Farewell China, Hello Home

Gravy, isn't she adorable!
Gravy, isn’t she adorable!

For those of you who wondered if we fell off the face of the earth…no, not really, but when we got back home we had no internet and no phone line.  So, that is kind of like falling off the face of the earth.  Add to that we had the “re-entry” phase of our adoption and well, I decided our sleep was more important than an updated blog.  BUT at the moment all four kiddos are asleep and I want to give you a stateside update before signing off.

Ada happily clinging to her red pinwheel in the park
Ada happily clinging to her red pinwheel in Yuexi park

Our last day in China was spent with the Nowlins and other friends from our travel group.  It was hard to say goodbye to new friends but knowing they are all back home gives me great joy and hope!

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The journey from Guangzhou to Houston was about 28 hours.  It was long, but we managed to have an extra seat on our row for the long flight back and some of the most overly attentive flight attendants ever.  Seriously, if you ever fly on Korean Air please watch them tend to a fussy baby…I wish I had filmed their enthusiastic dance to get our little lady to stop fussing.

The one moment I got teary-eyed was going through the border crossing from China into Hong Kong. In part it was tears of sadness not knowing when we’d be bringing her back to her birth country but in part it was tears of joy in the finality of leaving her country and going home.

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And we did finally get home!

Family!
Family!

When I called it “re-entry” I guess I mean a trial by fire sort of experience.  ‘Transition’ is just too smooth a word to describe the experience of having four kids 5 yrs and under, two of them new toddler twins!

New to being twins
New to being twins

Though, you could probably guess that Ezra was the first to get a smile and a laugh, James was the first to kiss her and tell her ‘I wuv you, Ada’.  And Aaron was the first to give her a goose egg on her forehead.  Conversely, Aaron was the first brother to receive Ada’s fingernails to his cheek.  BUT amidst the rivalry and noise and newness of it all, there are glimpses of a beautiful beginning for our family of six.  Sometimes the peace and laughter is just a matter of seconds, but soon it’ll be minutes….maybe even an hour or so (eventually)!

Waiting for the doctor
Waiting for the doctor

In these first days home, our sweet Ada has had five doctor appointments and one blood draw.  Ugh!  Each of the kids managed to have an ear infection….they’re sharing more than love, folks.

Exhausted after her blood work
Exhausted after her blood work

But Ada has managed to grow and adjust beautifully!  She signs “more,” “all done,” and waves goodbye.  She even say “Mama” with more consistency.  She has taken her first steps with a grin on her face and she’s eager to keep up with her brothers and even seems to want to be a part of their usual shenanigans.

Double trouble with Aaron...I need child locks everywhere!
Double trouble with Aaron…I need child locks everywhere!
Ezra prepping to tickle Ada. He gets lots of giggles from our girl.
Ezra prepping to tickle Ada. He gets lots of giggles from our girl.

There are certainly a few things we are working on.  Ada has a terrible fear of being up close and personal with anything outside.  In our arms, she’s generally all right, but a leaf brushing her arm, a flower near her nose or heaven forbid her feet touch grass and she looses it with tears and clenched fists.  Fear.  The fear is more palpable at bed time when her screams and tears with eyes closed persist until we hold her, rock her or place her between us where she can hold a hand or keep her toes pressed against our sides.

The face when I set her down and she doesn't really want to be out of my arms. It's so sad!
The face when I set her down and she doesn’t really want to be out of my arms. It’s so sad!

We can tell she has some experience at self defense, and we are trying to steer her away from those tactics.  Honest confession, the first time she bit one of her brothers, both Mark and I had to squelch initial feelings of defense for the injured son.  The truth hits hard, she’s our child too and love is perhaps more in the training than in the moment.  It grows.  Oh, how it makes me reflect on the Savior’s love for us, his love afforded to me though I sought His injury.  On a tree bearing my sin…his love extends to me. The Father did not act on behalf of his son on the cross because of his love for the ones who put him there.  Mercy! And mercy.

Such a far cry from her first bath weeks ago!
Such a far cry from her first bath weeks ago!

Well, we are on to more adventures, together, as a family.  Ada has her first surgery scheduled in less than a month and many more to follow.  I pray we are sanctified through it all and blessed in the changing of our hearts and souls to softer clay in the Father’s hands. Blessings to you and yours and thanks for following along!  Please do contact us if you ever have questions about adoption; the process, special needs, the children still waiting for their families…we’d love to share more with you and be of help in anyway we can.

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matt 25:40

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