Before Eliza and I started our journey home, Blake and Addie Mae had their own journey to make. There were some kiddos who were super glad to finally see them!
As soon as they arrived at the house, they called me on Skype! Skype was a saving grace for us.
Kristen and I started our journey home at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning when we got up to get ready, check out of the hotel, wait for the bell boy, grab the sleeping sweeties out of bed, and get in the van with our driver who would take us to Hong Kong. It was about a two and a half hour drive in a very new and comfortable vehicle. There are no car seats in China, so Stephen and Eliza were on our laps.
The border checks out of China and then into Hong Kong can be rather intimidating! They open the van doors, hold your passports up to match them to your face, temperature scan your foreheads to see if you have a fever, and do all of that with a surgical mask on their faces with only their eyes showing.
We made it to the Hong Kong airport in plenty of time. I am sure it was quite comical to see these two moms moving a cart with three huge suitcases, two strollers with two littles in them, two back packs, and two diaper bags. We just had to give high fives to each other when we made it all the way to the check-in desk!
Several elevators, walkways, one train, and two Starbucks coffees later we were at our gate. We then had time to let Eliza and Stephen run off some wiggles. There was this angel there named Joe, whom neither of us will ever forget, who helped us get on that huge plane. It was rather crazy as United tried to help Kristen and I get seats together at the last minute, because our travel agent was unable to do that when she re-booked our flights for that day. Praise the Lord it all worked out!
The next 15 hours was long and hard. Eliza screamed endlessly, and even happy-go-lucky Stephen had a few moments of crying too. We were so happy to touch down in Chicago. Then our angel Joe helped us get through immigration and customs….what would we have done without him? Eliza and Stephen became American citizens right there in the O’Hare airport! It was not celebratory AT ALL, but I was still so glad!
Kristen and I had mere seconds to say a tearful goodbye in the middle of absolute chaos….I think the Lord planned it that way for us knowing we could not have handled it any other way. She was off to her gate, and I was off to mine. Eliza was so happy in the airport once we got to our gate and we enjoyed our time waiting for our connecting flight to LaCrosse. It was a long one hour flight, with an exhausted Mama who had not slept at all yet, and a little girl who again screamed and screamed…..
The Lord carried me off that plane, because I had not one ounce of energy left to do it myself. Little did I know what was waiting for Eliza and I….
Will tell you all about our incredible welcome home soon!!!