chapter 17 {kavita lands in america and meets her brothers}

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we're home. and home has never felt so good!

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when we boarded the plane in delhi, we explained that the first plane would take us to dubai and the second plane would take us to america. her grin and head nod led us to believe she completely understood. and she did. 20 hours on a plane and we maybe slept 3 hours. but it's what it takes to go to the other side of the world to bring your daughter home!

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clearing customs and immigration in san francisco took some time, but once handing over the sealed packet of documents to u.s. immigration, her india passport was stamped and she was declared a u.s. citizen. we picked up our bags, cleared customs, and rounded the corner to what we were most excited about...seeing the other half of our family...the boys and our san francisco family.

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we gave hugs and mustered up genuine thank you's without coming unglued ourselves. to see friends at the airport was the most beautiful thing i've seen since we met kavita a week ago. i love that these 20 or so friends and children could see kavita. could see their faith made sight. our hearts are full knowing we are loved and supported as we learn to be a family of 6.

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we hopped into our family van, kavita buckled up between sam and asher in the back seat.

she seemed to recognize home as we arrived. elijah and sam showed her where we put our shoes when we come through the door. the boys gave her a tour and then she needed to unpack her backpack. we could tell this was necessary for her. it's all she has, so she thinks. and for a week now, we've lived out of backpacks and suitcases, so it looked like she was treating her room like a hotel...another place to stay. the rest of us looked on.

we've lived life with kavita for a week now, so it was so wonderful to watch the boys spend their first few hours with her.

"mom, this is amazing."

"this is crazy that she's actually her."

"i can't believe she's really here."

they colored together.

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she and i watched as the boys played their usual nerf basketball game.

they introduced her to legos.

creative play is a new thing for kavita.

to have access to a home to be free to play. to have games and toys.

but she was warming up. she began hopping around from this to that.

then it was high speed energy from 4-6 pm!

hide n seek.

switch 1, 2, 3.

night at the museum.

all games the boys were teaching her.

full laughter was in the house.

ben and i had talked a few days ago that her time with just us was good, but she needed the boys. she needed children to play.

one thing she did while playing with the boys was speaking to them in full sentences in gujarati. she was so caught up in play that she spoke what was natural.

my heart smiled to watch this.

we held hands as a family and thanked God for pizza and being together.

and then we sat down at the kitchen table to eat. elijah and i looked at each other because there's been an empty seat between the two of us for some time now. not anymore! our 6 chairs were full!

the boys taught her how to clear the table though this girl certainly knew how to help serve others first before sitting down herself.

the kids {that already sounds funny off the tongue after saying boys for 9 years}

got pajamas on and we laid down bedding in the family room.

all of us in our 'hi' pajamas settled in for a giants game. that's what we pilgreens do.

and i knew if she were tired and anything like me, she'd fall asleep to the voices of baseball announcers.

yep. exactly. sound asleep at 7:15 before the first pitch!

she slept a full night like the boys all in the family room while ben and i slept most of the night in our own glorious bed.

then morning came...

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and in our home, as a family of 6,

she woke up happy to the rest of her life.

to be continued...