I really need to begin with what happened on Monday. As of Monday, the ash cloud was still causing a lot of problems with European flights and to the human eye, the chance that we would get to go to Ukraine was slim. Bucky took Brennan to school that morning and I was having a really hard time getting motivated to do any more house cleaning. I just kept saying to myself, "this is useless, you are not going to leave for Ukraine in the morning." But, everytime I would sit down on the couch to have a pity party, I kept very plainly hearing a still small voice say, "Just get up and DO IT!" So, I continued to pull myself out of my pity party and "just do it", just kept cleaning the house. Late Monday afternoon, we received an e-mail update that the ash cloud had significantly decreased and many of the airports would begin reopening. We went to bed Monday night still not knowing for sure if we would leave for Ukraine the next day.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
All morning we kept ourselves updated on what was happening with the ash cloud and things seemed to be progressing well and according to the computer our flight was still on schedule. Stephen Timmons picked us all up at noon on Tuesday and drove us to the Greenville airport. We get to the airport, unload all of our stuff, walk up to the ticket counter and are told that a list of cancelled flights has just been released on our flight from Charlotte to Munich has been cancelled. We were in shock to say the least. I kept thinking to myself that this could not be true because I know God is not cruel and this would have been a cruel joke to get us that far and "shut the door" so to speak. We pulled all of our luggage to the side and Bucky pulled out his computer and we tried to make several phone calls to reach our airline agency and had no success. We went on our airline agency's website and their website said the flight was still on schedule. By this time about 15 to 20 minutes had passed and we walked back up to the ticket counter and explained that our airline carrier's website said the flight was still on schedule. So, the man at the ticket counter reluctantly pulled another list and low and behold that list said the flight was still on schedule. Whew relief...well only briefly...then the man at the ticket counter said that our flight from Munich to Kiev had not been cancelled yet, but that it was on a list of flights that were expected to be cancelled. He cautioned us that he did not recommend we continue our journey to Ukraine at that time. We very kindly thanked him for his educated opinion, but explained that our son was waiting for us in Ukraine and we were wiling to risk only getting as far as Germany on plane. We were confident God was opening doors for us and asking to trust Him and go on. So, we did!
The flight to Charlotte was short and smooth. We had a few hour layover in Charlotte before our flight to Munich left. The boys did great during the layover and we were able to keep them entertained and out of trouble.
The flight to Munich was awesome too. We got very little sleep, but Xan and Brennan were such troopers. There were no temper tantrums and no crying. They were wonderful! Brennan did end up taking a brief nap on the plane, but Xan just could not get to sleep.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
We arrived in Munich about 8 am Munich time, that was about 2am Spartanburg time. We had to pick up all of our luggage at this point and poor Xan fell asleep on the luggage cart. I have pictures of that, it was so funny. He was so tired! We found out after we arrived in Munich that our flight to Kiev had indeed been cancelled. While we were waiting in line at the airline's ticket counter (a huge line I might add), we were approached by a lady from our airline agency and she asked us what our final destination was and we told her Kiev, Ukraine. She told us to continue to wait in line, but that she would go ahead to a computer and figure out a new flight schedule. She came back a few minutes later with our new flight from Munich to Frankfort, then Frankfort to Kiev. That lady was a blessing to us and obviously sent from God.
By the time we got to our gate, Xan has already been sleeping (on our luggage) for about an hour and then we all napped during our 3 or so hour layover. I have pictures of that too. We looked like a bunch of homeless people sleeping on benches. Brennan ended up sleeping through that whole flight. That flight was only about 40 minutes, but he slept through ticketing, boarding, and the entire flight. He was sooo tired!
We arrived in Frankfort and had a 7 HOUR LAYOVER!!! Bucky and I were thinking what in the world are we going to do to keep these kids entertained for 7 hours. But we did it and they again did awesome. No fits or crying!! We spent a little while just sitting at our gate while Xan colored and Brennan and I played on the toy laptop computer. Then we went and got some lunch/dinner at McDonald's and McDonald's just happened to have huge windows overlooking all the "excitement" going on outside of an airport. So, that took up about another 1 and 1/2 of our time. Then, we went and found an outlet and let boys watch a couple of movies, did various other little things and before we knew it, 7 hours had passed and we were on a plane headed for Kiev, Ukraine. That flight was about 3 hours and both boys fell right asleep and slept the whole time. We arrived in Kiev about 1:30 am Kiev's time and got through Immigration and customs fairly quickly and we met up with our in country coordinator and he daughter. They had a van waiting for us and took us to our apartment.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Today is my mom's birthday, I love you! Well, right now I am sitting in the floor of our apartment, it is about 7 a.m. here and I have already had a shower, fixed my hair and put on makeup. Awww, what a difference a shower can make! As I right this all the boys (Bucky, Xan and Brennan) are asleep. Our apartment is AWESOME! It is really clean and the water pressure in the shower this morning about knocked me off my feet. God is great and He has provided all that we need and so much more. The boys did GREAT in their new "beds" (they are actually sleeping on couches) last night. Xan was a little apprehensive at first, but did great once we assured him we were not leaving and he would see us first thing in the morning. We turned out the lights and still have not heard a peep out of either of them. They are wonderful little boys and have coped with lack of sleep and new environments so well. They have done so much better than I ever imagined and I am so proud to be their mom.
Well, that is all for right now, I have to get the kids up and fed before our babysitter comes to watch them while we go to our first "big" appointment. Keep praying, God IS answering! I will post pics later when I have a little more time
We love you all!
Me, Xan and Brennan on our LONG flight from Charlotte to Munich, Germany.