Friday, July 6, 2007

Nightmare in Monrovia

The saying, "Nothing worth doing is ever easy" comes to mind.

So we're in Liberia...still. I can't believe the time we've had. My stomach is sick and if this weren't so maddening, I'd probably cry.

When our travel agency (the preferred agency of our adoption agency) booked the tickets, they booked flights for Abegail and Emmanuel Richardson. But A&E's passports say Abegail and Emmanuel Davis.

You guessed it...there's no way in hell the airlines (or immigration) will accept passengers with different last names on their passports and tickets. We tried everything. We asked if they could just re-issue the tickets with "Davis" as the last name. No...because our tickets were issues in the US. So the Manager of the airline used his cell phone to call MTS we stood at the ticket see if THEY could re-issue the tickets. No. There were no seats from Brussels to Chicago and without ticket confirmed to the US, Brussels would have just turned us around and sent us back to Monrovia on the next flight. What do you mean there weren't seats??? "A&E Richardson" weren't going to be on that there would HAVE to be 2 seats available. Just cancel those 2 and rebook 2 new ones. "Sorry sir, the airlines don 't work that way. After all, why should they? That would mean they'd have to use common sense!

So we could not board. No way, no how. We used that same man's cell phone to call the US and talk to the adoption agency. They called MTS and we are re-booked on new flights.


SUNDAY, July 8
Dep Monrovia at 6:55pm
Arr Brussels at 5:35am on Monday


Dep Brussels at 12:40pm
Arr Philadelphia at 3:25pm

Dep Philadelphia at 8:45pm
Arr Minneapolis at 10:53pm

Ummm...yeah....less than ideal. We had planned a welcome home party for the kids on Sunday that will obviously not take place. As it turned out, it was also going to be a Birthday Party for Emmanuel. His b-day is 7/8.

We're still trying to figure out how this happened...but as we add up the additional expenses this will cost us ($1,000 MINIMUM), we're second-guessing our decision to travel here.

I think once we are home and this is behind us, we'll be glad we were here. But we just miss Annie SOOOO much!!!!! AMBER...PLEASE SEND US AN UPDATE!!!! HOW IS SHE?????

We just keep asking how can this happen? Has this travel agency ever done this before? We were told that they did all the travel arrangements for the adoption agency. I'm certain that once we figure out who is responsible, we'll be writing stern letters. Or at least blogging about it!! :-)

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us. If you would, just hang on a few more days.

Mom & Dad Richardson...we're sooo sorry that we won't be there to see you until LATE Tuesday night. Can you pick us up at the airport? We'll have a few hours with you Wednesday, at least. Help yourself to anything in the house...our computer upstairs will be available for you to keep up on our travel "highlights"!!

Love to you all...
S, S, A, & E


Anonymous said...

I know how difficult it might be for you and your family but do not be despondent.There is a reason and purpose for everything that happens. "Don't worry be happy". After so many years, you will be very happy that you made ths trip. The reward is greater than the disappointments.

Richardson Family said...

Thanks for your kind words. We are doing our best to remain positive. The true blessing is that A&E don't seem to mind!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Sue and Scott:
I am so sorry and wish there was something I could do. You were probably so anxious to get home to Annie! If you think of anything I can do on this end please don't hesitate to ask.

Debbie Googeg said...

OH NO! You must be missing your Annie (and your own beds) so much. Our family has been praying for yours all along. We are still praying.


Janie said...

I'm so sorry this happened. Don't worry, that travel agency is going to repay you for the extra expenses. With all of us on your side, they'll step up to do the right thing.

Meantime, enjoy that beach front some more. No swimmer's itch in that water! It's so fitting you have another natural born runner in the family. Couldn't be more perfect. Reece wants to run with you and Abegail when you return. More running partners for life--

Hugs all around!
The Petersons

Nancy said...

You never had a nightmare that you didn't wake up from, did you? Wake up to find that everything was alright after all? This will happen now, too. I was so shocked and upset when I read your email and blog last night, but now I have things in better perspective and know you will come through this too, in shining glory! Was so glad to read Amber's update, thanks for sending. Can't wait for your next post to know that everything is ok and that you will soon truly be on "the other side of the ocean."

Love you,

Anonymous said...

What an ordeal, but challenges like this make us stronger. What an adventure, the important thing is everyone is together, safe and healthy! By the way you have amazing very thoughtful friends making comments, you're very blessed! I'm looking forward to seeing the entire Richardson clan at the Cape on Wen. (7/16)

The Pasquinelli Family said...


I know this must be so challenging right now and missing Annie is unbearable, but I will continue to pray that this "extra time" will give you and Scott more one-on-one bonding time with A & E and that in the long run, you'll thank your lucky stars for the mistake!!!

(Okay, I know it totally stinks, but I was trying a postitive spin! LOL!)

Hugs to you all,

DeniseinSC said...


We're adopting through Acres of Hope, and someone had sent a link to your blog for us to follow. We've been enjoying it!

Very sorry for the airport nightmare. Would you care to share what airline? If not, I understand.

Take care! Denise

Village Idiot said...

Hi Nancy,

It wasn't so much an error by the airline (Brussels Airlines) as it was our travel agency. In fact the airline probably did us a favor by not allowing us to fly. The Brussels immigration office would have put us on the next flight back to Monrovia and we would not have been able to get out until Tuesday instead of Sunday.

I ready your blog...good luck! It's a long process, but certainly rewarding.

annangi said...

I really appreciate Mr. Richardson, sue and scott for there real huge efforts to bring two children home, and give them new life. Once again it is proved that American's have big heart. I pray to god to help him and his family in all means they want..,
Harish. Annangi