Friday, June 13, 2014

Traveling Update

I know a lot of you have been following Mike's journey to Theo on Facebook, but I also know that some of you out there don't have a Facebook account, so I thought I'd post a little update here as well.

I can't remember if I'd mentioned on this blog before that we'd worked in a special surprise for Rascal #1 during the "Gotcha!" trip.   You see, Rascal #1 has an unbelievable love of architecture.   One of the perks of homeschooling for us has been to allow the boys to spend hours in the library, or in our at-home library, browsing and learning about things that are of particular interest to them.  We will follow their interests as far as they want, or as far as we can (in addition to their regular schoolwork, don't worry!).    For Rascal #1, that led to discovering an intense love of architecture.   He studies buildings, the theories behind them, the mathematical principles that are at work in a building, and the history behind different kinds of architecture and building techniques.  It's honestly quite amazing to see!

The building that started this whole love affair for him was the building that is currently the world's tallest skyscraper (only for a few more years, because another one is being built, of course!).   It's a building in Dubai named the Burj Khalifa.   He can spout of all kinds of facts about the process that they took to build the building, or recite what seems like endless statistics about the building itself.   He just loves that thing.

Well, about a month ago, we were working with our travel agent to book flights for Mike and Rascal #1 to go pick Theo up.   We noticed that one of the options (the cheapest one, gotta love how that works!) had a layover in Dubai.   We also knew that you don't need a visa to travel in Dubai (yes, we'd researched taking a trip there "someday").    Mike worked with the travel agent to find a way to extend their layover into a 24 hour stay, and the travel agent put us in touch with a friend of hers who lives in Dubai.  Together, he and Mike managed to put together an awesome surprise for Rascal #1 - a 24 hour whirlwind tour of the architecture in Dubai, INCLUDING a trip to the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa AND an overnight stay in the hotel that is inside the Burj Khalifa.

The 24 hour layover in Dubai was yesterday.

To say that a little boy's dream came true might actually be an understatement.  I'm pretty sure he thought he was walking around in Heaven all day.   We Skyped last night as they were getting ready for bed, and he was positively glowing.    They'd seen every building that he wanted (minus one - but I don't know which one, I forgot to ask), plus did a few things that he wasn't expecting.   The trip and stay inside the Burj Khalifa was just icing on the cake!    I'm not sure he got any sleep last night, he seemed so excited!  

They're back on a plane today, heading to Theo's home country.   They should be landing in the next 45 minutes or so, and then will head to their in-country hotel.   Theo is a half of a day ahead of us, so it'll be night time when they get there.   They'll have two days to sightsee in his country, before meeting our little boy on Monday morning!  Next week is full of visiting, bonding activities, and getting to know each other....and then next weekend, they'll be getting on a plane WITH Theo to come home!  

At some point, I'm going to have to switch to a private photo album for the pictures of the trip, since Theo's country doesn't want his picture shared publicly.   For anyone who wants to know more about that album and how to access it, please email me here.   This also means that the pictures on things like Facebook will trickle to a stop - if you want to follow the rest of the journey at that point, you'll need to email me for instructions.   I will keep updating the blog with descriptions and written updates, but the public pictures will stop.  

For now, though, enjoy the pictures of Mike and Rascal #1 in Dubai!!

Finally there, after a 13 hour flight!

A VERY happy little boy!

The view from their hotel room!

Thank you all, once again, for your support.  It's because of YOU that Rascal #1 is having the experience of a lifetime, and most importantly, that Theo is going to be home with his forever family in just a few short weeks!   Your prayers, your words of encouragement, and your financial support have been instrumental in making this happen, and we are SO very grateful.   Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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