We're home! What a long trip it was. I have to say traveling home was the hardest part of the trip.
We started our day at 4:00 am on Saturday morning so we could have all of our bags ready and be in the lobby to head to the airport at 5:30 am. Our first flight was very short from Guangzhuo to Hong Kong. We only saw Hong Kong from the airport and the air on the flight out. Hong Kong looked like a very big city and was very beautiful from the air. The mountains are tall and the water is nice and blue.
We left Hong Kong for Chicago at around noon. The flight was close to 14 hours. It was very strange because not long after leaving Hong Kong we crossed the dateline and it was then dark and Saturday morning again. It stayed dark most of the flight and I enjoyed seeing the sun rise as we reached the border of North America. We had a nice view of the snow capped Rocky Mountains probably in southern Canada or Montana. Jack and Seth both slept a few hours on the flight but the rest of us only managed to get a couple of hours of broken and very light rest. Eva took several long naps and was very good the entire trip home.
We were met in Chicago by my mom, sister and two nieces. After we passed through security, customs and immigration we met them outside the terminal area and just sat and talked for about an hour and let Eva meet her gramma, aunt and cousins. Our last flight was supposed to leave at 6:50 pm but was delayed because of severe storms so we didn't leave the ground until around 9:00 pm. As we waited at the gate Jack and Seth both slept very hard. Jordan, Cheri and I managed to get a few head nod sleeps in and Eva slept soundly as long as we held her. As I was holding Eva I fell asleep for a second and my head bobbed and I opened my eyes and this lady was laughing at me and said she was watching me and wondering when I was going to pass out. By the time we boarded our plane for home we had been going for around 29 hours on very little sleep and had experienced the longest Saturday of our lives. We got home around midnight so the entire travel home took around 32 hours.
When we arrived at our house we were greeted by a surprise. I opened the door and a terrible odor poured out. I thought for sure there was a dead animal but after some searching I discovered that sometime during the two weeks we were gone we had lost power for a good amount of time and all of our food in our fridge and upright freezer was spoiled. The smell came from bags of frozen berries and meat that had thawed and begun rotting and then refroze when the power came back on. I took the freezer out on the deck for the night because it smelled so badly. The housed smelled horrible but we managed to get some sleep. So my first job on Sunday morning was to throw out all of our food and clean the fridge and freezer to try to get rid of the smell. Thankfully it was a nice windy day and we opened the windows to air the house out. The smell seems to be gone for the most part except for in the freezers a little bit. It was one of the worst odors I have ever smelled.
Eva is doing good but you can tell she has the jet lag as well. She is enjoying her new surroundings and wants to explore everything in site. Hopefully by Tuesday morning we will all be back on a normal sleep schedule and Eva can get settled and comfortable in her new home. She probably is very confused going from an orphanage to new parents to two hotels, multiple airplane rides and now a new home with a new bedroom and crib all in two weeks. She has never known her own bedroom and home. We will keep praying and trusting the Lord that He will give her peace and joy and help her bond with all of us. We love her as our own children and are so very thankful that God has allowed us to do this.
We enjoyed our trip to China and will miss many things. We loved China, the people, and the culture very much, and would like to return one day for another visit with Eva when she is older. I think one of the saddest things for us is that we have taken her from her Chinese culture. We know that this is what the Lord wanted us to do and He chose her for us and it's for her good. God has great things in store for all of us as we grow together more as a family.
Jack sleeping in mom's arms at O'Hare.
Seth tangled up at O'Hare Airport.