Monday, December 10, 2007

We're Home!!!

For all you loyal readers out there, I'm sorry we've been MIA for the past few days! One of those days involved about 14 hours worth of travel to get us back home to FRIO ('COLD') Minnesota!

Our travel day on December 6th was a LONG one...we started by waking up at 4:30 AM to leave for the airport by 5:30 am. After a taxi mix-up, we were off to the airport a bit late, but things at the airport went really well and we made up the time we lost easily. As we waited to board our first plane, we visited with our friend Tamara and baby John ("Juanito") who were on our same plane to Atlanta and our new friends Megan with her daughter Maria and new son Benjamin (and her mom) who are all from Savage, MN! They literally live just five miles (or less!) from us here in Shakopee. We are looking forward to connecting with them more after the holidays! The flight to Atlanta went pretty smoothly - thankfully Angie slept for much of it! And thanks to Tia Michelle for the gift of the portable DVD player - a lifesaver when traveling!
Customs and Immigrations at Atlanta was tough only because the kids were restless and starving (we don't blame them - we were too!) and it took a long time. There weren't any problems though and around 3:30 PM Atlanta time, our kids became US Citizens! We got a little choked up realizing the significance of that! We ate lunch at Chili's in the airport and then split up - Juancho and Papi walked around the airport and looked at 'guy stuff' while Mami, Laura & Angie visited all the shops and enjoyed all the 'girly stuff'. We met up at our gate later, and waited for boarding. Thankfully there was an 'indoor playground' nearby that captivated the kids attention and energy (and gave Mami & Papi a chance to rest!).

Since then we've been unpacking suitcases, doing laundry, and experiencing a few 'firsts'! Of course there have been many snow 'firsts' like sledding (great fun!) and trying to make a snowball and snowman...unfortunately the snow is a little 'dry' for that. The children met Santa for the first time ever on Saturday night - as Santa toured the streets of Maple Plain (where Robert's dad & grandma live) and handed out bags of candy. That prompted the first time trying an "Atomic Fireball' candy...which was quickly determined to be NOT their favorite candy! :) There's been the 'first' visit to Target (to buy snowpants and snow boots, of course!) and our first visit to our gym to go swimming was today! Unfortunately our swimming adventure was cut short because some child (thankfully not one of ours) pooped in the pool! Ewww! We'll got back often though! All the children love swimming and are not afraid of the water...we may look at getting them involved in swimming lessons come this January!

It has been nice to have more than one room to spread out in, and to not worry about disturbing other families now that we are home. The children are enjoying their new rooms, toys and clothes. They are also learning the rules of the house...
"No, just because you have that many pants in your closet does not mean you can change your clothes that many times each day." (that was said to Laura - our girly girl clothes horse!)
"When you burp or fart at the table, we expect you to say 'Excuse Me' (or 'Perdon' in Spanish)" (this was said to Juancho - our true boy!)
"It hurts the puppy when you pull his ears/tail/hair/feet/etc." (said to Angie who is doing a great job of breaking PJ in to having kids!)

Here's a few pics for your viewing enjoyment! We look forward to having a few more firsts with the the first time they get to meet each one of you

After Juancho took a shower, I went in to make sure there wasn't a swimming pool on the floor, and this is what I found...look closely at the wall...very heartwarming!

After being a bit shy of PJ at first, Angie is doing a great job of getting PJ used to what it means to have kids in the house! And PJ is doing a GREAT job!

Sunday we put up the Christmas tree and made Christmas cookies...guess what color Laura picked for her cookies? You got it! PINK!!

Juancho picked blue, of course...he loves cooking! He helped Papi with breakfast this morning - he loves being 'the chef'!

Angie picked yellow & easily ate more of her dough than she ended up putting on the pan to be baked...but we all had a great time!

What kid can't find hours of fun with a box big enough to sit in?

Angie loved decorating the Christmas tree!

So did the rest of the family! Here are the older two helping Papi put on the lights.

The kids were barely out of bed on Friday when they were asking to go out and play in the snow. After a Target run to get snowpants, boots and sleds, the kids had a GREAT time out in the snow!

Laura in all her pink and purple glory!

It took about a half hour to get Angie into all her winter gear with how wiggly she was, but she loved being out in the snow!


LaDonna said...

Welcome HOME!! I will have to come visit over my lunch time sometime soon:)

Luke and Emily said...

I am so glad that you posted an update! I have been checking your site at least once a day since Thursday waiting to hear an update. We will continue to pray for your family as you adjust to many changes. We are so happy for you guys!

Heather said...

Hey guys! Welcome home! I miss you and I am exited that you are closer and in the U.S. now!
PJ looks a little worn out in your picture - I'm sure he's doing fine, he loves kids! See ya later, and can't wait to see you!

Jax said...

I, too, have been waiting for the update!! I am so excited for you, all 5 of you - I was crying reading this post I'm so happy for you! What a wonderful Christmas you are going to have! I probably won't see you this time through - our time is pretty short. But hopefully I will be taking a trip on my own in a few months to spend some extended time with family and friends in MN. I love CA, but sure miss all of you!

Can't wait to meet your new family - what a wonderful Christmas blessing from heaven!

Isabelita's_mom said...

Congratulations Holly and family. How exciting that you are finally back home with your lovely children. We are having a wonderful first XMAS season with Isabel and this one will be very special for all of you as well. Stay warm and keep in touch!

Jes said...

We miss you guys and can't wait to meet your whole family! I am sure you guys are busy, busy, busy! Just know that we are thinking of you and love you guys! Welcome home!

mnmeadows said...

Seeing pictures of the kids in the familiarity I know of your home really makes it touch my heart knowing it is for real and permanent. Hay menos que una semana hasta puedo encontrar a ellos en persona, no puedo esperar!!

tamara said...

Hi guys! Glad to hear that you all made it home safely and that the kids are adjusting well to the wintry weather! Seeing their pictures really made me miss them! I'm sure Baby John would love some "JUANITO" action from Juancho! Have a wonderful Christmas! Talk soon!

Rita Andrews said...

I loved reading your adoption journey as we went through the same stay for exactly 4 weeks at Betty's place as well with our 2 girls. Looking for an update on your lovely family. Im sure you will be overwhelmed with joy this christmas season. Rita Andrews