Monday, August 18, 2008

Adoption Story - Part 5

I'm glad to hear that a few of you are enjoying my adoption story, because I'm enjoying putting it all down in one place. Of course, I'm not sure if you're interested in reading all the tiny details, but I want to make sure I get them down. At least in today's installment, we finally make it to China!


There were a few of bright spots to having over a month to plan our trip. K was able to get almost 2 months of school in before we dragged her off to the other side of the planet. We were able to book two free tickets to China using our airline miles - score! And we were able to build in a few days at the beginning of the trip to see our friends who live in China.

I spent that last month before travel going over the packing list, getting the paperwork ready, the money gathered, and the orphanage donation finished. I planned to give them a stack of fleece blankets sewn in a patchwork of soft colors. A few days before we left, I was sitting at my sewing machine when I got distracted and ran my finger under the needle. I yelped and yanked my hand back, ripping the needle through my fingernail. Thankfully, it wasn’t bad enough to require a trip to the ER, but it hurt like all get out and it was going to complicate the trip just a little. At least I could honestly say that my blood, sweat, and tears went into making those blankets!

The night before the trip, we finished packing and triple-checking our bags. We’d pack one and climb onto the bathroom scale with it since the weight limits were low and rigidly enforced. As the last thing was check off our to do list, Mr. at Home announced that should just stay up the rest of the night since it was already late and we had to leave for the airport in just a few hours anyway. Sure, okay. I sat at the computer to pass the time playing a mindless computer game and Mr. at Home went to the bedroom, A little later, I went to get something out of the bedroom only to find him stretched out under the covers snoring loudly.

So much for *us* staying up all night.

Before 5am, our friend arrived with his truck and we loaded all the bags and a tired, but excited family up for the airport. As we stepped on the first of 9 planes for that trip, the captain saw K and he invited her up to the cockpit and took her picture sitting in the captain’s seat with his hat on. She was so excited. We found our seats and I slept the whole flight. The first layover was in Chicago where we met other families traveling to adopt their children. The flight to Hong Kong was 15 hours long, Mr. at Home slept a lot of it, K slept part, and me? Well, I didn’t. I sat by the window and spent most of the trip marveling at the view. We flew over the top of the earth and the ice and mountains were AMAZING.

We landed in Hong Kong and in mid-afternoon (the next day) where we couldn’t figure out if we were supposed to clear customs or just go to our connecting gate. We found the desk for our new airline and they were phenomenal. They took our baggage claim tickets and told us to have a seat. 20 minutes later they had found our luggage and rerouted it for us, so all we had to do was board the next flight.

At around 7pm, after 22 hours of travel, we saw the extremely welcome faces of our friends at their city’s airport. We gathered our bags and hopped into the taxis they had already arranged. The drive to their coastal home was a blur of neon and lights and we dropped into bed at a normal local bedtime.

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