February 24, 2010

The Beginning

This is not a "pretty" story.  That's the first thing I want to make clear.  It's not brushed with rainbows and smiley faces - it's the truth.  Sometimes ugly, actually.  Sometimes painful.  Sometimes beautiful in its pain.  I think it's fair to start by saying that you are here because you clicked here.  Although I invite you and appreciate you taking time out of your day and life to check in on us, I want to issue a small request for this series of posts (3-parts).  I have found the adoption community to be, on the whole, very supportive.  However, over the fund-raising issue - we had many people in that community who felt it their personal obligation to let us have it with both barrels.  And by "have it" I am of course referencing overtly negative and mean spirited opinions of us. 

While this blog is public, it's also a place where I hope to encourage and speak into the lives of others by revealing my heart, thoughts, and life experiences through truth - a truth that does not sugar-coat or seek out to lead everyone to believe our life is happiness and roses all the time.  It's not.  My hope is that you will read my words and either take or leave them.  If you feel compelled to leave a comment, all I ask is that you would be gentle and supportive. ~ Thanks - C

So I had this underlying sense of "ugh" going on for a while.  Maybe because we had waited so long for that referral to get here.  Technically, we waited over five years if you count paperwork to travel.  That's such a long time, sometimes I can't believe we actually stuck it out.  So, I think maybe, going into the trip..I was kind of underwhelmed with the whole process and it sort of robbed me of some of the joy I might have had otherwise.  I mean, I was excited in the arena of "let's get this over with and move on, for crying out loud", but I wasn't "oh freaking joy...let's meet her already!"  Sounds horrible, but it's true.  I wanted her.  Otherwise I would have given up long ago.  But I was so tired of everything, I was still waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop and ruin the whole thing.  Even after we had her picture. 

See, now if you're already annoyed with me, which is ok,...there's the little "x" up there in the corner....just sayin' - it'll get worse before it gets better.  You've been warned.

Looking back, I would say with clarity that anxiousness (among other things) kind of sums up the entire thing.  Start to finish. 

We had been fund-raising, and that was stressful.  I was sure the money would be there somewhere deep down, but I was scared to death it wouldn't.  O ye of little faith.  I know.  But still.  What if we didn't...and then what?  And the many nasty e-mails and comments people recklessly flung at us during that time.  Making us feel bad for even trying.  Making us feel guilty for pursuing her the only way we knew at that point.  So many blessings though...so much encouragement to keep on keeping on.  So many kindnesses and extensions of love.  That's what kept us in the place we needed to be in order to get on that plane.

Have you ever heard of "loss aversion"?  It's like this...and hold the offense until I explain how it applies:  you're at an amusement park.  You hop in a very long line for the best ride.  You know it's a great ride.  You hear the squeals of delight of the riders.  You see them smiling and laughing as they exit.  So you wait.  And you wait.  And the line moves ever so slowly.  Forever it seems.  But there is the lure...  About 3/4 of the way through, the ride shuts down for an indefinite amount of time.  You have to decide.  Leave or stay?  Wait or jump ship?  You figure you have already waited so long, and you're 3/4 of the way there...to leave now would be foolish.  It's a "loss" to bail out.  So you do what avoids the loss of the time you've spent.  You stay in line and wait.  Loss aversion.

I think this applies a little bit to those waiting for the China program to come through.  Loss aversion.  You've already waited so long...to cut out seems too painful.  Such a waste of time.  Your time.  Your life on hold.  Loss aversion.

Don't think for a minute we didn't think of quitting, because buddy we did.  Many times.  Many, many times.  There were so many instances I wanted to bail out and run for the hills.  We have a beautiful amazing wonderful boy...I think I could have left the process a dozen times over since the day he was put in my arms. 

But we waited.  Loss aversion.

I waited on a dream.  Of her.  Of what I thought she was, would be, could be.  I waited...

I've said before how many times I had wandered into her room just to stand by her empty crib or to run my fingers along the dresses in her closet.  Sometimes I would pray in that room, asking God to give me patience, or peace, or clarity, or longevity.  Sometimes I would cry.  Sometimes I would just be still.  Sometimes I would close the door and leave it that way for a few months.  It got too painful to walk by and not have her there.  Sometimes I would fling the door wide and open the shades and enjoy the sunshine and the way it hit those pretty pink stripes on the wall.  I would admire her things...the things she didn't even know she had, in the room she didn't know she had, with the Mom she didn't know she had - weeping off and on for her to come home.  So many days and nights that they bleed together into one long story of heartache and missing her.

