Thursday, September 19, 2013

Goodbye China, hello my wonderful USA!

Last full day! Finally! I have said from the beginning I just want my child and then take her home! I must say it was so nice to be with other families that totally understood the desire to not only adopt but also to appt from China. Even though our journeys differed, the goal was the same. I was surprised that we were not the only "older" couple. There was even another family with grandchildren like us.It is becoming more and more common which is fantastic. There were also families adopting their first child. This had been such am amazing experience that it can't be described. To begin this journey and finally met the little face behind the picture then to see their personality begin to bloom and grow. So many new discoveries.I don't think it compared to anything. On this last day I couldn't focus on anything but getting Shi Yu home. I was so anxious I packed everything that could be packed ahead of time. The hotel had an amazing outdoor area for kids that was actually on the forth floor of the hotel and was surrounded be the hotel. It had a play area, water falls, and was just beautiful. Shi Yu didn't care for the play area and was a little scared of the swings and slide so we used it several times  to take walks in her stroller, which she loved. The waterfall was the only place you could get a little cool mist breeze and I could have stood by it for a long time. The climate in Guangzhou is like a sauna and the second you go outside you think you will melt.  We walked to the 7/11 which was attached outside of the hotel (there are 7/11's everywhere) to get enough water for the night and next morning and basically did nothing but attend a meeting by the guides to explain how our return home would be.  Most families had made their own flight arrangements but the agency had made the arrangements to get everyone back to their main point, in our case Beijing. This was a little scary because even though a guide took you to the airport and got you checked in we would be in our own after that. This meant arriving at Beijing, having a layover and getting in the plane to the USA. We went to bed early that night. We had to have our bags ready to go at 6:30am. The next morning and I was so ready to go! Shi Yu was fantastic and just went with the flow through the whole trip and she continued to do so. The guide took us to the airport and got us checked in. We were rather lucky because of my knees (which were severely banged up by this point from having to get off and on buses and airplanes quickly or be trampled on) and were able to get assistance at almost every point. Without this I think we would have never found our way around lol. I was pretty tired of going through the security checkpoints by this time. Poor Dan had to deal with 3 carry on's, 3 backpacks and a baby. Once we got to Beijing he had to deal with that AND THE 3 SUITCASES! We had no idea that we would have to take all of that on a bus to a different terminal about 3 miles away. Then we were dropped off in the middle of the street. Poor Dan was trying to unload all the luggage and carry the baby. I hobbled over and tool the baby to safety and turned to see Dan in the middle of the road with 3 big suitcases, 3 carry on's and 3 backpacks and cars buzzing by. It was crazy. I was so grateful when everyone was safe on the sidewalk. We did get help once we checked in and they guided us all the way to the gate. What relief. By now I was desperate to be in my own country were I could actually communicate with a person if there was a problem. I kept telling myself there was just one more flight to our country then one more flight to home. I was so relieved when we finally got on that plane. Shi Yu wasn't noticing a thing and was quite happy lol. We would end up being awake and flying a total of about 30 hours. Shi Yi slept almost the whole time through the flights and I was so proud of her for being such a good girl. Of course she did have her own seat and half of mine to stretch out on. The flight coming home seemed so much longer then the flight going! The really neat thing was that as soon  or plane touched ground in the US, Shi Yu would automatically become a US citizen. I had my camera ready the second the plane touched in Chicago! When we arrived at Pittsburgh airportwe were exhausted but so happy to be home with our baby! My brother met us at the airport and boy was I happy to see him! Shi Yu was her usual shy timid self with him. She is very very timid and shy around new people but who can blame her with all she has been through. I wouldn't trust anyone either. We got our luggage, filled a claim for our missing stroller, and were on or way home! Unfortunately we had to be delayed by a minor fender Bender. Oh lord would we ever get home? It was past midnight! Insurance cards were exchanged and finally we were in or way again. Please lord, no more delays. We were almost home when 3 deer ran out in the road. The good lord must have thought we needed a break and we didn't hit them. Within minutes we finally pulled into or driveway! Home sweet home has never had so much meaning.