After 24 hours of traveling, we have come home to Hilo, Hawai’i!
The details…We started out the morning of March 30th with a shuttle arriving at my fathers home in San Francisco to take us to the Oakland Airport. There was not enough room in the shuttle for all our luggage so my dad and sister followed us in his Toyota pick-up, loaded down with 16 plus bags.
Our day of travel was eventful from the start. After we got on the freeway, our shuttle driver nodded off to sleep several times. I would see him doze and quickly signal Ben to start talking with him in an effort to keep him awake. I did not feel that I could manage this role and adequately tend to our toddler son who was vomiting in the van.
Once at the airport, I breathed a huge sigh of relief to be out of the shuttle and away from our kind, but sleepy driver. I was happy to get my son out of his car seat since he was not feeling well. We said goodbye to my dad and sister Nikki, and headed into the airport. Our poor son continued to throw up which was concerning. And at this point, what could we do? Our home in Oregon was too far away to go back to, we had no vehicle, and we had one-way, non-refundable tickets to the island of Hawai’i. So, we pressed on! We got our boy cleaned up best we could…the smell was not pleasant…and we stood in line to check our baggage at 3:30 am. When we made it to the front of the line some of our bags were too heavy so we had to do some quick and creative re-packing (which seemed more like rolling and shoving clothing into nooks and crannies). We threw away toiletries we knew we could replace, and we were on our way.
The airline we flew no longer allows families with young children to board first, so we waited our turn and then entered the plane. I had pre-selected our seats at the rear of the plane, thinking it may be best to be nearer the restroom with six children – one of those in diapers.
The flight was turbulent and our toddler continued to get sick. Poor little man! Thank goodness for that little bag behind the seat! We got off the plane in Denver, had a two-hour lay over and like little troopers we got on the plane again for another turbulent flight – Los Angeles here we come! Another two-hour layover – a bite to eat and a walk around the airport. We were so ready just to get where we were going.
After boarding the plane in LA, knowing this was the last leg of the journey brought some sense of relief in a way. Relief that this part of the journey was soon to end. Ben and I were completely exhausted from staying up all night, and getting minimal sleep any other night. There was an enormous amount of details to take into consideration in making this move overseas. Especially in purging our belongings times eight, renting our home, changing our address, finalizing adoptions, working to find homes for pets, tying up loose ends with work, saying goodbye to friends for three weeks, traveling to say goodbye to parents the final week, all the while packing, parenting and preparing…the show must go on! There is so much to do to make this move overseas, it just feels as though we were constantly forgetting details, and in the next second something would come to mind that I had never thought of before! At times, I still feel as though there may have been something we forgot to take care of.
Thank God for great friends who came along side of us and blessed our family with so much help. Especially our dearest friends…after we were a day behind schedule and they had our children for 48 hours, they gently and lovingly said…”you just need to go and we will send your stuff to you.” So, that is what we did. Although we were reluctant to do so. We just did not want our friends left with the burden. And what a burden it was! There were trips to be made to the dump, goodwill, homeschooling families, etc. There were boxes that needed more packing and tenants to make arrangements with. We were so blessed to have friends we could trust with such details. And yet, we felt so terrible that they were left with part of this burden. If they would not have helped us, we may still be in Oregon!
After many hours of travel we landed in Kona. My Aunty Lisa and my cousin Kemele were there to pick us up. We then drove through the gorgeous moonlit night over newly paved Saddle Road. Just being in Hawai’i, smelling the fragrant floral air, feeling the balmy warmth, and knowing that our travel was done felt like a tremendous blessing. After our two hour drive to Hilo, walking into our home in Hilo that we are sharing with my Aunty and cousin, felt so right. I knew we had come home. Welcome home Wertz family. Welcome home.
More to come….