Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WE ARE HERE!

OK folks,
We are back. Things have been so crazy here. I have been about the lose my mind with things needing to be done but not only have I found the tunnel but I also see the light!
Hopefully Jake will be updating Saturday night.

The rest of our week is busy. We are cleaning and going through toys before everything holiday approaches. The kids are so excited because we have even had a little dusting of snow lately!

Jesse has a football banquet tomorrow. Jake and Anabeli have eye doctor visits on Thursday in Columbus. Ann is going to Bowling Green for a college visit on Friday/Saturday. Friday we are having dinner with some new friends. Sunday is church and Sunday night is program practice at church. Throw in keeping things neat, cooking and laundry and it is a busier than normal week.

Jake has a terrible cold and his physical therapy had to be cancelled for today. I was almost happy to spend the time at home.

Saturday Jake has his first home visit. We are excited. Our social worker has been a wonderful support throughout our time home. I can't wait for her to see for herself the improvement my handsome guy has made.

He has got to be the most lovable guy I have ever met. Yes he still sleeps with us a night or two a week. And yes I am told it is not the best thing to promote good sleep habits or at least daddy says that but.... this kid is so darn lovable!

When he cuddles up next to you nothing matters to you but him. He is talking but Marvin and I seem to be the only two people who can understand him and a good majority of the time we are guessing.

But for the BIG news. He is WALKING.
MY LITTLE GUY IS WALKING.

God has seen him through all of his past woes and he is remarkable. I know I still need to write about his doctor's visit and I will but I can't wait to share our good news.

God has been so good to us!

My baby boy is going to be just fine.
He has lots of information to post this weekend and I am trying to get some pictures but when he sees the camera come out he just sits and stares.

Thanks to all of you who have checked in on us. We are here but busy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

FEELING BETTER

It has been a long time but I am starting to feel like a person again.
Last night I slept a full seven hours. That is in itself is a miracle. It has been soooo long since I have not had trouble sleeping due to congestion and coughing.
My energy level is almost normal. My head is not stuffy.
I thank God so much for giving me the strength lately.
By the way, Sunday was fantastic. It was my first service for the "first service" and I had six new children. We had a blast and I enjoyed the small group where I could sit on the floor and get to know each child personally.
Then the second service was bigger than it has ever been so far.
My passion was renewed.
We have a very slow week at home and I am just enjoying it. Hopefully by tomorrow things will be back to normal and I can post a ton of pictures.
Thank goodness for my two older ones who have helped me hold it together. They have managed to pick up the slack and also keep my head on straight as I suffered through way to many steroids lately.
Jake is wanting to post tomorrow night too. He has so much to tell you. One thing I need to tell you is this boy has a temper! It is coming out and he is so cute about it.
We do have a football game too. This will be Jesse's first since he torn his ACL and fractured his kneecap three days before the first game of the season. Everyone is excited.
As you can see around here every day has new challenges but also has so much fun.
We spent 10 minutes just stretching this afternoon. Poor Marvin is so stiff. He was funny. When he would raise his hands above his head his feet would just naturally pull up. We laughed and laughed. Giggling is the best medication I know.
More soon...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

BATTLES

I have been through such a battle this week but I have got to tell you I feel so content right now. Thank God for that.
Not only did I have all kinds of weirdness with breathing this week but I had a few problems with the new Children's Worship format I am trying to implement.
A visit to the ER, two doctor's visits and a boat load of medicine and my lungs are starting to feel better. But greater than that God has shown me how to soar like an eagle when the turkeys try to pull me down.
Several times this week I have wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. "People please get out of the way and let's just see what God wants to do!"
We can't in any point of our lives live in mediocrity if we want to be happy. Of course we want to be striving our hardest but I believe living in failure would have to be easier than living in the middle of the road.
How can you sit in the middle of the road and expect change to get around you? Get over to one side or the other.
God has such big plans for us, bigger than we could ever guess or imagine but it seems there are times in all of our lives we are just happier to sit in the middle of the road and block everything.
Have you ever come upon an animal sitting in the middle of the road? It is next to impossible to go around it without sqaushing it. Hmmm....
When we fight God's plan for ourselves or worse yet for others we better be willing to pay the piper.
There is nowhere in our lives we should just be sitting still. It doesn't matter what we are doing, who we are doing it for or what the plan is if you are sitting in the way---MOVE.
We can't be happy in a stalemate. Life is just not meant to be spent living in the past. The future is upon us and if we are not willing to fight for our children who is?
Gone are the days where whole families are in church together. Gone are the days where we can hide our heads in the sand and avoid such issues has homelessness, broken families and abuse. Children are wiser now and expect more from church than a bible story and a snack.
We need to tell them the story and then explain how it can be used in our life. The Bible might be our road map but to an 8 year old, a road map can be confusing.
As adults it is our job to help them understand that road map. We must get them where they live every day. We must help them realize how to stand on the promises of God while teaching them what the promises are all about.
We can't teach children about the unconditional love of Christ if we hold grudges against others and deliberately try to hurt others or stop the plans God has set into motion.
Children can see through even the best adult faking something. They know. They might not have the vocabulary to express it but they know more about our hearts than we do most of the time.
Tonight as I was thinking about all that has happened this week I find myself encouraged. Without conflict it is hard to imagine peace. Without an idea and starting point a job cannot be finished. Without pain the joy of Christ's healing would not feel as perfect. Without God's direction in our lives, we will be destined to sit in the middle of the road waiting.....
Unfortunately I am afraid what people will find waiting for them will not be God's peace and redemption but rather unhappiness and a lack of growth in their lives.
Get out of the middle of the road and accept what God has given to you. Accept his promises and allow Him to work through you.
Go out on a limb for Him. It was so scary out here at the beginning of the week but now I can tell you I have never felt so liberated. I am no longer sitting alone. I am sitting with God in the center of his will. Like it or not, that is the only place I want to be!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

