OK, I am pretty sure that reality has sunk in. We have now been parents for almost two weeks. Our little guy has been to three continents, three countries, and traveled across 14 time zones and is doing great. There has been so much that has happened since we were last able to update. We spent about a week and a half in Almaty. This was an interesting time for us. We attempted to explore and learn about a very large city with a baby and very little instruction, we really missed our friends from Uralsk. Fortunately Emerson loves exploring and actually does so much better when he is out and about. Right now Almaty still seems like one big blur.
As far as traveling over half way around the world, I am very happy to say that Emerson handled it very well. We had a bassinet seat for both international flights and it was wonderful. It was probably a blessing in disguise that we had to fly all the way to LA, because they don't have them on domestic flights. We were also lucky because the service on Lufthansa was the best care we have ever received flying economy on any airline. Anything we needed they had. Every time I walked around with Emerson they would give him a toy, and me a chocolate bar and a drink. He has a blast flirting with all of the flight attendents. I don't think he is used to being smiled at by so many. The world was definitely his stage yesterday.
LA was crazy and we were super tired. When we got to customs we went into the citizen line (which is what we were told to do.) We waiting in line for 30-45 minutes (after an 11 hour flight) only to be told to go to another line, that we had to wait in for 45 min. Then we gave the man his "do not open" packet of immigration paperwork. He unceremoniously took it and told us to take a seat. At this point the cranky, wet, and hungry baby decided he had enough of the process. Well good old bureaucracy as usually was deaf to his VERY loud screams so we waited another hour until we were finally called up. He handed us back his passport with a piece of paper stating that he was now a US citizen. That's it? No hand shake, congratulations, just a stamp and NEXT... Needless to say it was a bit anti-climatically. Oh well. Then we got to go on a wild scavenger hunt to find our next flight. I sure am glad that we did not have to figure it our in Russian because I don' think it would have happened. We then found the United ticket counter and I was able to get my boarding pass for the last leg. We managed to find some Mexican food in the airport which was very good, or at least I think it was, but were were pretty numb by that point.
Finaly after the 4 hours of layover we were all set to go on our last flight. Unfortunately we got the "welcome" home with no priority seating for infants, but he did fall asleep while waiting in line to get on the plane. I sat next to a wonderfully friendly woman and Emerson slept all but the last thirty minutes. We fed him on the dessent and he never made a peep. As soon as we got off the plane, he decided to make us a present so we were off to the bathroom. When we started digging for his changing pad and diapers we realized that we had left it on the plane. John ran back to get it, only to find out that the flight attendant had given it to someone else:( So here we are about to introduce our new son to the Seattle family and we don't have any diapers with us. So we quickly rigged up something with a cloth diaper and a bandana and headed to baggage claim.
When we got there Grandmom and Grandpop were waiting with Uncle Jeff and Aunt Christie. He handled all of the love and kisses with stunned amazement and confusion. Overall not too bad. Once we got our luggage John grabbed a real diaper out of the luggage and we headed off for "home." We all played for a while and ate really good Thai food. He did great until it was time for bed. He had a bit of a melt down, but finally calmed down after thirty minutes. He did pretty well until he woke up from what he considered to be his nap. John played with him for a couple hours then he slept the rest of the night. The rest of today should be pretty mellow then tomorrow we have our first baby shower.