God's presence was very real to us during our entire journey home. He heard your prayers and ours. I can't tell you how valuable your prayers have been to us on this journey.
We woke up at 4:30 and laid in bed until 5:30. We got ready, went down for breakfast, finished packing and were off hotel property before 7:30. When we arrived at the airport we learned that the line to check in was long... really really long. This was supposed to be the only relaxed and guaranteed part of the journey. We finally made it to the front of the line and through security with just enough time for a new diaper and quick bathroom stop. A cool little God moment happened when a man came up to us in line and talked to us about Jesus. He had been traveling locally to encourage brothers and sisters.
T did great on the first flight. She had a bottle and then we both slept. We woke just before landing to realize that our flight was a bit behind schedule. We could also smell a perfectly timed stinky diaper from Miss T. The flight attendants seemed certain that we would make it. We were in the first non business class row so we were off the plane pretty quickly. We dashed down the hallway and saw a woman with a sign for the Chicago flight. She looked at our boarding passes, put stickers on all three of us and told us to quickly follow her. She cruised through the airport and I followed her like a little chick following its momma. Seriously if she would have stopped quickly we would have tackled her for sure. She led us to a security point that flight crew use so there was no line. She then led us through many parts of an airport that most travelers never go. Brandon and I felt like royalty and we were grinning and weeping and running. We went straight to the gate and had our luggage checked again and then the scanned our boarding passes and allowed us to go down the walkway to the plane. The whole thing took less than 10 minutes. As we walked down the gateway (whatever it is called) I was just crying and praising God. The people walking with us were missionaries in the Philippines and she was trying to have normal conversation with me as I am blubbering away.
When we got on to the plane we learned that we made it with enough time to change T's sticky diaper before take off. Yahoo! Brandon was in a bulk head seat (with a bassinet) and I was right behind him. The man next to Brandon offered to trade with me so we could sit together. What a great blessing! I asked for water for a bottle for T and for me to take my motion sickness meds, but they said not until take off (the confiscated all of our water at the security check point.) I was really feeling the motions and I don't think T was too excited about going up without a bottle, but we both made it. The long flight was... well... LONG... but T was a great traveler. She received many compliments. One man said she was the quietest baby he has ever seen on a flight. Way to go T! About an hour into the flight Brandon said he could smell something. I looked over at him and he had poo on his leg and arm. T leaked through both. Poor guy. I guess that is why we dressed in layers. I slept the most, T slept about five hours and Brandon slept just three. The bassinet was amazing! So thankful for a cozy place for T to sleep.
As we were approaching Chicago we started to do some math and got a little nervous about making our next connection. Our flight was over 20 minutes late landing in Chicago. It was very rainy outside and I actually began praying that the rain would delay our final flight so we could make it to the gate. T of course had another perfectly timed present as we were about to deplane. We booked it off the plane. If there were stairs we ran down them. We got through customs/immigration VERY quickly! Thank you Jesus! Then we raced to the next terminal and found our gate. Once again we had enough time to change the stinky diaper, make a bottle, go to the bathroom, fill water bottles and get to our flight. Once on the plane we felt a huge relief. We had prayed so hard to make our flights. Knowing that we made them was AWESOME. Then.. we waiting for over an hour on the plane before take off. Apparently someone somehow got on the plane without having their boarding pass scanned. Opps. It took a long time to sort out and involved someone going to each person on the plane to verify who was there. Finally it was all worked out, but the weather had turned from rain to snow and they needed to deice the plane. About the time they were done T had an AWFUL stinky diaper... I pushed the call button, but the flight attendant said there wasn't time to change it and it would be too bumpy during the flight. We put a changing pad under Brandon in case she leaked and then endured the smell the journey home. Once at the airport we went into the family bathroom to change T's clothes and freshen up.
I was so excited to see M. We ran to each other to hug. He is so big and heavy. Wow, my baby is growing up. We had some sweet times with the grandparents in the airport. M wanted to hold T and he did a great job. T was not very sure about any of the grand parents holding her, but this is actually a great sign.
We headed home and ate and hang out and showered. M gave T a tour of the house. He jumped on the beds in each room. So cute. I could tell he was a bit sad and very whiney, but he was so good with T and happy that we were home. I really think they are going to have a blast together.
M didn't fall asleep until 9:30. He was hungry so we needed to have some late night pancakes. Such a sweet boy. Hopefully we will all sleep well and long tonight. M slept so poorly his first nights home, so I am prepared for that, but hopeful it will be a bit better.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and care along our journey both before we left and while we were in China. So many people cared for and loved on M here and helped in countless ways. It was a blessing to share this journey with you. I will try to keep updating at least with photos every couple of days because I know that at least the grandparents want to see them.
We will be cocooning for at least a month so that means that besides immediate family T will just see Dr's. I know many of you are very excited to meet her so I will try to keep blogging so you can get to know her on here. When we begin to come out of the cocoon I will let you know more details about what to expect.
I will end with a couple of our family of 4 photos.
|Family of FOUR!!!! T's shirt says "Daddy's favorite present" and matched our adoption shirts.|
|Such a sweet big brother!|