It was so good to get to see my computer friend Kelly and her family with their precious new daughter Jenna. We were connected through a mutual friend and were actually at Samford at the same time. So thankful for Jennifer Woodham connecting us and thankful to The Lord for working it out for our paths to cross in China.
We said goodbye to the Roberts and Mertz families who we journeyed with this week. It was a bitter sweet day. So ready to see Will and our family and get Sarah home but we have had a great trip. And somebody made my breakfast and did my laundry and cleaned my room. It was nice.
After breakfast I got both girls in their new Chinese dresses and took them to the waterfall for some pictures. Sarah was not a fan of being barefoot on the cold wet ground. We got a few pictures but she was ready to go inside. Jenny loves her new dress though and wanted some more pictures so we went back out and took some of just jenny.
Shane actually went out Wednesday morning and bought a couple of suitcases. We had planned on buying one there all along. With 4 people coming back we were allowed one more suitcase and after the whole luggage debacle TSA did a number on one of our suitcases and they were super cheap so we decided to go ahead and get 2. It was my job to get them packed by 3:45.
Jenny had so much fun taking pictures of the Canton tower the night before that Shane decided to take her on a little excursion and they went to the tower for a few hours. They were able to go up to the 110th floor. She had a ball!! It was good for them to get to spend some time together and it helped me get packed. We met Aron in the lobby at 4:30. She had our immigration paper work and we headed to the airport. She helped us get checked in and saw us as far as she could. She has been a HUGE blessing this week.
We've been on a plane ever since. The long flight was 12 1/2 hours and Sarah did great. We got to fly through daytime this time but they kept the windows closed and the lights off so you couldn't tell. We made it through immigration and customs fine and the US has a brand new and mighty cute citizen.
I was so emotional at weird times today. When we took of from China I just cried and cried. Even Shane got teary. There she was sitting between us. Coming home. No more talking about it. No more maybe one day. No more waiting. There she was. Ours.
When we touched down in LA I cried again. American soil. Home. Almost anyway.
We took the red eye to Atlanta and that's where we are now. A four hour layover for a 45 minute flight. Oh well. We've had breakfast and are relaxing while we wait. So close to home. So close to Will. Ready to have all my people together.
We wanted to share a few things with you as we come home. Bringing Sarah home is much like bringing a new born home. Except different. She has had trauma and loss. She has had a revolving door of caretakers. We need time for her to solidify her bond to us. How long? We don't know. Can we ask you to be patient with us as we build our family of 5. In adoption talk it's called cocooning. And that's kind of what we are going to do. We will be staying home a lot. We will be keeping her world small. Can we ask you to do a few things for us?
If Sarah reaches for you to hold her please direct her back to us. It's important for a time that Shane and I and Will and Jenny to be the only ones that hold her. It is vital that Shane and I be the ones to meet her needs. She needs to see us as her parents not her nannies.
Also, Sarah has cerebral palsy. We are amazed at what our girl can do but she does have some special needs. She has also spent years in an institution. She is 5 years old on paper but she is much more like a 2 or 3 year old. Be patient with her and with us. She also doesn't speak English. It will be a process. We will parent her differently than our other children.
Words can not express how much we appreciate each and everyone of you. We have been completely overwhelmed by your love, prayers, comments, messages and support.
I will update when we are home and continue to blog as we become a family of 5.
We love you all!!