What a whirlwind the last hours, days, have been. I believe today is Saturday. So, let’s backtrack. Chris worked on Wednesday while I worked more on preparing the house and getting us packed. A few quick visits with friends and last minute shopping and suddenly it was 4pm and Chris was on his way home. More last minute work, packing, and, oh, we should get some dinner! Anyway, 10pm rolled around and we called it quits and went to bed.
Bells, whistles, and guitars woke us at 3:00am. I couldn’t figure out who had let these people in my house, but a quick slap of the alarms and they went away. 45 minutes later a friend arrived to take us to the airport.
I am forever in love with the Tyler airport. This time it was actually cheaper to fly out of Tyler than Dallas, but even if it were more, the fact that it’s 20 minutes from our door to theirs, there are no lines and arriving an hour before your flight is more than enough time, AND no DFW traffic… worth every penny. Where else will the same lady check you in, tag your bags, be the gate attendant, and then guide the plane out with the big orange flashlights!
I am proud to announce that our trip was, for the most part, uneventful. I do hate Frankfurt airport. I had quite the pat down, and the airport has a funky smell. It is old and yucky, though they are trying to remodel some of it. It was also the only flight that was late leaving. All other flights were on time, if not early. And the entertainment system on our overseas flight was awesome. (Paying a bit extra for an upgrade to Economy Plus was more than worth it as well.)
We met up with another family in Frankfurt who is also adopting from Latvia. We knew we would be on the same flight, but this was our first meeting in person. Later this afternoon I will go help them purchase some things they need.
We arrived in Riga with all of our luggage and a strange feeling… it all felt so normal. Seriously. We were amazed it felt so normal. Our friend Cheryl picked us up from the airport and we stopped to pick up some food things at a store we’d been to many times before. It was odd… I felt like it should have been more “mysterious”. But, it’s Latvia. Sure, things have changed, but it smells the same. It tastes the same. It feels the same. We’ve already seen some of our old friends who stopped by, and it was just so normal.
After a good 8 hours of sleep and a nice hot shower, I sit here in my friend’s sunroom watching her cats chase birds in the backyard while drinking strong black tea, and it almost feels like we never left.
Almost. I catch a glimpse of my phone that has the picture of 2 girls on it that I’ve never met but am hoping to make a part of our family. Then I remember all our friends who have helped us, and our church who have walked this journey with us, and all the work we’ve been doing for the past year to get to this place.
And then I realize the biggest difference in Latvia now, compared to 4 years ago… is me.