Sunday, November 01, 2009

Safely in Changsha at the end of a VERY LONG DAY!!!

** sorry to be so late in posting today but one read of this and you’ll understand why!! This post was written at a variety of times throughout Sunday, November 1st and early Monday, November 2nd **

8:40am – Holiday Inn Central Plaza , Beijing

Leave hotel via bus and travel in light snow to the Beijing airport. It was quite pretty to see but then, not so much!! Flights delayed for an undetermined amount of time. When we check in at 9:30 all flights from 7:00am are still grounded. Uh oh!!

2:00pm – Beijing International Airport

Greetings from the Beijing airport! Why are we still at the airport? Well, due to a cold snap and freak November snowstorm our flight is delayed for an undetermined amount of time.

There are departure monitors everywhere but unfortunately they only display the original departure time which was about 2 ½ hours ago so we’re not finding them very helpful. Thankfully our wonderfully capable guides Sarah and Louise are listening intently to the announcements in Chinese and keeping us updated. So far we know nothing other than flights originally scheduled to fly out about an hour and a half before us are boarding so hopefully we’ll be out of here within the next couple of hours. We’re watching planes be de-iced so all is well. Just so very, VERY thankful that we were not supposed to meet the babies today or our group wouldn’t be nearly so jovial and relaxed!

I had a minor moment of panic when we couldn’t find Mom and Dad earlier in the day but we tracked them down at the gate and all was well. With the departure delays we were given the option to exchange some of our travellers cheques into Yuan. We got separated when Mom and Dad went through security before Norma and I as we were still at the bank. We were asked to make our way to the gate and Mom and Dad did that and almost boarded the wrong flight! Oops!! Thankfully a gentleman behind them read their boarding passes and let them know that they were getting on the wrong plane. Phew!! Louise eventually found them waiting at the gate and all’s well as we’re together again.

The airport itself is chilly! So chilly in fact that the airport staff are driving around in their little carts and handing out blankets. We look quite funny sitting here 2 and 3 people to a blanket but we’re warm and that’s what matters. We’re headed to Changsha where the temperature was 32oC/90oF yesterday and I’m just thankful that at the last moment I chose to change from wearing capris into jeans for the flight. Guess waking up to the ground covered in snow and it snowing quite heavily made it an easy wardrobe decision.

Sitting here is an interesting look into the local culture. I’m struck by the families I see. Never more than 1 child. It’s an interesting phenomenon to observe. I’ve known for a long time that the one child policy exists but to see it in action is eye opening and humbling. There is so much that we take for granted!

Louise just returned with an armload of noodles. Mr. Noodles which are not considered a delicacy at home suddenly become a meal of desire when the options are few and the lines are long. Dad and I thought about getting KFC but the lines of people were 10 wide and 20 deep. Not having cell phones that work in China to keep in touch should the suddenly decide to board our plane we opted for Pringles and Coke for lunch.

Ooooo….it’s 2:45 and they just called our flight! Wheeee! And we’re off!

6:30pm – on the tarmac in our plane – still at Beijing International Airport !

OK – Kinda false alarm. Ugh!! It’s now 6:30 and we’re still in Beijing !! Yes, our plane boarded at 2:45 but that’s as far as we got. We’re not really at a gate but were bussed to our plane in the middle of the tarmac. We boarded, they closed the doors and then….started to serve food and drinks. Not a good sign that we’d be leaving anytime soon. Little did we really know! The current word on the street….err, in the aisle, is that there are still 54 planes in line before us so truthfully I don’t have a clue when we’re leaving! It’s a 2 hour flight once we’re in the air so I’m thinking if we’re at the hotel by midnight that will be a really good thing.

Most people are doing ok although there have been a couple of near brawls as some have been yelling at the flight attendants. Not sure what they think they can do so just sitting here and capturing what I can before my laptop battery dies. Norma, Russ and Leslie are sitting 2 rows in front of us and are entertaining themselves and the rest of us with some hilarious distorted pics taken by their Mac Book Pro. Too funny!!

As much as today has been far from what any of us expected, we’re just so thankful that it happened the day before we get the babies. Tomorrow morning’s plan is to exchange money at the bank for the orphanage fee and then prepare to meet the babies!!! Ahhhhhh!!!! While we were on the bus to the plane we realized that we were just 24 short hours from receiving the babies!! SO COOL!!!

I’ll try to get this sent off to M3 before heading to bed tonight. When I wake up tomorrow morning it will finally be HANNAH DAY!!! God is SO GOOD and I thank Him for sustaining me through this entire wait. Tomorrow is the day God planned long ago. The day that He would bring us together as mother and daughter!!!

4:00am Monday, November 2nd – Dolton Hotel, Changsha

Phew!!! We finally made it!! Our plane was de-iced at 9:30 pm and we took flight at 10:00. 11 ½ hours later than scheduled and 7 hours after we boarded the plane!!!

