***I'm a little late with this. Pictures to follow soon.
Today has been a day of travel. I didn't even bother going to bed last night. I was busy packing and charging electronics -- remember I had to charge them one at a time since I only had one adapter. I went ahead and got my hair washed about midnight so it could be drying, and I sat down on the couch about 1:00am with my timer to get an hour of sleep. At 2:00 I got up, changed clothes, and began getting ready for the day. We got the kids up at 3:00 and were packed and waiting by 4:00. Stefan picked us up at 4:30 and took us to the airport. With everything we had to do there (and with 2 kiddos who didn't know what to do, and we couldn't easily tell them), we made it to our gate just in time to get in line for boarding.
We were very concerned about Vanessa's motion sickness. In fact, we had to stop once on the way to the airport to let her change seats and crack a window. We had brought some Dramamine with us, so we gave her one just before we boarded the plane as it was still at least a half hour to take-off. That pill plus the wee morning hour, and she was asleep before we left the ground. She woke up once and wanted to eat the sandwich they had brought us. I was nervous to let her, but figured she couldn't avoid eating for the entire 19-hour trip. She ate about half and lay back down in my lap and went right back to sleep. I woke her up when we landed. Milcho thought the plane ride was awesome.
Next we had a 4-hour layover in Munich. It was a little bit long, but I'm sure the extra time NOT on a plane helped the next plane ride not feel quite so long. They watched a little Phineas and Ferb on the iPad because I found an outlet to use. They colored and watched the planes coming and going. Vanessa even involved Tim in a photo shoot with her stuffed animals and an old camera she had. She took pictures of him with the animals and had him take pictures of her with the animals. I believe they even took some shots of just the animals posed just right.
The second flight was the long flight, and it was just that -- LONG! The kids actually did remarkably well. There must have been a lot of you praying! They seemed pretty content with the in-flight movies even though they were in English. They slept some, colored some, and anxiously awaited the drinks and food that would be brought around (SO my kids!). Vanessa's pill wore off a little way into this flight, and she seemed to be doing so well that I never followed up with another. The landing, however, made her queasy. So we decided to give her half a pill before the final flight.
Our layover in Charlotte was a fairly short one, but the good Lord had our flight actually arrive early, and we needed it. In my fatigue, I gave the first security person the wrong stack of papers. See, I had two sets. One was a set of sealed papers only to be opened by immigration. The other was our set of originals. It had been stressed to us that the sealed packet must remain sealed or they would not be accepted. So, in Munich I showed my originals with our passports in order to get through security. When we got to Charlotte and the first security person, I did the same. I did not know that he would keep them and our passports and send them to the immigration people. I may have also been thinking that I was not yet at my final destination -- I wasn't home yet. We were sent on to claim our luggage (which we would have to recheck) and then sent to a small room to wait for our passports to be returned to us. At one point, Vanessa had to go to the bathroom. When I returned, Tim was outside the room by our luggage, and I thought we were done. No, he had only come out to get the sealed packets. He said that someone had showed up, said we had not given them the right papers, and got the sealed packets from him. We sat back down and waited some more. Finally, we were called and given our passports. I asked the man if we didn't need some of the papers back. He said no. I said that we were told we needed to keep our originals. He assured me that they do this all the time...it's okay. Reluctantly, we got our things and left. That guy did not know that we had given two sets of papers. He was just returning our passports as he did many times with others. Now, we are trying to get new originals of their birth certificates and the adoption decree sent to us from Bulgaria. Yay. Finally, we were able to make it to our gate and call our parents that we were back on US soil.
The last flight was uneventful except that Vanessa was sleepy again but now also truly tired and therefore cranky. Milcho also fell asleep. We arrived in Nashville to a small but eager welcome party. Thank you Jennifer Sade for meeting us, and thank you Jennifer, Brad, Karsten, and Kylie Evans for bringing Colton and Eli to meet us. We chatted awhile, claimed our bags, and headed for Memaw's and pizza. I was glad not to have to go straight home to fix supper, but it did make us get home really late. Then we couldn't go straight to bed because there was so much new to take in. We finally and gratefully crashed.