We made it home one week ago today. Travel was long but not awful. We took a train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong and it was actually a really nice way to travel. We spent the night in Hong Kong and checked into our flight the next morning. That was an adventure - 45 minutes at the ticket counter, confused representative, phone calls, supervisors grumpy toddler, stressed out mama...we were about ready to call our travel agent when they finally worked it out...so we thought. She still wasn't on the flight list when we arrived at Immigration in Chicago. Thankfully, we had her boarding pass to prove she was a passenger. And thankfully, we made it through customs, through immigration for her, through re-checking our bags, and to our gate in time. We boarded our flight and it started to snow. So, we sat on the plane for an hour...for a 50 minute flight home to see our boys. It was the hardest part of our trip.
Despite all of that, we cannot say enough good about C*athay Airline. Best economy experience ever. Emmarie did decide that she only wanted Daddy on the trip home - that's a lot of hours of not wanting to be held by anyone else. :) She was a really good traveler and we were really glad we had a seat for her. Oh and she has since decided that I'm totally okay again.
What a sweet reunion with our boys! We missed them like crazy and they were SO excited to meet Emmi. We saw them from a distance waving and Emmarie started waving a smiling like crazy - like she had been waiting for them her whole life. :) She LOVED looking at their pictures and even kissed the pictures while we were in China. It was so adorable.
Both of our families were also there to welcome us and Emmi home and we had a pizza party back at our house before crashing...for a few hours. Yep, jet lag has taken it's toll. Honestly, we thought that it wouldn't be too bad since we hadn't slept very much on the 20+ hour trip home. WRONG. So wrong. We are finally beginning to feel a little more normal and Emmarie is having more regular sleeping hours. It's been hard - especially with three boys not jet lagged. We have been thankful for some extra help and some meals to make this transition a little easier. We also are the proud parents of a very active toddler. She is a busy, busy gal and it didn't take long for her to feel at home and start getting into everything. We kind of forgot home much energy toddlers take (Ty is 4 1/2) but we are loving almost every minute. :)
She is one smart girl! She is copying words and seems to understand a fair amount of what we say to her (as in, she responds appropriately). We have taught her a few signs and plan to teach her more but she is really wanting to use words. Today, she said, "thank you" several times in an appropriate context - I couldn't believe it. She has warmed up to the dog and is trying desperately to fatten Pippi up by sharing her snacks. In short, she has completely amazed us.
She will be seeing an ophthalmologist next month for her eyes - her right one doesn't always track the same. We noticed almost instantly but it is not noted anywhere in her records and the nannies at the orphanage said that everything is fine. :) It does not seem to be significantly effecting her vision (or she is compensating well) - she can obviously see okay. We will see what the doctor says and see what we need to do!
We are completely in love with our sweet girl. It feels like we have known her much longer than 16 days. She fits right in and holds her own.
Finally...here are pictures...courtesy of my favorite (very talented!) sister-in-law, Ashley.
|They see us coming - how sweet are they! And my aunt gave them the 'Big Brother' outfits! SO CUTE!|
|They were incredibly excited and started to go past the Do Not Enter sign. :)|
|She was seriously thrilled to meet them!|
|I missed my boys so much - they were such troopers throughout this adoption journey - they encouraged us so much to move forward on adding another child to our family. Such big hearts.|
|They were pretty excited about being at the airport.|
|Yep, she has him wrapped - it didn't take long at all. And seriously, check out that smile! That's after travelling for so many hours and having all kinds of new experiences!|
|All of my kiddos together at last.|
|Our family of SIX!|