It’s been two months today since we landed in our local airport. Sweaty, exhausted, and somehow surviving off of little to no sleep over the past 48 hours, we were so happy to be home. My mamma’s heart ached to see our boys, and it took all the patience within me to wait for our checked carry-on luggage with grace. We had traveled around the world, been on over half a dozen airplanes, and the first delay came on our final stretch home. Friends and family were awaiting us in the airport, and I could just feel those little arms of our youngest son around my neck.
As we finally rounded that last corner in the airport to the area where our loved ones were waiting, the tears could not be held back. Among the balloons, signs, and smiles, our eyes quickly searched for three little button-nosed boys to embrace first. My eagerness can be seen on the many cell-phone videos of my family and friends, as I would almost break into a run, and then hold myself back, awaiting my husband and daughter coming up behind me. Our daughter had brought so much joy to us, and yet, the joy could not be complete without our boys in our arms as well.
The first embrace came from our youngest, always the most eager to give hugs. How healing that was! I may have hugged him a bit too excitedly, swinging him around so that I could wrap my arms around our eldest at the same time. Not surprisingly, our least-physical child was the final one we reached, as he was just as happy just to see us as he would have been to receive a hug. But he was getting one anyway: I had missed them all too much!
Then I made the rounds, embracing everyone I could, so very grateful to each of them for making the time to greet us on one of the happiest days of our lives. And more than that, for holding our hands and hearts throughout the long journey, when we didn’t know how we would make it.
Our delicate little girl didn’t know what to think with all of this excitement. We knew that she may not appreciate the welcoming party on that day as much as she would later on when she viewed the photos and realized what it all meant. She tightly held onto her Daddy and was not to let go until we reached our vehicle to go home. However, she was a trooper. She accepted a stuffed lamb from her cousin, and willingly held onto a balloon bouquet that was handed to her. Thanks to modern technology, she was familiar with many of the faces, as we had video-chatted with family and shared many photos with her while on the ground in India.
The first two weeks home were just full of rest and happiness. We allowed ourselves time to recover from jet lag and time change. We just took that time to get to know each other and have some normalcy. I remember wondering why I had a smile on my face all the time. But I know why: My soul finally felt like I was doing what I was called on this earth to do. I was ecstatic to be back home with our boys, and I was thrilled to have our daughter in our home after so many years of waiting.
Our newest family member really amazed us from day one. She slept in her bed all the way through the night on her very first night. This was miraculous, as the time change was completely opposite on our side of the world. She woke up the next morning, picked out what she wanted to wear, went outside and began to jump on the trampoline with her brothers. It was breathtaking.
After about 2 weeks, our (very expected) challenges began. Our youngest wasn’t so sure he liked so much change at once, and our newest wasn’t so sure she liked his attitude. ;) Hubby was back at work, and reality began to sink in. We now have four children, and we must make every effort to be excellent parents to each of them. Though our daughter was still sleeping through the night, she began to gently protest bedtime. And meal time. And reading time. And sitting still in church. And taking turns. She began to see that we had rules and life wasn’t always cartoons and ice cream.
Mamma began to get tired. A new child, whether by birth or adoption, takes a lot of extra time, and routines must change. The house didn’t remain as spic and span as our family had it waiting for us when we returned home. Nor did our van. Biggest brother wasn’t so sure he liked an extra little person getting into his things. Thanks be to God we have some wonderful people who gave us some great tips to help us navigate this new adventure.
So what does life look like two months later? Pretty amazing. Challenges have required creative solutions, and we have all become better for it. Mamma had to get more organized. Big Brother has learned to lock his door. A tiny Indian body necessitated that we sit around the table as a family more often, encouraging a few more bites eaten at each meal. We eat more Indian food. We take more family outings together to just have fun. Mamma has begun an exercise routine in the mornings to help energize her for the day to come. And she realized her business had made her quiet times with Jesus fewer and farther between. Those have been prioritized. And we have learned we cannot expect a perfectly clean house anymore.
Little Brother and Little Sister still have their spats. This means they are really siblings, right? And yes, it can be exhausting for Mamma. But now Little Brother says things like, “Sister is funny!” and “I kinda like having a sister now.” And Little Sister’s agitated, “HEY!” is now often followed by giggles directed towards Little Brother.
Little Sister’s First 2 Months’ Milestones:
*Learning to ride a bike (with training wheels)
*Learning to eat some American foods
*Learning lots of English
*Beginning to enjoy playing with new friends
*Learning to trust mamma and daddy in the pool (with floaties, of course)
*Wowing Mamma and Daddy with how much she knows already (ABC’s, Counting, Adding, her Colors, Writing, Coloring, Origami)
*Learning letter sounds
Our goals for the next few months are to help our little one grow physically, to make sure we spend lots of time loving on and having fun with each of our precious kiddos, read lots of books together, and to get a date night. Yeah, that hasn’t happened for about 3 months now. Another expected challenge of having a new child join the family.
Anyone want to babysit for our 14th wedding anniversary? ;)