Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No Place Like Home...

We are home.  Carter is HOME.  For good.  What an incredible feeling.

He traveled WONDERFULLY.  We couldn't have expected anything better.  He had a bit of a fit in the Frankfurt airport - which led to me walking around with him in the carrier for about an hour.  Fun times... :)

The 8 hour flight from Frankfurt to Chicago stunned us.  This guy did not make a single peep.  Not one.  He didn't sleep for more than about 45 minutes (in 20+ hours...) - but he did incredible.  He sat so nice in his seat, and just played with his toys.  When we landed in Chicago, we had a few issues with his visa/immigration - but the Lord totally blessed us and we were out of there in minutes.  We thought we'd miss our flight to Appleton - but again, He made a way for us to the front of the security line.  Without the Lord's favor - we would have absolutely, without a doubt, missed our flight.  Phew!

We pulled into the gate in Appleton, and we could see people in the window...people there to meet Carter, and welcome him home.  Getting off the plane was surreal.  We stopped just inside the airport, and prayed.  We couldn't leave this journey without thanking God.  What an incredible work He has done.  We thanked him for Carter - for his life - for this journey - for the people who prayed us home - and for this new, wild, incredible journey that lies ahead of us.

And then we started walking.  And we heard cheers - cheers for Carter.  We saw so much love ahead of us - and as we walked out of this journey and into the new one...well - we were overwhelmed.  Carter, of course, put on a good show...he was his 'best' self!  Even after no sleep, he was happy and content.  He walked around a bit - and laughed.  He laughed his sweetest, best laugh.  Does he know?  Did he understand?  These are the people that prayed him home. These are the people that have encouraged and supported us every step of the way.  Did he get it?

Pretty incredible.


We knew that it was only a matter of time before Carter had a major meltdown.  After no sleep - WE were ready to have our own meltdowns!  Thankfully, he waited until well after we were home.  And we haven't had our meltdowns yet - maybe they're still coming...! He did some exploring - mostly of his new toys :)  Let me tell you, he was so tired of the same 5 toys in the apartment!

Then, we went to set him in his highchair for some dinner, and he lost it.  Screamed uncontrollably for about an hour.  I mean, uncontrollably.  I just snuggled him, rocked him, and kissed him.  Because really, that's all I could do.  This new place has to be wildly overwhelming for him.  Eventually, he cried himself to sleep around 7:00p, and I laid him in his bed upstairs.

He slept straight through the night - until about 7:30a!  Praise the LORD....I was ready for a real 'newborn baby first night home' after all that screaming :)

Did I mention that in the midst of his screaming, we realized that I left my purse/bag at the airport?!  With an expensive camera inside?!  Yea.  That discussion was fun.  But - Gander family to the rescue!  They went back to the airport, and it was still sitting where I set it.  Again - thanks, God!  And Ganders, too :)

Anyhow - this morning, Carter woke up happy.  We gave him a bath to wash off all that travel slime, and he's been exploring like crazy ever since.  Every door, every wall, every toy - it's all so new and interesting.

Welcome to your new life, bud.  Pretty great.


I have to share this, because it's so, so sweet.  Jake is so thoughtful - I know I got very lucky.  But this - well, this totally surprised me.  While we were in Ukraine, there was a shop that we passed by every time we walked to and from the orphanage.  I saw something in the window that I fell in love with...even though Jake thought it was, well...not so great :)  But one day we went inside to see how much it was.

720 grivna.  About $90USD.  Okay, nevermind :)  We bought lots of souvenirs for our this just wasn't necessary.

Every day, we walked by - and Jake would crack jokes about that crazy thing I wanted.  "Why do you want that?  It's so....weird!  It won't even go in our house!  Where will you put it?!"

"I's weird.  But I love it.  And I'll put it on my nightstand so you don't have to look at it!".

Well - last night, after we put Carter in his bed - at HOME - for the very first time, Jake gave me a gift.  A gift that came all the way from Ukraine.  A gift that he bought one day, snuck in his suitcase, for this very moment.

What a guy I have :)


Well - the bags are all unpacked, laundry is 1/3 of the way done, and our boy is napping in his crib downstairs.  Yes  - homecoming photos will be coming soon (I didn't take any, because we had a photographer friend there!  But if anyone else has any that they'd like to email to me, I'd love to have them!)....I can't wait to see them!  Yes - I will continue to blog as much as I can.  It's a journal for me - maybe even a wordy scrapbook.  Hopefully, I'll be able to blog a few times a week...hopefully :)  Yes - it's true.  Carter is home.  Right where he belongs.

