Saturday, December 8, 2007

We're HOME!!!

Hello from the GREAT state of Florida in the AMAZING United States of America! Yes, we are happily back in the USA. . although, we're already homesick for Liberia!!

Let's go back a couple of days, since we haven't posted since Wednesday morning. . .we left our hotel at 11:30 am for our 4 pm flight (they want you to be way early b/c sometimes they decide to leave a couple hours early. Well, our flight didn't actually leave until close to 7! Then, we work up the next morning (in Ghana) and hurried to the airport for our 11 hour flight to NYC. We ended up with bulkhead seats and our little man did AMAZING! He played with both of us and Greg actually went to the back of the plane to sleep for a bit and Davis sat with me and played. He would even come down and give me big hugs then turn to Donna for big hugs too. . .that made both of our days! Donna was certainly missing her 2 year old little Liberian at home!
Then, a 4 hour layover at JFK. . .this is where things went downhill! Davis was exhauted (it was midnight in Liberia) and only wanted Greg to hold him, but couln't get comfortable enough to fall soundly asleep. The biggest plus to the layover was the Crown Room with Delta. Because my dad got us a Platinum American Express Card, we had access to the Delta Crown Room which had SHOWERS!! This was wonderful and we felt like new people! Then, off to a 3 hour flight to FL in the most uncomfortable plane ever. . .but, we were almost home! It was on that flight that I started feeling incredibly sick to my stomach. Turns out that I must have brought something home from Liberia with me (I'm thinking my "club sandwich" that turned out to have tuna and egg in it. . .not so smart!). . .which made me throw up (and more that I won't go into detail with) all day yesterday and still has me weak kneed and unsteady today!
So, anyways, we landed at midnight Thursday night / Friday morning. There was a whole gaggle of friends and family waiting for us. Have I said before that we have BEST support system ever? There were about 20 people waiting for us with more that wanted to go and couldn't! They had signs made welcoming Davis home and screamed and shouted as they saw us approach. It made my cry immediately. Davis has no clue what an amazing family he has come home too that includes WAY more than just Greg and I and our other kids! They all started crying as soon as they saw Davis! In fact, I think my Granny may still be crying now! Well, seeing as we were exhausted (it was now 5 am Liberian time), we pretty quickly headed home. FYI: Davis was NOT happy about his first time in a carseat. I tried to explain,
you have to sit in a carseat here in America" Why? It sounds crazy since the roads in Liberia are SO Much worse that it should be the other way around!
Well, we arrived home at 1 am to wonderful surprises. Well, some were wonderful! My sister, Brittani has a favorite holiday tradition that includes decorating our front yard with the tackiest things she can find! She outdid herself this year! We have light up palm trees lining our front walk, a moving-light up flamingo and a light up Santa in a hammock in between two palm trees. The worse part is that we can't "punk" her back because their yard ALREADY looks like this! ha ha! Then, into our hoouse. My Papa had gone grocery shopping for us and had our fridge and pantry fully stocked! Some of my friends (Carrie, Sunday and Abby) had decorated our house. They'd reorganized our pantry and some cabinets and had left multiple vases of flowers and turned on all of our Christmas lights (oh, and left a sign of Davis over his bed!)! It was so sweet. They know how much I LOVE Christmas lights!
Davis turned into a new kid upon entering our home. Immediately, he seemed more comfortable. He got down from our arms and started exploring and acting more comfortable than we've ever seen him. He wandered from room to room checking things out. He loved the new toys, but was a bit afraid of the living room fans and the Christmas tree. He just kept looking up at the tree and making WIDE circles around it to not get too close! It cracked us up.
Our other kids were not at home. In fact, they have been the sickest our doc has ever seen them this week. (yes, here is where you absolutely pity Jessica who watched them, My mom who took them to the doctor where they threw up all over the waiting room and my in-laws who watchecd them also!) So, even though we got home super ealry Friday morning, we had to wait to see the kids until they had been on antibiotics for 48 hours. So, Friday was spent catching up. Davis spent the day exploring new toys. My mom (aka Nana) came over with an airplane that lit up and made sounds which apparantly is the coolest thing Davis has ever seen and a bag of clothes. You see, our orphan report told us that he wore 18-24 month clothes so we got our all of our 2 year clothes and went out and bought a bunch more. . .come to find out that he definitely wears 12-18 month clothes of which we had none! So, Nana and Grandad to the rescue with bags of clothes for our litle man! As much as we were despaately missing our kids (I'm pretty sure Greg almost cried when we found out we couldn't see them first thing Friday morning) it was a good day to catch up. I finished most of our laundry and we took Davis to the doctor (he has a resp. infection and most likely a parasite, so he's on antibiotics now). Last night, around 6 our other kids came home! We were SUPER excitecd to see them! We each went outside separately to say Hi and then came in to the house so we could video them meeting Davis for the first time. Remember, that this is a moment Brayden has been looking forward to as much as we had! Brayden immediately tried to hug him, but Davis was a bit unsure about these new white kids! Quickly, though, they ALL warmed up to each other. Within no time, they were giving hugs to one another and playing together. They just followed each other around and played with toys together. It was amazing. Greg even got video of them hugging which I'll try to figure out a way to post later. By this time, I was laid out on the couch and running to the bathroom every 15 minutes so I didn't get to quite enjoy all of the bonding. It was like Davis turned into a new kid. In fact, our friends Jay and Carrie came over with dinner (my amazing small group has arranged meals for us for the next week!) and Davis went over to both of them smiling. He even went to Jay for a moment, but quickly wanted down and went straight to Brayden for big hugs! It was adorable. They are doing AMAZING together. All the kids just love each other and it feels like he's been here forever. It just fits. The kids ARE anxious, however, for him to start talking to them.
Here are some pictures. . they aren't the best (and remember Brayden and Gracie have been quite sick, so that's why they look so bad!), but I remember what it was like to not be home yet and I knew you'd want EVERY picture we took! Love you guys and thanks for the support. I will keep posting (and Greg has some plan to post "rules of glogging" which I'm sure will be quite strange!) on our adjustment and still have some stuff to post from Africa too. LOVE YOU!


