International Adoption Book

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What A Week

This past week was really enjoyable. We went on vacation yo visit Matt's mom in Missouri, so MJ got to ride on his 1st airplane. He did great, even though I was having issues... I strongly dislike flying, but what makes things worse is when the flight has lots of turbulence, medical emergencies or delays. Our 4 flights (two each way) had all 3 issues at one point or another. On the 1st leg of our trip (to Minneapolis) the flight was super bumpy. The kids all slept through it, though, so I didn't have to worry about them. Then, about 1/3rd of the way through the flight, one of the attendants got on the loud speaker and made this request: "We have a medical emergency. Do we have any doctors, nurses or EMTs on board?" Great!!! Just what I needed to worry about. I didn't know how bad the emergency was, so I prayed for the person's health and a swift landing if he needed additional monitoring. Someone stepped up to the plate and was rewarded for her effort by sitting in 1st Class with her patient (he was a 1st Class passenger, so I was grateful we didn't upgrade this time). When we landed, the entire aircraft sat patiently waiting for the EMT's to come on board and get the young man off before they even attempted to stand up. I was surprised at the patience of people... Our society seems to implement what I call "The ME Syndrome" more often than not, so this show of humanity was a relief and a joy to see. Thankfully, the young man was able to walk off the plane of his own accord. I'm hopeful that his recovery was swift and permanant. Anyway, the 2nd leg of our journey began with an hour long delay due to an engine malfuntion... Just the thing to make me relax!!! ;) I'm patient and don't mind delays too much, but the idea of flying on a plane that had a problem was quite scary. But we made it safely, so I was pleased. The trip home was just as awful: The leg to Minneapolis was turbulent, which had my hair on end. It was also delayed a bit, though we didn't mind since our connecting flight wasn't for nearly 3 hours. But that second leg was enough to nearly give me a heart attack... Seriously!!! It started out being delayed about an hour due to weather. Many of the planes taking off from Minneapolis were being rerouted and we all had to wait for the new information to be delivered. When we took off out of Minneapolis it felt like our plane was going to be torn out from under us... Literally!!! When the head flight attendant is giving her initial take off speach (in this case, it included warning about the severe turbulance that we would be enduring for the majority of the flight) and SHE starts gasping and saying "Oh god" on the intercom because of the severe drops we wwere enduring.... Then you know IT'S PRETTY BAD!!! The captain and the flight attendant both kept warning us that the decent into the Seattle airport would be even worse that the take off from Minneapolis, so I was terrified the entire trip. Thankfully, the captain did a fabulous job of keeping the plane in the air and helping to make the turbulence far more endurable than it might have been. In fact, he was even able to turn off the seat-belt sign for the middle part of the flight. But, the did inform us that they would be cleaning up and seating everyone (including the attendants) far sooner than they would normally do so due to the forseen turbulence. Thankfully, though it was bumpy, it was far better than the Minneapolis take off. We did do some drops, but I think dropping out of the sky during a landing is far easier and less noticeable than the drops when taking off and ascending.

Okay, so I know I bored you all to death with my lengthy novel about our flight, so I'll stop my ranting now and move on to how the kids did... MJ fussed for a good portion of the Minneapolis-Seattle flight. I think his ears were finally bothering him. The 1st flight he fussed because his ears were bothering him and he wouldn't take a bottle. But once he figured out that the bottle and pacifier would help in this area then he did really well. In fact, he slept for 3 out of the 4 legs of the trip. M also slept for the entire trip out to Missouri, as did C. The big kids are great travelers and they proved this on the 2 flights home... They were quiet and polite and both made sure they kept their legs and feet to themselves and didn't kick the back of the seats in front of them. MJ, though, fussed for a good portion of the final flight home. I think his tummy was gassy and his ears were bugging him and he was likely bored. Nothing would satisfy him. So when we landed I appologized for his fussiness to the passengers around us. I got the biggest compliment... Nearly everyone around us complimented all 3 of our kids on teh great job they did. M and C both got tons of praise for their good behavior. In fact, the couple who were sitting in front of them turned around and said that had they not seen them when they boarded they wouldn't have known kids were sitting behind them!!! They all said that even MJ, who was squealing and fussing, was a dream. Since we didn't have a connecting flight, we waited until most everyone was off the plane before we disembarked. As people passed us from the rear they also complimented us on our kids. Several people gave us a double take as they passed and said... "Wow! He was a great baby... I had no clue that there was an infant on board!" Since we were sitting smack dab in the middle of the plane I guess that was a good thing!!! I was nearly glowing by the time we finally got off the plane... I AM SO PROUD OF MY ANGELS!!!

