Honestly, this trip has hit me harder than the last two. Almost as if my body is saying, "Ummm... this is the fifth time you've traveled through 12 time zones in five weeks! You're seriously going to do this to me??" I'm pretty exhausted. To the point where my friend and I had crashed together in the van and our interpreter asked, "Do you want to go to the hotel to rest or do you want to go to the orphanage?" We jolted up and immediately answered, "The orphanage!" Sleep deprivation will never keep us from seeing our babies... even if Ella and I just fell asleep together in the room. ;)
Today is Gotcha Day! Being twelve hours ahead, it is the 20th here but not yet Jacob's birthday (for him) until tonight. My sister had him call me yesterday though. It caught me a little off-guard because nobody has called us yet in Russia (mostly because it is $5.99 a minute. ;) You know what though? That all melted out the door when I heard his little voice. Just like always, he excitedly wanted to know if it was morning in Russia and if we were going to see baby Ella. I talked to him for a few minutes while Adam gave me the 'this is $5.99 a minute' nudge. "But I just have to tell you one more thing mommy! I'm building forts with Travis!" It was sooooo amazing to hear his voice. Priceless. :) It filled my heart with joy for the entire day and I couldn't stop talking about how much it meant to me. I am so thankful for my sister and brother-in-law. Knowing that my little guy is in such amazing, FUN hands on his birthday means the world to me. Hearing his happy little voice when I felt so exhausted was everything.
Our other sweet boys are taking turns with my mom, Adam's parents, and Adam's brother/sister-in-law. They have ALL gone out of their way to be there for us. We truly thought with three trips to Russia we were going to need a nanny or extra help somehow and I was pretty concerned about it. Our family has come through when we needed them the most though. We can't ever thank them enough. Knowing that our boys are safe and happy is of the utmost importance and the ONLY thing that allows us to focus on Ella and getting our sweet girl home. We have the best family in the world.
I love how it works out that both sides of our family will get to meet Ella first when we come home for Christmas. Although I appreciate the offers, we don't really want a huge airport thing. We just want to go home to Christmas with our family, with everyone who has worked so hard to help us get her home.
Today a year's worth of paperwork, apostilles, re-doing paperwork, re-doing apostilles, blood work, doctor appointments, waiting, hoping, praying... have all paid off. We are carrying our little girl, our answered prayer, into our arms and lives forever. Gotcha Day.