Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back Home

Well, after flying for approximately thirteen hours, being reunited with my children at home and enduring a terrible stomach flu yesterday - I'm back! ;)
My journey home began Tuesday morning with a two hour drive back to the capital. My driver was a bit late in picking me up, and unfortunately that made us late to the embassy. However, it was wonderful that they still saw me and allowed me to fill out the I-600 (petition for orphans) and a medical declaration/affidavit stating that I knew of their medical problems.
After that I headed over to Melissa's apartment. She has also adopted a little girl with Down syndrome. Unfortunately, she is stuck in country a little longer waiting for some unexpected things to clear up. It was nice to spend the rest of my afternoon with her, as she graciously allowed for Justus and I to spend the night in her apartment prior to flying out early in the morning. She and I also met up with the Cornish family - adopting "Monroe" and "Aleksa"- at TGIF in downtown. It was great conversation with good food.
Niko met me at Melissa's apartment at 3am. He helped me get through the airport - and I left Maxim's and Ivanna's country at 5:35am to begin my long journey home. Justus slept for the first flight (a little over two hours). We stopped in Frankfurt, grabbed a coffee and made our way through that maze of an airport. We then flew for nearly ten hours and landed in Seatac. Going through customs was easy, but long! When I finally made it to baggage claim and saw my kiddos pull up in Aunt Donna's car - I about jumped off that curb. I was SO EXCITED to see my sweet treasures!
The next day I was so sick with what I think was a stomach flu. Thankfully that has passed, and now my body seems to be adjusting to the ten hour time difference well. I am so glad to be home, but I think it is Justus who is the happiest. His demeanor is much better since home, and he hardly cries or fusses. This was NOT the case when we were in Europe.
So ... now what? Well, Phillip and Isaac are still there and finishing up the last few things to finish our adoption. Our waiting period is actually already done - as of Saturday (today). However, due to business days - it will really be Tuesday that we receive the court's decrees. After that, the race begins. They will go to the children's birth places and request birth certificates - then they can get passport applications done (this takes about four days - but please pray it just gets done asap) and then they go back to the capital to take the kids to the embassy for visa clearances.
THEN ... they fly home. We are "guessing" that the beginning of December should be when they can fly out. We appreciate your prayer.

Maxim sucks his finger while he is tired.

"Psssst ... I get to go home with you!"

Full of giggles.

I simply love this picture. Just love it. I love her expression and how it is set against the sky - as if that truly is her limit. She is doing so well. Many of you have commented or emailed and stated that you have noticed a big difference in her since we first met her on Nov. 1st. That is true. She is blooming, and she isn't even home yet. Better yet, the groupa told Phillip that they have noticed how she is changing since we have been there. That is a huge blessing, as it testifies to the importance of even just a little investment in these babies. Can't wait to send them updates - so that they can see the importance of loving and caring for these children. So that they can see that we truly love them, and the unlocked potential develop.

Smiling more...

Ivanna is so funny. When she is excited or doing something new or fun, she will hold out her little arms and hands just like this.

I miss that little face! Can't wait to have my WHOLE family home. Christmas is going to be VERY special to me this year ... and a whole bunch of fun!


Faith for Hope said...

So glad you are feeling better!Can't wait to SEE you. Miss my friend. So glad Justus is better... my guess is that he missed his OTHER brothers and sisters. I know they missed him too. Maxium and Ivanna are so precious ... can't wait to love on them too. Still praying for you all!!!
Love ya, Grace

MissyB said...

I am glad you are feeling better. We are praying for things to go quickly for Phillip.Can't wait to meet Maxim and Ivanna!! So happy that Justice is doing better. God is so good and it will be a very special Chistmas in the Browning home this year. Christmas will be different for Bill and I, loving our little Brian...wishing he was here! Well love you sweet friend!

Amy L said...

Caleb does the same thing with his arms. I've never seen another child do that. Isn't it a hoot?:) He does it most often when he is watching a show like "Wipe Out" where he anticipates someone is going to fall.

Anonymous said...

what a wonderful blessing! Glad Justice is back to his ole self! We'll be praying that the rest of the paperwork goes quickly and that you will all be together soon! Happy Thanksgiving!
Holly H

ouradoptionjourneywithBryceVanya said...

Glad to hear you and Justus made it home safe and sound! Will pray for Phillip and Isaac that the process goes fast...I'm sure very difficult to be away at Thanksgiving! Keep in touch! Many blessings!
Kim, Tom and Bryce

April said...

Charissa, I am so glad you are feeling better. It's no fun to be sick when you want to be hugging on your kids!

It is truly amazing what a huge difference Ivanna is showing in such a short period of time. I can only imagine how much she will blossom at home with your whole family loving on her (and being able to feed her what you want - with no sneaking involved).


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