Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rwanda Rewind: HOME!

This is the last installment of the retelling of our Rwanda adventure. It's with a sigh of relief that I finish it. Glad to be done with the trip; glad to be done with writing about it. Ready to be home in real life and on the blog!

HOME!! That word never sounded so sweet. When our plane landed, I could not get off it fast enough. Kelsey had taken the boys through security with a special pass so they could actually meet us at the gate. I missed them SO MUCH on this trip--could not wait to get my arms around them. All three of my children in my arms--the stuff of many dreams.

The boys waiting for us to deplane:

Several people on the plane spoke to us and found out what was happening. That lady smiling on the left of the picture got off before us and told the boys we were coming. Then she stayed to watch. :) Here we come!
The moment I waited for:
Finally together.
Could not stop hugging them.
Meeting baby sister at long last.
First family photo: (thanks Kels!)
On the train, headed for baggage claim.
Family and friends were there to meet us. Such a wonderful homecoming! (Because we switched our return date from a Sunday afternoon to a Thursday, many people couldn't make it. We appreciate the thought!) Loved the posters!!
Meeting Nona for the first time!
And meeting Nan:
My dear friend Kelly, who prayed this baby home (and kept me sane!):
I love how Cory and Sam are hugging in this picture. They sure missed each other (the boys were in FL while we were in Africa, so they didn't see each other for a month).
Lindy and Addie, me and Laina, Liz and Penny: the girl "greats" and mamas:
And all the greats:
I was SO HAPPY to see my boys. Have I said that yet?
Heading to the car.
I think Jeremy was a little happy to see them too.
Jeremy flagging down the car. He looks rather festive. :)
When we got home, our mailbox and our front porch were decorated with girly balloons!

I can't even look at these pictures without tears in my eyes. Finally being home with our daughter after two years of waiting, weeks of travel, so many ups and downs, so many emotions and thoughts, so much learned and fought, so much grace. I find it hard to put into words. We let the kids play on the rug together and marveled. We put Laina down in her crib for the first time and rejoiced. We fell asleep, exhausted and jet-lagged, and woke the next morning (and many times during the night!) to our new normal. We fed Laina breakfast. We got three kids dressed. We turned the page to a new chapter entitled: finally a family of five.
And all we can say is thank You.


Jessica Leigh said...

I was reading along just fine when all of a sudden - BAM! - tears!
This is so beautiful to me. I love sharing in your joy!

Mrs said...

I'm with Jessie! Tears!

Courtney said...

oh, cried through this whole post. such MANY emotions! rejoicing with you!