Hello all from Georgia!
We made it back in one piece... a little more tired and worn then when we started the trip as our Saturday went, but now it is Sunday morning and really breakfast time when we got up! What a change.
A quick recap of the trip back:
Our wake up call came at 5:30am and off we went.. With the baby still sleeping we got our showers and finally were ready for breakfast at 6:45am. The bell boy was called for the bags and down to breakfast we went. It is amazing how many people were not eating breakfast that early. It seemed like we were first. Wanda went to get her food and when I turned around our guide was standing there. Oh no I thought.. it is time to leave already.. flash backs of leaving Beijing were going through my head. She was just handing me our receipts from the trip and left us to eat breakfast. When Wanda got back to the table she told me she was thinking the same thing.
Off to the airport we went. We made our flight to Beijing and Lexi was pretty good on the flight. I don't think we could have asked for much more. She fell asleep on the way up and was a momma's girl. At the airport we met another couple that was on their way home as well. Turns out they had their guides flying back with them to help them through the airport. As we were trying to find our way through the Beijing airport, one of their guides offered to help us find our way to Terminal 2. That was a big help, I think it would have taken us a little work to find it ourselves. We got to the terminal and found our way to Continental counter. Another lesson learned on this trip... don't be afraid to ask for help. Wandering our way through the airport, we stopped at various people to ask for directions and things, all were very helpful. The representatives from Continental were very nice. The lady assisting us seemed to talk to Wanda for a while until we were completely checked in. Then off to the gate. The Beijing airport did not have much in the way of restaurants. The only one they had a variety of food and the most important food of all, french fries. We also noticed a child play area in the airport not far from our gate. So after eating we headed down their to try and give LJ a chance to stretch her legs. The thing is though, she only wanted to stay right with us. She didn't move around as much as we thought. Then off to the gate for the extremely long plane ride to the United States. The plane ride seemed to be like this over and over again... Lexi sleepy, goes to sleep in your arms... wakes up screaming.. lay down on seat.. Lexi turning and turning.. Lexi crying again (eyes still closed)... pick her up... walk the plane... sit back down... repeat... I don't think we could have asked her to try and be any better than she was. She just couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep on the plane. Poor mommy had to contort her body in more positions than she thought possible to try and keep LJ from rolling off the seat. It is amazing what you can do when you have to. Approximately thirteen hour later, we arrive in beautiful Newark, New Jersey. Thanks to the baggage people who didn't want to come get our stroller out, we were the last people to go through customs. Knowing that when Lexi passed through immigration, she would become an official citizen, we wanted to take pictures, but no pictures allowed. We didn't expect much going through the immigration process, and received even less. The conversation went pretty much like this... "Next"... "How long were you gone?" Twelve days... then a long pause as he went through the paperwork... stamp, stamp, stamp... "Ok, all done"... "Next"... I don't really know what we expected except, maybe a welcome back... oh, so you adopted a baby... congratulations Lexi on becoming a US Citizen... but we received nothing. Again.. at the airport everyone was very helpful.. pointing out where the elevators were, assisting with baggage re-checkin.. The airport was very busy though. We have to give a shout out to the nice man who was next in line at the airport restaurant, but stepped aside to let Wanda and the baby have the next available table. Again.. french fries were on the menu. Wanda had said all week, I can't wait to have a salad, I wish I could have a salad, then she for her first meal back in the US, she orders a pepperjack hamburger. Go figure. I think she was just being a great mom and sacrificed her want of a salad for the baby's need of french fries. Her salad will be coming soon though. Again, some more waiting and then we board for the final time. A nice gentleman switched seats with me, so we could all sit together, and then LJ turned into a momma's girl again. Staying in her momma's arms asleep for almost all of the trip home. Daddy did catch a little more sleep on the way home, and daddy probably slept more than mommy on the way home. We depart the plane quickly and go to change the baby into the beautiful dress the her granny bought her. As usual we were the last to get through the terminal. Wanda pushing LJ in the stroller, daddy pushing the cart for the luggage. As we make our way to the meeting area, I caught Jenna peaking around the corner and knew we were finally home. As we came around the larger column, LJ's aunt carolyn and granny were waiting with the quilt, and as promised wrapped her and Wanda up in it. Carolyn, Jenna, Richard and Granny and Papa Thompson were waiting for us. Along with a stranger they convinced to video tape us, and banners and balloons on the chairs. Lots of hugs, tears and general chit chat followed until we went to get the luggage. By the time we got their it was already removed from the carosel and was in the Continental offices. A final page was being made for us as we found the office and picked up the bags before the closed for the night. Now we headed to the car for the ride home. Wanda and LJ in one car, me in another and we were chouffered home, just like being in China again. Turns out that LJ does not like the car seat and after her stressful day, Wanda held her on the way home instead of forcing her in the seat. Another new thing for her to learn, starting Monday. We arrived back at the house to balloons on the mailbox and banners up at the house with a nice stork stating It's a girl. Everyone knows now! Everyone came in and spent a little time here unwinding befor heading home. Time for the three of us to finally settle in as a family in our new home. Gave the baby a bottle and she went down to sleep between 4:30 and 5:00am. Then mom and dad headed to bed after a few tears of our own. Mom took the first shift sleeping and dad got up with the baby who decided it was only nap time and not bed time. After a quick nap herself mom got up and spent more time with the baby. Dad headed to bed and must have been out of it. He didn't get up till 4:30 with the baby.. Mom had been up cleaning, unpacking and constantly checking on the baby, while catching a little bit of sleep herself. Mommy is the best.. sacrificing like always. Now time to adjust our clocks again and get back to east coast time.
It is good to be home again.