Thursday, December 25, 2014

And so...

I hate to leave you all hanging.  All three readers.  But, as you probably know whether you've adopted or know someone who has, or, heck, just traveled to China...the trip and re-entry tends to be a tad bit bumpy.

So after a really fun Christmas Eve and late night packing, we left the Shifu at 5am on Christmas Day to start the very long journey home.  Door to door it was about 28 hours of travel.  Leaving China with a new family member is always sad and happy for us.  It breaks my heart to think about what had to happen to this little perfect baby in order for her to be ours.  But I know that given her circumstances, becoming our daughter is the best thing that could have happened.  Especially for us. We are the lucky ones.

Christmas breakfast at Hong Kong airport Tsui Wah.


Goodbye, China.

Do not be fooled and think that the entire plane ride was this peaceful.
Or, that even 10% of the entire plane ride was this peaceful.


The first flight while long (13+ hours) went reasonably well.  The big girls slept on and off and were able to be entertained with videos.  The baby, on the other hand, was able to be entertained by...nothing.  Wriggling and wrestling me for hours on end was about it.

The Christmas Feast at 38,000 feet!

Snacks, snacks, and more snacks.
Our third daughter officially became a US citizen when we landed in Chicago.  By this time, I was clearly coming down with her bronchitis, so I was barely able to utter a cheer, never mind break out into the National Anthem.  It was a little different this time than with Emmie and Rosie.  Instead of the officer simply taking the hallowed Brown Envelope and sending us on our way, he ushered us into a back room at Immigration.  I overheard an officer say to another individual there, "Your fingerprints showed up in our system.  Do you want to explain the reason that might be?"  Another man was sitting there with his head in his lap, nearly in tears.  There were several interview rooms and for whatever stupid reason I got nervous thinking that they were going to ask me some questions I was not prepared for.  As it turns out, they went through our paperwork (and several other adoptive families returning home) pretty quickly.  We went through that annoying pick up your bags/recheck your bags scenario, rode a train for what felt like the entire length of the Red Line, and then relaxed for the rest of our 4 hour layover.  Well, as much as you can relax in an airport, feeling completely filthy, tired, and unable to breathe from bronchitis.

Christmas dinner part deux--McDonalds at O'Hare.
We were all feeling pretty beaten down at this point.

The last leg of our journey probably felt the longest.  We were all so tired we felt crazed.  The kids were inconsolable.  Patrick was still feeling crummy from the end of his latest illness, and I was getting sicker by the minute with Frannie's bronchitis.  With my ears feeling like ice picks being stabbed in them, we descended into Boston's Logan International Airport and I had the same twinge in my stomach I've felt twice before.  This is it.  Here we are.  I can see the Pru.  There's Boston Harbor.  Those are the streets we walk on when we go into the city.  The city we love is the same, but we are returning different.  And I feel scared.  Nervous that I am enough mother for this little person who deserves the very best.  Worried for her health.  Anxious about her tiny heart as it heals.  But we are not only different...we are better.  Better for what we have experienced.  Better because our hearts are fuller than ever with love for these three girls.  "Welcome to Boston.  The local time is..."  And before I know it we make that surreal walk through the airport +1, our weary selves are greeted by our family and we are home.

Impromptu late night Christmas Dinner redux.  This time with *real* food
courtesy of my mother and sister!  We have another meatball lover!


17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have followed your blog from the beginning of adoption number 1. We are also a very lucky family who adopted our daughter from Hubei, China in 2005. Our wonderful child was diagnosed with autism when she was four. You have a very sweet family. Congratulations on your newest member. I know it will be crazy and different for a little while until you find your new normal. What a wonderful time you will have when it happens. From my family to yours, Happy New Year!

Starla Chenault

Anonymous said...

I follow your blog for years and was awaiting your update. So glad to see your all home and can't believe your trip is over, I loved hearing all about your girls. Thank you for continuing to blog, I love the stories of your kids lives.

Michelle Vandriel said...

Congratulations! She is beautiful and she will be blessed to have a family like yours! I contacted you about a year ago (not sure if you remember) asking questions about adoption. We have since found an agency that was willing to work with us despite my health issues. We have since gotten pre-approval for a sweet girl on the 26th! I have enjoyed reading your blog and have learned a lot about Thallassemia because of you. Hope your transition home goes well.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home so happy for your family!!!

Brenda Fung said...

Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy New Year!!! Your trip looked awesome and your girls are beautiful.

From one China mom to another....it will get better, just hang in there!

B

Pattie and Joe said...

Get well Tray - and I am sure your little ones are already putting on a show for you :), and your Mom's cooking will cure anything!

Anonymous said...

Praise God For these Blessings !!! Our daughter, adopted in 1996 from Tongling will be 19 years old nxt month and i still wonder where the time has gone !God Bless !! Cathy in illinois

To China and Back said...

Welcome home!

Renate Jackson said...

I have also been reading your blog almost from the beginning. I so enjoy reading about your family. Thank you for continuing to blog. Very Happy New Year.

Dawn Davis said...

I've been considering adoption from China and that's how I found your blog initially. I went back and read almost the whole thing and I've been so excited to hear how you are all adjusting now that your home. I wish you and your family well and thank you for sharing your journey. I love that you're truthful, you show the good and the harder parts of adoption and for that I'm grateful. best wishes!

Anne Trent said...

Welcome home! I've also been following your blog from the beginning. Your 2 oldest girls remind me of my girls. If my hubs said yes to another China blessing I'd be off on a plane! I look forward to seeing what 2015 brings for you & your beautiful family!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog from just before you traveled to adopt Rosie. I love your blog and look forward to reading your updates. We will be traveling to China in a few months to adopt our daughter. I have a feeling that you have a lot more than 3 readers.

Isa said...

I've been following for a few months now as we prepare to begin this journey ourselves! I have been awaiting your update as well! Thank you for continuing to blog--you inspire me!!

Marylou Reiff said...

Congratulations. I've been following along since you began the blog. Beautiful family.

likeschocolate said...

Welcome home! 3 Beautiful Girls! Praying you are able to get some rest and get healthy.

Fannie said...

Yea!!! Just got around to reading your "back from China" story. :) SO excited for those three sisters!! They will always have each other, such a gift!! Hope you are feeling better! China is always so mean to you in that way...

shay68 said...

How exciting to see you've added Frannie to the family. She is beautiful. Glad you are home and hopefully the jetlag is over and everyone is feeling better. So happy for all of you.
Best
Shannon