Sunday, December 18, 2011

There's No Place Like Home!

Grace was one of our Guides in GZ- She was wonderful and remembered us(Ava and Sam) from last March!

Our flight went very well! GZ to Beijing- arrived late and went straight to bed! Ate BKF and then back to the airport for the grueling flight to the USA. Of course it was morning and we all had just slept- so we were wide awake for the whole ride across the pond! Luke managed 3 hours of sleep- which was wonderful for him- he needed it!
It was a delta flight so once we were on the plane it felt familiar!- The people spoke english, the plane was clean, the food was recognizable!

Abby was very quiet on the plane and a little moody- I think she was scared. I was concerned she was not feeling well but she made it through just fine. I so wished I could communicate with her to comfort her and let her know everything would be okay.
She got irritated with me when I would put on her seatbelt, stop her from picking her nose and kicking the seat in front of her and then she would pout and hang her head. There was nothing I could do - even when I kind man spoke to her in Chinese she chose not to answer or even acknowledge him.
Soon she would see for herself that all would be fine.

It is survival once on the long ride home. Movies, electronic games whatever for as long as anyone can stand them. I hope to never again play suduko or solitaire on an ipad EVER AGAIN!

Landing in Seattle was wonderful! 
However my ever so darling hubby forgot to figure in customs! We only had 1 1/2 to catch the next plane!
Surprisingly- WE DID IT! And it was not because of customs kindness or precision- I don't think they could have moved slower!
The gates just so happened to be very close by and we RAN!
We made it AND so did our luggage- YAY!!

Katie and her boyfriend Andrew picked us up in Vanna! The other children were anxiously waiting at home with Karen- who took care of them when we were gone!
The carseat pics are from Katie's phone!
The kids were fine with the carseats! I think Luke may have used one with his foster family!
They loved meeting Katie and Andrew! Honestly they probably think Andrew is one of their brothers!!
I should have gotten a pic of them with the kids- I just wasn't thinking clearly!

Once HOME we were greeted by American flags and smiling children wearing red, white and blue! Once again I didn't get a good pic ;-(
The children at home were adorable and so excited to see their Momma, Babba, Sarah and new siblings!

Oh my, did I feel loved!

Sam is so happy to have another little boy in the family!

Honestly, I think Johnny missed us the most! He is so so happy we are all home!!
He even wore his China shirt (in honor of his new siblings) to welcome us home!

Abby's face lit up when she saw her siblings and her new home!

All the children were so welcoming and kind to Abby and Luke!

JOhnny has opened his heart so many times to new sibling! We are so proud of him and his kind and loving spirit!
It has been a journey for him as well as us and he is doing so well now with all of our adoptions!
His friends get such a kick out of these precious children!
Johnny right away introduces them as the come over to hang out with him!

Luke and Abby LOVE the dogs BUT they are also a little afraid of them! We have them gated in the mudroom and they love watching them from the safe distance!
Luke calls Katie's dog a tiger! She is a miniature poodle! He's pretty sure the dog says roar instead of woof!

Everyone has been clicking well- no one seems to feel left out right now!

None of the kids looked at us like we were from outer space. Everyone was just happy to see us and welcoming! I am so thankful that Emma and Ellie are in such a great place right now! They are comfortable and relaxed! They are not threatened by our two new additions!
Ava and Sam are they same way! So Thankful for that!

The children at home had a little program for us! They sang songs and did movements to them!
It was adorable and I think big sissy will be putting it on u*tube!

Our sitter Karen did an incredible job at home!!
She had Sammy's colostomy, his dilitations, medicines to remember, she continued with school and all the kids activities, not to mention a few extra fun activities and church! The house was spotless, the kids were so happy, they learned so much, the laundry was done and she made us dinner!

WOW!! Thank you Karen!!
You are a blessing to all of us!

Here is our crew at home!
Feeling so blessed!

I looked at the children and felt like they had grown since we had left!
We measured them this morning and sure enough- everyone had added a half inch since September and Emma had grown an inch!!
Sam is a half in taller than Anna and Anna is a half inch taller than Abby- which surprised me!
Once we get some nourishing food in Abby and her transfusions figured out along with the medication to decrease the excess iron in her blood she will probably have a little growth spirt too!

We were thankful to have the dinner prepared and at our fingertips! 
It was great but lil miss Abby was not used to this kind of food. She ate a little but not much...
For lunch we had chicken noodle sup and got rice an d dumplings- she was thrilled and gobbled it up!

As  look at Abby- I think she looks very pale, her lips have lost their color and she seems tired.
Some of that is jet lag and some of it is she may need a transfusion soon.
She looks better today after eating food she likes.

Everyone got pj's on early!
Sarah went to bed at 7:30 and slept until 8:00am!
Abby and Luke were in bed at 7:45. 
The rest of the children went to bed at 8:30!
Including ME!
Dad was in bed at 9:00!!

