On Friday morning we finished up our packing and got on the bus for the final time to head to the airport. It was crazy and confusing there, but we got through smoothly. All the families with babies were allowed to go through the line reserved for diplomats. We felt very important!
We were delighted to find that we had bulkhead seats on the plane. This allowed us to stretch our legs a bit more, and there was a bassinet that attached onto the bulkhead that we could use. Rachel didn't sleep much for the first six hours. She didn't cry, just squirmed around a lot. Finally she fell asleep and slept soundly in the little bassinet. She looked so cute and cozy in there. Jamie and I watched movies on our DVD player and relaxed.
We arrived in Toronto for our seven-hour layover. It took about an hour and a half to get through customs and immigration, which all went very smoothly. After that we met up with my friend Julie and her three kids, who came to spend some time with us at the airport. We had supper and enjoyed a nice visit, though Jamie was falling asleep through some of it.
We then headed to our gate and made ourselves at home on the floor for a while. Rachel crawled around and played, and Jamie stretched out for a rest. We met another adoptive parent who had brought her daughter home from China a year ago, and enjoyed talking with her, though we were so tired that I'm not sure if anything we said made any sense!
Our flight from Toronto to Fredericton went very well. Rachel fell asleep before the plane even took off and didn't wake up until we were getting off the plane. My parents, my sister, and our kids were all waiting for us in the airport. My sister had helped the kids make t-shirts and a banner welcoming Rachel home, very cute. The kids had their pyjamas on underneath, since it was midnight and they had been in bed earlier. It was so great to see everybody. My mom took Rachel and we hugged the kids. The boys burst into tears and I joined in with them. We were all so happy to be back together again. Rachel studied the kids seriously and touched their faces before smiling at them. She went into her carseat with no problems at all and sucked her thumb quietly all the way home.
The boys wanted to see everything that we had bought before they went back to bed, so it was very late before they finally got to sleep. Rachel slept for a few hours before waking up, and we got up with her. My parents stayed overnight so we could get a little sleep the next day, which we really appreciated.
It's Monday now and we are nowhere near a normal sleep schedule yet. It will take some time, and will be rough for a bit, but we know we will get there. We are very tired, but we don't mind too much having Rachel to ourselves in the middle of the night to play. She is such a happy baby. She keeps looking at us and smiling with such joy, it's like she can't believe that we are still here.
The kids just love her, and can't get enough of her. They get impatient when she is sleeping and keep asking when she will wake up so they can play with her. Julia gets a bit jealous sometimes when Mommy is holding the baby and wants to be held too, just as I had expected. She is very proud to be a big sister, though, and tells us "I like my baby sister".
Rachel fits into our family so well. She is happy and easygoing, and enjoys her siblings and the dogs and cat. She takes everything in stride, and keeps us entertained with her giggles and funny faces. She is active and is going to keep us busy running after her. She would like to be walking right now! I can tell that she won't be my little baby for long, so I am going to enjoy this stage to the fullest before she becomes a toddler.
We will try to keep posting updates and pictures of her here at home.