We flew to Salt Lake City without incident. We were unable to get on our flight from Salt Lake to Minneapolis. But got on the next one. That worked out better because then we had time to eat lunch with a longer layover in Salt Lake. Our flight out of Minneapolis was delayed. It was fun to have my brother at work behind the scenes knowing what was going on and when we would get an aircraft before the ticket agent did.
Because of that delay, we got to Bentonville, Arkansas, a hour or two later than we were supposed to. We rented our car, got a GPS with it, and headed to the hospital. Arkansas was beautiful. I wasn't sure what to expect. Green. Almost everywhere is greener than Idaho. But it was so beautiful and peaceful driving through forests and pastoral fields at twilight.
We finally arrived at the hospital. Justin and I looked into each other's eyes nervously and squeezed each other's hands. "Are we ready for this?" Whether or not we were ready, it was happening.
We went up to the third floor and signed the guest register. We took a deep breath and knocked on the door of the room. And we entered.
The mother was on the bed. The father was sitting on the couch watching television and the translator was sitting in the corner. One of my first thoughts was that the mother was quite pretty. Much prettier than the pictures we had seen of her let on. And she was without makeup in her bed. I noticed a pink bundle in a hospital bassinet by the bed. I tried not to fixate on it. I shrugged off my jacket and set it and my purse on the floor.
"Hi," I said tentatively. "I'm Lara. This is Justin."
We stood around awkwardly for a moment. Then the mother asked if I would like to hold the baby. I said yes. The father walked over, picked up the baby, and placed her in my arms. He gestured for us to sit on the couch. We cooed over the baby a bit and the translator said, "Look at those Japanese eyes."
I honestly look so terrible. The circles under my eyes...I was so exhausted. But we were happy to be there!
We experienced similar awkwardness when we met Jocelyn's family at the hospital for the first time, but things progressed quickly. This was tricky because of the language barrier. We stayed for an hour or so, then left to get settled in our hotel and find some dinner.
We promised to be back in the morning - with breakfast - for when mom and baby would be discharged.
We got some food from Zaxby's and then checked into our hotel. It seemed so strange that we would have a baby in our possession less than 24 hours of arriving. But we would!'