Getting on the plane was easy.  The packing was easy.  Preparing those final things to do...all easy.  I guess because we had done them before.  Not even two years earlier.  Done them all and boarded a plane for a certain far-away place...and knowing the whole time that your life was about to take a sharp turn towards a new family portrait. 

The flight was long and I found myself twisting and turning in my seat.  There was no sleep.  I was anxious.

The airport was huge, imposing even.  The architecture grand.  The security...overwhelming.  And the cough I tried to will away before passing by some 20 guards all wearing face masks.  I've covered before that I was sick.  Very sick.  And so I'll leave it at that.  It didn't get better.  It got worse and never improved until a week ago.  But it's neither here nor there.  I was sick and that was that.  And no, it certainly did not help my frame of mind.  But it's not all there is or why or how.  So it's somewhat irrelevant, but bears some mention in this telling.

There was an eclipse of the sun.  That's the first thing I remember about riding to the hotel from the airport.  It was stunning, but paled through all the smog. 

The traffic reminded me of Ethiopia - wild and unruly.  Here and there and everywhere and sharp turns followed by tight squeezes and near misses. 

There was the hotel, filled with cigarette smoke from the moment we scrambled in from the cold and through the revolving door until the moment we left through that same door and into a cold blast of air.  I'm not a smoker, and so for me it was depressing.  That was the moment I can say with certainty that my breathing issues began.  The room key could not come to us quickly enough.  Tired doesn't cover it.  Exhausted?  Run down?  Beat up?  And also...anxiousness.  Not worry, not excitement...my anxious heart was sensing trouble.  I couldn't even put my finger on the reason - I was ill at ease.  Physically, I was not well.  But emotionally, I was shocked at how...underwhelmed I felt. 

We did the sight-seeing and it was amazing and wonderful and cold and miserable...and I thought it would never end and I wanted it to keep going.  The history was breathtaking.  But I was so sick.  Had no business being out in 20 degrees, barely able to take breaths in, standing on raw nerves and no energy and no sleep to back it up.  But oh the sites to see.  The Great Wall...the Forbidden City.  It was all amazing...

The next morning we flew to her province.  I slept on the plane, sweet sleep.  But landing I could see that once again the smog was ubiquitous.  I was disappointed, as I had been looking so forward to deep breaths. No lie.

The hotel was nice, much nicer than the one we had come from.  The room was cozy in a hotel sort of way.  We had a crib delivered...made up for her with little blankets and a tiny pillow.  Unloading suitcases...clothes, bibs, bottles, diapers, toys, emotions, years of waiting, carefully prepared paperwork that was years old, all unpacked on that hotel bed.  Some put away into the small dresser...but some left out to sink in and permeate the air.  And it did.

She was within reach.  She was arriving tomorrow morning.  She was real now.  No more excuses or renewing this or that.  Her time had come.  Our time had come.  And here we were, just like we always imagined we would be.  Here we were to take her home and make her a part of the "us" that had always been two, but had become three while waiting for her.  Now three was becoming four.  Only nineteen months in age separated one child from the other.  Could I do this?  Was I sure?

You might not think you would be having those thoughts on the night before the end of such a long wait, but let me illuminate my exact thoughts for you...

Can I do this?
Why did I do this?
Are we sure?
We have a good thing at home...are we nuts doing this?
Can I do this?
Are we sure?
What if...(enter a thousand things here)
and so on and so on and so forth...

I think you might be normal to go through this type of thinking a handful of hours before your life is turned on its ear, don't you?  It might be normal to be anxious before you change your life for the rest of your life.  I was anxious the day I got married.  I was anxious the day I met Quint.  Or  maybe I was nervous...and maybe the difference is that there IS a difference between nervous and anxious.  I do know that several times it went through my mind...what am I doing?  I'm barely cutting teeth on a toddler...and it was hard work getting this far.  What am I doing going back to the starting gate?

Loss aversion, that's what.

Come too far for too long with too many tears...and GOD BLESS we are not quitting now.  Holy cow!  You better suck it up and make it work sister!  That's what I told myself.  Looking in the mirror in the hotel bathroom...splashing water on my face and giving myself a shake.  Get yourself together.  What's the matter with you?  You can't get cold feet now!  Snap out of it!

I know it sounds harsh, because even to my own eyes reading what I just typed out...it reads harsh.  But I implore you to stick with me.  No stones.