MAMA'S SICK

Amy and anyone else on pins and needles,
Mama is sick. Real sick.
I had a cold and sinus infection two weeks ago that knocked it out of me even with antibiotics and a short round of Prednisone.
I have been exceptionally tired and feeling rather overwhelmed I just fall into bed and try and stay awake during the day.
All in all we are doing great at surviving and Jake is still improving but I am crazy from feeling so miserable.
By the end of the week the "cold" was coming back on but I thought I could beat it. Fast forward to yesterday when I had a major asthma attack. It started at around 4:00 pm and we were in the ER until about 10:30 trying to get everything under control.
The cold is really the sinus infection that did not clear up like I had thought and it has triggered really nasty breathing issues.
After being blasted with breathing treatments and injection of steroids I left. Now I am trying to keep things under control while tapering off the Prednisone. I have one massive headache from my body coming off all the injections last night.
So I am armed with several medications to control this mess and resting now that Jake is napping.
I will be back soon.
I have tons of pictures. Today was the first day of preschool for M and A and it was so much fun for them.
I will get back soon. I promise. With lots of pictures too!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

POSTING

I am trying to post pictures tonight but blogspot will not let me. So stayed tuned....

RACIAL DIVERSITY

Marvin just told me about his "new best friend" at church.
"He is cool mom. He doesn't look like you. He doesn't look like me. Well he sorta looks like me. "
I had to laugh. His best friend is a Korean adoptee.
It made me think about our church. We have Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanic and biracial families attending.
We have adoptees from Guatemala (mine), Japan, Korea and a few children in the US foster care system.
It is so cool to have such racial diversity worshipping together. One thing that concerned me about my Guatlings was if they would feel out of place with their "brown biscuit skin".
When you go to church and see so many different nationalities represented how could you even begin to feel out of place?
I thank God for the opportunity to attend such a diverse church that understands the meaning of adoption and helping others.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

TRYIN TO GET THROUGH

OK This is definitely a keepin it real post.
For many reasons I am at my wits end.
I have had an exceptionally busy week this week so in turn I am really tired. We had agreed to stay home tonight but at about 5:00 Blake got antsy and wanted to go to Columbus. He left his hat at Longhorn Restaurant on Thursday night after we had gone down to buy a used VW for Ann. By the way it is a nice car.
This stupid hat came from Jamaica and it is a baseball hat that says Jamaica. We paid maybe 15.00 for this hat about five years ago and we have been all over Central Ohio because he keeps leaving it places.
Anyway Sam wanted to babysit and make a little money. Fine but I don't think he is ready for all three little guys even if Jesse and a friend were here if he needed help so we took Jake.
Man that kid was wound. He had a ball and so did we. We went to P.F. Changs for supper and I missed the little spicy mark by my Pepper Steak so my stomach was on fire.
On the way home I received a call for Kierstan and Ann (dumb and dumber) saying Jesse and Aaron were "jerks". Deal with that over the phone. Boys get downstairs and don't be so loud. Marvin and Anabeli are trying to sleep. Leave your sister and her friends alone. Ann go into the family room and behave, By the time we get home 20 minutes later Matt is the only one in the family room.
Get home and Matt (who doesn't live here although he thinks he does) says on his way out, "Ann you better come talk to your mom."
I think it is over the phone call and dismiss it BUT a few seconds later here comes dumb and dumber with most of their hair pulled up in the back, EXCEPT for a neon pink streak through both heads of hair.
This is so dumb. Ann says "It is just semi permanent it will wash out in a few weeks." I cannot believe this.
This kid doesn't usually do something like this. I don't know what ever caused them to do this. Kierstan has not even highlighted her hair before. It is a beautiful light blonde hair with natural highlights.
I know it is not that big of a deal but come on. This is the straw that broke the camel's back. What was she thinking?????
So I am going to bed. Hopefully by Sunday morning I will not want to break her little neck. This would be easier to cope with if I had not been so busy this week and we still went and bought the car on Thursday which threw me way further behind.

God I didn't pray for patience this week. Why do I feel like I did?????

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MY GUY IS SICK

Jake is miserable. He has a terrible cold brewing and I am afraid an ear infection too. He is also drooling nonstop.
Unfortunately he is a very hyper sicky.
He wants to lay on the bed and roll into me. We can't stand, we can't go into another room. Each time I move I get protests. The only way he is happy is if I am beside him rubbing his tummy softly.
I can't wait for daddy to get home and check his ears and throat. At least then I will
know.
Mom, please don't take my picture. Put down the camera.


Mom stop it. You are going to make me look silly.
Notice the scab on the nose? He managed to fall at church and give his little nose a rug burn. Only my little scruffy boy could take on that challenge and win.

OK If I hold still will you put up the dumb camera for a while? I am sick.

My eye is swollen and I feel bad.

Can't you leave me alone?


My three Guatlings on a happier day.

DIAPERS ON, DIAPERS OFF

OK someone tell me how in the world I am supposed to keep a diaper on this kid?????
None of the others were as bad as he is. He can slither out of his PJs and most other pants as quick as you can say, "Jake No, No." and have his diaper ripped off too.
It is driving me crazy. He thinks it is funny but I am sick of finding little "puddles" from the moments between diaper off, diaper on.
Today while his developmental social worker was here he managed to slither out of his shorts and diaper before we even noticed!!!! Interestingly enough there is nothing on all the developmental charts for this other than "tries to assist in dressing self." Nothing about enjoying undressing self to be butt naked!
This kid. I love him more and more each day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

HERE I SIT

Here I sit in my ofice looking at at a huge mess made by a two year old. Crayons were dumped. Papers scattered. Trash can turned over.
I follow the trail into our bathroom. A load of dirty laundry on its way into the laundry room is turned over. Bath toys are thrown everywhere.
Into the bedroom where I trip over more toys. Find an empty candy box (Uh NO). And then find a two year old ripping up the telephone book with a big smile on his face.
I should be upset but rather I rush over and pick him up giving him a big hug.
Now I have snot on my clothes and in my hair along with the huge mess to clean up.
But.....
I DONT CARE!!!!!!
Because on top of the sticky, icky mess everywhere I have a normal two year old boy behind it all.

Thank you God for this precious child who has turned my world upset down. I LOVE IT!
P.S. Thanks for the mess too it reminds me of just how far he has come in eight weeks!

Monday, September 15, 2008

MARVIN

Marvin has been full of information today. This boy is changing so much. He is starting to act more like a little boy with a mischievous grin and wry sense of humor.

At lunch he asked what we were having for supper. I said, "I don't know I need to go check the freezer. Is there something that sounds good to you?"

"Yeah. I want cheese rats-knees-o-lee and that stinky bread you make in the oven."

Now I know the stinky bread is garlic bread his new favorite but the other thing had me stumped. I asked him to repeat it several times and it sounded the same way each time.

Finally I figured out what we are having for supper salad, garlic bread and CHEESE RAVIOLI!!!

Yesterday was my second day of teaching worship and I am loving it. We talked about Adam and Eve and how God makes us all different but we are also special in our own way.

To prove this every child received a black rock they needed to look at and tell what made their rock so special. It was a great object lesson and the kids were able to keep the rock.

Marvin's was on the floor today and he saw and and picked up his "special rock". He told me how much he liked it etc.

So I asked him why he got the rock.

"I don't know."

"Well what did I tell you about the rock? What was our story about? How is that rock like you? blah blah blah."

All the questions received the same answer. "I don't know."

Finally he got bored and said to me. "Mom I don't know. You should know. You were the teacher. You gave it to me. "

Next week we will work on listening better to the meaning of the story. :) :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike

To all of my friends in the wake of Hurricane Ike,
Please know I am praying for you and your families over the next few days. I am sure most of you are busy getting out of the way.
Hang in there and update as soon as you can.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

REMEMBER LESTER?

Oh man. I can't believe this. It has been so very dry in Ohio.
Last night I was sitting on the bed after posting and saw Lester Jr. run through the bedroom.
I have got to admit this was better than the spring time when I stood on the side of the bathtub FOREVER.
I just screamed at Blake. His response was immediate and very clear. "Oh no. We ARE NOT going to do this again. I refuse to stay up all night while you wait for the mouse trap to click. Go to sleep."
I promised not to stand on the tub or scream if he gathered all the traps hidden under the bed and reset them.
This man has got to be the most patient man in the world.
So Lester Jr. will hopefully meet his doom soon. Every morning now I have to get up and set off about 10 traps before Jake gets up then Blake needs to reset them before bedtime.
The only thing I dislike about my wonderful home is the woods behind me (ours) and the fields all around us.
He promised on Wednesday he would reset all the basement traps, etc. If this man would just let me use DECON he wouldn't be up all night. :)
I have been watching tonight but haven't seen him yet......
LESTER JR YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

