2nd Trip – Coming Home

This was truly a journey like none other I’ve ever been on. 2 adults – 2 babies – 30 hours of bus ride, airports, plane rides and car ride home. As we started out we talked about how important humor was going to be, because if we did not have the humor we’d probably be in tears. I so wish I had a picture to show what we looked like at the beginning of our flight home with all our luggage and babies strapped to us. I’ll try to paint a picture – 3 pieces of luggage weighing 48-49 pounds each, 2 small suitcase carry-ons, 2 small backpacks on our back and 2 sweet babies strapped on the front of us in carriers (with their little blankets wrapped around them, and the burp cloth in between their face and our chest).

leaving Ethiopia

This was the result:

1 diaper blowout

1 baby bottle rolling down the airplane aisle on take off (oops) resulting in:

2 men lunging for the bottle and 1 finally succeeding in catching it

2 customs checkpoints – Addis Ababa/Chicago

3 doses of medicine for my sick little boy

sitting at a restaurant before boarding our first flight – I make a comment about having a nice peaceful meal with them sitting there, seconds before he has his first projectile vomit)

3 projectile vomits (with mucus – sorry fur the horrible picture) which helped in producing the following:

4 adult outfit changes AND

6 baby outfit changes

4 stops on airport runways – Sudan/Frankfurt/Chicago/home

(on the bus on the Addis Ababa airport – heading out to our plane)

4 airports – Addis Ababa/Frankfurt/Chicago/home

4 packets of Emergen-C’s for Tara and I to try and keep us healthy

5 security checkpoints – 1 which included us taking the babies out of the sling, untangle the sling from us, put it through the conveyor belt all while holding a baby and then strapping them back on (not that we’re bitter or anything)

10 angels who either helped us with our luggage or the babies

17 diapers

22 bottles

forget the bassinet – just use the floor!

Many laughable moments including:

being at the Addis Ababa airports first checkpoint and Tara taking her tennis shoes off. On the other side she’s trying to figure out how to put them on with a baby strapped in front (kinda like being pregnant and not able to reach your feet). 4 women all of sudden show up and decide to help her put on her shoes – Tara looks like she is balancing with both feet out in the air as they work hard to put her shoes on!

while trying to entertain Micah and standing up with him on the airplane, Tara decides to tap/knock on the wall to keep him entertained – little did she realize that the poor person in the bathroom probably thought someone desperately needed the bathroom because she was tapping on the door 🙂

after Tara opens the can of formula – which results in a huge puff of formula powder EVERYWHERE, she gets up – is now talking with the flight attendant, who accidentally drops a club soda. It bursts open, sprays all over Tara and the attendant! The attendant then exclaims – “oh my goodness, I can honestly say I’ve never had this happen before, that sprayed right up my skirt!” We made sure to ask for club soda the next time she came by serving drinks!

This moment is one of those frustrating moments, that moves into laughter, that rolls into tears – all with an audience!

We rush to catch our last flight which had a tight connection from Chicago to home and barely make it in time. We are sweating from head to toe – and the babies are also. We get there and they say that our roll-on carry-ons can not be brought on this small plane. One big problem – they have diapers, formula, video camera and laptop and the bottled water we just bought to put in the bottles. So, they allow us to ‘unload’ important items and bring them back to our seat – all while everyone else is already seated. A couple of walks back and forth from the front of the plane to almost the rear of the plane, they let us know that their cannot be 2 infants in the same row (yes, we’ve heard this on every flight this trip – and have struggled – the reasoning is there is only 1 extra air mask in each row). We’re now standing in the aisle waiting for them to figure out where to put us and all of our stuff after talking to a few different people they allow us to sit next to each other. Whew! Sit down, the plane pulls away from the gate and Micah has the biggest projectile vomit of the week – covers himself completely, covers Tara completely – and guess what? That wonderful roll-on suitcase also had… the extra change of clothes! By this point – there is laughter and tears coming from both of us, and I’m sure stares/glares from just about everyone else! 🙂 After stripping Micah and trying to clean him and Tara off with a little burp cloth, we take sisters purple pajamas off of her, she’s still got a onesie underneath. Only thing – he’s too big so we can only put his arms through and snap the front few buttons leaving the rest dangling like coat tails.

I’m so thankful for my amazing friend, Tara, who hung in there – when it seemed she got most of the adult outfit changes on the way home, held my sweet chubby 🙂 boy so much and walked this journey with me. I’m sure the laughter would have been less and the frustration would have been higher without her!

I’ll save the welcome home photos for another post, but let me leave with you this favorite phrase from a stranger:

“Oh my goodness, I thought you were carrying a doll and then I realized it was your baby! She’s beautiful!”


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