Friday, January 2, 2009

Home Sweet Home

At Last!!

Tom, Willow and I made it home, safe and sound, last night, Thursday, at about about 11:00 PM.

I would not wish that nightmare of airplane flights on anyone! The flights were fine, just LONG and TOO MANY! Willow was such a trooper though, she was completely amazing and other than a difficult time from Philadelphia to Phoenix, she only cried or fussed for a few minutes of each of the other flights. Trust me, by the time we were on the last flight, Philly to Phoenix, I was more than ready for a major breakdown too!

Despite the jet lag and some major adjustments still to come, I can not begin to explain how wonderful it feels to be home!

All is good with our world!

I would like to thank everyone for their help and support along this long journey.

The best is yet to come....Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Leaving On A Jet Plane

After a very scary morning with our consulate appointment, we are clear to leave China!!!

Our facilitator received a phone call, when we were ON OUR WAY TO THE CONSULATE, saying that the home study update that we supplied with our passport and visa application was not signed by our social worker and that they needed a signed copy! AAAHHHGGGHHHH! The US Consulate was suppose to review the paperwork yesterday and let us know if there were any issues so we would have time to rectify them before our "swearing in ceremony" this morning. Needless to say, the stress level was beyond measure! Our social worker is currently in Vietnam hosting a homeland tour and I have no way to contact her. I did not have any phone numbers or contact information with me for either or our agencies, because we were told not to take anything with us to the consulate except for the necessities for Willow. Since it is a government office, they do not allow any electronics, video or recording devices. All I had was a baggie with some diapers, wipes and a toy for her.

Once we got to the consulate we had to meet with the "Supervisor of Adoptions" to see what options we had. The first thing this man, Arturo Hines, said to us was "We are not going to hold you up for this". THANK GOD!!! All we ended up having to do was to sign and swear to an affidavit saying that we would fax a copy of the signed home study update when we return home. Can I just say...Mr. Arturo are a SUPERHERO...MY SUPERHERO!!! I had visions of us being stuck in China, for who knows how long because of the holiday and because we are flying on frequent flyer tickets and who knows when we would be able to reschedule our flight.

So, all is good, and now we are leaving for the airport for our wrong way, marathon plane rides home. We leave Guangzhou at 8 PM for Beijing, from Beijing to Madrid, Madrid to Philadelphia and then to Phoenix. After all of those flights, we don't arrive in Phoenix until 9:35 PM January 1st. Crazy, I know...but after all we have been through for this adoption...why would the end be easy?! Let's just hope at this point that Willow is a "good flyer"!

Say a prayer for our safe travels...and we will see some of you soon!
Gotta Go!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Two Days To Go

Well our journey is finally coming to an end. We leave to bring our Precious Package home tomorrow night. Today, Tuesday is our Consulate Appointment well actually we do not go to the appointment our facilitator Peter (not his real Chinese name) goes and presents all of the documents from our four families for processing. We all have to stay in our rooms to await "The Call" to tell us everything is fine or to find out what is needed to complete our adoption for the US Government and get Willow's Visa for her Chinese Passport. We will have to apply for her US Passport when we return to the states. Once we get the call we will be free until 2:50 PM Wednesday when we will board our bus to go to the Consulate for our "Official Swearing In" of Willow as a US Citizen. Once we land in Philidelphia New Year's Day she will be considered a US Citizen. We then will hurry back to the hotel where Judy & I will load our suitcases in a car and head straight to the airport for our 8:00 PM flight to Beijing. We are really cutting it close but these were the only frequent flyer flights available until at least the 6th of January. We were able to find an additional FF business class seat for Willow for our Guangzhou to Beijing, Beijing to Madrid and Madrid to Philidelphia flights so we'll have more roon to be comfortable. Willow will have to ride our laps to Phoenix but that is the shortest leg of the trip.

I hope I have all of this right because Judy knows all of the details better than I do and she usually writes all of this blogging stuff but she is under the weather right now with the whole stomache thing that every one of us has had. She was the last one to get it from our group. We hope it clears up before our flight Wednesday night. A & L from Florida got it first last week, then me on Saturday, S from Wisconsin this morning and Judy this afternoon. Most of us got over it within 24 hours. Our 4th family from Florida came with a Chinese friend and they flew up north to be with her family for Christmas so I don't know if she got sick as well. We all have been reallllly careful about what we ate here but it didn't seem to matter. Let's all hope Judy gets over it really quick.

Willow and I had a Daddy - Daughter Date night for dinner. We went to La Dolce Vita Italian restaurant that we ate at last week. The food is really good and the hostesses and waitresses were enamoured with Miss Willow. She even allowed our waitress to carry her down the stairs while I carried the stroller. She has come so far it's unbelievable. She is such a Sweetheart. More to come......