Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kate's Homecoming

On Thursday morning, we finally reached what we missed so much after two and a half weeks away...home. there anything better than your bed? Precious little Kate was greeted by family and friends that got up early on that morning in the rain, wow. Holly & Brad, Carolin, Kelly...we love you all so much, thank you!

This trip was really hard, I'm not gonna sugar coat it. In the short time span of our the journey, we logged thousands of miles on 10 separate airplanes, stopped in several countries and states along the way toting two children under four. It nearly did us in.

Here's a funny TMI, that wasn't so funny at the perfect little angel (that would be Kate that I am referring to this time)....who rarely had anything but smiles after we got to know each other in China, decided to have the mother of all meltdowns during a security checkpoint in the Guangzhou airport as we were leaving for Japan. She was terribly upset because I had the nerve to put her in the stroller earlier when she had wanted to walk, but since we needed to get past security and on to our gate to make the next flight, there was no time for dillydallying. So she was letting us HAVE IT and doing a fabulous job making it known to everyone in the airport her displeasure. When I pulled her out of her stroller at security to walk through the detector, I noticed she didn't smell too hot, so I turned her over to discover that she has poop all the way up her back.

In her battle with the stroller, she had made herself human toothpaste.


Holding my stinky, screaming child, I walk under the security detector, and get flagged to have one of those really fun extra security probes. Except I don't know it at the time because I don't understand Chinese and my child has poop all over her, so I walk through quickly, concentrating on finding a bathroom and move on with my life. Luckily for me, there is a bathroom less than 15 feet away, so I get to the bathroom and look up to see I have 5 Chinese security guards surrounding me as I attempt to change my daughter who is now writhing in tears and anger and definitely won't be sitting still for a quick diaper change. I realize that I am now a security risk in communist China. Really peachy.

After 15 minutes and the battle of the century, I finally get Kate cleaned up and changed. I'm sweating, worn out, embarrassed, horrified at her tantrum and wanting to pause the whole scene so I can quickly skim some chapters from a book on handling the "terrible two's" temper tantrums in public. Leah can be dramatic, but has yet to produce a performance like this, so I was totally unequipped to know what to do.

I look down to see I am covered in poop. The guards have looks on their faces that you don't need a Chinese translation book to figure out... "Ewwww....that's just gross."

I have it on my shirt, in my hair, on my body, on my pants, on my shoes...everywhere. At this point, our plane is getting ready to board in 20 minutes which begins a journey of 15 hours in a slender, silver tube with recirculating air. And I still have to go back with all my new friends and do a security check with poop all over me.

Thankfully, they made it quick.

After I got Kate changed and out of the bathroom, she instantly was her happy little self, like the last 20 minutes had not transpired. Figures. That's motherhood for you.

Enough about that, this is about Kate.

She is home and I think she knows it's for good. And after two full days of exploring her new nest, she is having the time of her life, and so are we. The next chapter has begun.

The photos above are provided by our wonderful friends, Brad & Holly.


  1. I was just wonderfing today how your journey went. I guess I just got my answer. Glad to hear you are home with your sweet girl. Just remember you will have great stories to tell her about her journey home. Her pink dress is adorable!

  2. I'm so glad you are home! My favorite pic is the one with the gentleman on his knee introducing himself to Kate. I love that pic. Sweet. Oh...and the poop story...funny now...but not so funny at the time. I can relate. LOL Especially, the imagining the Chinese airport people all around you...LOL!!! Kate is precious and such a pretty baby girl! Can't wait to follow their adventures at home. :)

  3. Welcome home, Sparks family! I have loved following your journey and can't wait to meet Miss Kate!!! You are a wonderful family and she is a very blessed little girl. I know that you feel that the blessing is all yours and I can certainly relate to that:)) God is so GOOD!!

  4. Welcome Home!! What a journey you have been on! Loved following along and all the pictures. What a blessing to have TWO beautiful girls from China!!

  5. Welcome Home! If I had poop all over me like Kate, I might have thrown the mother of all tantrums too! Bless her heart and yours too :)
    So glad she is adjusting to home. She's got a great home and family to settle into.

    What a blessing she is!!!!

  6. Oh my -- what a journey! So glad that you all made it home safe and sound. Fun times ahead for all of you!


  7. Wow! That was some poop story. Better you than me... I didn't have a change of clothes for myself in my carry-on when we flew home. What was I thinking? I always carry a change of clothes for my little bit, but never for myself... thanks to your story, I'm packing a change of clothes for myself from now on!
    Oh, I felt for you, but am just glad you all are home now, safe and sound, and surely smelling nice and clean.

    Blessings to you all and your sweet girls-

  8. What gorgeous photos... am I going to cop all those tantrums... hehehe... still... it is so great to see her home... :)

  9. Welcome home! Sorry to hear about the public poop tantrum but it sounds like you handled it soooo well!

    Enjoy every second with your new baby girl. She is just beautiful!

  10. So proud of all four of you! You all were made for each other and it shows...Kate just completes the circle of love for your family.

    Wonderful photos...

    Love, hugs and lots of prayers, Gramma Re

  11. A big welcome home, Kate is just precious! I cant wait to see her and Leah together.

  12. It was so nice to run into (and meet) you guys today at the park!!! What a blessing your sweet girls are!!! My contact info is I hope you are recovering rather quickly from jetlag....we were told a day for every hour difference in the time change....Have a blessed week

  13. Oh my goodness what a journey! Thanks for letting me follow along. Welcome home!!!

    Gin =)


  14. Your blog always makes me smile, but my smile is even bigger today after reading the poop story! And come on, Melissa, you can't tell me that there wasn't just a little sliver of satisfaction making the security do their thing even though you were covered in poop?! The thought makes me simply giddy! Maybe you need a bit more sleep and distance....!

    Welcome home, and I am so glad you all are doing so well! And happy early birthday to Leah! I can't believe our babies are already four!


  15. So far we cannot top your poopy story! Glad you are home, enjoy your new daughter!

    Alyzabeth's Mommy for Nine Months

  16. Congratulations on being home with your beautiful Kate. I have no idea how I happened upon your blog but I am in Louisville too and friends with the famous Clark family!

    LOVE the poop story! There always seems to be a coming home and in the most inopportune time airport poop saga. Poor little babies... they are so stressed out!

    I hope things are settling in with your new miracle!

  17. Congratulations on bringing your little girl home! What a blessing.

  18. i can't believe i never commented on your homecoming post. i have looked at it several times & then several more..waiting for an update. i could have disappeared that first month, fallen off the face of the earth - is how I felt. Missing you, wanting to see something of your great photography and beautiful daughters!!!!