Sunday, March 10, 2013

The journey begins...China Trip Post 1

**this was written on Friday morning at the airport. I had trouble posting it to the Internet so it is just now getting posted. I have one more post to write (hopefully later today) about our wonderful stay in Beijing. The post after that will be our "Gotcha" post!!

Funny how you can do your best to plan, plan, plan, and when it comes down it, we just aren't in control of all the details of this life.  Our Virginia weather has been so mild this year - I think the kids played one day in snow all this winter (and even then, it was such a little snowfall). It never even occurred to me that something like snow would get in the way of our March 6 flight to China.

Enter storm Saturn.

The forecasts started on the weekend - a huge storm headed to the east coast. The brunt of the storm would hit Virginia (we live in central VA). The storm was due to hit late Tuesday night and continue dumping large amounts of snow throughout Wednesday  - March 6.

We carried on with checking off our lists. The amount of things I needed to take care of -UNBELIEVABLE...Our church sent us off with lots of prayers and we started Monday as tho the storm wasn't even on our radar. Quite honestly, most snow forecasts in our area result in a shut down of everything but no actual snow. This was not going to affect our trip.

Monday afternoon Jack and Ben traveled with me to take the little girls to my sister's house in Maryland. We had a great visit for the few hours we were there and we promptly kissed and hugged goodbye early Tuesday morning to head home.  We had already made the decision that we would leave home that night, stay in an airport hotel so we could be in DC for our mid day flight. We didn't want to chance waking up to snow at home and have any trouble getting up to DC in time.

Smart move. Who knew how smart. We checked in and awoke to not much snow in DC but reports of tons of snow back at home - as well as power outages. As the morning moved on. The snow began to truly fall in earnest here in DC and our flight - all flights out of Dulles were cancelled.

Then the mad scrambling began. Our travel and adoption agencies are on the west coast so we had to call to wake them.  John had to take the van to the airport to work out another option. There weren't many. The only two options were to drive to NYC and catch a plane the next morning, or take a Friday flight.  The storm was headed up north- no way were we driving up there only to get cancelled and stuck up there.

So we were booked on the Friday flight and made the decision that we needed to stay here in DC til then rather than returning to (nearly 16" in some places around home) possible road issues or a house without power.

We were pretty disappointed as this meant missing nearly our entire time in Beijing.  Our travel agent went to work trying to look at alternate ways to do the trip on order to get in our Beijing time and what she finally came up with is switching our plane to Wuhan (where we meet T) to Sunday night and moving our Gotcha time to late afternoon on Monday. This works and we feel blessed that despite some tears and worry at first, God actually gave us a nice few days of relaxation before the big trip. I really needed it after the preparation for the trip.

We have worked out multiple times a day(not sure I have EVER had that luxury!). We have gone swimming and soaked in a hot tub, and eaten the most amazing breakfasts each morning. We ventured out on Wednesday night to one of our favorite restaurants from when we lived up in the DC area and took a few trips down memory lane with the four original Snell kiddos who spent some of their early days up there (2 were born there).

By Thursday the snow was gone and the sun was out so we took the metro into town and visited the Spy Museum and Hard Rock Cafe. We had a great time together.

After another amazing breakfast at the hotel buffet, we are now sitting at our gate finally waiting to board. We have done the whole checking and security and I can now let out a giant sigh of relief. My little girls are having a wonderful time (and being little angels according to me hero sister). We are ready to begin the journey to China and to bring our daughter home forever.

Please pray for our safety and for our new daughter. She is coming to us straight from her foster family. This is the only family she has known for most of her life. While this is probably the best scenerio possible  - less changes and trauma for her, it will actually be one huge trauma. She is going to grieve and probably be mad. We have no idea how she has been prepared. My heart breaks to think what feelings they must all be going through.  Pray that we can handle the emotions she will be feeling and that we can be what she needs. We will update the blog and Facebook as we are able. Next post will be from CHINA!!

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