No Place Like Home.

Dolly and I rolled in tonight at about 9pm.  She did amazingly well on the flight.  I have to give a shout out to the United Airlines flight crew on the Beijing to Chicago run yesterday.  They were amazing!  They gave us a bassinet to lay our Dolly in and she slept for almost SIX hours in that thing.  She cried for maybe two minutes total on the whole flight because she was so well rested.  The rest of the time, she bounced happily back and forth from my dad’s lap to mine, playing and charming everyone around us.  Thank you United, for working so hard to make this so much easier on this tired mama and her tired dad.

My sister and mom came to get us at the airport.  It was SO nice not to have to endure that three hour bus ride.  It was Dolly’s first time in a car seat.  She’s used to being held on my lap as we wind our way in and out of Chinese traffic.  The ride was upsetting for her.  The jet lag has gotten her and she has been up and down all night tonight.  We’ve fed her and watched cartoons for a good portion of tonight.

Having her meet the rest of the FullPlateKids was JUST like I pictured.  It was beautiful.  They all came pouring out of the house and into the garage to get a glimpse of her.  Words wouldn’t do any justice to the looks on their faces.  It makes me tear up just thinking about it again.  It’s a beautiful, amazing, wonderful story that brought me each and every one of these faces.  As I watched them watch one more child join the fold, I couldn’t help but think how amazing we are.  Not just our family, but the story OF our family.

It seems so fitting that I took custody of Dolly on Orphan Sunday, a day committed to drawing attention to the global orphan crisis.  Not to adoption necessarily, but to the children, like our Dolly, whose families might be able to parent them if given the right support.  This day is committed to making sure that someday there are no more Dolly’s in this world, that no child EVER has to live in an orphanage dying of lack of a family.

It also seems fitting that I arrived home with Dolly on National Adoption Day.  This day is meant to celebrate the miracle that is adoption.  The miracle that allows me to be a mom.  This is the day that we celebrate how we formed our family.  I have a family of EIGHT children who wouldn’t be a family if it weren’t for all the people who have made this happen for us.  The birth parents, the officials, the lawyers, the social workers, the adoption agency and their staff, the in country facilitators, the guides, the countless number of people who write of reference letters each and every time we do this, the people who support our family so that we can travel to get our kids, all the people who took time to pray for us…the list goes on and on.  I can’t thank you all enough.  As I looked at all of my kids tonight, watching them get the first glimpse of their new sister, I thought of all of you and I made sure to thank God for you and for all you’ve done for us.  National Adoption Day is also a day to celebrate everyone who supports those of us who do adopt.

She wouldn’t be here without you.  You made this happen for us.

Having our adoption begin on Orphan Sunday and end on National Adoption Day is like God sending me a little message.  He has sent them during each and every moment of this journey, and the last, and the one before that.  As we travel what will undoubtedly be a long and winding road with Dolly, I am already finding peace along the way.  Come what may, we have each other.

Now, and forever.

who has an official photo shoot on the agenda for today.  

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