We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finally HOME

Finally, and finally, HOME!

Packing was fun

On our way to the airport!
Our facilitator's brother helped us through the check-in process at the airport (facilitator parked the car). I was very thankful he was there to help with the luggage! The check-in process is quite complicated. There is the initial customs check, two ticket/passport checks prior to the actual Delta desk, a checked-luggage search (manual and mandatory), immigration (and if you've overstayed your expected stay, as I did, you get to go visit the Immigration officers and pay a "fee"), then the first and most complete security check (x-ray, liquids, metal detector), then a ticket/passport/visa check, a carry-on luggage search (manual and mandatory - and sometimes a gender-specific body pat down), and, at last, the long walk out the tarmac to the airplane steps.

I had a few problems along the way (was an hour late due to the US time change...flight was leaving an hour earlier...ooops! and had to pay the immigration "fee", but the officer had mercy and accepted my 17 cedi rather than the "required" 40 cedi) and a few blessings (was allowed to take my thermos of hot water for baby bottles and one of the ticket/passport/visa checkers called me out of line to sit down while he did my check).

We were able (another huge blessing on a PACKED flight) to get a bulkhead seat with an empty chair between me and another lady with a child. I also was able to use the bassinet - which was a huge help! L was really so good on the flight. She had a few fussy periods, but for the most part she was really happy. We played and walked for the majority of the flight. She did sleep just a little bit -2 half hour naps...that is IT! So, I didn't sleep at all. It was tiring being in baby play mode for all that time!

Here is L in her bassinet.

Had many people who helped along the way - kind flight attendants and gate personnel, passengers who helped with overhead bins, Dan who carried my second carry-on bag all the way to immigration at JFK, the immigration officer who helped me fill out my form and moved me up to an open window, another passenger who helped me with my bag onto the second flight, and Dan, again, who carried my extra bag off the plane in Charlotte and all the way to baggage claim! (HI, DAN!)

It was SO GOOD to see the kids - but they looked HUGE! I swear they got bigger while I was gone. L was sound asleep in the wrap, so they were as quiet with their "Hello"s as they could be.

She got a little upset on the ride home, so I squished between the seats and sat beside her. Not at all safe, but after six weeks of riding without a seatbelt it didn't seem so bad.

Here we are coming in the front door.

It was nearly midnight by the time we'd all gotten in and had some snuggle time. L was practically loopy, but she seemed to enjoy the goofy faces all the kids made.

L surrounded by siblings

Trying out a "yoga" pose inspired by L.

All snuggled up!


Kristin Jag said...

LOVE it!! So happy to see that you are home and safe. Sounds like you had some wonderful help on the plane and all went pretty smooth! Glad you made your flight after you found out it was an hour early; I would have freaked after all you went through! Anyway...you are now HOME!!!!!

jazmine said...


Megan said...

Sooooooo glad for you. Relief! Welcome back and welcome home!

Masiek said...

Oh Kerry, your post of being home brought me to tears...I'm so happy for you...


Dominion Family said...

Welcome home, all. These are wonderful pictures.

robin said...

WELCOME HOME!!!!!! Finally!!!! Your kids deserve "BEST BIG BROTHER/SISTER" awards for being so patient bringin Lydia into the family - they certainly made a huge sacrifice of missing mom and dad and then mom again for so long - life time in little one's world.... what a beautiful family - SO thrilled for all of you - can't wait to talk - Robin

Jamie said...

Yay! Glad to hear you made it home safely.

The photos are so sweet. I can tell that L's big sister and brothers were excited to met her--and to see their mom again. So many happy faces in this post. :)

May God bless your first week together as a family of six.

Jessica said...

Oh, Kerry, how wonderful! What a beautiful family - all together for the first time! Praise God!

Laurel said...

So glad you are home.

Your time in Accra sounds much like ours (with all the hoops to jump through at the embassy). Our trip was just exactly a year before yours. We headed to Ghana on Feb. 4th (expecting to stay 2 weeks, which was the "normal" amount of time at that point). I finally came home after a month (as your husband did), so that I could be with my 10 bio. kids. My husband stayed in Accra with our 3 new children for another 2 weeks, and arrived home on March 18th last year. We had both used up every bit of our "sick leave" and had to return to work the day after the children arrived home. It was CRAZY!

Glad you will all have some more time together as family, for bonding now that your little one is finally home.


mama of 13

Bob said...

awesome guys! congratulations!! and the pictures are great! :)

Amy said...

So happy to hear you are home safe!

Praying for a smooth adjustment for everyone...

randi said...

Awesome! What an amazing blessing! She is gorgeous and it looks like she completes your lovely family!

Kate said...

Congratulations!!! I've been rubbish at commenting while you've been away, but you've been very present in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be as your family welcomes your beautiful new addition and adjusts to new routines.

DebD said...

I'm so happy for you! And I'm sure it is a relief to be back home again.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Oh, welcome HOME!!!

What a beautiful family!!!


Brittney said...

Congratulations!! What a beauty! Glad to hear so many people came to your aid and that you are finally home safe. Enjoy your new little one!