17 May 2011
On May 14, 2011 Brandon and I needed to wake up at 4:00am to get to the airport in Kiev on time. As usual, Brandon awoke with a smile. He helped sit on the suitcase while I zipped it up. He carried his own suitcase down the 8 flights of stairs as well as his backpack stuffed to the brim. He even held the door while I struggled to get my 50 pound suitcase, backpack and purse out the narrow doorway. He’s a little gentleman!
Throughout the flight he was super good. He never ever complained. He never asked for anything except “How long until we see Papa?” in Russian. He was fascinated at the airport with watching planes take off and landing. He loved the food on board the plane. He enjoyed the movie and music service on the 10 hour flight. 22 hours in all was our travel time and he was an absolute joy to hang out with!
We arrived safely in the States around 7pm on 5/14/2011!!! Our luggage, however, did not arrive. It made me a bit nervous because I checked my laptop. My laptop has all my college instructor files and student grades and a million priceless family photos that I really should back up! I checked the laptop because our layovers were very short and I had a lot to accomplish during the layovers. Brandon needed special paperwork at Passport Control. We had to visit the Green Visa area and we needed to check our luggage, go through security and re-check our luggage. There was no time to mess with a laptop! Anyway, thankfully our luggage was returned to us the following evening.
We were greeted by our family—Tim, Katie, Kylie and Haley—holding a sign that said in Russian “Welcome to America, Brandon.” We shared hugs and we were happy that Brandon was fine with giving and receiving hugs from 3 anxious little sisters. All 4 kids immediately teased, laughed and played with each other.
Sunday 5/15/11 Tim and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary!!! I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our marriage by spending the entire day together (after 7 long weeks of traveling). Even though it was Sunday and we would normally go to church, we really thought it best to spend the day bonding together. The kids swam in the pool, we hit some baseballs, all 4 kids rode their bikes and we introduced Brandon to the wonderful American experience of Wal*Mart!! Finally, Tim took us all out to Carrabba’s to celebrate Brandon’s homecoming and our anniversary! How exciting it was to finally hear for the very first time “Kerr, Party of SIX. Your table is ready.”