This is it -- our final day in Moscow for a long time. While we were dreading leaving Katie, we were also excited to go home to see our boys. We went to the orphanage for one more quick visit with Katie before heading to the airport. She came to us carrying the Teddy Bear that we had given her yesterday and she never let go of it. It was so precious. The way she looks at me shows such love, adoration, and trust, and my heart melts every time I look at her. We didn't have long to play, but we had a great time with her, and we took a picture of Katie with one of her caregivers. I don't know her name, but it's obvious how much she loves Katie and that warms our hearts knowing that she's not just fed and clothed, but she is LOVED.
As we were leaving, Katie was being led to her room at the same time. The Russian word for goodbye is do svidanya, but the word for bye is poka (pah-kah). Everyday when we left we would say, "poka," and she would blow us a kiss. Today, Katie and I were saying, "poka," back and forth to each other as she was walking down her hallway and I was walking down mine. We couldn't see each other, but we were still saying (yelling, by the end), "poka," to each other over and over again. We knew when she entered her stairwell, because her voice started to echo! It was perhaps the cutest thing I've ever been a part of. We probably said "poka" 15-20 times each. It made me want to run back and hold her again, but I knew if I did that I'd never leave.
Andrei seemed in a hurry to get us to the airport, but we seemed to be early. The traffic was lighter than usual and we got to the airport 4 hours before our flight left. We weren't even allowed to check in until 3 hours before the flight, so we just sat. Andrei had picked up his wife, cat, and luggage while we were visiting with Katie, and after he dropped us off at the airport, he went on to his "country home" for the weekend. Hmmm, I wonder why we got to the airport so early? At least I got lots of cross stitching done on Katie's Christmas stocking.
Our flight to Washington, D.C. was long (10 1/2 hours) but uneventful. I can't sleep going west due to the constant daylight, so I worked on my cross stitch the whole time. Did you know that you can get sore muscles from cross stitching? After landing in Washington, we went through passport control, got our bags, went through customs, rechecked the bags, and checked in with United. After getting everything taken care of, we ate dinner -- American food! On the plane over the Atlantic we ate absolutely everything they gave us, and it tasted so good. Then we ate a full dinner at the restaurant in the airport. Any weight that we may have lost while we were in Moscow was gained back on Saturday! I was (and still am) so tired of dry, crunchy, salty foods. We basically lived on the snacks that we had packed.
We boarded our flight back to Kansas City at 9:40, which was 5:40 AM to our bodies, and we were getting pretty tired. We boarded the plane, and we were sitting waiting for the ground crew to finish everything, when the captain offered a trivia question. Whoever got it right first by pushing the call button could move up to first class for the flight. Well, Steve is proudly the king of trivia, so he had his finger about 1/2 inch below the call button when the flight attendant started asking the question. She hadn't even finished it when Steve pushed the button. She worked her way back to find out his answer, and sure enough, John Adams was in fact the 2nd president of the United States. They let us both move up instead of just Steve. In first class they had those head rests that angle forward on either side of your head so you can rest your head on it kind of like a child in a car seat. Well, I wish I could tell you about that flight home, but I don't remember the take off, flight, or landing! Thank you, Steve!