We are ready to come home. A small part of us would love to continue this "fantasy life" of a buffet breakfast every morning and a leisurely schedule, but it is definitely time to get home and get back to reality!
We have met some incredible and inspiring families on our journey, as we have in our adoptions before. I love how each journey is so unique and how we "collect" new friends with every adoption journey we've experienced. They almost become family. One thing we noticed this time is that there were no first-time parents in our group of nine families. Every adopted child was coming into a family with other children, some biological, some adopted. These families will always have a special place in our hearts and in our memories of bringing Charlie home.
Yesterday we went to the U.S. Consulate for our oath taking ceremony. We repeated the oath, with tears of joy, for the third time. It is a moving moment, to say the least. We were happy to hear that special needs adoptions were up to 64% in 2010 and to 73% in the first few months of 2011. Adoptions, in general, were up last year on the whole, Americans are still answering the call to help the orphans here despite political, cultural and economic differences.
We are picking our visas up at 5:00 today and we are free and clear with Charlie. The next step is when he becomes a U.S. citizen when we reach our port of entry in Newark, NJ and that is obviously a major milestone that we look forward to.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. We are so blessed to be surrounded by the love and support that you give us. We thank you all for being a part of our special journey, one which doesn't end now--but only begins. It is simply amazing to think that less than two weeks ago, we only knew this child through a few pictures and updates, and now he is in our arms and we have fallen in love with him. He has fallen in love with us too. Praise the Lord.