So I'm kind of laughing that my last post said "Refined and Headed Home" as if I somehow thought the heat in the refining process was going to be turned down a bit....wrong. The heat was cranked up a few notches 5 minutes after boarding the airplane. Wanted to give you a peek into our journey home...
One of the more bizarre moments, was riding in a van from GZ to HK with another family, pulling up to the border between HK and China (yes, HK is part of china yet they still have a very guarded border).... the van door slides open, and a laser is zapped at the head of every passenger... door closes and we move on... they say they are checking our temperatures and supposedly they will quarantine you if you are sick.... I still question if some sort of microchip was imbedded in me. Luckily we had been warned and gave MS tylonel 30 minutes before the boarder since she did in fact have a fever.
So onto the 15 hour flight.... oh my.... I hope to never relive that again after I post this. If you can pardon my language, it was pure hell. As soon as the plane was lifting off, MS went into fit of rage mode (which I'm now affectionately calling her "Angry Asian" persona)... NOTHING would calm her. Normally food can keep her preoccupied but that was not working... stiff body, screams, wails, arching back.... you name it.... she wanted me to hold her yet hated me for holding her. And when a normal child might pass out from exhaustion from such a fit, she actually took it up a notch! (I'm sure this somehow plays into her survival skills that were necessary for her to make it this far in life... the girl has determination/ willpower in spades) So, 30 minutes into the flight, we popped in a melatonin and 30 minutes later she fell asleep.... for 1 hour. 13 hours to go. Yikes.
We had a few moments of playing and eating and LOTS of walking laps around the airplane. But many many more fits.... she was just so so mad. Later in the flight, she actually took a 2 hour nap (PTL!) but I maybe slept 30 minutes because her sleep was so fitful.... tossing, turning and slapping me. I felt amazingly bad for all the people around me.... most were understanding... only the guy directly in front of me never made eye contact. God actually put a really sweet stewardess with us who was adopted herself at the same age as MS.... and another who has a daughter from Russia... so at least I got lots of sympathy from them. The whole time, I kept thinking "Just make it end. Let me blink and us magically be there." My estimate is that she cried the better part of 8 hours.... like I said, she is a determined little firecracker.
We finally landed in Detroit and we had access to the Delta Crown Room, where Derek and I actually took showers to feel somewhat more alive again. In the Crown Room, we experienced what I can only describe as the most hilarious moment ever. Seriously, I can't think about it without crying. Basically, when I took my shower, Derek is holding MS in the lounge area.... I had never been in one before but it is a lot of business men and serious people... and MS is of course screaming.... lots and lots and lots of stares and scowls.... maybe more than on the airplane. Then I leave MS screaming with D to search for hot water to make a bottle because maybe that will help? So I have mentioned before that chinese babies drink very very hot bottles..... and I've mentioned that the hole in the top is very large.... when you cover the hole to shake it up.... the hot water.... shaking...like the champagne effect...formula shooting higher and further than you can imagine. We had formula shoot multiple times at the hotel so we knew about this phenomenon.... but after a 15 hour flight your brains don't work as well. Derek shakes it vigorously.... the water was really really too hot and then boom.... the formula SPRAYS EVERYWHERE AND TOTALLY SOAKS A MAN!!!!! Derek is staring at the man in disbelief that this just happened.... MS is screaming because she wants her bottle and what do I do? I start laughing so uncontrollably that I can't even apologize to the man.... like really, tears, shaking.... and their was a handful of angry stares that could not or would not turn away. Derek and I try apologizing amid hysterical laughs (we should have been mortified but it was just icing on the cake for our day)... the man was so gracious and said "It's ok, I have kids. I'm used to it. Although I have never seen formula spray like that before." Derek wiped him a bit with a napkin but it didn't put a dent into the amount of formula up and down him all his luggage and his briefcase... (I don't know if my words can fully capture the hilarity of the situation and the inappropriateness of my response)... so then we left.... curious what the conversation was in there once we evacuated!
The other fun side note of detroit was that we got to see our friends, Mike & Tricia, who were on their way to china to get their baby..... so they got to be the first to meet MS. It was so much to visit with them as they begin their journey. Then onto Birmingham... again, as the plane took off, MS went into spitting darts mode but this time, passed out after 15 minutes and woke up as we landed.
I can't even describe the joy I felt as I saw my kiddos.... it was the best. Little Henry seemed to have grown up the most which kind of broke my heart. Rollins cried when we saw him and said to me "This is my first time to cry tears of happiness." Love that boy. My family and friends were there and it was amazing. MS did great meeting so many new faces.... I on the other hand, started to go downhill the longer we talked to people... so we made an exit, got home fast where I proceeded to throw up over and over and over.... 24 plus hours of being awake, traveling, eating junk, etc. had caught up to me. Our babysitter was at the airport and came back to our house to get her car, but we ended up keeping her (THANK MEREDITH!!) because I couldn't function.... she fed the kids and bathed them. Then we got to put them to bed and cuddle! (MS ate jambalaya for dinner BTW). She went down easily... worn out from the traveling.... and I totally passed out in the bed. It was some good sleep.
The next morning was the beginning of what has been even harder than what seemed hard to me in China... I'll try and sum it up in a few days but for now, let's say jet lag + new, grieving & angry baby+ spring break+ 3 other children = one broken/ struggling mama. We are surviving though... one day at a time. I'll go into more later. Enjoy photos from our homecoming!
I have to add that we had some awesome surprises at home.... if you have friends adopting, remember these ideas because they were the best!!! We had welcome home decorations inside and out... fresh flowers... clean house and friends had even cleaned out my fridge and restocked it! Their were also homemade muffins, granola, sausage balls, and dinner for that night! Once again, overwhelmed by how blessed we are.
The beginning of the flight.... she is laughing because she knows what she is about to do to me...
In Detroit meeting the Robinsons:
In Detroit meeting the Robinsons: