Tony: Want to hear some exciting news from the Gould family? I bet you do! It may be one of our most exciting announcements in the past 8 (almost 9!) weeks. We are coming home! To say we are excited would be a vast understatement! With passports and Visas in hand we have booked flights home for the middle of next week and should find ourselves sleeping in our own beds Thursday night [edit: Look for our Week 8 update for details of the days we finally received passports and Visas.]
Our first attempt at flying home was almost a month ago and the second was about 2 weeks ago. Both times we were not able to bring our daughters home with us, so… as they so often do… plans changed. We rescheduled our flights and trudged forward. Our third attempt (third time is a charm, right?) at catching flights is this Wednesday, September 4th. Yeah…2 days from now!
I actually cannot even believe our departure date is here. My mind keeps imagining our return; however, I’m afraid I will not truly be relaxed/relieved until my feet touch American soil. You may think I am exaggerating, but because of the many difficulties we have encountered…my guard is still up. Plus, we have heard of some families being turned away at the airport when a discrepancy in their paperwork surfaces unexpectedly. Ugh….who is tired of paperwork!?!
Emily: Me! I am! I’m tired of paperwork! Although the piles of adoption paperwork will continue to follow us around for some time, I am ready for a change. I am ready to be surrounded by family and friends once again. I am ready to sleep in my own bed and wash/dry my own clothes. I am ready to catch up on the news and even those pop culture headlines! Tony and I are both ready for haircuts, a fountain pop, driving, ice, air conditioning, football, and consistently hot showers.
That being said, those are not the only reasons we are happy to return. After all, our family has grown and now two little ones have captured our hearts. We are so ready to bring our girls to their new home! We are excited for them to meet the rest of their family and the friends awaiting their arrival. I know they are ready for a school routine, some important doctor appointments, their own bedroom (oh, wait…maybe it’s Tony and I who are ready for that one!), and to see their new home.
Now leaving this wonderful African country is not completely wonderful. There are things and people we will truly miss. And the girls, as excited as they appear to be, will be leaving their birth country, first culture, and many wonderfully familiar things behind. The importance of our final days here was recently made clear. With all our family is gaining, there are definitely losses to grieve. We hope that our time together in our daughters’ birth country has created many lasting memories and preserved memories from before our paths crossed. It is our deep desire to make these memories available to the girls as they grow into the dynamic women they were created to be.
Soon homebound we will be! In some ways trading up, in others trading down, but also simply swapping one thing for another. And that’s ok. It is not actually home that we love, but the life that is lived there.
Tony and Emily