We're Home - Part 2

I looked around our house this morning and couldn't really believe we've been to China and back. Oh home sweet home!

The journey home was not nearly as rough as we anticipated. Grace slept almost the entire flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco, and we were given seats in bulkhead...meaning we had the extra leg room and a tray that came out on which they strapped a bassinet. So Grace was able to sleep in a comfy and cozy "bed" and our laps were free.She charmed the flight attendants by blowing them kisses. They LOVED her!This is Grace's smile after being declared an American citizen at the Immigration gate in San Francisco. After Scott said, "Yay Grace!" she clapped her hands. Waiting to board the plane from Houston to Birmingham. This was the only flight she stayed awake on.Looking out at the clouds.Meanwhile, Carter was waiting at the airport. My parents had taken him to Build A Bear to pick out a panda bear for Grace. (We had a gift from her to him too.) He was so excited about giving the panda to his new sister.Family and friends had made signs and had balloons to welcome Virginia Grace. (My cousin Ashley with her kids: Cece, Graham, Tate, and Alex.)
After 24 hours of traveling, I was overjoyed to be walking off the plane...Wiping away tears..such joy to see family and friends welcoming us home.

My sweet friends...
One of my college roommates with her son, BennettEmily (who blogged for me while we were gone) and her daughter, Lia Kate. Danny and Emily brought her home in January. I love how they just stared at each other!We know they'll be close friends.My Aunt Judi, cousin Leigh Ann and her daughter Mary Katherine, and my sister CourtneyMy sister brought us beautiful roses.Carter, Scott, and Scott's mom. (All my pics are from other people's camera, and I'm still missing photos of my SIL, FIL, and some other friends who were there. I'll add them as I get them!)We loved seeing how excited Grace and Carter were to see each other. We've had to show Carter how to hug Grace gently because he kept taking her down with really enthusiastic bear hugs. :)Hugging her panda on the way home. She had never been in a carseat before, and we thought she might hate it, but she did great.Playing out on the deck when we got home. This was about the only time she was out of my arms on Friday. I am sure the house was overwhelming since we'd been living in hotel rooms. And she was also afraid of our dog Jackson. Thankfully, she has since warmed up to him.

Grace and Carter playing. They are really funny together. They will mimic what the other is doing...I'll try to post one of the videos soon. It's hilarious.
By Saturday, she was walking around the house and interacting with our families. She seems to be adapting well!

If only she'll adapt to the new time zone. The last two nights, she's woken up at 2:30 am, ready to play! We've gotten her back down by 4 am, but it's a long 90 minutes when you're fighting jet lag and already exhausted. Please pray she'll adjust quickly!

Eating Chinese food her first night home. We were told not to immediately switch her to American food because it will throw her little tummy for a loop.
Carter playing his musical instrument from ChinaI bought these pjs in Fairhope months ago, and I am so thrilled they're not too small! Virginia Grace is a tiny little peanut. The pjs have Chinese writing on them...although I have no idea what it says.
Grace is still always eating...
and eating.
And we're trying to wean Carter off his paci since my mom allowed him to have it outside of his bed while we were gone.
At least both of them having their mouths full keeps the house a little bit quieter. :)
Scott and his two kids....wow, that's weird to type. :) Please pray for me this week as I will be on my own during the day. My parents left this morning, so I am jumping right in with being a mom of two. And two TODDLERS! The days are going to be long if Grace keeps up her crazy waking schedule.

I'll try to keep up with posts as we adjust. I know I can't count on my memory to capture all the moments, so I need to document them somehow. Much love to all of you and many thanks for continuing to encourage us, pray for us, and celebrate with us.


Amy said...

Kelley, I've read all your posts and I'm so excited you guys are home. I just burst in to tears after looking at all those sweet pictures.
Enjoy your GROWING family! What a blessing.

Jess said...

This is so awesome! What a wonderful journey that is really just beginning! I hope you can continue to post! I have gotten so used to the updates! All the best!

The Hoppers said...

So glad that you are home!!!! I love the pictures and love the posts! You have to keep posting because I love to keep up with what's going on!:) Continuing to pray for you all!

Ashley said...

So glad you made it home and that everyone is doing well!!

The Hamiltons said...

Welcome home! Wonderful family photos - looks like both she and Carter are doing great. Get some rest.

Melissa said...

Yay! You're home!!

Seeing pictures of Grace in China...well, she didn't look all that small. But seeing her up against Carter!! Wow. She IS a little peanut.

I can't wait to meet her! So glad you're home safe and sound and I'm praying you'll get some much needed sleep tonight.

Fittsy said...

I too will pray for rest tonight. (Scott looks tired in that pic with his TWO toddlers.) And I'll pray that your week goes smoothly.

I hope that I get to see you tomorrow night and hear a little of the story in person!

Take care,


Unknown said...

It is so wonderful to see them together! Wow, it's a different story when you jump into having two kids and they are close to the same age. I guess it is easier and harder at the same time! Keep posting, I love seeing your life!! Your story is the first adoption I have seen the whole way through! I feel blessed to be a very small part. What blessing she is going to be to your family! Adoption is truly amazing! I am eager to get the ball rolling with our adoption!

Kim said...

What a joy to see your beautiful family of four home forever!

Design A-Peele said...

so exciting that you're finally home! And I had no idea your sister was Courtney! My sister (Laura Pelletier) and her were good friends in college! Again, small world!

B-Mama said...

Kelley, these pictures are just the most beautiful sight to see. I am in tears seeing Carter and Virginia Grace together; and your start as a family of 4. How wonderfully exciting! Know of our continued prayers!!!

Joel and Lee-Anne said...

Kelley - welcome home. It was such a hue blessing to me to follow your journey to China and back. Grace is beautiful - praise God for a smooth adjustment. I remember when we brought our Naomi -then 13 months - home. She did the same thing, waking up in the night wanting to play and EAT.....about 2 weeks and she was through the night (with a few months of night terrors, but she grew out of them).
We are thrilled for you and your new family of 4!!
Still waiting on our LOA....praying we get to travel in July. We'll see.
Much love

Brittany said...

Love the pictures!! They are priceless! What a journey of grace to GRACE!

Prayers as you adjust this week! Snuggle with your TWO BABIES! :)

Ericka B. Jackson said...

YES!!!!! I love love LOVE this! And the pictures of Grace & Carter are just TOO precious! So so excited for you! I saw a little girl in a stroller in the airport the other day that looked a lot like Grace...made me think of you and smile! ;)

Unknown said...

This post just made me cry! So nice to see families united again and all that excitement to welcome you home! BTW - we have that same tea outfit for my daughter. I love it--I think it has a Chinese look about it. :)