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Friday, September 30, 2005

 Finally Home

We got home yesterday at around 4:30 pm and was welcomed by a crowd of
family and friends. We had to make a stop at the restroom to make
everyone look a little more presentable after a rough day of travel
before coming out to the welcome. We had to get up at 4:30 am China time
(5:30 pm 9/28 CST) to get ready to go to the airport. The flight to
Japan was a nightmare cause Mikayla got sick. She was crying and
screaming and I couldn't get her to go to sleep, so one of the male
flight attendants asked if he could take her. He put a cloth on his
shoulder and picked her up and took two steps into the kitchen area and
Mikayla spewed everywhere. We thought this was kinda funny since he
probably wasn't counting on that and that 10 seconds earlier it would
have been on us. Well, 5 minutes later it was on us as we took her back,
she puked down my chest and then on Anita's lap. But after that, she was
fine and went to sleep. I had to change clothes on the plane and the
girls changed in Tokoyo. The flight into Japan was spectacular looking
at the ocean and the smaller islands and then getting to see Mt. Fuji
peaking up through the clouds. The flight out of Japan to Detroit was
just horrible with turbulence seemingly the whole flight. Mikayla
wouldn't sleep on me and Anita held her most of the flight. It was a
definite low point of the trip of running out of gas and going stir
crazy. I didn't sleep much and skipped both meals on the plane, Anita
ate some dinner about 3 hours after it was initially served while I took
Mikayla exploring around the plane. We met a missionary returning to the
US who had been to 12 different churches in China teaching. We got to
see the sun go down and come back up on this flight which is an
experience. I was aware when we got over Seattle and knew we were
finally over US soil, even at 35,000 feet. Mikayla slept through her
change of citizenship as we touched down in Detroit, but I filmed it for
her. There we had to go through Immigration and turn in her paperwork
and then go through customs and recheck our luggage. We finally got off
the ground after a delay and headed home on our 3rd flight of the day
(Mikayla's 4th flight in a week). When we touched down in Nashville, I
got chill bumps cause I knew we were home and the long hard journey was
over. The welcoming crowd was awesome, but not as much as watching both
grandmothers crying with anticipation. Mikayla seemed to warm to
everyone and was not scared or intimidated. Once we finally made it out
to the car, Mikayla got to try out her first car seat. This was a
welcome change to not having to hold a squirming child during
transportation as we had the past week and a half. After we finally made
it home through the traffic, we were welcomed again by gifts and food
and signs. Mikayla got to see her bedroom and the rest of the house.
Anita had to crash after my mother came over. Then Mikayla got her first
meal sitting in the high chair in the kitchen and her first bath in her
"ducky" bathroom. Then Mimi rocked her to sleep and she went into her
crib without a sound and slept all night. After that, I unpacked all our
stuff and made sure none of our keepsakes got broken, which they didn't.
Thank you Lord for our daughter, for safe travel, for the strength to
persevere, for an experience we'll never forget, and for appreciating
what we take for granted.


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