Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 60 - The 37-hour day

You know you've had a heck of a day when you find the following assortment of coins in your pocket, all received as change for purchases within your 37-hour day: three quarters, one dime, two nickels, twenty tengue, and half of a euro.

It was long, it was harrowing, but we survived our 27 hours of flights and layovers to arrive home sweet home in Utah at around 7:30 pm yesterday evening. Actually, I think it all went about as well as you could expect 13,000 miles with 3 children to go. We had a few rough patches, but overall the flights were smooth and on time, the luggage all arrived with us, everybody got at least a little sleep, and Steve and Ben were even able to join the rest of us on the last leg to SLC even though it was completely booked (one person missed the connection and another pilot flying with us graciously took the jump seat to make room for my guys).

Sasha flew like a champ and slept on both of the long legs, although she did struggle to fall asleep (read: screamed for 45 minutes) on the fully-booked 11-hour flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco. But I could hardly blame her because the lights were on and people were moving around for the entire flight. At least when she did finally fall asleep she stayed zonked for several hours. And this photo demonstrates what a toddler's shirt looks like after 2 snacks and 2 meals on an airplane. Scary!

And at the moment this picture was taken (when we landed in San Francisco), our little girl became a proud US citizen! Ok, so Mommy and Daddy were way more excited about this than anybody else (everybody else was sleeping).

It did take a while to get through immigration, but that wasn't our fault - there were two folks in front of us in the "new immigrant" line and apparently it's common for new immigrants to not speak very good English (whoda thunk?) making for some interesting and time-consuming communication between the officials and soon-to-be citizens. But we successfully handed over the sealed packet that the US Embassy in Kazakhstan gave us (we felt like supercool spies) and our neato stack of passports and still managed to make our connection. Success!

And if you're wondering what love looks like - this is it, right here. We came home to a clean house and fully stocked fridge and cupboards with casseroles ready and waiting. Amazing. It was such a relief not to have to do anything when we returned! They even cleaned up Nesbitt's poo in the back yard so that the kids could play outside today. I'm telling you, greater love has no man than this. We have the most amazing friends you could ever dream of.

Our 60 days in Kazakhstan is complete. The adventure truly begins now :)


Lou Ann said...

Welcome Home and congratulations!!!Job well done.I feel like I just returned myself. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing adventure. I look forward to hearing how everyone settles in.

God Bless ALL the Morningstars!

Lou Ann & Lexie

Bob Sims said...

Welcome home, Morningstars! ..and a huge congratulations to big girl Sasha for becoming a US Citizen. We're thrilled for your family!

About day 59. How awful is that? Thankfully all people, passports and the sealed packet were all safe. For portage. :o) Sorry, got on a P roll there.

Again, welcome home and congrats from the Sims Family!!

Sandi said...

Congratulations! So happy to hear you are all home safe and sound. I hope that you will continue to post about how your beautiful family of 5 is adapting.


Pat and Alli said...

Welcome home! Thanks for sharing your story. What an amazing adventure. Perhaps my favorite thing about this blog was how you embraced your daughter's homeland and culture showing true appreciation for your precious gift from Kazakhstan. I've enjoyed following along.

Best wishes.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great story! it has been suh a joy to follow your journey. Best wishes for a wi=onderful future.

Mommy to Annika from Karaganda
waiting for # 2

Jennifer M said...

Congratulations and WELCOME HOME!! You guys are so awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. You both are such amazing writers. There were times when I felt right there with you. You guys made me laugh, you made me cry, and you've made me remember Kaz with wonderful memories.

I look forward to following the new journey as a family of 5. (You will continue to blog, right? Please? Please?) :-)

Congratulations to the newest US Citizen too! What a great day for the Morningstar family!

Good luck with that whole jet lag thing. I remember that to be the toughest part of the whole journey.

My best to all of you!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! Welcome back to being stateside and complete! What a great way to end your long journey and start a new chapter in your life....a fully stocked fridge is ALWAYS the way to go! ;)! Congratulations! I look forward to seeing you guys very soon!

Love, Cori

Breezy said...

Wow it has been SO much fun following your journey day by day!!!!! and what an amazing one it was. What's up with day 59!!! COMMON Russia you wait until the last day there?! geez. You guys are such an awesome family and I am so happy for you all to be home safe and eating much less disgusting food ;) Give the boys a hug from Miss Brianna and even that sweet Sasha. Congratulations!!!!!!!

Dawn said...

Welcome home. I love your blog, especially the pictures. They are perfect.

ault family said...

Home Sweet Home! Yippee! Let the fun begin! You deserve some sort of badge for traveling successfully with 3 young children and being out numbered by them. ;)

Now, got and get some well earned rest!



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