Day 1 to China
I began writing this blog just a few minutes into the longest plane ride I will ever take. (No space flight aspirations at this point.)
We are literally traveling ‘As far as the east is from the west.’ Any further from home and I would be closer.
It’s amazing! As little girl, I don’t believe I ever imagined traveling to the far east for an adventure as great as this. Surprisingly enough our travel so far has been uneventful. (If you knew the history of my family and vacations, you would realize that this is something to be celebrated in itself. The Griswolds got nothin on the Swabys!) People have been patient and kind. Thus far, the staff of United Airlines has been awesome! (I managed to sweet talk a couple other passengers in allowing us all to sit together. They were gracious and kind to do it without complaint. We’ve had several people ask us why we are traveling to China. Little HulaLoo says ‘To Bring my little sister home’ which leads to an open and encouraging conversation. One of my first encounters on the walkway into the plane cabin was with a young women who works with some of the orphanages in China. “I love to see families going to help the orphans there. It is so needed.’ As far as I am concerned, she had me at hello.
The ride up to Chicago (in order to benefit from the direct flight) went pretty well thanks to Uncle Tony. The hardest part so far has been the goodbyes to everyone at home. Pappo and Grandma Patty are holding down the fort and anxiously awaiting our return. Aunt Jenny has provided a an assortment of fun surprises that we are opening periodically to reward behavior and fight boredom which has been a life saver since about exit #10 on the highway! also has a new tablet loaded with games which is the best $50 we have spent in a long time. I have already been able to leverage it for good behavior!
Mom was concerned because she didn’t carry her snacks on to the plane, but I have assured her that I have packed enough food for a small army to survive for at least a few weeks. (If they don’t mind a steady diet of Rice Krispie Treats and cheese and crackers..) Our baggage overfloweth… (I even have winter clothes for the orphanage! Eric was amazed at what I could fit in. Those vacuum bags really work folks.) I even have the portable baggage scale to rearrange if we need to! (China’s weight limit per bag is less than in the USA.)
I’m keeping my eyes open for opportunity and adventure! I want to say thank you to all the friends and family who have been praying for us and with us on this very long journey. I got many warm text messages and prayer offerings before we set off on this journey of a lifetime. You truly find out who your friends and family are when you step out on faith. Can’t wait to see you all soon!