Wow! We were so good about blogging while overseas, and then we get on a plane and you don’t hear from us in 3 weeks! We definitely had more time on our hands while in South Africa, and since we got home we were just thrown back into life with a new little one. So it’s been busy! We have had several people ask for updates, so I thought it was time to let you know how things have been going since we got home! Get ready, because this is a long post with lots of pictures!
Our flights home were uneventful for the most part. Palesa did very well on the 16-hour flight, thankfully sleeping most of it. Our last two-hour flight was no biggie comparatively speaking, and she did great. We had some very helpful friends bring our van to the airport so that they could take some of our luggage back to our house and then we took our van and headed in the opposite direction for a 4-hour roadtrip to South Dakota to get to our boys. We wanted to get to them asap!
And let me tell you, that was one of the best moments of my life!!
The boys meeting Palesa for the first time. My heart melted…
Eli showing off his tooth that he lost while we were gone.
The boys took to Palesa right away and showed her around.
Here is our first family picture as an official family of five:
Yup, just keepin’ it real!
Palesa had such a fun time getting to meet family…
She absolutely loves her cousins already!
In just a couple of days, she got to experience lots of new things on the farm!
Not quite sure about the lake water…
…inching her way in…
…and she’s in!
After a few days in South Dakota, we were anxious to get home, unpack and just enjoy being a family in our own house. And I wanted to sleep in my own bed SO BADLY!!!
Sweet friends had made a cute little welcome sign for us with their kids.
Our first couple of days home involved Eli getting sick and puking twice during our first night in our own beds. On new sheets that I had all ready for us before we left so we could come home to a nice clean house. He sleeps on the top bunk. And it was projectile. Sorry about the TMI, but you can maybe understand how it wasn’t the greatest start to our time home. But he was fine the next day and no one else got whatever that was, so we counted our blessings and moved on. The trials of parenting are real!
We also had to meet our social worker for our initial post-adoption in-home visit. Palesa also had her post-adoption physical with her pediatrician. We still have some tests that we are waiting on, but what we know so far is so encouraging and reassures us that she is a healthy little girl!
(by the way, my 4-year-old photographer, Andrew, snapped this photo! Isn’t it amazing?? I printed an 11 x 14 to frame!)
We decided that we should try and get a nice family picture before church since our first one wasn’t really frame-worthy.
We had the privilege of having over Vicki, who is our close friend now since we did our Both Hands project on her house as an adoption fundraiser a couple of years ago. She is such a blessing to us and it was so fun to see her and Palesa meet and have this beautiful story of serving a widow and an orphan come full circle!
It’s been a very busy 3 weeks as you can see, but so fun! We are enjoying some of the mundane, normal moments and watching Palesa learn about what our family does on a day-to-day basis in Minnesota – like tasting fresh-caught perch and tator tot hotdish for the first time….
…to shucking corn…
To be real, there have been some stressful moments. We knew it wouldn’t be easy and not every moment is a shiny happy one with rainbows in the background. Getting a stubborn, sassy toddler to attach in a new environment and adjust to a new schedule and overall way of life is no joke. There are hard moments every day as we all learn to all gel together. There are moments of jealousy with both her and the boys, and it can get ugly. But there is nothing more beautiful than getting through those moments because every one we do bonds us tighter as a family. God knew the perfect addition for us, and we have no doubt it was Palesa!