On Saturday, January 30th, we were in Seattle. (Day 16 an 17 will overlap a bit). After dinner in Seattle, we were all exhausted, but we wanted to try and get back on track sleepwise. It was around 7 pm (PST) when we all took baths, laid our clothes out and went to bed about 730 pm. We were SO tired so if course we would sleep for a little bit. We had our alarms set for 3 so we could get on the airport shuttle by 4. We had a plan...until Toby woke up at 8:30 pm. And he was wired!!!! Because of that, everyone woke up and we could not go to sleep at all. We were officially "Sleepless in Seattle " and we were not too happy. We were exhausted. We did find it funny that we were all up at 2 am raring to go when the"Sign off" happened. They were playing the National Anthem. It made us SO happy to be back in America to hear that song even though we were all wide awake. We got ready, packed up our stuff and got on the shuttle. The airport was just 5 minutes away. We didn't realize that we would have to pay such a high amount for our bags so here we are trying to consolidate things and just carry them on. Oh those bags!!! We checked in 4 for $100 and proceeded to the gate with a double stroller, 2 wiggle worms, a camera bag, a purse, a cumbersome bag with paperwork and glass, a duffel bag with souvenirs, 2 backpacks, a trash bag with winter coats in it and our cosmetic bag. We looked ridiculous, like a bunch of hillbillies , but this is what you do to save money. Ugh! We did meet a nice lady named Lisa at the ticket counter.. Her parents were Deaf so she was signing away with Toby. I was so proud of him as he was having a great conversation with her. We hope that Talia will pick up on ASL quickly. At this point with Toby two years ago, he had already learned and used 100 signs. Talia probably can sign on her own about 5. We have our work cut out, but she is going to come around in time.
As I am bopping people in the head with my bags and trying to keep up with the kids, we walked down the narrow aisle of the plane to find our seats. It felt so good to be headed to the East. Our flight was coast to coast in 4.5 hours. Both kids slept the entire time. David and I tried to get comfortable and catch a few winks, but that was not happening. We finally arrived in Newark, New Jersey! !! I got to see the New York skyline and even the Statue of Liberty. I have never been to NYC so it was so exciting to be so close. As we walked in the concourse C, David said " Mary Beth, look it's George Clooney." David said he almost bumped into him with all of the bags. Ha ha I turned around to only see the back of his head. Ugh! I was so surprised that he was just walking through the airport out in the open. I would have loved a picture, but you know how that goes. We found our gate in the basement of Terminal A with all the commoners going to Dayton. No movie stars down there...oh well...it didn't matter...we were only an hour and a half from home! We boarded a very small plane, kept bumping our heads on the overhead bins and flew into Dayton, Ohio. The kids were wide awake and Toby could not wait to get to Ohio. We were so delighted to be back in Dayton. After 4 days since we had checked out of our hotel in China, we were back!!!! I was so nervous and excited to see my family and friends. My friends, Jen and Amber ,had set up a homecoming group to meet us at the airport. We were a few minutes early so we cleaned up in the bathroom and took the long walk to the Baggage claim area. When we turned the corner, we saw our kids wearing their Adoption shirts, my parents and so many sweet friends that supported us in so many ways. They were holding "Welcome Talia and welcome Failes"signs. It felt so good to be so loved. It was such a sight for sore, tired eyes. Talia sat in her coach , her stroller, like a queen and looked at everyone as we rode through the large group of people. She was already loved by many but had no idea. She loved her balloon and flowers. She was shocked, but seemed happy. We greeted everyone, took pictures and collected our bags. I even had two extra bags...the huge bags under my eyes. I am glad they didn't charge me a fee for those. (:
We got home. ...what a great feeling! Talia was afraid of our dog, Chia, but seemed interested in where we were. Maybe she recognized the house from the book we sent her. . We gave her a tour and she started coming out of her shell. She was laughing and having a blast. She took a liking to Luke and started feeling comfortable with everyone else. She even gave hugs to other family members. We saw the start of a little girl's dream...to have a family that will love her unconditionally. When there is love, it heals the broken and lonely. I hope she will learn quickly that love never fails especially with the Faile family.