I was picked up at the apartment at 3am Thurs. (this is 7pm Wed. at home). My flight was scheduled for 5:35, but didn't actually leave until 6:35. This is where the day started to show what was in store for us. The first flight was supposed to be from Kiev to Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, I was supposed to have a 1 hour layover. Well, for those of you doing that little bit of math, you just realized that the delay in Kiev made me miss my connecting flight in Germany. But wait, let me backtrack a bit...In Kiev, I met up with Kevin (an adopting dad I had met previously) I was so happy to see that we were travelling the same route all the way to Chicago. We get along well, and he was so wonderful and willing to help me with my luggage and Patrick. OK, so back to Germany. Kevin and I had missed our flight. The person at the counter told us to go down a hallway to concourse A65 and get our new ticket there. We had to go through passport control first. Kevin went through first, no problem. I was next, PROBLEM! I didn't have a boarding pass at this point, and since Patrick has a Ukrainian passport, I needed a boarding pass for him to get through passport control. They wouldn't let Kevin come back through, they acted like it was a HUGE deal to change his status, so I told him to go ahead, I would catch up with him after I checked in at the other counter. OOPS! I walked back with Patrick to the other counter, but was stopped in the hallway. The hallway was packed, and closed off. Why? Because someone had left a bag unattended, so they called in the whole frickin' bomb squad and sniffer dogs. I waited almost a full hour for access to the counter. By this time I just knew Kevin had gotten on that plane already and I was on my own. I got to the counter after waiting in line, to learn that I was still at the wrong counter. I had to go over to the other line. Yes, I am dead serious, another line. I, at this point, had been in Germany for about 1 1/2 hours! This line was slow, because of this bomb scare, many people needed to switch there flights. When I finally got up there, they informed me that they couldn't get me on a flight with there airline, they were sending me to another airline. NOT HAPPY, new airline SUCKS, but I want to go home...so, I take the tickets. Of course, in switching airlines, I now have to go down a different corridor, which means I can't check to see if Kevin is still in Germany or not. I was hoping he had left, but had no way of checking. I got stopped at the security checkpoint, had to show my adoption papers to them, they unpacked my bags, read my court decree, everything, by the time I got to the gate after all that mess, they had given away my seat, I was on stand-by. I almost started crying at this point. The plane was scheduled to leave in 10 minutes, and I was on stand-by. They had given away my seat, so I didn't see much hope in me getting 2 seats. By the grace of God, I made it on this flight. Instead of going to Chicago, I headed to Philadelphia. This flight also left late, so again I arrived late in Philly. I had a 1 1/2 layover in Philly, but the flight was 45 minutes late. Yes, I had 45 minutes to get through customs, immigration and get to the ticket counter to get my boarding pass and recheck my bags. Guess what, they too chose me to do a thorough security check. I missed this flight as well! My layover turned into a 3 hour layover in Philly. At this point I hadn't slept, had barely eaten and I was startin' to get a little grouchy. Patrick was doing great. I still had no way of talking to anyone. I had called from the payphone to let Bill know flight status, but hadn't talked to anyone, and still was worried about where Kevin had ended up. I was able to get hold of my mom while I waited in Philly, so at least I knew my messages were being received by Bill. Anyway, I got to Nashville at 10pm Thurs. night, and walked in my door a little before midnight.
30 hours of travel, and I am still exhausted, and Patrick is and has done great. This little guy was a trooper! As bad as my day was with airlines and airports, I was blessed that Patrick was as good as he was. I wanted to act up and he held it together. In fact, while we were strolling around the Philly airport (if I sat down, I was afraid of falling asleep and missing another flight, so I walked the whole time!) he just sang his little songs and made so many people smile. It was nice to be on the side of the world where he was getting smiles instead of stares. I was even able to share our adoption story with 3 families and an airport worker. 1 family, the mom was a special needs teacher, so she was wonderful to speak with. The airport worker had been looking into international adoptions, so when I talked to her, I told her about Reece's Rainbow and all the great kids on there. She was so sweet, got down on the floor and was talking to Patrick...I hope she looks at the RR site and falls in love with someone!!