Friday, November 23, 2012

Our trek home.

We finally got checked in at the Guangzhou airport and it took FOREVER. Supposedly security was high and other families who were in China adopting a year or 2 before said they have never gone through this process. It was slow. Painful. And...a little crazy.  This airport seemingly had no air conditioning and well...that added to the fun of it.

It all got a little crazier when we went through security. Friends of ours from Georgia were in front of us.  A daughter with severe special needs. They made her stand. She doesn't stand. Then they open sealed baby food and made her stand there and eat it right there...?  When we went through they pulled me close having all Zihao's Melissa & Doug plastic toys in a pile and said "You cannot take these on the airplane." I was sure it was a joke. And I was hot and sweaty and Zihao was now in full blown wail b/c he had to walk not be held and we were done.  A hand full of bright...clearly plastic, super cartoon ... snakes. Were being thrown in the garbage. We questioned them a few times and they kept saying "these appear very very dangerous to other passengers...they would scare people on the plane". Ok. I was like take the dumb snakes. This is unreal.  :)

We finally got to where we needed to go.

There were a few big prayer requests about this flight.
1. Me to have peace. Which I never have flying.
2. Flight to be smooth.
3. Kids to be awesome
4. For me to not be puking.  Yah. That's big.

For the first time in years...I had peace. Total peace on the flight. It was crazy.  And I couldn't explain it. I would think "I hate flying...why am I so calm...? What's going on...?" but I had no anxiety at all.  In that 3 hour flight I never felt a twinge of nausea which was the first time I had gone more than an hour in almost 3 weeks.  The kids did amazing and Izrael slept.  Seriously. Bliss.

For me...seeing clear sky on the plane is amazing. So if we are above clouds and it's clear blue sky and sun...I feel so much more peace. Or if I can see down clearly.  Well that 3 hour flight we were above the cloud covering (wayyy up there) and it was the first time we saw clear blue sky in 23 days and it was beautiful.  I said to God "this was such a gift for me...thank you" and I heard a "just wait til the next flight. I'm going to blow you away".  I was left baffled. The next flight was almost 10 hours and through the night...? It stayed in my mind.

We had NO time between flights and had a Korean Air had an escort to take us from one gate to the other b/c that's how late we were. We arrived in security at 6:00 and our next flight was scheduled to take off at 6:10!

We got on the plane and instantly we could see how spacious it was going to be. The entire row of 3 to the right of us was EMPTY and the seat in Dean's row was empty so we had tons of room. Ahhh.  We got settled in for the 9h50minute flight from Korea to Seattle.  Again I had this very real, inexplicable ... peace.  I wasn't nervous one bit.  This compared to complete and utter panic on the way here was a big contrast.

I had Izrael across my seat sleeping, Dean had Taizi in the baby basinett crying (getting close to sleep), Azlan reclined across the aisle and Zihao not happy that the stewardess wouldn't let him be on the floor so Dean had him pretty comfy in his bench.  I was watching a movie (which I rarely do on a plane) and I remembered "wait til the next flight...I'm going to blow you away".  I looked out my window and I was truly speechless. I kept trying to say something to God and I couldn't ...
The sky was more spectacular than I remember seeing it in a very long time. Like...as in you are at a lake...laying on a doc and the bright stars are there but the whole sky is just stars. As far as you can see.  Here we are...over the ocean. Flying through the night.  And the sky was unbelievable.  And I...with a song of thanksgiving...looked up to my Creator and said such a humble thank you. The gifts He had given me on this thanksgiving day were amazing.  I still had no sickness.  No appetite...had probably consumed 500 calories (95% of it liquid form) in 4 days but no sickness.  The children were snoring.  There were baby noises on the flight but they weren't from our rows.  I had perfect peace. My feet were up...my hands were not folded...I was leaning next to my window...and now this.

Finally when I could speak...I said "and who ever sees this? we are over the middle of the ocean...and sky screams YOU! Thank you for tonight. What a gift".

I smiled. But my spirit smiled.  The constant communication between my spirit and His Spirit has been so beautiful on this journey.

And suddenly I was humming.  I'm so excited to finally be home and google the words b/c I couldn't get more than one line...so let's see what it all says.

The line I kept humming was "every starry sky..."

