Ronda, Cooper, and Grizzy Outside Hong Kong Airport
This morning (Monday), we checked out of our hotel in Hong Kong and caught the bus for the airport at 8:00. We arrived at the United counter and stood in line for about 20 minutes before we checked in all of our luggage and crossed our fingers that we would see it again in the USA. We had breakfast at McDonald's and then made way for our gate. After spilling coffee on Cooper while riding the escalator, and having our water taken from us prior to boarding (apparently they won't let you purchase a bottle of water in the airport and take it on the plane with you in Hong Kong), we boarded and luckily got Cooper his bottle prior to take off. We were really trying to avoid being "those parents" with a cranky 17 month old on a long flight.
Cooper getting some Z's on the plane home
He fell asleep and we had a few naps during the fight. We made it to San Francisco with no delays and passed through immigration very smoothly. The brown envelope that the US consulate in Guangzhou prepared was exactly what the officer needed to process his immigrant status. We passed through, and Cooper was officially a US citizen.
We picked up our bags and were met by a customs inspection beagle (scent dog) who decided that the pork buns and dumplings that we had brought for Cooper's lunch were not allowed in the USA, so we had to throw them out. We cleared customs, re-checked our bags, cleared security, and made it to the gate for our final leg to San Diego.
In San Diego, we picked up the rental car and Ronda's brother and sister, Joel and Christy, were waiting with a car seat for Cooper. We loaded the car with all the luggage, installed the car seat, and headed north for Escondido. We arrived at Ronda's brother, Cameron's house at around 2:30. Around 4:30, Joel, his wife Martha, and Christy arrived with Cooper's cousin, Maya! The two played, although neither really knew who each other were... But it was awesome to see them together. It was something we had talked about for a long time. Cooper also got to meet his Grandma Letha, who he kept smiling and talking to all night while she tried to get him to sit still to take a photo. Cameron's amazing wife, Barb, made dinner for everyone and we sat and ate and talked, really still dizzy from the traveling we had done the previous 30 hours.
Cooper playing with his cousin (not pictured)
Cooper got a bath and bottle and went to bed, and we did some laundry. Tomorrow we are going to the beach for his first ocean visit, and Wednesday we are planning to celebrate the 4th of July for the first time with our son.
We are so blessed to have such great families and friends, and we keep thinking about all the amazing friends we have made along this journey to Cooper. If you are reading this, we are thinking of you, and hope you have made it home to your families and are relishing the time with your newest family members with your loved ones like we are.
Until next time, Ryan.
Location:San Diego, CA