Friday, July 12, 2013

Bye Bye Hong Kong! Hello HOME!

Thursday morning we woke up before we needed to, got ready, and headed to the airport on a shuttle from our hotel at 8 a.m.  We saw a few other adoptive families in line at the check-in.   We got checked in- we needed to get new seats assigned because Evan and I were in row 25 and Reid was in row 43 since he was under a different name.   The check-in, security, and immigration process all went pretty smooth.  When we were headed to the gate, Reid got mad that I would not carry his super light back-pack (I had a very heavy backpack) and two other carry-ons already and Evan was pulling one too. He stood in one spot with his arms crossed and would not budge. I told Evan to keep walking and that he would come.  Nope...stubbornness prevailed and he did not move one step.  We walked back to get him- I gave him a little squeeze on the hand and he was not too happy with me.  He cried a little, but he needs to learn what is acceptable and what is not.  We then took the subway to the terminal and used up most of the remainder of our Hong Kong money on snacks and drinks.  We almost lost one of our carry-ons...Evan left it by the shop.  When we were getting in line to board, I noticed and we went back- thankfully it was still just sitting there.    We got in line to board the plane and met another family who is on one of the Facebook groups I am on for thalassemia- they were bringing home a little girl with beta thalassemia, just like what Reid has.  We made it to our new seats.  Evan took the window, I took the middle, and Reid got the isle.  The family in front of us was another new family to us, but one I have already been in touch with on Facebook.   They adopted an older girl who many of us have advocated for.  It is very cool to see these children we advocate for with their forever families!

 Views from the Hong Kong airport.

 Skyping with dad.

 Getting ready to go!

The flight left on time and was in general very smooth- minus a couple times in the beginning there were issues with the in-flight entertainment system and a few turbulent times.    Reid did very well.  He pushed the buttons on the in-flight entertainment system quite a bit, including calling the flight attendant to our seat once (I think she disabled his button after I told her he would likely do it often) and turning the light on and off a few times.  He has a very small bladder and needed to use the bathroom quite a few times.  He slept two chunks- maybe 2-3 hours each time.  The flight was 15 hours and when you are coming home- it just feels like forever. I slept maybe an hour or hour and a half total.  I watched quite a few movies.   Evan slept a long time- maybe 8-10 hours after taking one melatonin.   He ate practically nothing and drank very little though because of that.   When we were landing, he felt sick...just like last year.  I was not quite in time, but did grab one of the puke bags they have on the flight.  Most of it made it into that thankfully and because he had eaten nothing, it was just water.  We landed around 1:40 p.m.  Reid was looking exhausted.   We got our bags and headed through customs and immigration.  The lines were relatively short, which was nice.  We then got our big bags and dropped off our adoption envelope to an officer and headed through the doors to meet our family.  The timing was pretty perfect- they waited for us for maybe 10-15 minutes.  It was so great to see them after 2 weeks away from home- they were decked out in tye-dyed shirts that my mom had made, with balloons and signs.  Reid was a little taken back by all of  We took a few pictures and then headed to the vans.  My mom drove one and Rick drove the other.  We no long fit in one eight-seat mini van, which is unfortunate.  We have to drive two mini vans when we go places as a family for now until we can afford to buy a 12 passenger van and get rid of Rick's mini van.   Evan rode with my mom and got sick again on the way home.   We made a pit-stop for him and for a bathroom break for the other kids. 

 Views of beautiful Hong Kong from the air.

 Islands south of Alaskan mainland reminded me a lot of Hong Kong.
So close!

They even had shirts for the three of us!
 I am sure most people around were thinking we are crazy with so many kids so young.  We feel blessed!

When we got home, we took some pictures and Rick went out to get us some Papa Murphy's pizzas thanks to a gift card from my sweet friend and fellow advocate, Kelly!  Thank you sweet friend!  My brother took Elijah and Jonah to their t-ball game.  We ate and played outside with the kids.  We finally were ready for bed after everyone got cleaned up.  It was a rough night of sleep to say the least.  Evan was super jet-lagged and was wide awake from sometime after 10 p.m. until 4 a.m.   Jayce woke up crying once in the night.   A balloon went into the fan upstairs around 3 a.m. causing all the boys upstairs to wake up.  Reid cried for at least 30 minutes- I think it was because he was tired, but may have been a combination of that and being scared and maybe even grieving a bit.  It's hard to say.  I comforted him for quite awhile telling him in English and Chinese 'it's okay and I love you.'   I gave him and Evan a little melatonin.  Elijah, Jonah, and Landyn finally fell back asleep on their own.  Reid slept from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. and Evan slept from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m.  I had a hard time falling back asleep and couldn't help to think about the kids still in the orphanage and the fact that these kids likely had very little comfort when they were sick, had a nightmare, etc.  I can't imagine the five years my son was there and who knows how many times he was sick, sad, or scared and not comforted like our biological children have been their whole lives. This is just one reason my heart breaks for the orphan.

 My youngest brother spent quite a bit of time outside decorating the driveway while everyone else came to the airport to get us.

 Playing in the yard.

 Trying to get a picture of all the kids looking and not making funny faces is quite challenging with seven kids.   We hope to use one of these photos for Reid's 1 month and Lena's 1 year post-placement reports (we are meeting with the social worker on Monday since Lena's  report is due this week).

 Family pictures!

 Jonah- I heard he was a bike riding machine while I was gone!
 A meeting of the minds.  Reid has been digging one of Lena's pairs of sunglasses- pink and all.

 Fun times!  This reminded me so much of the first day home with Lena.

Evan looked like a zombie when he did come down at 10 a.m.  He threw up again later.  Elijah woke up with a fever.  Praying that does not spread- Reid cannot afford to get a fever with his special need.  We will be visiting the doctor twice next week and I really don't want to have to make another visit or ER trip with him before then.  A fever can mean a significant drop in hemoglobin levels for a child with his special need.  Please pray for our jet-lag and for our sick kids to get healthy and for it not to spread.  I have had some stomach issues myself.   Please pray for a good night of sleep too.  Overall things are going very well and we are so glad to be home!  Thank you for your prayers for the trip and for safe travels.


  1. So glad you are home and the flight wasn't too bad. Love the photos of your family together! The driveway art is wonderful! What a great surprise! Praying that everyone feels better soon and that Reid does not get sick.

  2. Loving all the pics! They are seriously cute! Sorry to put more on you plate BUT Lena needs sista's!!

    Like maybe 2 of them!

    So take a moment, breathe, adjust and then head on back!

    You and your family are wonderful and our GOD is awesome!