Things did go from bad to worse on the plane and after A LOT of yelling they allowed those who wanted to to leave the plane. Thankfully most of those who were most upset chose that option and things calmed down after that.

I fell asleep immediately after the plane took off. Tears of relief flowed as I watched them de-ice the plane with the thoughts that we truly were flying to Changsha and meeting Hannah would not be delayed. Such joy!

The flight was smooth and uneventful once we took to the air. We arrived in Changsha just after midnight, at our gorgeous hotel around 1:30am and now at 4:00am have finished unpacking and really should be trying to sleep…..SOON!! Wanted to update you.

I have done pretty well today with only a few moments of tears. When Sarah first said we’d be getting the babies tomorrow – I cried. When our plane took off – I cried! When I realized that tonight was the very last night that my sweet baby girl would be sleeping where she is loved and comfortable – I cried. I know that what I am doing is the right thing but oh how I wish it cold be easier on her. She has no idea how her precious little world is going to change in just hours but I do. I love her, I’ll care for her and I am her Mom and together we’re going to make it through these next few days of confusion for her little heart.

I covet your prayers for Hannah and I. She as she leaves all she knows behind and learns to trust someone new. For myself as I seek to meet her needs in the very best way I can and long to calm her as her little heart heals. For her nanny who will have to say good-bye to her later today. And for the precious little ones who she knows from her room in the orphanage? Will any of them be blessed in the future to have a mommy to call their own? Praying for them too.

Thank you friends! Trusting God each and every step of the way! He is right beside Hannah and He is right beside me. And in a few short hours Hannah and I will be together forever. The family God planned and ordained long ago!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!

Now, must get to bed and try to sleep!!!

Canadian's response to the flight delay:

The Non-Canadian's response to the flight delay:


  1. Oh thank goodness you are all safe and sound! Can I just say that your parents sound like a hoot! Oh my goodness, who knows where they would have wound up if they got on the wrong flight!!??? Whew! crisis averted!

    You are doing fantastic. I had all those conflicting emotions as well before meeting my daughter. It is such an intense time. I cried a few times in the days leading up to gotcha day.

    You have so much love, support and prayers from all us "groupies!" You will do just fine, I know it.

    I cannot wait to log on tomorrow to see those photo's we have all been waiting for.

    My very best to you, your parents and travel mates and sweet Hannah.


  2. Well that was an adventure! You poor things not fun to be stuck on a plane that is stuck on the tarmac!

    So happy to see the Dolton front desk, such happy memories!!!

    So excited for you, for tomorrow!!!!

    I couldn't make the videos play but will try again later, I have a feeling the will be rather entertaining ;)

  3. So excited for you. I can't believe in a few short hours you will be holding your little girl. After years of infertility and pregnancy loss I remember the hours before Matty was born... so thankful that in a few hours I would finally be a mom. It was such an amazing feeling. I am so excited for you. There is nothing better in the entire world. I will be praying for you and Hannah tonight.

  4. I'm glad you are there! Eliza was the same age as Hannah when I got her. Hannah is still so young. She'll be a bit confused and probably sad, but she'll settle in just fine. My prayers are with you! Can't wait to see you with Hannah at long last!

  5. LOL I love the videos!!! At least you're there safely and with lots of time to spare.


  6. Hi Catherine! In a few short hours your dreams of motherhood will be fulfilled!
    With God's love and your love and the love of all the people you have as your support group, Hannah will thrive and soak it all up like a little sponge.
    She is a very lucky little girl.
    What adventures you have had to get there!
    I, like everyone else, can't wait to see pictures of you meeting your daughter for the first time. There are no words in this world to describe the union of a mother and child.
    God Bless you Catherine and all those that travel with you.

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  8. You poor, poor things! What a wait, what frustration! Hoping you can get some sleep! You have all been so good; can't wait to hear the news when you have Hannah!!
    Tears came to my eyes just thinking of this day for you and the joy and sadness you will experience. Take care!

    Alyzabeth's Mommy

  9. So glad that you made it (finally) to Changsha! I can't WAIT until you finally have Hannah in your arms in a few hours!!!

  10. Wow. You are having some adventures there, Chiquita! LOL! Glad you are all safe and sound. Looking forward to seeing HANNAH in your arms!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. wow what a time you have had and as I look at the clock I will wake up tomorrow and you will have Hannah in your arms. Hope all goes well I remember that moment like it was yesterday. Your life is changing forever.

    What a blessing!
    Prayers are with you and your entourage!
    take care,

  12. Oh gosh I can just imagine how exhausted all of you must be!!! I will keep checking in, I am beside myself , I justr cant wait to see you and Hannah together at last.

    Love, Kristy

  13. What an adventure! So happy that you arrived safely and are ready to meet your baby girl! Sending you my prayers for you, Hannah, and her nanny.