One Thing I Know For Sure: "God sets the lonely in families...." Psalm 68:6a


  1. AHHHHHHHH!!!! I've been waiting and trying so hard to be patient and not bother you! I don't think I could have lasted much longer! You get me sobbing EVERY time, darn you:) Welcome home Carter Bug, you are one lucky little camper and I can't wait to meet you:)I cannot wait to see the homecoming pictures!


    Okay, that ornament is terrifically awesome!!!

    I wish we could have welcomed Carter at the airport, but Ruby has strep, so we'll keep our germs home. Hope to meet him sometime soon, though!!

  3. The 3 of you walking hand in hand toward us was overwhelming. The tears were many from many, it's amazing that the same tears of sorrow can erupt into joy, love and relief. I'm sure all these emotions will be part of the now and here for many years. Always remember how amazing you are to have been called out by God for Carter. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said "HERE AM I. SEND ME!" Isaiah 6:8 A job well done, servants!!!
    Love Todd and Tammy

  4. oh, Jake gets my vote on the gift:) has to be a subliminal desire! Its still a sweet story! lol

  5. Welcome Home! I have been following your journey and love to see that cute face home where he belongs.

  6. Happy tears yet again! Congrats on making it home, and welcome to YOUR new life too! You all are embarking on the new life together, and what a wonderful life it will be. Congrats again.

  7. How fantastic to have you home and to know Carter finally was able to sleep (and you too)...but..........the chach-kee?....I don't know girlfriend...very, very weird indeed....LOL!!! Only you Ash.....
    Love ya....Meemom

  8. Thank you for sharing this very special journey. You guys and Carter are amazing.

  9. AHHHH I've been waiting for this update!! Im glad you are all home safe and that Carter is doing great!! :D

    congratulations for the new beginning and your new and beautiful son! :)

    as i said before loved your journey and im sure will love to keep reading your new journey as mom so please please please dont stop writting! hehe :D

  10. I love the end table owl thing-a-ma-jig? No seriously, it's a great memento of your son's country, and you have a VERY sweet spouse who would secretly bring it home for you:) So happy you're all home safe:) Carter is darling in his bibs.

  11. Welcome home and welcome to your new life together as a family! I'm surprised, I didn't expect to see an update for a little while, but I'm sure glad I did! I love the airport pics!

    Poor Carter with the meltdown... after all that travel, so many new places so fast, I don't blame the poor guy. So happy to hear that a good night's sleep refreshed him enough to bravely explore again!

    And I'm with Jake too... that thing is hideous, LOL. But YOU love it, and you have quite the fab hubby to surprise you with it. :-)

  12. so thrilled for you all...hugs from New Zealand.

  13. So happy for you. My favorite part of this post, which brought tears to my eyes, is something you may not have noticed. Look at the men behind you in the picture at the airport. They know that they are witnessing something absolutely amazing. A miracle. A new life. They don't know the details but they've just seen you walk by with a very special boy and they must see a crowd up ahead cheering and waving. I love the expressions on their faces of complete joy!

  14. praise God for all of his work....congrats on your precious boy

  15. So glad we could be there!!! A very special time indeed! Jake's awesome! :-) Glad to hear slept through the night. Yahoo!!!!! Hopefully the first of many, many, many...

  16. And don't forget the salsa post! That is my husband's favorite food group, so I'll need to know what to buy when we're there. . . ;)

  17. I have followed your journey and been inspired. I may email you sometime after you're settled. My husband and I are hoping to adopt soon the same way you did through RR. We are in the learning phase and praying and hoping to make a decision the first of the year. I love the photos! Sweet Carter. And I LOVE the owl thing! It's so vibrant and's a great story and something to treasure :-) Love your sense of humor! Blessings on your new life together! ~Kimberly

  18. welcome home Carter! I too noticed the men in the background & thought the same thing.

  19. Been on pens and needles waiting to hear how you have been and how the flight was and how you are settling into having a little one at home.
    *hugs* to all of you
    Get as much rest as you can, and then update us when you can!! Can hardly wait to see all the wonderful pictures you will be taking and have taken so far.

  20. Congratulations! God bless you all! :) Happy day...

  21. I waited and waited for this post,... then I took a couple days off of blogger and missed it.... I had to go hunting to hear how Carter was.... Glad you will continue blogging. I love that boy of yours... through the love of his mom :D


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