We are HOME!! I am sitting here awake on Saturday morning..... .. have been up since 6 am. Think it is jet lag and also just the excitement of being home with our family. Already checked on little Pippa in her crib.. she is sound asleep. Hope that lasts for a few hours longer. Sam is sleeping 1/2 way under her crib... he loves his sister so that he wanted to literrally sleep under the crib last night. To already see how mezmerized he with his sister makes my heart so happy. And honestly, last night we were so tired... went to bed around 1:30..AM.. yep..AM.. so Mike and I really were ok with wherever anyone wanted to sleep. Just to lay our heads down on a bed was bliss.
So I'll go back to our last day in Guangzhou and then share the DELIGHTS/ DESPAIR of our travel... ( especially Detroit! ha!)
So I'll have part one, part two, part three, part four in this post!
PART ONE: Last day in Guangzhou
Eating at our FAVORITE restaurant in Guangzhou! It was really good and was an answer to prayer for eating gluten free in China! Yea for TAKILA restaurant! We loved it and had our favorite eating spot... outside on the upper deck! Some days I would just pretend we were eating in a restaurant in Paris... ha... I'll have to say.. China is wayyyy different than Paris! Oui Oui!
Road sign........ thought it's kind of artsy with the blue and the stripes in the street:) Inspiration for future painting!
Yum.. double yum! I'm hungry right now just looking at this good food!
Walking back to our hotel from our late lunch.. before we headed out in our crazy van ride to Hong Kong...... will never tire of this sweet sweet face..... oh, dear Pippa... you have all our hearts!
Packing up before we left.... and we found out Pippa was a pro at using the remote for the tv... what in the world?
When I asked the orphanage back in the fall what Pippa's favorite activity was.. they answered, "watching tv"...wow, I guess this is how she knows about remotes. Of all things, I thought one positive aspect for being in an orphanage... ( if one can even say positive in the same sentence as orphanage) would be that she had no idea what tv was... but she was in Shanghai with more amenities... so tv was part of her life daily.. sad but true.
Before we left Shanghai, we said good bye to our new friends, the Hords. Their little Charlotte Mei is precious!
While taking photos... Pippa was kicking and not wanting to be in the photo.. Mei was crying and Jenny said, "oh, this is adoption in all it's glory!".... we both started laughing! I think some advice to all who are traveling soon to adopt in China.... make sure you carry a sense of humor.... it will go a longgg way!!
PART TWO: VAN RIDE! This is one of the pics we got and it's blurry because we were literally speed racing to Hong Kong. Wanted to get a pic of the flower trees... I never saw an "official Cherry blossom tree" in China.. but these azalea blossom trees were everywhere and were beautiful!
Back to the van ride... let's just say that I truly believe that God had angels as bumpers around our van... I have never ever been in a van ride like that before.... and we thought Andre drove crazy in Moscow on icy roads. This was a entirely new level. We were just thankful to arrive in Hong Kong.
Advice to ones traveling and staying in Hong kong... ( the regal hotel is BUDDY! ( my word for k-mart-y... cheap..not that great) it was too expensive.. but its' convenient to airport because it's connected. I think Mike and I realized that airport hotels are just strange.
PART THREE: Airplane ride for 15 hours... wow... 15 hours in an airplane seat. Thankful we had bulkhead seating and had space. Actually overall on the plane, Pippa did super! She cried and screamed for some of her "mini naps".. but that was it. I didn't sleep one minute... so by the time we got off the plane, I was tired... very tired....
Then the FUN began. Well, actually before. We were in a holding pattern in Detroit because of bad weather.... so landing was not fun.... it was very bumpy... I'll just say that I was thankful we were on the ground! Then as we were walking through the airport, I saw ice pellets all over the ground outside. So I realized we landed in a hail storm. Then they stopped all flights in the airport because of weather ( That's when I thought.. should have gone with DALLAS and listened to Ginny:) With the halting of all flights.... little did I realize it would send Detroit airport into mass chaos. Oh, and it was the beginning of spring break in Detroit.. so everyone was ready to leave the area!
Then they announced our plane that we were supposed to get on couldn't land so they sent it to somewhere in Indiana.
And then they told us to go to another gate...we waited... they said.. 5pm boarding time ( we were supposed to be home by 4:30 pm ) ... then changed our gate again and said... 7 ish.. then changed to 8 pm.. then they kept changing... and we waited and moved around the airport with our sweet little Birmingham group of travelers. So by 10:20 pm.... I realized we may not get to Birmingham. At this point, I was almost in tears.... exhausted... tired... soooo ready to see my kids and family! So I sat there with Pippa in her boba.. and just prayed..." please God .. please get us home to Birmingham." I really couldn't imagine sleeping in a Detroit hotel that night.
About 15 minutes later... Delta said they found a crew for our airplane! They had the airplane since 5 pm.. .. just didnt' have a crew for it! So when we saw the crew walk to our gate... we all CHEERED! I have never been sooo ready to get on a plane and head to Birmingham!! Pippa slept first half and it was so peaceful.. the rest of the time she screamed.. she was DONE! I was done... and I could have just cried with her... but trying to keep it together....and then ...
We landed and we looked out our plane window at the little BIrmingham airport and saw 3 faces in the window smiling and waving....it was Sam, Rosie and Da!
How I've missed my children! I'll have airplane pics in next post...
To get off the plane.. and rush up to see my kids is a moment I'll never forget. I was so tired.. yet so happy and to see Rosie and Sam run out to us and hug us and hug Pippa makes me teary eyed right now as I type. I will always remember that moment. To see our family... at 11:45 pm at night.... all there.. even my dad stayed up for the welcome home... Gee Gee, Da, Nana and Papa ...and Tutle, Katie and Jenny were there.... welcoming...even though it was close to midnight!.. I am still trying to just take it all in. It was such a sweet sweet joyfilled reunion! I am sooo happy to be home!!
And to my dear friends who were waiting at the airport earlier that night....thank you all for coming!! I so WISH I could have hugged you all and seen you!! Sorry that our plane was veryyy late! But I smile just thinking about you all there with your hugs ready for us and Pippa! Thank you all for your dear friendship!
Part FOUR: The sweetest part... the part we have been waiting for... the part where it all comes together and Mike and I look at each other and go... "ok.. now we are all complete"... this is the part where I see Rosie and Sam totally enthralled with their new sister. I had no idea what to expect..... but the true sweetness of them with Pippa was and is the absolute BEST! They were wanting to show her everything! And they kept staring at her and looking at her.. oh, my.. absolutely wonderful! And to top it off.... this picture was taken at 1 ish am in the morning...
Giving her some pear... I'm sure that Rosie and Sam will make sure that Pippa is well fed. And Rosie helped change Pippa's diaper last night.. she was ready to be the big sis in action!
Love love this pic.... 1 or 1:30 am in the morning... and we are all awake with Pippa! I will remember this night always.
After I took a shower to wash 30 plus hours of airplane and airport grime off... I walked into our bedroom and saw this:
Sam under blanket.. toes sticking out. Pippa and Mike totally wiped out.
It was the best laying my head on the pillow and falling asleep.
Now it's around 8 ish am on Saturday morning... time to get moving .. Sam's awake and it's a NEW DAY here in the Robinson household!
God is sooo Good!! Thank you for your prayers... your encouragement and love you have sent through emails and notes and posters... and signs... and phone calls and texts and more prayers! What a journey it has been!!... an amazing one!!!
Hugs to all from Birmingham, Alabama!!