Yesterday, was a day like any other day. We got up, we left Friday afternoon from China, clicked our heels three times and -- poof! -- magically arrived more than twenty-four hours later in America, only a couple of hours before we actually left. Make sense? Nor to me. Fairy tale stories are just like that sometimes. Anyway, after the longest day of my life (literally), I can finally say that we have finally made it home, safe and sound, at last.
After riding on many planes, standing in many lines, walking many steps with many pieces of luggage, we were lovingly welcomed in the airport by our Nashville crew last night around 8 p.m. We stayed overnight at Lee's parents house, which gave us some time to regain our sea legs (after a full night's sleep, I've found mine; after waking up at 3:30 a.m. and staying up, Lee has not). We were well taken care of at the Fowlkes homestead and enjoyed introducing our new little one to most of our Nashville family. It was a blessing to fall into their hands and catch up with things. It was a super transition back into U.S. time. The added bonus of our visit was partaking of several wonderful American meals with them. We enjoyed several much-welcomed comfort foods - mac'n'cheese for Jaycie, hamburgers for us, and some banana bread and banana pudding for all of us! Yum!
As far as our travels went, Hannah did very well on all of our flights. She didn't cry much at all (I probably did more than she), and she slept when we needed her to. She didn't destroy her travel outfit, nor ours, for that matter; I am thankful for the ease with which she travelled. I, on the other hand, was thouroughly exhausted and dishevelled by trip's end by the time we reached Nashville. This a.m.'s shower was wonderful, and I loved brushing my teeth with sink water. Thank you, America, for your sanitation and health policies. I love them.
Several events occured during our travel adventure that were wonderful and only a couple that were not (short note to future travellers: there are 2 airports in Shanghai; double check before leaving which one you need to get to in order to fly home without having to get to the right one via a 1-hour taxi ride; we visited the "other" one; details later). On our long flight from Shanghai/Pudon to Chicago, we were blessed to be given an extra seat (we had only purchased a lap ticket), so we all had extra wiggle room, and Hannah was able to lay down between us to sleep. Our second blessing of the trip was having the Chicago to D.C. leg of our trip cancelled, which resulted in our being assigned to the Chicago to Nashville flight we'd originally been denied. That allowed us ride on one less plane and to arrive in Nashville 3 hours earlier (we were soooo happy about this!), albeit without any of our luggage (not so happy about this). This made the last leg of our journey all the more bearable, and we did receive our luggage - all of it, thankfully - this morning.
When we finally got to our home tonight around 5 p.m. A few little welcome fairies as well as Santa had visited, so Jaycie had a little excitement to get through before unpacking could (kinda-sorta) commence. Our sweet neighbors popped over to meet Hannah for a few minutes, as did some great friends from church who brought us food. After supper, Jaycie was quite happy to crawl into her own little bed , and Lee fell asleep giving the baby her evening bottle. I'm here on the blog, happy and full, and only a little sleepy.
Thank you all for following us on our journey, which is really just the beginning of our story. As we settle into "real life," please pray for Lee and me to be the parents God wants us to be, for Jaycie to grow in goodness and knowledge of Him, and for Hannah to continue to find her way in this world, safe in our arms and in God's tender care.
I'll continue to blog, but with a baby in the house and Lee at work and Jaycie at school, posts may likely be less frequent. However, there will be occasional updates on life here in Bowling Green. Until then, take care. Thanks for tagging along on our trip. Good night.