Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Friday, May 23, 2008

About those flights!

Getting home involved three flights. The first leg began in Guangzhou and ended in Beijing. We left our hotel at 6:30 for a 9:00 flight and just barely made it! That would be because the airline did not have me listed as having a ticket! WHAT? That's right, even though I had an e-ticket and a confirmation number, China Southern said I didn't have one! It wasn't just me either. It happened exactly the same for the other couple in our travel group that were supposed to be on that flight. Thank goodness Elsie, our CHI coordinator was there. I have no idea what she said, but hopefully it was something along the lines of "This man is not leaving his wife in China, this mother is not letting her child and husband leave without her, I don't care what your computer says, now get her on that plane or we will ALL make a horrible scene!" Whatever it was, it worked! Twenty minutes into the flight, Claire helped me spill a cup of orange juice in my lap and we had to be moved to dry seats. Of course, I couldn't be moved to dry pants though! They were in my checked baggage!

Noodles will also keep me occupied on long flights!

By 12 noon we were in Beijing for our four hour layover before our flight to Newark, NJ. Thank goodness we had 4 hours or we never would have made it to our international flight! After disembarking the plane we had to pick up all our checked bags from the other flight, take them through security, again, re-check them for our international flight, go to another terminal, check-in for our international flight, fill out a form, go through immigration and go through security AGAIN! Of course, it couldn't go off without a hitch. This time the computer told us and the other couple that our flights had already departed! HELLO, what is up with this? Do they just not want you to leave China! So, we stood in another line to have someone fix that. Thankfully, they were able to and we had just enough time to eat a quick bite before boarding our 3:45 plane to Newark, NJ. Mind you, we have now been in transit for 9 hours and Claire slept through most of the layover. So, she had a melt down as soon as we got on the Continental airlines flight. I guess another flight was not what she had in mind! This leg of the journey lasted 13 hours. Claire managed to sit and play for the first 3 hours, sleep for 4-5 and alternate fussing and napping for the rest. She was not interested in walking the plane but did enjoy the edited version of 27 Dresses! Actually, she just liked wearing the headphones and didn't pay much attention to the picture.

23 hours after beginning the trek home we landed safely on U.S. soil and Claire became an American Citizen! We dragged our behinds off the plane, got through customs and headed straight for immigration where we turned in our super-secret-sealed-brown-envelope given to us at the American Consulate in Guangzhou. This envelope must make it into the immigration officer's hands unopened. Then we had to go get our checked bags....again, and recheck them for the next flight! Boy, did we get tired of hauling those bags around. We made it to the terminal in time to find out, that our flight was delayed! At 9:15 we boarded our last flight. Claire passed out 10 minutes before boarding and slept until we touched down in Charleston! Not a peep out of her until then.

Both sets of grandparents and the children were there to greet us. It was so nice to see their faces and get hugs! WE'RE HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The car seat was an experience, just as we knew it would be. But she quieted down after a few minutes. When we got to the house she just looked around at everyone, kind of in shock I think! My friend, Michelle and her baby, Casey were there too, so it was a full house. When Isabel came to sit beside us, she pushed her away but fortunately, Isabel did not take it personally. Then she opened a few presents, got a snack and a bath and CRASHED from 3AM until 10:30. She was not overly crazy about the crib but actually stopped crying faster than when she was on the roll aways in China.

Walking with Papa!

Today, we took Claire to the doctor to have her checked since I had put her on the antibiotics in China. She still has a full blown ear infection so we put her on stronger antibiotics. She did not even flinch when then nurse pricked her finger. This evening we took her to Moe's for dinner and out to the boy's baseball game. She did wonderfully and even fell asleep in Papa Stroud's arms. Overall, I would say she has had a good first day at home. And, she let Isabel play with her, push her in the cart at Walmart, brush her hair and sit beside her in the car. Isabel is quite the little mama! The boys just try to make her smile and disappear if she needs a diaper change!

Love my new push car!

My first baseball game with my Papa!

Flirting with one of the players!

1 comment:

joan trimble said...

i loved reading your tale of picking up Claire. She is so adorable, and i can't wait to see her at St. Andrew's. We are just about to leave for the summer in Maine, so we may have to wait until August to see her.
It looks as though our daughter, Tucker, is going to school here for 10th grade, so we will be back early this year. Blessings with Claire!!! Joan Trimble