The last short flight for home was on a very small plane. I have never been so tired in my whole life, not just tired, but physically and emotionally drained. While Elizabeth slept, Donnie and I had another good laugh about something - like I said before...being this tired makes you rather punchy. After a 7-Up and some peanuts, we were landing for the last time!!
We unloaded onto the runway and walked to a door which led to the terminal. We were last off of the plane. I was not sure who would be greeting us, but I certainly did not expect that our precious Emma would be there.
Below: Here we are coming up the steps into the terminal, this was the first picture taken of our arrival. Our friends, Rick and Patricia, whom we met at the 2000 Dillon China Weekend, were all smiles with their daughter, Jade.
Right: I will never forget as Rick yelled "smile!" when taking this photo. As I looked around, I saw many wonderful smiling faces! Some folks we did not know, some we did. There were local families also with our agency, Dillon International. It was so nice to see some familiar faces, too, among them...my brother, sister and brother-in-law!
I hugged my siblings and the homecoming tears began. My sister, Chickie (Chyna), was in awe of Elizabeth, "Oh, my gosh, you are beautiful!" she exclaimed, as she caressed her niece's head. We were all in a weepy, wonderful, happy fog. (Making the 2-hour drive to Emma was foremost on my mind at this point, however.) We moved along and introduced Elizabeth to the wonderful families who had come to greet us. Elizabeth smiled and enjoyed the other children.
After a few minutes, I looked around for Donnie...he was holding a three-year-old dressed in purple with a mass of brown hair...it was our EMMA!!!!! He was sobbing into her neck. I screamed and ran over to her...all reality now left me...it did not matter who had been talking with me...I may have even stepped on someone on my way over, I don't know. Emma looked at me and said "mommy" in a quiet little voice as if she was trying to comfort ME. We had NO IDEA she would be there. Donnie's mom had picked Emma up at Kathy's and, along with our niece Courtney, had brought her to Tulsa to greet us. It was the most magical, wonderful surprise of my entire life. Never, ever, have I had so much emotion. (Folks, I think I made a fool out of myself!) I was wailing into Emma's neck - literally, I could not stop crying. Every time I stopped and then looked at her face, I would start wailing - again!! (Elizabeth was doing fine with Aunt Chickie, she really likes her Aunt because she looks so much like Mommy! Plus she's just a really cool Aunt!)
Elizabeth meets Aunt Chickie, Uncle Carter and Uncle Clark. Carter had a Ty Bear for our little one.
The Empress, Elizabeth Xiaochai, is home!!
(Note the Panda Bear purse Aunt Chickie brought for her!)
Mommy and Daddy were overcome with emotion as they were reunited with Emma after two long weeks.
Aunt Chickie, Uncle Clark (drinking the coffee) and Uncle Carter look on.
The sweet little girl in red with the stuffed pig is also from Maoming! Jade is in the pink.
Mommy unable to gain control while Aunt Chickie, Daddy and Papa enjoy the moment.
After Emma and Elizabeth met...
Mom started in again! Good grief, Mom, get a grip!
Because we assumed Emma would not be at the airport, we had not considered an "airport meeting" for these two sisters. Well, here goes...
It went something like this, "Emma, this is your baby sister, Elizabeth!" Emma smiled sweetly and patted Elizabeth on the head! (Wow, that was easy!!)
Aunt Chickie, Gramma and Papa are taking it all in! I love the way Donnie is looking at Emma, he adores his daughters and missed Emma terribly.