Monday, January 31, 2011

Homeward Bound

View from the Terrace restaurant on top of the hotel Rockland

All of us thought those last few hours before heading to the airport would never pass, including Treya who kept picking up her moccasins and pointing to the door.

True to form, Devi was sick on the way to the airport, but after 23 days traveling, we were finally prepared with travel sickness bag in hand. Nothing like leaving Delhi with all our luggage and bag of barf in tow. Dev, the trooper, was proud that she was only a little sick this time, momma.

Every trip needs one snag. Ours was going through security in route to our departure gate. The examiner challenged the validity of our guardianship papers because they were copies...notarized copies...but still he thought we should have originals. He also could not understand why Devi had an Indian AND US passport. (the VISA office had stapled them together with a note in large letters not to take them apart) In a few tense moments, the examiner took our paperwork away to have a supervisor look everything over. When he returned he had softened, but then decided he had a few questions he wanted to have answered spurred by his own curiosity. Of concern were why we would adopt two girls and not boys, why we chose India and not some other country, and did Pat and I have a sound marriage. With the desire for idle chit-chat long since gone, we rushed our answers and got the heck out of there.

Split seats...3 together and 1 across the aisle made for an odd first leg to our journey home. Treya decided she was more fond of daddy, so he got to manage both girls for the first 8 hours because no one would change seats with us. Alone for the first time on the trip, one might think that I would enjoy a movie or a meal eaten in leisure, but I was a nervous wreck, feeling inept and unable to help poor daddy, who did just great without any help from me what so ever.

Kid's Forest, the kiddy play area in the Amsterdam airport, kept us all busy for the nearly 5 hour layover. The kids ran around getting rid of all their wiggles before boarding another plane bound for Seattle with a flight time of just over 9 hours. This time we had 4 seats together and the girls slept the majority of the least 8 hours for Treya. She woke long enough for lunch and then it was lights out again for her. In fact, the man seated in the row behind us commented on landing that he had no idea that two small children were sitting in front of him, as they were so quiet.

Both girls sacked out for the final leg home.

Going through customs was easy, but long. I missed the "families with children go first" rule enforced throughout India. Instead we waited in line for over an hour with two tired and whiny children. Their demeanor's drastically changed once spotting our warm welcome of family in baggage claim. As we rose up the escalator, there was our brood, wildly waving from all sides of the room opening to us. Devi could not get hugs from everyone fast enough and Treya waved hellos and did namastes for everyone.

We stopped at Oma's house for a little lunch and a chance for everyone to take in our Treya. She withdrew into the recesses of her little mind, trying to process the situation and watched intently through her bright eyes of her otherwise blank stare. This reminded me of just how far we have come in just a short week getting to know her. She is quite the crack up these days. So funny.

In need of a little something to ward off the nods we were both suffering, we stopped at Starbucks, for a sip of familiar to get ourselves home those last few miles. Mine didn't work as I fell asleep in route, dropping my coffee into my lap and drenching myself awake!

Balloons graced our table covered in cookies, muffins, and breads, not to mention the counter tops loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. Completely stocked, the fridge was loaded with all kinds of prepared foods. I won't need to cook for a couple of months! All this from our wonderful neighbors and friends. What a wonderful home coming!

Once a little settled, we all slept for a few hours and then got a second wind. I unpacked our suitcases and did the laundry, while Devi showed her sister around her new home. We got out her little book of pictures and she seemed to recognize the rooms. A bubble bath, to wash off the Delhi dirt and one broken toe for me suffered by tripping on the girls kiddie stool and we were ready for bed again at 2am. Treya, resisting sleep, cried for about 5 minutes before finally settling down. Since they now share a room, Devi soothed her into dreamland as only a big sister can....a little shouting, a little huffing and a few soft words.

Hoping to sleep until 6 or so, we awoke to find it was 10:45am! Boy did that mattress feel good. A far cry from the coconut husk mattress we shared in Goa. After breakfast, we went for our first story time and coffee time and then took Treya to her first search of a pair of shoes for her.

Currently, the girls are both napping upstairs in their room. It feels so good to say that. It also feels so great to be home with all 4 of us. The transition to this point has been going remarkably well and we all hope it continues. Today, Treya learned to say apple! Need I say more?

First breakfast at home!


Jennifer said...

Welcome home! What a great post, and what sounds like a pretty decent journey home all things considered. Here's the the jetlag wearig off soon for all of you.

Congratulations to the family of 4!

Anonymous said...

butter and syrup!

yes you need to say more!

We are so happy you are all home!


Peter and Nancy said...

Hooray for home! Glad you got a good night's (day's?) sleep for everyone . . . and now, the beginning of the rest of your lives together!
Hugs to you all,

Emily said...

Sounds like a homecoming filled with love! I am so so happy to hear you are all home and doing well, beyond well actually! Your family is complete, and now you can bask in the glow of it all :) Love and hugs, Emily

Kristi said...

And a broken toe? You slipped that in...are you ok? I love seeing the girls together at home, finally! Now onto the new normal!

Lynda said...

The word "Beautiful!" just comes to mind. :)

Sananda has the same elephant jammies! She would be jealous of Devi's having a little sister and keeps asking/praying for one.

Anyway, congrats! So glad you are all home and Treya is adjusting so well!

The Harmons said...

Yeah you are HOME! Can you even believe it? Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

Karen said...

Perfect! So glad you are home safe & sound & full of family joy...and are showered with the caring of your neighbors! Wow! Now that is what I call an outpouring of love. Sounds like your family is already knit together quite nicely. The girls are just adorable together. Thanks for keeping us posted!

And I hope you're getting many little-girl kisses for your boo-boo toe. Always something, eh?

xoxo Karen & crew

The Pfeiffer Family said...

So happy to hear that you made it home safe and sound. Sounds like the trip went well. What a blessing to have such a wonderful homecoming. I love hearing about how well the girls are getting along. So many memories will continue to be made as each day passes. Enjoy finding the new normal as a family of 4.

April :-)

india to wisconsin said...

YEAH your home!!! So glad to hear you made it safe and sound and the girls are doing so well together. Take it easy the next few days and get over your jet lag and your broken toe.



heather_and_nathan said...

Nothing like home turf after a long trip! Glad you made it home safe. Hopefully the post travel fog dissipates rapidly and you settle into the new and exciting normal.


Kristy Hall said...

Welcome home!

Anonymous said...

I guess you can finally get rid of that "awaiting for approval to travel" Unless there is something you are not telling us!


The Baxter Family said...

Congratulations to you all, and Welcome Home!!!!

Anonymous said...

And Time to change the blog subtitle and the ticker :)
Hurray to you and your family. God Bless!!!

Sandy & Butch said...

It looks so good to see BOTH your girls sitting at the table eating breakfast together!!! Welcome home to all of you and welcome to the family little Treya!
love, Sandy

Cindy said...

Welcome home! The girls look very happy. Devi looks PROUD.

Congrats to you all.

Love from NC,
Cindy, Darrell, Emy, Luke & Tessa