Friday, August 11, 2006

Greetings from Iowa!!!


We have now been home almost 2 weeks and everyone is settling in beautifully.  We had an interesting week in Almaty, Kazakhstan but were more than ready to depart to the U.S. on Sunday, the 30th of July with Jonathan. 


We left at 7:15 in the morning, Kaz time and flew to Amsterdam.  It took us quite a while to get through the Passport inspection stop in Almaty just because they are very thorough(and I’m glad they are!!)so we didn’t have a lot of time to kill before we boarded our plane for the first leg of our journey home. 


We didn’t get the bulk head which we thought would be somewhat of a problem for Jonathan to sleep, but the flight attendant moved some people so that I had two empty seats next to me so that he could lay down.  Everyone else on the plane was packed in like sardines but little Jonathan had most of the comforts of home. (I guess it pays to be cute!!)  I had a wonderful Frenchman who had 4 children of his own at the end of my row and he was very helpful to me the whole flight because Rachael and Bryan were several rows back.  He loved children and was quick to get me what I needed even before I knew that I did.  It didn’t hurt that Jonathan fell asleep right after take off and slept for the first 3 hours of the flight until Rachael decided she needed to give me a break?!?!?! At which time he woke up.  All was not lost though we just played in the seats, ate a little food, drank some juice and milled around the plane when we could.  He did GREAT.  We landed in Amsterdam and I was thinking 1 leg down, one layover and the long leg to go.  We can do this. 


We found plenty to do in the Amsterdam airport-most of which was spent searching out this “children’s play area.’  Well, we finally found it and there wasn’t much to it so we opted to keep walking but it did manage to kill an hour.  Three more to go before our next flight.  None of us were all that anxious to get back on the plane-at least not just yet so we ate some lunch and walked around exploring a bit more. 


The time came and it was our turn to get on the plane for Memphis.  Little did we know that KLM/Northwest give special privileges to families with small children so we got to go to the front of the line.  I’m sure people were less than thrilled by that but I was happy to get on the plane and settled.  This flight, which I mentioned was the long one-we hit pay dirt and got the bulk head seat.  That means we got a bassinet for the little man to sleep in which was a beautiful thing for everyone.  Again he did great.  He slept for the first 4 hours of this flight and the rest of the time was satisfied to sit in my lap, play and eat.  It made for many happy travelers around us and two happy parents and a sister.  He was such a trooper and a HUGE hit with the airline staff.  They loved him and did everything to make sure we were all comfortable. 


Finally we landed in Memphis and little Jonathan touched down on US soil.  He was now a US Citizen!!!! That was an exciting moment I will tell you.  I can’t say it was a lot of fun going through immigration with all of our luggage and a little one but we made it just fine and then had to run to catch our next flight which as luck would have it was all the way across the airport.  We made it with moments to spare and commented that aside from a few close calls on the flight times we had only one short delay between both trips and it was for weather.  All the rest were on time or early.  How did we manage that???


Again-Mr. Jonathan wowed us on the flight from Memphis to Des Moines.  It was short but he slept through the whole thing and didn’t wake until we landed in Des Moines.  That was good because he was about to encounter a lot of strange but admiring fans at the airport so we were hoping he would be his happy, smiling self.  Bryan and I found ourselves rather emotional just prior to landing-lots to be thankful for and so happy to be home.  We knew we would have a few family members waiting for us at the airport but we had no idea that both of our families and kids would be there.  The only ones we didn’t get to see was Bryan’s sister and her family but they had left earlier that morning for a mission trip to Mexico.  It was a great homecoming and Jonathan flashed everyone his famous smile and managed to endear himself even more(if that was possible) to his grandparents, aunts, uncles and many, many cousins.  He handled all of those strange faces like a champ. 


Since our arrival home, Jonathan has adjusted so amazingly well.  We had a few rough nights of sleeping while his body figured out day and night(we were 11 hours behind his normal body clock) but by Wednesday of that first week he was sleeping through the night with no problem and back to his normal two nap a day schedule. 


Our second day back, Jonathan had an appointment at the Dr.’s office.  Dr. Halbur wanted to check him out and make sure he was healthy.  She said he was absolutely beautiful and looked to be a happy, well cared for little boy.  She was very pleased.  She did however want to run some tests on him just to be sure so we had to go to the lab and little Jonathan had to have his blood drawn along with 4 additional shots.  We also had to do some samples to test for Giardia, which it ends up he had, but only 3 days on an antibiotic and he will have that whipped.  That is not an uncommon thing to get even in the U.S. so no worries. 


I have been able to spend the last 2 weeks with my children at home and have enjoyed it very much.  Rachael is doing well and has been a tremendous help to me.  She is a fabulous big sister and it won’t be long before Jonathan figures that out for himself.   His Daddy is pretty proud of him too and doesn’t miss an opportunity to show him off at the bank or around town.  We love being a family of four and look forward to each day and the memories we will continue to make together.  Until later……




Maggie, Bryan, Rachael, Jonathan and Harley



Jonathan with Grandma and Grandpa Bruner and his first lunch date.


The J-Man wants to walk and it won't be long before he is doing it all by himself. 



He looks good in his Colts uniform doesn't he??  Future fan if his aunts, uncles and cousins in Indy have anything to say about it!!



Rachael and Jonathan with his welcome home cake made by his Aunt Joy.  He didn't get to eat any, but we all sure enjoyed it!



Practicing his football moves....



Harley has another new buddy....Jonathan loves her too.  That is good news for Harley.