How Annie

Became a Wilson

Travel Journal



April 15, 2013


We're home! Well, we've been home for awhile, but between catching up with sleep, getting to know grandparents, and experiencing the hard drive finally giving up the ghost on our laptop, it's been a bit tough to write an update.


Our flights home went pretty well (it's easy to say that in retrospect.) We started with an EARLY morning van ride from our hotel in Guangzhou to the airport in Hong Kong. It took several hours, including going through Immigration to get into Hong Kong.


Once at the airport, things went pretty smoothly. We got checked in and past security with ALL of our belongings. Bought some hot water for bottles and tea, filled the water bottles...ready for an 11 hour flight. Until they decided to dump all of our fluids again before we got on the airplane (even though we'd already cleared security). We weren't very happy campers at that point...pretty tired, and now we couldn't get hot water again in time to make a bottle for takeoff. This started the VERY long flight. Annie slept about 5 hours. Dan & Dayna both caught some sleep as well. Alaina...she endured every bump and bit of turbulence (probably the roughest flight any of us have ever experienced) in full wakefulness. (Word to the wise...don't watch "Hitchcock" on an airplane when you can't sleep and aren't sure the machine will make it down safely.)


When we landed in San Francisco, we had a LONG wait in the Immigration line. By this point, Alaina's dizziness of the last week turned into full-blown vertigo. After the long wait in a stuffy room with no sleep, she wasn't thinking very clearly (and the rest of the exhausted family wasn't too far behind.) When we finally got through Immigration, Annie was issued a temporary green card. We have jumped through every hoop given to mankind with Immigration the last 9 months...filled out their forms and paid their Annie could have full Citizenship status upon landing. We questioned the Immigration Officer (whose name we didn't catch in our stupor), and were brushed off, saying, "Call your local CIS office." We didn't think to talk to a supervisor, and went on our way, thinking we'd handle it later when we were more coherent.


Now on a 5-hour layover, we called our agency and were told that we were indeed given the wrong paperwork. (According to what we were given, Annie could be deported if they so desired. Not that we think that would happen.) In a few weeks, we will check back in with our agency who will try to intercept Annie's paperwork. We have been told this has happened before, and chances are good that we will still get her Certificate of Citizenship in the mail in a few months.


From San Francisco, we made our way to Denver, with another layover (and some extremely tasty Mexican food!) By now, things were pretty much a haze. We made the last flight to Omaha, where we were greeted by friends and family. A huge thanks to those loved ones who came (some quite far) late on a weeknight to greet us on our arrival.


We made it to our home and settled in about midnight. It had been 31 hours since we left the hotel in Guangzhou that morning. With the help of good medicine and sheer exhaustion, we all fell asleep and slept mostly through the night. By the end of the weekend, all signs of jet lag had disappeared for the 4 of us. We have settled into a great new routine. (Until later in the week when Annie started to show some sleep disturbances with some anxiety...this made for some really rough nights for her parents. We've made some adjustments to our sleeping arrangements, and the last 2 nights have gone a lot better. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.)


Since we've been home, Annie finally got to a doctor who confirmed our suspicions of a nasty sinus infection. We also think her ears were pretty messed up. For possibly the first time in her life, Annie now knows what it's like to feel healthy. She's been much happier, and her adjustments are finally starting to happen. We'll go back for a complete physical later this week after she is off the antibiotics.


While we're staying pretty close to home, we have now made a few excursions. Cabin fever sent us to the mall on Friday night to just get out of the house. On Saturday, we tried a few hours at the zoo. And today, after five weeks away, we were able to make it to church. We didn't go into the service (Annie is WAY too loud for that), but were able to sit out in Solid Grounds and be with our church family again. There was a point where it got a bit overwhelming for Annie, who did have a little meltdown.


We've noticed that Annie and Dayna are interacting a lot better now. We don't know that Annie has ever really had much interaction with anybody. With a lot of patience and modeling (and a few tears from either or both of the girls at any given time), they're starting to get their rhythm with each other. Annie isn't quite mimicking everything she sees, but she is picking up some fun new tricks. In a lot of ways, it's like having a full-fledged toddler who is walking and getting into things, but also a 9-month-old at the same time. We anticipated some delays, and Annie seems to be a smart cookie who will figure things out before we know it.


Annie is pretty comfortable with us; she plays with us, comes to us for comfort and play, and is otherwise fond of our company. She is also not afraid to play with others or go to them. So we're not sure she's completely attached. Again, we anticipated that this would take some time. So if you come to see us (Hooray! We love company!), please understand if we're hestitant to have others hold her, feed her, etc. She is still learning that we are her parents, and not just another set of caregivers in the shuffle she's known all her life.


Prayer Requests:

• Annie's continued adjustment and attachment to our family

• That we could find a healthy, regular sleep routine (SOON!)

• Until we find that routine, that we would be refreshed from what little sleep we may be allowed

• That our hard drive can be recovered (It has ALL of our pictures from China...we already have so little for Annie as she gets older, and losing these pictures would absolutely break our hearts.)



• Baby steps of progress

• Giggles ringing through the house

• Parents who have cooked, cleaned, and even repaired a botched drywall job from 4 years ago

• Brushing our teeth with water from the sink, "Western" toilets, and the ability to flush the TP, our own beds, seeing friends and family again


Early in Guangzhou with Grace


Our steed


Welcome Home












Dog pile!








I'm so cute!


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