Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fwd: Home at Last! - from dennis

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dennis Drake <drakedad3@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 1:12 AM
Subject: Home at Last! - from dennis
To: drakefam51.chloe@blogger.com

We are home!  It has taken me a bit of time to write; but we made it just fine.  I'd like to forget the last 3 days and never do them over again, but we did make it just fine back to Dallas.  Dawn's sister and her husband along with their daughter met us at the airport; and they brought along Samuel and Anna with them.  Chloe slept a lot on the flights, so she smiled at everyone and was in a decent mood.  And it was GREAT to see Samuel and Anna again.  Since that time, things have gone from "great, we're home" to "Oh, God, help us get through this jet lag."

I've heard of jet lag before but that term does not do it justice.  The words "jet lag" always brought up images of a slow airplane to me; but now I know what it's like first hand.  After connecting flights from Guangzhou to Shanghai to Chicago to Dallas - all on Wednesday the 23rd, we still have not recovered.  I'm sure those of you who travel frequently know what i mean.  Going to China was "uncomfortable" in the sense of the flying hours and the layover.  But coming back was wretched in terms of getting over it.  In general the flights went fine, aside from some minor glitches; but somehow our bodies did not agree.

On Thursday, Dawn woke up to take Anna to school, then went to the grocery store for a few things we were out of.  She came home and started sorting through clothes for Chloe, and then got hit suddenly with an awful stomach bug.  She laid in bed miserable and was not able to eat again until mid-day Friday.  Same day, I woke up with a terrible sore throat and just a general feeling of heaviness.  It kind of felt like I'd been on several planes for 1-2 days and had to clear 3 airport securities, U.S. customs and immigration, and had a run-in with a non-compassionate security supervisor who did not appreciate the fact that I forgot to remove my shoes for the security check (Chicago).  And the way i felt Thursday has not completely gone away yet.  My throat aches, i feel like i have a cold now, and all the while during our adjustment period, Chloe is having the same feelings and possibly worse.

Think of being uprooted from everything you are familiar with - after you have been left on a street and passed through a police station and orphanage and foster care.  Taken from your country ... from its familiar sounds, sights, smells ... only to be newly planted on the other side of the world in a house with large amounts of grass everywhere, strange sights & smells, new caregivers, new siblings, new friends .... you get the idea.  Let's just say that Chloe has in general felt lousy and has let us know about it.  She will come to us seeking comfort; but will NOT be left alone to play.  This is all very normal and expected; but MAN has this hit us hard.  REALITY.  As Dawn has said several times to keep our perspectives in place - "Dorothy, you ain't in Kansas right now."  If there was ever a time when I know that I need to "suck it up and drive on" - I know it's now; but I hope no one ever goes thru "jet lag" like this ever again.  Instead of "jet lag" - I would suggest a better term would be "jet ban."  No more jets.  I might market a T-shirt with a jet on the front and one of those red circles with the line through it.

Okay, so while Dawn was throwing up everything in her stomach and I was generally feeling horrible, our oldest son Nathan skipped classes & came home from college for a couple of days to see Chloe.  If it hadn't been for him, I may not have made it through Thursday.  He hung around while I was taking care of Chloe, watched and waited until she warmed up to him and then took it from there.  By the time he left on Friday he had fed her 1 meal, several snacks and played with her while I was walking around the house trying to find out why everything was still moving.  I think someone referred to this as "vertigo."  THANK YOU NATHAN!!

Dawn has not instructed me on how to post from the actual blog and she & Chloe are crashed out right now; so I'm gonna hope that the pictures of Nathan and Chloe show up okay on this post.  I'm sending it via email to the blog site just like we did in China.

I do have pictures of Samuel and Anna with Chloe as they have invested time with her and she is warming up nicely to them.  I'll get them off the camera and post them later.  Samuel is a hoot with his new little sis!

Special thanks to our family for the help while we were gone and for all of you who continue to pray for us.  We could not have done this by ourselves.

I haven't put much in this blog yet of Scripture, but am going to recommend that you take the time to read Psalm 139 in the Bible during the next few days as you get time.  It is an amazing description of how detailed our Creator is and a much needed reminder that He loves us JUST like we are.  Thank God that Chloe was formed with a cleft lip and palate ... or we would not have her right now. I'll leave you to think on that for awhile.


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