Tuesday, September 30, 2008

72 Hours

In just about 72 hours, I will be boarding a plane to begin the final segment of this great adventure. 72 hours. Wow. I can't believe the time is finally here. In less than a week, I should be holding my daughter in my arms again! I am so happy and excited, yet oddly calm at at the same time.
Of course, over the past week I've had several "freak-out" episodes. I have been so excited at the prospect of seeing HotDog again that I had glossed over many of the issues that could make this trip exhausting and difficult. Then last Thursday night I began to think about the details and suddenly became overwhelmed (it didn't help that Stu was leaving for a 4-day golf trip on Friday). I am taking this little girl out of the only world she has ever known; I think this is a good thing and that she will have a great life, but she doesn't understand any of that. All she knows is that she is no longer around any familiar people, sounds, smells, etc. She is going to be completely dependent on someone who is a complete stranger (I'm sure she won't remember that I visited her 4 1/2 months ago). How scary must that be for her? What if she is inconsolable? What if she cries non-stop? With both boys, we've had fairly easy initial transitions. But then again, they were both older and were able to interact and communicate with us. Also, Stu was with me on both return trips so I knew that I could at least grab a nap or a bite to eat and he could hold down the fort until I returned. This time it is just me. This little girl is going to need me to fulfill every single need for her, 24 hours a day. She is not going to understand that I am in a foreign country where hardly anyone speaks my language, where I have been encouraged not to venture out of the hotel as I am a single Caucasian female and will draw quite a bit of attention. There is no doubt in my mind that I can do this but it is a bit overwhelming to think about. If nothing else, the week and a half in-country with her should be a wonderful, if intense, bonding time for both of us before we return home to the chaos of daily life.
In addition to those fears, I have been trying to make a million decisions before I travel: Should I switch her to the American formula while I'm there or wait until I get home? How many clothes should I pack for a 6-month-old baby? What types of clothes? It looks like it is going to be cool during the days and very cold at night (not to mention that they don't turn on the heat until mid-October). How in the world am I going to pack everything for her, me, gifts, a donation of 30 pairs of shoes for the orphanage, snacks, etc. into one suitcase? I have not even wanted to think about the plane ride home with her. How in the world am I going to travel for over 30 hours by myself with a baby? What if I don't get the bassinet on the plane and I have to hold her for every single one of those 30 hours? What happens when I need to go to the restroom in those tiny little plane restrooms? Again, I know I will get through it, these are just some of the myriad of thoughts going through my mind.
I am definitely ready for this and getting more excited as the hours pass. My suitcase is packed, the carryons are prepared, my paperwork is ready. That leaves the next 72 hours open to have fun with my boys. They are currently on fall break so I have many activities planned for these last few days as a family of four. I am letting them each plan something fun to do: Chipmunk wants to see a new movie at the movie theater (still such a big treat for him) and Monkey has requested a trip to a popular pizza place whose mascot is a giant, somewhat creepy, rodent (I mean, how disgusting is it that their mascot is a rat?!!?). Today I think we are going to have a picnic and ride bikes through a nearby forest/wildlife refuge. It looks like the next 72 hours are going to fly by....

19 comments:

Mom to 2 Angels said...

Yay! You will be with Hot Dog so soon. I'll be praying for an easy transition. I'm sure you guys will figure each other out quickly. It will be great momy/daughter bonding time. I mean, really, you can't get closer than sharing an airplane bathroom :) You can do it!

Troy and Rachel said...

I can't believe you'll be on your way so soon. I'm so happy for you. Just remember that no matter what, you'll make it home and all those worried will be forgotten. Safe travels.

Jackie S said...

Wow...I can't believe the time is almost here and you will soon be reunited with your daughter :) How wonderful.

You will get through it all. On the airplane, if you need to go ;), maybe put her in a sling/baby bjorn/or some other carrier and then go. I had Noli in my baby bjorn once or twice and went to the bathroom. Ok, maybe TMI for anyone reading this, but you do what you have to do. Anyway, that's what I would do on the airplane if I were solo.

If there is anything I can help you talk through, feel free to email or call me. I'm excited for you.

Jackie & Noli

Rachel said...