MONDAY- EMBASSY APPOINTMENT

Sorry guys. I am really trying to fit this in but we are going to sooooo many doctor's appointments.
Monday morning-
We made it to the Embassy and stood in the line to go through security.
As I packed the diaper bag earlier, I threw in four toys without thinking.
Jake enjoyed being passed between the two of us and really did not like the blanket around him at all as we waited outside the barred doors. He did have a thin jacket on but he also had a wet cough and I felt he needed the blanket up close to his head. He didn't agree and spent most of his time trying to pull it off.
What was sad was that even if he didn't want it on, he didn't have the motor skills to grab the blanket and pull it off. Worse yet, if he would shake his head to try and cause it to fall off his eyes would start rolling around and he would get dizzy.
Finally I gave in. The country's traditions were not as important as keeping this little guy happy and stable.
Our time came from security. Jake's blanket and diaper bag went through BUT for the first time I realized of the four toys, three were electronic and could not go in with us. UGH. Why didn't I check this? To be truthful though I wasn't all that upset. He just didn't seem to have it together enough to care about the toys anyway.
We quickly went into the room and found seats and Henry jumped right into line for us. Now our appointment was 7:15 and we were #5 so I thought at least this would go quickly and I could go back to the hotel and cry some more.
Number 1 was not called until 8:30!!!! I guess there were some computer issues. So right off the bat we had sat for one hour.
Jake did very well for this first hour playing with my hair. Then it got ugly and I was never so happy to see a child get the wigglys. He wanted to sit in a chair of his own and I gave him the only toy we could bring in, a plastic toy car. He took great pride in running it off the side of the chair. We would pick it up and hand it back with a smile.
He needed a diaper change so we went and took care of that and refilled his bottle with the water cooler water.
Henry had finally returned with our paperwork and asked for our money. We gave him the cash and he and Blake went up to pay our fees. That took about 10 minutes.
While they were gone I looked around at the other children. We were Number 5 of six children, two babies, Jake and three other toddlers.
Baby 1 somehow managed to sleep through this whole thing. Baby 2 played on her mommy's lap. She was 9 months old. As I watched her play I realized most of her skills were so much better than Jake and she was a year younger.
If you know this part of the procedure you know as many as 50- kids can be seen in one morning. Where are the other 44? Who is loving and caring for them?

God I know you are going to perform a miracle in Jake's life. I just don't know when and how.

I also met a "Help Me Grow" case manager who was adopting her second son. Her son was Jake's age and she thought he was delayed "a lot". At least he was sitting upright on his own and could almost walk.

She asked how old Jake was and I said almost two. Her mouth dropped but she did a great recovery. She said she thought he was about 10 months old. Nope.

By this time Blake came back and we sat in silence. Jake sat on my lap.

She went on to ask the usual questions. How long was our wait? Was he orphanage or foster home? Was he given any sort of therapies while in foster care?

I was polite but inside I was screaming. "Look lady it is obvious something isn't quite right here. If I could have stopped it, I would have. Let me out of here."

I just felt the eyes of all the other parents in the room staring and shaking their heads in shock and pity.

"Don't pity us. We are a family and that is all that matters. Don't look at us. We are going to be all right. Don't pity us. God has a special miracle for this little boy. God has a special plan for this little life. I want to cry again. I want to leave all these stares behind me and just lay on the bed with my little guy and hold his sweet little hands. God where are you? I feel you but my insides are churning. I feel dizzy from confusion. I feel you telling me it will be all right but it feels so small and this is so big. Please let me feel again the strength of last night. Please help me. Please don't leave me here by myself. Please."

As I was sitting there with all this going through my mind, I realized Jake was fussing. Now that was a good sign. S and M told me he never fussed one time. My thought was he knew it wouldn't do him any good.
We got up and walked to the back of the area. As I rocked him in my arms he smiled. A smile I longed to see. I could see God's love and contentment in those eyes. I could once again feel His presence. It was so strong I thought I would buckle under the feeling. He was there standing not beside me but in me. Holding me just as I held Jake. God was making me feel content just as I had Jake.

God was telling me with a rush of His spirit that things will be all right and I need to quit worrying. Easier said than done even with such a presence. I tried. I really, really did. Although I felt better I was still concerned.

Concern is still a feeling I have even now. Concern not fright or unbelief. Concern for what our son was facing in his future. Concern that as his mother, I might not be up to what would be further on down the road.

Blake brought a chair over to the corner for me to sit on but it didn't matter. My baby boy was in my arms and to me he wasn't heavy. He was perfect.

I continued to pray and bask in this feeling of love God provided for me.

All of a sudden, Blake said, "They called our name." It was time to find out what to do. The major problem was I didn't know what answers we were looking for and how that would change anything.

Evidently the credit card machine had gone down so we had moved to #3 in line while the others waited on approvals. I was so happy we brought cash. :)

Couple 1 went into the "room" and came back out in about three minutes. So did couple 2.
The use of the word "room" is pushing it. This room consisted of two chairs that backed up into the door that luckily opened out, a plate glass window in front of the chairs and then one chair for the Embassy appointment and another door.

He asked immediately for our tax returns. He looked over them and then handed them back.

The time had come. I swallowed hard and started to explain our problem. How do we correct this to make sure other people don't have this problem. What do we do?

I saw the man's facial expression change while I explained what had happened. He looked so caring.

He told us that he couldn't help us. It was his job to look at our taxes only and make sure we could financially care for the child.

Then he said, "Off the record, you need to get this child to a doctor immediately here in Guatemala. Please tell the lady at your next stop what you told me. Good luck and congratulations."

All together our time with him was about 10 minutes. We still weren't sure exactly what to do.

Henry came up to us and said, "Ms. Facilitator doesn't want you to tell the Embassy about the offer to find him a new home. "

"Did you just talk to her? "

"No but I am repeating what S said she told her last night and she also said we are to go straight to the doctor after this appointment."

I just stood there. The next person called our name. This Embassy worker was fantastic.

In order to prevent confusion in our ongoing work with the Department of State to keep this from happening to someone else, details will be limited.

We pleaded our case again and this time I told them about the "disruption" in adoption comment.

