Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end

Jaydn is a world traveler! When you arrive at the airport in Kampala it is crazy! There is always a crowd and its hard to carry your baggage through a mob. But we managed to get inside. We made sure that Nathan carried Jaydn through security so that if a police officer decided to pick a fight about us having her with us, it would be with him and not me being isolated. We had no problems though-thanks to your prayers Im sure. We provided all the paperwork they needed to let us go by. Our goal was to keep J awake until we got on the plane so we had a few hours to kill with play. She was pretty much delirious by the time we got on so she passed out quickly. We weren't the only ones with a kiddo and it seemed they put us all on the same part of the plane. So although J was asleep 8 of the 9 hours, we were kept awake by the other screamers and criers. When Jaydn woke up she was grouchy and when she gets like that communication is difficult. She becomes very physical which I DO NOT allow so she broke out in her own scream cry about 3 times during the last hour over things like having to keep her seatbelt on or not wanting the arm rest up or down etc. But it was short lived in perspective to what it couldhave been. We kept her entertained during our 4 hour layover in London with a lot walking around, shops, and escalators. I literally spent about 30 minutes in a store called Harrod's pressing the button over and over again that made a stuffed dog in a raincoat holding an umbrella, tap his foot and sway from side to side to the song "singing in the rain." She loved it and drew a crowd as she danced along. We snacked on Starbucks and fruit and then jumped on our plane to the U.S. Like a dream child, Jaydn slept for a few hours, woke up and ate and then crashed again until 30 minutes before we landed. It was a 9.5 hr flight! I could not believe it. My knees were hurting so bad b/c most of the time she was laying her head on my legs and I couldn't move. Nathan and I enjoyed a few movies along the way but not much sleep. We landed in Dallas and it felt so good to be on American soil. Im not a patriotic person but it literally felt different. We made it through customs and then it was on to Immigration. We checked in and then they sent us to "secondary immigration" to have Jaydn approved. We just sat there while they looked though the paperwork in the sealed envelope we brought from the Embassy. Then we were called to the window and they explained what we should look for in the mail and that was it. Easy enough. However by this time we were cutting it close to get to our next flight since we had to recheck our luggage and go through security for the millionth time. But we made it. It was a small plane to Little Rock and Jaydn stayed awake the whole 47 minutes. Nathan and I had butterflies in our stomach we were so excited to see Jaxon and Jovie. We made a pit stop before heading toward the exit. We could hear Jaxon and Jovie talking from afar so Nathan did his "daddy whistle" and they squealed. Apparently we did it too early though b/c the kids came running down the ramp to us and crossed an area that set off the alarm and we had every officer's attention! We hugged and kissed our kids and I cried like a baby. They have grown so much yet they felt so light in comparison to what we had been carrying around the last month. I couldn't get enough of the sight of them. They were so sweet to Jaydn too. They hugged on her and kissed her right away. We walked up the ramp a little more and broke into even more tears when we saw the group of people from our new church with a huge sign saying "Welcome Home Jaydn Gaddis." There were balloons, cards and even more signs and pictures from the group. I made my rounds and gave out hugs and thank you's and the camera's were snapping away at the kids as they interacted with hugs and playfulness. Jaydn cried at first with the balloons but eventually got a little better about it. It was such a blessing to be met by our newchurch family when we got home. They are such a wonderful group of people and I can't wait to dive into ministry and life with them. I missed my Naples peeps though. This was the moment I flashed forward to in my mind when we made the decision to move to LR. I couldn't imagine this moment without my Naples friends there. They had carried us through to this point and I wanted them to experience this too. I shed tears for all the missing faces that I longed to be in the crowd but weren't. Jaydn did great with the crowd and even smiled a few times. The kids fell in love with each other right away. They kissed and hugged often. Only one of our bags arrived from Dallas (funny we can get them from Africa to TX but not from TX to AR). So they said they would bring the other 3 bags to our house when they arrived. As we walked to the car Jax kept calling me "Gigi" and then said, "Sorry, I forgot your name b/c you were in Uganda solong." He didn't mean to but it broke my heart. During the car ride home Jovie and Jaydn held hands from across the car seats-it was so cute. When we got home Jaxon jumped into big brother mode and took Jaydn under his wing and showed her around. They played great together! She isn't a fan of Bailey yet but we expected that. It will come with time. We let the kids play for awhile and then hit bedtime around 9:30pm. Jaydn slept on her bed but in our room until we get her adjusted to the time zone. Then we will attempt the girls sharing a room task!

Overall, it was amazing. She traveled well, Jax and Jo are doing great with the new addition, and we were so blessed by the family and friends that came to greet us upon our arrival. Thus
the story begins...


Amanda said...

She sounds a lot like Maryn while traveling! I spent about half an hour going up and down one escalator with her. Hehe. Kids are funny.

Glad ya'll are doing well and praying for the adjustment of being a family of five!

I'm sorry about Jaxon's comment :-( In school kids always call their teachers "mom" and Maryn sometimes calls my mom "mom" or she'll accidentally call me "Mamaw." You're an excellent Mommy and no one could ever take your place!

Anonymous said...

WHEW!!!!! And so it finally begins!!! Im' soooo happy you guys are finally home. Much love.

Ellen G.

Erin said...

... and yes, the journey begins. Can't wait to see it all unfold! So glad you guys are home and getting adjusted. Loved reading the last few posts and getting caught up. Jaydn's face in the pic in the post above it priceless. So cute. I will pray for Jovie as she's struggling a bit. GIRL, I feel you on the sassy princess who is the boss ---- we are going through the SAME thing!!!