The jet lag got me good this time. I fell asleep in some pretty strange places the last few days, and now it’s 4am and I feel chipper (not my usual). Ellie got it good too. She is eating pizza beside me in the dark. Thank you for your prayers and words of sweet encouragement over our trip. The evidence of God’s grace came not in a smooth trip this time, but in much laughter and peace through it all.
What was going to be a night on the airport floor turned into a wild goose chase. We wanted to grab some zzz’s in the airport’s transit hotel, but it was closed for renovations, “but free shuttle take you next terminal for hotel,” they promised. We looked at our trolley towering with luggage, our two sleeping babies and the clock ticking down to our next flight, and decided it was worth it… even for just 4 hours of good sleep.
So we waited and waited on the shuttle. Even for just 3 hours of good sleep, we told ourselves. The shuttle driver seemed not too happy with our boat-sized stroller or anything else about us, for that matter. He dropped us off at the promised hotel, but it was full: no vacancy at all. However, there were other hotels, downtown! We only needed to take one of the many eager taxis outside! There was neither time nor space for us and all our many luggages to go downtown so we sat on the curb and waited for the shuttle again. It finally, finally came but there was standing room only and the driver’s face, that familiar sunbeam, indicated there was no room for Fouserts on his shuttle. So we waited some more. By the time we made it back to our terminal it was time to check in.
After just 2 hours of haggling, phone calls and signatures, Hj was allowed to fly on his expired green card. It felt like a very long flight to Tokyo, with dozens of trips to the bathroom with Ellie, who was extremely restless. She spilled more things than I can remember, but the yogurt on the ceiling does stand out.
We got in to Tokyo late, so we had about a half hour to wend our way through security and find our next plane. One of my themes in mothering is to never be in a hurry but I couldn’t get that across to the airport officials. There was a good bit of dashing about until we got snagged by a problem with Adam’s boarding pass. Finally I saw my big old 31 bag being hoisted by a slim Japanese porter and he dashed away, motioning us to follow. Hj and Ellie bounded off behind him, much to Ellie’s delight. I was wearing Adam in the carrier, right next to my pneumonia, and together we bounced along at a smooth and graceful pace the half mile to the gate, where the plane was waiting for us. The only excitement that happened from there to Denver was extreme turbulence and someone in front of us throwing up between 35-40 times.
All we had left when we landed in Denver was relief and gratitude. We laughed through most of those 30 crazy hours and we still liked each other very much at the end– the miracle is not lost on us. 🙂
This week Hj graduated from the counseling school then packed our van Tetris-style with all our belongings. And now, we are just about to cross the Mississippi River, driving east. I spent one late night in the hospital and then rested and recovered and took another round of antibiotics. Praise God, I am slowly but very surely getting better. We are taking some time off to rest and regroup as a family, visit some of our loved ones, (meet some new babies!) and listen carefully if God is saying anything to us about our next step. We appreciate your prayers and look forward to seeing some of you soon!