She then explained that was "human trafficking" and would be a federal offense. Also she asked for our agencies name. I also told her the last name of our facilitator was known to the DOS because her sister just got out of prison for the same thing. (If you are familiar with Guatemala adoptions you know who this is. If you don't go to guatadopt.com and look through the news section.)

She suggested if that was even a thought we needed to not say a word until Tuesday evening when we picked up our paperwork and in the meantime get him to a doctor.

Did we swear the information in the file was true to the best of our ability? UMMMMM. Ummmm. Stare at her with a blank stare on both our faces. Finally not knowing what to say I said, "Our information and paperwork is 100% true so I will swear to that." She asked Blake if that was his answer to and he said "yes".

She confirmed Jake was Jake by looking at his passport and his beautiful sleeping face and then gave a very sincere apology for what our son had been through and wished us the best of luck.

We were done. Legally in the sight of the Guatemalan and US governments Jake was ours and we were his. No one could change that. His life was now in our hands.

When we stepped away Henry quickly whisked us away to the doctor's office. They were waiting.

UPDATE TONIGHT!

This is for all of you who keep bugging me---- keep on or it will never get done! :)
I have been swamped but I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope I am heading down the right tunnel.
Tonight I will post more of the story of Jake.
Also he wants to post either tonight or tomorrow.
My baby is so cool! He has learned so much in the last seven weeks. I am so proud. He is just the cutest and cuddliest guy I have ever met.
So he will share his progress. Sometime between 10 and midnight we will both try and blog.
Thanks so being so patient. Never in a million years would I have dreamed this would be my life. Never in a million years would I trade even one day of it either.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

PICTURES

I can't wait any longer. I have got to show you pictures of our little angel.
Our very first picture of Jake. He and daddy were "walking". Daddy put him behind the stroller and he was able to use it as a walker. He loved it. His eyes ares sparkling here. Such a huge improvement than the night before.

Sleeping in peace. He was totally comfortable falling asleep that night. He didn't wiggle or move like the night before.

What a gorgeous face. He sleeps so peacefully.

This was a few days after he came home. Marvin carefully put his arm around Jake to help steady him. He has such a sweet big brother look on his face. Anabeli was saying, "I really love him mommy."

Give me the camera daddy. It is my turn to take a picture. You can see what it is like with all those lights going off constantly in your eyes.

MONDAY MORNING

Monday morning was not a good time. When Blake and I got up at 6:00 we were so tired and our minds were so heavy.

As I took my shower it dawned on me Jake didn't get a bath the night before. I was really sad about that. In all of our concerns we forgot to give him a bath. I felt so terrible about it.

We had to be down in the lobby at 6:45 for our appointment at 7:15. We were Number 5. In the Embassy world your time is important but your number is even more important. A low number means you will be in and out fairly quickly. A high number means you will be there for a long time. I was so happy we had what I thought was a low number.

After getting myself ready I stood in front of the mirror and took a good, hard, long look. I had huge dark circles under my red-from-crying swollen almost shut eyes. Blake didn't look any better. For the first time in my life I felt so old. Already my make up had smeared from tears running down my cheek. I found myself thinking over and over, "Lord I believe he will be able to walk this morning."


I silently made his bottle and put it into his diaper bag along with three toys and two diapers and all the Embassy paperwork.


Blake and I went in together and I got out his little clothes for the Embassy. I had brought a pair of red, white and blue checked shorts and a navy shirt with a big flag on it. It was size 18-24 months. The shoes I had brought him were so huge on him so I opted for the pair he was brought to us in.

When I looked over to the bed Blake was sitting beside him coaxing him awake. He was smiling down at him with misty eyes.

Lord, how in this world could you let a child suffer like this? What did he do to cause so much pain? Please, please help us get through this day.

As Jake was waking I had a hint of hope today would be his day. I remember even thinking, "Today will be the day Jake learns all about how good the world can be." It was such a funny thought at the time but now as I look back I believe it was so true. If only we knew just how much at that time.

I still feel bad about no bath on his day but I did give him a quick rub down with a wash cloth and dressed him.

The time for truth had come. As I started to stand him up on the floor, his little legs started to "dance" again. My heart started to sink and then I felt such comfort again. God had great plans and I was trying to rush him to fulfil my own needs. Even with my best intentions I was trying to hurry God and God will not be hurried.

I started to stand up and immediately he broke out into a smile and his little legs wrapped around me. It was so clear to me God was working and I was being told to wait.

Wait again. Why was God saying wait? This child was so behind why did we need to wait? What were we waiting on? What if we missed the sign we were waiting on? What if we needed to move to allow him free reign of the house? What if?? What if??? What if???

Instantly God stopped me. It was as if He was standing beside me and said aloud, "Wait. I love him too."

Oh sorry God. For a second I forgot that.

We were down in the lobby of a gorgeous hotel by 6:35. Even to this day I have such a small memory of it. What I do remember seems to be in gray tones. I am not sure why unless it was because of the sorrow of this pick up trip.

As we sat on the sofa and waited for our interpreter, Jake took the opportunity to be passed from one of us to the other. He smiled so much. He was drinking his morning bottle and looked so cute with his little blanket wrapped around him.

His clothes were way too big on him. He looked as if he was about a size 9 months and there he was sitting in an 18-24 month old size. He looked so sweet.


That is when it hit me. I believed God was helping me but I think what I needed more than anything was to cry again. I was surprised when I felt the tears on my cheeks. I should have been dehydrated from crying so much the night before.

The tears were warm and they continued to roll faster than the one before. I couldn't stop. I once again wanted to run. Where? Why? What is going on?

Blake put his arm around me and Jake immediately scooted off his lap onto mine. It was as if someone had stabbed me in the heart. I looked down on this angelic face sitting on my lap with his little bobbly head. I loved him so much already.

The only thing I could think was "I love you. I love you. We love you. God loves you and has big plans for you."

We looked up to see Henry standing within 20 feet of us. He was smiling. Blake forced a smile and through my tears I tried hard to smile.

He came over he sat down and talked to us. He knew about last night's surprise. He knew we had tried to get in touch with our facilitator. He knew a lot. How?

Then he told us S and M had called and let him know there was quite a problem. Interestingly, although we had not heard from our facilitator, she had called S and told her to tell Henry to tell us, "If you don't want him that is okay. Go to the Embassy. Sign all the documents and when you get back in the US you can disrupt his adoption and I will find him a new home."

WHAT????????

Please tell me I just heard him wrong? I looked up to see him frowning as if the words were sticking in his throat.

He also said S told him to tell us that is not a good idea.

Wait a minute here. You want us to go to the Embassy and take an oath to be his parents and LIE about it? (If we don't want him.) You are so crazy. I immediately became so mad I couldn't see straight. As I stood up I got so dizzy I thought I would pass out and handed Jake to Blake without saying a word.

I don't remember getting to Henry's car but I do remember getting in and being handed Jake.

I was furious. No child is like a puppy. You don't take them home and the decide you don't want them. You cannot say that. You cannot do that. You cannot be that cold and uncaring Ms. facilitator.

My mamma bear instincts really kicked in. At that moment I believe I could have moved an ocean to get my child what he needed.

Blake and Henry made small talk. I don't remember. I do remember he was very sweet and kind. He told us all about life in Guatemala. I don't know what he said.

My whole world at that moment consisted of the cute little boy on my lap. He was my son. No way could I "give him up". The only thing I remember about that ride was Blake's arm protectively around my shoulder and his other hand on Jake's leg. I could tell he too was blown away.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

COOL--- AN AWARD FOR ME???




DUDES- This is so cool. I won an award. Thanks Mary Ann and Candy. Almost as good as winning "Mother of the Year" award which I tend to blow by January 2 of every year.

So here it goes.
A. Attached or single? Attached to my husband, kids and a dumb dog named Cheyanne.
B. Best Friend? Of course my husband but my best girlfriend is Gail M. I think she is the only person that really understands and knows me and still loves me just the same.
C. Cake or Pie? CAKE, especially if it is from the local bakery here.
D. Day of Choice? Not sure right now. They all seem to run together. :) Sunday is nice because you go to church and I get to take a nap.
E. Essential Item? My computer and my cell phone.
F. Favorite color? RED
G. Gummy Bears or Worms? NEITHER YUCK.
H. Home town? Marion, OH.
I. Indulgence? a pedicure and facial and something new, a seaweed wrap.
J. January or July?J anuary if it is a pretty white snow and I don't need to leave the house! July if it is hot and I don't have to leave the house. (See a pattern forming? Life is different with a 4 year old, 3 and 2.)
K. Kids? 6 4 boys, 2 girls.
L. Life isn't complete without? My kids, husband and church (oh and a good coke)
M. Marriage date? December 8, 1990
N. Number of Brothers and Sisters? 2 sisters one six years younger and one 15.5 years younger.
O. Oranges or Apples? Apples. but orange juice over appla juice
P.Phobias? MICE. I can't stand MICE. I know they are much littler than me but it doesn't stop me from screaming and standing on things.
Q. Quotes? Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for hope and a good future.
R. Reason to smile? Life, the good and the bad.
S. Season of Choice? Fall Our woods is so gorgeous in fall and the air is so crisp.
T. Tag 7 people ( see below)
U. Unknown fact about me? I would like to learn to fly a plane but Blake says NO. He thinks I am too absent minded and tend to forget about finishing things. Hmmmmm
V. Vegetable? Not just one but several this time of the year. Fresh corn on the cob, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans and red potatoes fresh from the garden.
W. Worst Habit? Checking the computer
X. X-ray or Ultrasound? x-ray. My lungs have been x-rayed so much I think I glow in the dark. Who needs a costume for Halloween when you can glow like a skeleton???
Y. Your Fav. food? A good summer vegetarian meal.
Z. Zodiac sign? Libra
My choice of seven to tag:
Holly, Amy B., Angel, Erin and Kim I am too tired to come up with anyone else!

DOWN BOY! STAY!

Jake was down for his afternoon nap today. It was really quiet so I peeked around the corner to see if he was asleep. NO!!!!
He was scaling the corner of the PACK AND PLAY! Oh and the P&P is not even mine so I hope he doesn't break it.
Now this kid can't walk or really stand up for long and he not only climbed up but was trying to climb down the other side. He was holding on and dangling.
It didn't take long for him to get his balance and scale down the other side.
When I walked in he had the biggest smile. I am not sure he heard the "Jake no no no. This is not good."
But I sure heard about it when I put him back in the crib and told him to "stay". He screamed "no mamma, no." but did not try to climb out again.
This child is going to be a major climber when he is more stable!
(To be honest, I am thrilled at this point)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

FROM JAKE

My mommy has been so busy she asked me to blog for her.
She plays with me all day and then she goes to work for daddy to buy me more toys. That woman likes to shop for toys.
She will be back soon.