As for our trip to visit Matt's family... Well, the only thing I can say about that is WOW!!! We were stunned at how well Matt's mom was doing. Yes, she is not doing so well that she will survive for much longer, but considering what we were expecting she looked great. She's still smoking like a freight train, but who cares... These are her last days and she deserves to enjoy them as she sees fit. She is eating well but her sleeping habits leave much to be desired, which puts a strain on the family who stays up all night with her. But, they all have a great technique worked out. We couldn't express how proud we are of the brother, sister and grandmother who are taking care of Mom. They all do a GREAT job and sacrifice so much. But I know they will get so much joy from being able to do this for Mom. It's been hard on them, but the memories they are getting will be something that they can cherish and is something their siblings will never have. I wish I could express myself better about how I feel, but I can't. All I can do is cherrish this feeling of love for them and all they are doing in my heart. I will carry that with me for life.

As we got ready to leave on Thursday afternoon, Mom said her good-byes. Those good-byes felt so final and were very difficult for Matt and me. Okay... They were more difficult for me than for Matt, I think. But I've never had to leave someone who is living out their last days. I've always either been around for their final days or I went home after they were already gone. I've never had to say good-bye like this. Matt hasn't either, but he did tell me that he had already said his good-byes to his mom a few months ago (just in case). He did have tears welling in his eyes as we talked on our way to the airport, though... But those were out of pure joy that he got to see his mom once more before she passes away. THAT was a blessing for us all, most especially for Matt and his family.

We also got to see Matt's brothers and one of his sisters along with his grandma and a very special aunt uncle and cousin!!! In addition, we got to see a niece and nephew and a very precious and rambunctious great-niece (holy cow am I feeling old)! Everyone looked very well and we totally LOVED seeing them all. The only thing I regret is not being able to stop in to say good-by to Aunt S and Uncle W... Sadly, Matt and I were both feeling a bit caught up in the good-byes we had with Mom. I know they'll understand, but I'm feeling lots of regrets now.

Since we couldn't go to Mom's house too early (since she stayed awake so late, everyone else slept in or went to sleep early in the morning, so we arrived around 11:00 every morning) we took the kids swimming before we got there. M loves to swim but is semi-afraid of the water. But, at least he is trying and enthusiastic about swimming. C, on the other hand, is finally starting to enjoy swimming and actually relaxes her body enough to be able to start some natural movements in the water. M is still working on relaxing and making natural swimming movements. He struggles, though he loves it. C is better at it, but doesn't normally enjoy swimming. MJ, on the other hand, just about swam out of my arms!!! He is a natural and seems like he'll actually be a good swimmer... Well, that's one thing I got to pass along!!!

It was fun to hear how much MJ looked like Matt and his brothers. In fact, we got to hear some stories about how Matt was when he was a baby... He, too, was loving and active. Matt and his 2 brothers actually told us a story about how they played bottle rocket tag, which is bad ebough... But, Matt actually used a 500 gallon propane tank as his hiding spot. Mom said she ran out screaming at the boys. They had, apparently, nearly given her a heart attack over that stunt. I'm learning more and more from everyone one on each of our trips home. It's funny to hear these stories because Matt's dad and step mom never had any stories that they wanted to share about Matt. What was truly amazing was to hear and see Matt's mom, grandma and aunt and uncle's reactions to how alike MJ and Matt are!!! My family all calls MJ "Mini Me" because he looks so much like his daddy... According to the stories from Matt's family that's an accurate description!!!! ;)

Needless to say, we all had loads of fun and were thrilled with the visit!!! We hope you enjoy the photographic journey as much as the lengthy story...

1 comment:

Anne said...

so nice to read of your travels. I am still in my office and thought I should check if you had entered anything, lately.
Wow. I am glad you got to go see Matt's mom and family.
take care,