Saturday, April 3, 2010

The trip home

April 2, 2010
The trip home. Boy, am I tired! We are in the Newark Airport, waiting for our 3rd and final flight home. With all the airport time and layovers, the total travel time (from when we left the hotel) will be 30 hours!! When we arrived at the airport in Guangzhou, we found out that our flight to Guangzhou had been canceled, or perhaps rescheduled. It's funny because as we left the hotel I asked the guide if she double checked the flights on the internet early in the morning. I always do a quick check the morning of departure, just to avoid last minute snafus. She looked at me as if I was crazy, and I let it go without further comment. In Beijing, I had to insist that the guide pick us up for the airport 30 minutes before he wanted to,and that took some persuading on my part.I absolutely want to get to the airport 2 hours before a flight, and everyone else thinks I'm nuts. Well, the guide in Guangzhou was absolutely frantic when she realized that we had missed our flight! There was a whole ton of running around (on a golf-cart!) and a frenzy of activity and phone calls. It was a bit chaotic and sticky in the airport for awhile. In fact, at some points we weren't certain that we would make our connecting flight in Beijing to fly to the USA. We waited in several lines, changed our tickets several times,and took the bus to another terminal to wait for the next flight. Finally, everything fell into place and we were able to get on a flight that would connect on time to get us to NYC. It was rough overall. Actually the day didn’t start out on the right foot either. I checked out of the hotel at 7am, and discovered that John made 57 phone calls (over 4,400 Rmb, or nearly $700) to his friends. Actually, the first 20 or so calls were just trying to figure out how to make the call back to Beijing, but the hotel still bills a minimum charge every time an outgoing call is dialed. Honestly, we spent a ton of money to adopt, and I wasn't planning on a $700 phone bill. Naturally, I flipped out on him, right in the restaurant over breakfast. He KNEW that he wasn’t supposed to use the phone, and so he was making the calls from the bathroom. Dummy me, not thinking of telling the front desk to block all outgoing calls. I should’ve seen that one coming-- especially after John asked our guide to ask us if he could call his friends back home, and we answered "No." So our very long day began with me losing my temper, and John crying. In fact, once he started crying, it took awhile for him to stop. He clearly didn’t want to leave China and all his friends, and he wasn’t happy about the situation one little bit. Our guide showed up in the middle of this crisis, and she spent awhile trying to talk to John too. He admitted to her that he knew he wasn’t supposed to use the phone, and he called secretively, etc. Our guide told John that he might not understand everything now, but he needed to respect and obey us. After all that, our guide told me it was a communication issue, and that once John knew English we wouldn’t have these problems. I assured her that we would indeed have these same problems in the future. Every parent has these types of rebellions and communications problems when it comes to teens! It’s a given. We don’t like it; it upsets us; it makes us yell sometimes. But all of this is normal in a family. Normal, happy families have trouble communicating sometimes; it is reality. So, no, I don’t feel any regret adopting John. We just know that it’s growing pains, and adjusting, and that things will work out in time. Austin might be a great big help too, since John finds Connor too young, and Austin can be the role model that John needs. Back to the actual trip home: the boys all watched video games and TV for the first five hours, and then slept for at least seven hours. Then there was breakfast and more TV and games; it was all kid heaven. We couldn’t have asked for more. The kids actually traveled better than we did. David and I had stomach issues during the flight, and honestly, we did not have a great trip. The children were just amazing, and I mean absolutely amazing. 30 hours later, we finally arrived home, safe and sound. Linda and Victor (and Dan) were there to meet us, and they brought stuffed animals for the kids. Ben was thrilled with his monkey, and John rolled his eyes at the Panda (and immediately passed it off to Ben).Point taken. We collected the luggage, and drove home around 11:30pm. The kids gave the boys a quick tour of the house, and by midnight we had everyone tucked into bed. David and I were still not feeling well (and we're shocked the kids were not affected)and we stumbled into bed about 1am. Of course, I was up for the day at 3:45am., after Ben called for Ba (Dad) to take him to the bathroom. But that is the next blog, since it is now the next day.

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