July 11, 2012


 I intended to post on the blog on Friday night after we arrived in Hong Kong, but we didn't have internet service in our hotel room.  It seems that I have been busy every waking moment since then, so the blog has been put on the back burner.  Even though I have MANY things I need to be doing tonight, I'm taking the time to try to do a little catching up!!!!

We're ready to go home!

Daddy and his girls
Yogurt Break

Our last day in Guangzhou was on Friday.  We had intended to take the girls to the park after we got everything packed, but it was a rainy day, and even when the rain stopped, everything outside was messy.  We met up with Joey, Tasha, and Lee and decided to go to the indoor playroom in the hotel.  

Joey, Tasha, and Lee
Playroom Fun

Callie Beth loves the slide

Molly Kate

BIG Smile
Even though it was small, the kids really had a fun time.  As they were playing, we were hoping it would wear them down so they would ride well on the 3+ hour ride to Hong Kong we had to make that afternoon.  Jason and Grace delivered Callie Beth's visa to us around 4:15, and we promptly loaded up in the van that was taking us to Hong Kong.  It was sad for me to leave our "new" friends who felt like they had been our friends for a lifetime, but I was ready to COME HOME!!!!  

Our guides, Jason and Grace
 The girls were pretty good during the van ride.  We arrived at the Regal Airport Hotel in Hong Kong and checked in.  It was late and we hadn't eaten.  Unfortunately, there wasn't a 7-Eleven we could walk to to get food, and we had to eat in one of the hotel restaurants that was EXTREMELY expensive.  I told Roger, though, that there was a logical reason why my roast beef sandwich was so expensive----it definitely had the dual role of food and/ or sling shot.  The meat was tough enough that I think I could have flipped a rock to the good  ole USA!!!!  I was SOOO tired when we got back to the room.  Evan had had an interview at North Calloway on Thursday afternoon at 1:30, and I had stayed up to wait for an email from him to see how it went.  That meant that it was actually 2:30 on Friday morning in China when he was interviewing, and by the time I heard from him and got to bed it was at least 4:30 AM.  SO, I lost my sleep that night.  ANYWAY, I was looking forward to going to bed.  I had to stay up for awhile, though, and rearrange the items in our suitcases because our big one weighed 60 lbs!!!  FINALLY, it was bedtime!!!  I had the girls settled, Roger was sleep, and I was just about to crash, when Molly Kate started crying.  I don't know what was wrong with her.  I really think she didn't feel well, but I also think the crib they brought for her to sleep in was a little too small and felt confining to her.  I ended up holding her half the night to keep her from crying.  I was finally able to put her back to bed, and she slept the rest of the night. 

I got up at 5:30 to finish our packing, and we were checked out by 7:30.  Our hotel was attached to the airport, so it was easy to get where we were going, EXCEPT we had a little dilemma, considering we had TWO strollers to push, as well as the cart with 4 large suitcases on it, not mentioning our backpacks and extra carry-ons.  Roger did one heck of a job pushing Molly Kate's stroller behind the luggage carrier.  He had to do that a LONG way!!!

We had an issue with our flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo, because Todd Gullinek had not gotten our seats together---he had them two and two, and I knew that wouldn't work for LOTS of reasons.   I had emailed him as soon as we received our tickets to tell him it needed to be changed.  He first said it was our best bet to keep our seats that way.  After I EMPHATICALLY told him it wasn't going to work, he told me not to stress, and I understood him to say he would take care of it.  NOT!!!!  Luckily for us, we did get one person to swap seats, so I was able to sit with both girls and Roger was a few rows back.  It wasn't an easy four hours, and Todd was DEFINITELY not top on my list of favorite people on that ride, but I survived.

When we reached Tokyo, the announcement was made as we were getting ready to get off the plane that our flight to Chicago was already loading.  Here we were in a foreign airport that we knew NOTHING about, with no idea WHERE TO GO!!!  I have NO DOUBTS that God was with us, though, because right after we got off the plane, and employee of the airport came up out of nowhere and asked if we needed help.  When we told him our situation, he led us all the way there, and he even got us moved up to the front of the security check line.  We went up floors, down corridors, down floors.....in other words, had he not come along, we would have DEFINITELY missed our flight.  AND, wouldn't you know, once we reached the gate at the last minute, they WOULD choose Molly Kate to be one of their random choices for doing a temperature check on. I was a little worried, since she had felt badly the night before, but she had no fever.  We made it on the plane, and I was very thankful that we had four seat together in the middle row this time.

The flight from Tokyo to Chicago was a little over 11 hours, but it was an overall good flight.  Callie Beth only had a couple of long lasting meltdowns, one of which woke Molly Kate up from a nap, so she joined in the crying and screaming, too, for about the next 30 or 40 minutes.  Both girls did take some good naps during the trip, though.  I had one or the other of them in my lap the majority of the time, but that allowed room in their two seats together for the one I wasn't holding to stretch out and go to sleep.  Finally, they were actually BOTH asleep at once, and I got a few little catnaps.

At the airport!  We're going HOME!