I am still not sure what to think about this family.

Mommy has me doing all kinds of things and she is always clapping and saying, "Good Job Jake." It makes me smile. I can also say it now when she is too busy to say it.

My daddy walks with me every night for lots of time. He walks me all around the house and holds my hands to keep me from falling. I want to be a good walker like daddy soon.

My biggest sister Annie is a push over. She holds me and kisses me all the time. Mommy says I will never learn to walk because Annie holds me all the time.

My biggest brother Jesse feeds me things mommy says no to like Doritos and potato chips. He smiles when he holds me. He is big and strong and I feel safe when I am with him.

Sam gives me pop when mommy isn't looking and he carries me a lot too. He also takes me to the TV room and crawls with me. I can almost beat him.

Anabeli is a good big sister and spends time looking at books with me. She pats my back and takes her nap with me when she is tired.

I think Marvin is the coolest. When I am 4 I want to be just like him. He makes me laugh and likes to play "boo" with me. I cover my face but he always finds me and knows I am there! He is so neat.

Mommy wanted to me tell you what I have learned since I came home. There has been so much. Life sure is different here than in my other home.

1- I can crawl really fast. I couldn't crawl but one or two steps before but now I know how to crawl and I can outrun mommy sometimes.
2- When mommy says "no" it means hurry up and finish and then crawl away as fast as you can. If she catches you she makes you stop whatever it was you were doing.
3- Food isn't going to go away here. At first I ate so much because I was afraid food wouldn't be there but now I know daddy will always make sure there is food. I don't have to eat quite as much because I know in a few hours there will be more.
4- If I cry someone will come right then and see what I need. That is neat and it works all day and all night but mommy and daddy don't seem to be in the best mood at night.
5- I can sit up now and not worry about falling right over. My head doesn't bobble any more.
6- I can pick up a whole handful of Cheerios now instead of one at a time. That is neat cause they fill my mouth easier.
7-I can say a few words but the ones that work the best and "mommy and daddy." They smile and hug me.
8- Hugs and kisses will always be here for me.
9-You are supposed to be quiet in church. oops... Sunday School class with mommy and daddy is cool because all these old people want to hold me and hug me. They touch my head and say "he is the sweetest thing, or He is so cute."
10- I can take about 7 steps by myself now. It is fun. I am also learning to hold onto furniture to get around the room.
11- My "lazy" eye is getting better because there is so much to see here. I always have something busy to look at.
12-Mommy has been teaching me to crawl up and down stairs. This is neat because when mommy isn't looking I practice by myself and can get into things.
13- I can hold my bottle and my cup with one hand now.
14-I am left handed and never miss my mouth now. I know exactly where it is.
15- I know now I can sit in my crib by myself in the room I share with mommy and daddy. They did not leave me for good and someone will be back soon. I am glad they let me share my room with them.
16- Mommy and daddy are always there, even in the dark. If I cry hard enough mommy will take me out of my crib and put me in bed with them. (I do this a lot because I like to sleep with my head up against daddy and my feet on mommy's arm.)
17- "I love you" means I will keep up safe, warm and cozy.
18- My whole life has changed. Mommy says this is what it means to live. I like it a lot.

Hopefully mommy will get off tomorrow night to post pictures of me.

Friday, August 1, 2008

ABBY NEEDS OUR PRAYER

Please hop on over to the Riggs blog. Little Abby has been diagnosed with Leukemia.
Her mommy and daddy are staying very positive but I am sure would like to read comments of support from those praying and thinking of their goregous Guatling, Abby.
http://www.riggsfamilyblog.com

Thursday, July 31, 2008

SUNDAY NIGHT CONTINUED

Oh.,.. I forgot something important to this story.
We had asked S and M to make us an appointment with the neurologist who had been seeing Jake. We had asked for that in November 2007 and asked he continue to see Jake until pick up. We found out then he had only seen him once. We had asked and were going to pay for these visits and the facilitator did not follow through. He had one visit in November that we were told was normal! The report S and M gave us was the original report and it did not say anything about being normal.

And also I do not have pictures for Sunday at all. We do have a video but in the confusion and shock of the evening it did not dawn on us until Monday that we had not taken a picture of him!

So we walked into our hotel room and shut the door. It is easy to be happy when you are out in public but when you walk into the comfort of your room, it is hard to smile when you are so concerned.

We had decided not to give him any indication that anything was wrong. As I got his things for bed, Blake sat on the step up to on bed and played with him. They walked together and played peek a boo. It was so bittersweet for me to watch them play. I loved this little boy with all my heart already and it was breaking that he could be handicapped for the rest of his life and unable to care for himself.

We called home and talked to the kids. It wasn't a long call. I just didn't have the strength to answer lots of questions. We did share with them how gorgeous their brother was and what a sweetheart he was.

