Sunday, November 29, 2009

We Made It!

Ok so here is quite a long update of our whole trip so far.

We had a slight delay leaving Minneapolis on friday. Turned out to be pretty cool though as we met a great woman and her son. The son over heard me talking to my mom on the phone and turns out to be from Garmish, Germany. We had a nice chat about Germany and of course he had lots of questions about our adoption. So did his mom. We talked for quite awhile and when he asked why "special needs" kids, all I could tell him was that it was God!! He nodded his head and gave us the thumbs up and was all smiles. He then asked for our names so he could add us to his prayer list. How amazing is that???? Just another sign for us that God is orchastrating this whole adoption. He did however, fail to mention how expensive Germany is :) Anyway, we boarded our plane and his mom asked if she could see my jewelry catalog. Of course I said sure! When we got off the plan(they sat quite a ways away from us) they were waiting til we got off. I got my catalog back along with compliments of the jewelry and then they said: "we have a gift for your new child". Behind his back, was a little pooh stuffed animal that he had gotten for him mom. This was so thoughtful and such a kind offering that I almost started crying. I also got their names and email and plan to send them a picture of Grace and her pooh bear!! Thank you so much again if you're reading this!!!

Ok, back to Germany. Once I accepted that we would just have to spend a bit more than planned, we had a much better time. We went to the Christmas market and saw some neat things. I tried real saurkraut, a bratwurst and gluhwein which is hot wine. I wasn't that impressed with the saurkraut or brat but the gluhwein was tastier than I expected as I'm not much of a wine drinker. I did get us a couple neat souveniers though but spent a little more than we budgeted for. We'll have to buy less where we are now.

We made it to Grace's city around 4:30 pm and our adoption facilitator met us at the airport. She's great and I already love her!! Her and her nephew drove us to our apartment where we met Vlado. He's in charge of our apartment arrangements. He's great too and took us on a little tour of the area. It was dark though so I'm not sure how much we'll remember in daylight. Vlado took us to the police station to register the address we are staying at. This is part of the paperwork process and we are following ALL rules and no shortcuts here. We then did a drive by of the orphanage and measured the distance as about 1 mile from our apartment. Not far to walk but there's a lot of traffic so we may take a taxi the first few times until we get brave. I know other families have walked and I want the exercise so we shall see. The weather is great so far, unseasonably warm for this time of year. YEAH!!! Vlado took us to a 7-11 type store to pick up a few groceries and then dropped us back off. There is a McDonald's less than 2 blocks from here so that's where we had dinner. Funny that since my gastric bypass in March, I can't stand McDonald's. Before my surgery, I could have eaten it every day. EWWWWWW!!!! Once we get a few more groceries, we'll be able to cook in our apartment but being Sunday evening, not much was open. Our apartment is really nice and even has a washing machine. I'm even using wireless internet right now.

So...the plan is to meet Jasmina outside our apartment at 10:45am tomorrow morning. We are 7 hours ahead of CST in MN in case anyone was wondering the time difference. We will then head to the adoption ministry for our appointment and official referral of Gracie. After that, it is my understanding that we'll finally get to meet our princess. I don't know what time that will be but I'm assuming it will be after their lunch and naps. I just pray she isn't afraid of us. This adoption is so different from our other 4 in that we will just get to visit her 2x/day until the adoption is final in about 2 weeks. The other kids were handed right over and we have them in our hotel for bonding the whole time. Needless to say, we'll have a lot of down time so I brought lots of books to read and we'll get to do some sight seeing. This city is gorgeous and I hope to get some great photos!!

So here are a few from our side trip to Germany. More to follow......

Shop after shop of just meats like this. Was making me ill actually!

I LOVE these. Jon's uncle Keith brought some tabletop size things like this. You use real candles and the heat turns the fan blades. So cool and what I wanted to buy for my souvenier from Germany. I got one and for a good price!!!

Our hotel that cost like a zillion dollars!

The ice skating rink at the airport Christmas market. I wanted to try it just to have my picture taken on the ice but I feared I would fall and then my pants would be wet and I'd be cranky so here I am "by" the ice :)

Oooooo Awwwww Gluhwein!!! Pretty tasty and warm!

My first bite of real German saurkraut. Yeah, wasn't that impressed. My mom's is much better(love you mom!)

P.S. everyone, Jon really is here with me and he got to taste the treats too. I promise to take some pictures of him too, lol!


Dawn Maria said...

Now I have tears in my eyes! Thanks Jon for putting this link on Twitter for our GWC community. You're all in my prayers too.


And patiently waiting... said...

Yeah, I am so glad you made it safely!! Can't wait to see you with your beautiful daughter!!

Cara and Doug said...

So glad you made it safely! Please say hello to J and Vlado for us! I am so ready for another trip to Gracie's country!

The walk is good exercise and easier on the way there than the way back! (if you are in the apartment we stayed in!)
The sausage....ooooooh, how I miss it. Doug and I would fry it a little to make it crispy and put a slice of cheese on it. Yum!
McDonald's. I think the chicken sandwich is better there than here! And it is a nice comfort from home.
We can't wait to see tomorrow's post! Prayers for you!

Sue said...

Hey there Sarah and Jon, Glad you made it to Grace's city. It was nice to chat with you on line. Can't wait to see pictures of you guys with Grace.

Kristin Joy said...

Thanks for the GREAT update and pictures!! Glad you are there safely!! I was beginning to wonder if Jon was there with you!! :)

Brenda Erickson Photography said...

Happy to hear you made it! Love the pics.....when I see your pic and Grace's I think she looks a lot like her Mommy :)

Sarah said...

Thanks Brenda, I kinda think so too. What's funny is that Grace's social worker said that Jon AND I both look like her birth parents. Crazy!!