Almost exactly 24 hours after we left hotel in Guangzhou we walked in the door in Seattle. It was a VERY long day, but went amazingly smoothly. Unfortunately Amara was sick and had a low fever. We still aren’t really sure if it was just teething or something else, but the upshot was that she slept a good part of the trip home.
First we flew 3 hours to Beijing, took forever to get ourselves to the next flight and then after a few hours of hanging out in the airport (complete with Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream for Bebeth!!) we took off again. The flight was 11 hours and wasn’t terrible. We were thrilled to get off the plane. Unfortunately the worst part of the trip was yet to come. Amara was traveling on a Chinese passport (she didn’t become a US Citizen until after customs), so we had to wait in the foreign nationals line to go through immigration. That was pretty quick…..BUT then we were ushered to the waiting area for “Immigrants and Parolees”. Here is where they check all the paperwork that we had brought. There was ONE immigration officer working and they served people in the order you arrived. Not so bad….EXCEPT they took all people in wheelchairs first. Now normally I wouldn’t be opposed to this, except the wheelchair line never empties. As fast as someone would get served out of that line, new people from another line would fill it up. So although there were only 5 of us when we arrived, it took us 2 hours to get through this room. It was painful and a bureaucratic nightmare. Although we’d been warned by others about this part, it was still insanely frustrating. As my mom would say, when Mark starts to get upset, you know things have gotten bad.
Fortunately we eventually made it out and found our way to the baggage area where we were greeted by a VERY happy Bine, my parents, and my favorite sister I was rewarded by the best and biggest hugs from Bine…the best present ever. We are beyond thrilled to be back!