Home Sweet Home!

Kerrie Olejarz

By: Kerrie Olejarz

As we sat in the Brussels airport, sipping coffee and feeding Cailyn, we reflected a bit on the last few weeks.  It was now time to take a breath, a decompress.   We chatted about how we really took things in stride.  The going home process can be super stressful if you put unrealistic timelines on it and are not prepared for potential obstacles or hiccups along the way.  We felt proud of ourselves that we really paced ourselves, enjoyed every moment of it, and managed to actually depart earlier than those before us, all on a low stress diet.   I often tell people who ask about the going home process to expect it to be long, and make the very best of every moment.  I figure if you rush it, and there are any delays, you will more than likely lose your mind, so why not pace it out, even if that means an extra day or two in India.   Brussels aiport has very little to offer other than an expensive cup of coffee, bottle of water, or duty-free chocolate and fragrances.  We picked a spot to park ourselves that had nice leather sofas by a window.  Cailyn was such a joy, and made very little fuss about anything.  We tried very hard to keep her belly full and her bum dry, that’s really all a baby wants, and of course, sleep!  She was still colicky, or gassy, so we loaded her up on some homeopathies we brought from home.  About a half hour before boarding time we decided to change her clothes so that she was nice and fresh for the last leg home.  Fortunately, we had purchased that bag in New Delhi, so getting at all this stuff was super easy, and zero frustration.   The gate, if you can call it a gate, was basically a podium almost in the middle of the terminal walkway.  We barged our way to the front, taking advantage of having an infant!  We were nicely let into the front of the line, and then stood there for ten minutes; not sure why, but when the line started moving we were close to kicking our heels in the air with excitement of going home.  We had the same seats, and the same seat neighbours for this leg.  The Jet Airways crew came and refreshed our memory on ascending and descending, and soon, the captain welcomed us onto the flight and we started taxiing to take off! The flight from Brussels to Toronto was pretty much a replay of the first leg from India.  Cailyn again was an angel on the flight, and our main concern was ensuring she was warm, fed, and dry.   As we rounded Goose Bay Newfoundland we started to feel anxious, the journey was close to its end!  We fidgeted a lot, could not focus on any movie and just watched the onscreen interactive map counting down the kilometers to Toronto.  Two and a half hours later we descended into YYZ, Pearson International Airport!!!  What an amazing journey we had just completed, and now, finally, home.   As we walked towards customs, we knew there was potential for questioning of Cailyn’s passport -a temporary passport, with a glaringly obvious white cover unlike the standard issue blue cover.  We stood in the customs line, Cailyn slept, and within minutes we were called to the counter.  The gent behind the counter looked at our passports and scanned them along with our customs document, then, he looked at Cailyn’s passport, mentioned how weird it was to see a white one and when we said she was born out of country, he welcomed her home and we were on our way to baggage claim. Of course, our bags were the last to come off the plane.  Almost every other passenger had retrieved their bags and were long gone.  Finally all our bags arrived and we headed to the main departure door.   As we exited there was my sister, Mark’s brother, and very good friends.  Of course, there was a coffee for me!!! YAY!! The exhaustion and excitement was overwhelming!  Bo and Amy, our friends, were so gracious to get me a coffee and brought us a gift for Cailyn.  My sister, in her pure thoughtfulness, had a welcome home banner made!!  It was just awesome to show off our baby girl and be surrounded by amazing people!

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