July 21, 2005

Welcome Home Michal and Kenna!

We left our hotel at 5:45 a.m. this morning to go to the Guangzhou Airport. I didn't realize how completely I was on China time until I had to be up and ready to go so early.

We flew from Guangzhou to Hong Kong where we had a three-hour layover before getting on our flight to Chicago. The flight from Hong Kong to Chicago is 6,579 miles and almost 15 hours. To say the flight was long is an understatement. The girls were really troopers for two little people who have never seen, let alone flown on, an airplane. They both only slept for about four hours of the flight and fussed some of the time but we did our best to entertain them and not annoy the other passengers too much. A very nice couple, who were Chinese, came over to us when dinner was served and asked if they could hold them so we could eat. Kenna and Michal both lit up when they started speaking to them in Cantonese. I'm sure they must keep hoping Eric and I will say something they can actually understand.

This is Kenna in the Red Carpet Club in Hong Kong.

When we landed at Chicago O'Hare Airport the flight attendant made a really nice announcement congratulating all the little girls on board on their new US citizenship and the parents on the new members of their family. (In addition to our girls, there were six other little girls on our flight coming home from China, including our friends Jen and Dom's daughter, Miya.)

We let the girls walk of the Jetway so they could actually take their first step on American soil. Once off the plane we went through US Customs and Immigration and were then pulled aside while they processed the girls' "New Immigrant" information.

With that, it's official! Our two girls are American citizens.

When we came out of the secure area no one was there. Our flight came in early so we just sat and waited for a little while. Finally, Eric went over to the other door where our dear friends had commandeered the front row complete with signs and had been waiting for us to come out for a really long time.

They had no idea we were sitting behind the crowd of people they were in front of.

Too funny!

My friend Cara flew in from California to spend the week with us and she and our neighbors Kelly and Michelle and their children, Erin, Patrick, Grace and Andy all were at the airport. Once we found each other, all the kids rushed the girls and they were just fine with it. I thought they might be overwhelmed but they just sat there and took it all in. Once in the car they willingly got in their carseats. I was expecting the worst since they've never been in a carseat before but they did great!

When we pulled up to the house there were two storks on the lawn. One that says, "Welcome Home Michal" and one that says, "Welcome Home Kenna." There was also a darling banner hanging above our front door! (Thank you Lani!) Plus, there were pink and white balloons everywhere -- in the front yard, in the backyard and throughout the house.

It was really an incredible welcome home!

Jet lag has hit with a vengance! If anyone knows how to tell a baby that the best way to get over jet lag is to simply go to bed on the schedule of the time zone you're in, please let me know! Other than sleeping at all the wrong times, the girls are doing great!

We did make a trip to the pediatrician about two hours after we were home because Kenna was running a fever. He started them both on a new round of antibiotics so hopefully this time it will knock out whatever they've had for the past week or so.

They seem happy to have new things and places to explore and seem to be just taking it all in.

I'll continue to post updates for awhile . . . thank you again for following along!

Kenna playing outside with her new water and sand table.

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