When the little lotus boarded her first-ever flight Friday afternoon, she might have been daydreaming that we were headed for some R&R on the beaches of Hong Kong. Even though our flight path sent us in the right direction, as (crummy) luck would have it, we stopped just short of that popular coastal city in favor of a much larger, and much busier southern metropolis, Guangzhou. And rather than relaxation, we had some serious business in store, including a gut-wrenching medical examination the very next morning.
We’re running out of ways to call her a “champ”, but we can just say Julia handled her first flight with impressive ease. Ahead of the flight, she happily allowed a standing diaper change while climbing on a magazine rack. We’re kind of sorry, Nanjing airport travelers, but then again… who can resist such a squeezable bare butt and some public toddler nudity? Once we took off, short of a five minute full-on cry, the worst of the two hour flight was merely some restlessness. And that restlessness isn’t just due to being constricted in midair; the last two days she’s really beginning to come out of her shell and fidget around like you’d expect from a near-two-year-old. Her motions are quicker, her grasp stronger, and her banging is louder. This is a good (er, great!) thing, as we think it shows that her fear is dropping while confidence continues to build in our care. And even though this little wiggle worm kept us busy on her first flight (and made us dread the BIG flight Thursday even more), we'll welcome her developmental progression any day of the week. Especially when she flashes the full-on teeth smile at 100 total strangers behind her in the plane. That always helps.
By the time we landed at 6:45pm Friday (welcomed by 85 degrees and 87% humidity), got our bags, and took a 30 minute bus ride to the hotel, The Bee had fallen asleep in Sarah’s arms. With no time for a bath and only a chance to wake her for a quick bottle dinner, adjusting to a new room (her second home with us) made the nighttime routine a bit more difficult. But we rocked her to sleep as usual, she slept through the night as usual, and the streak continues. After unpacking and getting settled well after 10pm, Mom and Dad’s streak continues too… missing at least one meal per day due to this whole chaotic schedule and new-parent adjustment thing.
So with no dinner, a new home, an early wake-up call Saturday morning, and a big medical appointment ahead with 16 other adoptive families… we saw the makings of a tough day. But truth be told, it wasn’t nearly as bad as we envisioned (and of the horror stories we’ve heard). The entire drill was a necessary step ahead of our U.S. visa appointment Tuesday. Essentially, the United States needs to verify that these children don’t have serious disease before “letting them in” to the country, and that their special needs match all the previous paperwork.