If there's one thing our family loves, it's going to the airport to watch a family grow through adoption. Today we got that blessing as some dear friends returned from Ethiopia with former orphans, Kindi and Joshua. The sister and brother are 11 and 9.
Here, the family's two oldest, Jack and Katie, await the big homecoming. Their brother, Tommy--who is several years younger--was too busy racing from window to window watching for the plane to pose for a photo.
When the crowd who'd gathered sensed that it couldn't be long until the plane landed, Jack made sure the poster holders were ready.
As passengers began to exit the boarding area, the family's attention was riveted on one spot.
And then...the wait was over. Kindi and her daddy were within sight. Joshua and his mama would follow a few minutes later. He required a wheelchair to de-plane after breaking his leg a few weeks ago while still in his orphanage.
As soon as Kindi reached the crowd, her new Grandma began introducing Kindi to her siblings.
Jack and his little sister were quick to hug.
...while a proud, happy and very tired dad watched.
Next Joshua appeared to the clapping and loud cheers of the crowd.
Kindi watched her brother's entrance...
...wrapped in her new aunt's arms...
...already happy to receive the affection.
(Adoptive parents travel with photo albums to familiarize the
kids with things like family members and their new home.)
Meanwhile, Grandpa beamed as he gained two grandchildren.
This was one of my favorite moments--look at the glance exchanged by these new brothers!
Joshua then looked straight at me.
However, he immediately returned his eyes to his big brother again.
Isn't adoption amazing? Isn't our God amazing?
Despite being surrounded by strangers in a new country, he never lost his grin.
Grandma was radiant as she introduced Joshua to extended family. Isn't adoption amazing?
Meanwhile, Kindi was surrounded by children eager to become her friends.
Jaynie, who was adopted from Russia 11 years ago, remembers well what it's like to be overwhelmed at the airport as you join your forever family. She made the effort to help Kindi feel comfortable.
Kindi's mom was also aware of her daughter's need for security in this radically new situation.
After both kids enjoyed countless greetings...
...Joshua climbed back into his wheel chair.
Jack pushed Joshua to a spot where the family could pose for their first photo together.
The last step before the seven of them headed home?
A group picture of the crowd who'd gathered to celebrate God's goodness.