Monday, January 19, 2009

HOME SWEET HOME

We have been home for 4 days now and there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed. Especially since the beds in China were as hard as the floor. But I must say that I do miss beautiful China and all of our friends that we all shared our one of a kind journeys with. It has been hard trying to adapt to the time change and overcome our jet lag. We are still very sleepy during the day and are taking long naps in the afternoon. For the first couple of nights Halainah has been waking at 5 am and ready to tackle the day. Mommy and Daddy on the other hand would like to stay in bed and catch as many zzz's as possible. But it's all about Halainah now so we must adapt to her schedule. Her time clock seems better today as she slept until 8:30 this morning which is what her schedule was like in China.
Halainah has become stranger shy since we have been home. And this was not the case in China. In China she would go to anyone with a smile on her face. Towards the end of the trip we noticed her favoring us and by the time we got home she wanted her mommy and daddy and only us. On one hand it makes me feel so wonderful that she has attached herself to us like she has known us forever. But on the other hand it is so unlike our Lainey Bug that it makes me realize how much this long journey home has affected her. She met Grandma on Thursday and Roseann and Joe. It was so heart warming that they came all the way to the airport to see us for the very first time. I had tears in my eyes as we walked into the waiting area totally exhausted with our daughter in our arms and I could see grandma jumping and crying in excitement. She has waited a long time to meet her granddaughter. Lainey whimpered when she held her but in a short time she will get to know her grandma. Opa picked us up at the airport and he was able to hold Halainah for a few minutes without a cry but the rest of the evening was rough. She didn't sleep at all on the plane so by the evening she was exhausted. I kept her up until 7 and than let her drift off to sleep. She has slept in her own crib since she's been home and seems to be doing well except for being confused about the time change.
On Saturday Tony's parents and sisters came to our house to welcome Lainey home. Halainah met all of her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents and they made her feel like she has been part of the family forever. It was really touching to see. Aunt Annmarie bought some goodies for Halainah that she purchased from an Asian grocery store..all of Lainey's favorites. She loved all of the noodles and rice and even had a scallion pancake today for breakfast. My girl can eat! By the end of the evening she seemed to be adapting to her new family and was even making funny faces and blowing raspberries to everyone.
On Sunday we took Halainah to church for the very first time. It was so surreal to bring her to God's house. The house in which we spent what felt like eternity praying for her. God has given us our miracle...our little Lainey Bug. Afterwards, we went to my aunt Bonnie's for my grandmother's birthday. Again Lainey was introduced to many new faces. She hesitated to go to others but an hour into the day she was sitting on Aunt Bonnie's lap eating Lasagna and watermelon and yogurt and whatever else Aunt Bonnie would feed her. She laughed for everyone and Uncle Mario was able to get the best belly laughs from her. It felt so good to Tony and I to see Halainah the way she was in China. I know she needs a little more time to get acclimated but she is doing a really good job so far.
I was not able to post on our last day in China as we had to travel to Hong Kong to start our journey home. But before we boarded our train we went to the US Consulate office in Guangzhou with about 15 other families to finish the very last piece of the adoption. We showed our passports to enter and were not allowed to bring in cameras. You will see pictures of Halainah in her American eagle sweater as a tribute to this day below. These were taken in our hotel room. An official from the US Consulate came out and gave a short speech. We were asked to swear that the information we provided is accurate. To which the entire group said, "I do." And just like that it was over. Jiu Jiu was crying and I think Tony and I were just very relieved that we finished the last piece of the process that took almost 2 years to finish. We were handed Halainah's passport and a sealed brown envelope which we needed to have in order to pass through customs in the US. So we were nervous carrying that infamous sealed brown envelope from one side of the world to the other. When we landed and stepped off of the plane we passed through imigration, handed them the brown envelope and went off to customs. We passed through dozens of people totally exhausted and met
our family in the waiting area. It was then that Tony and I placed Lainey's little feet on US soil and so was the moment that she became a US citizen...see pic below.
We arrived home to a huge wooden stork which welcomed Halainah Grace Qinyang home forever. It was so awesome to see and I thank the Gardiner family for reading my mind and knowing that I wanted a sign like this for the longest time. I have dreamt of that darn stork sitting in my yard welcoming my daughter. I will post pics. soon of the awesome stork.
Aunt Bonnie filled our house with goodies for Lainey...all of which she loves. And welcomed us home. Lainey was cranky and she didn't force her to come to her. Thank goodness for the groceries because we still have not ventured out to the food store as of yet.
And so our life of a family of 3 has begun at home. We are so thankful for God's glory and all of the miracles that he has given us. Lainey is a pure joy, she makes us laugh, she makes us cry and most importantly she fills the void in our hearts that has been there since the day we longed for a child. She is the most precious gift from above.
We will continue to blog about Lainey's life and all the wonderful memories we are about to have as a family. Thank you everyone for your comments they kept us going while we were in China. Thank you everyone who has helped to bring Halainah home. She is home in our arms and hearts where she will be forever and ever.

Thank you to Jiu Jiu Bobby for sharing this most amazing journey of our lives. He kept us grounded in China. He let us focus on Halainah while he worried about all of the travel stuff and money stuff and all of the worries that comes with being in a foreign place. He was such an important part of Halainah's journey and he already has a very special bond with her. She certainly misses her Jiu Jiu these last couple of days. And we love you Jiu Jiu so VERY much.
Enjoy the photos of our last day in China and arriving at the airport.











5 comments:

Natalie said...

I'm so glad you will continue to blog about Miss Halainah. I'd love to keep up with you all and see pictures of her as she grows. Still ever so happy for you! Halainah's box is packed and ready to go (yeah, I was supposed to have it in the mail today) and it WILL get to the post office tomorrow. I just kept finding things I wanted to put in it, LOL! Take care!

Bonnie said...

Welcome Home!!! Thanks for sharing your journey; it has been a joy for us to witness. Halainah is absolutely beautiful!

Amber said...

Tony and Deanna,

Thank you for bringing Lainey into the office yesterday. I loved meeting her. She is gorgeous (and definitely a Daddy's girl!).

See you soon,
Amber

Dawn said...

She is absolutely beautiful. My heart just grew reading your post. I have been following your story for a while (through Angie Vinez) and I am thanking God for answered prayers.

Enjoy every single moment...she will grow faster than you can blink an eye.

May God bless your little family abundantly.

Anonymous said...

So great to know everyone is home safe, and you guys are enjoying your new family.

Halainah is so beautiful and has such a sweet & happy spirit.

It has been a joy to be able to share your wonderful experience.

Joyce