Friday, January 11, 2013

Ready for Home

I had the thought several times today that I am very thankful to be a saved believer, as I do not want to go to hell. I thought that today because we got a little taste of hell and I don’t like it. This will probably be a post that someone reads and thinks or even says outloud “yeah, that’s why I could never adopt”. For the sake of documenting this journey for Ethan and Reese and our family I am going to tell it like it is, but please keep in mind that there is not one second that I think I shouldn’t be here adopting these cutie pies! So our day started with breakfast, yummy, as usual. We got to talk to the girls back home a couple of times. I miss them so much, it is starting to bring tears to my eyes when I think about it. We headed out to the shops from yesterday. It was a successful shopping experience. I really like the people who work in these little shops. I feel good giving them business and I love all the souvenirs and gifts that we got. The kids did well, we didn’t take the stroller, so Ethan walked quite a bit. He is so good at holding hands and standing patiently while we looked at stuff. There was a little girl about his age in one of the shops and she was eating a piece of bread. She shared it with both the kids and then kissed them both. It was so sweet. He acted like a little ladies man and kissed her right back. The way to his heart is definitely with carbs! When we got back to the hotel we finished packing and ate the leftover food that had been accumulating. The kids laid down for a nap and we got all of our stuff ready to go. We still had a couple of hours until Grace was meeting us in the lobby. The phone rang and it was the front desk asking us when we were checking out. I said 4:00. We had to pay for the extra half day since our flight was leaving so late. Another way for GW to make money. About 15 minutes later, the maid comes to the door and starts cleaning our room. Mind you there are two sleeping children and two adults in there fuming. She threw away our juice, which was going to be Reese’s drink for her snack before we left. I don’t know if it was the same maid or not, but someone had thrown away Ethan’s medicine that was sitting on the counter while we went to breakfast one morning. Anyway, we sat there and watched her and realized that we couldn’t mess anything up now because besides rearranging the furniture, taking the cribs down and vacuuming, the room was ready for the next person. So, feeling like we were kicked out, we got the kids up and headed down to the lobby, but luckily Grace was early and we were able to leave. These hotels we stay in are so far away from the airports and it is miserable riding in the car. Poor Reese was still tired and didn’t like the car ride one bit. She was trying to poop again and the jostling around was not helping. We finally made it to the airport and Grace helped us get checked in. We had to explain Ethan’s pacemaker situation so they would not make him go through the security thing. So glad Grace was with us. The wait in the airport was bearable, but then things started to go downhill. We had to wait in a long line to board. Which would have been okay except we weren’t boarding the plane, we were boarding a bus to ride to the plane. So all of the people that fit on a huge plane were crammed into this shuttle bus. Can’t even describe the smell and feeling of this situation. Then we walked from the shuttle to the plane, climbed a bunch of stairs and got on the plane. We were in the very back, which was fine, but I happened to sit behind Mr. Clueless who immediately leaned his chair back as far as it would go, which was pretty much in my lap. So I had Ethan beside me, cranky and scared and this dude in my lap. Tim was across the aisle with Reese who was crying. Chinese people are not sympathetic to children crying and not one person the entire flight tried to offer any assistance. When they brought dinner to us they threw this piping hot tray and put it right in front of Ethan. I couldn’t lower my tray because of the dude in my lap and I finally had enough and said “I don’t even have any room!” I guess he understood English and my frustration because he raised his seat up for the rest of the flight. He got paid back because Ethan pretty much screamed and cried the whole rest of the flight. He was tired and the ride was so bumpy he was scared. Both the kids are not comforted by holding them, so they were trying to sit in the seat and cope with the whole ordeal. I was afraid to unbuckle him, but I finally decided that it was my only option to pick him up and try to get him to sleep. But that didn’t happen. Oh, I forgot to mention that the flight attendants never came and picked up all our trash, so we had a huge mess of this nasty dinner and all the trash from water bottles, forks, napkins, etc. I decided not to worry about it. Tim finally took it all and put it on the floor. Forgot to mention that Ethan had a massively disgusting poopy diaper during all of this, too. So I had to put him on a dirty changing table in a bathroom the size of my shower at home. I somehow managed to get poop on me somewhere because I could smell it the whole rest of the time. It was also extremely hot on the plane, Ethan was sweating like crazy. I decided that I don’t care what Chinese people think, I am not bundling him up ANYMORE!!!!!!! If his pant leg is up and his leg shows, SO BE IT! We landed a horribly rough landing and then the plane drove forever (or maybe 20 minutes) to what we thought was a gate. NOPE. It was that long of a drive to a shuttle bus. Well, we had waited and were the last ones off the plane, so guess who didn’t have room on the shuttle? Yep, the Tuckers, party of four (and 2 backpacks). I felt the glare of a busload of Chinese people and one African American. One of the airport people, got on and apparently told them to make room for the crying Chinese kids and the big fat Americans who are about to cry, too. So, we crammed on to this stupid bus to ride to the gate. I don’t even think I am doing a good job describing how stressed we were. We made it to the baggage claim and got our bags and the stroller. I finally felt like the end was in sight. Kelly, our guide, was right there with the GWCA flag and a smile, which was nice to see. She explained that a driver was waiting and would take us to the hotel while she waited for the last family. She told us what to do and about what the plan is for tomorrow and got us to the van. Our poor babies were so exhausted they both fell asleep, which is a big deal because they are definitely not used to sleeping outside of a crib or falling asleep being held. The drive took forever, of course. When we pulled in to the hotel there were people everywhere. It was 10:00 at night and there were just so many people standing around like they were waiting to go somewhere. We got checked in and when we walked into our room I really wanted to cry. Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice hotel, very fancy. BUT NOT KID FRIENDLY AT ALL. There was only one crib (pack and play) and no room for another one. There are so many things for two toddlers to get into and break or get hurt on. And let me just say that the bathroom was made for a honeymoon or some other adult only situation. It has a glass wall in the shower, so when you are in bed, you can see straight into the bathroom. Yes, that’s what I want to expose my children to, me in the shower. Luckily there is a screen that we discovered that raises and lower by a button by the toilet. Guess who is having fun with that… Tim Tucker. I just have to laugh because it is so absurd that any body in their right mind would think this is a good set-up for an adoptive family. We got them to bring another crib and I stacked a chair on top of another chair to make room. We decided to just keep the luggage on the other bed so it’s not taking up what little floor space there is. I am so disappointed. I miss the White Swan. I want to go home. I am dreading the flight back to Beijing and the loooooooooooong flight home. We need prayers that Ethan and Reese will be able to cope better with the airplane rides coming up than they did their first. The good news is that Reese pooped, which was very fitting since I felt like the whole evening was a bunch of crap! They were as sweet and happy as they could be when we got settled. They really are awesome and so resilient considering all they have been through. Prayers are very much appreciated!


