Monday, September 11, 2006

We are home at last!!!

Part of our welcoming committee....










The boys happy to FINALLY meet their new little sister....





Daddy with his new little girl....














Alice is settling in just fine with all the boys....




And she is already discoverying the power rangers....











Fun in the tub....





The flight home was an adventure, but we are happy to be back in AZ and with our new family. We started our day Saturday at about 4:30am. It was raining in Guangzhou as we left for the airport. We had a small boxed breakfast on the bus on the way. Once we got to the airport and got checked in and through security we only had about 20 minutes to wait to get on the plane to Tokyo. I got really lucky on that flight with an extra seat next to me. That was a dream with Alice on board. They kept us on the tarmac for about 45 minutes because of the rain, but the pilot promised us we would land by 2:20 in Tokyo. For some reason when we got to Tokyo, he kept circling and we didn't get on the ground until about 2:45 -- we all had to connect for flights at 3:30 and in Tokyo you get off the plane and have to re-enter through a small security checkpoint. We were all booking it and were the last ones to get on our plane -- it didn't look as though they were really waiting for us. If I hadn't made that flight, I might have broken down completely at that point -- just way to ready to be back home.

This leg was 8 1/2 hours and we didn't have an extra seat this time -- Alice was not very happy for the entire flight and I'm sure everyone around me wasn't very happy either. That was a true struggle of patience, but we made it!

Once in Seattle, I was so happy to be able to got through customs and immigrations where people actually spoke english, but I was greeted by the grumpiest officer ever who burst my bubble that americans are really friendlier than some of the bureaucracies of the people I had just been dealing with for the last 3 weeks.

From Seattle to Phoenix, Alice finally slept like a dream!! We got of the plane so excited to see Kurt and the boys and when we got out of security there was no one there. We had a mix up in terminals and they were anxiously waiting at terminal 3 and we were at terminal 2. We finally met up and the boys looked to me like they had grown 10 feet. Their hugs and kisses were a very welcome end to my trip!!!

So Alice is officially ours in the eyes of China. However, she is still considered a chinese citizen since only one of us travelled to get her. We will now do what they call a readoption here in the states and at the point that we receive the american birth certificate, she will officially be an american citizen. The US does not recognize dual citizenship with China so she technically will only have US citizenship. Most families do the readoption in the states whether or not they travelled together so that they can obtain an american birth certificate. This way we have documentation that can be duplicated if the originals are ever lost. If we were to lose her chinese documentation, we would not be able to replace it.

This week we are trying to get back with the program. The boys are doing great in school and are so proud to have Alice here with them. She is slowly warming up to them -- they are very different than the kids she is used to playing with.

We are struggling a bit with the time change and having her in a new bed and environment. I am up quite a bit at night right now. Hope to power through it over the next week or so along with a couple of cases of diet coke!

Looking forward to seeing everyone again and introducing you to Miss Alice!!
:=)

2 comments:

Christina M. said...

Hey, girl, I've been looking forward to this post and the photos. So glad that you made it home safely--your family is beautiful! Thanks for the info about readoption and citizenship; I have been wondering about that. Take care and hopefully get some rest! ~Christina

Michelle Weiler said...

Hey Cheryl,
I loved seeing the pics of your boys with Alice. I am glad you are safe at home. I still have some great pics to send to you of you and Alice. I'll do that when I get my head on straight. How are you doing with the jet lag??? Everyone here is back to normal except Bliss and I. Bliss still thinks she lives in China.
Talk to ya soon.
Michelle