Getting ready for Serbia was a whirlwind operation for us. We were scheduled to fly out at 7:00 PM November 1st, the day after Halloween. For those of you who know us, you know we take Halloween to next level with a pretty elaborate set up including a few animatronics, fog machines and way too many decorations. It has become an annual thing with us and even though we knew we had to leave we did not want to disappoint our kids let alone the hundreds of trick or treaters we usually get. Last year the number was 447, this year only 210, which is still a ton of kids! While this lead up to Halloween was going on we also had to pack for ourselves, and the 3 girls for their stay at grandpa’s house. That is a lot of packing to be done. All credit in this case goes to Sheila, I’m not very good at packing (just giving my opinion, which Sheila justifiably ignores!)
To pile onto the hustle and bustle we had virtually everyone in the house with colds, strep throat, bronchitis and various other ailments, all of which required doctors’ visits and many medications, nothing like good timing! Sheila annually in the fall gets bronchitis which more often than not leads to pneumonia. She was determined that would not happen, so two trips to the doctor later she was happily taking prednisone, antibiotics, decongestants and lots of cough medicine for her bronchitis AND sinus infection. Me, I was feeling that sore throat coming on, you know the one that you absolutely know is going to be a cold? So off I went to target to get some Zicam, Airborne and probiotics to fight off the cold. Of the two of us when we left Sheila was in far rougher shape. Halloween night was busy, the girls got to go out for a bit and Michael got to scare hundreds of neighbor kids with his friend Hunter. The next day was real crunch time.
Friday morning meant getting all the Halloween decorations down as quick as possible and juggling everything else. I needed to work for a couple hours that morning, then had lots of help from Michael, Hunter, my friend Tim and Sheila’s brother Ryan. The decorations got down, we got the house (relatively) clean, the final packing done, a few final runs for cash and essentials to leave for Michael. Good byes are always hard for us, to leave your kids for three weeks in any way, shape or form is hard. I just wish they weren't so happy to see us go. For Michael it meant the house to himself (relatively, my sister lives three houses away!) for 3 weeks. For the girls it meant 3 weeks at grandpa’s house. Grandpa is awesome, as far as father in-laws go I couldn't really ask for more, he has helped us so much with each adoption and is just a rock for the family. Unfortunately he also has grandpa’s prerogative and lets the girls eat what they want, when they want. I think the last adoption when we got Masha, Caelia and Lera each gained close to 10 pounds or so. Caelia kept saying “Momma, daddy go, Cae go to grandpas and get chips and cheese” which is Caelia speak for “See ya later, have fun”.
After the hugs and kisses off we went to the airport, we figured since the flight left at 7:00 we would beat rush hour and get there by 4:30, which we easily did thanks to my sister Colleen. More hugs and we were in the airport, bags checked and through security pretty quickly. We decided to have quiet dinner at Chili’s in the airport. I took more Zicam had a lite somewhat healthy meal and we both drank lots of water. All in all we both felt pretty good, I was pretty sure my cold was going to just go away and Sheila’s lungs and sinuses were feeling pretty good. I always like to start a trip off feeling good, clean and healthy, this being our third international adoption we like to think we have gotten pretty good at the process and can handle some curveballs here and there. All we had to do now was sit back and wait for the plane.