Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We made it home!!!

We’re home!!!! I’m so happy to be able to post from my own computer, from my own computer room, sitting on my own chair! You take for granted the comforts of home until you’re in a different country with a new baby, confined to a small hotel room and are reduced to doing dishes with boiling water as well as bottled water!!! Needless to say, there’s no place like home.

Let’s back up to where I left off in China. Our last full day in China included a Rickshaw Tour of Old Beijing. Riding in a covered Rickshaw sure beat walking in the heat, we really quite enjoyed it And Jenna loved it as well, when she was awake!! The scenery was beautiful and the people, as always, interesting. There were a few scary moments as our Rickshaw driver weaved in and out of the other Rickshaws in our convoy and really knew how close he could get to another one without tipping us over….very talented young man!! And some of the alley ways were quite narrow so that made it even scarier, although, as always, Gary enjoyed the adventure. We were privileged enough to be able to visit the house of a lovely couple, Mr. & Mrs. Quing, who let us take pictures and ask questions about their house and their lives. A very nice couple. The house was actually one of the nicer residences we’ve seen in our travels.

After the tour, we headed back out to the silk market to get some more goodies including a new suitcase to take back all the goodies we bought….and we bought a lot! Later that evening, the group went out for a Peking Duck dinner. It was a quick walk from our hotel and we were all ushered up to the second floor (a little difficult with all the strollers) and we got a big room all to ourselves. Gary picked a great place to sit…right by the air conditioning box so it was a little more comfortable for us. The dinner was great, a few dishes that I stayed away from, but all in all, a great dinner. One of the highlights of the evening was getting all the babies to pose for a picture. Well this turned out to be a gong show! Our guide had all the babies from Wanzai (that’s Jenna’s group) to pose first and before the last baby was placed on the bench; the crying started and continued while the pictures were being taken. It was a spectacle to say the least, but as the babies were crying, us parents, who were frantically taking pictures, were finding this quite humorous. Poor babies. Then the Le Ping group of babies sat for their pictures and of course, they showed up the Wanzai group as they all sat there happily with no tears shed. Oh well, it’s just one more story to tell right?

After dinner, we just headed back to the room and put Jenna to bed and Gary and I tackled the job of packing. We actually did quite well and didn’t even need one of the carry-ons we came with. In the morning, we had our breakfast, said goodbye to some of our travel mates and then headed off to the Silk Market AGAIN!!!! Since we didn’t have to leave the hotel until 1:20pm, we had a bit of time to kill. We came back, got everything packed and had our bags sitting outside our door at noon, then went and had some lunch before heading out to the airport. Again, Gary pointed out to me that we had more bags than anyone else around us as we had to load our bags onto a trolley once we got to the airport. I think he was probably right as we got a lot of stares as we maneuvered our way through the airport. Our flight to Vancouver was pretty uneventful. Jenna pretty much slept for the first 2 hours, woke up to play a little and went back to sleep for another 5-6 hours. Gary was even able to watch a couple of movies while she slept, it couldn’t have turned out any better. Since we were in Business Class, we made a bed for her on the floor in front of us and she looked quite comfortable. As we were going down the escalator towards Customs once we were in Vancouver, the line up was the longest I’ve ever seen and I thought for sure we would miss our connection, but it actually was a breeze as we, and the other 4 families in the group, got ushered through all the line ups. The last leg home she was a bit whiney but it was expected. We fed her a little and she slept a little, and then all of a sudden, we were just about ready to land. We were met by close friends and family and it was so great to be able to see everyone and finally be home. The only casualty was the loss of one of our bags, which turned out to be the one full of our dirty clothes so I wasn’t really in that much of a hurry to get it back since it just meant I had to wash them all. We did end up getting it delivered to us the next day.

When we got Jenna home, I walked her all over the house and she just looked around with wide eyes just soaking it all in. Everyone kept saying how much she was going to love our salt water tank but her interest in it didn’t last very long. I really think she thought we were just in another hotel.

We’ve now been home for 4 days and slowly getting into a routine. The first couple of nights home, she slept quite well. A little whimper here and there but nothing that a few minutes of back stroking and bum patting couldn’t cure. We thought we were in the clear with all this jet-lag nonsense and in only a matter of days to boot….until last night when she had a complete melt down. The day started out with her not wanting to get up until 10:00am, at which point I physically had to wake her myself, then she didn’t have an afternoon nap, then we put her to bed late because she had lots of visitors and didn’t want to have an afternoon nap until 6:00pm and then she didn’t end up going to bed until 10:30. Then she got up at 11:30 and decided to just scream on the top of her lungs. I tried calming her and then Daddy tried calming her and nothing seemed to work. Finally, we plunked her on our bed sitting up, put some toys in front of her to play and she finally conked out at around 3:30am. This gave Daddy a whole 2 hours to sleep before he had to go to work! Needless to say, I got a few phone calls today to make sure she didn’t nap for too long so she’d be good and tired by the night time. It’s now 10:00pm and she’s been sound asleep for the past ½ hour. Here’s hoping she sleeps through the night! I do have to remind myself that she has really only been home for 4 days and her little body needs more than that to get use to everything but being the good baby that she has been for us, I guess I just expect her to adjust in no time at all. Bad mommy.

Other than last night, she seems to be adjusting quite well to her new surroundings. We get a lot of comments on how good natured Jenna is, and we quite agree. We are still amazed everyday at how fantastic she’s been handling everything that has gone on in her short little time on this earth. I sometimes watch her playing with her toys or watch her with her Daddy and I just can’t believe that she’s finally home with us. After so many months of paperwork, waiting, preparing and waiting some more, our family of two has now become three. My heart is fuller than I ever imagined it would be. I think of my life before her and it’s hard for me to remember because it really does seem like she’s been with me forever. I guess in a way she has because the thought of her has been in my heart years before ever laying eyes on that sweet, beautiful face. The waiting and the tears and the longing for a family are no longer, and it truly just doesn’t get any better than this!

Thank you to all the people who commented on the blog and emailed us while we were in China. I was able to read them all and was humbled that we were thought of so much. We’ll never forget our China Journey. It was an amazing trip to a future full of joy, until of course she grows up and becomes a teenager…..stay tuned!

Here are just a few more pictures of the last few days of our trip and our first few days home. I seem to have reached my maximum amount of pictures today so I'll try again tomorrow.

Jenna's first limo ride (Gary looks a little stunned to finally be on his way home)

Jenna with Tita Erica

Jenna with Grandpa

Jenna's welcoming committee (Tita Kelly, Meghan and Sophie)

Some more friends (Auntie Terri, Auntie Lynne, Meghan, Sophie & Tita Kelly)

Ms. Jenna enjoying the long flight from Beijing

Ms. Jenna sitting so pretty

The 'Wanzai Walers'

The 'Le Ping Ladies'


Catherine said...

Welcome home!!! I have enjoyed following your wonderful journey to Jenna and look forward to reading more as she settles in at home.


Gita & Matt said...

Welcome home Jenna :)

Anonymous said...

It was wonderful to enjoy the journey with you! I could not be happier for you after all of the heartache and tears.

Congratulations on your newest arrival, she is darling and you have ever right to be proud.


Val and Ron said...

Congratulations on being home as the family you've always dreamed of. I enjoyed following your journey to Jenna and wish you much love and happiness in the coming chapters.

Val, Ron and Olivia

Dawn and Dale said...

WELCOME HOME!!! Welcome back to Canada!!

Loved following along and can't wait to see how your family continues to grown in love!

Bee's Blog said...

So glad you are home! And happy birthday Miss Jenna. Your mommy will bake you the best cake ever next year. This year, enjoy those cupcakes!