The kids and I made it home safely last night.  It’s almost comical how the trip home was the ONLY part of this process, since leaving Rolesville, 9 weeks ago today, that went as planned.  No complications or surprises, except being held up on the runway for 1 1/2 hours due to fog in London.  But that’s NOTHING, ha!

After getting through customs and loading up our luggage we wheeled through the glass doors to the most beautiful sight I’ve seen in a long time…I had a lobby full of sweet friends, family, and my Cai-bo standing there with smiles and tears just for us.  Waiting to embrace us.

I held it together pretty well…yeah right, ha!  I didn’t even make it through the doors before the ugly cry came out!

Wow, the emotions that one person can go through in one single second are unbelievable.

The kids were absolutely giddy as they ran around with their friends and cousins.  I decided that “anything goes” while I stood there trying to regain my composure.  I’d been telling them “no”, “don’t touch that”, “no running” and “stop” for the past 2 months, but we are home free now!

Meme had promised to buy the kids each a costume since they missed Halloween and you better believe that was the first thing Zeke ran to!  It was SO cute to see him transform from my little Zeke into the mighty Captain America right there in the lobby of the airport.

As happy as I was to hug all my friends it just didn’t feel right.  This isn’t how it was supposed to happen.  We are supposed to be home TOGETHER as a family!  I had lots of time, 22 hours to be exact, to sit and process the whole situation and I still can’t figure out why our country will not let a little girl, with no family to care for her, from having a chance at a family!

On the way to the parking garage we had to cross the street! I quickly looked around and saw the boys in the stroller.  One, Two…check!  Then I looked back to make sure Areyna had made it across.  Sure enough, she made it across, hand-in-hand with her cousins. Three…check!  And then I look all around for number Four…I’m supposed to have FOUR kids…but the fourth one never came across the street.  She never even got to get in that plane with me.  I have to be careful to keep my anger at bay and remember all that God has done, and is continuing to do, through this process.

We hiked to the parking garage and piled into our huge, clean, nice car.  Then we drove home on the smooth roads and looked at the clean streets and nice shops.  We pulled up into the driveway and saw beautiful fall decorations carefully and thoughtfully stationed in our front yard and porch from our sweet small group and family!

The kids were about to knock out the windows of the car to get out and run around in our house:)

I may have teared up again walking in the front door without Josh and Alethia.  This isn’t how I’ve been picturing it for the past 2 months!  I’ve been seeing the excitement on Alethia’s face as she runs down the hallway to her bedroom for the first time.  As she grabs her baby dolls and looks at her pictures in the family collages and tries on a princess costume and wrestles with Josh in the huge living room…

But instead, I walked in by myself.  I slowly took everything in.  Our small group along with several others, stocked up our refrigerator, cleaned the ENTIRE house, shampooed the carpets, placed beautiful candles and fall decorations throughout the WHOLE house!

The kids busied themselves rummaging through all their toys and running around this space we call home.  Zeke ran straight to his dress-up bin and began putting on each costume, one-by-one, and then again and again.  I think I fastened 5, 215 pieces of velcro and zipped up 44 dozen zippers before my head hit the pillow last night, ha!

I couldn’t stop walking around the house.  It felt SO big!  It smelled SO good.  It looked SO clean.  The carpet was SO soft under my feet.  There is no dirt or trash anywhere.  No burning smell.  The electricity hasn’t even flickered since I’ve been home and the internet is SOOOO fast!  The washing machine……all you have to do is push a button and throw your clothes in there and it’s done, ha!  And the water pressure…oh the water pressure was heavenly last night…we have been so blessed!

I’ve taken so much for granted.  I hope I never forget this feeling of how spoiled I actually am!  I don’t want to forget where we’ve gone and come from in order to keep this perspective fresh.

Please pray for this transition back to real life here in America.  Especially since “normal” isn’t going to be quite “normal” until our whole family is together again…and who knows when that will be.

I feel like I can’t just end a post anymore.  I am so gratefully thankful for all of you.  Your prayers are the ones sustaining us through this.  Your encouragement is what is keeping us going.  Thank you for all your emails to our Consular!  Thank you for walking with us through this.  I know this will all be a distant memory one day…but “one day” seems like a long ways away right now…