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We're Home
We're Home  |  July 2007  |  September 2007  November 2007  February 2008  May 2008

We're Home!
Obviously, we're home :) I know I have been remiss in updating the site, but I have a good reason!! We are currently in Omaha, NE visiting our wonderful, and MOST accommodating and patient friends, the Nowlins. Omaha is a few hours from Iowa City where we are spending the bulk of our summer. Jude is having his bilateral clubfoot corrected by Dr. Ponseti at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. Asher and Dalton are running wild with Zack, Bailey and Mr. Tom, and Sophie and Zoe have quickly become best buddies. Of course, I am thrilled to be able to hang out with Chenoa, one of my very best friends! We feel so grateful and are praising God for His grace and mercies!

Our travel day from China to Atlanta lasted about 32 hours. We left the White Swan at 5:30AM. Well, actually we were a few minutes late because I couldn't find the envelope I had set aside for our amazing guide, Molly. Of course it had a good deal of money in it and I was flipping out when I realized it was missing. Thankfully Tori made a mad dash back up to the room and was able to find it, wrapped up in the comforter! It was bittersweet leaving Guangzhou, we had so enjoyed our time there and it was sad knowing we were taking Jude away from his homeland. But soon the idea of finally going home overtook us and we were both silly with excitement. It was either that or the fact that we were both overtired and overshopped, but we got to giggling going though security at the Guangzhou airport. I was really worried that they were going to search everything of ours, just to be sure we weren't carrying anything illegal ;) Our flight to Tokyo was on time and we arrived without too many complaints. Jude slept on and off, and we were so happy to be in an airport that had a familiar and welcoming sight: McDonald's. Tori was even more excited about her cheeseburger than I was about mine. This was coming from the girl who never fails to complain, wondering "Why do we have to go to McDonald's AGAIN?!" when we're at home in the good ol' USA.

When we boarded the international flight from Tokyo to Detroit, we were anxious to see where our seating assignments would put us, after all, we would be spending 14 hours on the flight. Well, NWA must have had a good laugh at our expense when they put us smack dab in the middle of the center aisle. Tori, Jude and I in the center (sharing two seats between the three of us) with a stranger on each side. I felt SO badly for the gentleman who had to sit next to us, to say it must have been a long 14 hours for him would be a huge understatement. If it was long for him, though, it was even longer for me, since I had to be sure to keep Jude from slapping him in the face when he was trying to sleep or ripping his magazine while he was trying to read. Needless to say, I didn't get a whole lot of sleep. Our sweet Jude has, up until now, been sleeping alone sprawled out in a crib at the orphanage. So sleeping on my lap, jammed between two armrests, during the flight was not the most comfortable thing for him. He was able to nap for 30-45 minutes at a time before he would wake up crying, wanting to get in a more comfy position. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do, so we had to jostle him into different positions for the duration of the flight. Tori had no trouble nodding off though, and I got a few giggles from watching her mouth hang open and her head bob forward every now and then :)

We arrived in Detroit very tired and sore from the Tokyo flight, but thrilled to finally be setting foot in the United States again. One thing you will get from a trip to China is a whole new appreciation for the incredible country we live in. Tori wanted to get some real American food so we sat and ate some O'Charley's philly cheesesteak while I fed Jude his last cup o' noodles that I had brought from China. Our connection to Minneapolis was on time and shortly after we ate, we were on yet another plane. If you're wondering why in the world we would fly from Tokyo to Detroit to Minneapolis to Atlanta on purpose, it's because NWA had to cancel our Detroit-Atlanta flight so a trip to Minneapolis trip was added. Just what we wanted to hear the day before we left China. But I can't really complain, all our flights were on time and our layovers were short. And we DID finally make it home.

Our descent into Atlanta was delayed due to some thunderstorms in the area, so our final flight landed about an hour late. Chris had all the kids at the airport and by the time we arrived, all but Asher had fallen asleep. It was such a sweet sight to see our beautiful family waiting for us at the end of such a long journey home, even if half of them were snoozing. The kids had worked so hard on a poster for us and Chris had brought a huge bunch of balloons to celebrate our return.

Jude leaving the White Swan
for the long journey home

Our wonderful guide, Molly, saying goodbye

Asher holding the poster the kids
had made to welcome us home

A tired Sophie meeting
an overwhelmed Jude for the first time

Jude isn't too sure about Baba yet :)

Our new and improved family
(we just need Zach!)
Jude was surprisingly happy to meet his new brothers and he was soon smiling and trying to get Asher and Dalton to play with him. He didn't respond quite so positively to baba, but there is no doubt that will come in time. Jude is all boy and daddy's nightly family wrestling sessions are sure to win him over quickly :)

As we complete this part of our journey to bring our son home, I am reminded of all those who have been so encouraging and loving as we undertook this mission to bring home our sweet boy. Thank you to our wonderful agency, CHSFS: Sarah Wu, Kelly DeRosier and our incredible in-China guide, Miss Molly Mo. Thanks to my awesome network of friends and family for all the ways they have supported us, especially my sister Andrea and her husband Bob who stepped up to take our kids for several days of fun at their house while I was away... she's one brave lady ;) Thank you Joe and Jennifer for doing such an amazing job and making the words we write and the pictures we take look so great because of your incredible talents. Thank you to everyone who supported us with words of encouragement, I can't tell you how much those mean to me. And most of all, thank You, our Heavenly Father, for calling us to this amazing journey of adoption, setting us on a journey and bringing us safely home.

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