Six months ago we arrived at SFO jet lagged, with terrible head colds, sleep deprived and with a restless 16-month old who had never sat in a carseat. Ah, good times... Funny thing that today our bodies decided to take us back there because all three of us have been coughing and sneezing. At least we do not have to relive the drive home. :)
Before we departed for China we mentioned to our relatives that if they wished they could meet us at SFO upon arrival. We never mentioned it again to anyone because once you get a referral your world is turned upside down and you are lucky if you end up packing underwear. Lately we have been reminiscing about our journey home and the state we were in upon arrival and let me tell you that we have had some good laughs at how naive we were. We are both so glad that only Baby S and hundreds of strangers were the only witnesses to the mess that were P and K.
Our day began at 5:00 a.m., we showered, dressed, did a last run through our hotel room and received breakfast to go. No more sitting at the top floor restaurant and taking our time. Our guide Sara and our luggage were in one taxi, the three of us followed in a second taxi.
Sara stayed with us through checking in, where I noticed a red mark on Baby S and almost gave P a heart attack when I said it out loud. Oh, I forgot we did not blog about that then. See, one of the kids from another province and one that we had no contact with had chicken pox,and that led to a second (there should have been a third but that is another post)medical exam. P and I were SO scared that Baby S would be denied entry into the U.S. So why did I open my big mouth? I guess I was tired and extremely nervous. Thankfully Sara was blissfully unaware and P did not have to kill me to save his daughter. Once we were checked in Sara walked us to the security line, we said goodbye, provided gifts for her and the other guides and were on our own. We probably should have been overwhelmed and scared but we had done so many things without the guides that it did not faze us. Still, we needed to clear two more security checks then we could breathe.
P was upset with me because in China and Japan there is absolutely no liquids allowed through security. Heck, they confiscated our spray on sunblock in Kunming. I still insisted on bringing baby food for Baby S and hot water in the thermos. That was an automatic delay through security but I pointed at Baby S (snug in the Ergo and no I did not take her out) and stated that she was due for a feeding and they allowed me to keep the water and the baby food. While we were waiting for our flight P looked at me making a bottle, laughed and said, "You would risk incurring the wrath of airport security for your kids. In China no less." Baby I'd do anything for my children (except stop embarrassing them), and the worse that could happen was to have the items confiscated. Big deal...
Baby S slept the entire flight from Guangzhou to Tokyo. She awoke in Tokyo refreshed and not having a clue what was waiting for her. She did not sleep during the Tokyo to SFO flight, which of course was the ten hour trek. Baby S and I were in the two seat side and P was in the aisle seat across from us. Having that extra seat did not make a difference because Baby S wanted to be on her Mama and would not accept the comfort of her own seat thank-you-very-much. Eventually P gave up his seat and sat next to me and Baby S decided to make a concession and laid on the two of us here and there.
About two hours before landing I began to feel like I was run over by an eighteen wheeler. I do rather well without sleep and a hell of a lot better than P. I am also used to overextending myself and recuperating just fine. But the thing about jet lag is that it does not mess with you that much on the way to China. No, your body toughens and gears up for the experience of a lifetime. So what if you waited three years? So what if you have not slept in three days? So what if you had three days to plan your International travel? You are going to meet your baby, and once you meet that sweet angel you run on pure adrenaline. You begin to thank your body (and your lucky stars), but what you do not know is that your body is planning major payback.
Your body waits until you are almost home, waiting to exhale and then releases three weeks of tiredness and the jet lag from the flight to China, all on top of what you are now experiencing. Add the cold, tired baby and cranky husband to the mix and you are in heaven. No, you wish you were on your way to heaven.
Once we landed I texted JJ and we gathered our things. This is when P noticed that he had lost one of his lenses and he did not have a spare set of glasses. We both began to frantically look for that lens. I knew I was in no condition to drive and the man is blind without them so I was not budging. Lucky us we had the rudest crew Northwest Airlines had at its disposal. It appears that they were due to catch a connecting flight soon or were coming home for a rest period. Does not matter, they were cranky and rude. One flight attendant came to ask "What seems to be the problem?" Another flight attendant replied, "He lost a lens," first flight attendant, "There is no time for that." Excuse me? I calmly informed her that we were not leaving until we found the lens as we had a long drive ahead of us. We found the lens and the crew proceeded to basically tell us to get the hell out of the plane, using the words "shoo and go" as their goodbyes. Like I said, good times.
As we are rushing to retrieve our luggage we realized that Baby S was clad in a onesie. Yeah, classy way to arrive home. We stopped to freshen her up and change her into the denim outfit and squeaky shoes. P reminded me that we needed to stop at La Taqueria for her first steps on U.S. soil. This meant that we could not put her down and I was about to give up at that point. Really, does it really matter? To P it did. I can now look back and laugh but we looked absolutely crazy juggling our carry on, changing Baby S and making sure her feet did not touch the ground.
Our luggage were the only ones left when we arrived. The employee looking over them happened to be the same woman that greeted us upon checking in two weeks earlier and remembered us. Somehow Baby S's name came up on our SFO to Tokyo tickets (even though she had a one way ticket home)and she had asked us where was our baby. We told her about adopting from China. We were so exhausted that it took us a while to remember her. She said, "Now you have the baby," congratulated us and off we were.
That was one crazy flight and I do not even want to think what we looked like when we arrived home. Baby S on the other hand looked marvelous the entire time and we are so grateful to have her home. Since we could not make it to La Taqueria to celebrate, we took her out for pizza. Baby S loves beans and quickly traded her slice of pizza for the kidney and garbanzo beans from the salad bar. P then got her beets and I have no idea what made him think that kids eat that stuff. Much to our surprise, Baby S stuffed her little face with the beet strings. Mami loved beets, she would have love to see Baby S wolfing them down.
After lunch we returned to the toy store where P bought Rody as a Happy Six Months home present. We are hoping that it doubles as an exert yourself into an early bedtime gift. :)