Wednesday, April 16, 2014

5 Years Ago Today...

this happened:
We arrived on American soil after 5 very long, draining, exhausting weeks in Africa.  Until we made it through immigration I was not convinced that they were truly ours.  We arrived with Isaiah half naked and wearing no shoes.  It really was a good representation of how I felt at that point.  He lost one of his shoes while traveling and then had a major poop explosion on the long flight from Africa.  Thankfully, we were able to get him some clothes when we had to gather and recheck our bags in D.C.  Getting through immigration was a bit anti-climactic.  There was no one to welcome us because we were in D.C. and the guy just looked at our papers and told us we could go through.  At that moment, Isaiah and Laila became U. S. citizens.  I really felt like they should have balloons and confetti fall from the ceiling for us!  We had just spent the last 20 something hours traveling with two children.  Isaiah knew  no English so his way of expressing himself was to scream.  He did that a lot on the 18 hour flight.  Rick's TV did not work on the plane so I often ended up with both Isaiah and Laila on my lap during the flight.  As if we weren't already worn out enough, that flight sealed the deal.  The first thing we did once we were through immigration was get Starbucks!!
Waiting for our flight to Denver.  
 Our little U.S. Citizens
 While we were flying across the U.S., this was happening in Denver.  A group of friends were gathered waiting to welcome us home.  I really can't even tell you how much joy and love I felt in that moment. As I look back at the pics, I love remembering who was there and seeing everyone's faces as they met our babies.  There are lots of pics, but I just had to share the emotions of this day!
Lauren(2nd from the left), Abby(next to her), and Sam(next to her) had been without us for 5 weeks.  They could not wait to meet their new brother and sister!!

 If you look carefully, you will see Rick holding Isaiah, and Cody as we approached our "welcome home crowd!"

 FINALLY, together as a family!!
 My heart just feels like it is going to burst as I remember this moment!
 My precious mom who took care of our kids and stayed way longer than she committed to in order for us to do what God had called us to!

 So many smiles!!

We were so blessed by those who came to welcome us home!

 Look at that baby!!

 See how little Isaiah is next to Rick!

 That Face!
 Lauren meeting Isaiah

 My favorite picture from that day!

 Steve and Ellen brought the church van so we could all ride home together.  Isaiah entertained us with his "Hallelujahs" and "Amens."  We stopped at Chick-fil-a and gave the kids their first taste of American food.  They have been in love with Chick-fil-a ever since!
We honestly don't have many pics from the first few days home.  I think we were just recovering from all we had been through.  Really, it was a pretty traumatic experience.  We were also majorly jet lagged.  
Here is Isaiah on his very own bed.  He couldn't believe it was his!
Sisters at Last
I can't even tell you how grateful we were to my mom and Rick's mom for taking care of the kids while we were gone.  I was so glad she was here.  I did not have to worry for one minute about the 3 at home.  I am also glad she got to meet her new grand babies. 
As I dropped Isaiah and Laila off at school today, I just marveled at the fact that God brought them from the other side of the world to be in our family.  What a privilege this calling is for our family!!

1 comment:

  1. This made me all teary! What a beautiful day!!! I guess we will always remember the week you brought them home, considering it was the same week we got married. It was a special (and unexpected) treat to get to see them (and you) at your church when we visited during our honeymoon! Can't believe it's been 5 years!!