The morning of our travel day home started at 4:30am. I was the first one up since I'm the longest to get ready. We had to be in the lobby by 5:45am. When we woke baby girl all was well. She was happy, I was happy and B was happy. And then we got to the airport. That is when the train wreck began.
After waiting in line more than 20 minutes to check in with our guide, we were told the flight was so delayed we would have to get on another. Seriously?! Ok, we were calm. Nothing major. We got a new flight and off we go, all checked in and we start to board. I think I should stop here and mention my hubs was in hog heaven when he found out what sort of plane we would be on. It was an air bus A380. A double decker plane. As a pilot, he had hoped to always have the chance to fly on one so this was huge for him. I tried not to be negative but I was not excited. I hate flying at best and now we were going to be on the biggest plane in the world? UGH!
OK, back to boarding. They board us 45 mins before time, we get on and all is well until it takes them almost 2 hours to finally take off. I was at my end and by the time we got in the air I was bawling and cried the first 20 minutes of the flight. My nerves were shot. I can't even explain why. I finally just put on my headphones, my worship music and focused on breathing.
Once we landed in Beijing, we were so late and had to gather all of our checked bags and get re-checked in for our flight to the states so we ran to baggage claim and proceeded to wait for over an hour!!! This was not helping. I think B was feeling it by now too. Baby girl was crabby and I'm sure she felt my tension. All the staring, lack of space in baggage claim etc made it worse. I seriously wanted to scream. We finally got our luggage and booked it to check in. We made it by the skin of our teeth and then paid a cart guy to drive us to our gate. We got on board with just 15 minutes to spare. I don't mind admitting that when that drink cart came by I didn't order ginger ale or water. Get my drift. Within 10 minutes I was a little more relaxed. The 12 &1/2 hour flight to Newark was pretty miserable but not for any other reason except we were just done by this point. 19 days gone from home and knowing even after we touched down in Newark we still had 8 more hours of travel wasn't helping. God's grace kicked in when we landed and we made it through everything flawlessly.
When we landed in Raleigh my emotions were so high I don't even know how I was standing. All I wanted to do was see my boy's faces and hug their necks. Once off the plane I was pretty much off and running. B had Jenna Grace and was laughing because I was so far ahead. I couldn't help it.
As I headed to the exit there was a sea of people and all I knew was I was going to keep going until I saw their faces and had them in my arms. Half way down I spotted Jackson and I began to cry. By the time I made it to Jayden and was hugging him I was full on sobbing. And I mean choked up chest heaving ugly cry. After holding onto my boys like grim death I spotted Sandy. Sandy is like a mom to me and GMA to my boys and now Nai Nai (grandmother in Chinese) to Jenna Grace. I had no idea she was going to be there and it was just icing on the cake. I cried even harder when I got to her and then of course there was Aubrey. Aubrey, who had battled her own demons just to care for my kids was snapping pics and taking video but the second I turned her way dropped it all and we both grabbed hold of each other and bawled like babies. It was so awesome. After 30 hours of travel we were on NC soil and I was giving God all of the glory!!!
Another wave of emotion hit me once we walked into our house but it was quickly contained and then the fun began, giving out the gifts. I hadn't planned on doing that at 1am but we were on China time so we were awake and ready to go.
**Quick side note here: Aubrey would love for me to mention how on the two hour ride home I babbled on and on b/c I was wide awake and she and Sandy sat there and did their best to nod politely and not fall asleep. Thank you girls!!!
The readers digest version of the next few days is this: I got sick sick sick. It started on the flight from Beijing but I just thought it was because I hadn't slept much but after two days home I was so sick I could barely get out of bed. Of course just to be completely honest, I am the worst sick person. I have no pain tolerance and am pretty much just a baby. From Saturday to Wednesday I only slept 10 hours. It was horrible. B called the doc Wednesday morning and thankfully, because I didn't have a fever and it was the day before the 4th they called me something in. Relief. It was certainly a rude awakening feeling that bad with a toddler running around. Reality check for sure. Lucky for me, her sleep schedule adapted quickly. Slept in her crib our first night home and has been sleeping there for naps too and sleeping through the night. LOVE IT!
Here we are 8 days home and three weeks with our girl. Just two days home I weaned her from her bottle and formula. She eats so well, I saw no need to continue with either. She didn't even seem to bat an eyelid at that. Like I said, she is sleeping through the night and we have a very nice bedtime routine. The best part is the rocking her to sleep at night.
She LOVES her brothers. And I mean LOVES! It is so precious to see how well she has adjusted to them. And it certainly helps this momma when I need to shower or start laundry.
Our friends have been just amazing since we have come home. Between the meals, calls/texts/emails, house cleaning etc. we are just soooo blessed. We've had just a few visitors and people are very gracious at giving us our space while we re-adjust to this new life.
I guess I could go into all of the things that concern me or upset me but its not what I am choosing to focus on right now. I would only request that you continue to pray for us. Specifically that we would just lean on God and not on ourselves and our limited understanding in this situation. I guess I could spend hours reading book after book but the truth is every single adoption is so unique because it involves people. And God tells me to lean on Him, to trust in Him and that He will lead, direct and guide me. Well, that is good enough for me. My prayer is that I would remember that when I'm sad, disappointed or frustrated. Thanks for agreeing with me.
I guess that about does it. I'm sure there are lots of details I've missed but there will be more blog posts to come...hopefully.
Thanks again for being on this journey with us. This part might be over, but the next part will be even more exciting so I hope you'll stick around.
|One of the first pics of the three of us. You can tell she was not thrilled.|
|One of my faves of her. That smile just captivates me.|
|I played Monsters Inc on the plane minus the headphones. She would just sit there and laugh. It was so cute.|
|How she slept between us.|
|On the flight from Newark, we hadn't even taken off yet.|
|My FOUR kids!!! So blessed!|
|The 20 cards and letters we got to open during our trip. They were such a blessing to us.|
|I can't believe she let me.|
|Sharing her snack.|
|She's gonna be a beach bum. And just to boast, my hubs picked out the suit and the hat.|
|Her new friend Judah, just four months older.|
|Taken today showing off her new shoes.|