  1. Hang in there! Our plane ride from province to GZ was seriously the hottest thing I have EVER experienced. Our lil miss was completely freaked out by the seat belt, so being the "good" mother that I am, I pulled out the dum-dum suckers. More than once. And I'm not sorry. ;) Hope you find some things to enjoy around your new digs...I believe we stayed in the same place by your description. There is a Starbucks around the corner as well as a McD's & Burger King within walking distance. I don't like fast food, especially BK, but their waffle fries became my son's fav, & Mama was happy to have a daily dose of Starbucks. There is a beautiful garden to walk around...quiet & pretty for pictures. We enjoyed breakfast, too. Hope your coming days go smoothly! :)

  2. In-country flights are crazy hot. We were so hot from Lanzhou-GZ in Oct, my husband had food poisoning on top of it so our flight was horrible as well. We had a stop over on the way to & from GZ in Xi'an. We had to deplane & then reboard the very same plane about 10min later. :) It wasn't fun.

    Sound like you are staying at the Garden. We stayed there but since we were there during Fair trade we didn't get the bigger room. We got stuck in a small room, I was super bummed because I saw people from our agency(BAAS) that had the bathroom like you described. Lets just say I envy your digs. :)

    If Reese struggles with pooping again & is trying to go, one thing that works with our daughter is having her sit in a warm bath. She is able to go every time I do that. It's gross but way better than having her in misery. :) I hope the rest of your trip goes well!

  3. we've been there twice, the first was in August and did the same Nanjing to Guangzhou flight...I DO understand...I thought we were going to die too...It was the worst part of our trip...Our son spit chewed up cookies in a strangers purse...I laugh now, but it took about a year :) hang in there!

  4. The flight from province to GZ was a nightmare for us too. Stuck in the airport because of weather for 7 hours, out into the packed buses with a non-walking kid and one that couldn't climb into the bus, with all our carry ons and they wouldn't let us gate-check the stroller. When we got off the bus at the plane, they indicated that I should take the double stroller on the plane with us. I about sat down and just cried. John balked when he was confronted with those tall, slippery stairs to the plane. It was awful trying to lug both kids, our carryons, and the stroller. A flight attendant stuffed the stroller behind a seat in first class. When we got to the back of the plane and our seats, Therese started licking the arm of the man on the other side of her. I seriously considered pretending I didn't know her. We got to GZ at about 1 AM, then had the medical first thing in the morning. Ugh!