Thursday, June 4, 2009

Homecoming

There's no place like home...and I could say it a million times. We've been around the world and back and there is no place like landing where your home is. I love this place and I love the people that stayed up late to come give us homecoming. I never expected it and I was gobsmacked walking up the terminal to see so many smiling faces that I love. A huge thank you to all those that gave us a warm welcome after the journey of a lifetime.
W & Mali waiting so patiently.



E & M sporting their American garb!


Touching American soil for the first time!....in Paradise.
Sign made possible by "my 3 sons" that was hanging in the garage when we pulled in.
Emerson meeting Kita for the first time.


Jet lag is the Antichrist. We are suffering from illness and complete exhaustion, with a side of ramped up brothers. We didn't go to bed till well after midnight, due to the late night flight from Chicago to home, but we were well greeted by the most amazing moment of our lives. The girlfriends that showed up to hold a sign, pass out a beverage or take a picture have no idea the lasting impact it made on our life. We were really ready to see familiar faces after the 30 plus hour journey home!
The boys are crazy in love with their sister and though Eme~Grace was terrified of the big dog at first, she has since decided that love comes in every package, including the big hairy kind.
Eme has not warmed up to Daddy yet or anybody else for that matter. It's hard to not want her to be okay with everyone once we returned home and need to get on about the business of child rearing and caring for my home, but I am slowing it all down for her sake. At first I was terrified that all the expert books recommended carrying her around in a pouch for the first 6 months up to 6 hours a day, even if she rejected it and shoved me away. But now I find myself hoping to downsize the carry time to 6 hours a day. I have to remind myself every single moment that my girl has gone through more trauma in her short little life than I ever had to deal with and we should expect no more. All my friends and family are very receptive to what she needs, but it's a really heavy load to carry when every thing she needs must be met by one person, which is me.
Seeing my boys with Emerson is more beautiful than springtime flowers. They asked me when we were going back to China and I told them that the first one to adopt from there would have to take me. I was so proud to see them all fighting over who would go first. My prayer would be for them to open their hearts enough to experience such an amazing thing. Sometimes I worry about their struggles in school and everything they 'must' do to get through their school year, but the heart of my boys is so big that I have no doubt that they were created to be just the person that they were supposed to be. I adore each of them and I missed them terribly. I swear I think they each grew 5 inches since we were gone. Emerson finds them all very amusing as well....esp her brother C.
We are blissfully in love with our 4 children and can not believe that our dreams have been fulfilled after all this time. I already miss China and I couldn't be more happy to talk to Pugmama tonight as she was on her way to the airport to pick her girl up and Lisa as well. My
heart is going with them as they begin the journey to China and back.
For all my waiting friends,
hold tight....your dream is worth dreaming.
But for me tonight,
"my heart is home"

63 comments:

Colleen said...

What beautiful pictures!!! My boys love their little sisters to pieces!!
Jet Lag sucks big time. It took us several days to get over it. The first thing I wanted when I got home was ice!!!!! And a great cup of coffee!!! Not together LOL
Welcome home : )

Angela said...

Oh, I love seeing the pics of Eme with her brothers. You can tell she is going to have a special bond with C, it shows in the pics!
Glad you made it home, I hope the jet lag gets better soon!

Sue said...

Beautiful family, beautiful journey. Love the first Family picture. Just an observation - but Eme and Weston have an extremely similar sweet smile.

Daisy Dreams said...

I have tears after reading your post... I have no words except "welcome home!"

Karen and Bob said...

Wow! What a fantastic post! You put your thoughts and feelings into words so eloquently...what a talent.

Your family is just beautiful. When you get settled in, if you have a minute visit my blog and see my Jiangxi girl. I also have a private blog if you'd ever like to visit.

Welcome home.

2china4S said...

You guys look amazing. I am so happy for you guys. Your family is finally complete and under one roof. Loved the pictures of all of you together. Mali and Emerson's matching outfits are just too cute, just like them.

LaLa said...

Smiled through the whole post..so happy for you... get rest when you can..the laundry can wait : )

Island Girl said...

Seriously you made me cry again....I just need to remember a tissue when I read it from now on.

I am glad you are home and that the boys finally got to meet their little sister. Now you get your bonding family time.

Bobbie

Hannah said...

Welcome Home!! I LOVED following your journey to China. Your Eme is just perfect in every single way!!!! Seeing her face as she was meeting her brothers for the first time is priceless....thanks for sharing.
Love from California -- Debbie

Donna said...

Welcome home! I love the last photo with all of the smiling faces!

Our 1st daughter didn't want anyone but me for the first few months but she eventually warmed up to Daddy just fine. Try not to get discouraged. When the jetlag is over, everything is easier.

:)


Donna
Our blog: Double Happiness!

Mya said...

