Finally, something big to share! As any of you who have been following this blog and the seemingly endless saga of this adoption know, we have been in a holding pattern since February due to the coronavirus lock downs and travel restrictions. However, as I write this, I am once again sitting on a bed in a room, in a small hotel, in the small Indian town of Ongole. I had planned on publishing an update a week or two ago, but just didn’t have time as everything was moving so fast! While there is much to be said about this return journey so far, the short version of what all transpired to get use here is as follows…
- We finally got confirmation that India was allowing adoptive families to apply for special visas to pick up their children so we applied for and got them
- We flew out of Orlando, with connections in Chicago and Delhi, before finally touching down in our daughter’s hometown of Hyderabad (which is the capital city of the southern Indian state of Telangana).
- We spent the next day at the group home that she’s lived at for the last decade of her life and got to meet all of her friends and caregivers while spending some sweet time together before her going away party. The party itself was truly beautiful to see. All of the kids got her a new dress (she loves to dress up) and my wife got to do her hair for the party and then everyone took turns feeding her bits of cake (she also loves cake!). Next, the caretakers gave her gifts and took turns sharing memories of her and telling her how much she’d be missed. Finally, all of her friends – many of whom she’d grown up with – took turns praying for her and giving goodbye hugs and kisses before we said one last goodbye to the only place she’d ever known as home.
The last 24 hours since picking her up have been a mix of hectic travel and sweet time with our little girl. We cleaned her up, and mom did her hair before bed. We enjoyed some snuggle time and worked on communicating as speaking is something that is difficult for her at the moment. After breakfast this morning we hopped in a car and drove 7 hours from Hyderabad to Ongole. We’ll only be her for the night and to take care of a government thing tomorrow before heading up to Vijayawada tomorrow afternoon.
There are quite a few more hoops we have to jump through over the next week-and-a-half before we can return home to America, but after two-and-a-half years of waiting we finally have our little girl here with us. I’ll continue with updates as time allows, but for now it’s time to get some sleep. Thanks again to everyone who has prayed for us and is continuing to pray for us. It’s been hard leaving our boys for two weeks, but thankfully it seems like they’re doing well and getting along for their grandparents. And while the trips we’re having to make are long, they seem to be going by faster than I thought they would. I thank Jesus for carrying us through this process and for the lessons he’s taught us along the way; he’s given us peace, taught us patience, reminded us of his goodness and glory (even when we didn’t see it), and never gave us more than he could handle. Please continue praying for safe travels, and for our boys to hang in there.