Monday, January 20, 2014

Home, sweet home!

Friday was our last day in Delhi.  We stretched our legs a bit before our flights by visiting Humayan's Tomb;  he was an emperor and a significant historical figure.  His tomb is the building that the Taj Mahal was modeled after.

We visited in 2007, but wanted to return to see the results of a restoration project since then.  The tomb building was in significantly better shape than when we saw it last -- there were domes that had been rebuilt, and ceramic and paintwork that was 3D imaged and redone.  There was also an exhibit about how they conducted research and decided what to refurbish.  

The other portion of the grounds hadn't been restored, but the grounds and walkways and signage were much improved -- it was fun to compare to our memories.  And it was a great excuse to walk around before our 30 hours of travel to go home.

There was a wall around one portion of the grounds, accessible by very steep stone stairs.
Outside the wall, we saw wild peacocks:

We stopped at the embassy to pick up Kavya's visa, and headed to the airport.  In the interest of helping future travelers, I wanted to share that we had some issues with motion sickness.  Anya doesn't get carsick at home, and has been on many amusement park rides with no problem -- but the combination of fatigue, air pollution, and the stop-and-start, weaving nature of city traffic did her in.  

She was sick three times during the trip, (once on the plane, where fatigue was a huge factor).  Kavya got sick twice in the car.  I was SO glad that I had brought along little rolls of plastic bags (found in Target's baby section).  I was planning to use them for stinky diapers in our hotel room and on the planes, but they were a godsend for carsickness too!  If you have kids traveling with you, it might be a good idea to be prepared.  I only "missed" once -- the first time Kavya got sick, I thought she was just fussy or tired . . . but I was ready a few days later for the second one!  TMI, but I thought other families would like to know!!

What can we say about the trip home?  LONG.  Tiring.  But Kavya was such a trooper -- she only cried for about 15 minutes as we landed during one of the long flights.  I think her ears were hurting, and she didn't appreciate being seat-belted.  And our last jumper flight home was cancelled due to snow in Chicago . . . but my sister's boyfriend was picking her up, and kindly agreed to drive us to Milwaukee, where some dear friends picked us up and drove us the rest of the way HOME!  

We were missing our boys terribly, and the friends who had them for the weekend brought them home to us.  We spent 9:30-midnight watching them meet and play with Kavya -- she had slept for 2 hours on the drive home, and needed a little awake time before bedtime.  And we were all so happy to see each other, there was no way we were going to bed right away!  They love her so much, and can't believe how cute and funny she is. We spent all of Sunday at home together -- Peter's parents and our friends Todd and Tina cooked for us, which was so appreciated!  And my mom had vaccuumed and straightened up so we came home to a neat house.

Tina & Todd, and baby R -- our flight cancellation rescuers!
Their baby boy just turned 1, and outweighs Kavya by 4 pounds. 
Aaron and Nathan, with the dear H family, who helped care for our boys while we were gone.
Kathy knit the little cap Kavya wore home from Chicago. We were so happy to be back!

Kavya is sleeping in a "sidecar" crib (three-side crib pulled up next to our bed) in our room, which is working out well.  I can only imagine how confusing this all is for her -- 5 days in a hotel (which, for all she knew, was her new home), 30 hours of waking up in airplanes and airports, then this new place, with new boys.  She is such a brave little trooper, and is doing very well with all the changes.  

At first, she would only eat carbs -- rice, potatoes, idli, cous cous, crackers -- but finally today she tried chicken and oranges.  She's also a big fan of warm milk with a little Nesquick in it . . . I hope that helps her gain a little weight.  She's in the 8th percentile for height, and isn't on the charts at all for weight, so anything that helps her fatten up a little is a good thing.  

Her behavior is also very different here.  In the hotels and airports, and also in the orphanage playroom, she was very sensory-seeking.  She was extremely hyper and mobile, and I thought we were in for a little tornado!  But here, with many toys and new ways to exercise her fine motor skills, she is happily occupied.  It makes us want to purchase indoor toys for the orphanage -- but we don't know if we're allowed to do that while we complete our two years of post-placement reports.

On Sunday, our first full day home exploring toys and play, she didn't want to stop playing to nap.  I brought her into our room, and she didn't cry -- but she stood in the corner of the crib, pointing toward the door.  It was so funny -- her eyes were drooping closed while she stood there!  I got her to sit down, then lay down, and she conked out.  When she woke up, she was happy and excited to see that the toys were still there.

She is doing well with bonding and attachment, seeking comfort when she's hurt or tired from me especially, and looking to Peter for tickling and Daddy-style play.  She loves to snuggle on a shoulder, and is a little jealous if Anya climbs on my lap.  That is good to see so quickly -- we haven't even known her for two weeks yet.  She uses some self-comforting behaviors when she's tired or scared -- she rubs her bellybutton and her ears.  We've had to improvise with pajamas so she can reach her belly . . . most of her pajamas are one-piece fleece sleepers, so we're using lots of comfy two-piece clothing for her to sleep in.  We've also raised our thermostat to accommodate her warm-weather self.

We are settling in pretty well, all things considered.  Peter's and Anya's body clocks are a little messed up -- they were both awake at 3:00 a.m. today, so we didn't send Anya back to school today.  Hopefully, tonight goes a little better for them.  Thanks to all who have followed this final chapter in our adoption story . . . and welcome to the first chapter in our next "book" as a family of six!


PaulzineN said...

Welcome home!! This brings back so many vivid memories of when we brought Charu home! Congrats and enjoy every second!

Sarah said...

Hooray! You're all together! Praying for you as you battle any jet-lag and get back to a "new" normal routine. Such a beautiful family!!

Julie & Patrick said...

You guys are doing great. It is so fun to hear all about the newest member of your family.


Elizabeth said...

Congratulations! So glad you are home safe and sound and all together.

Heather said...

What a relief to be home--and with the boys! We are so happy to hear you are doing well.

Piyashi and Shiva are both now regularly asking to see new pictures of Kavya. Apparently we've been talking about her a lot because she got her own song at the dinner table from Shiva.

Thank you so much for sharing this journey so far.

Miche said...

Love :)

Auburn said...

What a beautiful family! We are so happy for you and love seeing her in her new HOME. :)

Brad and Renae said...

Nancy - this is so precious, welcome home... she's beautiful.

MiaMyIndianAngel said...

Yeah!! Welcome home!!