Traveling, with all the people
We have been saving lots of things leading up to this trip…not just the ratty undies and socks, but United miles and hotel points…enough miles and points to cover all of our roundtrip flights and every hotel! There is no way that we would’ve been able to bring the whole family otherwise. Praise God!
I love to travel, but that’s not always easy when you are a family of 5. Long flights are pretty terrible, long flights with three kids is worse. So we have made the decision that we are never coming home because that would mean long flights with 4 kids. We promise to send pictures regularly, and facetime often!
It’s a good thing that we will be here 20 days…maybe that’s just enough time for us to forget how terrible the long flights can be. Our kids actually did pretty great, it’s just exhausting and then you reach a point of irritability that no one should ever have to endure. We played musical chairs quite a bit on the flights, just to keep everyone happy and distracted. The girls brains are officially fried from all the movies they watched. I forgot lotion so in addition to being super crabby, our skin was also insanely dry and itchy. They were all complaining about the lack of comfort, to which I responded super lovingly “we are on a plane, there is no such thing as being comfortable”. One of them started to mention the fancy seats up front but I’m certain my glare told them to zip it. You see, they are a little like their mama, what we each needed was a king sized bed to ourselves and then we would be comfortable. Then the last two hours hit and thats when the wheels blew off. They each finally dozed off for an hour-ish, by then the lights on the plane were coming back on, they were serving breakfast and needing everyone to start waking up. Oh man, don’t wake them up! Tears started streaming down Emma’s face, she had reached the end of her rope. Oh good, waffles and syrup were being served, because what we really needed was syrup on top of our hot mess kids. The last two hours seemed like an eternity, but once we were finally on the ground, the tears began to dry, and excitement started to take over.
We’ve had a lot of questions about our trip…we will be gone 20 days, the actual adoption trip is usually just 18 days…you tack 2 days on to the front end to help get you semi-coherent and over jet lag before getting your baby, so we will do a few tours in Beijing, Then we will spend the next week in Hannah’s province, doing paperwork days and waiting for her passport to be ready. Then Saturday we travel to Guangzhou where the US consulate is and finalize things on the US side. This requires medical screenings, various paperwork to be filled out and then we wait 48 hours to get her visa in her passport. In the past we have flown home after that, but because we were making the most of our miles, it was cheaper to fly out of Hong Kong and to fly home on Monday! So we are extending our trip by 2 days..plus we’ve never seen Hong Kong, so when in Rome!
We have plenty of down days in the midst of all the appointments that gives us time to hunker down in the hotel room to bond with Hannah or do some touristy things if she’s up for it! When we adopted Amelia, my mom was able to travel with us to help look after McKayla while we focused on Amelia. With Emma, my girlfriend Denise joined us to look after McKayla and Amelia, and this time Denise and her hubby Jerry were able to join us to help take care of the three crazies.
The time in country is so precious to me, getting to soak up our girls culture, not having to think about cleaning or cooking or school or work…our world simply revolves around the one He has brought us to and this time it’s Hannah Hope!