Ten years ago today
4:45 AM . .... we left our house and Scott's mom drove us to the airport.
We checked in and were told that for this short flight to Detroit we were upgraded to first class because we were on our honeymoon. We must have been glowing like honeymooners but we weren't on our honeymoon we were on our baby~moon!
9:12 AM Northwest flight # 1104 to Detroit
Too bad that first class would only be for the smallest part of our journey. Just a few hours but it sure was fun to stretch out. Oh man, we were over the moon excited!
Everyone fussed over our little picture of Anna and were so excited for us. These two flight attendants filled our backpacks with huge bottles of water for our journey and even a bottle of champagne. I remember them saying something like, "I've always wanted an adopted 'coming home' baby on our flight".
In Detroit we met eleven other families from all over the Northeast. (group picture coming in another post) All adopting from China. All referred at the same time. All of our baby girls were together in the same orphanage. Do you know that that equals? Instant family. Yes, total strangers to instant life long friends. We were together almost every minute for the next two weeks. From the flight from Detroit to China, adoption, all around China, and back home again. When I first met them I didn't know that I'd rely on them so much over the next fourteen days. Especially those that were already mothers. Becoming a parent in a foreign country without the comforts of home or help of family was rough. These families made it wonderful. I truly don't know that I would have done without them.
2:30 PM Northwest Flight #25 leaving Detroit
4:30 PM Arrival in Toyko. (that's not two hours later... that's like the NEXT DAY) Over 12 hours in the air... I remember thinking labor and delivery couldn't be this bad!
6:25 PM Northwest Flight #19 from Tokyo to Beijing China (only a three hour flight)
We stepped off the plane in Beijing China. It was night. It was hot. And there was a strange, unfamiliar smell in the air. Do you know what? I can honestly say that I felt an instant connection to this country. A deep love right there in the parking lot at night in China. I knew that this country that I knew little about was the birthplace of my daughter. Still today I can not hear someone say the word China without goosebumps.
That night, late, a Chinese guide met us at the airport. She would be with us for the next fourteen days until we boarded our airplane home. She would be with us as we were first handed our babies and every step of the way. We gathered our luggage and boarded a tour bus (the first of so so many) and were taken to the first hotel.
I remember Helen (our Chinese tour guide) talking, explaining things. But I have no idea what she said. I already know not to go anywhere near the water. To keep my mouth shut in the shower, to rise my tooth brush with bottled water or I'd get so sick I couldn't even hold my baby.
So we arrived. And I guess I looked like this. Tired, hungry, and so close, oh so close to my baby girl.
We're in China. Just a few more days and she'll be in my arms.