I didn't sleep well that night.  I wanted to.  God, how I wanted to.  But I couldn't.  The bed was too hard.  I'm convinced that had it been a more comfortable bed, I could have slept through and through.  Down comes to mind.  Feather.  But not rocks or slab or Flintstones.  No.  I can't sleep like that.  So went the rest of the trip.  Sleep was no friend.  Shame on him.

The next morning, I awoke feeling cavalier.  Not really, but I acted all cavalier.  Like "I know what I'm doing and I've been through this like only a 'blink' ago and so big deal".  I "knew" what to expect and what to feel and what would happen and what we'd experience.  Been there.  Done that.  (cavalier...see I told you).  Also, I felt the rest of our group was not in our boat.  They had older children or no children.  It was either their first time, or they were no longer living the diaper/schedule/nap-time/feedings/baby life that I was still carrying on at home with my new toddler.  After all, he had "just" turned 2 in November.  We had "just" left the 1-year old stage.  I was still VERY familiar with what to expect when you're expecting...even if it was through an adoption.  We were still living it every day at home.  I felt this made our situation unique in that, unlike everyone else who was nervous and filled with jitters and wonder and amazement at what was coming...I was calm.  Relaxed even.  Cavalier, I believe is the correct term.  Arrogant even.  (bah...I'm cringing)  

It should be noted, we had a wonderful travel group.  They were some of the loveliest people and we miss them.  So this in no way reflects them.  It was me.  Stupid anxious-relaxed me.

And I was relaxed.  Dumb relaxed.  "Know it all" relaxed.  I would love to go back and punch myself in the mouth, but couldawouldashoulda.

We boarded the bus and off we went to the Civil Affairs Office.

Still, there I sat with that cavalier (I know, I've said it many times now, but it's so true...and I can't think of a better word for it) attitude.  Our guide had repeated several times over the previous days and even now "remember to be patient with your new baby...she is trying hard to please you, but she has been through a lot".  I felt for the other families.  Wondering how hard it would be for them. and hoping they had an easy time of it.  Knowing they might not.  (Please, hold your snickers...ok, go ahead...I'll join you)

I can snicker now.  Because now I see.  But then, all I had was a "gotcha" moment from a year and a half prior that was like gold.  If you need to relive it, you can HERE.  He was a lovely, lovely well-adjusted and happy baby.  He was.  And he was one month younger than her at the time.  And that was all I had.  It was like liquid courage to me in this moment.  Because it was my proof that these things go well (snicker) and that babies this young are impenetrable, resilient, and unaware. That they smile and laugh and coo...because they know no different.  That they're naturally happy. 

Right.  Moving on.

On the elevator, I was calm.  Smiling.  Resolute.

When we got inside the babies were already there.  We were escorted past them and into a somewhat small room.  A couple of people rushed over to me "did you see her?  did you see her?  Gawd, you can't miss those cheeks anywhere!"  Truthfully, I hadn't seen her.  Hadn't even looked.  I guess I was trying to save the moment for THE moment.  I didn't want to steal a glance - I wanted magic.  Magic.

One by one they called the families forward.  I finally felt the butterflies kick in.  Finally.  And I was nervously darting my eyes around, checking for her behind the heads of many.  I was sweating.  Profusely.  I was issuing anxious orders to AB like "make sure you're filming...are you filming?  Well, don't use all the tape...wait for her!  Are you filming?  Well, film for crying out loud...we don't want to miss it!"  I know.  I've apologized.  AB does really well under intense pressure and the constant nagging of his wife.  Bless that man. 

Then I heard the name.  Her name.  The name we were made to memorize so we would know when they called it.  Her Chinese name. And it doesn't roll off the tongue.  And it's hard to say and unnatural.  But it was hers.  And we knew it when we heard it.

It was time to see her.  Touch her.  Hold her.  Five years felt like it might start to drift away slowly...like a clogged drain...slowly, slowly...and hearing her Chinese name...almost like slow motion but very fast so you could barely make it out and know that it was HER they were referencing. 

AB filming and me...moving forward somehow.  Somehow.  Making my legs round that corner until I saw her.  Handing over our passports with shaky hands.  Waiting because we were told "you must wait until everything is verified before you can take the baby".  Waiting. 

We made eye contact, she and I.  For what felt like a lifetime, but was only a few seconds.  Just staring at each other.  Deep down staring.  She was in the arms of a nanny.  The director  of her orphanage was close by, observing...watching.  Our guide translating and talking back and forth.  It was hot in that room.  She had on layers and layers.  AB...I could hear him saying things like "there she is" and "she's so beautiful".  I wasn't saying anything.

