The Adventure Begins...Her Story

3:36 PM 0 Comments

As Adam said the double posting is not meant to be redundant but show two perspectives of the same story. This is my version of the same events.

From Rachel's Perspective

Goodbye was hard, period. I have to say nothing else about it because if you are reading this blog, you know goodbye was hard.

We had spent weeks, maybe even months, preparing the two big kids that we would be waking up early, eating breakfast in the van, and our flight would leave in the afternoon. The e-mail on Monday afternoon changed all that. Thank goodness it came in Monday afternoon and not Tuesday morning after we left. I can't imagine what all those hours at the airport would have brought. So we changed the time of our van checked and rechecked our luggage said goodbye....again (no easier this time) and off we went.

We got to the airport, Adam found a porter and managed to get our 13 suitcases, 10 carry-ons, 3 car seats, 2 strollers and 3 small children into the building. Nefesh B'Nefesh spotted us and directed us to where we needed to go. The waiting began. El Al could not check us in until 4:30pm. The kids snacked and we chatted with other Olim. Finally El Al set up their security and we could get in line.... but how? We had a big cart of carry ons, a HUGE cart of luggage and 2 strollers? Luckily they told us that we could leave the bags as long as we could point them out. We got in line and moved fairly quickly through our security interview. Adam was able to pull out the handy dandy inventory and tell them exactly where the kitchen knives were located. The security person marked our bags and off we paraded to check our bags. We were so lucky at this point to have met some other wonderful Olim that helped us make our way to the luggage counter and then helped repack our carry-ons when we found out they were too heavy and then helped us down to security. 

Oh security... this was no fun. The kids were great! The other passengers quite patient, but overall it was the worst part of the airport. It took us a long time to get through with all of the tablets and computers that needed to be removed from our bags BUT we did it! We got to the gate at about 6:45pm and I realized that we had not fed our children. Off I went in search of food. Would you believe there is no Kosher food in the El Al terminal? Pretzels and hummus, and cut-up fruit it was. I ran back to the gate and tried to get the kids to eat, between bathroom breaks and toys being thrown around it was fairly successful. I'm not really sure how we managed it, but somehow we got on the plane.

Me trying to feed to kids "dinner." Glad they didn't call me out on it.
I sat in the two center seats with the baby and Adam sat by the window with the other two kids. Within minutes the baby was back to sleep, the other two took about an hour to settle in and conked out. I was in and out of sleep and not feeling great on the flight so I did not eat either of the two meals offered, probably a mistake. 

At the beginning of the flight my emotions were all over the place, still feeling the sting of goodbye and feeling like the distance of the aisle was miles and not inches. By the time we began descent, I was feeling excited and hopeful. As we touched down the whole plane broke out in applause and the tears flowed freely as far as I could see. Even the 20-something in front of me dressed to the nines who had just spent 15 minutes applying her makeup was wiping her eyes. The flight attendant announced a "Welcome Home" to the 58 Olim (immigrants) making Aliyah (moving to Israel) and I saw the beautiful smiles on my children's faces and the excitement in Adam's eyes. Here we were beginning our adventure to the Negev.

Thoughtfully written by:

Rachel Hopkins

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