Friday, June 22, 2012
the play by play to HOME
At 9 am Wednesday morning, we got word that our visas would probably be DONE later in the day. The typhoon moved slower than forecasted, so offices were open (miracles #1 and 2). We repacked since our Yunlin County journey added MUCH to our store of stuff. We checked out of the hotel, headed to Han-han's old house to pass the day and wait. News at 1:30 that the visas were ready. LONG day of struggles with sharing, mostly Han-han since they had all been HIS toys. He finally fell asleep mid afternoon. We took a cab to the airport, checked in for our flight 3 hours early, and found a Hello Kitty nursing room where we spent the next 2 hours passing time (there were many visitors checking it out-hello kitty is BIG here). The kids were excited to get on the plane and handled things relatively well, aside from Mei-Yun who was already asleep. Finally at 1 am, I turned off tvs and hoped for sleep. They all slept, with han-han thrashing and pushing in ways that just don't suit airplane travel. He finally was able to sleep on the floor and maybe i got 3 hours of sleep on a 12 hour flight. The kids did better, probably 9-10 hours each. Tom was about 10 rows in front of me; at the end of the flight, Mei-Yun threw up-I'm not sure if it was motion or stress or crying, but not so pleasant. She was trying to move away constantly and ending up in the aisle. Off that plane, through immigration, last in line, missed flight to Anchorage. Miracle #3 (i know there were smaller ones along the way) was an Alaska Airlines employees getting us all on the same flight almost sitting together in serious record time. I had made numerous phone calls for hours each to try to accomplish what she did in 20 mintues. SO GRATEFUL...we were sure we'd be spending the night in Seattle and getting on a 6 am flight. Then AK Airlines employee #2 whisks me and the kids (while Tom finished payment etc) to the front of security and the gate. She was AWESOME and I really just felt like crying. I was so physically and emotionally spent and she did all the things a great parent would do...doing wheelies with the stroller, speaking in Japanese (haha) in a cheerful voice, getting them laughing. Weight OFF my shoulders. Tom made it on, switched seats and aside from SERIOUS fighting over the window seat and random crying and screaming the flight was uneventful and they all slept another hour or so (the kids don't look any worse for the wear, right?). Home...walk toward baggage, see Emma and Sam and just CRY. So happy to be home, to see them, to APPRECIATE friends who picked up, who videotaped. HOME...I was in such focus on finishing in Taiwan that I rarely thought of home.