Because I had slept in my own bed again, after being in Colombia for nearly a month! Due to my camera being broken, I am going to regale you guys with pictures from Colombia.
Ella's first meal back at the hotel, which was originally a big home in a really nice neighborhood in Cali. She loved noodle soup.....still does!
Hugging a toy sent from a family that had wanted to adopt her, but for some reason couldn't. She loves that toy....still does!
Holding an unbreakable mirror that I first bought for Luke. Does she still love the mirror? Of course!
Trying to get Daddy away from the book and into some fun rough-housing. Yep, still loves it! Just last night she was finally introduced to one of Daddy's many made up games called The Cage, which involves placing a small child in the middle of a quilt, grabbing up the ends, swinging it around and releasing it over the bed. Did she love it? If her squeals of laughter are any indication, then YES!
Is Ella still gorgeous a year later...you bet your booties she is! Look at that sweet face!
Will we ever go back to this park in Cali again...NO! Not that it wasn't nice, but I don't see us making a homecoming tour in Colombia. Once was enough!
The little boy on the left was also in the process of being adopted and he was really into John for a few days. Magnolia is on the right; she was our adoption facilitator and all around fun lady!
I know that look now...sleepy!
Near the entrance to the zoo in Cali is this lovely waterfall. I love zoos and aquariums, and this one was no exception. We had a great time!
Ella's true love...ice cream. That child ate so much ice cream in Colombia you wouldn't believe, as there was an ice cream shop a block from the hotel. After some serious laughter by the wait staff at the shop, I am now able to order a mediano bainilla helado for her. Does that skill still come in handy? No, but Ella does still LOVE her some ice cream!
Aren't tigers gorgeous? Definitely the best picture from the zoo.
Those are the killer orthopedic shoes that poor Ella had been wearing. They must weigh five pounds each and at the end of her floppy legs make for a painful missile when she aims at your head while you change her diaper. Does she still love those shoes? NO! I emailed my mom while in Colombia to PLEASE buy shoes to bring when she came down....all those I had brought were too big. Actually, poor mom also had to buy me some shoes....I brought all these New Balance mules to wear, and apparently my feet sweat a lot more in Colombia, because they started reeking! Clever mom brought me some Croc thongs and I was good to go the rest of the trip. Do I still love my Crocs? Oh yeah!
Why is she smiling? You see that round belly? She had eaten some ice cream! I think she was asking for more!
Mom, Ella, and I arrived back at DFW on the evening of Dec. 20th after a reasonably easy day of travel. John had returned home two weeks earlier to keep the kids and try to work some, but I hadn't seen my other six children in 3.5 weeks. Fortunately, we had stayed busy during most of our time in Cali and then Bogota and I had been able to keep my sad feelings of missing them at bay. I even kept it together reasonably well as we walked through the airport.
I first caught sight of them (John, the kids, my dad, my sister, and my nieces) at the bottom of the escalator taking us down to baggage claim. By the time I got to the bottom the tears had started and after handing Ella off to her daddy I was trying to hug all six kids through racking sobs. I cried so hard, and for so long, that it started to scare them, I think! For well over a month after I returned, Emma would come up to me and ask, "You home?" "Yes, Emma, I'm home!" "You crying?" "Yes, sweetheart, mommy cried but she's so happy to be home now."
Am I still happy to be home? You betcha!