By Dan | June 29, 2007
Well, we survived. We are home safe and sound…
The flight from Korea to Atlanta went about as well as could be expected. Delta would not seat Shannon and I in the same row, but business class was not full, so we occupied two rows immediately behind each other with open adjacent seats. Shannon was in a bulkhead with bassinet mounts, so the flight attendants set up the bassinet. It wasn’t particularly useful tho, being relatively tough plastic and very confining (I can’t blame the boys for being uncomfortable in it), so we used it as a changing table for much of the time. We were pretty much celebrities on the plane, getting lots of attention from passengers, but almost non-stop from the flight attendants (over and above what we had gotten on the way over). Thanh somewhat likes to sleep on the floor, so he and I made a little nest and curled up for about 4 hours off and on through the flight, and he slept some in arms as well. Vinh was not as peaceful, and was passed from one flight attendant to another off and on as they had time in their normal duties. He made a complete tour of the plane (even the cockpit and coach class) and we were getting congratulations from passengers we hadn’t even met as we got off the plane and moved through passport control and customs. One of the nice things about business class is that there is enough space between seats that fussy infants are not immensely distracting to other passengers tho.
When we got to Atlanta, we were warned that we may have a tight connection. We waited a relatively reasonable amount of time (10 minutes maybe?) for passport control, who told us to claim our luggage and go to the immigration desk before customs. We waited almost an hour for luggage. (I don’t think we waited for an hour combined at all the foreign airports on the trip.) Luckily, the immigration desk was not busy, and she processed everything quickly (about 10 minutes, we were told to expect 20) and exempted us from customs. Thanh and Vinh officially became US Citizens at Midnight that day (June 27, 2007). We then rechecked luggage, cleared security (you have to clear security at most airports if connecting internationally, we also had to do this in Incheon both ways) and had only about 2 minutes before boarding our connection.
The Atlanta to Orlando leg was pretty much without incident. Again, Shannon and I were not sitting side-by-side, and I sat next to a grandfather who was more than happy and patient. When we arrived in Orlando, we took a minute to get organized and change the boys into fresh outfits, and then left the plane. Anne and Fred were waiting at the gate, having bought refundable tickets to get through security, then canceling them. They swore we were the last people off the plane (actually we were more like halfway through the deboarding) since they were anxiously waiting for us. We introduced the boys to them, and called my parents to introduce Nicholas Chaillee and Matthew Kent. Then we left the gates to several friends (Cathy Brantley, Laurie Dullmeyer, Tyger Roberts, Brian Buwalda, Valerie and Kate Woska) who were waiting with video and still cameras. We didn’t wait long for luggage (glad the Korean Air priority tag meant more in Orlando than in Atlanta), and headed home to start our new lives together. Anne and Fred stayed the night so we could get some sleep, but of course we were up most of the night anyway.
This will likely be the final content posted to this blog, as it’s purpose (to document our adoption experience) has been fulfilled. I may start a blog of the boys’ life with us, at which point I will post a link to the new blog.
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