Day 1

We kissed our kiddos bye and left our house around 8:15 am Tuesday morning. Our friend, Jeffery, so graciously offered to pick us up and take us to the airport {it was such a blessing}! We had a few extra minutes before we needed to head into ATL rush hour traffic and we needed some breakfast, so we stopped at the only place to eat breakfast out {Chick-fil-a}. After our amazing breakfast we headed to Walgreens to print out the pictures we had sent to Samuel so we will have them on Gotchya day {we don’t expect to get anything we sent him and thought reminding him of the pictures we sent might be helpful}. After our Walgreens stop we were on our way!

We were flying Korean Air and were headed to the new International Terminal at Hartzfied Airport. We had never been there before so we wanted to leave a little bit of padding with our time if we needed it {and security at ATL airport is never fun or quick}. We found the new Terminal with no problem and it was so weird because it was practically empty {especially for the ATL airport}. Our friend dropped us off at the curb, we said our goodbyes and took a leaving picture {of course}.

The terminal was so nice. We walked right up to the counter checked in and proceeded to security. Normally there is a huge lone line, but because we were flying through the new international terminal, there were only 4 other people in front of us. We made it through security with plenty of time to spare {2+ hrs to be exact}. We were very THANKFUL for such an easy quick trip to our gate. Adam did some work, I chatted with my mom and enjoyed our not rushed time.

I have never flown farther than CA, so this trip was going to be the longest I had ever been on a plane. We loaded the plane and we were so excited that we were first row in economy class {poor mans first class seats, yes!!} This meant there was no one in front of us and we had TONS of leg room {such a blessing since we are both over 6 feet tall}. We got settled in our seats, enjoyed the classical music that was playing and tried to take it all in.

‘We are flying to China!!’

{side note, we have been in process for 23 months and there were days or even weeks when we felt this day would never come}

Our plane was ‘swanky’ as Adam called it. We had our own TV {with movies, tv shows, music} and a camera where we could see in front of us or below us. It was totally cool!!

I had an exchange student this semester in school from South Korea. He would always say that ‘Korean Air is the best!’ Tommy- you were right…it is the nicest I have have ever been on.

{those reading this adopting and flying Korean Air, you have nothing to worry about, it was so nice and clean}

I felt like they were always feeding us. We started off with honey roasted peanuts and a drink, then came lunch {and I mean a full lunch, rice, veggies, spicy pickles, fresh fruit and seaweed soup}. Everything was tasty except the soup {but Ethan would have LOVED it, as he loves seaweed}. Then at some point we had more juice, a brownie or Sticky bun, more juice, a full dinner, more juice and another snack. At some point on our trip they brought us a steamed towel {which was sooo nice} and coffee or tea 2-3 times.

We landed in Seoul {around 4:30 AM ATL time, but 5:30 PM local time.} We headed to find our gate and then to get a snack {for whatever reason we were hungry}. We found our gate, logged in to the free wifi to let everyone know we had landed and I called my mom {as she is the only person that I know who would be up that early and figured if for whatever reason she wasn’t up, she would answer bc I knew she wouldn’t have slept well with us still in the air, love you mom}. It was nice to chat with her and see her face. It made it seem that we were not so far away, although we are. We left the gate in search of a snack. I really wanted to stop at the Hello Kitty Cafe or the Charlie Brown Cafe, but Adam vetoed that, so we settled for a different cafe, ate our snack and headed back to the gate.

I was relieved that our flight was only going to be a little over a hour, as by this point we had been on our journey for over 24 hours and I was ready to be in Beijing. We boarded the plane and got settled, took off and then it was time for dinner to be served. Adam and I were expecting a snack, but again it was a full out meal. Just about the time we finished our meal and they were collecting trays it was time to land {THANKFULLY}!

We had a window seat and all I could think as we were getting closer to the ground is how HUGE this place is. The lights {bc it was night} went on as far as I could see. I knew China was huge, but it’s huge. As we are descending I was reminded about how small we are in this big world but how much The Lord loves us!

{Side note, we were sitting with a man from Israel and 3 other people with him were from Atlanta… This realization was after I had the thought about the world being so HUGE and the Lord reminded me that it’s small too}

We landed, got through immigration {I was worried I didn’t have something} but everything was fine. We met a group of college students while waiting in line from CA and they were really excited for us and Samuel. We found our luggage, made our way through security and found our friend who was picking us up…phew we made it! With all our luggage and everything!!

While we were waiting to get our luggage off the belt we heard loud excited screams from young teenage girls and wondered what that was all about. Apparently, there was a Backstreet Boy in our plane from Seoul and thus screams.

We made it to our friends house, got settled in, chatted with them for a bit and headed off to bed. I was able to sleep from 11 until 4:30 {which I think was pretty good considering we are 12 hours ahead of home}.

Today we are heading downtown to do some sightseeing with our friends {I can’t remember where we are going} but I’m excited to get some great pictures to post later.

If you made it to the end congrats {I’m trying to write down as much as I remember for Samuel and for our family and friends who want to know all the details} Adam will be updating with short post too for those who want the more condensed version of our trip 🙂

Hard to believe we are in our sons country and only 3 more sleeps until we meet him for the first time!!

Until next post

{hugs} from China
Jessica