The Irby family is so very excited to be in America, safe and sound. Our journey started when we left Sarajevo April 13 and drove 8 hours to Budapest Hungary. We stayed with our "extended family" up there, The Sanders. Mark and Lezlee have been good friends of ours since they opened their home for us to stay 3 weeks waiting for the arrival of Adeline in the Fall of 2011. They have four children: two in college and two in high school. The two who are still home, Kirk and Annie, love our kids. And of course, our kids think they hung the moon! While there, Elijah learned how to shoot a basketball into a hoop and throw a baseball. But the weekend wasn't without drama, as Israel came down with a 24 hour flu making her throw up 10 times in a day :( Also, while tossing the baseball back and forth, Elijah's lip bust open a little. But all is well now!
The plane took off from Budapest early morning April 16. We flew from Budapest to London-Heathrow. After a five hour layover we boarded our next plane to Atlanta. Upon boarding we realized we left Israel's beloved Mimi (her little bunny lovey) at security, as well as our front pack baby carrier and DVD Player! Fortunately every seat had a screen with unlimited movies, so the kids were happy. Israel was very mature about loosing Mimi. Needless to say she was very happy when we heard from the airport that they found her and she will rejoin our family soon! Another event on the plane: Adeline threw up all over Josh who didn't have an extra shirt! He had to take off his shirt and wear his fleece jacket...what a good attitude he kept!
From April 16 Tuesday until Sunday, we had a sweet reunion time with my family. My mom and sister were able to take the next couple days off work. We ate delicious food (CHICK FIL A! MOMMA'S COOKING!), visited fun places (TARGET! STARBUCKS!) and just enjoyed being a family. The fun didn't come without jet lag. Our kids woke up all hours the first night. I was very thankful my mom stayed awake with them so we could get some much needed rest. Sunday morning we enjoyed our home church. I was moved to tears as I saw children in Children's Church embrace our kids as friends. They were made very welcome and even went without tears to Sunday School without me! Walking into the second service, I was able to hug my dear mother in law and sister in law and then...surprise! Our nephew Ethan was there too! It was so nice to see them all and spend time with them in the afternoon as they came to the house we are staying in for the next six weeks.
We are completely blessed to stay in the home of Jim and Ida Bell. This sweet couple have been friends and ministry partners with us for over a decade. I have come to their house before just for some time to rest between morning and evening services. Their beautiful home sits in a gorgeous area of town and has an amazing garden to the side and a large backyard the kids can play in. They have eleven grandchildren, so their house was fully equipped for us to move in!
The children started school Monday at the Heiskell School, a private Christian school. It has been a tremendous blessing for us and for them. They have already learned so much. Israel is now writing in cursive (she just picked it up!) and both of them are making so many friends. We are grateful for the love this school is showing to our family.
Currently, we are looking to share our experience of Bosnia with as many people as possible. If you are interested in hearing from us either one on one or in a small group, please contact us and we can arrange a time.
Thank you for all your love and prayers!