16 Nov HOME AT LAST!
I nervously adjusted Gideon’s sweater and tried to catch Brian’s eye from several rows back as we waited to get off the plane. This was it! This was the moment we had been waiting for, through years of dreaming and planning, through months of tears and waiting, and through seemingly endless hours that now separated us from Seoul. We were finally HOME.
We had set low expectations for our homecoming committee, letting them know that Gideon hadn’t slept since we left Korea and had been in quite the mood when we departed Dallas. But Gideon – despite sleep deprivation, anxiety, and a rough start to the day – was giving us some big smiles as we picked up his stroller from the flight attendant and made our way toward the security gate. We stopped really quickly to change his diaper and to text our families that we were headed their way, and I felt the nervous anticipation building.
Jet lag, fatigue, and the buildup of years of waiting made our airport homecoming perhaps the most surreal moment of my life, outside of meeting Gideon. I always imagined I would cry, sob even, but adrenaline was pumping through my whole body, and I remember rounding the corner of security, looking out over the huge crowd of people waiting for us, and just feeling this enormous relief. It was like my entire being exhaled, like everything in me could finally rest, because my baby was finally on the same side of the world as us. Our little family had made it. Through big surprises and hard diagnoses, delays and disappointments, deep joy, indescribable peace, and more tears than I could ever count, we had made it. And we were home.
Some adoptive families have conflicting ideas about airport welcome home committees, thinking that too many people and hugs and cheers might overwhelm your new child even more, so it’s important to know your child and your family. But for us, having our closest friends and family at the airport was one of the best gifts, helping it really sink in that this was for real, giving us something to look forward to after many long hours of travel, and filling us with so much love and encouragement, because these were the people who had walked alongside us every step of the way. And Gideon absolutely loved seeing everyone! He was all smiles as his new family (and friends who are like family) gathered around, and especially as his new cousins smothered him with love they had been waiting to show him for 14 months! We had asked that people not hold or kiss him, but he did so well at the airport and already knew his Mommy and Daddy by the time we got home from Korea, so we did let a few grandparents sneak a hug or two!
We are so very thankful for Hannah, who captured our homecoming so beautifully! The first photo below might forever be my very favorite picture of Gideon. You can see more of Hannah’s amazing work HERE.
And a few extra photos from our other friends and family for good measure!