We had to see Taipei 101 before we left!
Justin wanted to go to the top so Grace, Zac and I waited by the elevator. This moment of "content Zachary" lasted about 2 minutes...he wanted daddy BAD and he couldn't come back down fast enough! Zac was screaming and crying and all these sweet Taiwanese people were looking at Grace and I like we had kidnapped him! Some of them looked genuinely concerned! Others talked to us and tried to help calm him down. Finally "baba" (daddy) came off the elevator and all was well again.
Justin's view from the top of Taipei 101!
In front of Taipei 101
We went to a place called "The Diner" across the street from Taipei 101 for dinner and Zac came alive again (he did every time we went out to eat!) We love seeing his fun, silly side and are so happy when he eats because he hasn't wanted to eat very much.
Taipei at night - very beautiful
We woke up at 4:30 am and headed to the airport. Little did we know what the day would hold...
To make a long story short, I was completely nauseated the entire flight from Taipei to Tokyo and yes, I did throw up on the plane. Justin, Grace and Zac sat in the 3 seats together and I sat in the center with a couple of strangers (who were very glad to be seated next to the pea-green colored American girl who was puking in the little white bag.) Zac was beside himself the entire flight, kicking, crying, absolutely terrified. It was bumpy and long and he hated it. Justin couldn't even do anything to calm him and Justin told me later he thought he was going to lose it...but he didn't - he was patient and calm and did the best he could with a very upset baby (and a wife who was unable to help him!)
The next flight was the long one - 12 hours from Tokyo to Minneapolis. I started the flight out still nauseated and it began as well as the last one - puked in the bag again. I am not joking people, it was not pretty. Zac did even worse on this flight. He would not calm down. He was exhausted and I prayed so hard that he would fall asleep and Justin could have a little break. Zac slept about 1 hour of the 12 hour flight. Let me tell ya, my husband is the most AMAZING man in the world. He was so tired and weary but he hung in there and took care of Zachary the entire flight. Zac just could not get comfortable and was so restless and so very upset. I couldn't even look at him and he would scream even louder! The people around us were absolutely wonderful. They were so kind and understanding. Many of them commented on what a wonderful father Justin was. They couldn't believe his patience and gentleness. I had to laugh at the girl behind me, she said she thought Justin must have been a single father because he had no wife there to help him (that would be me!). I did feel better about half way through the flight, thankfully. It was long and painful, I will not pretend it wasn't. We knew it would come to an end, but it felt like forever. At one point I looked at Justin and said, "Some day we'll laugh about this??" He said, "Not for a LONG time."
Finally at the Minneapolis airport. All...so...tired. We were so thankful for this security guard who went back onto the plane to find Zac's blankie and also let us through customs even though we had 2 bananas I had forgotten about. He said, "Just give me those bananas...you guys may go on through." The flight home went great - no vomiting and very little crying!!!
And these were the beautiful faces waiting for us when we arrived!!!!
Welcome home signs from our 3 "middle ones"
One of the best moments of my life was seeing all these people we love so much. I couldn't get to them fast enough!
After 24 hours of traveling, I wanted my babies!!
FAMILY OF SEVEN!!!!
Thank you to Joy for taking these priceless pictures of our homecoming with Zac and to Greg for taking videos! I am so thankful to have this moment captured to look back on.
We had this as well as some awesome decorations the kids made to welcome us home! Our parents are THE BEST. They kept the kids while we were gone, did laundry, went above and beyond to make this trip and transition as easy as possible. THANK YOU!!!!!
They also gave us the best gift ever - sleep! They took the 4 older kids to the hotel for the night so they could swim and Justin and I could sleep! Zachary, Justin and I slept 14 hours! I would definitely recommend this plan to anyone adopting in the future! (Of course, you have to have grandparents as wonderful as ours!!)
Justin and the little boys...Asher keeps saying,"Hey buddy!" to Zac - so cute.
Zac really took to grandpa and kept reaching for him to hold him! Lainey got Zac to eat some oatmeal and we were so excited until he threw it all up on grandpa! He's not sick, just didn't sit right with him.
His happy place =) So much for the "light hair" theory (right, grandpa?)
Joah wanted to take a picture of everyone - he did a good job!
sweetest face ever!
All 7 of us sat down to have dinner together tonight and Zac began to warm up to the kids. They are so thrilled to have their little brother home. Our kids are so kind and sweet and they are (trying) to give him some space - it's hard when you've been waiting so long for your baby brother to come home! At one point Asher said, "Daddy, can you put him down for a nap so we can wrestle!" It will be hard to share daddy so much but I have enjoyed being able to take care of the other kids while Justin totes his little sidekick around. Justin is so in love with this boy. I can see it in his eyes. He is truly an amazing husband and father. I COULD NOT do it without him. I see Jesus in my husband and that is the best gift any dad can ever give his family.
Trying to get back to a little bit of "normal".
Joah trying to love on his brother - Zac isn't too excited yet, but it will come and the kids seem to understand that for now.
I can't even comment on this moment....so beautiful
Everyone wanted to snuggle and watch "Rio" - it was another precious moment for sure. (Thanks Aunt Sandi for the cute jammies!!)
Now everyone is in bed. (Justin has been laying on the bed next to Zac's bed so he's always in sight.) I wanted to blog and do my best to remember God's faithfulness - to write it down so I never forget. And also to make sure you all know that you were a part of this. It truly took a village to bring our baby home. From Todd notarizing all our documents to Emily babysitting so I could pack. If I started, the thank you's would never end. And here's another miracle you were a part of...our adoption of this precious baby boy is FULLY FUNDED thanks to our village of family, friends, and the people from Katelyn's Fund, Lifesong for Orphans, Show Hope, and the Isabel Fund who gave us grants. Thank you will never be enough...never.