Whoo hoo! Fun, fun, fun stuff right there :) Somehow you will muddle through, as only we mothers really know how, and it will all be a blur. We were really worried about how Scarlett would react to us taking her out of the orphanage, but she cuddled up to Darren right away. You'll do great and I can't wait to meet her!

Shane & Marie said...

I can't wait to hear that she is in your arms again. Safe travels!

Michele said...

One thing that I liked about going in a big group was the fact that you are all going though it together.
On our trip we spent time with other babys so that there mommy could do things by her self. It was like we had someone around all the time to help if we needed it. Also the first leg of are flight home was going to be with people we knew. So if you can lean on the people in your group, if they are like us it well make them happy to help you.
Also know that you are strong & you can do this. God does not give us anything that you can not handle.Take care, Michele
WWW.dreamtocometrue.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

We will be praying for you and your family!
Many hugs sent your way from the Robinsons.
(Rebekah, Greg, Jachin & Josiah)

Margaret and Tom said...

You are an amazing mom, so I know you can do it! Like you said, it is just the worry about those things...but I know there will be angels on the plane and elsewhere willing to help you :) Please tell Aliya and Ludymila and Tatiana and everyone hi from us and tell them Milana is very healthy and happy. I am soooo excited for you. Sounds like you have some fun filled days planned with the boys before you leave, where do you get that energy? And oh yes, Milana did fabulously on the Enfamil Lipil right from the start when we picked her up, my thought is to just change them right away to the American formula, but I know that means packing extra stuff...
Hang in there...I will be glued to your blog, I know you won't have much time to post though of course :)

Becky and Keith said...

The time is here! How very, very exciting!!! You will do great on your own - you're an awesome mom and have nothing to worry about! Cannot wait to see updated pictures of that gorgeous little girl of yours! Safe travels!!

tammy said...

good luck on your trip!

Becky said...

Oh how exciting! I can't wait to see new pics of her! I can't imagine what you are feeling right now, and I hope to be in your shoes soon! GOOD LUCK, safe trip!

Maria said...

Dear, dear friend. What a long journey it has been and here we are at the finish line. I have absolutely NO DOUBTS that you can do this. You are one of the most positive, strong, courageous women I have ever met. If anyone can make this work, you absolutely will!! The fears are normal -- at least I surely hope so. You are such a great mom to your two boths that "HotDog" will know her mom is there and will give you an easy time of it!! I will be praying for you every single day and thinking of you minute by minute. I cannot WAIT to see her!!! Hugs!

Maria said...

Ok, I can't type (or think lately), I meant your two BOYS, not boths. *sigh* I'm going to bed.

Jeanne said...

How exciting! As an experienced Mom, I'm sure you'll do great! As Jackie suggests, you can do just about everything with a 6 month-old in a baby carrier. Hope you have a wonderful trip!

Christina said...

Congratulations on finally returning to get your little girl. Enjoy your bonding time. Be watching your blog if you have the opportunity. Take Care.

April Taylor said...

I am so excited for you!!!! She is SUCH a cutie pie. I can't wait to see more pics.

Happy, safe travels! And e-mail me if you need anything in Almaty. We have a really good friend there who would be delighted to take you around town.

Cheers!
April Taylor
www.taylorkid.com

Tamara said...

YEAH!!! I am so excited for you. I will be following your journey (if you can post) and am so excited to see HotDog again in your arms! Safe travels!

HUGS

Laura said...

Yeah!!!! Glad to hear you are on your way. have a safe trip!

Anonymous said...

Yayayayayayayayay!!!!!!!

You'll be gone before you read this, but just in case you can access these messages over there....

You'll be FINE. In our travel group most the babies were around 9 months old, pretty young. They all reacted differently to the experience. Some cried all the time, others had learned to manipulate their caretakers by fake laughing and smiling, some babies were just totally in shock.

Whatever those first days are like, you'll get through them just fine. And you know that (even she doesn't) this is BEST POSSIBLE thing for her.

Eventually she'll figure that out too.

If you want to email me any time, please don't hesitate.

Be safe and enjoy these first days with your GORGEOUS little girl!!

~ Joanna