Saturday, September 6, 2014


We are home!!!!! Actually, we've been home for two weeks and one day now ;) Things have been so crazy busy that I haven't had time for blogging. I ended up flying out to our kiddos' country the day we passed court for Salome! On August 11th, she officially became our daughter :) Her name is Sophia, but we also call her Sophie. We have gotcha day pics but they are somewhere on Alden's phone at the moment haha. She is stunning- such a fighter and her giggle is the best. Seriously. She has been such a blessing. After Alden busted her out of her mental institution and brought her back to the capital city where I was waiting for them things were pretty difficult. All 5 of us were crammed into a tiny apartment while we waited for passports and visas so we could all go home. And I was sick. Everyone told us that last part in country after you have all the kids out is the hardest part and they were right! But God got us all through it in one piece and all 5 of us flew home on August 22nd. The boys did great on the flights- they were such troopers and Alden and I were so proud of them! Sophers had a rough time but the flight attendants were super sweet to us and even drove us to all our connecting gates. They even took us to a private waiting area while we waited for our connection in Munich. It was such a blessing to be able to give Sophie a break from the stroller (which was too small) and let the boys play some games they had there and nap for a bit. Our last flight from Charlotte to our home was cancelled last minute so the airlines called a driver for us to take us the rest of the way home! So many people were reaching out to us to offer us assistance during that day of traveling and we were so grateful. Once we got home we crashed since it was after 10pm that night. Here are some pics Alex took of our first awake day at home :)

Alex loves photography and hiking and Mark loves riding his bicycle and playing football and soccer. They both are loving their new schools! There have been some wonderful moments with them these past two weeks and some hard moments too. Imagine being a teen boy who has grown up in an institutional setting your whole life until now- not really having any authority figures to answer to before, and now you are in a new culture, new environment, with a new language to learn, grieving the loss of your old country and way of life while also learning what it is like to live in a family with parents who care about you. It's hard! Alden and I are learning how best to reach each boy and every day we are seeing little glimpses of progress. There are some really hard days, but some wonderful days too. We are taking things one day at a time, not taking anything personally, and praying a lot. 

Here are some more pictures of these past two weeks we have had together :)
 my old graduation robe from college with his soccer medallion

 hiking one of my favorite trails growing up!

And now for Sophie girl :) What a blessing she is! Her new doctors and specialists are phenomenal and her teachers at her new school adore her. She is doing so great! She eats like a champ and sleeps through the night. She responds to my voice with huge smiles and giggles. She's also a total daddy's girl :) She's pretty heavy so I'm getting some decent biceps from carrying her around ;) Can't wait to get a specialized whellchair for her and other adaptive equipment. Her OT specialist discovered yesterday that she loves swings. As soon as we placed her on a platform swing she stopped all stimming and went into her nap pose- it was amazing! We are learning more and more each day what she can do and what she can learn. She has already gone from not having any interest in toys to being able to grasp them and explore them for up to 10 minutes at a time! Smarty pants ;) 

Thank you all for your support and prayers! We need them :) Will try to post more pictures and updates as I am able! One of these days I might actually remember to get a family photo! haha