I still have to organize it all and get it loaded on my computer. SO many more details and blogs to come...


Julie June 24, 2011 at 7:02 PM  

Yea! So wonderful to hear from you!! I've followed your entire journey from shortly after you committed to the boys -- how wonderful it is to see them home & getting loved on by their new family!! I was so concerned about your Gabe ... already he looks like a boy who is learning how to be loved! God bless your family!

Eight Is Great June 24, 2011 at 7:08 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie @ Ralphcrew June 24, 2011 at 7:09 PM  

Sooooooooo happy to hear from you! Your boys are a treasure. Your daughter, too, of course. What a beautiful family you have. Can't wait to hear all those stories that have yet to be told. :)

davsamommy June 24, 2011 at 7:12 PM  

I prayed every day that you would have a great trip home with your boys! They did great on the plane! So thankful for answered prayers! Thanks for sharing your journey with us! Still always praying for you and your family.

christinascott23 June 24, 2011 at 8:03 PM  

Oh Thanks for posting. Im totally crying at the irport scene. Your kids were so cute in the welcome home shirts. Im so glad Gabe did so well on the flight...I was a bit worried. When you didnt post I read your whole blog way back from when you first decided to adopt the boys and I feel like I know your family. Thank you for sharing your journey..Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Pam June 24, 2011 at 8:42 PM  

So glad you and the boys are home safe! I look forward to hearing more of the story when you have time to write it!

Cory June 24, 2011 at 9:28 PM  

Yay! So glad you are home. Praise God!!!

Emi June 24, 2011 at 10:27 PM  

I was praying for a good trip home, especially for Gabe, I'm glad to know he did well! The pictures of the brothers is beautiful! The size difference between Jude and Gabe breaks my heart :( Can't wait to see that baby grow!

Karien Prinlsoo June 24, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

I checked like I usually did every day the last weeks-not expecting an update-so it's a huge surprise. Thanks for taking the time to update. It's really good to know you're all OK.

Jennifer June 25, 2011 at 3:35 AM  

Thank you, God! Like others, I did't expect to see a post this morning, knowing how busy you must be - and I'm so thankful your trip went as well as it did and that everyone is settling in. I cannot wait to see your boys blossom.

Nan and Dan June 25, 2011 at 11:10 AM  

so happy you are home!!!

Alicia June 25, 2011 at 1:28 PM  

congratulations!!!! :D

Becca June 25, 2011 at 5:23 PM  

So happy to hear how smoothly things went (well, compared to how you were worried they MIGHT go!) Can't wait to hear more about it!!!!

Anonymous June 26, 2011 at 9:10 AM  

So very happy for ALL of you. Glad too that you finally got home, safe and 'somewhat' sound! Thank you for the update. Look forward to more!

Love, Beth Marshall

Kim June 26, 2011 at 6:09 PM  

Praise God you guys are finally home with your boys, and all your family. You don't know me as i am one of the "silent followers" but we have prayed for your family and your new sons daily. You see, I also feel in love with Gavin...your Gabe, and wanted very badly for him to be my son, but my husband wasn't quite on board yet. When we received our Christmas ornament with Gavin's picture on it, I placed it in my kitchen window sill (where it still remains!)and prayed he would find a family. Little did I know, God was working in my husbands heart and so was Gavin. Rick began to ask questions and follow blogs that I did and always asked about Gavin. I'll never forget the night he yelled in excitement, "Gavin's been adopted!" Not long after this, he told me to contact RR about another child we had been looking at and praying about. Thank goodness, he was still adoptable and we committed to him right then. Precious little Myron will soon be our son. We are waiting for a court date as I write this. And it seemed only fitting that we name him after the one who first stole my heart and then my husbands. Myron from RR will soon be GABRIEL DIMITRY DECKER and we will call him GABE.
We will always remember you and your family and your Gabe will always be a part of our story. Blessings to you and your family.
in His love, Kim Decker

annie June 28, 2011 at 2:54 PM  

Oh, I am in tears! So happy that your travel was a good as it was (minus that delay at the end). Praise God you are all home and together! God bless. And thank you so much for blogging this leg of your journey.


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