Anonymous said...

Oh Bran!!I'm so glad you guys are home safe and sound..
\He looks great!

love you tons,

Blu and Darbi said...

Incredible Brandi! I'm SO happy for your family!! can't wait to hear more in the coming days!


allison said...

Reading your blog has become one of my favorite parts of the day! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the experience of bringing your child home. Love the pics and I'll see you Monday when I bring over dinner.

Anonymous said...

Okay - I think I cried three times during this post...oh how I wish I could be there to give you all hugs! I am so thankful and excited that it is going so well with all the kids - what a wonderful blessing! I am sure the coming days will have some sweet, sweet moments. Glad you guys are feeling better - bet jess needs to go to liberia now for a vacation :) love you all - Renae

Lindsey said...

yay! yay! yay! i'm so glad you're all home and together!! praying for health and rest...


Anonymous said...

What a great report that you guys are home and the kids are getting along so well!
Thank you for taking the time to share!
Julie L

Kelly said...

Girl I am so happy you guys are home with your little man!! I can't wait to meet him. That poor boy has to be on sensory overload at this point! I will continue to pray for his adjustment!!
Love you all,
Kelly Gooch

Donna Barber said...

Hey girl- had to go to your blog to see how you and Henry were doing. So glad to hear it is going so well. I slept most of the day yesterday and am bush cleaning house and doing laundry too. sigh.... a moms work is never done. It is nice to be home though.

amber said...

Yay! You're home! It was so good to hear your voice on our answering machine yesterday. Can't wait to talk to you in person!

I had to laugh about your last plane being the most uncomfortable plane ever, because I have to respectfully disagree with you... OUR last plane was the most uncomfortable ever!!!! We were stuck back in the far corner in the seats that DONT TIP BACK! And it was a full flight on a small plane! SOoooo cramped!!

I am sorry about your stomach... Ughh. At least you were home by the time it really hit! That could have been a disaster in the airplane! :)

I LOVE the pics of the kids together. I am so glad things are going well! I'm glad you are getting meals brought to you for a week... my best friend organized dinners for us and it has been SO helpful.

Okay, I've rambled enough... I am just so glad you're home safely.

Love ya!

Jackie Sue said...

It was good to meet Davis this morning. He is adorable! Catherine says so too :) I did get a smile from him when I was tickling the other kids so I will look forward to tickling and holding him at church real soon! God Bless you all as you continue to recover from all your sicknesses.

Christina said...

The picture of Gracie and Davis hugging has too be the best picture ever! They love eachother so much and it's obvious. Very glad you're home safe and hope you're feeling better soon.

running shoes said...

My heart is overjoyed for you all! I am so sorry for all the sickness, but praying that it passes quickly