Well, let me say for those of you who don't know the kids and I flew to Tulsa, Ok for VN heritage weekend. It was an absolute blast. We went down to Savannah Wednesday night to spend the night because our flight was 6:40am on Thursday. We got up and got ready, but while I was waiting for the kids, I went and checked my email only to find that the flight had been delayed. We would now not depart until 4:40pm. So Jim and I laid back down and let the kids watch tv. After lunch Jim dropped us at the airport as he had to go report to duty. So the kids and I had 3 hours to kill in the Savannah airport. For those of you who don't know, the airport is not very big with nothing to do. However, I have to say my kiddos did really great!! So we finally make our way thru security and to the gate only to find that weather has halted flights to and from Atlanta. So we wait some more.
Finally we arrive in Atlanta and rush to our next gate where they already have a flight ready for us. That was great that we didn't have to wait too long. We finally made it to Tulsa around 9:30pm EST, 12 hours later than planned.
This was the first flight for Blake and Grace and they did wonderful. Each time Grace held her hands up like she was on a roller coaster! She liked it so much she actually slept all the way thru landing in Tulsa. Samuel fell asleep during take-off from Atlanta and woke-up after we got in the air. He was disoriented and crying so I put him in my lap. The flight attendant asked why this big baby was sitting in my lap. I really almost came unglued! I so wanted to give the lady a piece of my mind. For all I knew this kid was having flashbacks to his trip home. Anyway, we made it.
Friday we went to the aquarium. Tulsa is a vey easy city to navigate. So we hop in the rental and are on our way. Well, I get off the freeway thing only to find a toll booth. I pull up to pay. It's $.30 and only takes change. I have no change and there is no one in the booth to break a dollar bill. No change machine, nothing. So I sit for a minute and then someone pulls up behind me so off I go. The Oklahoma State Police may come track me down, but what was I supposed to do? Really, if I get ticketed or something I will fight it. How was I supposed to know.
The aquarium was fun. The kids really enjoyed that. After the aquarium we went back to the hotel (the long way down city streets, no expressway) and I let the kids play at the water slides in the hotel. Here I began to meet new people and we also met up with Tina, Alex and Addie. At first Samuel was a little shy around Alex, but soon they warmed up to each other.
Friday night was the first night to officially meet folks. We went to the event center and watched an amazing dragon dance and then ate a great supper. After supper we took the kids to different play rooms while we parents got to visit. It is during this time that we met the fourth Santa! Now for those of you not familiar, one of the first pictures we received of Samuel was him dressed in a Santa suit with three other kids. We knew that one was Alex and another was Maile, who came home a year earlier than Samuel, but we didn't know the other one. As it turns out his name is Kien and he lives in Tulsa. I can't remember when he came home, but it was much ealier than Samuel. So we were able to get pics of them together and enjoy fellowship. Come to find out these kids are all about the same age and were real buds in VN. Another family showed us pictures of them together when they traveled. Blake also made some good friends this night.
Saturday we got up and had breakfast with Alex and his family and then went to the event center. We did crafts and activities with the kiddos and enjoyed meeting a few other families. After our Vietnamese lunch we then took to kids to activity rooms so we could listen to Kim-Lan, an adult adoptee and mother of Maile (who she adopted), tell her story. It was great. After that we went back to the hotel and the kids played in the pool.
During this time I was able to sit and talk with Stormy, Josiah's mom, and Tina. We really got to know each other better. Josiah was waiting for his mom when we went to pick up Samuel. He would come up to us and want us to take him home. He was so precious then and still is just a riot! Blake also hooked up with Chanz, Josiah's brother, so I think this may be a pen pal friendship in the making.
Sunday we flew home. Jim was actually in Atlanta so he picked us up there rather than flying all the way to Savannah. The trip was good and already I miss hanging out with the great friends we made. I hope to be able to return again next year.
Blake and a couple of his new buds.
Josiah, still a ham
Alex and Samuel
A few of the Ninh Thuan kiddos.
The Dragon Dance
Samuel and Alex met up like they had never been apart.
The four Santas.
Samuel, Kien, Maile, Alex