What a beautiful family, your story brings tears to my eyes! Love the last photo of your family..too sweet!

Lindsay said...

Beautiful post. Welcome home. May your journey as a family of five be blessed and happy.

Special K said...

I shouldn't be brought to tears first thing on a Friday morning... but you did it. Just glad I read this at home instead of at work. LOL!

Your pics are beautiful. It does my heart good to see your happy little family together at last. Everyone is beaming in these pics. Even Kita, I think.

Welcome home to your paradise. :)

Suzie said...

Welcome Home!! I have so enjoyed following your journey to Eme. Like so many of your heartfelt posts, this one made me cry. Seeing your family finally together warms my heart!

Thank you for sharing such a monumental time in the life of your family. I wish you all of the happiness your heart can hold!

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

What a great way to start the day.. reading this amazing post! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the couple of family photos!!! And.. totally love the big smiles from Miss Eme when she sees her brothers. It is evident they are all in love and she will spoiled rotten and protected forever by those special little men in her life!!!

Welcome Back Home. It truly is an amazing feeling to get back and see your friends there waiting for you. :)

Joan said...

I am always a puddle of mush when I read Homecoming Stories and see the pictures. May your happiness continue to grow as everyone opens their heart for your daughter.

Joanne said...

I have chills ~ welcome home! You seem to have it all in perspective, just take it all slow, get over the jet lag and it all falls into place.
Those first days home where exhausting - the boys missed me so much - Mia was adjusting - it was a bit overwhelming, but I was home!
Thanks for letting us follow you to your daughter - congrat's again - Emerson is a doll :)

Stacy said...

Congratulations! So glad you are home safe and sound! Your family is beautiful! I hear ya girl, the jetlag is KILLER. We suffered through few nights and then my hubbie headed to the store for Melatonin. It was a MIRACLE. Ainsley slept through the night the first night we used it:)

Turns out we have a mutual friend, Becky Hanlon-Faber! We both have 6 year old guys (Reed and Reid) who are the best of friends! We went to lunch last week and she was telling me she had a friend from home who was currently in China. I had already been following your blog. Such a small world!

It looks like Eme is doing GREAT! We have found that with Ainsley the adjustment is slow BUT always forward moving! We got home last August and I actually left her for the weekend with Daddy while I visited a girlfriend. She said "I had fun Daddy". Tell your husband to hang in there- you too!

Congrats again- your girl is beautiful. So are you boys!

Catherine said...

The pictures of your family together brought tears to my eyes. God is good!! Eme is going through so much but with such a wonderful spirit knowing she is loved and safe in mommy's arms. I'm guessing it won't be too long before some of that time she wants to be in the mix of the fun of her 3 amazing big brothers!

Looking forward to seeing and hearing more of your amazing family of 6!!

Diana said...

I have waited years to see this picture of the 6 of you and I have to say it was worth everyday we all waited with you!!! You have a beautiful family and the smiles on everyones faces is priceless.
Hugs

Terri said...

Welcome Home!!! I couldn't wait to wake up & read your post each day while you were in China but this one by far brought tears to my eyes!!! Emerson could not fit more perfectly with your family.

Best of luck with your next chapter of life as a family of six!!! Hope the jet lag doesn't last long, it took us about a week to get back on schedule.

Colleen said...

OK seriously? Friday morning and I am crying already? That picture of the entire family had be sobbing. FINALLY... your family is complete. How many times have I said that my heart is smiling....and its extra now. How wonderful that you had everyone waiting for you...I wish I were there. (don't think I didn't think about it) Jet lag sucks big ass donkey balls. Took us a good month to get back on track. One day at a time...your paradise sunshine is exactly what you all need to get back to normal.

I can't believe Eme's smiling face when meeting her brothers. Its like she's known them forever.

"sigh"... life is good...isn't it?

Jen in Miami said...

Welcome Home!!!!!!!! Isn't it just the greatest thing ever?????

And just a side note, Is that really your garage? I mean I don't think my boys could find a clean spot in my garage to hang a sign.

But really, thank you for letting all of us relive our experiences through you...and giving hope to those mama's still waiting. It is worth every second....

Kramer said...

Welcome home!!! As I looked back through all the pictures from day 1 forward, you can already see a change in Eme's personality. You can already see those smiles of happiness and love coming out in her. Oh how her life has changed in the past few weeks. Congrats to the whole family as I know that empty spot in each of your lives has now been filled. Thanks for sharing with all of us. It gives us still waiting that little bit of hope that one day soon it will happen for us too!

Our Journey to Jadyn Nicole said...

Welcome Home! Eme looks so happy. You all are so very blessed and I hope one day to share our story with you. Our LID is July 11, 2006and I know that one day our dreams will come true as well. Our Jadyn Nicole will be worth the wait. May God continue to bless you and your family! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
Vicki

Jewels of My Heart said...

