Friday, January 25, 2013

The Post I've Been Dying To Post....

      Praise God we were able to bring Levi Ivan Cruse home today!  I almost can't believe that as I sit here, our family of four is under the same roof tonight.  I've said it a million times and I'll probably say it a million more, but thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers and for coming on this journey with us.  It is far from over....really just beginning....but you have all played such a crucial part in bringing Levi home and we are forever grateful.

     Some of you may be wondering where this blog went, and I apologize that it was temporarily unaccessable to many of you without warning.  We have tried to be careful not to include too many specifics in order to respect guidelines given to us, but in light of the recent ban and the uncertainty of our case we were advised to lay as low as possible.  Hence the temporary privacy of the blog.

     We could not have been more blessed in terms of the smoothness of this final trip (okay maybe we could have done without the temporary room confinement)!  We seemed to fly under the radar in many respects and received each document we needed with ease.  We know this in large part also had to do with the amazing help we had in country!  The last hurdle was to successfully pass through passport control and land on American soil.  Twice we had issues with our tickets because Levi kept not coming up in the system.  We had purchased a lap ticket for him on both flights, and both times he was in the system independently.  Apparently our booking agency thought it best to let him decide whose lap he would like to sit on when he boarded the plane.  Of course this made me a bit uneasy the first time, but it was an easy fix and we were prepared in Moscow.  When we went through customs, the officer seemed unsatisfied with what I had given him and I started praying.  I kindly told him I didn't understand (one of the few Russian phrases I made sure to learn) and he spoke with two other officers.  Suddenly a light bulb went off and I realized this was where I was supposed to give an entire packet of papers (this was told me to a few times - yikes!).  He looked through them and kept smiling at Levi (who is obsessed with paper and kept reaching for everything on the counter).  The sound of the stamps on our visas was music to my ears and we were soon waiting at our gate to board the plane!

     So the ten hour plane ride ahead of us looked pretty good considering what God had just accomplished and I'm pretty sure I would have been smiling the entire time even if it hadn't gone well.  But, another blessing, it went extremely well.  Levi was thrilled to have our complete attention and thoroughly enjoyed playing with the flight magazines and pillow and blanket bags!  His newfound obsession with puffs proved to be a great activity on a long plane ride, and just the general feeding, diaper changing, and naps made the time go by rather quickly.  People watching was another fun activity : )  He just seemed so relaxed and at peace!

     Unfortunately we had another flight as we decided it would be better to fly out of Logan this time so we would have a shorter drive home.  After riding the airport shuttle like a merry-go-round, on and off several times, we finally found the proper location for boarding our last flight.  Levi would offer up a faint whimper here and there to remind us that he was clearly tired of traveling, but he continued to be such a good sport : )  A man sitting just across the aisle from us said that he had seen us in the airport and that Levi seemed so happy!  It's amazing when you consider that he was just taken from the only home, family and consistency he's ever known and flown to a new country with a new family....but he truly did seem so happy.  I am amazed by God's plans!

     It may seem hard to believe, but as we spent time with Levi in our apartment, waited in the airport and cared for and played with him on the plane, it seemed as if he has been with us forever.  He has been so happy and so eager to be loved.  He craves our undivided attention and has such a sweet, gentle demeanor.     

     Coming home has been fun...and crazy!  We are so happy to be back with our Caleb and alltogether as a family.  Caleb is giddy and excited and overall doing very well.  His major concern is that Levi clearly does not know how to play with the toys correctly and constantly tries to help him do things correctly and let us know of what is going on!  We have to keep reminding him it is okay.  He does not understand babies : ) 

     Levi seems to feel completely at home and comfortable's really quite crazy!  He is so happy to have his freedom and be able to crawl all over the house, rather than being restricted to a small area!  He finds Caleb entertaining and loves all the toys!  It was so sweet putting both of our boys to bed last night.  Levi went down fine, but was up every hour or two throughout the night.  I'm sure the time change has him all confused!  I slept exactly as he did last night during our entire time in Russia. 

    This morning brought the first realization that it's not as easy as it looks to have two children! : )  Levi woke up and shortly after Caleb woke up too.  I looked at Levi in my arms and had a moment where I thought hmmmm, this is going to be interesting!  Both boys have done great today and we certainly had a fun morning!  They wore each other out and have been sleeping for the past couple of hours. 

      I'll try to post pictures of our trips and some new pictures of our family as I have time....I'm pretty behind on, well...everything just from being gone for a week, but I'll try to keep updating here for a little while longer!  Again thank you all for your love and support.  We are praising God for this blessing and victory and are praying He gets all the glory!  We know he is working in this situation and our continued prayer is that all of the children are able to come home and that in time this ban is overturned and even more children will be adopted!



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