I was just staring into her eyes.  And she was doing to same thing.  Staring into mine.  Her eyes boring into mine with questions. 

And I've come to know that it must have occurred to her.  Must have hit her right in the heart.  Must have simultaneously stunned her, scared her, and overwhelmed her...

She was coming to me. With me.  She was for me.  I was for her.

And you must believe me when I tell you, she knew....somewhere down inside she knew that it was permanent.  You must believe me when I ask you to throw away every notion you might have now that insists a baby doesn't  or can't know.  That somehow they are too young, too infantile to feel or experience or understand on some level.  You must believe me when I tell you that babies this young are not impenetrable, not always resilient, and not unaware.

So began, there in that small hot room in the south of China...in that tense and long anticipated moment...in those life-changing seconds...a deep and utterly painful cry from that little baby girl who would be my daughter. Who already was my daughter, though neither she nor I had accepted it.

A frightened, anxious, pitiful and unbelievably knowing cry that would last many, many days forward...

Believe me when I tell you that she knew

And oh how her little heart would break

To be continued

February 22, 2010

Gettin to it

I know, I know.  It's taking me forever.  Ack.  You'll be happy to know (or maybe you're indifferent either way) that I am constricted by time and not words.  I'm pretty sure the words are there now, just not the time to write it all out yet.  

I'm thinking of starting a draft that I can work on a little bit at a time. and come back to through the day/night, etc.  Say, in between diapers and feedings and playtime, nap-time, snack-time, wrestle on the floor time, and, well let's face it, kissy face time.  Come on, wouldn't you play kiss-kiss with these cheeks?

Meanwhile, holy cute kids Batman!

Somebody help me.  These two are gonna overload the Mom "cute meter".  Am I biased?  (Sshhhh)

Keira is such a gentle and DELIGHTFUL baby...her smile would knock you over and pick you back you up.  Also, she snorts when she laughs, and if that wouldn't melt you then you could possibly be dead.  I'm just sayin'...

More to come

February 18, 2010

Letter to Mom

Mom, I was remembering when I went on that Mexico missions trip for 7 days or whatever it was.  I was so homesick.  Hadn't showered the entire time except once in a public shower place for a $1 or something.

Then I remembered I got home really late at night from that trip.  And the house was quiet, because it was so late and everyone was in bed.  

But you.

You were waiting for me.  The TV wasn't on or anything.  You were just up and waiting for me.  And when I came in the door, there you were...taking my bags and hugging me.  Telling me you missed me.  Ushering me into my bedroom (which was all clean with fresh sheets on the bed...and turned down).  

You got me into a hot shower and when I came out, all cozy in my PJ's and with my tired eyes...you were waiting for me at the kitchen table.  And I sat down and you fed me.  I don't even remember what it was...maybe soup or ramen.  And you asked me all about the trip and let me regale as much as I had the energy for.  And you listened with interest and asked questions.  And then we went to bed and the next day our family life went on...

But I remember...

I remember that you waited for me

and that you took care of me, even when I was 16

and you knew my needs because you had spent a mother's lifetime uncovering them

and you knew what I needed that night...and many, many others

And now that I'm a mother..it touches my heart in a different way

because I'm struggling to take care of my own kids and to get through these days that I consider to be the "trenches" of motherhood

and you had four

and honestly, I don't know how you did it...

I just know that you were a good mother and you paid attention to the details for each of us

and you loved us well

and I remember


February 15, 2010


Today was Keira's 8-month Birthday.  Isn't she something?  Her eyes are these massive dark soulful little numbers that mesmerize me.  She's lived a life most people only hear about...or dread...or fear.  Abandoned.  Left behind.  Twice over.  

But look at her!  So resilient, so wonderful and beautiful and full of life and hope.  I know she has hope, because each day she gets up and she smiles for me. 

When we were in China I would sing her to sleep each night, or try to anyway.  I would sing...

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
when there are clouds in the sky
you'll get by
If you smile through your pain and sorrow
Smile...and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you...

on and on and on...over and over...trying to comfort her.  Trying to give her hope for tomorrow.  Hoping that she could feel her tomorrows in my arms...knowing that she was having a hard time feeling the next ten minutes in my presence alone.

