two full days

We’ve been home two full days now.  It has been wonderful!  The girls both did amazing on the flights and drives to get here, all five flights and two long drives.  They  might be better international travelers than I am.  Not very difficult to get comfy and fall asleep on an airplane when you’re under three feet tall, it seems.

Here’s some of what we came home to.  Three trees had been planted, one for each of the girls and one for us, a welcome home basket with lots of I-ran-out-of-this-in-ten-weeks kind of stuff like deodorant and body wash and other fun stuff, a garden, a phenomenal swing set, a snack drawer for Francine and one for Keta, lots of snacks for me too, both the refrigerator and freezer full of food, a very welcoming and homey front yard complete with flowers and chairs and bubbles and pinwheels that the girls think are “so pretty flowers.”  The girls each have a photo of themselves over their beds and new pajamas.  There are flowers and balloons.  We have five or six dozen farm fresh eggs that surprisingly both girls are quite good at peeling when hard-boiled.  That Y name that is now no one’s but had made a few appearances on various things in the house has been replaced with Keta.  The house had been thoroughly cleaned.  The girls had gifts and snacks in the car for the ride home.  They’ve been given books and dogs in purses and lotion and more clothes than they’ve had all their years put together.  They have a pool shaped like a whale complete with spout to make “big splash!”  They have been adored by friends and family.  I could go on and on about how wonderful my peeps are, I’m kind of in awe of them.  The girls too.  I’m kind of in awe.

Although not one hundred percent sure this can all be trusted, they have transitioned pretty smoothly.  I slept on the floor between their beds for the last two nights since for the last ten weeks I slept an arm’s length away.  Tonight they know I’m sleeping in the big bed in the next room.  They’re no longer getting lost in the house and although nervous, they proudly and bravely stated, “Mama, Keta no cry at night night.  Francine too, no cry.”  They were right and are sleeping peacefully.

They have braved a day with a dog in the house.  He’s been confined, but still here.  Keta’s close to wanting to be more involved with Milo.  I think tomorrow she might go up to the barrier and take a closer look.  Francine will take a bit longer, but she’s on her way to liking him too.

They’ve had so many firsts.  Stairs that move in the airport and some strange thing that blows air onto their soon to be dry hands, which they love to imitate.  Lots of new family that just couldn’t stay away (I’m glad!) after worrying and hoping and missing so much for ten weeks and a few years prior.  They’re finally seeing those people in the photos, the rooms too.  They’re real!  Swings and slides and climbing walls, strollers and a full size refrigerator, a present to unwrap, toys and sidewalk chalk, enough shoes to need to decide or know that one pair is for running outside and one pair is for playing in water and another is just pretty.  They point to the floor in the house and ask, “Home?” just to make sure this is finally the place.  They each have a bed, but right now feel better sharing one.  They’re trying some new foods and enjoying some familiar ones.  They took a bath, way more fun than a shower.

They’re going to be alright here.


17 Responses to “two full days”

  1. 1 Alice from Kansas
    June 9, 2012 at 3:38 am

    look at those smiles…AMAZING…you can tell how happy they are!!!

  2. 2 Christy
    June 9, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Life is perfect!

  3. 3 Jillian
    June 9, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Wow. I don’t even know what to say. Your family is amazing, and those are two very lucky girls to join one very lucky family. Congratulations Ashley!!!

  4. June 9, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Hooray! So glad you all made it home safe and sound. The girls look great. Love those smiles! And your family rocks. 🙂

  5. 6 Amy
    June 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I am so beyond happy for you and the girls! Your family is amazing and the girls are so fortunate that they will get to grow up with so many of them close by. Have you taken a walk around the park yet?

  6. June 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Welcome home Ashley. Such an amazing story!

  7. 10 Steve
    June 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I teared up reading this post. What a wonderful homecoming! Thank you for sharing your incredible journey that really has just begun. Can’t wait to meet Francine and Keta–they are so lucky!

  8. 12 Kim Miramontes
    June 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS, Ashley! So good to hear you’re finally home with your girls:) Anytime they want to venture out and try the “big” pool, it’s on me, but it sounds like they have plenty to keep them busy right there at home…can’t believe you have them here with you after so long!

    • June 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks! It is so great to finally be home! We might take you up on the invitation to the big pool. We’ve walked by a few times and Keta has really expressed an interest.

  9. 14 Suzanne
    June 11, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Wow!!! What a great homecoming!!! Thanks for posting and I hope you continue to do so!! The girls look so happy! Congratulations!!! YOU MADE IT!!

    • June 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      We made it!! Finally! It’s been great to be home. The homecoming was tremendous. That support from my family made this whole difficult process so much easier! Can hardly wait to see you with your little guys! Take care!

  10. 16 Carla
    June 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    So, so, so happy for your family! 🙂 glad you are finally HOME with your daughters, though I was so glad to have met you in Kinshasa. If you’re ever in Florida, please let me know! :). All the best!

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