Phoenix, AZ, Los Angles, CA, Taipei, Taiwan, Ho Chi Minh City, VietNam
We carried as few bags as possible. We weren't sure what to expect once we landed and didn't want to be unnecessarily burdened. We did bring along 100+lbs. of school supplies, generously donated by friends and family. 2 of those suitcases, and their contents, the school supplies, were donated to the ThuDuc orphanage.
Our luggage, including the 2 bags full of donations for the orphanage
The international terminal, August 30, 2008, of the LAX airport at midnight is still a wonderful memory. As I know now, late at night is when most of the international flights depart, making midnight a VERY busy time at this terminal. It was packed with families going to all corners of the world. Suitcases, bags, and bundles were everywhere. Hundreds of boxes and bundles tied with rope and tape and plastic wrap, accompanied by hundreds of peoples, infants to elderly, of different colors, talking so many different languages. It felt like I was in a new country already, certainly out of my element, and so excited to take it all in.
LAX international terminal just after midnight. Crazy busy!
But my thoughts were with the babes. I knew that soon, we'd have them with us forever. After months of our children being in the center of a political quagmire, and our adoption paperwork gathering dust during the stalemate, we finally knew our children were allowed to come home, to us! It was August 30th, August 31st in SaiGon, Tess's 1st birthday. We missed it by one day. In my prayer, I promised her I wouldn't miss another thing after this.
3 of us traveled, Papa and me, and our beloved workhorse, Livy. She was 12 years old at the time, and we had explained that this was no vacation before asking her if she wanted to go. We were unsure when or what we would eat, when or where we would sleep, and we knew we'd be hot. (As it turned out, hot was an understatement. Melting into a hot cauldron of vulcanous goo was more accurate.)
We boarded the plane.
We sat in coach.
We donned little blow up pillows, thin airline blankies, earplugs, and sleep masks.
We took little blue magic sleepy pills and suddenly didn't care that we sat in coach. Or snored. Or drooled.
We woke up in Taiwan, changed plane's and two hours and two calendar days later, we landed in SaiGon, VietNam.
36 hours of travel, and we found ourselves half way across the world and in a whole 'nother dimension.
Street scene on our drive to the hotel
The SaiGon RiverTo be continued...