Saturday, April 4, 2009

We are home!!!

We are waiting at the airport in Shanghai

These teenage girls came over when we were sitting there waiting for our flight, and wanted to know if they could get their picture taken with Kai "the lady's man"

The trip home went very well. Other than the flight being way tooo long. As expected we were very tired when we got home. It was great to fly home with several of the other couples in our travel group. We arrived in Des Moines late Wednesday nigh together with two other families from the area.

It has been a busy couple days at home. We have had Dr. appointment for Leah, soccer game for Kai, piano lesson and a piano fundraising event for Kai. Karsten and Sofia have been sick since we got home with fevers and upper respiratory infections.

We have not slept well since we got home because of sick kids and jet lag. Even Kai has been awake every night complaining that he could not sleep. Jeff and I have traveled to Norway many times and have never had this problem before. 13 hours time difference really makes it hard to get back on track. We are so tired! I really hope we will start feeling better soon.

Leah is doing very well. She continues to smile and laugh around us. But she gets very shy and quiet around other people. We have had several friends and family stop by to visit. Leah likes to quietly disappear when others are around. Karsten and Leah have become very good friends. They play so good together. It makes us smile to see them roll around on the floor and giggle. We are very proud of Karsten and how he has embraced his new little sister with love. Sofia is struggling a little bit more. She has not been feeling well and she has been very clingy to me. She and Leah have had some battles over mamma's lap and attention. I have been trying to make sure Sofia gets as much love and care as possible because I don't want her to feel like Leah is taking her mamma away from her. We have also had several fights over toys and other items. They are both very strong willed. Leah has had a couple time outs on our steps. It is difficult because we want to show her love and give her security, but we also cannot let her get away with unacceptable behaviour. I can tell we have a long road ahead of us. I am sure it will work out at the end, but it is going to take a lot of work to get everyone adjusted.

On a positive note, I am posting some pictures of the girls taking a bath together tonight. They had a lot of fun in the tub. They gave each other a wonderful loving goodnight hug before they went to bed. There is certainly hope at the end of the tunnel...

Thanks for all the visits we have had the last few days! Thank you to grandma and grandpa for bringing pizza over tonight. In the past I have read blogs where they talk about how they are so thankful for meals they were able to prepare and freeze before they left for China. Well, we had 1 week notice before we left, so there is no food in the freezer:) After three days home I am finally almost done with laundry. But the suitcases and souvenirs are still spread out all over the dining room. Mail and bills are still unopened. I am sure I will get to it eventually.

I am very thankful that Leah seems to be doing so well. She is a extremly funny and happy little girl. We are so blessed to have her in our family. I cannot wait to continue to see her learn and explore and bond with her family!


  1. Hello from your BFF in China, Jan. I miss you guys. Please hop on a plane and bring the whole family to Oregon soon. (I'm sure that is what you want to do, get on another plane)
    I will get your email address from Kurt soon. I love the pictures on the blog and am happy to see Leah with a smile.
    May our Lord bless you family a hundred fold!
    love, Jan

  2. Hello from your other BFF in China. I miss you guys, too. While in Oregon, make sure to drive up to Washington.

    Great pics! We'll be in touch.

  3. Hyggelig å se at alt står bra til med dere. Har vært veldig morsomt å følge med på bloggen. Vi gleder oss ekstremt til å komme besøke dere på sensommeren!

    Klem LO & LN

    Jet lag = no fun!

  4. So glad to have you back! Thanks for sharing the entire journey with us! Remember, we're just a few miles down the Kai-way and happy to help with sitters, meals, anything. The kids can't wait to play.

    Becky, James, Andrew, Anna, and Jacob

  5. Godt å se at dere er kommet vel hjem! Takk for alt arbeidet dere har lagt ned i å skrive denne bloggen.Det har vært SÅ spennende å følge med dere. Klem fra Ingunn

  6. Welcome home! I'm sure in time everyone will adjust to everything! I would love to bring you a meal...I don't have your email address so here's mine- and let me know what day would be best to bring one. Any day this week, except Monday or Friday would work for me and anyday next week. I know how helpful meals are in stressful times like this, we were blessed with so many from friends when I was on bedrest and when I had my babies so please email me!:)

  7. We miss you guys already and think of you often. We showed Wesley pics of Kai and he wants to meet him. Cute! Leah looks so happy in the pics. I am sure she is happy to be off a plane and to have some consistency in her surroundings. I know everyday gets better with Hannah. The 1st couple nights were bad. Lots of tantrums and crying. But, I think she was tired and scared. She has warmed up to our families well. We also are still tired and we usually have been up by 5am. But, every day gets a little easier. Keep in touch. We loved getting to know you guys! Mike and Michelle

  8. Velkomne heim, og gratulerer med veslejenta. Har vore innom bloggen no og da og sett om dykk. Rundt gebursdagane til Åse og Asbjørn, får (om alt går godt) Leah og dei tre andre seg ein ny tremenning her i Norge....
    Eg tenker masse på dykk, men vert for lite tid til å setje seg ned og skrive.
    Klem frå Møyfrid

  9. Thanks for sharing all the photos--I love all of Leah's many expressions!

    Kai--the "chick magnet". :o)

    Glad to see everyone is getting acquainted and playing together so well. Looking forward to meeting Leah soon.

    Miss Carla

  10. Hi Anne Marie and family! I am so happy to read that you made it home safely. Leah looks very happy as a member of the Newell family and the rest will fall into place soon. The jet lag seems to resemble giving birth and getting up with a new baby every night so maybe it is just a part of your new family coming to be! You are a great momma and family. Continue to take care and can't wait to talk to you soon.
    Love, Krissie