Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Home & kids

Heehee yep, we forgot to post about our trip home but we arrived safe and sound on Saturday afternoon.  The kids had their last performance of their play at church so only daddy and Cav were there to meet us but it was perfect.  In fact a very old friend happened to be in the airport who I haven't seen in years.  It was perfect.

BUT I digress cuz I know you want to know how the flights were.

LONG - Cathay is as much of a cattle car as Delta was last time - so if you are traveling, I wouldn't spend any extra for a different airline - go with what is the cheapest and best schedule.

We flew from Guangzhou to Hong Kong this time (instead of bus etc.)  I don't think there is a fast easy solution to getting out of GZ but I felt this was better than the bus, different hotel room we did last time.

I swear we went through security about 8 times that day if not more.  So do NOT go buying drinks for the trip in GZ like we did - or you know take the waters so generously offered on the flight from GZ to HK cuz you too will be doing this!

 However, there is a seperate security for those doing a transfer in HK so look to the side as you are walking of you plane and head down the hall.  We made the mistake of going to the bathroom first and then had to stand in a longer line but it still wasn't bad.

LOVE HK airport.  Free wifi, plenty of good food and shopping.  We had 3 hours there which flew by after facetiming the kids and eating.

From Hong Kong we flew to San Francisco.  Let's jsut say we sat in the toddler section - and Griffen was the only adopted child in that section LOL!  We had terrible terbulance and there many long hours I sat in my seat with my head hanging over the nice little baggies the airlines provide.  I know you don't care about me.

Ok so in our toddler section of 2 rows we had a 
BARFER (not me thankfully but it didn't help my situations)
and a sleeper.

Wanna guess which was mine!

Yep, our prince was the sleeper!

He watched Bolt (in English)
At dinner
got all snuggled in with a bottle
a little Melatonin
and periodic doses of the no-jet-lag tabs (I swear by them)

and he slept 13 of the 16 hours (I know I hate people like me too but thank the Lord, as I couldn't hold down my stomach and have cared for him too.)

San Francisco was awesome - we luckily asked which immigration line to go into (while standing in the huge US citizen line) and were sent to the NEW IMMIGRANT on which had one other family (who were really new immigrants)

The man was so incredibly nice.

Then we had to wait for all our bags (glad we had another 3 hr connection as there were 1000 bags they said)

Handed over our customs forms and headed for our last plane
(um don't take pics in the customs area LOL!)

Got of the plane and our little man went right to his daddy with a giggle and a grin!

LOVE this picture of them!!  
Mind you neither speaks the same language heehee!

Passed out on the 1 1/2 hr trip home and woke up to lots of fun decorations!

Heehee my husband had nicknamed Tao - the 2 foot tomato so he had morgan and my poor Aunt cut out green leaves to decorate the chinese lanterns into tomato's heehee!

My Aunt flew out from St Louis to help with the kids for the last part of our trip and she truly was the calvary!  She baked with Morgan, taught her to cross stitch, got the kids ready and took them to their play (including make up and hair LOL!) and a thousand other things!  Truly a blessing and an answer to so many prayers!

The kids were all so enamoured by Tao and bless his little heart he did great.  I am pretty sure I would have been scared LOL!  I don't think his feet hit the ground again until Monday when they went to school!  He 

LOVE this pic of our family!~

Sunday afternoon we had an impromptu get together with my brother and his family.  Our kids love their cousin!  And we were blessed with warm enough weather that we decided to head outside for lunch!  

Griffen did not miss a beat!  Truly this kid is an answer to so many prayers!

While the kids played outside, my husband and brother went inside to install a tiny stair railing for Tao 
These are the little things I love about my husband.  The baby fell down the stairs Sunday morning and he noticed that it was the only place in the house where we don't have the banister poles for Tao to hold onto.  He really is amazing in creating the few adaptations our kids need to live a "normal" life.

Griffen is sleeping in our room.  The first two nights he would wake up crying (this baby goes from calm to hysterical in 5 seconds).  We do give him the tiny doses of Melatonin before bed, and a bottle.
Last night he went right to sleep and slept all night.

