It has been a week since we have posted anything. Sorry to those of you who have been following our blog and especially to those who have been praying for us. Your prayers have been so fruitful! We are doing very well. To update you I will start with our journey home.
Our full time in flight was around 19 hours. I think our last post before we left said that Grace had begun to attach to Nathan as well as me. That was just in the nick of time. I was terrified of holding her in my lap for the duration of our flights by myself! We were able to get seats in the bulkhead of the plane with a bassinet for Grace on both of our long flights. She almost did not pass the weight limit to get to sleep in the bassinet but fortunately the stewardess let us try it. The miracle of it all is that she only cried for about 30 minutes of the 19 hour flight. That 30 minutes was broken up over the time we were traveling. She slept most of the time we were in the air and otherwise colored, ate and played. She was delightful while we were traveling.
We arrived in Chicago at about 9:00 AM on Sunday morning. We rolled through immigration and before I even had my camera ready Grace got the stamp in her passport that makes her a US citizen. I did not expect to be emotional about that but when Nathan looked down I was crying. It just made things feel more permanant. I also was able to let some of my OCD go at that point because I had secretly feared that we would get to Chicago and the immigration folks would not let her in!
In Chicago Grace not only got to experience her first cold weather but also got to see and feel snow. The walk from the L-train to Chad and Steph's apartment was surreal. I just kept wondering what in the world Grace was thinking. We had a great visit with Chad and Steph. They made lunch for us which was so nice after eating out for two weeks and escorted us back to the airport to make our flight to Memphis.
When we got to Memphis we finally got to the point I have been waiting two years for. Caleb ran to greet us and I sobbed. Finally our whole family was together. Our parents and Sarah and Ted were there to meet us along with several close friends. Grace was so peaceful and let her grandparents and Sarah and Ted hold her. When we got home we found lights on in our home, dinner in the freezer, a welcome home sign on the door and little treats scattered in our house. Our neighbors took such great care of Duke (our boxer), our house and the four of us. Our parents left us with BBQ, flowers, breakfast and just about anything else you could think of. We are so blessed!
At home...Sunday night we were all so tired (except for Caleb). We played for a little bit, ate dinner and went to bed. Caleb and Grace both were very warm with each other and she seemed to be very peaceful at home. Nathan returned to work on Thursday so we had about three days to get used to being a family of four. We were planning on doing nothing but playing for a few days but that was not really what happened. We realized Grace had head lice after we got home and she had passed it on to me as well. Fortunately Nathan and Caleb took most of our laundry to the laundromat for me. By Wednesday afternoon we had all been treated (two times) for lice, all of our laundry was done and we were unpacked. This helped me so much when Thursday rolled around and Nathan went back to work.
Grace is doing very well. She seems very peaceful at home. She is sleeping well at night. She still wakes up for a bottle a couple of times in the night. We decided to wait until we got home and settled to deal with weaning her off of her bottle. The damage of sleeping with a bottle of formula for 16 months has already been done. We think she has two cavities already. Anyways, she has adjusted very well. She also eats like a champ and loves her brother.
Caleb has also done really well. We did not anticipate how difficult all of this was going to be for him. More than adding a sister I think it was really difficult to have us away for so long and then for us to come home and have to divide our attention while being so tired. He has been through a lot but seems to love Grace. Nathan and I both are in need of an extra measure of patience with him as he adjusts to the changes the last month has brought.
So there you have it. I was tempted not to mention the lice but Tammy you said to share all. We continue to ask for your prayers as we learn to live in community with each other, in regard to our housing changes and for me with my headaches. I have a doctors appointment in a couple of weeks and we are going to post information about our housing changes in the next day or so. Anyways, thank you all so much for your prayers and encouragement. The have carried us through this season. Please keep praying for us!