This is home

We walked through a hallway bridge connecting out hotel in Hong Kong to the airport check in area at around 8am on sat morning.
Out flight wasn’t scheduled to take off until 11:40am, but we decided we should get there a little early…. We are so glad we did. We walked up to check luggage and get our boarding passes and the girls sat on the floor to draw while they waited.

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That picture was taken right before the woman behind the counter informed us that Reese’s airline ticket had been cancelled. CANCELLED?! Apparently, the ticket we purchased for her through our travel agency, who specializes in adoption travel, booked her a round trip airline ticket, and so United airlines, cancelled the ticket when Reese didn’t “show up” for her flight from Jax to Beijing. (yea, uh, she was already in China)
We were then informed we would have to purchase a new lap ticket for her one way trip. Ugh. Ok, fine.
Caleb and the girls stayed in line while Reese and I took her passport and stood in another line to purchase another ticket for her. I emailed our travel agent while we were in line, and she emailed back right away. She said that was united’s policy and they shouldn’t have cancelled her ticket. If they wouldn’t reinstate her ticket ( they wouldn’t) then, she said that she would refund us for the first ticket. Great, but right now we are in Hong Kong just trying to get her home.
It took forever to get her ticket then it was back to the other counter to get her boarding pass. I asked for the bulk head bassinet seat for us, but the flight was full. Ugh.
Next we waited in line to go trough security. When we handed them our boarding passes the officer took a look and said… “There’s a problem with her ticket”
SERIOUSLY?! I already wanted to cry, and Riley WAS crying. She had been so patient waiting to eat breakfast until we were through security. The security officer said they misspelled Reese’s Chinese name and that it didn’t match her passport. He called another guy over and the other guy said “it’s ok”, I said are you sure!? Because I don’t want that extra letter A in the middle of her Chinese name to stop her from being able to board the plane! They said it would be ok, and we were now running low on time, so we took our chances.
We had about 40 minutes until boarding, and still had to take a train to a different terminal and get the girls some food….

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Thankfully, that wasn’t our plane taking off 🙂 We made it, no questions were asked about her boarding pass and we got to our seats.
Reese and I were in the middle seat in the middle row. A poor young woman sat down next to me with the, “are you kidding me, I have to sit next to a baby for the next 15 hours?” , look on her face. Lol
She didn’t even say “hello”, or tell me how cute Reese was. While I sat there contemplating whether or not this poor poor young woman either had bad eyesight or was mute, (I mean why else would she not have noticed or gloated to me about how beautiful my children were) 🙂 ,
a nice stewardess came over and started talking to Reese, and she noticed her cuteness right away, (thank you) and she also noticed the fact that I was traveling with her in my lap in the middle seat.
She excused herself and appeared moments later with her supervisor, who told me how gorgeous Riley was. 🙂
They were so sweet and asked the poor young woman next to me if she would be willing to change seats. She jumped up with a quick “yes” before getting any further details. (Oh, she can see and speak?! Well now I’m just offended.) She moved and this allowed us a whole row to ourselves. I will forever be grateful to those stewardesses.

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Reese SCREAMED like she was in pain on the take off. I felt really bad for her AND everyone around me. She settled down and fell asleep for three hours!
When she woke up, she pushed and grunted, she was constipated. Poor baby, that’s what was wrong with her:(
She, and the big sisters, did so good the rest of the LONG LONG flight. We had other passengers commenting to us on how well they all traveled when the flight was over.
I only slept for about 40 minutes of that whole flight, so by the time we landed in Chicago we were all so tired.
We handed over her sealed paperwork to the appointed officer at customs and she officially became a US citizen:) yay!! We were greeted at the entryway of our new terminal by two familiar faces:) My sister and her husband. Reese was relaxed and warmed up quickly to them in the few minutes we had. I’m so glad it worked out for them to meet her during our short layover:)

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We had one more 2 hour flight from Chicago to Jax. We were so happy to arrive, especially because we had some friends and family anxiously waiting for us:)

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Our good friends took professional pics for us so we will post more pics when we get them:) (Thanks Amy and David!!)
We hugged everyone and got to our car. Caleb drove so I could sit in the back with Reese. It was her very first time in a car seat, she cried for awhile but, we expected that. Each time should be a little less traumatic. Then we were home!! WELCOME HOME REESE JIA KINLEY!! We have prayed for this moment for so long. We longed to have you at home in our arms. God is so good.

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“Yea this is home, I’m finally where I belong….”

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Our hearts are full. We all slept so sound. Riley and Rowan were wide awake at 4am but we told them the best thing they could do was to try to sleep. Thankfully, they fell back to sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed. Reese didn’t move and had to be woke up at 11am!!! We actually checked on her to make sure she was still breathing! (like first time parents)  Lol
About 6 months ago, we nicknamed Reese “bunny”, (Riley is “bear”, and Rowan is “bug”) having no idea her first morning home would be Easter. God is so fun, and he is in all the details.

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Happy Easter from our family (who stayed in our PJs and took a 5 hour nap) to yours!!
Jesus is alive!!! And His love for us is amazing.

One thought on “This is home

  1. Jessica Jennings

    I haven’t followed you guys threw your whole journey up until a few weeks ago when I seen this on my friend Crystals’s fb page. I felt the need this morning to read it from the beginning. What an amazing story. I am forever grateful to have came across this. I have just now became a regular at Celebration Church. So I’m just now learning about how God takes care of his people. Well on behalf of my family I congratulate you on finally being able to bring Resse home. Hopefully one day while I’m out and about in the Jacksonville area I run into you and your family. I wish you guys the best of luck on your new journey.

    Reply

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