Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wecome to America!

Hey everyone. Lois here with a post update that is way past due. I'm sorry it has taken so long to write again. I think about it every day, but I've just found it hard to stay awake longer than Hannah. She gets to take a nap; I don't. Now that we seem to be over jet lag, I hope to be able to stay awake past ten o'clock. David started back to work the Friday after we returned; so, he has been trying to catch up. He has been working from home most of the time which has made life interesting since his office has been downstairs in the living room that has no doors. Hannah doesn't think twice about going to visit any time she thinks about it which is often. Last Friday, he got someone to come help him move the furniture to an upstairs guest room (thanks Chris!). Hannah is doing great enjoying life and entertaining the whole family. I'll tell you more about our time at home in later posts, but for the rest of this one, I'll tell you about the last day of our journey. Enjoy!

After checking out of our hotel in Hong Kong, eating hash browns and eggs for breakfast at Burger King and waving good bye to China, we borded our plane in Hong Kong and headed home!  With a full tummy, we happily wait to board our plane.

Hannah did amazingly well on the long journey. We only had one melt-down that lasted for about 20 minutes, and we think we could have avoided that if we had done things a little differently. It was NOT the time or place to try to teach her a lesson about throwing her toys on the floor! Altogether, 20 minutes out of 16 hours is not bad. There were a few other newly adopted children on the flight, and some of them didn't seem to do as well as Hannah. The Varns were on our flight and we got to visit with them a few minutes. The rest of the time we played with toys and stickers, read our books, ate snacks, walked around the plane, and slept. She found it pretty hard to get comfortable, but was able to sleep quite a few hours anyway.

The flight should have only been 14 hours long, but Chicago had a stormy weather just before we arrived, and all traffic was backed up. They wouldn't let us land, so we flew to another airport nearby for an hour to re-fuel before flying back to Chicago. Even after we landed, we had to wait another 45 minutes on the tarmac until they found a gate for us. When we finally got off, we took our secret brown envelop and went through Immigration and Passport Control. It took a little time, but we got to visit with the Varns some more. We didn't get to see what was in the brown envelop, but the official we gave it to must have been okay with the contents because we were quickly given a green light to go.

Hooray! We were officially in America and our daughter was an American Citizen! Of course that meant that we were now subject to all the laws of the land including those that govern airport security! I was prepared for a meltdown when they told us to take off her shoes and take her out of the stroller, but she didn't even cry when they took her sippy cup of juice to test it for bombs. She didn't really like being frisked along with Mama. Mama didn't really enjoy it either. We were exhausted by this point and disappointed when we learned that our flight to Atlanta was delayed due to the bad weather, but we made the best of things by finding a McDonald's near our gate. Hannah didn't seem to mind having chicken nuggets and French fries again. There aren't many people that can say they've had McDonald's four times in three different countries in three days. Hopefully, we won't have it again for a long time.  Here we are with a full tummy and happily waiting to board our flight to Atlanta.

We were glad to get on our flight to Atlanta earlier than we expected and that it was short and uneventful. It landed after 11:00 PM, but Sheila Watson and Kay Croxton were there with  my mother a ride waiting to meet us. Thanks Sheila, Kay and Mother. It was good to have someone there waiting. After letting Hannah meet her Grandma Stallings, we found our luggage and went out to let her meet Grandpa Cooke and Aunt Carisa. We drove to their house to meet Grandma Cooke and then we finally drove home. We were surprised to walk in and see Welcome Home balloons and other treats left by Aunt Carisa.

As exhausted as we were, our bodies told us it was past lunch time; so, we sat down to eat our first meal together at home as a family at 2:00 AM. David and I had turkey sandwiches and Pringles while Hannah had a scrambled egg, sliced turkey, yogurt and Pringles. With full tummies, we were all happy to fall into bed after a very long day to sleep for a very long time. Good night and Wan an! ZZZZZZZzzzzzzz.....

The next few posts will not be in chronologial order as I tell about Hannah's new life ...  More pictures and details to come :>)


The Younger Rachael said...

Its beautiful seeing you home in your house with your daughter. I'm so excited for you!

Jessica said...

Welcome Home.

Mandie said...

I'm so glad Hannah and You fared well on the long trip home. You probably handled it much better than I would have!! McKenzie and I can't wait to come play with Hannah. We will be around Tuesday and Wednesday and then I'm off to take Daniel to Ft. Stewart Thursday and Friday.

Mandie said...

I also sent you a blogging award today...check out my blog.

Virginia said...

Welcome home!! Thanks for the update and I love all of the photos. It's so great to see you guys with Hannah in your new home! She looks so happy and at ease with you. Sounds like you all are settling in adjusting well. I'm so so happy for you.

Gin =)

jj said...

So glad y'all are home can't wait to see you .

Pruiksma's Progress said...

Lois -
So glad to have met you at Target!! Soo thankful for the Lord divine appointments in our lives. Wanted to know if it would be okay if I called you sometime as I would like to know more about Lifeline. We had been planning to use Great Wall but have come across some bad reviews - thankfully we have not invested any money with them yet!! Would love to hear about your experience with your agency. Blessings!