We had to take planes, trains and automobiles, but we made it home last night and are so happy to be here! We are all doing very well!
Alina was such a trooper on the long trip back. One of the flight attendants said she could teach some of the adult passengers how to behave on an airplane :).
We flew from Kiev to Amsterdam on Thursday night (a 3 hour flight), stayed overnight in a hotel at the airport, and left early yesterday morning for Detroit, MI (an 8 hour flight). Rather than wait out our scheduled 7 hour layover in Detroit, we rented a car and drove home from there (a 3 hour drive). We were so ready to get home!
Alina slept the whole way from Detroit to Columbus!
The kids were already home from school and anxiously waiting to meet their new little sister.
Here are a few photos of Alina's homecoming:
Alina seemed very happy to meet her siblings. She was full of smiles and was very relaxed, even though she must have been a little overwhelmed--she was surrounded by all the kids on the kitchen floor.
Alina figured out that the kids think she is cute and funny--and she was enjoying all the attention.
Bridget and Alina seemed to recognize one another. They are adorable together! They're about the same height and weight, although Alina is almost 9 months younger than Bridget.
Their hands and feet look almost identical, except Alina's are a bit more chubby :).
There was one point last night when I had them both on my lap, which was overwhelming in itself--it is a moment I will never forget. I keep thinking about the two of them together. They are a unit now. My almost-twins, born apart but raised together.
When we were in Ukraine, someone asked us why we think God gave us four healthy children and then Bridget, a child with Down syndrome. Chris and I have a long answer to that question that we may write about here someday. The short answer, though, may be that Bridget arrived in our lives so that we would save Alina.
There is so much more to share and say. Please stay tuned for more on the end of our stay in Ukraine and on our transition home.
Thank you for all of the genuine support and well wishes. We are feeling the love...