But actually, all this talk of adjusting...of pain...of heartache is only partially about sweet Keira.  Though her pain was sharp and apparent from the first moment we saw her.  She has been fighting towards joy since the time we met.  Though truthfully, not as apparent to me as it is now that we are home and settling.

Keira's loss will be felt for years to come - there is no doubt in my mind.  But at this tender age, her ability to recall all of the days leading up to this are surely limited.   She knows the moment.  Warmth, hunger, physical comfort...and interaction.  Sweet interaction.    And for this moment, (and many more to come) her needs are being met, and she is more and more at home in our arms every day.  Smiling, laughing, coo-ing and snuggling.  Putting aside, for a little while anyway, her deep loss - if not for any other reason than her young age. 

Instead, most of what I'm referencing here is about the pain, loss, heartache...and hope...of her new mother.

All of this preparing to write out what transpired - it's my heart that I wish to open up.

I hope to be able to express, from a very truthful and deep place, how very raw our trip left both of us feeling.  I hope to be able to reach others.  

To shed truth and light for my part.

Again, not the story of a trip - but the journey of a heart.  

Keira is doing wonderfully day by day...

I'm anxious to share my thoughts with each of you - and I feel like the words are beginning to come to me.

It will be bittersweet to finally share them.  Bitter because they are hard to re-live.  Sweet because joy comes in the morning...and she really is a Joy.

February 14, 2010

Finding Peace

Maybe you're just wondering what's taking so long

What is there to say that's taking so long to say it? maybe you wonder

The truth is, you could click a hundred other blogs and read about a trip to Chin@

You could do that right now

Invariably they would tell a similar experience

A plane ride, a hotel or maybe four

exotic food or not, a crib in the room waiting

site-seeing and pictures

the excitement

the blur of emotion

That Moment

all the paperwork after

the bonding

the fatigue, being ready to come home, and the plane ride

the jet-lag and all that it entails and the new life that continues on and starts over

And I could do that too

I could

It's similar in a blurry kind of way, I guess

If you squint and stand behind the line

You could read it that way

I could read it that way

I'd like to read it that way, actually

I'd like to write it that way and leave it alone

but I can't

I've tried

I just can't

it's not truth

it's not me

it's not her

after four years...no, more than that

the telling deserves better

in this situation

because I think you know

you must at this point

that The Moment and the many after

have not been easy

have not been simple or peaceful or quiet

have not been lovely

if you're outside looking in, some of them have been

a few of them

and when she sleeps, it's as if they all have been

but that's not truth

and I want you to have the truth, actually

because it matters

it does

for you who are waiting

for you who are home already

for you who also feel it but have not verbalized it

for me

and for her

it matters

it's her story and it's worth telling

pain is not pretty

but there is beauty underneath it

it matters

and I promise to share it with you

I just need time

for me

and for her...

February 11, 2010

Peaking out behind the sadness is a little girl so lovely

so sweet ...

so charming...

so lovable ...

it takes my breath away...

Let Mommy love you, sweet girl 

You're safe now

You're safe

February 10, 2010

Grief Unwinding


Sorrow you can hold, however desolating, if nobody speaks to you.  If they speak, you break down.  
~Bede Jarrett

While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates.  You must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.  
~Samuel Johnson 

 Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.  
~William Shakespeare

Grief is itself a medicine.  
~William Cowper, Charity

Man, when he does not grieve, hardly exists.  
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943


Sorrow makes us all children again - destroys all differences of intellect.  The wisest know nothing.  
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Even hundredfold grief is divisible by love.  ~Jareb Teague

We're counting on it...

February 8, 2010


 Photo taken by AB ~ Guangzhou, China

Right now, we're resting
Putting into words what we experienced as a whole

it's just too much for now

even though I keep pondering it

thinking about it

hoping to expend the vastness of it

put it down somewhere

somewhere that it can be looked at later as a tiny roadbump

or maybe just a season

to be honest
We're still tired

Still emotional

Still forcing our tired bodies and minds to recall the timezone

and the children,

they're resilient, yet they too are resting in many ways

We've had a life change that supersedes most all the others

Life and Loss take priority and top spot among all changes

we're celebrating new Life

but our little one is still mourning deep Loss

so we are sharing two extremes
and finding them not ready just yet to meet in the middle

we prepare for what we can, even four years worth of preparation

we make way for change

but you can't really prepare fully

you can't know before hand what will be after

how it will look
how it will feel

how it will rest on your heart or your soul

You can wait and watch and listen

you can love and be still

love and be still some more

you can't expect

you can't arrange things neatly

you can't do anything to speed it along

just love and be still

Right now, we're resting

Resting our bodies, our lungs, our still tired limbs...

