Saturday, April 24, 2010


We had to take planes, trains and automobiles, but we made it home last night and are so happy to be here! We are all doing very well!

Alina was such a trooper on the long trip back. One of the flight attendants said she could teach some of the adult passengers how to behave on an airplane :).

We flew from Kiev to Amsterdam on Thursday night (a 3 hour flight), stayed overnight in a hotel at the airport, and left early yesterday morning for Detroit, MI (an 8 hour flight). Rather than wait out our scheduled 7 hour layover in Detroit, we rented a car and drove home from there (a 3 hour drive). We were so ready to get home!

Alina slept the whole way from Detroit to Columbus!

The kids were already home from school and anxiously waiting to meet their new little sister.

Here are a few photos of Alina's homecoming:

Alina seemed very happy to meet her siblings. She was full of smiles and was very relaxed, even though she must have been a little overwhelmed--she was surrounded by all the kids on the kitchen floor.

Alina figured out that the kids think she is cute and funny--and she was enjoying all the attention.

Bridget and Alina seemed to recognize one another. They are adorable together! They're about the same height and weight, although Alina is almost 9 months younger than Bridget.

Their hands and feet look almost identical, except Alina's are a bit more chubby :).

There was one point last night when I had them both on my lap, which was overwhelming in itself--it is a moment I will never forget. I keep thinking about the two of them together. They are a unit now. My almost-twins, born apart but raised together.

When we were in Ukraine, someone asked us why we think God gave us four healthy children and then Bridget, a child with Down syndrome. Chris and I have a long answer to that question that we may write about here someday. The short answer, though, may be that Bridget arrived in our lives so that we would save Alina.

There is so much more to share and say. Please stay tuned for more on the end of our stay in Ukraine and on our transition home.

Thank you for all of the genuine support and well wishes. We are feeling the love...


  1. Congratulations! I am so happy for all of you! Alina looks right at home already! How wonderful! Love the pictures! Looking forward to hearing more about your awesome family adventures!

  2. OH I HAVE GOOSE BUMPS and tears welling! Thank you so much for sharing this incredible journey! I am so happy for Alina and can't wait to meet her. I know that God sent you all of your loved ones so that they can share the love in their hearts with others. Not only that but be a witness for and advocate on behalf of ALL of God's children.

  3. Awe inspiring! So happy for the Peele family and all the orphans who will find loving homes because of your experiences. I'm looking forward to seeing Bridget & Alina's blossoming sisterhood and friendship!

  4. Congratulations! Now let the fun begin! The little girls look great together...kindred spirits:0) Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!
    (Kristin's friend)

  5. So glad you you guys are home safely. The girls look like to peas in a pod. So excited for you and your family and hope to meet
    Alina someday.

    Ellen Geho (Rob's Wife and Owen and Clara Rose's mom)

  6. I have followed your story of Alina's adoption and it has been so inspiring and heart warming!
    Seeing Alina with Bridget in those pictures, looks as though the two of them are meant to be together.....your "A and B girls"!
    Your family has opened their lives and hearts to one very lucky little girl, your rewards will be countless as their futures unfold!

  7. CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a beautiful girly Alina is. I tried to follow your time line you have listed and wanted to ask you, did you only have to make one trip to Ukraine for Alina? If so, did you guys pull that off? Congrats again!!

  8. The photos of Alina and Bridget...there are no words! They truly were meant to be!!!! I'm so happy you are all home!!!! What a wonderful life Lisa!

  9. i am loving these pics!
    love, love, love seeing the family united.
    God is good.
    love you all.
    sending you lots of love and hugs!

  10. Just LOVE those little toes!

  11. Just found your blog today.. I love reading blogs about babies with Down syndrome since giving birth to our 10th blessing in January. We didn't know until she arrived that Lily had ds...blogging and reading blogs has been my therapy:)Congratulations on your newest addition- what a blessing you will be to her- It's so obvious she loves you already :)

  12. Lisa, I am just so happy for you and your family. To see all your children on the floor together, embracing their sister (like she has always been there).....I am so grateful to have known and followed your journey. People like you (and your family) make this world a beautiful place.

  13. Welcome to your forever home Alina! I love the pictures of her with her siblings. She is now part of an amazing and loving family with a bright future ahead of her - just a drastic difference from what her life was just a few shorts week ago. My heart is full of joy for the life you have given Alina.

  14. HHHHOOOOORRRRAAAYYYY! LOVE the photos of Alinas homecoming!!! I am so glad you are home! What a whirlwind trip! :)

    Makes my heart ache to have my girls home even more... but I am truly overjoyed that little, beautiful Alina is HOME!

  15. Beautiful Lisa!! What an amazing journey!! Ah, makes my eyes teary...

  16. so so happy to see you are home!!!! love the pics of the kids together! congrats!

  17. Cup runneth over! What a beautiful family! Congrats and welcome home. Alina and Bridget will definitely have a sister bond no one will ever know. Look forward to hearing more about the journey.Kim & Tom Baumann, Adopting Vanya#11

  18. I love the matching outfits on Bridget and Alina--your "twins" are going to be so much fun together!!! It was also nice seeing photos of your other children. I especially liked the first one of Chris walking in with Alina to meet her family--very touching!!

    So glad you guys are home and starting life with your newest addition!!


  19. Thrilled to see you home safe and sound :)

  20. Yay! I didn't realize they were so close in age ... exactly the same as my girls! 9 months! Except Nika is smaller than Payton, really smaller. LOL!

  21. I remember the moment that I realized that God gave us Mason in order to save our daughters-across-the-sea. Thank you for sharing your journey---I can't wait until it's my turn to post homecoming pictures, too! :)

  22. What sweet pictures to see your family together. :) That must have made your heart swell.

  23. Congratulations and God Bless your Family :)