We said our goodbyes to the Webers and left for the airport around 8 AM on Monday (30 March). The boys were so excited that they hardly ate any breakfast. Check-in went smoothly. I was a bit nervous about Ukrainian immigration even though our facilitators had prepared all the documents necessary to take the kids out of the country. I guess that after so many months of ups and downs in the adoiption process, I was a bit worried that I'd run into another roadblock. Fortunately, everything went smoothly. The immigration offical disappeared with the boys' passports and other documents for about 5 minutes, came back out and stamped everything.
The flight was a real ordeal for me as the boys did not sleep a wink during the 10 hours from Kiev to JFK. I allowed them a few hours to, hopefully, get some of their excitement out of them then gave them a half tablet of Tylenol PM so they could rest. I waited and waited for the pills to kick in but they never did. Later, I gave each another half tablet but with the same results. Some of the stewardesses were very nice and helpful. A couple were Russian speakers and another was actually from Virginia Beach. Also, a lady with four kids of her own (not with her on the flight, though) volunteered to take care of Oleg for a while.
As typical boys, they could not sit still for long. Even the personal in-flight entertainment systems did not really hold their attention. Oleg was seated next to the wondow as we approached New York. We were still above the clouds and he pointed to them excitedly, saying the Russian word for "snow" and Saint Nick! Arriving New York, the boys got to sit in the cockpit for a few moments. We then went through the regular immigration line then had to go into a room and wait for a second review of documents. Once we completed that, the boys became official Americans, eligible for US passports.
We went to a lounge for our long wait. I kept trying to get the boys to sleep. Finally, after much kicking and screaming, Oleg konked out on the floor at 6:30 PM, 1:30 AM Kiev time. Sasha never did sleep until we were on the short flight from New York to Norfolk. We were met at the airport by Maggie and Renee. Due to the late arrival (almost 10 PM), we did not ask any friends to come out. The boys were so excited to arrive at their new home, chiefly because they were dying to meet Simba, our labrador-retriever. Maggie and several friends had worked hard to transform the guestroom I knew into a room suitable for two boys. Renee wanted to sleep with her two brothers so she slept on the top bunk while Sasha slept on the bottom and Oleg on a separate single bed.
Thanks so much to all who encouraged us through this long process. Sometimes we wondered if we would survive but we thank the Lord for giving us these two precious boys!