Sunday, November 27, 2011

How do you get three kids out of Bulgaria???

With more patience than you can muster!  Okay, this was NOT the best trip home whatsoever.  Not one bit.  It started with no sleep.  Why do you ask?  Because we had one mad son that didn't want to cooperate with having to leave for America tomorrow.  I know part of it was fear but part of it was being an 11yo kid not wanting to cooperate.  I have a few other boys at home so think I know the difference by now.  Despite our many requests for them to go to bed, we had a complete meltdown which included him continually in the self stim mode.  For those new to adoption, this is typical of orphanage kids.  I 've had some head bang, kick, slap themselves, etc.  It is to get the touch and stimulation that they missed as a child.  When there is no mother or father to pick you up, you have to console yourself.  This is what Logan was doing.  Rocking back & forth, crying, slapping his head and kicking the wall.  We could not start hold therapy here.  We do this at home and I'll explain it later.  (And yes, we were trained in it years ago for those curious).  So, best we could do is take his hands & hold them.  Try to comfort him.  At this time, it is a sobbing cry.  Clearly, a cry of grief.  This part is normal as he is leaving everything behind in just a few short hours.  So,we left him to cry and went on packing.  Sounds mean but it is not.  He needed some time alone.  Well, Logan decides he does not want to go to bed.  What does he do you ask?

Why pull a molar in the middle of the night.  You know, one that was NOT ready to come out for another 2 to 3 weeks.  Of course, the other two girls woke up at the commotion.  It became an event at midnight.  Yes, midnight.  What time did we need to be up you ask?  why 4am.  4 am kids.  

And the evidence just in case you think we're making this up.  LOL.  And yes, he was expecting the tooth fairy to come.  Because mom and dad have nothing else to do at midnight before a big flight out across the ocean.  URGHH!!!  He got American money. 

Since it was not ready to come out, it bled...for two and a half hours!  No lie.  To say we were exhausted already at this point was an understatement.  And the trip hadn't even started.  Now, we kept on getting ready.  Cleaning up and packing up.  We picked out clothes for them all.  This will come in handy later part of the story.

We met our ride at 5am.  Waking them was like waking the walking dead.  They found someone at the Bulgarian Airport to chat with.  Very nice lady telling them to behave for us.  Gosh, did I need her on the rest of the flight.   And this was just the beginning of the flight.  I tried to warn Logan once we got to Germany, there would be no one else he could speak to as Bulgarian would be gone.  He laughed at me and said no.  I just smiled back.  He would soon learn.  Keep in mind, I was told that he does not listen to women.  What?!  This will be a lesson learned later.  Trust me on that.

 We boarded the plane.  Logan goes spread eagle to the doorway refusing to board the plane.  Seriously.  He's screaming bloody murder and crying.  We all pushed him (figure of speech) into the plane.  Hey, only way home and stewardesses know that.  Settled them all down in seats and waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  Leave the gate & I said "I think we just went in a circle."  Announcement went on.  German first, then English.  My German is rusty but I can sure catch mechanical problem.  Long story short, left engine was leaking, they had to check it out to determine what to do next.  Gave the kids crackers to try to keep them occupied.

 We were told we could still use our plane.  By this time, Logan was beyond restless.  Warren was having a tough time controlling him.  He's kicking the seat in front of him, trying to remove the life vest, etc.  He asked for a different pair of pants.  We told him they were all packed away.  He did not believe us.  Remember this for later in the flight.  URGHH!!!  Time to go through the de-icing process.  By this time, we were well over an hour late.  Asked the flight attendant about our transatlantic.  Hey, I was dying to go home at this point and no way I was missing the one flight home.  She said they had made arrangements for everyone.  Phew. 

Reni and Summer ready for their first take off.  Reni cried but did okay.  Summer thought it was hilarious.  

 Enjoying the flight.  Only an hour and half long to Munich.

Okay, so we get to Munich.  Luckily, I forgot about the hour time difference between Munich and Sofia.  Relief as we'd make our transatlantic.  Now, had to go through passport control.  Keep in mind, everything is new for these kids.  Every bit of it.  It's pretty bad when the security people are telling you "wow, you have your hands full."  Or "wow, those are very active kids."  Yes, we are well aware. 

I met another couple that adopted 2 older boys from Ukraine.  They were sitting there nicely.  Mine looked like squirrels on speed.  I could see the glaring looks already.  Yep, it was going to be a long flight.  Well, Logan thought he should get some of that energy out.  He proceeds to bolt there in Munich.  I asked told the people I'd just met to watch the girls and I helped Warren corner Logan.  From then on, he was "handcuffed."  (meaning one of us was to keep hold of him at all times).  He had to go the restroom and we all knew we couldn't trust him.  Warren went w/ him. In retrospect, he should have gone in the stall w/ him.   Not kidding.  In the Munich airport, Logan decided he should lock every single stall door from the inside by crawling underneath them.  URGHH!!!  Next, was boarding.  Went better than earlier.  Then, we all settle in for a very...long...flight.  

