How can I describe the feeling of seeing my three children finally together, of the five of us united as a family?
I was expecting our first days together to be far harder. I thought that the fatigue of travel, the stress of being apart for six weeks, and the very strange emotions of meeting new sibling(s) would be too much for our kiddos, but I was once again astounded by their strength and the depth of their love. We have three incredible kids.
Here are a few random comments heard throughout the days that hopefully illustrate what I simply can't put into words:
"She smiled at me!"
"She fell down and I helped her up!"
"Sashka, you want a hug?"
"I gave Sasha a big squeeze!"
"Look, I can lift up Sasha!"
"The world just wouldn't be complete without a girl like Sasha"
Sam and Ben were just so sweet to their little sister. Every smile or giggle that came out of her was celebrated as a triumph for their brothering skills. And rightfully so.
And Sasha just reveled in the attention. Ben's attempts to carry her were met with forbearance, the zerberts tolerated, and the tickles relished. Sam took a less hands-on approach (no surprise, Ben is the most aggressive cuddler I know) and Sasha knocked down tower after tower that he built for her.
And by the end of our first day together, Sasha was coming in for hugs, dances, and kisses from her brothers at every opportunity. They just fit together. I don't know how else to say it. Our family didn't just come together, we were designed to be together.
The past few days have been big ones - visiting the baby house for the last time, enjoying time with Sasha in our apartment, the arrival of the male half of the family, and the finalization of our adoption. It is a wonderful thing knowing that Sasha is irrevocably, for always a Morningstar. Not that there was any reason to worry about finalization (this is the 15 day period after court where somebody could challenge the decision), it's just a nice thing to know that in the eyes of the Kazakhstani court system, Sasha is ours forever!
So, what's next? The five of us will be in Kazakhstan for about two more weeks. At this point, it's all about paperwork - we have to wait for her Kaz birth certificate that names us as Sasha's parents and then we can get her Kaz passport and then we'll go to Almaty to do the paperwork for her entrance into the US. There's really not a ton to do (it's mostly the coordinators working on our behalf and us waiting - hooray for World Partners!) so we're planning to have plenty of down time for the boys' bodies to catch up with the 13 hour time difference and then we'll hang around Karaganda together! Together - all five of us. Doesn't that sound wonderful?!?
Don't worry, we'll keep you posted on all of our adventures, great and small.