Friday, February 13, 2015

5 Years Home

In January 2010, a 5 o'clock newscast broke the news that Haiti had suffered a massive earthquake.  

D and I just watched in shock.

We knew Conleigh was safe but we had no idea what this would mean for our adoption.

A few weeks later, we determined that the best course of action was to head to Florida on one way plane tickets and hope to meet Conleigh as she was evacuated out.

We flew into Ft. Lauderdale, thinking that's where she would be arriving.

We drove a few hours north to stay at a missionary compound only to get a call saying the kids would be arriving in Miami perhaps as soon as that night.

We drove a few hours back to the south and received another phone call saying the kids were for sure flying into Miami but it would not be until the next day.

We stayed the night in Kissimmee and waited for another phone call.

The kids arrived around 6 but didn't leave customs until 2 a.m..

We spent another night in a hotel with no Conleigh

We arrived at the group home the next day and were one of the first families to be joined with their child.

A story that is so hard to sum up into just a few sentences...because we rarely do things in the normal way.

First night with us, in the hotel in Miami.  That pink bracelet gets me every time.  They tagged all of the kids to keep track of them since so many of them were unaccompanied minors.  It reminds me of how traumatic my daughter's first hours in the US were, of an Air Force cargo plane, of a large group of 30 other kids most of whom she did not know.  It reminds me so much of her sad, I've cried all my tears out cry which she had for most of that day.  

First snow, a few days later, in Nebraska

So many layers to this girl.  I'm not sure if we've really peeled them all back yet.  She's eager to please yet not easily convinced.  She loves to laugh and be silly (in fact her grin and giggle is a bit infectious) but sometimes struggles with being loud enough at school.  She is not into details but sometimes is over attentive and gets distracted by little things.  She is a tiny ball of strength; oh how I hope she learns to see that not only is she physically strong but that she has this amazing resilient spirit.

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