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Paul, Beth, Tyler and Ana, Travis, Lindsey and Jordan and Sophie Ann!
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Home Update -
The end of the Journey…
We are home, finally. And it feels so good! I know it seems like forever since we left China, when actually it has only been 21 days!

In the past three weeks, we have enjoyed a slow introduction back to real life. While in China, everything was structured, planned, and set in front of us, now we are doing crazy things like our own laundry, driving our own cars, obeying traffic laws (mostly), enjoying being with the rest of our family, now… cooking our own meals!

When we arrived home at 1 pm, after a 5 hour drive, Tyler and Ana met us here to get their hands on Sophie and by 5 pm, we were headed to an adoption benefit for some friends who are in the waiting for referral mode to go get their little princess from Chian as well. IT was great to see the folks at the benefit and share Sophie with them almost one year to the day after they blessed us with an adoption benefit to help us bring Sophie home. As to our house, we were treated to a fairly clean house (as good as two teenage boys can leave it), and two weeks worth of meals from our church family and friends. What an incredible blessing. It was pretty fun to try and guess what the next mystery meal would be, and we enjoyed them. Thanks to all of you who helped us out, it was a great gift.

The family and Sophie have adjusted quite well to the new way of doing business at home. There are still some moments that it takes a bit more planning, but with three teenagers who adore their little sister, everything is getting done. I do have make an apology to our friends and family that I may have mocked for being late to church. Our first Sunday back at church, we walked in five minutes late… and had to sit in the very front of the church. So, please forgive me, I had forgotten the unexpected delays that can happen. Thanks to our church family at IBC for your prayers while we traveled and such a warm welcome home.

As we have settled into daily routines with bed times, naps, meals, etc, Sophie has really adjusted to being at her new home very well. If she misses her nap, she has been known to transform into her evil twin, Sophelda, but for the most part, she keeps us laughing with her great nature and funny smiles. The first week or so, the boys and I (dad), had to be patient as she did not really want to be held by anyone but mom, but we wormed our way into the holding pattern by using ice cream and animal cookies as rewards for sitting with us. We have had no issues with her diet; she has tried everything from Chicken enchiladas and spaghetti to chicken pot pie and Chili. Thankfully, Sophie is an equal opportunity eater. The boys have also learned that if they pick out the things they do not want (mushrooms, olives, onions, peppers…), smile at her while making silly noises, Sophie will eat it with a smile for them. What a bonus!

After landing back in town on the 8th of April, we spent a few days doing not much, but on Monday, we took Sophie to show and tell. All the kids at Triad School who had been following our trip were anxious to meet Sophie, and of course we obliged. During the first few weeks, we visited the school, some of our favorite businesses, the Doctor (for the first checkup), and of course, our favorite Chinese restaurant. The funny thing about it was that after eating in China, the food back home was not as exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Dynasty and the food Sunny Hsu delivers, and the quality is first rate, but I miss our group meals and the ever changing dishes we were served. It has been fun sharing Sophie with those around town that we know, and we really look forward to seeing her grow up with all these wonderful people in her life.

This past Sunday, we had a belated birthday party for Sophie and we invited our local friends who have all adopted Chinese girls within the last year. The Muntz, Gifford and Morgan families joined Tyler and Ana and we had a great time of celebration with them all. The last time we were all together in this setting, we were at the Muntz house, in January of ’05, and the Gifford’s were just about 3 weeks away from their travel. They shared with all of us how the process had gone for them to that point and also what they had learned about their upcoming travel. It was very enjoyable to sit with the families and compare notes after we had all made the trip. Thanks to all of you for coming and sharing in this special evening.

I as I write this last chapter for this Journal, I know it is only the end of the first chapter of Sophie’s life, not really the end of The Journey to Sophie Ann as you have been following it. We have so many wonderful years ahead of us and I can not imagine what is in store. As our lives continue, I would like again say thanks to all of you for your support, your prayers, and your help. With out faithful family and friends and a gracious God, none of this would have been possible. When you think back to this journal and think of Sophie and the fun we have had so far, please remember to pray for Sophie and for us as we raise this precious girl God has entrusted to us. It is a great responsibility we don’t take lightly. I also pray that as you meet Sophie and other little children that have blessed families like ours remember those who are still in need and waiting for a family. God loves each and every one of us, maybe he has plans for YOU!

It has been a great blessing for me to have the chance to write and share with you. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we have. To close, I won’t say goodbye, just see you later…. Keep checking out this host site from time to time, WE’LL BE BACK!
Ty,  Ana and Sophie
Sophie And Travis On Easter Sunday
Sophie And Jordan Having Ice Cream
First Look At A Birthday Cake With Mom
First Birthday