Did I mention it was a LONG flight w/ these three kids???  NONE of these guys slept not one single wink.  Got to love it.  Logan was throwing a fit b/c Warren wouldn't let him kick the guy in front of him.  The attendants tried to set him straight in the back but to no avail.  Oh forgot to mention that earlier in the flight, he decided he should rebel in the only way he could at the time.  Remember when I said he was mad b/c we wouldn't let him change pants?  Yep, you guessed it.  He proceeded to wet himself.  Then, told us he needed to change his pants.  We told him you can't, the luggage is under the plane.  The look on his face said it all.  He realized he really messed up this time royally.  His fault, no one else's.  He was then mad at himself.  Believe it or not, this was a good thing.  He was finally realizing, that he was no longer in control of the situation.  Mom and Dad were and he needed to listen.  We landed all in one piece at Dulles.  Oh, then the real fun started.

You have to go through many long lines at Dulles.  This is where Logan finally was realizing that the insults he was throwing out at people meant nothing.  No one spoke Bulgarian any more.  Though, he was desperately asking everyone.  Immigration lady was nice.  Got the luggage, put it back on the conveyor & then it was onto another line for passports and security.  Oy.  The guy behind us said they really should have a line just for families.  I could only imagine what he was thinking.  LOL.  I agreed though.  Well, Summer wanted to explore apparently.  The guy behind me & myself lunged forward both of us grabbing Summer's arms screaming NO, NO!!!  What was our little girl about to do?  Why pull the fire alarm for the entire airport.  Yeh, that would have made the news w/out a doubt.  Who in the world put that stupid fire alarm that low, we'll never know.  She's not that tall.  Really.  Crisis averted.  Onto next crisis.  Okay, so kids under 12 no longer have to take off their shoes.  However, Warren had to practically wrestle Logan to get his jacket off of him.  Keep in mind, he'd been through these things before, knew he was getting his jacket back.  To add to the scene, Summer's screaming at me like I'm torturing her b/c I have to take her precious back pack off.  Screams the whole way  through the process.  Gets to the end & sees the back pack coming off the conveyor & starts laughing hysterically.  Yeh, we were a scene to behold, I'm sure.  I tried to keep my head down, eyes to the ground at that point. 

Okay, I had to use the restroom and asked Warren if he was okay.  I come out not more than 2 minutes later & find him spread eagle w/ one kid on one arm, one on another & one behind him.  Apparently, Logan and Reni decided to have a good old fashion sibling throw down in the middle of the Dulles Airport.  I mean a serious all out brawl.  Lovely.  Grabbed them & went onto Wendy's b/c we were starving at this point.  Ate and onto the waiting area. Oops, gate changed...again. 

Get to the gate.  

They look like they're finally tiring out.  Right?

 WRONG!  They come alive the longer we're awake.  I swear to you.  

Warren and I on the other hand had NO energy to spare.  There was  a couple that watched the entire thing from Munich onward.  Yes, on the same plane all the way back to RDU.  Poor couple.  They offered to buy Warren Starbuck's.  He declined.  I think he was passed the point of coffee.  LOL.  At this point, we were beyond exhausted.  We were delirious!  

We get to the gate and have 5 different seats.  They said they'll fix it on the plane. Umm, nope.  Not quite.  So, I announce on the plane that we are a family of 5 here in 5 completely different seats all over this plane.  I said we have been up for nearly 30 hours and the kids have slept none of it.  They do not speak English.  Anyone want to sit w/ the 4yo?  The 9yo?  Etc.  People were generous.  Understanding. Or, at this point I think they thought this crazy woman is going to delay the flight, we best offer to help.  LOL. 

Flight attendant was very nice about it all as were the passengers...some of them anyways.  It was a really short flight...50 minutes.  Relief on that one.  Oh wait.  We had to leave the airport first.  Ground crews, gate crews kept coming on swearing someone was on the wrong plane.  We kept reiterating that ALL of us were indeed going to RDU and NOT Colorado Springs.  After 3 tries, they gave up on all of us on the plane.  Though, they kept going to this elderly gentleman saying it was a medical issue.  He keeps saying he only cut himself on the leg.  Really, they were making a mountain out of a mole hill.  We finally get off the ground.  Arrived rather late at RDU.  Ride was there though and wonderful to see.  After all that travel, we were finally headed HOME.  HOME.  HOME!  Much more to come on getting home and what transpired from there.  Reason I am telling you all these things that don't seem so nice about Logan is so that you can hear the before AND the after & what it took to get to the after part.  This is not permanent but isn't uncommon for older kids from orphanages to act out.  We expected it.  Retrospect, we should have had another set of eyes w/ us believe it or not.  I know we are used to 7 kids w/ all kinds of issues, however, these were three new kids that would need a lot of help to transition and we needed all hands on deck so to speak.  Warren and I did manage & thankfully had tons of experience behind us.  It was our saving grace.  But by the time we got in the car headed home, I just wanted to sleep.  That however, was going to elude us once more.  The arrival home post is next.  That one will take some time to write this evening as this one did.  Some times I'm not so sure what to include.  However, this is about adoption and others need to know the good, the bad and the ugly of it all.  It is part of the process but here to show you it does NOT last forever and it CAN be overcome w/ love and patience.  Lots and lots of patience. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow incredable I thought it was rough being by myself with my daughter. Thank God you knew what to expect. Plus no sleep! Yes this is what people who r adopting need to hear.