It's 10:30 on Thanksgiving night and also exactly one week since we have been home. Almost exactly a week ago, after 27 hours of travel, we came down the escalators at the SA Intl Airport. There Hailey and Hannah met for the first time and we received a welcome home that we will never forget. We were blessed to have so many friends come to welcome us back and to meet Miss Hannah. She was so excited that she slept through the entire event! We were also so blessed to come home to a stocked fridge a pantry and welcome home balloons and signs for each kid. We really have awesome friends!
Once home, we were able to see the girls interact with each other. Hailey seemed excited and wanted to show Hannah all of her cool toys. Hannah was a loyal subject and delighted Hailey by partaking in whatever toy/game Hailey placed in front of her. Finally at about 1:30am it was time to get the girls to bed - Hailey in her room and Hannah in her crib that we set up in the guest room. Hannah cried some that first night, but did eventually fall asleep. The sheer exhaustion of such a long day took its toll on all of us and we all slept hard. The girls woke around 10 the next day and the boys slept until 3pm!
The question I get the most is how are the girls doing with each other. The first day was rough - Hailey had a hard time sharing (her toys and her Daddy) and Hannah resorted to her Kung Fu smack attacks when she didn't get her way. There were lots of tears that first day. Each day the girls do better and better with each other. Of course we have daily episodes of hitting, not sharing or jealousy crying, but we also have plenty of time when the girls are happily playing with each other, sharing and laughing together. It's a big adjustment for both of them and I'm so proud that they are doing so well and trying so hard. We are doing our best to give them each lots of praise, affection and love. It's a process and it is cool to see how God is knitting us all together more each day.
This week we have had some trouble getting Miss Hannah to sleep. We had 2 nights that took 6 or more hours, yes HOURS, to get her to fall asleep. Thankfully, the last few nights have been much better. She understands it's bedtime and feels comfortable enough to allow herself to lay down and let me cover her up. After getting Hannah, she has changed sleeping spots 3 times as we switched hotels along the journey. Poor baby was so stressed those first few nights as she adjusted to yet another new sleeping spot. I'm glad she is getting the rest she needs and therefore so are we!
Hannah amazes us each day with her progress. She seems to understand the things we are telling her and she is saying more English words all the time. She seems more secure here in our house and with her brothers and Hailey. She is an amazingly brave, strong and feisty girl. She is sweet, lovable and a total blessing! I'm so thankful for the gift of all of our kids. Each one is a unique and wonderful blessing. I'm so grateful to have experienced becoming a parent through adoption. God has displayed his redeeming love for me through this process. He goodness is evident in the gift he has given us in Hannah. The journey to the other side of the world to get her was a thrilling adventure for us and the boys - a trip full of memories that are so precious! God's glory is best displayed when he makes the impossible, possible. He is found in the ordinary parts of our daily lives, but He is never ordinary. I'm thankful that He laid an extraordinary journey before us and we said yes! Oh, what adventure, blessings and love we would have missed if he hadn't said yes. More importantly, to walk God's path for my life is so much more fulfilling than my own narrow trail. He has used this journey to display his goodness, glory, love and power of redemption to our family. I'm so very very thankful.