T-Minus 3 Days to Wheels-Up
T-Minus 8 Days to Ryan
The Last Few Days.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers out there. Thanks for following.
The atmosphere around the house is picking up steam as the suitcases are filling up and the excitement level is ratcheting up for the kids. Attention is shifting noticeably to the start of the journey and to the first flights that will land us in Beijing. We made a trip to Barnes & Noble to let the kids grab their last two new books before we leave on Wednesday morning. We’re into round 2 test packing for the carry-on backpacks to arrive at the optimal arrangement so that everything will be accessible.
We spent the rest of our afternoon at Grandma and PopPop’s house where we had dinner with the whole family (Aunt Meg Face Timed in, so we’ll count that!). Ashley was in her typical post-Coke-fueled dramatic form (the soda not the drug). She put away enough Roast Beef for all of us – RB is her absolute favorite meal. The conversation bounced around a bit and, as we drained the last of our coffees, I got to thinking about some of the “lasts” of these last few days.
Today we had the last Sunday Dinner at Grandma’s as a family of FIVE. (G’ma is going to need a bigger boat… I mean Table!) Tuesday morning will be the last morning pre-school wake up for three. And the last time we head out to the bus stop with just three – from now on it’ll be four (even though for the last days of this school year, Ryan will only be seeing K/D/A off onto their bus). Come this fall we’ll be fielding our full squad – representing 4th Grade, 3rd Grade, 1st Grade and Kindergarten. Note to Oak Ridge Elementary, you may want to call the district for reinforcements!
Saturday night was our last dinner out asking for a table for five. I will also need to get used to seeing four little faces in the rear-view mirror, since our drive to the airport seeing three will be the last. I still remember, somewhat clearly, our arrival home with Ashley, when for the first time, we bucked three little bottoms into car seats and boosters. Just after we got our luggage packed in the car, but just before throwing the car into Drive, I took this FIRST picture to commemorate:
The kids didn’t look too bad after nearly 20 hours of travel and a 12 hour time change. Mom & Dad on the other hand…!
The passing of all of these lasts brings home the transition to our New Normal. The fun starts next Monday at 2:30 PM (Guangzhou Time) – we hope you’ll join us.
On a marginally related note, I’ve been following the stats on Delta Flight 189 – Daily Non-Stop Service from Detroit to Beijing. Thanks to FlightAware I learned that over the past 10 days, in-air flight times are ranging from 12 Hrs 30 Mins to 13 Hrs 5 Mins. The flight is usually on-time for Departure. In fact, I just now took a screenshot of it’s progress and here is today’s flight progress as of approx. 11:20PM EDT on May 10. Approaching China from the north (presently over East-Central Russia). Apologies for the poor quality graphic.
For any aviation geeks, FlightAware also posts the actual flight plan route – using Airport, NavAid, and Waypoint codes. Each Code is traceable to Lat/Long coordinates so in theory we could (if we were not so busy packing!) plot the entire flight. Delta 189 follows a North Polar Route – most typically recently a route known as Polar 3. In the graphic below, it’s the 3rd Yellow line from the top, and passes nearly over the pole. We told the kids, that if they’re sleeping and we happen to see any signs of activity (for instance, toy shops, reindeer stables, or landing strips) we’ll try to get a picture. Hopefully Lisa will be able to get us seats on the RIGHT side of the aircraft so we’ll have the best chance.
And finally, circling back to the title of this post, we can pretty much assure everyone that the will be our last adoption trip. We are hopeful that we’ll again return to China so that our children can visit – when they’re ready.
Good evening and thanks for reading.