What a sweet homecoming.... It's so wonderful to see pics of you all together.
I hope you are all feeling better very soon and you adjust to the time change quickly.
I will pray that she gives Mommy's back a break and soon runs into Daddy's arms too.
Welcome Home...

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

LOVE the photos..
You can see so well in the photos what a WONDERFUL Family and soooo complete.. LOVE how E is smiling at the boys..
Hope the holding time downsizes for you.. but totally understand.. she is just getting use to everything.
HUGS GIRLY..
thank you sooo much for making your journey the best and more real for me..
Love ya..

Sandra said...

Welcome home! I loved seeing that family picture of the six of you together. Such a beautiful sight!

These next few weeks/months may be hard, but I know you'll get through it. Tahlia wanted me and only me and wanted nothing to do with Matt for a good 6 months. It was hard for him and for me as well, but now Tahlia is a major daddy's girl and those terribly difficult months are a thing of the past.

Now go and enjoy your kids!

Melissa said...

You make me cry! Normally this is not a problem, but I am at work, so that is not good.:) Welcome Home, hope you get back into the grove of things soon.

Debbie said...

What a beautiful post. I was shocked to see that Pugmama is on her way. In all the chaos of trying to end up a school year at work and getting everything to travel I haven't been able to check blogs as regularly as I do. As your journey is ending, my is beginning!! Cannot wait for this leg of the journey to begin!! E is beautiful and the family pic is precious!!! Thanks for sharing and allowing us on the other side of the world peek in on yours while you embraced the people of China and received the most precious gift!!!

thegreybullet said...

Welcome back home to Paradise!! What amazing family photos! You could just see the love and excitement in all of you children's eyes. Priceless!! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences to Eme and the magical time getting Eme and her journey to her Paradise!! You write so eloquently!! I hope your Jet Lag doesn't last to long I know it kicked our butts as well. Once again Welcome home and enjoy your family of six!!
Ellen

Shari U said...

Welcome home, Emerson Grace! It's wonderful to see the pictures of your whole family together! My girl suffered a serious setback when we came home from China and she had to meet her 3 sibs, the dog and the grandma. It was a little much, I think she just wanted to go back to the hotel room with mommy & daddy! Didn't take long, though and we had our routine down. Good luck adjusting to the time and getting your bearings again!

M :-) said...

What a GORGEOUS family! I love seeing all of you together. I'll never forget the moment when my boys met their sister for the first time -- words cannot describe it!

WELCOME HOME! ... jet leg is not fun. I hope you're feeling better soon!

Donna -N- Andrew said...

What beautiful pictures. Dreams do come true. Congratulations!
Donna

Dawn and Dale said...

Sooooooooo wonderful to see you all together Tracy and HOME!!! :D

Carys was so similar to Emerson. She didn't want anyone else to do anything for her when we got home. She would freak out if any of the boys even came near her let alone touch her for the first few weeks. It was easy to be her favorite person when we were in Victoria for the week picking her up but it was much harder when we arrived home as I know also had 5 other kids to take care of, as well as everything else that entails!! House work just never got done....and I struggled with making sure our other kids hearts were full as well!!

It sure didn't take long for her to warm up and feel more comfortable here!! I bet you'll be surprised as well with Eme!! She's sure a happy girl to begin with so I bet she'll do great!!

Thanks again for sharing your journey with us!!! :D

Liz and Ava said...

What a beautiful picture of your family of six...plus one "fur member". All together at last. Eme looks so happy to see her brothers...I'm sure she'll have them wrapped around her little finger in no time! And I'm sure they'll enjoy entertaining their little princess!
Good luck with the carrying six hours a day...I can't imagine how draining it can be to have to meet all of Eme's needs yourself right now...hang in there...in the long run you will see that you are doing things right and it is much easier on Eme and you than backtracking and trying to start these therapeutic techniques after home for 6-12 months like I did when I realized things weren't quite right.

Melinda said...

What a beautiful family! You are definitely blessed! I love seeing Emerson with her three brothers! It makes me excited for the moment our daughter meets her three brothers for the first time in a few weeks!

I loved following your journey! You are an amazing family!

Sugar Momma said...

Congratulations! Followed your journey and it was incredible. I am still blown away by how quickly her smiles come. She is so beautiful and looks to be full of joy! Your photos of your family are precious and happy to hear she accepted the dog.

With one breath...it is over and with a new one - it just begins!!

So happy for your family :)

Seabolt said...

What a beautiful post!!! Congratulations and Welcome Home!!!

Jen
Atl, GA

Kayce said...

Welcome home!!! I just love the picture of all of you on the kitchen floor! The joy in all of your faces is just priceless. Enjoy the next few days of down time and adjustment. Lots of hugs!

