Finally. We are home as a family of four. What a day it has been! I was so nervous about Archie on the flights, specifically the 10 hour one, but Joey said he was absolutely amazing. And that was with only 1 hour of sleep throughout 16 hours of travel. He was charming everyone, and entertaining, just as I know he would.
While we stood waiting for them at the airport, my heart was literally beating out of my chest and my stomach was doing flip-flops. The anticipation and anxiousness was out of control. Joey called me to let me know that they would be out soon, so we gathered around trying to peek as far around the corner as we could. A group of women had seen us making our signs when we first arrived at the airport, and asked what was going on. When they heard we were waiting for our newly adopted son to arrive with his dad, they decided they would stay for the reunion. They waited for an hour to see. One of them literally bought popcorn.
Then all I remember was hearing someone yell, "There they are!" First I saw my handsome, awesome, and exhausted husband, and then right there by his side was my precious son. And although a very small percentage of the tons of people standing around staring at those doors were actually for Archie (just us and the group of ladies who also had a front row spot), he thought for sure everyone was there to see him. So he waved and smiled, and even bowed at one point. He said hello to everyone, blew kisses. In this boy's mind, he is the world's biggest celebrity. It was pretty much the perfect entrance. I was kneeling down waiting for my hug, and he was busy greeting his fans.
Once he saw me and really realized I was right there in front of him, he yelled, "Mommy!!" and wrapped his chubby little arms tightly around my neck. Of course, Ace was anxious to hug him too after she finished loving on her daddy who she missed so incredibly much. They hugged the cutest hug in the world and both had the biggest grins. They were SO happy to see each other.
They chased each other around in circles giggling and giggling.
We headed to the car where Ace insisted that Archie's car seat be right next to hers, so we moved his seat to the middle. They laughed and laughed and imitated each other the whole way home. Ace wants to do everything Archie does and vice versa.
When we got home, we realized there was going to be one little issue. Archie was scared to death of our dog. She's just the sweetest little thing. Jessie, our 10 year old Yorkie. So I was really surprised at how scared he was. They had many dogs around the orphanage, so it wasn't like he had never seen one. But he cried and cried and ran to either me or Joey (or a couple times even Ace) to hide if Jessie was in sight. We all sat down and Ace played with Jessie and held her and loved on her, to show Archie that it was okay. It started to get a little better, to where he doesn't cry and scream when she comes near him. By the end of the night he would just quickly walk by her if she came near. I think in a few days Jessie will probably wish he was still afraid of her.
We went to the backyard and Archie and Ace jumped on our trampoline and played with the water hose for almost an hour. This is Ace's absolute favorite thing to do. Archie LOVED it. They were cracking me up. They quickly teamed up on me with the hose. Ace would yell, "get mommy!" And Archie would attempt (and succeeded several times) to drench me. They took turns and played together so well. I was so proud of them both.
Which leads me to a brag paragraph about my sweet daughter. I am so insanely proud of her right now. She has been so great. Helping Archie with everything, sharing with him (things that she really doesn't like to share) without even being asked. She loves him so much. She has been patient, and calm, and for a three year old, she seems to have such an unbelievable understanding of everything. Don't get me wrong. I am positive that we will have many days of fighting, not sharing, temper tantrums, and all that fun stuff. But just the fact that this very first day with Archie home has been so peaceful and fun, makes me so happy.
Archie also LOVES Ace. It is so cute to see how he looks at her and smiles. He would scream for her if she went out of his sight for just a second. If she left her sippy cup sitting somewhere he would run to bring it to her. Several times tonight he would just lean over and put his head on her shoulder, or hug her. Talk about a melted heart. He also looks to her when he does something he knows he's not supposed to do. Oh yeah, like for example, I forgot to mention, when we were out in the backyard and I heard Ace yell, "Mom, Archie's cutting his hair!" I look over and there he is just chopping away. I had JUST cut open some otter pops for them with little kid scissors, set them up on this ledge, went inside to toss the wrapper, and that's when the haircut began. After I grabbed the scissors and told him no, he looked over at Ace with the cutest little smirk, and she just smiled right back at him and giggled. Although these two don't speak the same language, they definitely have their own form of communication already.
Now for the pictures!
We were SO INCREDIBLY BLESSED to have 2 amazing photographers with us at the airport to capture our reunion. Whitney drove in from Austin to finish up her Eicher Adoption photo journey. My kids LOVE Whitney so much and we are just so thankful for all that she and her husband Nick have done for us throughout this time.
The pictures from the airport below are from our other awesome friend Chris Hsieh of La Brisa Photography. Chris is not only an incredible photographer, but a good friend and someone we feel so blessed to know. We are so thankful he was there to share in this day. THANK YOU, CHRIS and WHITNEY!
Here goes....picture overload....
Waiting to get on the plane to head home!
This airplane is fun!
Riding with the windows down in fun!
Drinking from the hose. Well really just filling up their mouths so they could spit water at me.
They got me good.
The house is finally quiet. Archie crashed pretty quickly. Ace was a different story. Joey crashed quicker than anyone. And now he is talking really loudly in his sleep and it is totally freaking me out.
I better join them in dreamland. If I keep typing, I will start sobbing. And I am too tired to sob. But I must say, to all of you who have supported us, prayed for us, and loved us throughout this journey, Joey and I are so humbled, and so grateful. Many people say what a blessing we are going to be to Archie, but we are the ones who are blessed to be able to be his mom and dad and sister.
Lots of Love!