What a whirlwind of a day!!!! Woke up at 4:30 a.m. (I did, Eileen slept like a baby) because of all the nervous energy of the anticipated arrival of Daniela. We were on the road by 9 and headed for our rendezvous at JFK Airport in Queens, NY. We hit a few traffic snarls along the way but we arrived at the airport by 12 and met up with some of the other families. It was quite special to finally get the chance to meet the people behind the facebook personas – Trish, LeAnn, Paula and Kristine just to name a few.
Apparently there was some glitches getting through customs so although the plane landed by 12:30 the kids didn’t start filtering out until almost 2. It was weird but recognizing some of there faces from the photo album it was almost like we already knew them even though we only met them for the first time today. We spent months pouring over their profiles and later talking with their host families and here they were … for real!
It was really quite indescribable to see all these lovely young people filled with such joy and promise as they walked through the terminal toward us. Several waves of lime-green t-shirted young people came past us but no Daniela yet. One of the girls, Kristine, lives with Daniela and overheard us asking about her. She was kind enough to tell us that Daniela was coming!!
Finally, Daniela came into view and you would have thought that we were a bunch of kids on Christmas morning the way we were yelling “Svieka Daniela” and jumping up and down! She smiled and waved. Then we hugged her and welcomed her and waited for the “all clear” signal before heading out. After several pictures we said our “good byes” and headed for home. We had some fun pantomiming what the car sickness bags were for and that made Daniela laugh. Daniela was whipped and fell asleep in the car.
We arrived home at about 5:30. We practiced our language skills (Latvian and English) and had some dinner. Daniela really enjoyed watching Peter eat with such gusto … she giggled at him (perhaps because she was such a dainty and slow eater). We showed her her room and how to use the shower, had her read her first affirmation, kissed and hugged her good night and wished her Saldie Sapni (Sweet Dreams).