Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Post From Home - At Last!

The original title to this post was "10 Days Home".  As I started uploading pictures, I quickly realized there was no way I could post about our trip home, arrival, and the first 10 days. . .so here is a brief glance at our trip home, arrival, and the 1st 24 hours!  The rest will hopefully not be far behind.
In our hotel lobby at the Skycity Marriott in Hong Kong - well rested and ready for the long trip home.

This was after 13 hours of flying - not looking too bad all things considered!  Leiney Grace did amazingly well.  She did get sick over her breakfast (literally) when we were an hour or so away from Chicago.  This vomitting persisted off and on for the first 36 hours home.  Not sure the cause, but after a call to our favorite pediatrician and a Zofran, Leiney Grace seemed to be over what ever it was .

Our newest American citizen. . .in her wheelchair at O'Hare.  I requested a wheelchair upon arrival in the US before I ever left
for China.  I am so glad I did - a personal attendant pushed Leiney Grace while Aunt Lulu and I managed our bags, customs, and security.  It was such a blessing!

The wheelchair was no where to be seen in our hometown airport, but being that it is a whole lot smaller, we managed very easily with the stroller.  Here Leiney Grace is greeted by her new siblings who were SO excited to finally meet her.

Our dear friend Kathy, who helped us tremendously when we were adopting Lilly, is fluent in Chinese so here she is conversing with Leiney Grace.  Since coming home, we have made 1 call to Kathy, 1 call to Lilly's Chinese teacher, and several calls to my friend's daughter, Kelly, who is almost 15 and adopted last March.  They each had to help get us through times where Leiney Grace was upset, and we needed help in communicating. Thank you all!

Several friends from Lilly and Ethan's school came including 2 of their teachers. Thank you Jennifer and Kendall - AKA Mrs. Mitchell and Ms. Salley.  Here in the middle with Lilly is Lilly's "BFF", Abby, who contributed some of her own money to help bring Leiney Grace home.

Leiney Grace, with her beautiful smile, handled all of the new faces extremely well.

Here is proof that David did survive 2 weeks with 7 children and NO WIFE! : )

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."  Lilly, Ethan, Brinley, and Bailey along with some fabulous teachers helped make this wonderful welcome home sign for us! 

Our 1st photo as a family of 10!

Our last photo with Aunt Lulu for a while.  She survived the journey and was a wonderful travel companion.  I am so grateful for her willingness to accompany me on this trip.  She has returned home to her husband and Barney, her beloved cat who missed her terribly, and has recovered - I think.  We had so much fun travelling together that we hope to head to England in the next few years.  We have both always wanted to visit that country and as she says "I'm not getting any younger so we better go soon."  Her husband and daughter do not fly so I may be her only hope to get there.  Think David will believe that?   

How miraculous that we could return home on the same flight with our dear friends, Sharon and Marty and their supersize family!

Heading home!

4 of my 5 girls!  Leiney Grace had to walk very slow to the car van to help her not get winded - she wanted nothing to do with the stroller.  That explains why Lilly is not in the picture.  SLOW is not in her vocabulary!

Home at Last!
"Baba" carrying Leiney Grace up the stairs to see her room for the first time. 
(Leiney Grace is wearing the dress I smocked for her as her "Coming Home Outfit".  I had a size 8 made, and it is quite large.  At least she can wear it for years to come : ) ) 

She Liked It!!!
(Just noticed that I still had my fanny pack on - oh my, I must have been tired!)

Fulton adores Leiney Grace and offers to carry her up and down the stairs.

Katie did a great job at having her room, now her and Leiney Grace's room, clean and decorated with lots of cute and colorful signs to welcome her new sister and roommate!

It didn't take Leiney Grace long to develop an interest in the piano.  She adores hearing and watching Shelby play.  Shelby is so sweet and lets Leiney Grace "play" with her.  Leiney Grace has already learned the tune and some of the words to Jesus Loves Me and Amazing Grace. Oh, that touches my heart. 

Our 1st meal at home as a family of 10.  We have a table that seats 8.  Thankfully, my Uncle Steve, Aunt Lulu's husband, does wonders with wood and has agreed to make us 2 benches so we can all fit around the table without chairs on the corners.

Talking to Shelby before bedtime.

1st night going to sleep in her new bed, in her new home, with her new family!

1st breakfast at home with her family.  Leiney Grace did not care for the homemade sourdough cinnamon rolls with caramel icing that my mom welcomed us home with.  How could one not like such a treat?  I don't know, but the rest of us certainly devoured them!  Scrumptious!

I loved watching this from my kitchen window.  They all had the best time coloring and doing puzzles outside.

Ethan and Leiney Grace have done well together.  Leiney Grace is older by 6 months ,and I was a little concerned with how Ethan would handle a new sibling so close in age.  He has done better accepting and "liking" her than he did when his 3 younger siblings were adopted.  God had this little detail taken care of as well.

My crew did a great job welcoming us home - signs and a fairly clean and straightened up house!
May God be glorified that there is one less orphan in the world, that there is now one more child being loved by Christian parents, and that there is one more child being taught of His love for her.

"Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so." 

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me?  I once was lost but now am found.  Was blind but now I see." 


Cousin Sheri said...

Just brings tears to my eyes! Hope to meet Leiney Grace in the Spring. I'll call you soon-love to all.

Cousin Sheri

Beth and Ryan said...

Loved following your journey!

Amy said...

Loved seeing these pictures!!!! Seems all is going well! Hugs!!! The Hatchers

The Waites Family said...

How wonderful! One less orphan and one more around your table. Blessings!

The Rose Family said...

AWH!! She's so precious! She'll fit right in with the high-energy, happy, kind, sweet and loving Bryants that I know. How's sharing a room goin for ya, Katie...? Since you and I had a hard time sharing, I was just wondering...I mean with the pillow fights and all...hahaha you know I'm only kidding (sort of)!!!!

Shelby...haven't had a chance to email you or is SO busy with Debate tournaments and archery tournaments and algebra and AH you see (and know) all too well what I mean! I just wanted to let you know that everything is going really, almost surreally, well. Thank you so much for your sweet prayers and words. They meant (and still mean) a lot to me. I'll call you as soon as I have a free moment and we'll talk. Mom and dad are reforming a lot of things in our world right now; our music, literature, movies, how we spend our time, who we're allowed to be with, the words we're allowed to say. They've helped a lot. Your prayers were answered, sweet sister of mine. Love you <3

The only bad thing about Leiney Grace being home is...NO MORE GOAT SOAP!!! Waaahahahahha! :(

Just kidding! God bless you all!!!

Rebecca Sibley said...

Oh, I have missed reading the blog while we have been in MS...such a blessing!

Rebecca Sibley said...

Oh, I have missed reading the blog while we have been in MS...such a blessing!

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