Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Jan 28- Jan 31 Flight Back and Reunion with the kiddos

We made it to the airport just in time to get checked in and immediately had to board the plane.  All thanks to our new van driver who would press on the gas and then almost slam on the brakes even though nothing was in front of him and then press on the gas, then brakes, etc.  I've never seen Ben so uncomfortable being a backseat driver ;) .  We got in the plane and had to sit on the tarmac for about an hour, which at the time seemed like forever, but we later heard of some friends who were traveling back later in the day who had their flight delayed for over 24 hrs! 1 hour isn't that bad.  The almost 15 hour flight was good for the most part.  Lucee slept for about 4 1/2 hours and the rest of the time, she listened to her Chinese kid songs, drew, snacked and watched American cartoons.  As soon as we landed on American soil, Lucee officially became a US Citizen.  We went through immigration and met Ben's uncle, Miguel, who had graciously offered to drive down to get us from Chicago to bring us back up to Milwaukee. 

Back at Ben's parents house, we enjoyed having a relaxing night with Ben's parents.  My parents would be bringing the other kids down tomorrow from Orr, so we had about 24 hours to rest up for them.  It was great how Lucee really enjoyed being around Mamaw and Gumpa.  She liked helping them bake and having all the toys to herself. 

The next day (Jan 29) I'll never forget the moment that the kids arrived!  Noah walked in the door first and gave the biggest hug ever, his face buried in me.  When I looked at his face, he had sweet tears in his eyes.  Next, came Gavin who charged at me and gave a quick big hug and then went on to tell me about something that happened in the car.   Then Lilee slowly walks in and with her head down walks up to give a hug.  She says, "I really missed you, Momma".  Oh, melts my heart.  

It was so great being able to all be together under one roof.  Our family of 6, Mamaw and Gumpa, and Nana and Papa from Friday night till Sunday morning.  It also was wonderful not having to worry about anything other than loving on the kids.  Both nights there, the kids wanted us all to sleep in the same room.  So, we did.

Noah, Gavin, and Lilee were so happy to finally have their sister with them.  Lucee seemed excited to be around them as well. She obviously had a bit of issue with sharing, but what kid doesn't :)

Sunday morning we headed south to Dayton, while Papa and Nana headed north.  We are so thankful for Mamaw and Gumpa's hospitality.  Also, for the love that both sets of grandparents shared with the 3 kiddos while we were apart from them for the longest we've ever been apart.

The 7 hour drive wasn't too hateful, even with the traffic jams due to accidents.  Lucee did great sitting in her carseat and we were all so happy to get back to our home, which we'd been gone from for 3 full weeks!

It's been a long, wonderful trip. We are thankful it's over and look forward to the whole family coming with if we get to travel to China again!  

3 1/2 hour Van ride to Hong Kong Airport

Walking to the Plane :)

Lucee's first plane ride...

So far, so good

Ben and his brother Jake (His family came over Friday night to hang out before the other kids came the next day.)

Papa and Lilee meeting Lucee after she woke up from her nap.

1st Photo of our family of 6!!!

Lucee sewing with Gumpa

Sisters!!! ( Thanks Mamaw for the dresses)

Daddy's girls.

Papa and Nana with kiddos

Gumpa and Mamaw with the kiddos

Lovely Welcome home sign waiting for us when we got home (Thanks Sara and Evie!!)
Photo of all 6 of us in our room at Mamaw and Gumpas. We slept pretty much just like this, all snuggled together. The things you do for your kids... There was an empty room down the hall, but it felt so nice to sleep next to them.  Due to jet lag, I vividly remember laying there listening to them breathe for at least an hour.  Usually, I would've been frustrated, but after being away from them for over 2 weeks, it was like a sweet song.  :)

1 comment:

  1. Ben & Brandee- Thank you for sharing your adoption journey's details. I love hearing all about your trip and the process, and I know you'll appreciate having it all written down in the future for Lucee to recall and for yourself when your memory blurs. Love that this is not the end of the story but the beginning of a beautiful future for all of you!