Travel from China to the U.S… good to be back!!

We made it home after a LONG trip home….24hrs of flights & waiting.

3hr wait in Guangzhou airport-check…

3hr flight to Beijing- check…..

6 hr wait in airport-check…

12 hr. flight home- check….

Paperwork completed at immigrations- check!!!

It’s funny how God prepares our hearts for each step of the journey we are on. I was sad yesterday about Elyana saying goodbye to the places she was born …..but after all the crazy travel…….

….We are SOOOO glad to get this girl home!!

Hugging our family & sleeping in our beds is heavenly music to my ears. We’ve missed the familiar faces of our friends & can’t wait to be able to see you all soon.

After Jenna getting sick on bus, on John, and continually throughout the entire trip (poor girl-no airplanes in her near future), restrooms in the Beijing airport that made us want to vomit, a Chinese man yelling at me and banging on my seat in the airplane, coughs & colds, a few Elyana melt downs (most on first flight thankfully), & countless diaper changes….(mind you, Im not complaining) …..we are all just ready to hop, skip & jump for joy now that we are on American soil!

Here we are at the start of our journey 5:30am (China time) It kind of messes with your head when you leave your hotel on Dec. 27th at 5:30 am and arrive (after 24hrs of travel) on Dec. 27th in the U.S. at 6:00pm. I heard another mom say, “It was the longest Dec. 27th we’ve ever had!”


Ryan and Jenna at the hotel…packed up and ready to go home.

Here we are in Guangzhou…waiting for a few hours to fly to Beijing….we were all tired and Jenna wasn’t feeling so great.


Ryan was entertaining himself and Elyana again….



John was SOOOOO excited that our first flight from Guangzhou to Beijing was on a Airbus A380 (which is the largest commercial airplane).


It WAS HUUUUGE!! Upstairs and downstairs…..


Lets get this travel started!

Ryan thought it was especially awesome that there were video game controllers…


Elyana thought the headphones were pretty cool! (Even though Elyana isn’t a baby…it’s neat to be there for so many of her firsts)


The kids and John thought it was neat that they could call each other on the phones by entering the seat #.




Jenna wasn’t up for pictures (she got sick a few times)…..this was the flight it landed on John….same flight as the Chinese madman & fits for Elyana. But about 15min before landing…she conked out.


We made it to Beijing….now for the 6 hr wait until we board the plane for Detroit….


We said goodbye to Tracy and her sweet little Kya. We looked after her so her mom could take a much needed restroom stop! They left a few hours before us to fly to Seattle, and Elyana kissed Kya goodbye. (wish we would’ve captured that)


The luggage cart was where Elyana loved sitting and snacking during our lay over. Silly girl…


The wait was finally over and we were settled on our next very LONG flight home! One step closer to Elyana being an official U.S. citizen! Let’s go!


Thankfully this flight went a little better than the last. Jenna and Elyana were both able to sleep some and I caught some shut eye too!


After 24hrs of travel….we were SO sleepy…and Jenna still felt horrible…but when I sat Elyana next to her she cheered and said “Elyana you are a U.S. citizen now!”


John carried this VERY important, sealed brown envelope from China to hand over to immigratiions in the U.S. (we weren’t allowed to take pictures there) But, they gave Elyana’s paperwork an official stamp of approval and said Congratulations to her!


We will need some time to recover & adjust to day to day life with Elyana, but have told family to come & visit in small groups of 2, so Elyana doesn’t get overwhelmed. It still hasn’t registered with Elyana that a group isn’t caring for her. She still calls John & I (and many other adults) the Chinese word for Auntie. Sounds like Iyeeee! And yes, she tells it when she wants our attention…lol. Anyway, until it registers we are her mom & dad, we are going to try & keep things very calm & consistent in her day to day life. For a few weeks John and I will be the only ones holding her and caring for her needs. With her vibrant personality one could think she’s fine, but after observing her, we realize she is still processing so much. We know this is really hard on family/friends who have waited and prayed so hard along with us. But, we are confident within a few weeks of consistency home, she will settle right in and realize we are not her caretakers…..and that she is stuck with us for life! 🙂 God has answered so many prayers….and we expect His hand to be over this new journey that just is just now beginning!


We thank each one of you that covered our family in prayer, and those who so wonderfully prepared our home, got groceries, and made the beautiful welcome home banner! Elyana loved all the glitter and pretty colors! We are so blessed and thank God we haven’t been alone through all this. Your constant love, prayers & well wishes to us along the was such a comfort! Our family feels SO blessed to have had you all cheering us on & excited during this time of great joy! It really felt like we took you along with us on our trip to China! We’ll never forget this Christmas season. & the celebration of the gift of Christ birth and the gift he gave our family.

We sure love you Elyana! So good to finally kiss your face!

Our family will keep you all updated on how Elyana is doing! Thank you again for all your support & love!

One thought on “Travel from China to the U.S… good to be back!!

  1. I didn’t even see this post until today!! I think Mom (Aunt Chris) brings too much chaos with her! LOL 🙂 I am so happy to have you all home, and I cannot wait to squeeze our Elyana. It is so hard not to hold her and love all over her! But, I totally understand why it must be that way, and it is worth the short wait to make sure she transitions smoothly to her new Mommy and Daddy!! Her little heart has been through sooo much! I have so enjoyed seeing her face light up at her Daddy and how well you communicate with her and care for her. She certainly is blessed to have such wonderful parents and Ryan and Jenna too 🙂 I look forward to many more memories with all of us together and to getting to know our sweet lil baby! (She is such a firecracker!) Happy New Year Sparks family!!!

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