This is Rebecca. I am officially back on the job of keeping up the blog. Thanks to those who kept it updated while I was traveling. Kerwin has just fallen asleep in his own bed in his own room for the first time ever. Our trip home could not have gone any smoother. Kerwin was a perfect traveler throughout each leg of the journey. He loved the "big airplanes" and had a great time playing in the airports. He especially loved the hotel we stayed in last night. He thought it was really cool that we got to share the bed. As Kerwin fell asleep and I talked to all the members of my family on the phone, I began to feel the weight of 16 months of stress and anxiety lift from my shoulders. Even in Miami, I felt like I was home. From the moment we stepped on the airplane from Port-au-Prince, everyone we met was nothing but warm and kind to us. The flight attendant brought us freshly baked chocolate chip cookies from first class. The immigration workers in Miami kept welcoming Kerwin to America and kept saying, "We've got a new American here!" I have never felt appreciation for our country in such a personal way before. Of course the sights and smells seem so much more wonderful. Everything looks cleaner. I was able to sit and talk with people in the airport and on the plane who understood me as an American. And I am quite sure that I was not ogled once today: woohoo! (Correction: My husband has just informed me that he ogled me today, twice).
Today was fabulous. We had a great welcome waiting for us in Cincinnati. Kerwin was thrilled to see Mike and I was so excited to see my family again that I finally let those pent up tears fall. I had been intentionally saving them up over the last few days. We made a stop off at Mike's parents' to meet his Mike's Grandma Stahl and Aunt Betty. Kerwin had a blast at his grandparent's house. It must have seemed like a castle to him. He went in every room, petted the cats (you don't pet the animals in Haiti), watched the giant flat screen TV, played the drum set, played with the sports equipment, and met the neighbors. He was a little upset when it was time to head to Lexington. He finally got a little fussy when we were driving home on I75 (which coincidentally makes me a little fussy too). He got uncomfortable in his car seat and would not be consoled with toys. He was just extremely tired from three super early mornings in a row with very full and exciting days. He fell asleep just as we made it to Lexington. He slept all the way through town until we made it to our favorite Mexican restaurant which will forever been known as "Rincon" in this family. It is official: Kerwin is our son. He loves chips, salsa, and fajitas! He also ate the rice and beans (almost a Haitian meal). After dinner we headed back to see the house. Kerwin got to meet Max our yellow lab and see his room in person for the first time. He really liked his play kitchen set. He only had time to get into a fraction of his toys. Then we went outside to play with the dog and have a little pickup football game. Kerwin also got to try out his new bike. He loves it but it will be a challenge and good exercise for him to learn to ride. Finally after all the friends and family left we had a quick bath, a short book reading, prayers and off to bed. He was so excited that it took him a little while to settle down enough to go to sleep but he is now snoozing away. I don't think he was the least bit scared to sleep in his room alone. I doubt that he has ever slept in a room by himself. He took to the family like he had known them him whole life. He acted like this had been his house forever. I am more amazed everyday at the ways in which Kerwin, Mike and I fit together so well. I was so proud of the way he handled our travels. He has the same "go with the flow" attitude that Mike and I have. We are so thankful that God has a perfect plan for our family. We are so thankful that he has brought us together in this way and blessed us like he has. We are also so thankful for each of you who have provided such a great source of comfort and encouragement to us in this adoption process. Now we continue the process of building a Christ-centered household and we know that you will be important to us in that process as well. We are so richly blessed. Praise the Lord with us for his goodness, faithfulness, and great love.