Our trip home was uneventful, for the most part. The most stressful was in Zurich. We had a 45 minute layover and we knew that having to go through security was going to make it tight. We are not exactly sure how, but Hubby's small pocket knife got put into one of our carry-ons. They missed it in Belgrade, but it was noticed in Zurich. Because it was so small, they did not confiscate it, but it did hold us up for about 10 minutes before they found it. Then I had to try to repack the suitcase quickly (I had it so perfect before) but things did not want to fit after they rummaged through it. Anyway, we got it done and practically ran to the gate which was difficult for Hubby because he was carrying her as well as his backpack. But we made it and with time to spare. The airline held the plane for about 20 minutes because there was a group of 25 students that they were waiting for. It was surprising that the plane was less than 1/2 full. I have never seen that many empty seats on an international flight. J slept most of the long flight which was good. She is quite a plane traveler. She grins the entire time unless there is turbulence....then she laughs hysterically. She acts like the bumpy plane is an amusement park ride. :) She did eat a little of the dinner on the flight as well as a couple of the snacks. We were happy with any calories we could get into her at that point.
Arriving at Newark, we had to go through customs, immigration, security and then get the tickets for our last leg. After we did all that, Hubby decided enough was enough and put J down to have her walk. She screamed!! It was kind of nice that it was late because people just thought she was a tired toddler who had enough traveling so we got a lot of reassuring smiles instead of glares. It was true that she was tired and probably had had enough of traveling, however, she was screaming more because she DID NOT WANT TO WALK! We finally got to our gate and she was happy to sit. I took the opportunity to take her to the bathroom and change her. We were so very blessed that we didn't have a major blowout diaper on the plane like we did with both boys. Of course, a child has to eat and she had eaten very little our last few days. I also made her walk and she loudly voiced her displeasure. I guess she figured out that screaming wasn't helping because she quietly walked once the diaper change was over and we headed back to our gate. She was so patient and sat quietly (with very little rocking) until it was time for our plane to leave.
We had not told the boys we were coming home. We knew that we wouldn't get home until around 2am and they had school the next day. So, I surprised them by waking them up the next morning. V was so very excited to see me and I got a HUGE hug! F walked right by me. Both were the reactions I expected. lol
Both boys were terrified of her when we first came home. They would stand far away from her and just stare. I think both of them were just very confused that she was so much smaller than they are. But, they are better now. V has even been known to help her get out of her coat and boots when we get home...although she is beginning to learn how to do those things herself. She is slowly learning to have a little independence. F pretty much ignores her. I think, in his brain, if he pretends she isn't here, she won't be. He does not deal well with change. We know he will get there, but it will take him time.
Eating has not been the problem that we feared. Like I mentioned earlier, she did not want to eat much the last few days we were in Serbia. If it was not chips or candy, she wanted nothing to do with it. Since her special need is a physical issue with her GI tract, we knew that the lack of eating and therefore lack of GI motion was bound to cause a problem. Since being home, she has taken a lot of cues from the boys and now eats pretty much anything they do. We are doing a lot of finger foods right now to encourage her to self feed. We are slowly working on the use of spoon or fork, but that is really slow going.
J really enjoys being with the boys and misses them terribly when they go to school. She is so super excited when she hears them come home and squeals. :)
She LOVES music. I really enjoy a group called Celtic Thunder and our girlie loves them too! We have a couple DVD's of their concerts and she dances and sings with the music and when the song is done, she will clap and whoop. It is the cutest thing!
She was fearful of the animals when she first came home, but now she is best friends with both....although out cat, Sammy, is the one who receives most of her attention. We have to stop her "loving" him sometimes because he just wants to sleep.
She understands a good deal of what we say to her. She is not speaking much English but still a lot of Serbian. We are regaled with long stories nearly every day and we only are able to catch a few words here and there. But she is so animated and has so much to say! When we ask her a question, she will answer in Serbian. If we don't understand at first, she figures out a way (she is very good at showing us what she needs/wants) We are so very blessed to have this little girl in our family.