Friday, March 30, 2012

Finally home!!!

We are very glad to be home to see our family and friends. Linnea did great on the plane ride home. Here is a little girl who hasn't ridden in a car that much and has never been on an airplane and she hardly makes a peep the whole trip. I was up most of the trip ready to entertain her but she slept and pretty much entertained herself with her little purse. LeighAnn got a couple hours of sleep but we are both exhausted. Shay, Andrea, the Lutes and others were sure right about the jet lag!!!

When we arrived at the airport in Atlanta we were surprised to see many friends and family. I couldn't believe how far some drove for this short visit. Thank you so much for your support! We were SO excited to see the boys as we came off the escalator. They came running out to see us and it was a special and emotional time re-uniting with them. We took many pictures with our family and friends that were there. An adoptive mother who is a photographer came out to the airport to take pictures of us as we arrived. Thank you Donna for doing this!!

On the ride home, the boys were cracking us up with Linnea. They had it all planned out as to who was going to show her what when we arrived at the house. They were all giggling together and it was sweet. It was like Linnea just fit right in and had always been in our family. Of course the Lord knew she would always be a part of our family. 

When we arrived home, the first thing we noticed was the balloons on the mailbox and a "it's a girl" sign in the yard! Our doors and inside the house was decorated with several Chinese things. There were CFA nuggets waiting on us and a full meal (my how we missed Chick-fil-A and also the fruit tray and broccoli hit the spot since we couldn't eat much fruit or veggies in China). A couple of the girls from Church has brought over cookies that were great. Check out all the pictures below!

The boys were so excited to show Linnea around. She got a little overwhelmed so we ate dinner and then played in the playroom most of the evening. I think the boys think she is another one of their toys!
We all went to sleep but Linnea woke up around 3am wide awake. She was ready to get up. Hopefully she will get used to her new sleep cycle soon! We all got up around 6am since everyone was up by then.    
Linnea did great today. She loves playing with all the toys, especially the kitchen set and her baby stroller. LeighAnn is now at the Doctor's office with Linnea for her first post-adotion check-up.

This has been an incredible journey. I would do it all over again. I love Linnea just as much as I love my own biological sons. Like I stated earlier, it's like she has been part of our family all along. I cannot wait to see the Lord's plan unfold in her life and I'm thankful we get to be her parents. What a gift from the Lord!

I know it's only been a day but I must say I miss China. I really enjoyed the time there and the people we met especially. I loved seeing all the children getting adopted, loved visiting the orphanages, and loved seeing the people that love these children so much. I also loved meeting all the people doing HIS work on the ground (and "under ground") there. I loved when you met another likeminded person, they got SO excited. I loved that there were so many opportunities to share what you believe. 

Thanks again to all who walked alongside of us in this journey. We love and appreciate you. I pray that you were encouraged by our story. Adoption is a beautiful picture of what Christ did for us. There is nothing "special" about what we did. We are just an ordinary family but thankful that God called us to adopt one of his precious gifts that was made in His image. All Glory is His and His Alone.

yeah....our airplane is here. Ready to head back to the States! 
Ready for the flight!
Sign at the top of our driveway!
Ethan helping with the car seat (something else that is new to her as they don't use car seats in China)
Ready to show "sister" the house
Some of the decorations

showing Linnea her room

Thank you for the clothes! These can actually fit her as many of her 18 month old clothes do not.

Last two days in China...

Our last couple days in China were spent doing several things. We headed to Shamian Island again since we only had a limited time there Sunday afternoon. What a beautiful place...kind of reminds me of downtown Savannah. It almost seems like it does not fit in China!! We had a great lunch with our friends (Jake and Carrie who also adopted from the Guangdong province who were in our group). On Tuesday evening we went with the entire adoption group on a planned dinner cruise on the Pearl River. It was a great way to spend time with these families we have grown so fond of...we will miss them! On the river cruise, we took several pictures together and got to see lots of sites (including the second tallest building in the world which was pretty neat). On Wednesday we packed and got ready to go. We got to spend some more time with Miko (our guide) which was special. We were able to give her a Bible in Mandarin and talk with her. We will miss her a lot. She did so much for us and kept everything so organized. I am so thankful that she was the one to go visit the foster family with us. At 4:00pm we got Linnea's Visa so we were then allowed to head to Hong Kong. We took a van ride down to Hong Kong and spent the night there. We took Linnea up to Victoria's peak which offers a GREAT view of the skyline. I have always loved the New York City skyline but I have to say the Hong Kong skyline beats New York. We ate up on the peak and it was a great time of some last memories of China. Our room had a great view of the harbor so we enjoyed that. The next morning we got up early, ate breakfast, and then headed to the airport. We were SO ready to get home!

Visiting Shamian island

Ready for the dinner cruise

Some of the views on the cruise

2nd tallest building in the World 

Our friends Jake, Carrie and Bei Bei
Carrie, Jenny, LeighAnn and the girls
Linnea and Miko

Hong Kong Harbor from Victoria's Peak

Dinner on the Peak...some great last memories of China 

Breakfast at the hotel before leaving for the airport