Yesterday was the longest Saturday of my life!! We left our hotel in Hong Kong at 6am Saturday morning and arrived in Atlanta at 9pm Saturday night. Sounds like it wasn’t a bad day until you realize that China is 12 hours ahead of us and we were actually travelling with our 2 year old for over 24 hours yesterday. And that doesn’t even include the day before when we had to journey back to Hong Kong by van from Guangzhou. The van ride was supposed to be 3 hours, but ended up more like 5 with traffic and a flat tire. We knew we were in trouble when Kate had a good bit of trouble sitting at all in that van.
Yesterday was, in a word, a miracle. Picture 2 people with a 2 year old, 5 suitcases, 4 carry ons, a stroller, and several blankets, sweatshirts, etc. making their way from the other side of the world. Then add to it the fact that I was coming down with something…splitting headache and horribly sore throat. Our journey started in the Hong Kong airport where it took twice as long and a little bit of money to get Kate’s ticket changed from her US name to her Chinese name so that it would match her passport. At first they told us that we had to repurchase the ticket, but then allowed us a $75 change fee…gotta love Delta…$75 to change a name. Then we lugged all our stuff through security as Kate is screaming because she doesn’t want to sit in the stroller. When I say screaming, the girl has a set of lungs. I will tell you that the only thing that kept me from turning around and heading back to the Hong Kong hotel is that fact that God kept reminding me that every minute was a minute closer to home. David actually looked at me and said “Let’s take our time. We will be okay. We can do this.” That is not David, especially when we are already running behind schedule. He felt the weight of the trip too.
The first flight was only 3.5 hours, but it felt much longer as Kate had several complete meltdowns. By the end of the flight we were pulling out the Benedryl (which, btw does not seem to have any affect on her). We got to Tokyo and had to go through security and immigration again since we were in another country. It is so much easier to write all of this then it was to do it. Then we had a 3 hour layover in which all Kate wanted to do was explore the airport and all I wanted to do was to sleep. An hour before we boarded our 10 hour flight to Seattle she fell asleep for her nap. This was trouble for us because we knew we had lost an hour of her sleeping on the plane. Sure enough, 2 hours into the flight she was wide awake and ready to go. Kate is not a “sitter”, she is an explorer. She wants to be up and going and playing and she wants her way ALL of the time. If she does not get her way, she lets out the LOUDEST bloodcurdling screams I have ever heard. So yes, you guessed it…she screamed the majority of the last 7 hours of the flight. This mama was feeling sick, and daddy was sitting by a completely drunk guy who slept the whole flight, but also took up the armrest. I cannot even tell you how we survived this flight. Well, yes I can. Jesus. I called on His Name probably more than a hundred times.
When we got to Seattle, we almost knelt down and kissed the ground. It was so nice to be in America again. I felt sick and tired, but also overjoyed that our journey was almost over. We passed through immigration and customs…that was a hoot to get all our luggage through by ourselves and then we crashed by our gate to wait through a 4 hour layover. I tried to sleep on the airport floor, but sleep is hard to come by when you feel like your head is exploding, you are on a hard floor, and your daughter is pulling your husband all over the airport. David was SUCH a trooper and is so good with Kate. He completely amazed me on this trip. Finally we boarded the flight to Atlanta. Kate was exhausted by then, as were we all, so thank GOD in heaven most of the trip was spent sleeping. At this point, David is feeling sick too and I have used my last diaper. Of course as we are making our final descent and I am exhilerated at the fact that we are home, trying to soak in all the excitement of seeing the boys, Kate poops. And boy did she poop…gross, I can still smell it… and boy, did she want to be changed (who wouldn’t). And boy did I wish that I wouldn’t have changed the slightly peed in diaper halfway through the flight. The upside was that we had reentered the US in Seattle so all we had to do was go get our luggage and get to the car. I found a small store that sold me a travel pack of 2 diapers for $7… I think that should be illegal…and changed Kate (it was seriously gross, but she’s my daughter so I handled it). We were HOME, and that was all that mattered. We drove home and the boys met Kate and then quickly pulled out our suitcase full of goodies that we brought back…they don’t waste time with presents.
I’m sure it will take me a couple of weeks to process this journey. The two weeks we spent in China felt longer than 2 weeks. Maybe then I can accurately put into words all the emotions and thoughts that run through me about my stay in my daughter’s country. All I can say right now is that this journey is complete proof that God DOES exist. Kate is complete proof that He is a loving Saviour. The trip home is complete proof that anyone can do anything when the Hand of God is on their side. I am a living testimony of the goodness of God. When you doubt it, think of me, think of this blog. I cannot even tell you how impossible all of this would have been if there was not a God. There are a million details that showed His handiwork. David looked at me on the ride home in his car (it is weird to be driving the streets of Atlanta after 2 weeks of buses and taxis and shuttles. David described it as driving streets of gold…lol) and said “I don’t know how anyone ever adopts without God’s call in their life.” We both felt His Hand, His Provision, and His Great Love for Kate.
Kate is doing well. She is fascinated with Jordan and Nathan and I think in a few days it will be as though she has been here all along. She has a long road of doctor visits and such ahead of her as her arm and leg deformities are a little more serious than we thought. She is the perfect combination of beauty, sweetness, sassiness, and naughtiness :). She will need to learn that her cute faces do not always equal getting her way, but she is smart and strong and oh, so lovable (when she is not screaming bloody murder :). She was meant for us from the beginning of time. And I will go to my grave declaring the glory of God in the miracle He has done in our family. What’s next? Only God knows, but I trust Him more than I ever have. My hope and prayer is that through this story many others will see Jesus and put their hope, faith, and trust in Him.