The trip home went as well as we could have expected! We met at the agency at 2 pm where Zander was already waiting. It was very emotional - his foster mother and her daughter had tears in their eyes, and it was obviously a very difficult separation for them. (We are unbelievably thankful for how well they have taken care of Zander - we'll be sending them updates in the coming years so that they can see him grow in his new, loving environment .)
Zander spent most of the time at the agency playing quietly, and we were introduced to his favorite stuffed animal --> who was lovingly referred to as his "girlfriend". She's a pink dinosaur named Dooly and they have seldom been far apart since we met her. Here they are at the agency just before our departure (we were delighted to see him dressed up in his little tie again):
After a rocky start at the Seoul airport, the flights themselves were very suprisingly uneventful. Mom and Dad's inexperience clearly showed during our 1st diaper change at the airport, but we managed our way through. Zander cried really hard during and after the diaper and clothes change, and then vomited all over his clean clothes and on both Amy and Jim. Amy's sports instincts were clearly still in-tact as she managed to catch a handful of the vomit in her hand. Then, we just looked at each other wondering where we had packed stuff to clean him (and us) up! :-)
Things settled down nicely as we got to the plane. It seems that Zander has the same gift that Amy does with respect to sleeping well most anywhere provided gentle motion! He slept for much of the 9-1/2 hour flight to Seattle. (We were delighted that he really seemed to warm up to us quickly -- which was surprising after his anxiety earlier in the week during our 2nd visit with him.) We spent our ~3 hour layover in Seattle snacking, playing, and processing Zander's temporary green card.
The final 3 hour leg to Minneapolis was essentially the same. He drank his bottle and fell asleep again. While we had purchased a 3rd seat for Zander on the international flight, we only had 2 seats on the domestic flight. Fortunately, Zander was our lucky charm - we ended up with an entire row of 4 seats to ourselves - very comfortable!
We arrived in Minneapolis at around ~9 pm and headed downstairs to collect our luggage so that we could finally head home - all three of us were pretty exhausted. Then - there was a major unexpected surprise as we headed down the escalator to find Amy's brother Bob, his wife Heather, their boys Luke and Brady, and Amy's mom Nana Pat were waiting for us with a huge Welcome Home sign! It was awesome to see their friendly faces and the welcome crew helped us to change and feed Zander, collect luggage, get the car loaded, and celebrate our very memorable Forever Family Day!