Sunday, September 30, 2007

Welcome Home Maddy!

Last night Robin, Marty and their sweet little Maddy finally made it home from China. This was my first airport homecoming. And it was amazing! Here's the blogger group waiting for the plane to land. Stacy, me, Heather, Sam w/Kieren and her husband, Andy. Stacy's hubs was there too but he was behind the camera. I-Con was supposed to join us but she's been under the weather lately. At the last minute, she cancelled so as not to expose Maddy to her germies. This post is kinda long but I wanted to get it all down for Robin and Marty so bare with me.....

First a couple of funny stories. The group of us bloggers met in a restaurant near the airport for dinner. I had e-mailed Stacy directions telling her it was about 10 miles north of downtown. She calls my cell to tell me that she thinks they're lost cuz they're already to Cin-Day Rd and haven't seen the exit. Well, that's just about the halfway point between Dayton and Cincinnati. I tell her that. She was confused. Then we realize that she thought we were heading to the Cincinnati airport (which is actually just over the border in Kentucky but that's beside the point) when we were actually going to Dayton International Airport. Oops! But her and Ryan made it before we even got seated for dinner so everything was cool.

While we're eating, there are 2 big tables of people next to us that start commenting about the beautiful Miss Kieren. They tell us how they're on their way to the airport to meet their friends who are coming home after having just adopted a baby in China. We say "Robin & Marty?" and they say "Yeah!" so we yell out "Us too!" What a coincidence! It was pretty cool. Turns out they were a group of church friends.

So we get to the airport and there are many friends and family waiting, several signs and some balloons, too. Very festive. LOL! Luckily, the flight was on time. Once we see on the arrival board that the plane has landed we line up on both sides of the hallway to await them. Other folks who are exiting are commenting on our signs. The signs say things like "Welcome Home Maddy" and "We love you Maddy" and "Welcome to America Maddy". People are saying things like "Man I wish I was Maddy. Look at the reception she's getting." We also got some "Go Bucks!" since so many of us were wearing our OSU shirts. There was just this great sense of excitement in the air.

The suspense continues to build as more and more people are exiting. We start yelling out to other passengers asking what plane they were on. We got through Houston and Atlanta before we finally got to the Chicago people. That's the one!! Word spreads through our group that this is their flight! More excitement builds. A group of young college girls getting off the plane recognize Sarah (Robin's daughter) and tell her they thought that was her mom they saw on the plane. They ask why we're all there and what we're doing. She tells them. So they decide to wait and watch the big arrival, too.

At least now we know they made the flight and it's just a matter of time before they round that corner. More anticipation as the passengers de-boarding starts to thin out. Still no Maddy! I jokingly yell out to one of the passengers "Have you seen Maddy?" I didn't expect a response but she asks if that's the little Chinese baby. We say yes and she tells us that she thought she saw them stop off at the restroom.

The flight crew then runs the gauntlet of our excited, nervous, happy welcoming party. One of the attendants asks if this is for the little Chinese baby. We tell her that it is and she gets a little teary saying "Oh that's so sweet. She's just adorable."

But still no Robin and Marty and Maddy!

We wait and wait and wait. No more passengers. Where are they?!

All of a sudden off in the distance we can hear these little rhythmic squeaks echoing on the tile floor. I look at Sam and yell out "Squeaky shoes!" Everyone falls silent. Then down the hallway we see them round the corner and a cheer erupts from the crowd.

Marty wearing his OSU jersey pushing the stroller. Robin wearing an OSU tee shirt. Maddy wearing an OSU cheerleader outfit and squeaky shoes holding momma's hand and walking on her own! In the pic above, you can see the back of Sarah's head as she waits patiently behind the red security line.

Sarah couldn't take it anymore so she steps over the line but stops short of the big "Do Not Enter" alarm thing. She's saying "Hurry up! Hurry up!" Finally, she scoops Maddy up and gives her mom the biggest hug. Tears are just flowing from many of us now.

Maddy meets her big sister for the first time as she wonders who all these crazy Buckeye fans are.

Then she meets her Grandma (Robin's mom). Sarah is in the background hugging mom some more. Just because they go off to college doesn't mean they don't still miss their mommies!
See what I mean?
At last the sisters are together. Finally. Maddy did beautifully. No tears from her. She looked a bit shell shocked after their long trip and seeing all these crazy people in the airport. But she was amazing. She'd let others hold her for a few seconds but always wanted to go back to momma.
At one point, she walks over to Marty and holds her arms out to be picked up. He picks her up and puckers up. She leans in and gives him a big kiss. I just melted. She's a daddy's girl already. Unfortunately, I was so caught up in the moment of watching it that I missed the photo op. So you'll just have to use your imagination.