By 10:45 pm there was a party going on in the littles room!
Everyone was up, chatting, lights on and...
Ava was taking Luke to the bathroom!
Because... ya know she said...he wants to go to the bathroom...
Excuse me? 
He wears diapers!
It was adorable but I was semi lacking my sense of humor due to fatigue!

I put them all back into bed and took the two newbies with us!
They slept between their Momma and Babba.
At 3:00am they woke up and stirred for an hour. 
We did not offer anything other than more sleep.
I really can't do the BKF in the middle of the night thing- I would just be too unpleasant for the whole day!
They feel back asleep by 4:00 and we ALL woke up at 8:00!

Praise God for a good first night!

A very happy and tired Babba with his new son!

Both Abby and Luke like their new name cups!
(many of the children are accidentally calling Abby - Mia, I do still love that name- darn dog)

We have an appt for her on WEdnesday and we are watching them both closely. We may take her in earlier. Luke's appt is the following week but there is a good chance he will go in early, too. He has a deep cough but he only occasionally coughs and seems to feel well!

We have been home for 24 hours and so far so good!
Our expectations are low and our list of "to do's" is short!
We are being nice to ourselves!

Thank you for all your support throughout our journey!
I do plan to continue blogging!
Yay America!
Thank You Jesus!


Sally-Girl! said...

So glad you are back on home turf! Happy this has been such an easy trip for you, but glad you are home and can start to find your new normal. Well until you go back for two more that is!!!

Loving you much! Talk once things settle!

Sarah said...

Wow! I'm so glad that you all slept last night! Everyone looks wonderful!

Nancy said...

Welcome home! Been checking now and then for this "home" post so we can all do a sigh of relief!

Looking forward to meeting Abby and Luke!


Merrill said...

Welcome home! What a trip you had. Sounds like things went well. Will pray that the transition continues to go smoothly.

Lori said...

Wow, what an impressive post for having just returned home! Girl, your energy level is not normal. LOL!

So glad you are cozy-cozy back here in the USA...your kids all look precious and adorable! Johnny is basically a rock star. What a guy!


Jennifer said...

Welcome home!!! I love seeing the pictures of all the kids together...that is a beautiful sight! :)

Janet and Kevin said...

Welcome Home, Jean! So glad you are back in familiar territory, and just in time for Christmas!

janet and gang

Holly said...

Welcome back!! Question- what in the world is a BKF? (Burger King Food?!!?)
And wowzers and thank God for Karen. Can she fly down to NC when we need to go? ;) Seriously though, WHAT a blessing!!
Thanks for keeping us did a great job blogging. We were up in the mountains for a week with no internet so I was behind but loved catching up!
One day at a time now :)

The Heald Family said...

Yea! you are home:)))
Enjoy your gang being together.
Thank you Lord for their safe trip!

Shonni said...

Welcome home to you guys!!!

Karen said...

I have been waiting for this post. So very glad you are all back home together AND that you all got some sleep last night. What a wonderful blessing Karen is. Wow, I wish you could send her over here:-) I know it took a lot of stress off of you knowing your littles at home were so well taken care of.

Welcome Home!!!!! I pray that Abby and Luke feel better as they adjust to US time and their doctors appointments are productive.

Nancy said...

I've been waiting for this home post as well. You are truly an inspiration to all of us. I will never know how you do it. Welcome home!!!

Faye Verquer said...

OH I am so excited to hear from you!! They all LOOK GREAT! Praying for all the kiddies and tired parents!


MommaT said...

Welcome home and praise God for your trip and wonderful children:)

living4him5 said...

So happy to see you all home, safe and sound!!

Enjoy this special time.

God bless,

kristin said...

Welcome home! Wow, I am so in awe of you and your family. I do so love seeing all those kids home!

Karen H. said...

Welcome home!! Now the fun begins ;)

Diane said...

Glad you are home happy and safe! So nice to read the long update and see all the cute pictures. Enjoy!

Hanna said...

What a blessing to be back home to be with all your family safely! Love these happy pictures!

connie said...

So glad you're home, Jean! I love the home pix of all the littles. And that Karen...could you send her to OK?!? Have a blessed Christmas!!!

Megan said...

So thrilled to see you are home and have all of your youngest "treasures" under one roof! Glad your sitter was able to take such GREAT care of everyone- I think you should clone her and send her to my house ;)
-Megan (Lucius) Wohlwend

Nicole A. said...

Welcome home to the US! So glad that the trip went well and that the homecoming was so successful and smooth!

Wishing you a great first week with all the kiddos!

Merry Christmas!
All the best,
Nicole A,, now in LA

mbcfree said...

Merry Christmas and thank you JEsus! Beautiful children. I can't believe everyone is doing so well. Congrats and God Bless your precious family!

The LaCroix Family said...

So glad you made it home! We also made the mistake of having a tight layover. Ours was 1hr 15 min. We had to book it across the airport to make our flight. So glad we did. We were just sweating like dogs afterward, lol! I love how thorough you are when you blog. Your family is just beautiful and a blessing from the Lord! We hope to keep in touch. Have a blessed Christmas!

Elise for the LaCroix fam