Chris August "Starry Night"


From the birds that sing in the tallest trees
To the human life of you and me
From the desert sands to the place we stand
He is God of all He is everything
I'm giving my life to the only one
Who makes the moon reflect the sun
Every starry night that was His design
I'm giving my life to the only son
Who was and is and is to come
Let the praises ring cause He is everything
From the autumn leaves that will ride the breeze
To the faith it takes to pray and see
From the painted sky to my plank filled eye
He is God of all, He is everything
Hallelujah, hallelujah I believe
Hallelujah, hallelujah I believe
I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the moon reflect the sun
On that starry night, He changed my life
I'm giving it all to the only son who gave me hope when I had none
So let praises ring, yeah let the praises ring

See. Just plain wow.  He gives me one little line and knows that later I'm going to beam.  The song speaks my heart. I did give and I am actively giving my life to the only One...

I had the only opened window in the plane. In fact the stewardess asked me to close it and I looked at her and smiled and she said "ok...fine" :) There was no light coming in I just didn't want to miss it.  I did fall asleep for a few minutes I wouldn't say more than 30.  I watched the sun rise...ahhh.  Somewhere over the ocean. It's so beautiful.

But before than, in the night there was a patch of 'turbulence'. It wasn't much and not much at all felt in that huge plane but they put the seatbelt sign on. Rrrr. So they walked through the cabin, full lights on and made seatbeats go on.  Taizi was sleeping and I looked in Dean's row to see the stewardess say "hold him" pointing to Taizi. It was a funny moment.  My very passive, kind hearted husband said shook his head forcefully and said NO. I was laughing in the row behind him and she didn't argue with him :) He turned back to me and said "I am NOT picking him up. He finally settled and he's out" and of course just a few moments later the seatbelt sign was off and stayed off :)

We arrived in Seattle just a few minutes late and it was amazing to see such familiar landscape.  Ahhh. 

Immigration. All of that was fine until we were told to wait in a waiting room with a million people with little order and one man doing it all. Finally we were served with little room to spare bc of our connecting flight to Pasco. We did it and were fine. 

Getting on the plane to Pasco was pretty funny.  Of course there's no room to move and yah. There was a bunch of us with a lot of carry on luggage :)

We arrived to 5 huge signs welcoming us and beautiful little people all lined up for hugs and kisses. Some friends make it out to say welcome home as well despite it being Thanksgiving Day.  It was just wonderful.  We all loaded in the van, came home and were greeted to a house that was decorated for Thanksgiving. The table was set beautifully. The counter was full of fruit and baskets. The fridge and freezer were stocked! Thanksgiving Dinner was in the oven ready to serve.  

And we...with hearts full of thanksgiving...were humbled.  

What kind, thoughtful, loving people we have in our lives.  Seriously. Amazing.  To each of you...thank you.

We ate dinner which was incredibly amazing and we opened gifts from China and we all sat and talked.  Tirzah was cuddling Taizi and my heart was full.  No one has asked why he is the way he is. Children see so purely. They are just broken hearted for him...it's really beautiful.  We pray adults will be broken in the same way.  

Taizi and Izrael crashed at 6pm. Zihao and Azlan a little later and me not far behind. It's now 1:30am and I'm about to take Izrael back to bed. I just put Azlan and Zihao down with my only indication being Zihao was crying and grouchy so I'm pretty sure we'll call that bedtime :) 

Photos will come soon. My friend was there taking photos of our arrival I'll post when I have them.

From Pasco, WA...this family of 9 feels incredibly blessed to be united.  

Oh You are so good. And Your mercy endures forever!

**Let me say how amazing His very clear answer to my prayer was...the entire day of flying I didn't have nausea once.  Contrasted to all day nausea and throwing up 3-6 times a day.  Dean says it's more sometimes I don't count.  Well this morning I'm 100% back to sicker than ever. AS I was throwing up I paused to say outloud...with a smile...You are such a good God. Realizing the gift He indeed gave.

Azlan helping push Taizi into the Guangzhou airport


Daddy and Zihao (before the luggage was checked and Mr Zihao was forced to walk :)


Zihao on his first airplane ride! Guangzhou to Korea


Taizi LOVED it. 


Taizi's bed on the long flight from Korea to Seattle. The baby bassinet! Once he finally went to sleep he didn't move all night


Izrael taking up as much of my row as possible ;)


Poor Azlan. His row's arms didn't move :)


Zihao by Daddy


Ahh My sunrise




The kids all waiting in the airport!





YAY!!!! We are home!! (Zihao disappeared behind Azlan )


Azahria got the first hug :)



:)


Cute! Zunduka patting Zihao's head :)


Tirzah welcoming her new brother :)


:)


Taizi LOVED the balloon!


:)


The beautiful dining table we returned to!