Our three bio kids have welcomed him into their family with the love and excitement that we have come to see from them.  When you think of it, truly it makes me proud of them, as well as so many of the other kids in the adoption community.  Opening up their hearts, their homes and their toys to a stranger to love forever.  The worst thing has been breaking up a fight over who gets to help with him or hold him.  We are also very aware of what we say and do so as not to start out with bad habits we need to break later.

FeiFei - that poor baby bawled when I walked int he door.  I think she held it in while I was gone but her past creeped in.  Hugs and cuddles and reminding her that we are a family, and that means we always come home (our mantra).  I think that this actually was a defining point for her in realizing this and that we love her so very much.  She has been her same happy self.  An interesting dynamic - once the big kids went to school on Monday she then stepped up and really took over playing with and caring for the baby.  He adores her!!

Cav - he had the most issues while I was gone.  I truly can say that he actually had less issues than we expected.  However, we (as in I) worked very hard to ensure that he was left with people who he can't manipulate.  There are always people in his environment that he can, but the main caretakers were very good at setting boundaries.  Truth be told, daddy was who I was worried about the most, but even he caught on after a few days.  That being said Cav's sensory issues have really showed.  We have 3 appts in about 10 days with our fabulous PT who will help get him back.  
    As far as Griffen and Cav, this is my heartbreak (again).  Although ideally we probably should have waited for several more years before adopting again I truly don't think it would have made a difference with Cav.  And beside ~ you know the whole God thing, the greater good was to get that baby of ours home.  The heartbreaking part of Cav and Griffen is once again we see where Cav has no idea how to play with another child.  So we have become very cognitive of helping guide him through appropriate ways to play with the baby, to relate with him etc.  I jumped for joy yesterday when Cav actually sat with Griffen and they were able to play blocks together.  Luckily, griffen is so easy it allows me the time and energy to continue with Cav.  
   Lastly,  I truly believe that having Griffen will ultimately be the best thing for Cav.  His younger brother will push him to atleast stay up to par as far as developmentally  and emotionally (there is a 2 year and 1 day age difference).  I am prepared that Griffen my surpass Cav at some point in these areas and we will deal with them when it happens.  The journey through China again helped me to process many of the things from last year.  I am not sure if Cav will always want to remain on the outer fringes of our family (where I think he feels the most comfortable).  But you know somewhere in China I realized I am ok with this.  It's heard to verbalize, but forcing the kid to be lovey dovey exuberent jsut might not be the best use of our energy.  My goal with him is to make sure he is a productive member of society and to know his family loves him fiercely, in fact we love him as he is (and that is huge).


  1. So happy you arrived home safely and that things went relatively well with re-entry. I hope that Cav an Griffen will become best of friends. It might just take some times. I have a 17 mon old and we are in the process of adopting. We have not been matched yet, but I hope my 17 mo old and the newest will love each other. I am not worried about the others because they are such great big brothers.

  2. Welcome home!! And seriously.....he slept 13 hours??? I'm not sure we can still be friends. :)

  3. I was so excited to receive your update and see your gorgeous family all together. :)
    Wishing you all the love and blessings you deserve.

  4. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I've loved reading your blog and it's so heartwarming to see such a happy ending for all.

  5. So happy to see you are home. Thank you for sharing your journey and all your honesty about Cav. I often wonder how Jack would do if we added another. I'm not so sure. You are one fabulous Mama!

  6. SO glad you are safely home and I love the picture on the steps of your whole family together, right where everyone belongs!

  7. Great post. Great family picture....you looked AMAZING after that looongggg trip! wow! You should use it for a Christmas card or something! ;)
    And your thoughts on Cav at the end were very encouraging and what I needed to hear.
    And Griffen is just adorable...so happy for you and WELCOME HOME! :)

  8. Welcome home! It is so beautiful to see your entire family together!!! And a bday cake for Tak! How sweet! LOVE! Praying for y'all as you find your new normal and everyone heals and becomes "family"!

    And, what is the no-jet-lag tabs ? Gotta get me some of those!