We arrived in Chicago on time.  I had dreaded going through immigration, because it was such a pain for us in Atlanta when we came home with Molly Kate.  In fact, it took so long there, that we missed our flight to Nashville and had to reschedule.  This time I had made sure that Todd planned a longer layover before our flight to Nashville.  To our pleasant surprise, there was only one person in line in front of us at immigration.  The officer there was definitely NOT a patient person and was having all kinds of trouble making this couple, who was from China, understand what they needed to do.  He told us to sit down and wait.  Once he got to us, though, and took the "SEALED BROWN ENVELOPE, " it only took a couple of minutes for him to take care of everything!!!  From there, we had to go through customs, which was right by where immigration was.  In Atlanta, customs had been quite a distance from where immigration was, and by the time we got there, our suitcases had been setting out in the middle of the floor for at least an hour and a half.  It's a wonder someone hadn't stolen them.  This time, though, we had been able to get our suitcases BEFORE we went to immigration.  When we got to the officer at customs, he asked us if we had any food in our bags.  We told him that all we had was snacks for the girls.  He said he wasn't going to check us, and that we could be on our way!!!!  We had that same good fortune in Atlanta, but I think it was because we probably looked like wayfaring strangers that night!!!

We decided to just wait out our flight, instead of re-booking an earlier one to Nashville. 

Evan and my mom were coming to the airport to pick us up, and we knew they had just left home.  It was nice to have some time to sit and relax somewhere besides on a plane!!!!

We arrived in Nashville around 7:30.  We hadn't eaten, so we stopped at Cracker Barrel in Clarksville on our way home, to give Callie Beth a taste of good home cooking.  She liked it pretty well!!!  By the time stopped and ate, it was after midnight when we got home. 

I had things on my list I wanted to do before I went to bed.  HOWEVER, Callie Beth decided to throw in her own agenda to the night.  I tried rocking her and putting her to bed, but she had NO INTENTIONS of going to sleep, so when I finally decided to go ahead and put her in her bed, SHE decided to have a MAJOR meltdown.  I think it was about two hours later before the screaming and crying stopped.  This, in turn, sort of traumatized Molly Kate, so she was upset, too, and wouldn't go to sleep.  By the time they were both settled, it was after 4:30.  I finally got in bed at 6 AM, and set my clock for 8 to get up and get ready for church.  When eight o'clock came, though, I realized there was NO WAY I could make my body get up and get not only myself, but two little girls ready for church.  Molly Kate was crying and acting like she felt badly, so I ended up putting her in bed with us.  Callie Beth was still asleep.  I rubbed Molly Kate's arm and face until she fell asleep, and the next thing I knew, it was 4 PM, I was still in bed, with Molly Kate and our two dogs sound asleep beside me!!!!  We did make it to church on Sunday night, and it was great to get to go out and eat with our friends afterward, as we usually do.  Callie Beth fit in just fine with the crowd, and she had her first taste of Mexican food!!!!  Like Molly Kate, she liked it!!!!

It took me another day to get over my jet lag, but I am back on my normal schedule now, except I AM staying up a little later than usual.  I don't think I've been to be before 4:30 AM yet.  Callie Beth is adjusting and doing well, EXCEPT at bedtime, and I honestly have to say it is a HORRIBLE time.  She has willed herself NOT to go to sleep, even when we rock her, so once I've held her and rocked her for a while, I've been going ahead and putting her in bed.  She screams and cries (with no tears, though) for no less than and hour and a half.  This has really upset Molly Kate, and now she won't go to bed in the room where Callie Beth is.  She was up with me until 4:30 this morning.  Tonight, I though Callie Beth had finally fallen asleep, and Molly Kate had been asleep from me rocking her for quite a long time.  When I went to lay her in her bed, though, she started crying, and Callie Beth popped right up and started in again.  SO, I had TWO little girls crying and screaming at the top of their lungs.  I finally picked Callie Beth up, snuggled her and told her I loved her--of course, as soon as I picked her up, she stopped crying---and I took her and put her in her bed in the nursery, instead of the pack 'n play in our room.  She screamed and cried for another 10 or 15 minutes, and then settled down.  She also took a nap in there today, and didn't scream and cry for as long.  I think from now on it will be better for her, and when she finally stops these night meltdowns, I will move Molly Kate into her bed in there, too.  Evan's room is right across the hall, so it's not like she is far away from anyone.  Maybe this way, I can get Molly Kate back into her normal routine again,without her getting upset every night, too. 

It may seem cruel letting Callie Beth cry, but we DO give her LOTS of love, hugs, kisses, and nurturing throughout the day.  I have raised three sons, though, and have parented a daughter for the past 16 months.  I know that if I pick Callie Beth up every time she screams and cries, I am reinforcing a negative behavior, and she is going to expect me to do it every time she screams and cries.  I don't think I want to create that bad habit in her.  I realize that she is still adjusting from her life being turned upside down, but I truly do believe that she will soon realize that the life she has now will be better than her life could have ever been at the orphanage, even though she was very much loved there.  We love her to pieces!!!!  She is such a sweet child, and SO beautiful.  And, even though her crying and screaming upsets Molly Kate so badly, Molly Kate still loves her, too.  

Home Sweet Home!
SO, tomorrow---actually TODAY, is another day!!!!---AND, I'm anticipating it's going to be a GREAT one!!!!  In fact, it's mine and Roger's 14th wedding anniversary!!!!!  I have been SO caught up in parenting, that I just realized that!!!!!

I am attaching some pictures we took on our last day in Guangzhou, and on our plane trip home. 

Until......I don't know when....... :)

Vicki :)

1 comment:

  1. Happy anniversary!! Miss y'all :) Hope the girls let you get some rest. Just remember that this too shall pass. It will get better :) *hugs*