Resting our minds and our thoughts...

Resting our reflections and our emotions...

We're resting

When the story is ready to be told
I'll be writing it as I have done before

Love your children...and be still

February 4, 2010

Something Beautiful

Something beautiful, something good
All my confusion, He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
But He made something beautiful of my life...











Giving thanks,

February 2, 2010

She's in that room

We're still completely wiped out.  The house is a mess.  The suitcases have yet to be moved from their initial "plop" point.  The kids aren't sleeping all that great at night (Keira thinks it's China time, bless her heart) and so Mom and Dad are up at all hours.  Dishes are piled up.  Bottles are everywhere.  Diapers are climbing in numbers and taking over.  We're still sick.  Laundry is a mile high and several mounds wide.  Mail is in a big Leaning Tower of Pisa stack.  Burp cloths, teething rings, Puffs, baby food, formula, baby toys, and hairbows are strung from one end of this home to the other...

and yet...

She's in that room, folks.  She's in that crib...

If I went in there right now to wonder where she was...or when or even if she would ever be home...I wouldn't have to look very far.

Because she's there

Sleeping.  Happy.  Healthy.  Beautiful.  Charming.

All 18 pounds of her

All snuggly and warm and in her cute girlie jammies

She's there

The name on the wall is not just a passing hope

Speaking of hope, I forgot to share with you

We decided while in China that we would give Keira a portion of her Chinese name, so here it is...

Keira Joy Xi

Xi is pronounced "she".  Xi means "hope"

Keira Joy "Hope" is sleeping in her bed after four long years of hoping and waiting for her

She's there...in that room, even now...

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

February 1, 2010

Home again, and doesn't it feel nice?

We're home safe and sound...

We had a long 25 hours of travel

We had many people waiting at the airport for us, even though we got in so late at night.  It was so sweet!

We came home to find all kind of food, flowers, brownies, diapers, wipes, formula...you name it - all waiting for us in the house.  It was very moving.  Thank you so much to the two families who took care of us in this way!  We are still benefiting very much from your TLC.

Our son came home late that same night, and it was so great to hug and hold him again.  

We had a very, very restless and long first night home.  Surprisingly, our son did not want to sleep at all.  So we were up with him from 1am to 6am.  Bout' killed us.

Sunday was our first day at home and Keira has done amazing.  Like a new baby.  We're trying to decide if it's the jetlag that is making her so docile and sweet, or the fact that she's figuring out we're here to stay.  Either way, we're loving her easy going and adorable personality.  She's been such a good baby these past two days.

By the way - Keira did really well on the flights.  First flight was 15 hours, and she slept a total of 8 hours.  It was not all together, but it was still nice to have those breaks where she was resting.  We had a 4 hour layover in the states before our final flight - she did great.  Then we had a final 3+ hour flight home.  She slept a little bit and was a bit more fussy, but who could blame her.  We had been traveling over 20 hours.  She was done and so were we.

Quint has only had 24 hours to take in the concept of his new sister.  In a brief nutshell, he's not loving it.  In fact, it's been harder to meet his needs than Keira's.  He's doing the grieving now - and it's difficult.  So we're going to take that transition one day at a time, and hope it improves over the coming weeks and months.  Right now, he wants nothing to do with her.  

Even though the jet-lag is really hurting, we're so very glad to be home again.  Even though we can't sleep well or much, the bed....our wonderful soft bed...oh friends.  I could weep.  It was like slipping into heaven.  The house is a royal mess.  Don't even care. (*much)  I'm so glad to be in our home, to be surrounded by our comforts...it has made everything better on some level.  The sickness, the exhaustion, the sadness, the eating, the sleeping, the lack of sleeping...all so much better when you're at home.  

Today we go to the doctor.  AB and I.  We need to get checked out - what we're carrying is just not good.  Since we had it the entire trip and since it's hanging on for dear sweet life, we need intervention.  We want to be rid of it, so we can start putting ourselves back together again.  Everything feels tougher when you're sick. 

Keira seems healthy as a horse.  Pardon the expression, but she is a tough cookie!  Her doctor appointment is Tuesday.

Well, that's all for now - I'm going to try and catch a few moments of rest before the little ones are up and ready to eat.  

I can't believe we can finally, finally close this "book"...I'm so happy I could cry...
I have so much to tell you all...more to come soon - I promise!