This morning began like most others we have had. Today was travel day….leg 3 on our journey. After breakfast, we packed. With no working scale in our bathroom, we did our best to make sure that each suitcase was under the 44 pound limit for in country travel. As we maneuvered through security, Zoe and Adam were detained, taken back to a special 'baggage check' counter and left waiting. After about 15 minutes, one of our suitcases appeared, and Adam was instructed to open it. Inside was the basketball that we had purchased for the boys to play with. One would think that a basketball is harmless, but the security people at the Nanchang airport thought different. After more than 30 minutes of the guards trying to find a needle to deflate it, countless difficult to understand questions about what was in the ball, and Adam even asking them to keep it so we could continue on, we were frustrated. A needle was located, the ball flattened, and we headed through the checkpoint.
The flight was uneventful….until it came time to put on our seat belts. Again, not knowing her past, maybe the only time that Zoe has ever been restrained would have been at her countless times at the doctors office or hospital. In the US, car seats are introduced early, and kids grow up knowing nothing else. Not so here. We did the best we could to endure the crying until we were off the plane. Chrissy held her, consoled her, and walked slowly to baggage claim.
We have been looking forward to this part of our journey for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we are nearing the end of our trek. Our time so far has been amazing, but we are anxious to start to live life as we will be when we arrive back home. One of the things that we have been told, and know from our other three children, is that schedules are very important for kids….probably even more so in the case of Zoe, as she comes to us with a schedule already in place in her mind, just not one that we know about. Where, when, and what we eat is nearly impossible to predict some days, and things like bed time and naps change daily. It was after 10pm when we arrived at our hotel tonight, and nearly 11 when we got to our room and started the bedtime process.
Today's travel to Guangzhou is also exciting because it is where we were for two weeks over seven years ago when we came to get Sofi. Although we will not be staying in the same hotel, and much of the city has changed over the past few years, the "feel" was the same as we came down the escalator in the airport, and met our guide to be for the next few days.