19 hours and 47 minutes...not that I'm counting

 December 20, 2008

We are less than 24 hours from the biggest trip this family has ever made. Not because of the 40 hours of travel, or the 4 planes, 3 continents and 6500 miles we need to traverse. It is all about the beautiful baby girl waiting for us on the other side of the world. It is hard to believe that after more than 2 years our adoption journey will finally come to a very happy end.
I have pretty much been a hot mess all week, ridiculously emotional. I find myself crying at every other song on the radio. Seriously do you even know how many Christmas songs are about missing someone, being home for Christmas, cripes even mothers dying and orphans getting homes? I am surprised I have not driven off the road, blinded by tears and the sting of my liquefied mascara!

I have not yet finished packing but I’m not too worried about it. I have most of the day tomorrow to do it. I am going to stay up late tonight and make some last minutes batches of Christmas cookies and treats to take with us so we can have a few of our favorite things on Christmas day. Tomorrow morning Dart will drop the dog off at the kennel and then he will take Nolan to see the Brown’s (his birthday present). I will finish the packing and the five of us will meet up at the airport around 5pm.

When we get there we are going to need more than a few porters to help us with our bags. We have an embarrassing amount of luggage. In our defense though, much of it is packed with gifts for the orphanages. It all started when I emailed my fellow adoptive mother and friend Anne. I asked if she wanted me to carry back a present for her children Borya and Yulia who are in Ust waiting to travel home. Anne’s response was incredible-she wanted to send gifts all right - for every child in the orphanage! She had the loving idea of bringing a small gift, wrapped in Christmas paper, so every child could have the thrill of tearing paper and the joy of a gift all their own. Wow. So somehow, in just 48 hours Anne bought, wrapped and shipped presents for 180 children to my house. She is superhuman!

Taking Anne’s lead, I added gifts for the 100 children in Nina’s baby house. Then Nolan asked if he could make a card for the kids? Hmmmm that got me thinking…we made a few calls and before we knew it, we had 3rd and 4th graders all over the county making cards. Together we had over 300 pounds of crayons, coloring books, paper, bibs, soft books, and infant hats and a Christmas card for every child in Yulia’s orphanage! (Anne I even got the candy canes!)

So while I may not have packed any clothes we have managed to pack all the gifts. Anne was worried they would not fit but I guess like all things adoption, where there is a will there is a way!

(The picture is JUST the bags with gifts for the children in Ust-Kam)

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