Aelex’s Adoption Diary
Wednesday February 19, 2003
Crossing Time Zones
O.K. so here’s how our day has gone so far:
I was unceremoniously awoken at 4 A.M. by Dorothy from a 1 hour slumber on our couch where I slept in a failed bid to stay awake all night. I figured that by foregoing sleep the night before, I would make up the difference by sleeping the whole way through the 13 ½ hour flight to Beijing. Wether or not my logic is flawed remains to be seen. Regardless, Aunt Pat and Uncle John picked us up at 5 to whisk us off to LaGuardia airport for our 8 A.M. flight to Chicago.
Just an aside for everyone’s future reference; never, ever ask me for a ride anywhere at such an ungodly hour. O.K., so I don’t drive, but I am sure that you get my point. Aunt Pat and Uncle John on the other hand will be rewarded in a later lifetime for their selflessness.
So, after a surprisingly smooth check-in process (the only fly in the ointment being when the lady checking us in could not locate the entry for “Irish Citizen” on her computer and asked Dorothy if it would be O.K. to just list her as a citizen of the United Kingdom? I guess that this person had not been keeping abreast of recent Anglo-Irish geo-political relations. Eventually the correct entry was located and Dorothy was able to unclench her hands from around the woman’s throat.) we breakfasted at the culinary wonderland that is Wendy’s and then prepared to board our flight to Chicago where we would connect to the final leg of our journey to Beijing.
Now just to warn everyone who may ever find themselves in the position of going through airport security with me at any point in the future, from now on I am only flying stark naked. Not only will I refuse to wear clothes while flying ever again, I am not bringing any luggage either. I will do absolutely nothing to give any security person in any airport on Earth any possible reason to suspect me of carrying and/or transporting any illegal item whatsoever aboard any aircraft of any type. I have to believe that at this point, a colonoscopy is a less invasive procedure than an airport security screening.
But, in the chalk-one-up-for-the-good-guys department, Dorothy’s carry-on bag was rousted by a vigilant security person who alertly noticed the baby’s nail clippers that my scheming wife tried to sneak through the x-ray machines. My child’s nails may grow to Guinness Book of World’s Records length, but we will all be safe from being menaced by a child’s grooming device while flying.
After putting our clothes back on, we boarded our mostly uneventful 2 hour flight to Chicago. Upon arrival in the snow-free Windy City (he said with just a twinge of jealousy), we prepared to wile away our 2 hour layover, overjoyed with the knowledge that at 9:30 A.M. Chicago time our day’s journey was ⅑th of the way complete. Seeking to drown our joy, we decided to have a beverage, as Dorothy craved a Mimosa, as she is wont to when facing a 13 ½ hour ordeal in the belly of a cramped metal tube being force fed meals concocted of paste. Luckily for me, the bar we chose was fully stocked with beer. But nary a Mimosa was to be had anywhere.
Now that I was feeling better, we got ready to board our plane. Once on board, we met two other couples going to China to adopt their daughters! The first couple, Mike and Lisa, are going to be adopting a beautiful 4 year old girl in Guangzhou, but will be spending their first few days in Beijing as are we. They are a real friendly couple of Hawkeyes from Iowa who are using Brightside as their adoption agency, as are we. It is truly a small world. Although you would never know it based upon how long it takes to fly around the damn thing. The second couple hail from Dallas, Texas and are in the process of adopting their second Chinese daughter. Mark and Dene’s daughter is from Wuhan so we will not see them after the flight unless we can hook up in Guangzhou before we all head home.
Once in the air, Dorothy was very relieved to see the flight attendants serving Champagne to the folks in business class just in front of us. Finally she would get her Mimosa! Unfortunately for Dorothy, she is married to a man that cannot afford the upgrade to business class and she is forced to sit in coach where they DO NOT serve Champagne to the lowly masses. So close and yet so far. But do not worry, I was able to get a beer. Two of them actually.
So here we sit, hurtling through the air over Churchill, Manitoba and I wonder which of the fine cinematic classics I will watch to allay my boredom. Should I choose the comedic stylings of the pairing of one Edward Murphy and a certain Owen Wilson in the boffo box office blockbuster “I Spy”? Or perhaps it should be the Michele Pfeiffer tearjerker (which was somehow overlooked by the Academy this Oscar season) “White Oleander”? No, I think it must be the Al Pacino vehicle (a film the New York Times called a “baldfaced admission by Mr. Pacino that he has spent every dollar he has ever made on cheap women and cheaper booze.”), a little film I think we are all familiar with called “Simone”.
Well that should be it until tomorrow. Whenever that is…