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home sweet home

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, feels better than walking off the plane and into the arms of your family.
I cried.
Out loud.
I didn't care.
We were finally home.
Maddie wasn't quite sure what to make of everything at first. She had a death grip on my hand and stuck pretty close to me, which is so unlike her.

The kids were estatic. Each armed with a stuffed animal, they gathered around her and tried to get a better look, all talking at the same time.
'Does she speak English?'
'Hi, Maddie. I'm your big brother.'
'Mom, can you tell her I'm glad she's home?'
It was all I could do to get a hug out of them! :)
Maddie just stood there taking it all in. Not moving.
The girl was a walking zombie.
It took her quite awhile to get comfortable enough to even look at Meshack who she had met before. But by the time we walked out of KCI she had found her new favorite spot...in her daddy's arms.
My brother, sister-in-law and three of their kids drove all the way from Colorado to welcome us home. It was so wonderful to see them...and heartwarming to know they wanted this child in our family just as much as we did.
I have the best family.
And our family is complete.
I know I mentioned when I started this blog the reason Meshack and I were on this journey was because we felt like someone was missing.
There was a empty space in our family portrait and we needed to go find her.
When I looked at my husband and my children huddling together in the Kansas City airport, there was a deep sense of peace and fulfillment.
It had taken us 363 days to accomplish what had been asked of us.
But our family portrait was complete.
We had found Maddie.

-----------------------------
Now that our journey to find Maddie is over, I would like to save Finding Maddie exclusively as our adoption journal, so I will be moving our family blog over to Sunflower Seeds. Please join us there as we continue to chronicle Maddie's adjustment into our family and our transition into a family of six. I hope to see you there!

27 salty messages:

MoscowMom February 6, 2008 at 6:23 AM  

Oh, Tami... WOW. What a fantastic photo. And what a fantastic last post for your blog about Maddie's adoption. I'll see you at the new blog!

Shelley February 6, 2008 at 7:13 AM  

What a great photo....and what a journey you have had! Welcome home Maddie!!!

Nataliya February 6, 2008 at 7:16 AM  

What a precious picture! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! I can't wait to read the next entry in "Sunflower Seeds"!

P.S. I also cried at the airport as well as the whole first week home :)

Elaine February 6, 2008 at 7:18 AM  

Congratulations! I have so enjoyed following your adoption journey and I will continue to follow at the new blog, too. I know exactly what you mean about the family not feeling complete until you were able to bring Maddie home. I feel this way continually, and find myself counting children in the car to make sure I haven't forgotten anybody, even though I know I haven't, because I become overwhelemed with the feeling that someone is missing.

DoveFamily February 6, 2008 at 7:57 AM  

Congrats and welcome home - what a wonderful reunion!!

Leslie February 6, 2008 at 8:30 AM  

Welcome home Tami and Maddie!!!
So happy to hear that all went well. Enjoy now! :-)

kate February 6, 2008 at 8:41 AM  

Punky looks just radiant! She must have been so excited. Welcome home. Catch you on the flip side..er..blog.

(LESS THAN A YEAR!!)

Anonymous,  February 6, 2008 at 8:59 AM  

What an outstanding photo!! You definitely do look complete with your four children around you.

What an incredible journey! You really, truly should write a book about it - you've almost done it already. You are a truly gifted writer.

I am just so happy for you and so glad to have shared the experience of "Finding Maddie."

Wishing all the best to you and your lovely family. See you at "Sunflower Seeds"! - Melinda H.

Waitingonmyua2 February 6, 2008 at 9:37 AM  

There are no words. "Beautiful" doesn't even come close. So glad you're home. Now the real journey begins!

Anonymous,  February 6, 2008 at 9:46 AM  

Just had to make one more comment. I still think Maddie resembles Punky - a lot. -- Melinda H.

Christine February 6, 2008 at 9:59 AM  

Welcome home Tami and Maddie! I can't wait to follow along on your other blog.

Tina in CT February 6, 2008 at 10:22 AM  

I second what my daughter, Moscowmom, wrote. I'm now going over to check out your new blog.

Ruslan, Inna and Victor February 6, 2008 at 10:50 AM  

Congratulations!!! Following your journey was awesome and I can't wait to read more about your family on your new blog.

Debbie February 6, 2008 at 11:12 AM  

I love that your family is now complete and that the kids all love each other. I hope someday you'll all come out to Colorado and we can meet in person! :-)

See you at Sunflower Seeds...

Dave February 6, 2008 at 12:01 PM  

Congratulations on having your whole family together at last. You made it!!! I know...this is only the beginning. Enjoy the ride!
Gina

Ashley February 6, 2008 at 12:26 PM  

I have really enjoyed following your adoption journey and I look forward to following your life at home. Thank you for all the tears and laughs and also for the advice to those of us who will be going after you.

Again...

WELCOME HOME!

Mike & Tara February 6, 2008 at 1:15 PM  

We're so glad you're home!!!

Gail,  February 6, 2008 at 1:23 PM  

Beautiful picture!! I think all your kids look alike. How about that?
Gail

Rachael February 6, 2008 at 2:08 PM  

and a brilliant end to the story.

can't wait to read the sequel.

Tonya February 6, 2008 at 5:35 PM  

I can totally relate the best feeling in the world. I sat on the airport floor and cried with my little girl clinging to me and my four boys trying to hug and kiss her. It took her a whole 5 minutes to get used to them the next morning:):):).

so glad you are home! What a beautiful family:)!

Espe,  February 6, 2008 at 9:40 PM  

CONGRATULATIONS and GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY!!!

Old DAN AND Little ANN February 6, 2008 at 9:51 PM  

Welcome home and God Bless the USA! I'm so glad your family is complete. I'm feeling that empty fourth place already but I don't think my husband is ready to hear that. Lot of love to you all as you adjust. Ample grace and mercy all around and it will be a beautiful transition. (This includes for yourself since we always tend to be harshest there.)

Charissa February 7, 2008 at 3:45 AM  

Yeah, I know that feeling, that is an awesome feeling. We just got home on Tuesday. What a journey! Thanks for sharing yours too.

adopting2fromUkraine February 7, 2008 at 1:09 PM  

Congratulations on finally completing your journey! It's wonderful that Maddie's brothers and sister were so excited to welcome her into your family and accepted her instantly.

I have had that same feeling of someone being missing from our family.

Chris and Virginia February 9, 2008 at 2:18 PM  

Congratulations and Welcome Home!!

Staci and Damon March 4, 2008 at 2:43 PM  

Congratulations on a wonderful reunion!
Staci

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