We were not supposed to leave Russia until Tuesday, May 22nd, but we finished everything we had to do at the American Embassy on Friday, May 18th. Chris was able to get our flights changed, and we left on Saturday May 19th. I didn't get the confirmation that we were definitely booked on a flight until 9 p.m. Friday, and we had to be ready to go at 7 a.m. Saturday. I packed pretty quickly!
We got to the airport and got checked in pretty easily, considering the amount of hands I have and the number of things I had to carry. Katie was an amazing traveler. She was so good and patient.
She sat right down in her seat and got buckled up.
Our flight from Moscow to JFK in New York was over 9 hours.
She was awake for the entire flight.
We played with Flat Stanley for a bit - he had quite an adventure!
She played with the headphones for about an hour. Who knew they were so interesting?
When she got bored we would take her clothes off and she would put them back on again, over and over. She would put her shirt on her head and play hide and seek. She would ball her shirt up and we'd play catch with it....we got very creative with our games!
We had a few suckers, which were good for about 20 minutes of activity. Girlfriend can get down on a lollipop.
We did lots and lots of coloring and sticker-ing. This little $1 journal from the Dollar Tree was seriously the best toy I brought with me. She loves to color in it, put stickers in and take them out, pretend to read, etc.
She loved to pull the tray table down and put it back up. I'm quite certain the man in front of her didn't love it. I will be honest that I really didn't care. I tried to keep her from doing it, but that just seemed to make her want to do it more.
She didn't start to fuss at all until the last 90 minutes of the flight. And let's be honest - there were fussy adults at that point. I strapped her into the baby carrier and we walked up and down the aisles. When she was sick of that, got her out of the carrier and she walked up and down the aisles with me. I didn't like that as much, because she wants to touch everyone. Let's just say most Russians don't seem open to unsolicited touches by a small four year old.
We got to JFK and I have seriously NEVER been so happy to be in America before. And I had the newest, cutest American citizen!! We breezed through Customs. I was anticipating a 2-ish hour process to get through. Or 15 minutes. I could have kissed our immigration agent.
Katie ran and ran around in our gate while we were waiting for our plane. She had been awake for roughly 24 hours at that point, and she was still amazing. I promise you she felt better than I did at that point! She didn't fall asleep on our plane from NYC to Nashville until we were literally about 20 minutes from landing. She was otherwise awake the entire trip home. And not crabby at all!
We landed in Nashville about 20 minutes early. That didn't make for a really exciting homecoming, because we got there almost before everyone else! I was so, so happy to see our friends and family. And they were all so excited to see miss Katie Ruth!
My sweet friend Kelly took some wonderful pictures for us. She told me later she had "never shot something that moved so fast"!
The boys were SO excited to see her. They kept screaming "KATIE! KATIE! KATIE!" And Jack was hilarious, going up to her, patting her head, and saying in the sweetest voice, "Hi Katie. It's me, your big brother Jack. It's so nice to finally meet you." I don't think Jack realizes that he's younger than her!
This is one of my favorite pictures Kelly took - I LOVE it.
Sister caught her second (or third? or fourth?) wind at the airport and was running around with her brothers and our friend Matthew like crazy.
I am beyond incredibly happy to have my whole family together. We are so proud of this little girl and everything she is and is going to be.
We got home and she passed out in bed and slept for twelve hours. She had an awesome first night home, and we are so happy to finally truly be The Simpson Six!