"...I will show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know
what I am doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you,
plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and
pray to me, I will listen."
Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Finally home!!

Our morning started out early.  Our guide met us in the lobby of the hotel at 5:30 am.  We got to the Guangzhou airport and she helped check me in for our 8:30am flight on Hainan airlines, a Chinese airline.  One of the families from our travel group gave me one of their strollers, for which I will be forever grateful!  We boarded the flight and Abby thought it was pretty cool.  Fast forward 1 1/2 hrs, after a little melatonin nap, and she was NOT going to be in the seatbelt anymore!! She was screaming, kicking, and eventually wiggled her way out from the bottom of the seatbelt.  The flight attendants, who were very young, tried to calm her, but in a gentle manner, not a mama manner that says you need to sit now! Abby kept grabbing the lady next to her and I was done.  I just sat there and cried knowing that I still had a 4 hour layover, a 12 hour flight, and a 4 hour drive home.  To make matters worse, the "dirty old man" that was caddy corner from me kept turning around and stared 3/4 of the flight. I just wanted to be home and be with my family.

We arrived in Beijing after our 3 hr and 15 min flight.  I arrived in the domestic terminal.  I had to get our luggage and then schlep it to the international terminal about 3/4 of a mile away.  I was pushing the luggage cart, while having to keep the handle pushed down to go, and pulling Abby backwards in her stroller.  A business man finally helped me, but with only a few feet left. During the layover, we had lunch and then Abby played with 3 other children in the airport's playground.  It helped her burn some energy, but it is now 3:30 pm and she has not had a nap and has been up since 5am.

Again, Abby boarded the plane with confidence, but when it came time to buckle up for take-off, she wasn't going to have anything to do with it.  This time, it took 4 flight attendants to try to control her and get her to buckle.  They couldn't do it.  I didn't have anything left to fight.  Finally, an American man behind me stood up and leaned over.  He said, "I'm going to be real forward here, but can I come sit next to you?" I said, "Sure." I was up for anything.  He sat down, Abby sat right on his lap, and he pulled out his iPhone.  He held her for takeoff.  I gave her Melatonin and Benadryl after a couple hours and she went to sleep for about 6 hours on the floor between the seats.  Thankfully it was just the 2 seats and she couldn't pester anyone.  She quietly played for a couple more hours and ate, but then it was coming time for landing.  We started the whole process over.  Again, the kind gentleman behind me, I called him my angel, came and sat next to me.  The minute Abby was on his lap, she was quiet.  She loved looking out the window and seeing all of the planes parked at their gates.

I was never so happy to land in Seattle.  I really didn't sleep a wink on the plane.  It was now noon of the same day.  I changed Abby into the t-shirt I had ordered for her.  It said "God made me, chose me, and brought me home!" The minute she stepped foot on the ground at Sea-Tac, she bacame a US Citizen!  When we came up the escalator, Paul and his parents, grandma, brother and his family were there to greet me.  (The girls couldn't miss anymore school to drive over). I looked around and then saw my parents.  They had flown up from So Cal and surprised me.  They spent an hour or so with us and then boarded the plane to fly back home.  This was a moment I was thankful to see family!!

We went to the car to load up.  She went in her carseat just fine, until the straps were too tight and we had to get her out to adjust it.  When we took her out, there was NO getting her back in.  We did!! She kicked and screamed bloody murder for the next 30 minutes.  She had dried salt on her face from all the tears. I felt so bad for her, but knew we couldn't give in with a 4 hour drive ahead. We were nervous about stopping, but we stopped twice and she got right back in her seat without a peep.

We finally arrived home about 5:45 to about 40 friends.  I think 2/3 of them were kids.  We have been blessed on this journey to be supported by so many friends and family.  They had a big welcome home sign and balloons.  Abby just kind of stared at everyone.  When we took her into her room, we snapped a fmaily picture and then she played with her kitchen.  Some of the people were starting to leave and she started crying.  She was a little overwhelmed.  She calmed down after a few minutes.  That night, she went right to bed in her own bed, in her room, without a peep.  I just wanted to flop into bed, but still had an adrenaline rush.  As I laid in bed, I thought about the day.  I was thankful for God's provision and faithfulness to bringing our daughter home.  Welcome home, Abby Faith, welcome home!!








Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane!!


I am so excited to be coming home tomorrow!!! Today Abby and I walked around the gardens of our hotel and went to the playroom again.  Today, she found the tub of Duplos and enjoyed making towers.  She was surprised when some of the Duplos fell off.  We went and found her a pair of tennis shoes.  She was so excited to have a new pair of shoes!  She just kept clicking her feet together.  I went out to dinner with another friend and her husband I have met through my Facebook group.  When we got back to our hotel, some of the staff were doing a "Flash Mob" dance routine.  It was entertaining!  Abby helped her new friend, Zoey walk around.  I am so looking forward to being home!  I will do a final thoughts post once I am home and can think about our experience here in Ch*na.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support throughout our journey!  I especially felt them while here by myself.  Please pray for our 2 flights and 4 hour layover. Pray that Abby will cooperate and sleep, although I think she will. (I have Benadryl).  See you back in the good 'ol USA.











Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Almost A U.S. Citizen

Today we went to the US Consulate. I took an oath and finished all of our paperwork for Abby to be ours and a US Citizen.  She will officially become a citizen when she touches the ground in Seattle.  (Cameras were not allowed inside).  After our appointment, we went to Shamian Island.  This is a beautiful island with lots of trees, bronze statues, and shops.  Because of its beauty, it is used for many photo shoots, especially brides.  I met up with some gals that I have met on my DTC Spring Facebook group.  We enjoyed lunch at Lucy's together with our kids.  It was nice to finally meet in person, plus enjoy a good hamburger.  Abby did not want to stand by some of the statues, but other ones she did. 

It was a nice, relaxing day.  Only 2 more days and I'll be home. (Not that I'm counting)

P.S. Some of the pictures are of different apartments and houses on our way to the island.  The highrise complexes hold thousands of people.
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Panda-monium!


Today Abby and I were able to spend the morning at the hotel and were able to Facetime with family and friends.  One of the best calls was being able to see and talk to my small group gals. I shed a few tears when we hung up.  I'm ready to be back in the good 'ol US of A. To kill some time, I took Abby to the hotel playroom.  She loved riding the tricycle and playing peek-a-boo in the castle.  In the afternoon, we went to the Guangzhou Zoo and Abby loved the pandas! She kept wanting in and out of her stroller, so I finally just kept her in.  I would just raise the stroller up with her in it to see the animals.

I had to go back to the mall, where I got Abby some shoes yesterday, and get a bigger size.  The bus dropped me off and I had to cross a major street, think Frogger. After I did the exchange, I had to hail a cab.  I finally did it, but not before a bunch of people had cut in front of me.  I had to remember that the people here do not know what a line is AT ALL!  I made it back to the hotel and I will admit, I was pretty proud of myself to venture out that little bit.

Tonight for dinner we went to Oggi's Italian restaurant.  Abby slurped down her first spaghetti and enjoyed every bite.  I think we went through a dozen napkins! When we got back to the room she let me sing rock-a-bye-baby and rock her.  I continued to rock her and sing Jesus Loves Me.  She didn't like it, but then loved "This little piggy".  We're continuing to make progress.

Please continue to pray for me for rest and wisdom.  Pray for Abby as she is testing me and trying to figure out the boundaries.   















Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday, October 14

Today we went to the local shopping mall for a few hours with our agency so people could get their souvenirs.  This afternoon, Abby drew for a little bit and then we both had a nap.  It felt so good:) We also had our group photo with all of the children in traditional Chinese clothes.  They all looked so cute!  Tonight, we went on the Pearl River Cruise.  It was something!  The Chinese do not understand the meaning of lines of any sort or waiting until it's your turn.  They had a buffet and it was like a herd of cows rushing up to graze.  As you can see, there were some interesting dishes.  Friday was the chicken head, today was the chicken feet.  Those were flying out of the dish!  We saw the Asian Games Stadium lit up and the Guangzhou TV tower.  The tower kept changing colors and then would go to multicolored.  Abby had a great time running around on the deck with her new buddies and sliding down the sloped wall of the wheelhouse.  We got back to the hotel and washed all her grime off in the tub and she went right to sleep.  Each day is getting better! Your prayers have definitely been felt.  Tomorrow is off to the zoo!