Ani said...

Your pics made me cry happy tears. Welcome home!

Daniella said...

welcome home...

Debra said...

Beautiful, beautiful pictures! Such joy and happiness from all of you. Congratulations on completing this journey to your daughter.
Things will get better/easier once jetlag is gone. It is the worst!
Rest whenever you can!!!!!!
Blessings

3D said...

Seeing those pictures and knowing that your family is all together, under one roof brings me such happiness.

Welcome home!

Keep smilin!

Truly Blessed said...

What a lovely post. There's just something about big boys loving on little girls, it warms the heart.

So glad you're all home safe and sound. Jet lag IS a killer, but it WILL get better. Circle June 18 on your calendar in bright red, and I'll bet by that time you'll feel normal again.

Congratulations again, and welcome home!

Debbie said...

I wept, big wet tears reading this post.

So very happy for you all.
x

Julie said...

What a beautiful Homecoming... thank you again for sharing your amazing journey! Your family is just beautiful and I'm so thrilled that your dream has come true!

lora said...

Crying tears again, as I sit here looking at the photos we have all been longing to see....

Thanks be to God for His incredible gift,
lora

Please explain the paper towels??? :)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Welcome home:)

You have really written some beautiful posts these last few weeks, but this one really got me....I couldn't help but cry as I read your words and saw the beauty in these pictures. The smiling faces filled with joy and content really say it all. You are very blessed my friend!!

Lisa

Alyson and Ford said...

Such beautiful words, tears in my eyes. And yes, carrying her around is a wonderful gift you are giving her. Her security is all that matters right now.
So happy for you all! You are a wonderful family! Rest and take care of E.

Alyzabeth's Mommy for Eight Months

Marla said...

AWESOME to see the 6 of you together! Welcome home and get some rest. Jet lag does suck big ones.

Randi said...

I brought my baby girl home in March. She loved her big brothers right away, too. Her daddy was a different story. For 2 months I could not leave the house without Emma. We stayed home as much as possible for the first couple of months. She still prefers me, but she will go with her daddy for fun stuff like outside or the tub. Pick some fun things that only daddy will do. At our house daddy would climb up and down the stairs with Emma. That really helped. As far as the 6 hours of holding - I wish it was only 6 hours. It is more like every waking hour :) One thing is for sure - it is great to have her home with us. It was hard - really hard for a few weeks, but it is much better now. For us the 3rd month was the charm.

Georgea's Mommy said...

So happy to see your blog! Beautiful. And your boys...wow, just darling all 3 of them. Hope you are all well, happy & recovering from the time change. So brutal, but so worth it!

burpittyburp said...

Welcome Home! Your family is beautiful:)

meme said...

Welcome Home! What a beautiful family, and now complete! Thanks for a wonderful trip to China. So happy for your safe return. Looking forward to watching your little angel grow. From you Kentucky Friend Linda

PIPO said...

What a sincerely beautiful post.

The pictures of your homecoming are absolutely gorgeous and I love that you are all home together now.

You got it...jet lag IS the antichrist....ewwww....the memories make me need therapy.

As an OCD aside, I could not help but notice how TIDY your paper towels are arranged in the garage. I am in awe of such neatness when kids are in house :0)

staci said...

welcome home - you have 4 beautiful children - heartfelt post

Laurie said...

At last. So happy for you all.

Briana's Mom said...

It is so wonderful to see the whole family together and complete. It must feel so good to be home.

Jet lag is so horrible. Just don't get the flu and then pneumonia on top of it like I did!

(Hope you got the little package I sent you before you left for China.)

Can't wait to read more updates!

cougchick said...

It's amazing how a family I have never met can cause me to have such a strong emotion upon seeing them all together for the first time. What a beautiful sight and such a touching post, T. I have so enjoyed being a part of your journey. Thanks for the ride!

kris said...

those last words have me in tears... you are so right. and every single challenge you face now... well, i don't have to tell you that it's worth every single one :O) that she is. you know already.

Sherri & Todd said...

Welcome HOME!! What a beautiful post!! I loved every word of it and the last few words have me in tears as we wait for our little one..34 months tomorrow of waiting LID 08-08-06. Thanks for the hope!
You have a beautiful family.
Sherri

Anonymous said...

I just want you to know that we had similar daddy attachment woes with our Jiangxi sweetie. I am not going to give you unsolicited advice and want you to know that with time, it gets better.

I took my PW protected TypePad blog down shortly after our return home....too many reasons to list...and journaled via MS Word, which I still try to do every so often.

I am burying my e-mail address here but really encourage you to contact me as time spppft....permits.

You have my complete understanding which is the best word I can come up with right now and I applaud everything you are doing. Don't let ANYONE tell you different!

oliviasmom2006@yahoo.com