It was so amazing to be able to witness all of this first hand. I was so happy to be a part of it. But considering my mood of late, it was a little bittersweet, too. I had a slight meltdown when Robin asked me if I wanted to hold Maddy. The tears started to flow a little but luckily she wanted to go right back to momma so I had a moment to try to pull myself together. Marty came over, gave me a big hug and told me that it'd be okay. I remember blubbering a little about the wait being so hard. He just said "I know it is. Hang in there." I felt bad for a second about being such a bummer but then I realized that it was okay. Cuz they get it. They understand. So I pulled it together and we went on with the celebration.

It was all so wonderful. Such excitement. And absolute pure joy to see this little girl home at last with her forever family. The pics don't do her justice either cuz Maddy is even more beautiful in real life. Marty and Robin looked exhausted. But happy. Very happy. Even when they found out that only one piece of their luggage made it, it couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces.
Click here for more pics.
Welcome home!

23 comments:

amy said...

Thanks for bringing on the tears, sounds like an amazing experience..Im glad the family is home!

Shannon said...

I am so in tears! Happy tears! Loved reading about Maddy's homecoming...this will happen for us, too! =)

Sandra said...

Thanks for sharing this, K.
It brought back so memories of our own homecoming...

Hey, is it true? Will I be seeing you next weekend????

Kristen said...

How wonderful to be a part of that... Great photos, thanks for sharing.

Janet said...

Okay, you did it. You got me crying. That was beautiful!

Dawn and Dale said...

Great post and GREAT pictures!! Thanks for sharing!! And also thank you for being so open and honest with your feelings too!! It really IS hard and love that you share that!!

Wendy said...

Awe! Thanks for sharing. Keeps me going during the tough parts of this wait....

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

Krista, I was just sitting here tonight before I posted that we are home reading my emails and checked out your blog. Thank you so much for being there for us. I had tears in my eyes as we rounded that corner to meet our friends. It's great to get through customs and realize your baby girl is an american citizen but it is NOTHING like come HOME to family and friends!!! I love the pics and the cool story of how you met our church friends as well.
I'm so sorry for everyones bloggy blues and I know it sounds cliche' but it will happen for you. I believe in my heart it will!! And.. I will be there every step of the way cheering you on as well!!! (and I-Con and Stacy!) You guys made the feelings of that loong exhausting trip just melt away with your love and kindness!

ilovelilacs said...

So great that you got to witness this!!

Kudo said...

I have been going crazy hoping to hear some home coming news. Now I can't stop sobbing. I am so happy for them and to see Sara and Maddy together is a dream come true. Our time will come and we will soon be in there shoes. Be strong my friend we will get through this together.

sea star said...

No words, Colleen and myself are completely at a loss. Our hearts just swelled by great measure! We're so excited and jealous that we couldn't be there.

*love the curlin' hair your rockin!
*love the Buckeye clothing!
***GO BUCKS!

p.s.....don't drink and blog at the same time...not good.

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes...
I felt like I was there with you all..
Love your hair it looks good..
Maddy is so adorable..
Have a Great Evening.
Kim

Catherine said...

Oh Krista! What an awesome experience for you! Thanks for all the fun stories and great pics!

The wait is tough these days...really tough! (((hugs))) friend.

OziMum said...

Not a happier moment than when families are reunited!

PromiseKeepersDaughter said...

How exciting! What an incredibly happy post! I needed to see this today thanks.

Congrats to Robin and Marty and family, it was so wonderful to see new beginings in this world of international adoptions, it gives us hope.

Ps. Hope you have fun at your BFF's 40th. Enjoy your trip.

Headmeister said...

Yeah ok, so I just had a meltdown of my own. It started out as happy tears and then ended up in balls-out bawling. Now I'm back to happy tears again. I'm hoping this is all hormonal and that the Dr will give me something next week to make it all go away! lol...

Thanks so much for sharing, this is truly priceless! And too funny about meeting up with their church friends in the diner!

Oh - and I'm loving how you're rocking the porn star hair :P

Noemi said...

Wow I am completely sobbing right now! Thanks for sharing this experience with us. I also love the curls! Just got up to date on reading the blogs I follow and I am sorry you are feeling so down. It will happen K... You have given me so much hope and support in looking for an agency and beleive that it will happen for me too someday!

redmaryjanes said...

Beautiful. I'm a little misty eyed but holding together. Welcome Home!!

M3 said...

Oh man, your story just made me cry! What a great welcome for little Maddy. You guys are all such wonderful friends.

Liene said...

How awesome but I know it had to be really hard for you. I would be crying buckets!

Thanks for all the photos and the recap of their arrival home. Wish I lived close enough to have been there myself!

i-Con said...

I hated missing it! But, your pictures almost make me feel like I was there after all :0)

Weirdness...bloglines is not updating you for me. I just found this one.

Doris & Dan said...

What a great account of a special evening.

Hugs to you. I am happy that you are feeling better.

Keep smilin!

Daniella said...

Thanks for sharing that with us - I need that to push me further along as I was feeling pretty down! Thanks again - great pics. Maddy is just gorgeous!