Yesterday morning, D (our case worker here in Nashville) called at 9am to tell us that TN ICPC had not even received our paperwork yet. To say we were bummed was an understatement. I had spent a lot of time Thursday night in prayer, letting HIM know that I would be ok if we couldn't come home. That I would not allow Satan to steal our joy if we didn't get that approval. That I would continue PRAISING HIM!
Around noon, I drug myself into a nice, hot bath. As I sat there, tears streamed down my face as I literally clung to Jeremiah 29:11. God knew what this process would look like to bring Joshua home, I just needed to trust him.
I came downstairs to face J, who was watching Joshua and asked if he minded running to the store. We were almost out of wipes and he was taking the rental car back at 5pm as he went to the airport. Our host family continued to let me know that I was not being an inconvenience and that no car was needed. They would happily take me to the airport whenever I needed to go. I will do a post later about this family, they are AMAZING.
J headed to the store and to Whataburger for lunch. If he's leaving, we gotta eat there right? Around 2pm, he called me and when I answered the phone and he was crying. "Great, he's wrecked the rental car!" is all I could think. He choked out that we had just gotten verbal approval to come home from ICPC in TN. I immediately started crying and Angel started saying "OH MY GOSH, OH MY GOSH!" We were totally praising God right there in her living room! I texted Joy who let me know she had not heard from TX ICPC yet, but we were probably safe to make travel plans.
What proceeded was literally the most stressful three hours of my life, literally. We now know that TX ICPC decided to close early yesterday, so even though we were technically cleared to go home, there was no one in the office to call and verify that with Joy. Finally at 5ish, D was able to call Joy and let her know she had gotten verbal and the fax had been sent and we got clearance to go. We were on a plane by 7:40pm.
So, yes, our paperwork got to TN at 10am via Fed Ex and we were approved by 2pm. If that's not a miracle, I'm not sure what is. You see, the paperwork that TN combed through was over 3" thick.
Joshua did great on the flight home. Only a handful of people even realized we had a baby on the plane. A sweet couple sat behind us and even came over to say goodbye at baggage claim where they got to meet our entire family.
Walked down to baggage claim and seeing our families there was AWESOME! I, of course, cried. Anna bawled like a baby. JuJu, Papa Eddie, Grandmother, Papa Sam, Angie, Robert, Alexandra, Abby and all of our kids were there to great us. It was late (almost 9:50pm when our flight got in), but M.E. was so happy to have us home and just kept saying "Baby! Baby? Baby! Baby?" She passed out happily in the car on the ride home.
We got home and everyone took pics and then the grandparents went home. I fixed Anna, Isaac and Luke popcorn, got bags unpacked with J and we got Joshua settled in his bassinet. Overall, he did awesome last night considering things were stressful yesterday and his schedule got mixed up a bit. As I type, he is laying there with the hiccups.
We are SO thankful to be home. Visitors are more than welcome, just please call first if you are coming and make sure you aren't sick or that your kiddos aren't sick. Tonight I plan to upload more pics, draw a winner for the Veranda drawing (feel free to enter til 5pm today), and do a post on our host family and their non-profit which I'm sure many of you in blogland are familiar with. THANKS to all who have prayed for us during this journey, supported us financially, and kept up with us. It's a new, exciting chapter for us and we can't wait to spend our first full day at home wtih ALL of our kids. A big thanks to our families who literally kept our household right on track while we were gone. I even came home to find my tupperware shelf organized so I know JuJu stayed busy while we were gone! Love you guys!