Well, I am not going to lie and pretend that the first week home was a dream come true.
Sadly, I tell the truth whether people want the truth or not. More on that soon.
We arrived home late Saturday evening. The flights were not something I ever want to live through again.
They were not horrible, but they were not good either.
The first flight had both children sitting on either side of me, but only after some seat changing since they had our seats all messed up. Adam, stranger, me, aisle, Kevin, stranger, Matthias. Luckily the man sitting between Adam and I switched and took Matthias' window seat. We were boarded first since we had requested handicap assistance ahead of time. As we were boarding the plane, I smelt this awful smell. Turns out Adam;s stomach finally got upset by the change in diet and he had poop everywhere....... I was so thankful to see that they had changing tables in the restrooms. Then as we got the boys all sat down, they both started screaming at the top of their lungs. Everyone was staring at me! Luckily they both settled down once we were airborn. Matthias wanted to play with the tray table which was not ok. He did not like being told no!
We had a decent layover and the kids did well while we waited in Germany. As we boarded the long flight to the USA, Adam went into shock. He was screaming and crying and nothing I did settled him down. They had the engines off, so we did not have any air. I tried fanning him, but nothing worked. He was gasping, paler than usual (which is hard to do) and so distraught. Luckily after about an hour he finally settled down. I'm seriously wondering what would have happened if the guy that was supposed to sit next to Adam had not switched. They had Kevin and Matthias sitting by each other, but Adam was sitting by himself between 2 strangers. I was 13 rows in front of them. The guy sitting next to Adam did not want to switch until I offered to let him take care of Adam during the 9.5 hour flight.... I have never seen someone move so fast. The rest of the flight went fairly well. I was even able to doze off a couple of times.
When we got off the plane, we were in the USA where my boys would become citizens. We landed in the Dulles Washington D.C. Airport. We waited until last like usual and waited to see who was there to assist us. A lady from the airport came down the ramp and told all of the "handicap assistance" people to leave. I explained that we needed one of them. She looked at me and said "why?" I explained that my children were disabled. She asked if they needed a wheelchair. I said well neither can walk, but since my one son cannot hold his own head up we use the stroller instead of a wheelchair. She said that they could not offer us assistance then. I questioned "why?" She said it is not her fault we chose to travel with infants. I explained that my children were 6 years old and that it "was not my fault" they had been neglected for 6+ years of their lives. I told her if she preferred we could either put luggage or Matthias in the wheelchair. She refused and said that they would not help us. The head flight attendant and pilot got off the plane and were yelling at here. They reminded her very loudly that she had to help us due to the ADA and that we had requested assistance ahead of time. We only had 2 hours to get through customs, go through the citizenship area and get through security and be on our flight. I did not have time for this. I was in tears and walked away. A nice worker agreed to help us use the elevator since it requires a key.
We got down to customs and were sent through the citizen line even though I repeatedly told the gentleman that we had 2 new citizens. Of course we got to the front of the line and were told we were in the wrong line. After some pleading and tears running down my face, the gentleman let us go to the front of the line and sent us to a non-citizen window. We got through that part ok, then we had to go to the office where the submit the paperwork for citizenship. The guy working there was very kind and got us in and out pretty fast which was a huge relief because at this point we had just 1 hour before boarding our final flight.
Up next was going through security again. We waited in a long line! When we finally got to the front, the guy was a complete jerk!!! He told us that both boys would need to get out of the stroller and walk through the metal detector. I explained that neither of them could walk. He asked me how old they were. I told him they were both 6 years old. He responded that if they were 6 and could not walk then we should have an assistant from the airport with us. I lost it on the inside, but tried to remain calm on the outside. I tried to explain what happened. He still insisted that Matthias walk through on his own. It took us 6 times to get him through without him touching the sides. I was trying so hard not to scream at the top of my lungs!! They reluctantly agreed to let me carry Adam through. Then they would not give us our stroller, so we are trying to hold both boys while gathering all of our stuff off the conveyer belt. The lady working there ran to get our stroller and processed it quickly. We finally got the boys all settled and were on our way to the gate. We walked to the elevator and were told we could not use it....... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? So up the escalator with our double stroller we went.
We finally got on our last flight even though it was delayed, I was thankful to be on the final leg. We all had seats close together, so no trading was needed. Matthias and Adam were both crying at first and again people stared. Matthias finally settled down and slept the entire flight. Adam, on the other hand, cried the entire 5 hour flight :(
Adam on the first flight.... sad boy
Matthias on first flight
The final flight
This flight attendant was so sweet the entire flight and when Kevin went to the restroom, she sat with Matthias and just talked to him and rubbed his arm :)