  14. Hi from TX, sending prayers and peaceful transitions. This is the most exciting day for you'all and enjoy it & take it in. Blessings to you and your baby girl.


  15. Wow, never a dull moment for you in China! I seriously LOVE your attitude! You are such a positive person, it just warms my heart to know that Hannah is getting YOU as a mom, and vice versa! I am just in awe that in hours you and your baby girl, hand picked for you by God, will be together finally! With all the research you have done on bonding, I'm sure Hannah will bond to you flawlessly!

  16. CRAZY day!! WOW!! So happy you are at your last stop where HANNAH is!!! :o) So very soon she will be in your arms!! I can not wait to see those pictures!!! love ya! Praying for Hannah as these are going to be a tough few days for her!!!!

  17. What a story to tell Hannah when she's older. Now the real countdown begins.

  18. Oh Catherine I am soooooo excited for you - I can't believe that Hannah day is finally here. I cried reading your post - I can't imagine that one day I will too be in China waiting to meet my little girl - for now i live through you and can't wait to see your next post!! Ya Hannah!!!

  19. Everything happens for a
    reason and the good news is you are all safe! So excited
    for you!!

    Blog follower from California. :-)

  20. What a story to tell your girl that no matter what was thrown at you, nothing faded the smile on your face, the happiness in your heart and positive spirit.

    YEAH that you are safe & settled in.

    Keep smilin!

  21. oh my goodness less than 5 hours!!! So glad you are safe.....Bring on the Hannah and Mommy pictures!!!!!!

  22. SO excited for you! Can't believe your big day is HERE. I suspect that you are up by now and getting ready for the BIG DAY. I will be up early tomorrow morning looking for some pictures!

    Loved reading your blog entry. How great that you are writing out all of the details! Even if it does take some time to write it all is so worth it!

    Praying for you tonight as I head to bed!


  23. So happy to hear that you are now SO close to Hannah!!!!! What a wonderful adventure to tell her about in years to come!

    Will be thinking/praying for you and Hannah both.


  24. Saying lots of prayers for you and Hannah and I just can not wait till TOMORROW to see the pictures!!!
    Big Hugs to you:)

  25. Oh's almost time!!!! I hope you were able to get some sleep.

    Thanks for your e-mail...such a treat. Glad my last comment spoke to your heart.

    Love ya tons...praying. Wonder if I'll sleep tonight???


  26. You're there!! YAY!!!

    and it is 9:30 am there...are you getting ready, are you on your way?? can't wait to read the news in the morning!! (for us)!

    Oh Catherine!!! I am so excited!!

    Jill xo

  27. Well,well that was quite a little say the least..thank goodness your parents did not board the wrong!

    Well this is it down to the final hours,I will keep you and sweet baby Hannah in prayer that it will be a fairly easy transition.i am so looking forward to seeing that first photo of Mommy with her baby girl finally in her loveing arms.

  28. Catherine.... it's 10:00 pm here. I'm just on pins and needles!!! I'm so excited to see the pics of you and Hannah together!!!

    I was going to text you tonight until I saw your note that your phones don't work in China. Bummer.

    What a crazy day - so glad too that you weren't travelling on the day you meet Hannah.

    I'm praying here - and will probably not sleep well tonight thinking about the miracle that's taking place today across the world!

    God is able to do abundantly more than we ask or think and just meeting your daughter today is testament to that! Rejoicing and praying with you!

    Much love,

  29. OMW! I'm so happy you're in Changsha! As we sit here and watch the world series I'm praying for you all right now! I can not wait for your next post my friend.

  30. Never a dull moment in the world of international adoption! Feeling excited for you and can't wait to see the pictures.
    God Bless

  31. While I was in Church this morning I thought about you and how close you are to holding your little girl for the first time. I got tears in my eyes and a chill. I am so very excited for you!

  32. It's midnight here... which means you are probably getting ready right now to go meet precious Hannah... here come the tears (again)! Praying for you both, Catherine.
    Hugs, Diane

  33. It's 11:15 pm Sunday where I am, so it must be about 11:15am MONDAY where you are! Hannah Day!! So excited for you and can't wait to see the pics of your sweet girl in your arms. Congratulations!! Amy

  34. Catherine I send my prayers for you and your new baby that God will bless you as you begin a new life together. Although we don't know each other very well I know you covet the prayers of all. I pray your trip home is much easier than the trip there. That the weather may be settled by the time you get back to Beging so planes come and go on time. I know many are waiting in anxious anticipation of this new little person who will come into our church family at Calvary. Bless you, Carol Crossman

  35. Oh my gosh Catherine!! What an adventure indeed. I'm so glad that your parents ended up on the same flight as YOU and not somewhere else. LOL Oh what a sotry for Hannah.

  36. What a story to tell Hannah someday. I once was stuck on the tarmac for a little over 4 hours... and it was pretty miserable. I can't imagine what this day has been like. You handled it well and with a great sense of humor. Good for you!


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