The excitement is simply bubbling over right now!!!! I can’t believe it, but the countdown has begun and the planning is in full force. I am running from one activity to another and in all of the in-between moments, I am soaking up snuggles with Aftyn, Haley and Aiden. Not only am I working on packing for the trip to Haiti, I am finalizing plans with three fabulous women for a retreat at our church, leading thirteen 5th graders through a week of vacation bible school, packing 800 snacks for vacation bible school in the mountains of Haiti, packing for our kids to stay at their aunt and uncles for when we are gone to Haiti. And just to round out the craziness…we are headed out of town this weekend to camp with two families from our church!!! So pretty much…life is fabulous…but it is crazy.
After the little ones are tucked into their beds at night, it is my time to flit around the house and prepare for the twins to come home. I listen to praise music and pull out the supplies that we will need. I have stacks of little socks, shoes, shorts, jeans and snuggly fleeces all laid out and prepared to pack. I set out the twins’ teddy bears on their beds and vacuumed their room one final time. I can’t wait to see their little footprints smooshed into the carpet. I polished the fridge today and look forward to the tiny finger prints that will decorate it soon! These are the things that I think as I am preparing my nest.
The countdown has begun….but is difficult to know what number to use. It is THREE days from our departure date for Haiti. It is FOUR days from the time we will be reunited with the staff and children at the Mission Haiti orphanage. It is FIVE days from our mountaintop experience at Toussaint, Haiti working with the children and staff there. It is TEN days from being dropped off at the orphanage and being reunited with the twins!!!!! This is the GOTCH DAY that adoptive families speak of. It is the first day of the rest of our lives together! And then finally, we are ELEVEN days from arriving home to reunite our family at the Sioux Falls Airport!!!!! Unbelieveable. (I get choked up just typing this.)
We are thrilled to tell you that we are anticipating an incredible homecoming that night at the airport! I know I shared this already, but we welcome all of our family, friends, coworkers and prayer supporters to join us there. We will be arriving from Chicago on American Airlines Flight #3469 at 5:20 pm. We are asking that all people wait for us at the bottom of the escalator. (Except for our kiddos, Craig’s immediate family and my immediate family, and some photographers.)
As we are traveling home that day, we will have access to Facebook and will keep you all posted if there is any change in our plans or if we are delayed in any way. We plan to greet the people at the airport but want to gently remind everyone that the boys are going to likely have quite an overwhelming day. They will be experiencing many things for the first time. We are not sure what their reaction will be but want to be certain that everyone remembers my blog from October of 2013 that gave a bit of insight into the first few months home for us. It will be a time of cocooning with our boys. A time when Craig and I (and eventually our kids) will be the only ones holding them, feeding them, changing them and tucking them in at night. We will be the only ones to kiss their owies and attempting to help them with their fears. It is a time of them learning that we are now in the role of Mama and Daddy.
Here is the blog discussing this a bit further:
Here is an excerpt from that blog that I think is especially important to share with all of you:
“We will be cautious at first with visitors...we will need to begin with close family only and then we will gradually progress to a larger circle of friends when we feel the twins are ready for that. Believe me when I say that when we come home with the boys, I will want to show off their handsome faces to all of the people that have been praying us though...but we have a responsibility to do this right...and we only get one shot at this. Please, please do not be offended when we tell you that we can't let you hold the twins for the first few weeks when they get home.
The twins missed out on developmental stages that they would have naturally had if they would have been in our family from day one. We need to be the ones to hold them, change them, feed them and comfort them for a very long time. It is almost like reversing the clock so we can give them all of the nurturing and love that they missed. The twins are used to being independent and this might be a tough transition for them. They will be learning how to be a part of our family.”
We also wanted to take this opportunity to share with all of you that we were able to secure August 23, 2014 for the boys’ baptism and for the official Welcome Home Party. It will be held at Abiding Savior Free Lutheran Church from 3:00-5:00 pm. We will begin with the baptism and then will have a time for socializing to follow.
Many people have asked how they can help us with the transition with the twins and we are still learning what to expect. There are a few things that we have thought of so far and would welcome help in these areas if you are willing and able.
· Prayer for a smooth transition and successful bonding.
· Meal preparation-call in advance to arrange if possible.
· Older kiddo assistance as needed for transportation or outings (I would like to make a list of people willing to assist with this if we need.)
· Date night assistance list as needed (for when we are able to break away for small segments of time)
Your prayers are more important than ever as we are preparing to travel and transition home. We can’t wait to introduce the twins to all of you! Thank you for walking along with us as we journey down this path!
Anticipating their arrival,