Thursday-- Today we were up at 6:30 and we packed up and left for the airport. We didn't chance the breakfast at the hotel and hoped to get something at the airport. We took a shuttle at 7:45am and made it to the airport at 8:00am. Our seats were all over the place on the plane, so we were at the ticket counter for more than 45 minutes checking in our luggage and trying to get better seats. Marsha & Maria ended up together, Macella & Kirstie were together a row behind them, and Gary was a row in front of Marsha.
After check-in we went through security. That was pretty painless, so that was good. We made it through all the checkpoints by 9am and then got breakfast at Burger King. We boarded the plane around 9:45. Three of the other families were on the same flight. The plane took off at 10:20am and flew for 16 HOURS!!!!
It was a long flight with 3 interesting meals, but they were better than the meals on the way to China. The older girls did a great job getting along and watching movies. Maria was content to sit in her seat and play with her hands and feet. She loved eating Cheerios. She was only discontent once, so Marsha held her while she slept for about 4 hours. We were happy to land in Newark at 2:20pm, until all the lines at the airport!!
Newark was the place where we believe Maria officially became a resident of the United States. Once again, we were not allowed to take pictures. That was kind of disappointing, but we were glad to be almost home! We had to go through a long immigration line. Then, even though we were traveling with the same airline we had to get all our luggage and go through a luggage check and then re-check the bags. We thought that was it, so we were glad and took a tram to our terminal and there was another security check!! We felt awful for one of our families. We're sure they missed their flight. Their flight was to leave at 4:00 and they were in line in front of us going through security at 3:50. We finally made it to our gate at 4:10 where we find out our flight was delayed until 5:06. We decided to call Marsha's mom to spend the night at her house instead of driving home from Syracuse. We arrived in Syracuse at 6:10pm!
We were met by some family and a nice person in the airport took our picture together. We then went out to Applebees. It was nice, but absolutely tiring. We made it to Marsha's parents at 9:30pm. By then it was actually 9:30am Friday in China, so Maria was wide awake. The rest of us had not slept on the plane, so we were exhausted after being up for longer than 24 hours. We went to bed, but Maria woke us up every two hours to play!
It is so nice to be home! We are thankful for a safe trip and that Maria did so well on the plane and throughout all the traveling.