Well, we made it! It was an 11-hour flight to Atlanta, a 4-hour layover, a 2-hour flight to Kansas City, and a 9-hour time difference. When our plane landed, we had been up for 24 hours.
Katie slept 1 hour on our flight to Atlanta. She really handled the flight very well, all things considered, but after the battery died in the DVD player and Cinderella went bye-bye, she was not as amicable as before.
We tried to get her to lie down and sleep some more later in the flight, but she was so tired that she started refusing very loudly. Not wanting to be pushed out of the emergency exit by a disgruntled passenger, we relented. However, as the plane was descending and we all had our seatbelts on, she decided that she was too exhausted to sit up and started crying (very loudly) because she couldn't lay down. Therefore, Steve broke all FAA rules and held her as we touched down in Atlanta. Here is the moment that Katie became a U.S. citizen.
She perked up in Atlanta, and was enthralled with my cell phone as we passed the time. I didn't have it on at all in Moscow because it won't work there, so the first time she saw it was when I pulled it out to call our parents. We boarded our plane to KC, and Katie fell asleep before the rest of the passengers finished boarding. She slept the whole 2 1/2 hours except for a 30-minute stretch in the middle when she was very fussy trying to get comfortable again. She was plum tuckered out!
We arrived at the KC airport to find our parents just beaming away at their first sight of Katie. Katie was more than a little bit grumpy and had nothing to do with any of them. We went straight to bed as soon as we got home, and we all slept pretty well that first night. The boys were still at my parents' house, Katie was in her bed, Steve was in our bed, and I was on an air mattress on Katie's floor. She woke up at 3:30 crying, but after I calmed her down, she went back to sleep until 9:00.
Yesterday, she woke up and met the cat first. Then we went to my parents' house to get Alex (Derek had gone to school that morning.). After her nap, Derek got off the bus, and then we brought the dog home last. She has done well with each introduction, and she absolutely LOVES playing with Alex. Alex loves playing with her, too, but he won't admit it. She's still trying to figure out Derek, and Derek LOVES to hear Katie talk.
Last night, we all slept in the same places except the boys were now home, and they were in their beds. Katie woke up at 2:00, but wasn't crying. She just woke me, I sat up, and she laid down in my bed on my pillow. I simply put her back in bed, and she went back to sleep. This morning we sent both boys to school, and Katie had her pediatrician appointment. The doctor is very pleased with her development, so now we are just trying to get more medical information from Russia. We had asked for certain information, but we didn't get it (or it wasn't translated), so we're trying to fix that. She also got a stuffy nose starting Sunday night, so we suspect that she may have allergies. We're starting her on medicine, and we'll see how she responds.
Katie is really adjusting beautifully into our family, and the boys are doing a great job with her as well. The only issue right now is getting her to bed. In Moscow, she went to bed very well the first few days, and then it became increasingly more difficult. She has moved gradually from walking calmly to bed and climbing in, to sulking, to whimpering, to silent tears, to choked sobs, to crying, to screaming. Since the screaming didn't start until we got home with Alex, we think she just doesn't want to stop playing with him. We think the build up prior to that is for another reason. We have read that sometimes when children from orphanages get adopted, they are afraid to go to sleep because they are afraid that when they wake up their new mom and dad will be gone. This makes alot of sense with her because as we have spent more and more time together, her bond with us is greater, she has more invested, and she has more to lose if we are gone. Now obviously we are not going anywhere, and we are confident that she will come to realize that eventually. It will just take some time. She doesn't cry for long because she falls asleep so quickly, and we don't have the same problem if she wakes up during the night.
Alex and Katie before Alex started his first day of Kindergarten (Derek was already at school). For 2 kids with no commom genes, don't they look alot alike?
Alex, Katie, and Derek