|Came home to this fabulous sign in our yard! Still don't know who planted it. 'Fess up!|
As I swim in my ephemeral bliss, my son whimpers and moans. The plane bounces and shakes through the air and his stomach begins to turn. Still crying, I hold a white barf bag up to his mouth, stroking his hair and whispering It's okay. It's okay. It's not okay though and he pukes up all the peach yogurt melts he downed an hour ago. I catch every drop of his sweet smelling puke and cry harder because I'm so damn happy he didn't puke on the seat. Or me. John reaches out to grab the puke bag and give each other a mental high five.
Since I'm still crying and people are about to get up and notice me, I grab the napkin beside me to wipe away my tears. The blessed reality of parenting begins as I realize I'm wiping my tears with the napkin I just used to wipe Arie's mouth. Thank you nose for reminding me of this fact before my beautiful tears are replaced with regurgitated peach. Thank you universe for welcoming me so gracefully into motherhood.
My simultaneous joy-cry and puke-catch describes our journey home so well. It was a surreal concoction of elation and exhaustion. It was the pleasure of a little boy's delight in opening the plane's window shade and then the pain of getting wailed in the face when asking him to stop. Right in the glasses. It was wonderment at his good behavior while traveling and then worry about him being just plain overwhelmed.
Arie was amazing for our trip. He was an angel in the Moscow airport- waiting patiently in all the lines, listening perfectly though security and sitting pretty with a snack at the gate. On the first 10-hour plane ride he only slept 1.5 hours and cried for about a total of 10 minutes. I think I told him you're doing so good buddy! once every 15 minutes.
When we got to JFK he was angelic again through customs and through a very long wait for our luggage. He literally sat in his stroller with his hands folded on his lap for an entire hour. By the time we got him some "lunch" it was 2am for him and he was exhausted. A blank expression had taken over his face only broken now and then with a bit of worry which made my heart just want to wilt. Sweet baby. After he ate a banana we lay him down on a padded bench while we ate and he fell right to sleep.
He slept right through the next plane ride and three hour car trip home. I carried his sweet little body upstairs right away when we came home and he didn't wake up until 5am this morning.
He's napping right on schedule today. Basically I think we side-stepped jet-lag for him all together. Amazing. Though I was wishing for more sleep on that first 10 hour flight it seems his wakefulness was something of a divine intervention, which will allow us sleep recovery after the rough sleepless week we had in Moscow. Thank you, Lord.
Since John and I got to bed at 1am last night Arie's 5am wake up was definitely met with groaning on both our behalves, but even just 4 hours sleep in our own bed and in-sync with our internal rhythms has us feeling like new people. Last week was about surviving. Today we move to thriving.
After snuggling our little man in bed for half and hour (and praying helplessly that he might go back to sleep), we traveled downstairs to do something we'd long looked forward to: introduce Arie to our cat Jasper.
I wish I would have videoed it. Arie looked at Jasper and with giant saucer eyes and exclaimed (in Russian), "TIGER!!! RAWR!!"
Arie's been following Jasper around all morning and we've been trying to convince him that Jasper is a cat, not a tiger, but Arie won't have it. Whenever Jasper walks by he points and whispers to us, "Tee-ga!" Welcome to America, Arie. The land of exotic household pets.
As we recovered from our laughter I ran a bath for Arie and washed all yesterday's travel off him with my all-time favorite baby products: Burt's Bees. I've been sniffing Arie's sweet smelling skin and hair all day.
It is so good to home. Last week was one of the top 5 hardest things I have ever done. One of my favorite authors Anne Lamott says the two best prayers she knows are "Help me. Help me. Help me." and "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." Last week I just prayed for help. It was wonderful, emotional, exhausting, and hard. There were times when I just wanted to break down and cry because John and I felt like we spent 80% of our time telling Arie, "No" and stopping him from hurting himself. Don't put your fingers in the socket. Toys do not go in the oven. No no, you may not play with the cleaning supplies. Parenting a toddler in a completely non baby-proofed apartment is awful.
Now we are home and I am moving to, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." In our safe home we are open to a world of yeses for our little man. He can touch and explore to his heart's content. He can choose from a room full of toys, come and go freely from place to place, and chase our pet tiger around to his heart's content. We are free to spend our time delighting in him and not worrying about what hazard he's getting into! We are also free to try every new food we can think of and expand his diet to include maybe one or two new items in addition to bananas, cheese, and milk. He's already downed three clementines today!
Help me to thank you and surviving to thriving. That's our journey this week and if today has been any indication of the week to come, there will abundant life to revel in this week. And I'm going to suck the marrow out of it.
I've been checking your blog and was happy to find this post! I'm so glad you guys made it home safety. It sounds like Arie is adjusting wonderfully!ReplyDelete
This post gives me butterflies! I love it! I am SO interested in how he does these next few weeks! Congratulations girl, God is GOOD!ReplyDelete
I think its so wonderful that he is finally home, and he doesnt even look out of place he is like the perfect piece to the puzzle and suprisingly looks like he is yours! I hope that god keeps the blessings coming your way!ReplyDelete
WELCOME HOME...and blessings in the "thriving". I see a book in your future perhaps, Jillian? Your ability to share your thoughts and feelings with such honesty, humour, and eloquence is a gift to us who get to read the journey as it unfolds. May God continue to knit you together as a family. Love the pet "tiga"! :)ReplyDelete
I am so happy to see you all home and starting your new lives as a family of 3. Congrats!!!ReplyDelete
Sweeeet! So glad y'all are safely home!ReplyDelete
Love love love. So glad you are home and everyone is doing well. I pray that things continue to go smoothly.ReplyDelete
Congratulations! How wonderful to move to the "Thank You" phase! :-)ReplyDelete
Praise God! I thank my God every time I remember you in all my prayers for all of your I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from this day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Congratulations on your beautiful family :-)ReplyDelete
I couldn't help but both cry and laugh as I read through your post today. Congratulations on having your dreams and prayers answered this week. It is good to read that you arrived home safely and can now begin really enjoying YOUR little boy!ReplyDelete
Congrats that you are together and home! I have loved following this journey and I really love how you have documented the whole process. Arie is a cutie and looks like a very happy boy! I promise not to bombard you at church although like many others will have to hold back :) So happy for all of you!ReplyDelete
Perfect! Our God is awesome!ReplyDelete
Congratulations, it must feel great to have him home. He's so cute!ReplyDelete
Congratulations Burden Family! I'm so happy for all 3 of you and have so enjoyed following your journey. You've documented it so beautifully.ReplyDelete
I love his boots!ReplyDelete
Dispite the long week, the traveling, the puking, the time change, the new experiences...he looks just as happy as can BE!!! Many, many congrats to you and your family!!!ReplyDelete
Jillian, I'm so happy for you all! You are already such a beautiful family, and I know that this will only become more true. I also LOVE that Arie calls Jasper a tiger, and that Jasper seems as curious about Arie (what is this person in the tub??) as Arie is about Jasper. I'm sending you all a huge hug from Long Island!ReplyDelete
Just saw your pics on birth without fear - Love! What a brilliant and beautiful idea. Love it so much! Congrats on your sweet boy! He's gorgeous. So glad to find your blog, we have the same taste in books. Crazy Love was a life changer for me and I've read all the others on your sidebar list except the Miller book. xo GingerReplyDelete
So cute!!! Congratulations! Love the pic with the "tiger"ReplyDelete
such a wonderful and amazing description of the long long journey to becoming a family and to finally being home!! read it twice and smiled through all of it!ReplyDelete
I stumbled onto your blog unexpectedly and read through your experiences with Arie, and I am SO happy for all four of you! (Tee-gah included!) You are a beautiful family. Congratulations!!! :o)ReplyDelete