Tuesday, May 21, 2013
It has been three weeks today since I arrived to Detroit with my Ethiopian daughter. We traveled for over 22 hours and other than a normal three year old episode of not wanting to sit in her seat for landing, she was fantastic. I'm not sure I allowed myself to be truly happy I was coming home until I actually laid eyes on my family at the airport. There was the time that Scott and I decided I would stay in Ethiopia in hopes that we could bring Zoe home sooner. That was an emotional moment. Or the time that we left the orphanage with Zoe in hand. I loved receiving the news that we could speed up our paperwork at the U.S. Embassy when we informed them that my fingerprints were to expire on April 30. The time I got back to my friend, Melissa's, house with Zoe's passport and visa in hand was definitely up there. Sitting on a plane next to a pastor who thanked me for 'saving' one of their own and praying over her while she slept was beautiful. Arriving on U.S. soil in Washington D.C. and seeing a Starbucks was also beautiful. But, I think I let out a huge, long awaited, sigh of relief when I laid eyes on my family at the airport. I felt like I was crossing the finish line of a very long marathon. I handed Zoe to her big brother and fell into Scott's arms and cried! Home at last! My nephew asked me today what Zoe was like on that first day. The whole day was a result of answered prayers. Smooth transition for my baby girl. She took the drive home from the airport like a pro with everyone staring at her. We arrived to about 7 families waiting for us to drive up the balloon lined driveway and she wasn't fazed. She sat around our dinner table like it was a common occurrence and she slept in her twin bed in her beautifully decorated bedroom all night. This girl is 'free', which is what her nanny in Ethiopia said. She laughs, and plays, and makes pretend food and sings the alphabet and waves to everyone she meets. I cry just every so often when I get to rock her to sleep and sing Jesus Loves Me. My baby girl is home.