"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It all started with a flat tire!

We have been home for one week now! I am so sorry I have not blogged but it has been a very stressful and difficult week and a half all starting with a flat tire on the way to the airport in China. We left on our first flight home from China on Wednesday evening February 10th. We picked up Lilyia's visa at 4:20 and then our driver was off to take us to the airport which was about a 40 minute drive and our flight left at 7:00pm. Normally this would be no problem, but with Chinese New Year starting they were recommending you get to the airport 3 hours ahead of time because of long lines at the airport. Well, about half way to the airport we hear this horrible sound and the van starts shaking, sure enough we had a flat tire. So, we pulled over on the side of the expressway-which is not a very safe thing especially in China traffic. It took about 30-40 minutes to change the tire and then we were off again. So, we get to the airport and they tell us our tickets are no good because they don't have our passport #'s on them. So, after about 30 minutes of our guide fighting with them about it they finally said they were okay. Praise the Lord! So, we barely got on that flight and then we finally did get on it and then we sat on the runway for close to two hours-NOT FUN! So, we got to Beijing around 11:00PM-2 hours later than we were supposed to. We then spent another 2 hours in the Beijing airport because 2 of our bags did not make it and we had to fill out paperwork, etc. So, we had 4 children sprawled out across the floor of the airport sleeping while we tried to figure out the bag situation. Parker pretty much cried the whole time...

We made it to our hotel in Beijing around 1:00AM and then had to be to the airport at 7:00AM the next morning-we should have just spent the night in the airport. So, our next flight left at 9:00AM on Thursday morning and was taking us to Tokyo. We got on that plane and within one hour Alyson started throwing up and Parker started coughing and had a fever. Alyson continued to throw up for the next 20 hours and she threw up probably about 30 times before we finally got home. Parker threw up a couple times as well and he had a horrible cough and a fever and did not sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time. We had a 5 hour layover in Tokyo, we left Tokyo around 7:00PM for a 12 hour flight to Chicago. Lilyia and Austin slept pretty much the whole flight but Alyson threw up every 30 minutes and Parker cried the majority of the flight as he just felt miserable. We had a short layover in Chicago where we finally made it home to Des Moines. We were welcomed at the airport by all of my family and it was so great to see everybody and to BE HOME!

So, the next day I called the nurse where she told me that they had no openings and I could not get Alyson and Parker into the doctor. I pretty much begged her through tears to let me bring them in as these two children were so miserable, so she talked to the doctor who then said yes I will see them. Thankfully she did as Alyson was then admitted to the hospital for dehydration and Parker had RSV and Influenza B. So, this is not the homecoming we had imagined...I (Desiray) ended up getting Influenza B as well as a touch of the stomach flu and was incredibly miserable for the next 4 days. Alyson was in the hospital for one night, although the doctor wanted to keep her another night but finally decided at 9:00pm the next night to let her go home. I am so thankful for a wonderful husband who did a great job taking care of the kids as well as a great mom who was willing to come into our sick household and help for a couple days. John never got sick-Thank the Lord as I am not sure what we would have done otherwise. God knew we couldn't handle anymore right now. Austin ended up getting a touch of the stomach flu and Lilyia got a fever and ear infection. Now, 9 days after we arrived home I am finally starting to feel normal again and everyone is healthy. We are SO THANKFUL to everyone who brought meals over to the house as it has helped so much-what a blessing! THANK YOU everyone! We appreciate everyone's prayers as I know Satan was attacking our family. We could feel your prayers in the midst of it all. We just had to laugh through it all, because I am afraid if we didn't laugh we would cry instead. (although there were quite a few tears on my part too) I felt that everyone else was bonding with my child since I was in the hospital with Alyson and was then in bed for 4 days. But, Lilyia doesn't seem to be phased by it at all and she did have a great time with Grandma.

Now about Lilyia...She is doing so incredibly well since we have been home. She is so so so sweet and just fits so perfectly into our family. She is such a blessing and I praise and thank God for her. She loves her new home and has just made herself right at home. She eats great-finally we have a good eater. :) And, she is a great sleeper too. She repeats all kinds of English words and it is amazing what she understands already. God is so good and I am just amazed by his goodness to our family by giving us this precious little girl. What a whirlwind the past 3 weeks have been and how much Lilyia is already blossoming since that very first day that we saw her.

Thank you to everyone who has been following our journey. I am hoping and praying that God is pulling at some hearts out there and through our journey others will decide to adopt as well and give an orphan a forever family. (don't let our journey home scare you away):) I would love to help anyone get started with the adoption process-what an incredible journey it truly is!!!

The pictures above are from when we very first got into the Des Moines airport and then home.

With Love,
John, Desiray, Alyson, Austin, Lilyia and Parker Christen

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  1. I've been checking in to see if you had time or energy to post again. Jana told me of all your illnesses. I felt so badly for you, with all you wanted to do for your new little one's adjustment, to then need to be gone...not to mention sick! So glad to read that things are going much better in all departments. It's an amazing thing to be blessed to parent another family's child. You do a wonderful job of explaining it. I love reading about other adoption journeys. God's continued blessings on your family.

  2. Oh my goodness! We thought our flight home was rough, but nothing compared to yours. Eli would only allow Kevin to hold him and scream and arch away from me. Kevin couldn't put him down the ENTIRE flights home. Poor Kevin. Then I got motion sick during our long 13 hour flight from Beijing to Chicago. But I think your trip home sounds terrible. Praying for you all to feel really, really good. So glad the bonding is going well with your new little girl. We so enjoyed our time with you in China.

    The Bourkes - Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and Eli

  3. Hi! I saw your comment on our blog and wanted to write back. After reading your post of your trip home, I am lifting your all up in prayer today. It is rough just dealing with the jet lag and family transition let alone all the sickness you have been through! We live in Georgia and took Jacob to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. They have a Brachial Plexus Injury center and he was observed by a doc there. The doctor that we saw said that he was not someone who would jump into any surgery. He suggested that we do Physical and Occupational therapy to "unmask" some things. So that is what we have been doing for the last 6 months. It is my first experience with therapy. We go about once a week to one or the other (OT or PT) and they have given us a variety of ideas of exercises to do at home. Homeschooling 4 other kids does cut into our time and I have to admit I feel guilty for not "working" with Jacob more. They have suggested various stretches, weight bearing games, etc.. Our OT therapist has made a brace for him to wear since he carries his affected arm inward. I don't think we will be having any surgery. They indicated that if could have been done when he was little. So - we do all we can to encourage use of his hand. His hand does appear a bit shorter and smaller at this point due to lack of use.
    I will continue to lift up your family in prayer. It has been an emotional 6 months for me. I have been blessed with good friend who was about a month behind me int the adoption process. It has been a real encouragement to have her as a sounding board when I am confused and a "wreck" during the first phase of having our son home. I think the biggest thing that we both did not expect was that it was not as natural as we thought to "love" our new addition. I have spent many nights praying over his bed for more love for him. How old is your girl? Jacob is 3 and we have faced the challenge of boundaries and not understanding "no". His language skills are coming along well and he understands most of what we say. It has just been emotionally draining (more than I prepared for)training. God is so GOOD and I see much fruit in the journey. He has taught me more about faith and love and forgiveness. So - in a long winded way - I share with you to let you know that if you need any support just drop a line (jen@crossfitptc.com or 770-631-1726)!
    a sister in Christ,
    Jen Thompson