The day we left started very early, we were at the airport at 4:30 am, tired but excited.
When the airplane landed in Johannesburg after a grueling 23 hour day of flying, my heart stopped in my chest, I was excited, I was nervous, I was exhilarated but most of all I couldn't wait to see everyone again. We slowly made our way out of the plane, through the passport control and to the baggage claim and then the time came, there was no going back and there was no postponing it......the year of planning, the craziness and worry of the passport not arriving in time and the anticipation of what was to come came to a screeching halt.....this was it.
We walked towards the doors and the minute they opened I was welcomed by a sea of familiar happy faces, my brothers all standing near the front, cameras in hand taking pictures. Their faces a mixture of happiness and overwhelming joy, I could see the tears in their eyes and I could feel my own starting to creep up. I pushed it back down determined NOT to cry. I wanted to be strong....and I was for a full minute LOL
Until I saw my sister in law Hayley reach out her arm and then I sank into her hug and let it go. I cried for 10 years that I didn't see them, I cried for the happiness that swelled in my heart and I cried because finally my children were meeting my family, the people who had been there since I was born, through my ups and downs. I WAS HOME!
The kids with Fila, our pug back home. She is so old, she can't see or hear well and has muscle problems in her back legs which make it sore and uncomfortable for her to walk. Nevertheless, they showered her with love and affection and she came to love having them around.
The cousins together. Dylan is not in the picture, he had gone with his dad (my oldest brother Paul) to a work related function but he did arrive later in the day. From left to right, in the back: Taryn-Lee, Jasmine, Tiffany and Alyssa In the front: Nicholas and Colby
Saturday and Sunday we just hung out at my dad's house, the whole family got together, all 21 of us. We had a barbecue and laughed, ate, reminisced about days gone by and allowed the kids to completely immerse themselves in this whole new family they had never met before. It didn't take long before they were the best of friends with their cousins and bonded with their aunts and uncles, grandpa and grandma's and even their greatgrandma's. It was so much fun!
If there is one thing I absolutely love to death, is my grandmothers. There is this bond between grandma's and girls that remains your whole life through and I can't tell you how much it meant to me to be able to hug them both again.
Nadine, Bruno, Me and Curt - This is my baby brother and his wife....we had so much fun and we couldn't stop laughing
That day was filled to the brim, we ate wonderful food, we talked, we listened to music and danced. It was great being back in the noisy animated family that I have. LOVE IT!
My baby girl Tiffany. When I left South Africa she wasn't yet 2 years old....I had been taking care of her and watching her since she was 3 months old while my sister in law Hayley and brother Miguel worked....when I left I felt like I was leaving behind my own child..... now she's this gorgeous 11 year old. I miss her already!
I love this photo, me and my baby brother Bruno. (Nevermind that he's 30 years old, he'll always be my baby brother)
In this photo we're missing Colby, he decided he didn't want to be in it LOL But Uncle Bruno made the kids laugh that's why they're all so happy. I miss all my babies so much, it breaks my heart!
My dad who is always making us laugh, when he walked out like this the kids thought it was the funniest thing ever LOL
And that was the end of the first day back home in South Africa. Portuguese people are very passionate and very loud LOL We could be talking about the weather and if you didn't know better you would think we were about to get into a fist fight. Here's a little short video of what usually goes on during our get togethers.
This is my stepmom Nela, Tiffany and Alyssa dancing to a typical portuguese song.
And that's it for now, tomorrow I'll take you through our second day there and share more photos.