Thursday, August 6, 2009

Patience is a virtue...

A big THANKS to Boyd and Shelly for letting travel with this computer:):):):)

12:21 AM - Christi bursts into tears. We explain again that if we don't get on an earlier flight than the on China Southern is offering, Graci will not be able to see her family in Hangzhou. And who knows when that opportunity might present itself again.
11:15-1:30 AM - We're all praying fervently in our hearts. Graci counts at least 16 prayers she has said herself.
12:23 AM - Agent number 1 (Aaron) enlists the help of agent number 2 (Tunisia). Tunisia has been observing Christi's hysterics (OK, hysterics is a bit of a stretch, but there is definitely some seriously smeared mascara at this point). Tunisia gets back on the phone with China Southern. The key is China Southern has to stamp our paper tickets and endorse them over to United. If this happens, United can book us on anything they want to. Apparently, this is against China Southern policy. But HOORAY for Tunisia. She pushes and pushes and pushes...and pushes until the China Southern agent finally agrees to do this endorsement. But it's late. And the China Southern agent is technically off work. And she has to physically stamp the paper ticket. And it took 15 minutes on a shuttle to get from where she is to where we are. And Jer is wearing floppy sandals. See Jer run. See Jer forget to take off his backpack. See Jer forget to take of his jacket. See Jer realize that LA is much more humid than SLC. See Jer thinking "Man I'm grateful I lost that 13 pounds before we travelled." See Jer thinking "Man I wish I'd lost 13 more." See Jer's back start to ache. See Jer running out of breath. See Jer try to use a luggage cart as a skateboard. See said skateboard start spinning out of control.
12:55 AM - Jer finds the China Southern agent and she endorses the ticket. At this point she also informs me that our luggage has been locked up for the night. It will go out on China Southern's next flight. The one that leaves 48 hours later:( This means we will not get our luggage until 2 days after we arrive in Hangzhou. (I'm developing more empathy for Boyd and Shelly on their trip to Ethiopia at this point. (Check them out here.)
1:15 AM - I make it back to the United ticket counter and they start working on re-routing us.
2:00 AM - Re-routing complete. We are scheduled to leave LA at 7:36 AM. We will go to San Francisco, then to Beijing, then to Hangzhou. We are now scheduled to arrive a mere 8 hours later than originally planned. We are very, VERY happy with this outcome at this point.
2:15 AM - Catch shuttle to airline-provided hotel.
2:30 AM - Lights out.
4:50 AM - Christi gets up and showers.
5:03 AM - Jeremy gets up.
5:20 AM - Jesi never got up. Jer carries her as we leave for the airport.
6:00 AM - The humidity has completely negated Christi's shower at this point. She stops at a shop and gets a new shirt with some of Dean's "airport money."
7:36 AM - We are on our way again!!!

So now we're waiting in San Francisco. We're feeling grateful to be going so soon. We're also feeling extremely tired. The girls have been amazingly wonderful through all this. I couldn't believe Graci last night. I've seriously never seen her run before. If I ask her to go quickly, she shuffles along a little faster. If I ask her to run, she will do a half-hearted jog for a few steps and then start walking again. But last night, when we explained that we were trying to catch a 1:50 AM flight and if we didn't catch it, we might not see her China family, she ran. Really, REALLY ran. And this was with a broken toe! I was very impressed.

So the start of our trip has been a bit rocky. But trials are, after all, one great way the Lord instructs us. As we were boarding the flight to San Francisco this morning, I said to Christi, "I've come a long way." She knew exactly what I was referring to. She complimented me on how patient I had been with the girls and how friendly and kind I was the with the customer service people along the way. (Obviously, since I've come a long way, this was not always my modus operandi in stressful situations.) Anyway, we're doing well at this point. Next time we talk, we'll be in China. I hope...

BTW-Terynn, we're already feeling that "supernatural refreshment." Thanks SO MUCH for the prayers.


  1. Ay-yi-yi. If everything ends up okay and Graci gets to see her China Mommy and Daddy and picking up Xander goes well and you make it through the next five years, you really will look back on this experience and laugh! Maybe ironic laugher, but laughter nonetheless. Hang in there!

  2. Way to hustle Graci! Woo Hoo! We are so excited for you all. Big hello to Jesi from Elliott. Can't wait for the next update.
    Love, The Dunn's


  4. He is absolutely darling! We are very excited and happy for you! You have such a beautiful family! Hang in there, it will all work out. We'll see ya in a few weeks.

  5. Oops, that last one was me.

  6. Bless Tunisia!

    I really wish I could have seen you using your makeshift skateboard. I laughed out loud just reading about it.

  7. I loved reading your adventures....and you've not left US soil yet!! What fun awaits you in China....We're all excited for you here. Let me know when you return so I can make good on my offer to bring you dinner;-)

  8. So, even after talking to Jeremy on the phone last night, I didn't have everything straight until I read your blog. I guess I was concerned about finding the number you needed. Happy Birthday to our dear, sweet Jessica. Give her a hug and kiss from us. I hope you get to read this once you get to China. It sounds like it might be blocked there to We love you and know all will be well. Perhaps all the changes were for the best. You never know....

  9. Happy Birthday, Jessi, from all your Wilson cousins!
    Wow, you guys seem to have more than your fair share of drama. Your lives make ours seem plain! Learning about your plight to leave the U.S. put my day with selective listening kids :) in perspective as we are getting ready for our big :) drive down to Salt Lake tomorrow. We love you and can't wait to see pictures of you with sweet Xander!!

  10. WOOT!! Jer - you are a MENSCH!! And you guys really do like to travel in the worst possible way!

    All of that aside - what you guys are is GOLD (....that is tested in fire) - ya'll really do amaze me!

    Blessings - prayers - so happy for Graci too - can't wait to see pictures etc and standing by for anything you might need us to do!

    hugs - aus and co.

  11. I really hope we didn't jinx you guys buy telling you about our luggage and flight drama!! I have complete empathy for you guys, it's hard to keep your emotions at bay! And Jer-you're the man, you'll be telling that story to Xander for years to come.
    Best of luck with the rest of your journey. It can only get better right? We can't wait to hear more!

  12. I don't know if you remember us from the Murfreesboro Ward, Dave and Wendy Allen? Anyway...your family has grown, and is still growing since we have seen you. All of your children are beautiful. It is exciting hearing about your adventure! Our blog is private, but if you are interested, send your email and I can add you. Dave is deployed right now so I can't wait to tell him about your growing family! Good Luck!

  13. Oh My...You people are AMAZING. I would have been freaking out by this point! I love reading your blog - you guys are so interesting. Our family is praying for this journey to continue with less drama. We miss you and can't wait to see photos of your new precious boy.

    Susan and the Lyons gang