Thursday, December 01, 2011

We are HOME sweet HOME!

Well we SURVIVED the L-O-N-G plane ride!  Charlotte was a trooper and only cried maybe 20 seconds the entire trip home.  It is still just a horrible flight....just brutal and I really think all the prayers worked because it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.  We ended up getting into Newark and through customs and immigration quicker than we thought we would so we decided to take an earlier flight to Nashville.
So what was immigration like in Newark?  They were SO NICE!  We waited in line (It took us maybe 10 mins) and the officer asked for the brown envelope with her immigration papers & passport in it.  He opened it and checked it all out and stamped her passport.  Then he said the immigration office has all the adopted kids go to the office as well.  So he led us to this smaller room with a waiting room (only 2 people were there waiting) & there where 3 officers behind a counter. One of them called me up just as I sat down and he looked over everything and said "CONGRATULATIONS!" Of we went to collect our luggage and recheck them all again.

We arrived in Nashville around 4:15 p.m. (Way earlier than our 7:30 arrival we had planned) 12so our friends who had planned a  big celebration at the airport couldn't come.  We live 2 hours from the airport so literally by the time we decided on the earlier flight my mom & boys had to leave right then to come get us.  In fact we had to wait about 20 minutes for them to get there.  We walked out of the baggage area and the boys were grinning from ear to ear. Charlotte did so well with them.  She immediately held Drew and Ben's hands on the way home and they were all over her.  She was fine as long  as I was holdig her but, I told them to give her a little space. She has loved having brothers! 

She is warming up to Will little by little.  I think because he is a teenager (he is 13) & looks like a grown man that she thought he was an adult.  This was hard on him and something I had not anticipated. (her loving the 2 younger brothers but not our teenager)  His feelings were really hurt at first and when Jason was trying to talk to him about it in his room, he cried.  I wish I had realized this possiblity and prepared him better for this but, things are getting better with time.

The only real issue we are having is catching up on our sleep and getting her to sleep well since we have been home.  She has been waking up around 2 or 3 a.m. in the middle of the night. ugh!  Otherwise I think Jason and I would be almost back on track by now.

Things about Charlotte since we've been home:
1) She is saying &/or repeating words like: car, ball, truck, Drew, Ben, Will,
2) She likes my cell phone and will have long conversations (I think in Mandarin) while holding it up to her ear! LOL!
3) She absolutely loves her doll stroller and sometimes won't even go to sleep without her hand still being on it. :)
4) She loves some of her toys...her favorites right now are: her Leap Pad dog Violet (from Aunt Steff & Uncle Matt) & a dump truck at Meemaw & DeeDee's house.  I decided she needed a pink one-so we went to Walmart last night (her 1st trip to Walmart) and we got a big pink car for her to push that she loves. :)
5) She likes most food we have given her.  Her favorite so far has been the hashbrown casserole Ms Jenny brought us the night we got home.
6) She likes her clothes & shoes & hairbows!  We always show her herself after getting her dressed and she smiles.  Kim asked if she could try Charlottes hairbow on Mei-lei because to see if she would keep it in.  So she took it gently out of Charlottes hair & placed in in Mei-Lei...Charlottes got the famous pouty lip and started crying. :) 
7) She points  to everything she wants.  If she throws something, she points for you to go get it & keeps pointing at it & grunting! LOL!  So we have had a talk with the boys about using our words when we talk to her and also not getting things for her that she just points to them. :)
8) It takes her a little bit to warm up to people but, when she does, she then shows off by throwing a ball back & forth or her blocks. 
9)  She knows what the word "jump" means and LOVES to jump!  The problem is, she is also thinking it is cool to jump down our steps...not a good idea! :)  She will hold both of your hands and jump & jump if you tell her.  She also likes to hold 2 peoples hands and on the count of 3 for them to jump or pull her up in the air.
10)  She does NOT like saying goodbye to anyone in the afternoon or at night (she is fine during the day)....she will cry & cry even if she just met you. :(  Poor thing!
11)  She has a really quiet cry & sometimes she will do the silent cry which breaks my heart!
12) When we turn the Steven Curtis Chapman CD on in our car she tries to sing along with us! :)
13) It is easier to communicate with her than I thought.  She is able to communicate with us by gestures, is pretty amazing!
14) She is just about the cutest, smartest & bravest little girl we have EVER met & we love her so dang much!

This picture was taken on our last night in Guangzhou at an Irish Restaurant close to the Garden Hotel.  (L-R ) Mei-lei, Shawn, Kim, Charlotte, Kendra & Jason

Yes, I have a whole bunch of photos I need to download and put on here....I promise when I am more rested I will do that.

We can't truly express how grateful we are for everyone's prayers while we were gone.  It was an amazing experience that we will never forget but, we are so happy to be HOME!



Ruthie said...

Welcome home!

Jen said...

Loved following your journey in China! Welcome Home!

Eve said...

welcome home....looks like you are all doing well but I remember how hard those first few weeks are with sleep deprivation! Hang in there....and so happy your sweet lil' one is doing so well!

Matt and Maria said...

Praise God you are home- a whole family all together. Congratulations!

Amber Leggio said...

Praise God you are home safe and have your daughter and that she is with her forever family. I hope you get more sleep soon. Merry Christmas.

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