Tirzah loving Zihao


One very very overtired, sick mama trying to put Thanksgiving dinner on the table 


Ahhhh. Perfect.


Tirzah in her new Chinese clothes cuddling Taizi


I looked over to see Azlan leaning over Taizi and talking away to him :)


And a rare eye-contact moment!




9 comments:

  1. Janice... incredible. I am ashamed that I get blown away when God answers such specific prayers with such clarity - but I am thanking Him and praising Him for these answers! What a God He is - His love and attention to the details... and then to add the extra gifts like the extra room on the plane, the incredible starry sky and sunrise... just for you. Oh How I love Him. SO SO SO SO glad you are home. Praying for this next stage... getting back into the time zone, routines, health appointments, etc... Thank you friend, for sharing your journey and your heart on this amazing trip. x0x

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  2. I am speechless and I can hardly see for the tears. What an Awesome God we have. Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey of yours, you have caused my heart to overflow in praises to our Lord! Continuing to pray for you and your beautiful family! Love Sheryl P

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  3. Glad to hear you are home safe after a truly amazing answer-to-prayer flight. I know I was praying for you. :O) I'm so glad that God placed thoughtful people around you to make dinner for you and stock your fridge!! Thank you Lord, for doing through someone else's hands what I am too far away and with too few resources to do! I was praying for that! I'm so excited for your journey to begin. The real journey... the rest of the story ;)

    And whatever we do for the least of God's children, we do for Him. It's humbling to remember that the purest form of "religion" is serving those who are powerless and without friends, that to obey is better than any sacrifice. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. I'm sure that God is using you to speak to more people than you know. You've surely been an inspiration to me to trust Him with my life's directions and problems. xo Kristina

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  4. So So happy you made it home safe and sound and really an uneventful plane ride with 4 little ones. God is amazing and you are a beautiful family.

    Can't wait to follow your family some more and see the Lord move in your lives.

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  5. Wow. So much to love about this post. Love that you are HOME with all your blessings. LOVE that you weren't sick (what an answer to prayer--only God! I saw how sick you were!!). So happy your kiddos did so well on the flights. Love the beauty God showed you out your window.

    And the snakes? That was funny. We left from Guangzhou the same day you did and did not have any of that craziness! They did have to look at Katee's Doh-Douh (Chinese play dough?!) pretty intensely, but let us keep it. Goodness. Also laughed trying to picture Dean tell the stewardess "NO" as he is the nicest, most gracious person. ha!

    Praying for your sweet family as you transition.

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  6. So I was smiling away looking at the pictures and then came to Taizi and the balloon..then the tears started. His little smile is so precious and he is happy just holding tightly to it :-)
    My heart was full with thankfulness to God after reading about your flight home. Isn't it amazing that you can be specific to Him and he answers? Our prayers have not ended because you are home...you all are still very much in our hearts :-)

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  7. Great to hear how smooth your trip home was, at least for the most part. Had to send a note here to let you know that we had the same thing happen to us six years ago with regard to snakes on planes! I wrote about it at http://palmersworld.blogspot.com/2006/05/snakes-on-planes-friends-at-airports.html but the excerpt that matches yours reads as follows:

    Jameson had bought a wooden, toy snake in Guangzhou and one of the security guys decided that it couldn’t be taken on the plane. Okay, I’ve been up since five o’clock and they just ransacked everything in our bags and my son has tears in his eyes because some idiot thinks a toy snake shouldn’t be on board. Without going into details, I decided that they were not going to get his toy. (At one point, as Jameson tried to fight back the tears, I whispered, “Go ahead and cry. Let them see you cry.”) To cut to the chase, Jeannette worked out a compromise that involved emptying most of the things out of her carry-on, throwing the snake in and checking the bag planeside.

    (When we got back to the States, we saw an ad for a horror flick being released called “Snakes on Planes,” about someone releasing a bunch of dangerous snakes on a flight. Go figure.)

    Anyway, glad you're home. Good luck with the jet lag. We feel your pain!

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  8. LOVE all the new pictures... my heart is so full looking at your family together that day... just love. And that picture of Azlan over Taizi, talking away??? He could have been so sick of being the big brother to him for the whole trip and been off soaking up the attention from the rest of the kids he hadn't seen in so long... yet there he was. In Taizi's little world... part of Taizi's comfort zone. I think it may be the most special picture in the bunch. :)

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  9. those last couple of pics of the 2 boys are amazing...I agree with the comment above. Definitely the most special pictures of the bunch :-)

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