On March 21, 1996, after 187 long days of waiting, my mother and I finally left for China and my new baby daughter. I'd been packed for weeks, so impatient and restless I could hardly stand it. If it had been at all possible, I would have left for China days earlier, just to be doing something instead of sitting around waiting and worrying.
I received Lara's referral photo on January 26, 1996. At that time, CCAI groups were traveling to China about 4 weeks after receiving referrals. Unfortunately, we got delayed over the Chinese New Year, and we ended up waiting a very long 8 weeks before we could leave for China. The China Adoption mailing list had only just been started at that time, and was a real sanity saver for me and for my mother, too. We read the list religiously, and devoured every scrap of information we could find while we waited the interminable wait.
But finally, the day of departure did arrive. That morning, I went to work. The hours dragged on. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer, so I closed down my computer and left. Our plane wasn't scheduled to leave until early evening, but my mother was as impatient as I, so my father drove us down to the airport. We arrived in the early afternoon, hoping to get aboard an earlier flight from Denver to Los Angeles. However, all the flights were full, so we ended up sitting around, watching the crowds go by all afternoon.
Still it was a lot better waiting at the airport than waiting at the office. You know, it's kind of fun watching other people blow their stack and scream about late flights and overbooked planes when you don't have to worry about being any place yourself. And the Denver International airport was brand new, with lots of fun shops and things to look at.
We started to see the other Denver members of group 23 as we waited for our flight to board and leave. The flight was late, but we were in a very good mood, and enjoyed everything about the flight to Los Angeles. The LA airport was totally torn apart, apparently in the middle of a huge renovation project. We wound through miles of plywood tunnels, following spray painted arrows, but we eventually made our way to the baggage area. We found our luggage and the rest of our group, and all took the shuttle to our hotel.
Friday, March 22, 1996 - We met the other members of our group in the hotel dining room the next morning. Everybody was in high spirits. It was a great opportunity to get to know some of the other families we would be traveling with a little better. The statistics of the nine families in our group were:
After breakfast, we packed up and took a shuttle
back to the airport, arriving with plenty of time to spare to get through the check in line and customs. Our Cathay Pacific
flight to Hong Kong was a complete delight. The flight was not very full, so my mother and I got three seats together, and we
really enjoyed ourselves all the way to Hong Kong.