Hellish Travel Day

So we are back home here in Tennessee, but I wanted to still document the rest of our trip for our family since this blog acts as kind of a scrapbook and memory keeper.

Friday at 2pm we we’re suppose to be flying out to Guangzhou where would finish up Leo’s adoption with his visa and consulate appointment.  Our flight ended up being cancelled and the next available one with 8 seats was at 10pm that night.  Ahhhhhh!!!  We could only stay in our hotel until 1pm so we we’re left with a lot of time outside in the heat with several little kiddos who had not gotten their much needed afternoon nap.  We we’re already a little anxious to see how Leo’s O2 would be on the flight so throw in pure exhaustion and nerves we’re running high.

We walked down to a park close to our hotel and proceeded to drag our tired bodies around the park.  It was actually quite hilarious because we we’re all so tired and had come accustomed to those afternoon naps for our daily pick-me-up.  In China naps in the afternoon are crazy common and when we walked upon a shady area in the park with people napping on benches Josh Kelley and I wanted to join them…especially the older gentlemen who was in a full on snorefest. 🙂

We spent several hours wandering around and found our sweaty, overly tired selves back at one of our favorite little places to eat an early dinner only to find out their chef was on break and was not coming back until we needed to leave for the airport.  Josh and Wendy ended up getting dinner somewhere different and bringing it back to the restaurant because everyone was just zapped at this point.  So we sat right there in that restaurant and ate food from another restaurant and the kind employees didn’t mind one bit.  They even brought the kids balloons to play with while we waited.  It was the nicest.  I imagine they could read the distress and exhaustion across our faces.

After eating we headed to the airport.  We then spent an insane amount of time there.  Amon proceeded to fall asleep in any spit he stopped in.  Like ANY SPOT!!!  He was beyond tired and the kid loves his sleep.  He goes hard all day, but when it’s bedtime he’s ready to sleep.  A 10pm flight was crazy hard.

We finally boarded and then sat on the runway for an additional hour.  We didn’t leave Zhengzhou until 11pm and we didn’t get to our hotel until around 2:30am.  We we’re completely wiped out.  I had so many feelings swirling around in my head and heart while leaving Zhengzhou.  Leaving the place where we’d first met both Everett and Leo and spent the most special time with Everett.  This leg of our trip was beyond difficult.  The emotions alone, but throw in everyone else’s feelings and jet lag and exhaustion and home sickness and it was just really hard…really beautiful, but really hard too.

Finally getting to Guangzhou felt like a breath of fresh air.  It felt lighter and easier in a sense.  It felt like just the place we needed if we couldn’t be in our own home all together.  Guangzhou is where Everett had set into his little routine and had opened up and started to trust us and it held such fond, bright memories.  It felt hopeful and so we laid down in all our beds crazy late at night knowing we we’re that much closer to home and tomorrow would indeed be better.


  1. I’m tired just reading this part. Can’t wait to read the next part. Your pictures are wonderful and I’m glad you all held it together. The children are very adaptable. The Kelley Family rocks!!!

  2. ❤️❤️❤️
    Welcome back!

  3. AshLey says:

    Welcome home! I love reading and hearing all about your journey to get Leo. Love y’all.

  4. Thanks for the update! Was praying for you this morning!

  5. That picture of Leo looking at a sleeping Amon Love the one of him looking out the plane window, too. 🙂 Welcome back!

    • (Looks like my “crying laughing” emoji after “sleeping Amon” showed up on my phone but didn’t post 🙁 Seriously, though, Leo makes me grin. 🙂 )

  6. CARRIE says:

    The pic of all of the kids cheesing and Amon asleep is too much! Poor little guy 😉

  7. Oh my how this brings back so many memories of leaving Russia. That pic of him looking out the window? Bursts my heart wide open. Thankful for your posts to bring me back to prayer for you all.

  8. Glenda Hoagland says:

    Thank you for this wonderful memory.

  9. I want to sleep like Amon !!!!! The picture of Leo looking at him sleeping is the sweetest!!!!!

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