We had a long but fairly uneventful trek home, arriving in Boston on the afternoon of Friday, 11/14. Fog and rainy weather followed us the whole way but didn't delay us unduly. Our friend Laura arrived just minutes after we cleared customs and walked out to the curb; she drove us home where our kids were waiting to greet us. Our greeting was awesome; our 3 kids and even two of their friends hurtled down the stairs and threw themselves at us as we walked through the door. There were squeals and smiles, tears and laughter, and lots of hugs and kisses...even our normally reticent 11 year old son was in on the action! Any of you who have pre-teen boys will know how rare it is to get an actual hug and an "I love you" in front of peers...but we got all of that...guess we were missed.
We're using the weekend to settle back in and rest from the trip. Jet lag is tough when the time difference is 11 hours. When the trip itself spans two days and includes only 4 hours sleep, it's even more challenging. We got home about 4pm, ordered Chinese food and managed to stay awake until 8:30 before Craig crashed and burned; I was in bed by 9:30. Of course, I was awake again at 4am but the 6 1/2 hours of sleep I got in my own bed helped me feel human again...and large infusions of coffee during the day helped, too. We started the first load of laundry and began unpacking, made our weekend Costco run, and generally tried to figure out what we had missed in the last 5 weeks. Reentry is in process...we even managed to stay awake until after 10:00 last night!
Much to my chagrin, time did not stand still while were were out of the country; the leaves have all fallen off the trees, the stores are all decorated for Christmas, and Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away. There are bills to pay and there's work to be done. Tomorrow, jet lag not withstanding, we'll resume life as usual...the kids will go to school, Craig will go to work, and I'll refocus my energies on my consulting project. We bought a turkey today and this week, I'll do the rest of the planning and shopping for the Risley-Schoelles Thanksgiving feast. The kids are starting their Christmas lists and I need to start my holiday shopping. At the same time, I'll begin planning for our next trip to KZ which is only a few weeks away. I think I'll just empty the suitcases and begin refilling them again. I have one last document to update and carry back with us for court; I'll make tentative flight arrangements for early December which we'll confirm once we get word of our actual court date from Alma. (We should hear from her after her November 21 meeting with the judge.) I'll also write a letter to Aniyar and Madiyar, have it translated and fax it to them at the orphanage (waiting is hard and we want to reassure them that we really will return for them soon). In short, there's plenty to keep us busy...but our hearts are still with two boys in Kazakhstan who are waiting not so patiently for our return.