Saturday, December 8, 2007
Well we made it. We are finally home!
It took about 25 hours from the time we left our hotel in China to when we arrived in the US, which includes layovers, etc. Ruthie did very well overall on the flight. However, we did have a lot of turbulence over the Pacific Ocean and Ruthie got sick a few times. When we landed in Los Angeles, we had a 3 hour layover. We told Ruthie that we were in America, but I think she had trouble believing it because LA is such a multi-ethnic city and there were people of all colors there.
As we were flying over Phoenix, she looked out of the window and asked Todd where our house was. Once we touched down in Phoenix, she finally believed that she was in America and was very excited. I couldn't wait to get off the airplane to see all of of our family that had gathered to meet us. We had prepared Ruthie for meeting the family when we were in China by showing her photos and explaining who was who. She was not too shy when she met everyone including her two older sisters. Pretty soon, her uncle was chasing her around the airport and she was laughing so hard.
The only glitch was that one of suitcases did not make it to Phoenix. It made it to Los Angeles because we had to go through customs with it and then recheck it, so the airline is searching for it. Ruthie's clothes were in it along with some souvenirs. Kai's special stuffed dog, that he always sleeps with, was in it as well. I hope they find it, but if not, we are okay.
We all collapsed into bed and slept great. One of the most wonderful, simple pleasures in the whole world is sleeping in your own bed after a long trip of uncomfortable hotel beds. Ruthie loves our two cats. She is always petting them. She is scared of our dogs, so we are taking it slowly with them. Yesterday, we went to Target (my favorite store), and bought her some clothes to replace the ones lost in the suitcase. We then went grocery shopping. She is a wonderful helper. She pushed the cart and brought in the groceries with Todd.
Today our Chinese teacher came by to meet Ruthie and see how she was doing. Ruthie was shy, as she usually is at the beginning, but then started to talk to her. She let Ruthie know that she will be stopping by and will be available by phone if she needs to talk to her or help to translate. Ruthie told her that we were good parents and that she was happy.
We asked our teacher to explain to Ruthie that she needs to tell us if she does not like something and to also let us know what she likes. Ruthie said that she did not feel comfortable doing that. In the orphanage, they are told to be happy with what they are given and not to ask for anything. So, that will take some time to change.
We are signing up Ruthie for a drawing class in our local Chinese school, which is run by the local Chinese church. It is held every weekend. There will be both Chinese & English spoken in the class and the majority of the students are Chinese. Some have been born here, but many have emigrated from China or Taiwan, which will be so nice for her. She will also be able to continue learning Chinese through the school.
Another blessing is that the Chinese church has a library that carries children's books in Chinese. That is so wonderful, because the Chinese books that Ruthie had picked out in China, were in the lost suitcase.
Todd has taken Ruthie to a wonderful Chinese market in Phoenix to pick out some foods that she likes. It is hard to find the right food in our local market and the food at this particular Chinese market comes straight from China, so she will be familiar with the brands.
Ruthie's best friend, (and now cousin), Sofie is coming out this Monday. I can't wait for them to see each other. I will be sure to update our blog to show pictures of their meeting.
We are so grateful for Ruthie and how wonderfully she is adjusting.
We will post more soon.
Posted by Noelle Johnson at 12:06 PM