Baby Bear’s Journey to TX as experienced by me.
I am sure I have messed up some of the time-line, I should have written things down as they were happening, but of course I wasn’t thinking about that then! Sarah or Lori – correct me if I messed anything up.
Wednesday January 14.
We find out that Baby Bear should be ready to go tomorrow, but we probably won’t know until late morning. I put my ticket on hold and we pray everything works out!
Thursday January 15.
I have to leave for the airport by 9:30am and we still hadn’t heard anything about the passport. I decide to start driving towards the airport and just pray it comes. On the way to the airport I find out that yes, the passport is done and that Lori is racing over to the Embassy to get the visa! Yippe yay! I called my mom and asked her to book the ticket I have on hold. Then I find out that Lori got the visa! Everything is coming together!
I get to the aiport about 12:30 to check in for my 1:30 flight. When I’m checking in, I find out that my flight is delayed. It doesn’t get into Dallas until a few minutes before my flight to Miami is supposed to take off. So, the nice ladies at the counter re-book me onto a later flight out of Dallas. Instead of getting into Miami at 8pm, I’m getting in at 11pm. I can deal with that. I check my stroller (and they charge me $15 for it, which I later found out they shouldn’t have done) and go hang out at the gate until its time to go.
Flight leaves later than planned, but that is OK. I have time in Dallas between my two flights. I get to Dallas and am in the "D" terminal. Realize I need to go to the "A" terminal for my flight to Miami. I jump on the train (yes, train – DFWis HUGE) and head to "A". When I get there, I find out that my originalflight to Miami (the one that gets me into Florida at 8 something) is delayed and isn’t leaving for 15 minutes! Awesome, I’ll make my original flight! So, I get back on the train and head to terminal "C" where the flight is leaving from. I go up to the counter and explain to the woman that I was supposed to be on this flight, blah blah blah. Nope, they won’t let me on. They call the people on standby to come get on, but I can’t get on because I’m scheduled for a different flight…which is now, delayed (of course) and which has been moved to terminal "A", (of course) – so I get BACK on the train and head back to terminal "A". I wait and wait, and finally our plane is ready to go. Off we go, and head to Miami!
We get into Miami late (after midnight) and after I go get my stroller in baggage I call the hotel and ask that the shuttle come. She said one just left the airport and the next will be back in 30 minutes. Ugh. OK – I’ll just wait out front in the warm Florida air. It was about 60 degrees and felt so good. People were walking around in jackets though – I guess 60 is pretty cold for them! :) So anyway – I waited and waited and WAITED. Some guy that was waiting with me asked if I wanted to get a cab and split the cost, but sharing a cab with a strange man in the middle of the night by myself didn’t sit well, so I said I would just call someone and see if they’d get me the # for the hotel. By this time, we’re the only people waiting and I’ve seen other hotel shuttles go by 2 or 3 times. Right as my mom was looking up the number, the van zooms up. yay! So, off to the hotel I go and get settled in. I’m happy I can sleep in, the flight out of Haiti that Baby Bear is going to be on doesn’t get in until late afternoon, so I’ve got all morning. I sleep in, get up late and sit around until the hotels check out time when I head back to the airport.
Friday January 16-
When I get back to the airport I see that Bears flight out of Haiti is delayed. I call Sarah (who is waiting in TX) and let her know. At this point, its OK. My flight to TX doesn’t leave until after 6pm, so we’re still OK. As the afternoon goes on, I continue to check the screen and the flight keeps getting pushed back further and further. Its obvious I’m going to miss my flight out of Miami to TX so Sarah frantically gets working on finding me a flight out of FL that leaves later in the evening. Baby Bear is supposed to be checked into the hospital in the morning, he’s GOT to get to TX tonight! We finally find the last flight out of MIA that night and I find an incredibly nice lady at the ticket counter to put me on it. <whew> Now to just get Baby Bear before that flight leaves. I head down to the international arrival area where I can sit and wait for their flight to arrive. I wait…and wait…and wait. Finally, we get news that the entire flight was cancelled! Some problem with the airplane in Haiti. So, it was time for more frantic phone calls. Between me and Lori, me and the escort, Lori and the escort, me and Sarah, etc. Sarah is desperately trying to find a flight out of Haiti that they can get the baby on. After what seems like an eternity of not knowing if they will get out of Haiti, my phone rings and I find out that someone was able to take him on the 5pm flight out of PAP. He’s on his way, but he’s very delayed. At this point, it looks like I’ll have less than 1/2 hour to get Baby Bear, make it upstairs, through security and to my gate to make my flight – the last flight out ot MIA going to TX that night. If I don’t make it, we’re staying in Miami.
I continue to sit and watch the monitors. As soon as I see that their flight has landed I go up to the windows and watch. It probably took them 1/2 hour – 45 minutes to get through customs and come through. I didn’t know it was them at first. I was told to look for a big bald guy, so I looked for a guy like that carrying a baby. The only thing I saw was a guy like that, but the lady with him was carrying the baby and I wasn’t sure it was them. So I walked up and peered over them to get a look at the baby to make sure it was Bear. It was! The woman was a good Samaritan, who was just helping out this poor guy who was not expecting to be escorting a very sick baby on his flight home. After brief hello’s and exchanging of the paperwork and baby – we parted ways. I realized right away that Baby Bear couldn’t wait until we got to our gate to be fed. He was screaming VERY loudly and making quite a scene. I also realized that he was absolutely soaked from neck to knees. So we went straight to the bathroom where I stripped him down and found quite the mess. He was bloody green poop from his neck to knees. He had a horrible diaper rash and quite the gross poo. (we’ve since found out he has several parasites). I got him cleaned up the best I could and into clean clothes and wrapped into a clean blanket. I fixed a bottle and sat down to feed him. At this point I was feeling VERY overwhelmed, he looked quite a bit worse than I an anticipated and all the bloody poop threw me for a loop. I called Sarah and told her, in tears, I didn’t think I was going to make my flight (at this point I had like 10 minutes to get there and I was on a different floor and still had to go through security). Sarah yelled something along the lines of "Run! Go get on that plane!" I told her (in tears) fine, I would try, but I didn’t think it would happen. So I grab the baby and the bags, and start running! As soon as I got to security I told the person that checks your ticket/ID what was going on and asked if they could help push me through. This person was not interested in helping, and was actually quite rude about it – so I promptly burst into tears. They brought a manager over who grabbed my stuff, pushed me to the front of the line and yelled "someone help this lady!" I was promptly whisked through security where I found a young man (TSA) standing. He said "give me your ticket!" so I handed it to him and he took off running toward my gate while I struggled to keep up. At this point, my plane should be leaving at that moment, so it was make or break time. When I arrive at the gate, I see my nice running TSA agent talking to the lady at the gate, who tells me with a smile, that my flight is delayed. More tears. I’m just relieved we’re going to make it to TX tonight!
Part 2 coming soon….