"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." - Isaiah 43:5
Wow! Are we really home? The past 3 days have been a whirlwind, and we’re still trying to catch up to ourselves. Please forgive us if this post rambles a bit as that’s how our brains are functioning.
Our last morning in Guangzhou was utter chaos. Alaina & Dayna ran to the store for some snacks about an hour before we had to leave the White Swan. After a quick check out the window and seeing no umbrellas, it seemed a good time to go. After hitting the grocery store, the two of us went to tell Jordon goodbye. On the way, the sky turned black and the skies emptied. If we were in Nebraska, we would have been caught in a tornado. We waited about 20 minutes in Jordon’s before dashing back to the hotel in the rain. The girls were SOAKED! So much for our matching t-shirts for the return flight.
Because of our delay, we weren’t finished packing when the bellboy came for our bags. It was crazy trying to finish things up in our room. At last, we made it to the lobby to check out and ride the van to the Guangzhou airport. Once there, we had about two hours to wait for our flight. Out came the wet t-shirts (with deference to the Waiting China Families McFischbrook clan) to dry on the chairs. Our flight to Hong Kong was blissfully uneventful.
Once in Hong Kong, we struck up a conversation with a kind man. He has lived in L.A. for 38 years, but grew up in Hong Kong. About 14 years ago, he accompanied a friend on an adoption trip and has had a special place in his heart for these families. When he saw us, he took it upon himself to help us navigate the Hong Kong airport and make our connecting flight. Unfortunately, we only caught his first name, but the kindness of a stranger, Daniel, in a foreign land was like water to our weary souls.
For our long flight, we were unable to get either bulkhead seating or a bassinet for Dayna. Fortunately, it wasn’t a full flight, so they gave four seats across for the three of us. Dayna was awesome! She took two four-hour naps, and really took everything in stride. (Mom’s not ashamed to admit having used Benadryl to help the process.) When we landed in Chicago, Dayna became an official United States Citizen! Hooray!
Customs and Immigration went smoothly. The people helping us were quite friendly. While waiting to recheck our luggage through to Omaha (we had to pick it up for Customs first), Alaina looked out the window and saw someone frantically waving (okay, a lot of people were waving, but this one stood out!) She said to Dan, “Is that Laura Ann?” (One of Dan’s mom’s cousins, who lives in Chicago.) Sure enough, Laura Ann was our first welcoming committee back in the United States. She personally escorted us in her car to our next terminal, and we were able to get some pictures of Dayna standing on American soil (okay, asphalt).
At our next terminal, we had to go through security again. Unfortunately, security wasn’t as smooth. In Guangzhou and Hong Kong, we were able to just push Dayna through the security check in her stroller. As a new mom, Alaina didn’t think anything different. The security person was less than polite, yelling at Alaina to take Dayna out of the stroller, then making her take her shoes off (difficult with a squirmy baby in your arms.) Alaina took her shoes off, then the security person threw her shoes back at her. Long story short, we were saddened to be treated so horribly by someone in our own country after being treated so well in China and Hong Kong.
Our faith in the American people was renewed at the gate when we discovered they didn’t have two seats together, much less three. There was no way we were sticking Dayna in a seat three rows behind one of us. The gate agent was very kind and bumped us up to first class for our last leg. We must say, it’s much easier changing a baby in a first class lavatory than the ones in the back of the plane!
We arrived in Omaha tired and weary. Upon reflection, a new mom in the hospital looks a lot worse for the wear. We both got to feel and look this way by the end of our journey as well. Dan’s parents and some friends from Ashland were there to meet us. We felt so blessed to have such a welcoming committee so late at night! Dayna took to Grandma and Grandpa Wilson right away, and of course they were smitten with her. They drove us home (Dayna did fine in the car seat), and here we are!
Several friends have stocked our house with food. Hooray for Dr Pepper, chips and salsa, and Oreo cookies! (Not to mention tap water with ICE!) We had banners, balloons and a yard sign waiting to welcome Dayna to her new home. Our original plan was to set up the Pack N’ Play in our bedroom for the first few nights. Somehow in the excitement of coming to China, we never thought to set it up before we left. After 15 minutes of trying to figure it out, we went for the crib in Dayna’s room instead. She seems to like her room.
We had a fun time playing with Grandma and Grandpa yesterday. The great outdoors is definitely the place for Dayna. She loves the stroller, and played on a blanket in the backyard for about an hour and a half. Since coming home, we’re nowhere close to being on US time (despite our best efforts). Somewhere in the middle of the night (probably while eating chips and salsa at 2:00 am), we realized that Dayna’s biological clock is the only physical connection she has left to China; the rest is just mementos and memories her parents have made for her. We’ve decided to just follow her lead rather than try to limit her naps or feed her on schedule. It’s making things tough for us, but we know this is temporary
Dayna has also decided to become very clingy to her mom. Alaina can’t leave the room without buckets of tears being shed by Dayna. We hope she adjusts quickly and gets comfortable with Dad again. (And Alaina wouldn’t mind having a few moments to herself for personal reasons once in awhile!)
Alaina and Dayna took a walk this morning at 5:30. That time together was so precious, just walking around the lake and watching the sunrise. We had our own worship service of sorts, thanking God for making that sunrise just for us. Dayna also met the resident ducks of the lake. They came right up to the stroller…Dayna and the ducks, just staring at each other!
Thank you so much for following our journey. We have received over 300 emails in the last two weeks. We will be printing them all and putting them in a book for Dayna to read when she’s a bit older. Your encouragement has sustained us. The best investment we’ve made (other than adoption expenses) has been paying for Internet access in our rooms. How did people to this before email? So, the first part of our journey has ended, but the real story is yet to unfold. We hope to be on a schedule in the next two weeks. In the meantime, please continue to pray for our family as we adjust to a new time zone, a new home for Dayna, and the sweet sounds of a child FINALLY ringing through our house. The reality of our responsibility to this little life and her huge potential is humbling and a bit overwhelming. If you’d like to call or stop by for a visit, we’d love to see you. Thank you for being understanding if we’re still in our pajamas, or look like we haven’t slept in a long time. If we don’t answer the phone, we’re either out with the stroller or sleeping.
Blessings to you all as you continue on the journey God has designed for you!
Dan, Alaina and Dayna Wilson
|Dayna's matching shirt|
|With Angela in Guangzhou|
|Dayna's first step on American Soil|
|Having fun with Grandma and Grandpa Wilson|
|Our welcome home sign|