Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 15 (part 2): I have the best friends in the world

After lunch we loaded up our stuff in the Shepherd's Field van and headed off to the airport. We thought we had left with plenty of time to spare. It would have been plenty of time if there hadn't been horrible traffic on the way. At one point the traffic came to a standstill and we inched along for perhaps a half an hour. At that point it started to enter my consciousness that this was taking too long and I should start to be concerned. Commence praying. Traffic jams are not too hard for God and not long after it started to free up. We passed what was the hold up and it looked to be either a major accident involving many trucks (but no sign of damage or injuries anywhere) or the trucks were doing something wrong and the police just stopped them right there in the middle of the road.  Either seemed entirely possible, but yeah Jesus, we were passed it and made it to the airport. We had no problems checking in or getting to our gate, but the plane started boarding about 20 minutes after we arrived.  At least we didn't have to sit at the gate for a long time.

The flight went well. Long, but well.  We did end up on a new airplane with individual touchscreens and movies on demand. That kept everyone pretty well occupied, though H. was suddenly aware that she wasn't in Kansas anymore. All the other planes she had flown on were Chinese airlines and all the children's shows were in Mandarin. We were on United and the programming was pretty much all English all the time. I'm not sure a 9 year old can really understand all the implications of moving to a different country.

We arrived and went through customs, a straight forward, but long process of standing in line and H. became a US citizen.  I always feel as though I should take a picture to mark the occasion, but no cameras are allowed in the customs and immigration area. And then we saw our family.

I hadn't realized how much I had missed them all until I saw them.  It was so good to hug all my babies... big and small.  M. even got excused from her rehearsal so she could be there, too.  And not only my family was there but the H-S family and the P family were there to greet us as well. P Family Mom figured out that this was the 7th time of our families gathering together at the airport to greet the newest family member.

And not only did they greet us at the airport and watch our children, they cleaned our house (the moms and older children) to the point of cleaning the stairway that L. had decorated, arranged meals for the next two weeks, and the H-S family toilet trained K.  I'll have to leave the country more often... though perhaps all the nice treats would stop if it became a regular thing.

And so now we're all back home and trying to get over jet lag.  All the people who stayed behind did a great job of surviving without us, but I can tell it was a little stressful for G. and L.  They are having the most difficulty with the transition and I can tell all the bottled up stress is finally being let loose.  I'm hoping we're at the low point today and things will start to improve after this.  (Crossing fingers.)

I'll leave you with some not-too-great photos of G. and L. because it's been a while and some of you may be in withdrawal.  They are not overly smiley today and the smile I did coax out of L. is a little manic.  But I think they're still cute.  Even when they are fussy.



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