When you add three children to a family in one go, getting through even the first full day at home is a reason to celebrate. God's grace followed us through the day, and we had a good initial 24 hours.
Again, we'll go back to the recounting of our days in Russia, but here are photos from our first day at home. I wish I had more, but somehow everyone just seems to be everywhere when 14 of you share the same house!
We normally eat breakfast together, but since we have a house full of folks recovering from international travel and three children adjusting to EVERYTHING being new, we rose at various times and each ate separately.
Thus, our first meal eaten together was lunch. To help our new children adjust, we tried to create a meal similar to one of the delicious feasts we ate in the home in which we stayed during our court trip about three weeks ago. Although the imitation lacked Luda's brilliant touch, Daria said in was tasty. This is a high complement from her because thus far she hasn't enjoyed American food.
Here and just below, Alexander and Oksana are sitting down for that first meal together in our dining room (where we always have to eat becasue of the size of our tribe.)
After lunch our dear, dear friends, Gary and Amanda, and their daughter, Katherine, needed to head back to Minnesota. They'd arrived two days before we got home to reopen the house. They picked up Mr. Beaver's Mom, Jane, (right) and Aunt Jean from the airport, who'd traveled from Colorado for our homecoming.
They also ran errands for us like a grocery run (a BIG job when buying for 14) and picking up our dogs from the kennel (a BIG job anytime, with our two dogs). This fervent love (1 Peter 1:22) took a great deal of pressure off our return. Before they left today, Amanda helped us all unpack since we're still in the jetlag fog that makes decisions difficult. Meanwhile Gary took Speedy to the orthopedic surgeon to get his cast removed after breaking his thumb about three weeks ago.
|Amanda and Gary are on the right in the back row, and Katherine in the right front row.|
|Gary and Amanda's 15-year-old, Katherine, (right)|
and our 15-year-old, Daria
All of this would count as a remarkable amount of help from friends who truly understand the strain of international adoption. But Gary and Amanda's assistance went way beyond this. Before they came they prepared and froze nine meals for us, and every one of them had to be doubled to feed us. That's eighteen 9x13 pans. What friendship! What generosity! From our past adoption experiences, we know this to be a sweet gift becasue it takes weeks to get back into a meal planning and grocery shopping routine. Food prep at first is HARD.
|Our stress- relieving freezer as we adjust|
We began short stints of homeschooling with the new kiddos today.
|Jaynie helping Alexander with his English|
We had a truly satisifing first day. And now we can say the exact challenges of the first day will never exist again! May God be praised!