Monday, December 13, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

Oh how wonderful to be in our own home again! All is well and Sophia is settling in just fine, but it's definitely been busy the last few days and the effects of jet lag are kicking in. My sweet friend reminded me that an unfinished blog is quite the cliffhanger though, so I thought I should add a few pictures and give an update on how our little Empress is doing.

Our trip home started out quite early Friday morning when our guide picked us up from the hotel at 6:00 am. I have to say, I do kind of miss staying at the Garden -it was an amazing hotel!

Rodney and Madeline walking by the giant Christmas tree in the lobby.
Our flight left on time and was uneventful until the last 20 or so minutes when we flew into a major windstorm going on in Beijing. I have never been so scared on a plane in my life and there was so much turbulence it felt like we were on a boat in very, very choppy water. Hats off to the pilots though, because we landed safely and Sophia never even knew anything was out of the norm - she was so well behaved for the whole flight. We found out later there was actually some wind damage done to the Beijing airport and our layover ended up being eight hours instead of five. We did eventually get off the ground though and although the 11 hour trip to Seattle seemed like it would never end, we made it and she even slept for several hours (in her Daddy's arms, of course).

At the airport in Guangzhou - I suppose a city of 13+ million people would have one that's slightly bigger than Seattle, huh?

Waiting for our flight.

See the woman on the left? She's just one of the many who took pictures of us!
It took almost an hour to get thru customs and immigration - which is where Miss Sophia became a U.S. citizen - and we were so anxious to get to baggage claims to meet our sweet family. I can't even tell how good it was to round the corner and see our sweet kiddoes! They were so excited to see their new sister and started out doing what they do best - showing her every possible thing they could think of! She was shy for a few minutes, but who could resist the antics of someone as funny as Jackson? He had her smiling and laughing in no time and on our ride home from the airport she was laughing harder than we'd ever heard her! We were really amazed at how well she did meeting them and we couldn't have asked for a better homecoming.

Proud Big Brother Elijah

Olivia brought a big Hello Kitty balloon for Sophia.

Starting to warm up as the boys show her their new watches.

She was even giving kisses before we even left the airport.

We're having to quickly remember what it's like to have an almost two year old in the house again. It's baby proofed as far as breakable things, but she's just the right height to be able to reach up and grab things off the table or counter top... like my Dt. Pepsi... which was cold, so she dropped it.. on the floor. :-( It's almost been laughable how many things we've had to quickly move and say "oops, gotta keep that out of reach too!" She'll get us trained though, I'm sure of it.

Laughing at her new siblings in the van. (Please ignore the car seat strap... at least she was in one, which is better than what we had in China!)

As for sleeping, she woke up for two hours our first night home, but has slept 12-13 hours the last two nights without waking up, so we're hoping she's well on her way to getting her body clock adjusted to the new time zone. It took Jackson and Elijah both about a week when we came home from Russia, so we may be getting off easy with her! (Now, if only I could convince my body clock to do the same.)

We are so thankful to each of you who have followed our journey, prayed for our family, and encouraged us along the way. I have no idea why God has chosen to bless us so, but Rodney and I have an amazing family and are so glad He has put it on our hearts to grow our family thru adoption. It's a journey like no other and if this blog has been good for anything, it will mean the most to me if it has encouraged any of you to consider adoption as well. Feel free to call, email, or talk to us in person if you ever have any questions. There are approximately 145 million orphans in this world - I can't even imagine what it's like to grow up without a family of my own.

Our three little miracles.
Which leads to the next question we've already been asked so many times... are we going to adopt again? We have no idea! If we've learned anything though, it's to leave our hearts open to listen for God's will in our lives. We thought we were done after adopting Jackson... and again after adopting Elijah... what if we hadn't followed His will for us and decided to adopt again? We wouldn't be the parents of our beautiful little Sophia! So we'll leave the door open, and in the meantime, go on enjoying our precious, growing family. Which is a van full already!

This blog has been a true labor of love - it's far more time consuming than I realized blogs are, so this will be the end of it. We'll keep in touch with emails, visits, facebook and phone calls instead. Thanks again for following along!

Empress Sophia ~ She has us all so wrapped around her little finger already and Olivia is loving getting to dress her up each day!

Karee and Family ~


  1. Congratulations! You have been in my thoughts & prayers!
    Elizabeth in MN (COChomeschoolers)

  2. Loved following the blog - and will continue to stay in touch via FB. We are planning a trip over your way for the tulip festival this spring, perhaps we could meet up somewhere with the girls... Take care!

  3. I have loved following your journey. We are in the decision phase of SN adoptions and it is so helpful to read others stories. I had not heard of Starfish until reading your blog. We are now sponsoring a child from Starfish as a result. I also came across this blog,
    The family went last summer to volunteer at Starfish and there a few pictures of your daughter if you haven't seen them yet.
    Enjoy the new beginning with your daughter. She is beautiful.