I think the first thing that comes to mind when I thought about this was exhaustion. The pure and total exhaustion of bringing home an infant or toddle from a time zone 15 hours different from yours.
In all of our books and classes they warn you that you will be tired. To rest when the baby rests, to stay home, etc. A. When you have other children in the house, you don't always get to sleep when the new baby sleeps! He may sleep the morning away, but your other children will want breakfast and snacks and want to spend time with you b/c they haven't seen you in a week and you're now devoting the majority of your time with the baby. I think this was a very hard thing for me to do during that first week or so home. Now I do think that it being Christmas week, things could have and probably would have been different if it weren't for celebrating Christmas. B. It's almost impossible if you have older kids that aren't homeschooled to stay home for more than a week! We did have the luxury of it being Christmas break when we came home, so we had two weeks of the big kids being home with us, but also being the holidays, we were so busy. On Christmas day, I was so tired, that when my mom had to leave to go back home, I was sobbing from exhaustion. I didn't want my mom to leave. I wanted her to stay even though there was nothing she could do for me. Technically, no one was supposed to hold Paxton or feed him or really care for him besides Brent and I and after being home for just 3 days, I was so exhausted. Jet lag, lack of sleep, lack of energy, etc. had finally taken a toll on me.
So, I think that the first thing that no one told me how things would "really" be about adoption is that I was beyond exhasted. I had no idea that it would be like that. I had no idea, that Paxton would only let Brent put him to sleep at first, and then only me! This led to other issues that I'll talk about later, but first of all was this.