We made it home. Immigration was a bear. Tired, very tired, we said, “This is great! The United States really has Hong Kong beat. I can’t believe how organized they are.” Then, we were sent to another line…A line with only two people in front of us. No big deal, right? That’s when they started walking over other people putting them in front of us. We had a wonderful view from this position for the long lines at the next two steps through security. Finally an agent took pity and called us to the next window where she took our super sealed brown envelope, the one we were told to guard with our lives and proceeded to rip it open ripping documents at the same time. Not our best moment. Then, the luggage was missing. The officers told us just to get in line and tell Delta. Ray found it at the last second on the Amsterdam belt. Did I mention we traveled from Hong Kong? There was the little old lady who tried to cut in front of everyone at the x-ray machine even though we had been waiting forever 15 minutes. We ran and made it to the plane just in time to sit on it for another twenty minutes. All this, and I’m thankful to say the two hours it took us to get from one plane to the next was the most stressful of the 24 hour trip. Jack was a trooper on the plane only getting upset a couple of times. I said more than one prayer for more than one set of parents on that plane. It could have been so much worse.

Oh yes the plane… We asked the hotel about a car to the airport thinking that would be easier and giving ourselves plenty of time. Once again, something was lost in translation. We climbed on a bus. We got to the airport a little later than we thought. Live and learn. A cab would have been better. Security took forever. I got through, turned to wait for Ray and Jack started peeing all over me. I mean all over me. I got to a bathroom and changed him. I was soaked. No judgments. We had been doing okay on the potty training front. With only a couple of pull-ups, I misunderstood Ray and put him in his airplane underwear with plans to change him when we got on the plane. Ray, bless his heart, felt really bad for me and insisted on looking for another shirt. The signs as we ran for the gate said, “Prada, Gucci, Versace…” You get the picture. In Memphis every other shop has an Elvis t-shirt for $5. I managed to get on the plane without crying, took off my outer shirt, cleaned up and tried to ignore the smell. I can’t tell you how many more times I checked Jack’s pants on that flight and it was probably because I was smelling myself. Nice right? Sorry to the people in front of and behind us.

Jack was great. He was only upset when he inadvertently woke up. That didn’t happen often since he refused to sleep. We were tired but it made jet lag mostly easier to deal with. We had a steady supply of rice like fish crackers that he would eat since the airline food didn’t do it for him.

The twenty four hour trip was worth it. I managed to not totally lose it when I saw the girls even though I wanted to a little bit. I told them I didn’t think I could let them go to college. Bria said that was okay but she’s still going to school. I didn’t tell them because I knew they were reading the blog, but more than once I more than lost my composure in China just from missing them so much. Ray did his best to get pictures but it’s hard when all you want to do is grab the girls and squeeze them.

Then, there is one of my new favorite pictures… Jack meeting Grandma for the first time. I think it was love at first sight. 

The girls were everything that I thought they would be with Jack. They are so in love with him. They take care of him like little mother hens. Jack loves having them around.

Today, we are going to try our new normal… the normal that had me waking up at 4:30. Might not bode well later on. Jack is making slow, slow steps. Sometimes painfully slow. We sat in the cry room at church yesterday so he wouldn’t feel so out of control. He can now be in the same room with Tucker without screaming…most of the time. Time to move on to all of our post placement paperwork. If I keep getting up at 4 in the morning, I should have plenty of time to work that out.