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The Seidel Family Blog

6 minutes reading time (1188 words)

A Family United


Mabuhay (welcome/hello)!

Wow – I can't believe an entire month has gone by since my last post. I had hoped to post an update about a week or two after we returned home, but obviously I got a bit delayed. Sorry!

What an amazing month it has been for us. Yesterday marked 1-month as a family united. While JP has been our son since we were matched, it was so precious knowing we hit a big milestone finally united. But let me first back up a bit and share some of our final days in the Philippines.

Meeting our son in person was one of the biggest moments in both of our lives. We only had a few short hours at our entrustment ceremony, and it flew by so quickly, but we made the most of every minute. JP was able to show us around his home and introduce us to the special people in his life. We could tell right from the start JP had been loved so very much there and we thank God for that. We signed another large packet of papers, asked many questions of his caretakers, took more pictures than JP probably wanted, and then it was time for JP to say goodbye. Each moment was so special. A personal favorite for me: I took the lead on asking questions of JP's caretakers. This left Ben able to play and talk with JP while they waited. I still remember looking over, seeing the two of them sitting together with smiles on their faces while they played with some of the stuff we had brought for JP. I will never forget that moment, treasuring the certainty that we were finally with our son.

Once we returned to our hotel, we had about 5 full days before our flight – and we weren't allowed to leave the room (due to COVID restrictions again). Surprisingly, these days went very fast as well. JP was such a trooper putting up with not leaving our room. We tossed a ball around our room quite a bit to release some extra energy and JP loved his new remote-control car! We also began our routine of a daily devotional time and it has been so special seeing our son talk about his relationship with God.

The day before our flight we were allowed to leave the hotel for the specific purpose of getting our COVID tests for our USA return flight (a USA international travel requirement). All three of us needed a negative test, JP included. I was always very nervous about this step, but JP was so brave. He handled the test better than Ben. 😊 As you can guess, we all came back negative for COVID – such a huge God blessing! In case you are counting, Ben and I had 3 tests in less than 3 weeks.

After that, the next day, we were off to our flights to return home. We hit a few hiccups at this point, but God brought us through. As we were supposed to be headed to the airport, our hotel informed us the car that was supposed to drive us was having issues. After a half hour delay, it became apparent that car could not drive us. Our hotel quickly and graciously arranged different transportation and we made it to the airport in good time. Once at the airport, the process to check into our flight lasted longer than expected – at least an hour and a half. We then made it through immigration and security with no trouble! 😊 We were finally able to board our flight from Manila to San Francisco. Unfortunately, because this was a Philippines-based airline, we had to wear face masks and face shields the entire nearly 13-hour flight to SFO.

After another hour and a half wait at the SFO immigration, JP was cleared into the country, and we were finally in the home stretch. We took a flight to Dallas and then onto to KC. All in all, we were travelling for 24 hours straight. Needless to say, we were very tired by the time we arrived home. However, JP had great fun exploring the house in person for the first time. Jetlag took quite a toll, though, and we spent the next few days trying to catch up on sleep and adjust our body to CST time.

Phew – just sharing our final week in the Philippines took up quite a few words, so I think for now, I will leave it there. In my next update, I'll share a bit more about our first month at home. We've been so blessed to have precious time as a family, learning more about each other and bonding.

While I wish we could share some family photos, we are still restricted in terms of the information we can share and the photos we can post. Unfortunately, that restriction will last quite some time. For now, you can see some precious moments we captured from behind. 😊

For everyone who has been praying for our family – thank you is not enough. But thank you so much. I thank God for each person he has put into our lives that prays on our behalf. Ben, JP, and I are blessed by all the prayers. We continue to feel God's presence with us each day as we adjust to family life.

Our prayer request – Lord, thank you for your plentiful provisions in our entire trip. We could feel your presence and your hand of protection – we thank you for that! We thank you that we arrived home without any major hiccups. You have been with us each step of the past four weeks and we are so grateful. We pray you would continue to guide Ben and me in being the godly parents you would have us to be. Continue to be with JP as he adjusts to his new home, family, culture, environment, etc. We know this is such an overwhelming time. Please be with him and be with us as his parents. Thank you for this amazing family you blessed us with each day.

Until next time – all of our love!