Abby did great on the flight, better than me in fact. The traveler’s flu finally caught up with me and I suffered through the first flight, and half way through the second before another couple offered a medicine that knocked me out, and began to knock out the sickness too.
There was one last bright spot to wrap up the trip. That morning, Almaz and our friends from Colorado decided they would pull their daughter from the hospital and take her home that night as originally scheduled. She was still on oxygen, but could bring a tank along on the plane in case she needed it.
We were all very relieved, as the alternative would’ve been very rough on our friends. One parent would have to leave the other one behind, and hope for a quick recovery. However, tickets out would’ve been nearly impossible to secure.
Almaz spent the day running all over the city to get the permissions to make this happen, and our friends were rushing around to get everything ready to make the flight. They were on a different airline than us, but Kristi saw them through a glass window as we went to our gate. They held up a bright-eyed girl, and pointed to a nurse who would be on the flight with them. They were all smiles. Their child was going home now.
We rolled into Grand Rapids after the long journey, tired and excited. A huge crowd waited for us, including our kids, who all seemed a little bit older. They had decorated shirts with the African continent outlined, and Abby’s name written on them.
There were balloons and flowers and hugs and kisses, just like we imagined. The first group of friends and family got to meet Abby before we went home to begin our “cocooning” process. Another group of neighbors met us outside our house with a handmade sign.
At long last, our journey to adoption was now complete. We were home. She was home. Now a new journey is beginning.