We are home. We've been home for almost a week now. It's taken a while to get used to life here again.
It's strange how this blog has become such a big part of our lives. Everywhere we went in Arizona, it seemed like at least one of the kids said: "Take a picture of this, so we can put it in the blog." or "You should write about this on the blog." As a result, we have lots of pictures and lots of ideas of things to write about. We just didn't take the time to actually write more posts. By the time evening came, and we had the opportunity to write, we just enjoyed each others' company instead.
We spent the time together in the evenings playing games, swimming, watching a couple of movies, and reading (Kol read three 400 page novels at the airports and on the planes, and about 10 more short novels while we were there). During the days, we checked out a few attractions, managed to complete the hike that had been cut short by the wind (that I talked about in the last post), Kirk and the 4 big kids all got sunburned while at the pool on one of our last days there. We went to the zoo and got to pet the stingrays (I was even bitten by one - they have very powerful jaws), and brushed goats at the same petting zoo where a goat tried to eat Julianna's hair when she was 5 - Julianna just watched the goats this time. I have pictures (which we were told to take) but I can't find the cable to copy them onto my computer with, so I'll have to add them later. Or maybe I'll get Kirk to do that.
Thank-you to everyone for the good wishes and prayers while we were away. It was a good holiday. While we were gone it was easy to forget that Kol had been sick until we caught a glimpse of his bald head, and the memories came back briefly. Kol seemed to blossom while we were away, though. He seemed to have lots of energy for running, swimming, hiking and walking around all of the different attractions for hours on end. He looks healthier - he no longer looks jaundiced or pale, he has eyelashes again, his eyebrows are growing back, and his hair is almost 1 cm long. We think his hair is coming back darker, although it is still too early to tell, and at this point it looks like it may be curly, too. Those who saw Kol's hair before we left and after we returned really noticed the difference.
It's still too early for me to give up the constant vigilance we've lived with for so long, but we are encouraged by all of these signs of health that we see in our son. We know that the journey is no where near an end, but it does feel like we are nearing the end of a long, dark tunnel. The light at the end is getting bigger, and brighter. We can finally let ourselves start to believe that our family will not only get through the turmoil, but thrive as a result of all that we have learned.
God has been good to us.