Saturday, November 22, 2014

Finally Headed Home

Sorry that it has been so long since we have been able to update our blog.  You will read about the craziness of our lives in an upcoming blog posting.  However, this post is all about our adventure back to the United States.

On May 23, Joey, Jeremiah, and Katie said their goodbyes to our dear friends at GSF.  We headed to the U.S. Embassy in Kampala to pick up the kids’ passports and visas.  What a relief to finally have these in hand (see the previous blog for the craziness of the process to finally get these documents so we could go home).  The night before, we booked tickets home, and Sarah left Zoe, Micah, and Caleb again to return to Uganda.  After we left the U.S. Embassy, we went to the airport in Entebbe to pick up Sarah. 

We were able to spend a couple days in Entebbe bonding again.  We stayed at Airport Guest House in Entebbe, and we were able to do some shopping, visit the zoo, play at Lake Victoria, get a good last meal, and prepare our paperwork so that we could leave the country.

Our flight out of Uganda left at 1:00am on May 26 (Memorial Day in the USA), so we put the kids to bed, and then woke them up to head to the airport.  Thankfully the check-in process went smoothly, and we did not receive any problems from the immigration officials.  Jeremiah especially was so excited to get on the airplane.  We ate a meal, and we all crashed on this first flight to London.  We had a five hour layover in Heathrow, so after a good cup of coffee and breakfast, we headed off to lets the kids play in an indoor playground.  We made it through this time with no meltdowns, and we then headed off to our second flight, which was from London to Philadelphia.  The first half of this flight went smoothly again; we ate a meal, and the kids slept again for a few hours.  However, with about three hours to go, they were wide awake and Sarah and Joey were not.  We had lessons of how to not hit the touch screen in the back of the seat to hard and made lots of trips up and down the aisles to the back to the plane.  The kids got bored with the fun activities we brought with us, and the same episode of Dora no longer was entertaining.  However, we eventually made it to Philadelphia in the late afternoon.

We cleared immigration and customs with no problems (though the lines were really long).  We had some slight meltdowns trying to collect bags and then waiting for secondary inspection of the kids’ visa paperwork.  However, we finally made it through the exit, and we were greeted by Zoe, Micah, Caleb, Mimi & Papa (Sarah’s parents), and our dear friends the Spronks (Steve, Tiffany, Adam, Brandon, Corey, and Dylan). 

We took a few quick photos, packed up the cars, and started our journey back to our house.  On the way home, we were greeted by two groups of people in our neighborhood – first, from people at our neighborhood pool a few blocks from our house, and then on our street.  What a fun homecoming!  We said our goodbyes to our friends, and then to Mimi and Papa, and then we all crashed.  Everyone was in their beds, and we were all under one roof.  What a relief, and a blessing!

Blessings to you all,
Joey, Sarah, Zoe, Micah, Caleb, Jeremiah, and Katie