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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Friendly Manitoba

"Sweet home Manitoba,
Where the sky's cold and grey,
Sweet home Manitoba,
Alexandra's comin' home to stay!"
Well, after 37 days away from home we are back in Canada with our new daughter. And about 2.5 years after we started this process, we are now a family with a daddy, mommy, and child. The airlines and airports tried to work together to conspire against us to make the day more challenging than it needed to be...but regardless of the mix-ups and delays, we finally made it back to Manitoba. That is really all that matters.
As soon as we boarded the plane for the last leg of our journey, from Toronto to Winnipeg, Alexandra fell asleep. She was still out when we came down the escalator at the Winnipeg airport. Despite having a really long day, Candace and I could not sleep during that final flight. The excitement of finally being home was tremendous and the anticipation of seeing everyone we care about and introducing them to our daughter was almost too much to bear. What a wonderful reception we received when we arrived at the airport in Manitoba. Looking down from the top of that escalator at all of you who came to welcome us back, one couldn't help but feel a bit overwhelmed. Seeing all of your smiling faces made everything so concrete in an instant...Candace and Stephen and Alexandra were finally home and we were finally a family. To those who came to greet us, thanks of course for the gifts for Alexandra and the Tim Horton's coffee and the kind words and hugs and handshakes. But thanks mostly for taking time out of your busy lives to come and help us welcome our daughter to Manitoba. For those of you that did not make it, and we certainly did not expect anyone to come, know that you were with us all the way through our trip, in our hearts and in our minds. We can't wait to see you all.
Reflecting upon all that has happened as we left Frankfurt, I almost had to shake my head with disbelief. Looking over at Alexandra in her plane seat listening to the in-flight radio on her headphones, I realized how happy I am that things worked out as they did. I am so glad that we chose to adopt, I am pleased that we found our way to the Ukraine, and I am very thankful that our trip did not happen until it did. I would not choose to change a thing, because in doing so, the three of us may not be together as we are now. I am thankful for everything that has happened during this little adventure. Since this will be my second last posting, I will indulge myself and take a moment to acknowledge those people that have helped make this all possible. Thanks to the Ukrainian Adoption Services of Winnipeg and their Ukrainian facilitators for leading us through the myriad of steps necessary to make this all happen. Thanks to all of those wonderful people at the orphanage for caring for our daughter until we could come and get her. Thanks to all of those people who posted comments on our blog. It would be an understatement to say that your thoughtful words were merely helpful. Every single comment kept us connected with home and made us stay focused, even during some challenging moments during our time away. It seemed whenever we needed a boost you gave it to us. Thanks to our family and friends for all of the love and support during the entire process. Your encouragement has provided us with considerable strength and hope along the way. Thanks of course to Candace, who is already proving herself to be a wonderful mother by showing compassion, wisdom, patience, and unconditional love for our new daughter. And finally, thanks to our beautiful little girl Alexandra. We promise to do something every day of your life to remind you how much you mean to us. It starts tomorrow on our drive back home...anything you want at Walmart is yours...except for a Montreal Canadians jersey that is...the David's are Maple Leaf fans.
For what it is worth, I did kiss the ground when I got back to Manitoba to show my joy in being home finally. I had contemplated doing it at the airport but I was worried about what some people may have thrown on the ground outside the terminal, so I waited until I got back to Candace's sister's house.

10 comments:

Dennis said...

You put it so well Stephen, most things DO happen for a reason, even delays and the things that frustrate us, if we just let go of our desire to know and to be in control. It's hard to imagine how your journey could have turned out any better - thanks for sharing it so completely, with such honesty, with so much feeling, and with your particular brand of humour. For so many weeks it has been an important part of so many people's day! Welcome home to all 3 of you!

The Bryce's said...

Welcome home! The end of this particular journey is just the beginning for your family. You will count yourself blessed over and over through the coming years. The parent/child relationship is so profoundly special. God bless you three! :)

Camille and Anthony said...

Welcome home. Of course as we read the blog there were more happy tears. It was so wonderful to meet Alex and play with her. We are blessed to have her as our neice and we look forward to getting to know her even better. I think there were many highlights of our visit but certainly 2 of my favorites were when she hugged and kissed us and when she said our names. Thank you Candace and Stephen for bringing Alex into our lives.

Love,
Camille and Anthony

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU GOD

FOR BRINGING MY FAMILY HOME SAFELY. I CAN,T WAIT TO SEE YOU ALEXANDRIA MY BEAUTIFUL GRANDAUGHTER I LOVE YOU ALREADY.STEPHEN I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, OF ALL THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU ACHIEVED IN LIFE MY MOST PROFOUND HAPPYINESS CAME WHEN YOU MARRIED CANDACE, WHEN I WENT OUT TO VISIT & MET OLGA & ALAN & FAMILY , YOU ,LL NEVER KNOW THE PEACE & CONTENTMENT THAT WAS IN MY HEART FLYING HOME ,KNOWINGHOW MUCH YOU WERE LOVED, &CARED FOR & IT,S STILL IN MY HEART TODAY. CANDACE I LOVE YOU FOR LOVING MY SON THE WAY YOU DO ,& FOR JUST BEING YOU. I AM SO VERY PROUD OF YOU BOTH FOR MAKING YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE, THAT,S LOVE THAT REACHES TO THE END OF THE EARTH FOR EACH OF YOU, & BRINGING OUR BLESSED GRANDAUGHTER HOME .
BLESS YOU ALL.

LOVE & PRAYERS
MOM & NANA

Anonymous said...

ALEXANDRIA,S BIG NANA SAY,S;

LET YOUR HAIR DOWN, HAVE A LABATT,S & DO THE CAPE BRETON HAPPY DANCE& THE UKRAINE POLKA .

Raymond said...

Hey Stephen & Candace ... Thought you might enjoy this wee poem, I thought it was kinda cute. Keep the kid away from the Labatts for a bit, eh. Ray.

While You Were Sleeping
by Tara Simms

While you were sleeping,
I sat by your bed.
I watched you
as you smiled through your dreams.

I traced your perfect shell ear,
Touched every curl
On your little head.

I tried to sleep
But the sound of your breathing
Drew me back to your room.

I couldn't resist
The magic which tugged
At my heartstrings
And brought me to your side.

I settled on the floor
Once again.
Back against the wall,
Holding your tiny hand in mine.

While you were sleeping
I fell in love with you all over again.

Anonymous said...

Candace,Stephen and Alex,

Glad to hear thet you arrived home safely. I have to say that more than once the entries and comments on your blog have moved me to tears. You are so lucky to have been able to make your dreams come true. Alex is a very lucky little girl to become part of such a wonderful and caring family. Enjoy the years to come. It seems like only yesterdy that mine were that small and now my baby will be graduating. Thank you for sharing your journey and your joy with us all.

Take care
Love Helga

Anonymous said...

Welcome home. Happy to hear you had a safe trip back to Canada. Looking forward to seeing you when you get back to Strathclair. Benita

Kayla Peech said...

WELCOME HOME!!!!
After a long time away...it was worth it. You are a family and have a beautiful little girl. You will watch her grow and everyday will be more exciting then the other. I wish all three of you the best. Once again welcome home.

Anonymous said...

We were glad to hear that you had a safe trip home. This time it wasn't only your entry on your blog that brought me to tears it was also the entry from your mother, Stephen, and also the poem from Ray. That is so true, you do watch your child like that. We are so extremely happy for you two and for Alex. She has 2 wonderful parents. Have fun in the years to come because before you know it she will be graduating and moving out. We can hardly wait to meet Alex, hopefully on Monday at the basketball game.
Again Congrats to the David Family
The Fortunes