The answer is good and yes. But I'll get there.
The flight was interesting. First of all, Kayla apparently likes flying about as much as I do. This means not a bit. It also means she was crying and moaning basically constantly, didn't sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time and was soaked with sweat for the entire flight. Also, a lot of things went wrong.
For example, I had to handle Kayla and two hand luggage bags, as well as Barney (where could any parent of a toddler possibly dare to go without a Barney toy?) on my own at all of the airports where we landed. I started vomiting on Tuesday morning, so I skipped breakfast. Not a smart move, as I'd later discover. At Frankfurt airport, I had to be patted down at passport control, because Kayla refused to let go of me for an instant to be scanned. This meant stripping down and having my shoes and things scanned too. It also made me late for my flight.
Now, at this point both Kay and I were exhausted. Neither of us had slept on the flight and I was still nauseous. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Jan had taken a train to meet us at Frankfurt and fly the last part with us to Dusseldorf. I clung to this, knowing everything would be OK once we were together again. I promised Kayla over and over again that she'd see her daddy there.
And then we finally reached the boarding gates and I was informed Jan hadn't shown up.
The ladies there had held the flight for Kay and I, knowing we were stuck at passport control. They refused to call Jan on his cell (mine wasn't activated yet) and basically told me to get on the plane or miss the flight. So I had to board the plane. Meanwhile, Jan's train had been delayed with over an hour, but while he had reached the airport, he was on the other side of it and couldn't reach the boarding gates in time.
That right there is the drama they put in movies. :P
Anyway, Kay and I flew to Dusseldorf and she was hysterical for a little while, before she fell asleep. When we left the plane, it was the last stretch and I was ready to collapse, but we managed to get to the luggage depot. Of course my luggage didn't arrive either, because this story wouldn't be complete without some added bad luck. Turns out that it got left behind at Frankfurt for some reason. At this point, I burst into tears and a really nice lady from Lufthanza came to help me. She called Jan, found out he was on his way with another train, that his new boss was waiting for us and sorted out the luggage (which was delivered to our apartment within a few hours, thank goodness).
After that, we met up with the boss and then, finally, with my hubby. Kayla squealed and ran to him, which was probably one of the most beautiful moments in my life. And then there was peace in my heart. Everything was instantly OK again. I can't describe it to you, but it was (and is) incredible to be whole again. Does that make sense? I hope so.
I'm OK after all of this, really, and so is Kayla. The same peace that hit me came over her too. For the first time in weeks, she's sleeping through the night again, she's eating like she used to and she can even go without her dummy and comfort blankie again. She's smiling and laughing a lot more again and she's just... Kayla. Herself. It's amazing and it was instant, from the moment she saw her daddy again.
I love it here too, really. We're adapting just fine. The language is a barrier, it's true. But we're learning and we'll be OK.
If I've learned anything from all of this, it's that home isn't a place. It's something we carry in our hearts. Something that comes alive when we are with our families.
I'm home now.
Here are some of the pictures of our last week!
Shants and Tanja, this one is a four story BOOK STORE. SWOON WITH ME NOW!!!!!!
Tune in sometime for another one of The German Chronicles. If you have a burning question about the move, please let me know. We're starting to look at a more permanent residence now (we're still in holiday accommodation and we don't have adsl yet), so I'll share that process with you. In the meantime, Rita has a good post about house hunting here. Give it a read!!
By the way, my posting times are probably going to be a little weird for a while. I know I used to post at around the same time in the past, but while we find our feet, new posts may just go up at midnight. Things will go back into equilibrium soon enough, I promise. Or at least, I HOPE. :)
Have a good one, folks!