Wednesday, January 15, 2014

11 hours.

She leaves in 11 hours.

Right now all four kids are sleeping in various hotel beds.  Another batch of photos were just sent to the drugstore for printing (to be mailed to her later; no time in the morning) and a bag that is hopefully 49.9 pounds is sitting near the door.   The twenty pound backpack is by the bed.  It's 11:30 PM and I can't even start to feel tired, despite only 3 hours of sleep last night.  I'm conditioned for 3AM.

All of my fear and anxieties are focused on three major hurdles tomorrow: (1) getting her checked bag onto the plane.  The 50 lb weight limit is a real and serious threat to getting her things home with her.  It's stressing me out!  I could move a few heavier things to her backpack and move some lighter stuff to the suitcase, but then she has to haul around an even heavier (and already nearly ready to rip at the straps it's so full) bag.  (2) getting a gate pass for me to escort her as a minor.  She's not registered as an official unaccompanied minor, so they don't have to, but they usually do.  Not always.  (3) making sure when she walks off the plane at her second airport that a friendly face is ready to welcome her into a fold of other host kids.  She's solo on her first leg and then will be with a crew of 100+ kids.  But until she's taken into their custody I'll be panicky.  She has 3 people prepared to meet her, but all are subject to potential delays with their own connecting flights, security hassles, and life.  She has a document detailing what a helpful airline rep can do in terms of who to call and what to do to convey that to her (pointing at a list of things which are dual-language), but I'm praying hard that she'll walk off the plane into a crew of kids in the same shirt all waiting to greet her.

Ignoring all the emotional stress.  Ignoring.  Too busy worrying about how we're going to accommodate the bags of candy and other items for her.  Priorities.  Diversions.  Whatever.  Emotional breakdowns in the hotel room are all part of packing and preparing.

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