Olivia’s Adoption Diary

Friday March 10, 2006

Never a dull moment. Unless you happen to be on a plane for 12 hours. Then there’s nothing but dull moments.

  • Olivia Duo Duo: say hello to the newest Congiusta.
  • Our petite flower.
  • Olivia getting some exercise.
  • Olivia poses with a friend.
  • A lovely young lady in her winter garb.

We are just about halfway through the first leg of our journey as I write this. A mere stone throw from the North Pole. Seriously, I could bean Santa in his melon from here if only these damn windows would open. Its been a pretty uneventful trip so far what with the kids being foisted off on an unsuspecting Grandma and Grandpa for the next two weeks (I am sure this offense will be reflected in the redaction of our names from their will. Sorry Maj and Paj). Much wailing and gnashing of teeth went into the decision not to bring Aelex and Matthew with us and there were basically 2 distinct reactions. Let’s play a little game shall we? See if you can match the person below with their opinion as to whether or not to bring the kids on the trip:

MarkA: It will be so hard to be away from my babies for 2 whole weeks. I will be so sad and lonely without them.
DorothyB: What are you freaking nuts? 12 hours on the plane there with 2 screaming kids with an even longer return flight with 3 of them? You really need to seek psychiatric help if you think I’m putting up with that.

Let me give you a hint: Dorothy plans on taking all 3 kids on a plane to Ireland this summer, Mark plans on being too busy at work to get on a plane with the 3 kids until they are well into their teens.

Anyway, I won’t bore you with the traditional tale of the modern day hell that is airline security screening in these times we live in. You know how it goes: Check in at airport, blah, blah, blah. Go through security, blah, blah, blah. Watch Dorothy get randomly selected for invasive bag search, blah, blah, blah. See little know provisions of Patriot Act being enforced regarding bodily assault of airport screener by irate passenger, blah, blah, blah. I would tell you more but I wouldn’t want to bore you any further.

Continental Airlines has been a marginally pleasant surprise thus far. I realize that I may have just doomed us to the worst second half of a 12 hour flight in the history of air travel but I can’t help but be cautiously optimistic. The service has been a shade above grumpy, the food passably edible and I even saw a decent movie in the multi-Oscar nominated Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line”. As I said, the movie was decent, but if it can be considered as a candidate for “Best Picture” then Hollywood must be really making some seriously craptacular movies these days. I stand firm by — and fell vindicated in — my refusal to go to the movie theater in any case.

Oh, and one more thing, I know I’ve addressed this in our previous travels but I’ve been sitting in a cramped metal tube for 6 hours and I’m not gonna take it anymore: why can’t I get a reasonably priced beer on these flights? I’ve even dropped my earlier calls for gratis alcoholic beverages, so obviously I’m willing to compromise. I mean, I understand that the profit margins in airline travel are razor thin but still, I just dropped a few grand on tickets and you’re gonna turn around and gouge me with a $5 can of beer? In defiance I only ordered 2. And maybe I’ll have another one before we land. But that’s it, I mean it. Fight the power brother…

So we still have quite a ways to go before we reach our destination: Hangzhou (read: hong&#middot;joe) where first thing Monday morning we will meet the young Olivia Duo Duo for the first time. I know I speak for both of us when I say that we are filled with a whole gamut of emotions right now, ranging from “terror” all the way up to “sheer terror”. I am kidding of course, we actually feel nothing but “sheer terror” right now.

Truthfully, neither of us can wait until we meet our daughter on Monday, and we are practically bursting at the seams in eager anticipation. We do have some serious concerns about adopting a six year old, special needs child who — to our knowledge — does not understand a lick of English. But these concerns are far outweighed by our excitement and love for her and, hopefully, our concerns will be manageable.

I must sign off now as my first laptop battery is nearing the end of its charge and I am refusing to spend the $119 Continental wants for the laptop power adaptor for the receptacle in my armrest on principle. That principle of course being, if I spend another dime on computer equipment Dorothy will probably bash me over the head with it. So that’s it for now. We should — with a little luck — be in Hangzhou the next time you hear from us…

Adios from the Arctic Circle…