Tarik. My new little niece. They're home.
Reed, Lee Ann and Tarik flew into our city tonight, after spending a jaw-dropping 20 straight hours in planes and airports. Tarik traveled like a champ. Reed reported that she only had one major breakdown, and it was in the Houston airport, in a waiting lounge in which everyone was trying to watch the Super Bowl. (Poor baby--I feel the same way about professional football.)
Hubs snapped this picture of the kids, my Dad and me, waiting like
anxious maniacs eager loved ones at the airport for our first glimpse:
They finally made it (For privacy's sake, I schmutzed out Tarik's face in this picture, which is really a shame, because oh my stars, it is a cute face. But I think the look on Reed and Lee Ann's faces say it all):
Just after this photo, I got a chance to hold my new niece while her momma made a quick dash to the restroom. She is absolutely scrumptious and she melted my heart, though even in her sleep, she was a little squirmy in my arms. But the moment I passed her back to Lee Ann? Every muscle in her body relaxed, and she nestled comfortably against the mother she's known for only six days. That is a testament to the gentleness of my sister-in-law. Even more, it's a testament to God's faithfulness to knit together hearts even across oceans. I'd say He knows how to put together a family.
A fun little side note: Lee Ann had e-mailed that Tarik is quite a spitter-upper, so I told her I'd have a stack of burp cloths laundered and waiting at the airport. Thanks to all our fidgety at-home time during the ice storm, I even managed to embroider one with her name on it, because a name that pretty just begs to be written:
(I didn't make the actual cloth. It's a dish towel, terry cloth on one side and waffle weave on the other, perfect for embroidering and extra-absorbent because of the terry. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.)
Thank you so much for your prayers--so many of you sent sweet comments and e-mails that were profoundly moving and encouraging. If it crosses your mind, I'd appreciate your continued prayers as this sweet family establishes its new rhythm, and as the two big sisters meet little Tarik first thing tomorrow (Monday) morning.
Thank you again.