Sunday, July 21, 2013


We are home!  It cost us a small fortune, but we bought tickets for seven and flew out of Port of Spain on friday morning and landed at Pearson at three in the afternoon.  We sailed through customs and immigration without any problems and my Mom and brother Greg pulled up the moment we collected our luggage.  It was awesome to see most of my family that night (my brother Scott and his family couldn’t make it as they had to very unexpectedly attend a funeral), and to meet my new nephew and get the news that my sister is expecting again.  Scott and clan did stop in last night, as well as Raleigh and Cari and Dave and Lisa, Val’s sister whose wedding we had missed.  We are heading over to Val’s family this aft and can’t wait to introduce Keem to grandpa and grandma and everyone else there.  Being gone for so long makes you really appreciate your family.  Its also very moving to see how everyone is so excited about meeting Keem.
Going to church this morning was good too although it seemed like a lot of people were missing, probably camping or cottaging and it seemed very short compared to what we had grown used to.  It was really good to talk to some of the other families there that have already adopted or are going through the process right now.  For my family, this adoption has been a mixture of trials, blessings, adventure, sleepless nights, moments of incredible joy and a whole range of other emotions I can’t quite put into words, but other adoptive families can easily relate to.
Every one keeps saying how good it must be to be home, and they are right, there is nothing quite like home.  But we both have to admit, Guyana also feels a lot like home.  There are many things that we miss already, especially all the people we met and got to know down there.
Right now though, my favourite thing about Guyana is sitting in a car seat behind me.  He is one hundred percent our son now and no judge or social worker or immigration official can say otherwise.  He has been really good here, mesmerized by the amount of space around our yard and the amount of toys in the playroom.  (He doesn’t even realize there are several more rubbermaid bins full in the basement still!)  He seems a little overwhelmed sometimes as everyone is so eager to see him, poke his tummy and touch his curly hair.  His hyper moods are getting more infrequent and shorter lived and he sleeps as though he doesn’t have a care in the world.  We don’t know what the future looks like, what kind of battles he will face, but for now he is safe and comfortable and happy with us, and we are thrilled with him.


Elizabeth said...

I am so happy you got home safe and sound and that Keem is settling right in. I have so enjoyed following your journey, especially given the major disruption to my own. Thank you so much for allowing to me live vicariously through you journey. I still have a long way to go! Once again, it is such a relief and so good to know you are home at last. I hope everyone gets back to good health ASAP and that you enjoy the rest of the summer. Please keep posting.
Congratulations on the newest member of your family!
Best wishes,

Maria said...

Congratulations, Derek and Val on the homecoming of your new son! God bless you guys, and help you as you raise him to be a follower of God!
Maria Bout

Lynn's Place said...

Amen ....Our God would have had it any other way, but this way, the perfect way for the ending was perfect, just look at that wonderful little man (Keem) so sweet, bright eyed and loved by so many....enjoy this youngster and all he has to offer your family...and a big "CONGRATULATIONS" to the whole Slingerland family....was wonderful to chat in Church Sunday and of course many many more. :) <((><

kelly anne said...

We are thrilled to hear that you are home safely with your boy and all the rest of your kiddos. We loved the sentence "He is 100% our son and no one can say otherwise!" It's a beautiful feeling, isn't it? God is so generous to us. Looking forward to catching up.
Much love, James and Kelly