We made it! Six and a half months later, we got back home! We arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas (my hometown) on July 4th, the American independence day. It was perfect.
We were met by our crazy, loving family at the airport, joined by a few family friends. My aunt surprised me by showing up, and I found out my grandparents were coming into town later that day.
Between my parents, four brothers, aunt, Jordan’s mom, and three family friends (my sister was at work), it was practically a reunion right there at the return level. I think we may have blocked a few people from getting into the security lines.
The party later that night was great–old families friends attended, and lots of boys oohed and ahhed over fireworks. My two older-y brothers (the ones my parents had always restricted from fire or pyrotechnics of any kind) were now old enough to supervise the lighting the fuses, while other teenage boys flitted around the fire. I think a few dads were close enough to jump in if necessary.
I spent my time on the porch swing, chatting with friends and seeing what had gone on in their lives. My parents live in a valley, with hills and a mountain surrounding our house, so it was perfect to see everyone else’s fireworks lighting up the sky as well. When everyone left, we were exhausted but happy as could possibly be. It really was a phenomenal homecoming.