Wednesday, July 10th we left our hotel in Guangzhou at 6:30 a.m. via a rented van for the Hong Kong Airport. The last time we were in Guangzhou we chose this route and it worked great. We were going to leave at 6:00 a.m., but we found out the breakfast buffet in our hotel opened at 6:00 and we had already paid for it so we decided to stay and eat. We were on the road by 6:25 a.m. I am not sure how much Mason understood, but he knew that his time was coming to get on the airplane. Seth of course had told him, but he was very excited about this prospect. Over the last week he had been with us any time he saw a picture of a plane he would get so excited and show me. Pretty soon he was even saying "airplane".
On the drive to the Hong Kong we pass by the exit to go to Mason' orphanage which we chose not to visit due to the expense.
|I borrowed this photo from my friend Brooke who adopted Mason's best friend. Our camera got packed in |
the back of the car with the rest of the luggage.
We got to the Hong Kong Airport at 9:30 a.m. and our flight was leaving at 11:30 a.m. That gave us two hours to get our boarding passes and take the train to our gate. Let me just say the HK airport is huge and there were so many people. By the time we got our boarding passes, checked our luggage, went through security and at least 2-3 other checkpoints where we had to show our passports and boarding passes, we made it with no time to spare. We walked up to our gate and right onto the plane. We were boarding group three and they were already boarding group four. We cut it a little close this time. We found our seats which were at the back of the plane. We had row 57 which was three seats from the window to the aisle and row 56 directly in front of row 57. We were seat swapping the whole 12 hours. I think the only one who stayed in his seat the whole time was Seth.
|Bored already and we had not even taken off ;)|
|Seth hates to get his picture taken so dad had to snap this one quick!|
|Mason loved the headphones. I think he had them on for |
at least half of the 12+ hour trip.
|Jayden would lean his head back to keep the headphones on his skinny little head.|
Above are views from the plane of Hong Kong. So beautiful...
The flight was pretty uneventful except for Mason locking himself in the bathroom. We asked Riley to take him and explained that Mason could do it by himself, he just needed to stand by the door. We should have explained leaving the door cracked. Mason shut the door and locked it, but then could not get it unlocked so he started freaking out and screaming. The flight attendant who was not fast at all had to come and unlock the door for him. He calmed down very quickly and went back to doing his sticker book. Mason loved flying and would sit and look out the window being very quiet and still. Both of the little boys slept some...about 4-5 hours out of the 12+. The big boys just a few hours. Richard and I less than two I believe. There is just no comfortable position when you are sitting up. I just wanted to add here that when we landed we were on the runway next to where the Asiana flight had crashed and we could see the burned up plane. It was quite a somber experience. Our plane had many students that were traveling to the U.S. for some reason or another. I would imaging it was very difficult for their parents to put them on a plane going to the same airport where a plane had crashed just days before full of Chinese students.
We got to San Francisco at 9:15 a.m. We immediately headed for immigration. Once Mason's paperwork was processed, he was automatically a U.S. citizen. They processed all of the rest of our passports and then informed us we would have to go to a different line to process Mason's. This was different then the last two adoptions as they just did it all in the same line. We had already stood in a long line once and now they were asking us to go stand in another long line which really was not too big of a problem since we had a ten hour layover! When we booked our flights we did not have many options so we took the itinerary with the least amount of stops. I neglected to read that we had a ten hour layover. Our travel agent said she could not change it for us and that we should check with United once we got to San Francisco. We missed the early flight by 30 minutes. So we found a quiet corner and settled in. We had about $30 to our name so we left the big boys to watch our stuff and took the little boys with us to find food options for the day. All of the restaurants inside of security were very expensive...$10 for a small sandwich. So about lunch time, Richard left the secured area and went to Subway. He then had to go back through security, but it was worth it because he got footlong sandwiches for only $1 more than what we usually have to pay. Jayden, Riley and Richard all got pretty good naps while we waited. Seth slept maybe an hour and Mason 20 minutes. Everytime he would see an airplane take off he would get so excited so he was having a terrible time settling down. About an hour before we should have been boarding our plane, our flight status changed...instead of our flight leaving at 7:45 p.m. it changed to leaving at 11:35 p.m. Needless to say none of us were happy about that prospect. Richard went to figure out what was going on. He was told that because the one runway was still shutdown due to the plane crash that every day about that time the flights got way behind. I think it also had something to do with many of the families were allowed to go and visit the crash site that day so that had to have slowed things down. I contacted my friend Michelle as well as our daughter Samantha and told them what was going on and to please pray. We were so exhausted and had already been traveling for 27.5 hours. We needed to be home in our beds. We then watched a flight bound for Vancouver load and then sit at the gate and wait and wait. Pretty soon there were four men standing by one of the engines doing something. They worked on it for a while. About this time Richard gets up to check the board again because they kept changing our gate location so we were preparing to move to the new gate. He comes back all excited that our flight is now leaving at 8:12 p.m. only 30 minutes past the original time. Seth and I had been watching videos on his computer about flash flooding in China that had recently happened. He laid his head on my shoulder in relief because he being the most patient one was even at his limit. So as we began to prepare to board our plane the Vancouver flight was unloading all of their passengers because obviously there was something not right with their plane.
The flight from San Francisco to Kansas City was a little over three hours and the boys slept almost the entire time. We landed at 2:00 a.m. and Samantha and our daughter-in-law Milana were waiting for us. Richard did not get any pictures. We were not thinking very clearly at that point after 30+ hours of traveling and only a few hours of sleep. Let me just say the reunion between Samantha and Jayden was sweet. Sami has a very special bond with her little brothers. The whole time we were gone Jayden wanted to call "Antha" and could not understand how we were awake and she was asleep. We got home about 3:30 a.m. and threw several comforters on the floor in our room for the boys to sleep on. Jayden begged Sami to sleep with him. We were all asleep by 4 and slept until 1:00 p.m.
I have never been so tired in my entire life, but God is good. He gave us the endurance to get home and not be grumpy with each other. Thank you for all of the prayers.