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We are Home as a Family of 4!

We made it home! It is so great to be home as a family of 4!

The trip was LONG, as we figured it would be. Jon and I woke up at 4:30 to get ready and get the kids rolling. We had to take two taxis to get all of the luggage to the airport, but it was still MUCH cheaper than taking a hotel van.

We found out that to board an international plane in the Philippines is even MORE work than in America. First we stood in line for our tickets for an hour because we couldn't check Tope in on-line, it was hard keeping the boys happy, but we got the worst of their tiredness only in the last few minutes! We passed through three security checks plus three other check points where we owed money and had to show documents... LOTS of check points! oy! I was very happy to board that plane! Although, it was bittersweet saying goodbye to the land below.

Check out this great sign!

We love you Philippines! We will be back someday!

Finally some breakfast!
The first flight to Tokyo was uneventful - excellent! We had about an hour as a layover so we got a small icecream snack at McDonalds then loaded onto the plane. Here is where we sat, and sat, and sat. ugh. We were initially excited that the trip home is for some reason shorter than when we came to the Philippines, 10 1/2 instead of 13. BUT, we sat on the plane without moving for 2 hours because the service truck had a malfunction. Yes, it wasn't the PLANE, it was the truck, but because the service light was on, the pilot still had to sign off on it. So frustrating. During this time Tope was sleepy and was half awake trying to sleep, so he kicked and moaned for about an hour trying to get comfortable. It was frustrating not knowing how to comfort him. :(  He eventually fell asleep though and the plane finally took off of the runway!  We continued on our long flight home and were so happy when we finally landed on U.S. soil.

Standing in line for immigration wasn't too long of a wait, but for some reason I felt a little nervous. No reason that I had cause to worry, but I just wanted everything to go well. It indeed did. We were checked in, then went to a seperate area to have Tope's paperwork checked, and then we had to go through the agriculture area where they decided not to scan our baggage, as was nice since we had no fruit or live creatures to hide - promise!

Our Mothers were waiting for us when we finally left the immigration area. It was fun seeing them and they were so excited to see ALL of us.  :)  My Mom had brought our coats in so we didn't freeze on our way to the car, very nice of her! I was worried how Tope would react to the heavy coat and hat, but he seemed to enjoy it and not be upset by the extra clothing. He thought the monkey hat was hysterical, but he didn't keep it on for very long.

We then ventured to the car where Tope saw and felt snow for the first time. It was so much fun watching him squeal and giggle! He also loved seeing his breath for the first time. So, so great!

We were hungry, so we all went out for some pizza where my sister greeted us for a few minutes and then had to run, and then my Dad came up and joined us. I was exhausted!!! My sister grabbed a picture of us and I looked dreadful! I felt like the room was spinning half of the time, as I tend to get vertigo when I've been traveling a lot. Ick. The food was good, and our parents enjoyed meeting Tope, but I was very ready to be on the 2 hour ride home. Unfortunately, due to snow, the 2 hours turned into about 3 1/2 hours, but we did make it home!!! We were welcomed by signs our friends had left us on the door and our porch, a very happy dog that was anxious to smell Tope,  and very familiar rooms! Hallelujah! It's such a great feeling to come home!!!

Of course, Jon and I were anxious to run to bed, but Mr. Tope was anxious to see everything. His eyes were wide, his smile was amazing, and watching him explore completely melted our hearts. He wasn't and was sure about "ero!" which is "dog" in Cebuano (we looked it up!). He would smile until Izzy got too close or tried licking him. I think they will be good friends soon though. The boys had fun in their room on the bunk beds. Both climbing up and down, giggling and talking, and then a stuffed animal war broke out - it was so fun to watch! It was hard telling him that we needed to go to bed, but eventually we all made it into bed.

We cuddled together into one bed, where the boys slept great, the parents not as much, but it didn't matter....We were all together....The 4 of us are home. Thanks be to God.  :)


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