Friday, December 30, 2011

Welcome Home! Merry Christmas!

I suppose I should begin with a humble apology for neglecting this blog for almost a week. I know most of you understand why, but I know that you all were left hanging when we left China, so I am afraid this may end up a pretty long post.

We successfully endured the 30 hour journey home. First we left Guangzhou and headed to Beijing. The boys and I hung out at the Beijing airport for 6 hours and then off to the USA!  This last leg of the flight was 14 hours. 14 very cramped (Unit*d Air), very long hours.

Our trip started out rough as none of the TVs in our section of the plane worked for the first 4 hours. Finally, after resetting the system at least two times, they came back online and everyone was quite relieved, especially my two!

At long last, we landed in DC at Dulles International and whizzed straight through Customs and Immigration. This was quite as shock as it took almost 3 hours to get through last time at LAX.  
(Not sure if Dulles is just that much better, or if being Christmas Eve had a little something to do with their speed.)

Here are the boys waiting for the luggage.
As soon as I took this shot, someone from security fussed at me for taking pictures. 

Next, we headed over to my sister's house in Leesburg,VA to celebrate Christmas with a large portion of my family.
"My three sons!"

Per our family tradition, the boys were all given one gift to open on Christmas Eve just before bed.  

That's right! Angry Birds PJs for all!

The following morning, Christmas Day, we heard some rustling around 5:45am.  We always place the kids' stockings at the foot of their beds after they are asleep so they will see them first thing.
Boys were strewn all over the basement floor at Aunt Amy's.
I came out to see who was stirring and it was Colin who was digging into his first Christmas stocking.
After that, each boy woke up quickly and began to see what little treasures were there for them.  Cameron quickly assumed ownership of Colin's stocking and started a new fashion trend.

Then came breakfast and presents!

Jake, Lindsey, Cameron, Tommy, Colin & Ryan

Angry Birds board game from Aunt Amy & Uncle Kevin.

Pretty bracelet from the "boys".

My first "Mom" mug from my boys!

Tommy with his new Dino Jammies!

Toasted Pecans for Dad. Yum!!

Kinex Roller Coaster Set. Cool!

Necktie from Granny

Cameron's first necktie.

Colin with his new Hoodie from Granny

Cameron with his new hoodie from Granny

Fun brother time!

Socks. OK, he DID need socks, people.

Tommy bought each of his new brothers a
glow-in-the-dark mini hoop for their bedrooms.

Cameron's first watch.

My Mom opening her Bookmarks that Colin bought her in China.

Ahhh...that was hard work!

So, we survived our first fun & hectic Christmas morning.  

The following day, we set out to meet some new adoptive friends who "just happened" to live about 10 minutes from my sister.

Anyone remember this sweet face?
This little girl was one that I had the honor of visiting while we were at Colin's orphanage in Shenyang back in August.

If you'd like to read about that visit, 
you can click here.

Well, she is now HOME with her new family and they kindly invited us to come join them for lunch on Monday.  What a sweet time of fellowship we had.  It was so wonderful to see this sweet little one again and to finally meet her mama, baba and sisters in person!

We had a fabo lunch (thanks Ali!) and the kids loved playing with their children.  Despite the fact that this family is full of girls, they were well stocked in all the favorite "boy toys", so there were dart guns and legos to spare!
In addition to a wonderful meal and great visiting, Mama Degan had a nice surprise for Colin. When they were in Shenyang just a few weeks ago, she had many of Colin's friends write him small notes and she delivered it to him that day.  He was excited to see these notes.

Many thanks to our new dear friends. 
We love you Degans!

Well, that will bring us to the long road trip to Charleston (12 hours) that we made on Tuesday.  I will save this homecoming and the early days home for another post.

Many thanks to everyone who has followed along and supported us in prayer.

Merry Christmas to you all and our best wishes for a truly Blessed New Year!
Tom, Angie, Colin, Cameron & Tommy


Snapshots Of Faith said...

Hi! Your family is lovely:) I stumbled across your blog while looking at other blogs on waiting children. I would love to know how you adopted your sons in such a short time frame. We are heading out to adopt our seven-year-old son from China at the end of this month and we found another girl that has some special needs that will age out in July. I did not think it would be possible for us to adopt her before she ages out, but in reading your timeline, I am thinking maybe it is! We are using WACAP and are not sure how quickly they allow it. Did you use the same agency for both adoptions? Thank you so much!
God Bless,


The Rylands Family said...


Our adoptions were certainly fast, as both boys were expedited due to aging out deadlines. We used WACAP for Colin and ASIA for Cameron. Getting permission for Cameron having only been home with Colin such a short time was tough, but we believe God was in that decision from the start. Eventually, all parties agreed to allow us to proceed. July is very doable if WACAP is on board and you are diligent in getting your stuff completed and back to them quickly. They have done many expedited adoptions successfully. Heidi was our China case worker. I don't know what would be involved in adding your younger child to the expedited timeline, but I think you can. Heidi would know best. God Bless!