It has been a bit over a week since I have returned home from trip 1 to visit with our sweet girl and I have yet to sit down to update you all since then. I first wanted to say THANK YOU - thank you for the amazingly generous outpouring you have shared with us of cards, emails, calls, wishes, tears and even financial gifts towards the final adoption costs. We are truly overwhelmed (in a good way) by your love!
Here is the recap of the past week:
After a few long, delayed flights, I was greeted by my dear husband and our little 2 year old who was asleep in the car. She woke up a few moments to smile at me, grab my hand and say, 'Oh, mama' and then fall asleep again. She slept for 13 hours that night... we both felt that she felt at ease knowing both her parents were now with her and that she could rest.
We woke the next morning to life in full swing - papa to prepare for church, mama to bell choir rehearsal, and a little one passed on to others in the hustle and bustle of it all. After service we all scurried home and were able to Skype with our little girl! It was a wonderful meeting moment for papa and his new daughter through the computer screen and for two sisters to share their latest drawings with one another (one much more interested in the other... I think Aila has had her fill of Skype conversations for awhile...). A few hours later we had our Christmas visitors arrive - Mac's younger brother and his wife, and despite my attempts I could not keep my eyes open for their 6:30 arrival...
The next morning all our household graciously allowed me to fill in the final details of the I800 form I had attempted to fill much out before I left for the trip and by noon, the package was on its way to USCIS (US Immigration) for the final review and hopeful approval notice that we will need to send to her country, along with a few other final documents, to complete our file and paperwork. Whew! Then we were off to some fun last minute shopping - it was truly a magical time all together!
We shared a great week of Christmas fun, traditions, and even some snow. And mixed among it all were moments of processing for myself what had just occurred and how much our lives had just changed (all for good) within a week. With every email filled with a few new photos to a video of her first Christmas Eve and morning... my heart aches to have her here more. This is really hard, there is just no way around it.
It has only been a week and I already find it hard to talk about her without tearing up...
So that is our up-to-date recap of things so far... awaiting our I800 approval, needing a few more documents notarized and apostilled and then more waiting until the files reach her country, are submitted to her government, are approved and assigned a judge who will then assign us a court date... hm... so close, but so far away.
Here are a few more photos to share of our sweet girl since I have returned home. She continues to do so well and we are told that she loves the photos we send her every few days. And, you could imagine, we love the photos we get of her and of her foster family. Her foster family has forever changed our lives in such a deep and powerful way. Look at this joy!
The love of a family is amazing! We are so so thankful for this foster family and for all foster families!!!
Our hearts ache with the other families who have to leave their children in the orphanages between trips 1 and 2, and more so for all the children that are left behind... there should be a word for the ache they must feel...but I will save the thoughts for another post soon!