We dressed him and gave him his bottle and laid him on our bed with us. He slurped up the bottle and was giggling at us as we took turns cuddling him.

Blake got up and took him near his crib. He immediately started to cry and it was horrible. The little guy acted as if he was scared of the crib.

Blake immediately brought him back to our bed and we slowly got dressed for the night.

There is not a night in memory that was as long as that.

We cuddled him until he was sound asleep. Then we chose to let him sleep with us.

He cuddled up next to his dad and every time Blake moved, Jake moved closer to him.

The entire night we talked. So many question and so few answers.

1- What is really wrong with Jake?
God I believe in your healing and your strength for Jake's life.

2- If he is going to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, we will need to find another house--Soon. Our real estate market is dead and our house is gorgeous and very unique. There is no way to get into any part of the "family house" without going up stairs. All the kids' bedrooms are up yet another flight of stairs. We couldn't see a way to sell our home in this market.

What was God telling us?

3- What will be the extent of his CP? Will he ever get to experience life without a wheelchair or even be able to care for his daily needs?

God are you listening to our questions?

4- Before we left I received a call from our pastor asking me to teach Children's Church for our church. It is job that requires lots of preparation. It was a job I love so much. How can I do all this and take care of our family and get Jake to therapy, etc?

God what is your plan? Is this a test to see if I will put my children first?

5- At some point we need to tell the kids about this before we get home.

God here we are asking again for a miracle. I know you are listening but I am so scared.

6- Who do we call when we get home to start this whole process?

God I am really scared for him. Can you help me calm down?

While all of this is going on, Jake is moving around all over the bed. I do mean all over. He was kicking and moving his legs in his sleep like he was "Dancing". He was rolling all over the bed. His body had to be touching Blake's at all times. I had to be holding his hand. If not he would wake up enough to find it.

We talked and prayed all night long. I did finally fall asleep for about an hour. I prayed even in my sleep. At some point in the night I asked God for a complete miracle by morning. I wanted to see our son walking in the morning. I truly, 100% believe that God could do this but was this his plan?

Jake mumbled in his sleep. Every time I heard his gorgeous voice I would cry. My cries would lead to sobs and I would leave the room because I didn't want to add extra stress to Blake. He said later he didn't notice or guess that I was crying. I am so happy for this. My crying was for our son not for us. It was because of the sadness that was there from the lies.

We knew what had to be done in the morning. We had to talk to someone at the Embassy and ask for help. Interestingly though we had no idea what kind of help we needed from them. I just knew I didn't want other parents to experience what we had.

I wanted so much to call my sisters or my mother but I just couldn't because I didn't want to add my sorrow to their daily stress at home without answers. I wanted to run away with him in my arms but where would I go? How would that help the situation?

God please hear my cries and understand I am not blaming you for this mistake in information. I still believe with all my heart he was meant to be our son. A little time to prepare for this would have been nice but I know you love him more than we could ever. Please, please, heal him by sunrise. Please let me know what to do. I am not even sure why I am asking this question. Please help me I am way too tired and upset to pray. I am emotionally exhausted. I am physically exhausted. I need You to lift me up and help me to hold it together for him and for us. Please help however You think is best. Can you give me a clue what is going to happen?

I must have prayed these same words over and over as I was waiting to see the sun coming up. It started to lighten a bit outside the window.

My miracle God. Please don't forget. Please don't forget. I believe 100% you can do this. P.S. God, please remove any unbelief in my heart.

God did perform my miracle but it was not in any way I would have expected!!! Once again his perfect plan is better than any plan I could hope for.

Tomorrow Monday's pictures and a recap of that wonderful day. The day Jake started to live life and realize there was a big exciting world out there for him. For this first time in his little life I believe he became alive. He had been of this world but I don't think he knew anything about it until Monday.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SUNDAY JUNE 13- WE MEET OUR GUY

We left Columbus at 6:05 AM on our way to Guatemala.
I can't begin to tell you how excited we were to be on our way.
We had big plans for the day. Jake was supposed to come to us between 2-4 pm. Blake was excited about meeting him and then the possibility of getting Pollo Comprero for supper. Embassy appointment was Monday at 7:15 AM so we were hoping Jake would allow us a good night's sleep.
Our flights were next to perfect. As we came into Guatemala, it felt almost like home. The airport has been redone since we were there in 2006. The smells were the same and seeing all the little children outside was making my arms ache for my little guy.
We made it to the Grand Tikal in good time and had almost 2 hours before Jake would be there.
I took a warm shower to calm my nerves and then a small nap.
At 3:45 you could cut the tension in the room with a knife. At 4:30 I decided to walk the halls. At 5:30 I began to wonder what was wrong and went back to the room to cry. Blake started to look for the agency packet for us to call someone. At 6:00 I was walking the halls again and then I saw him.
He was in a stroller. Two ladies and a little boy pushed the stroller. Even without my glasses and from several floors up there was no doubt that was Jake.
I ran into the room and told Blake. He got out the video camera and took the call. They were coming up to the room!
They came in and Jake was sitting in the stroller. We ushered them into our room and shortly thereafter I got down on my knees to talk face to face with MY son.
Of course I didn't want to scare or overwhelm him so I had decided to take it slow. I said "Hola Darvin" (his given name) and he smiled the biggest smile. He started to kick and get out of the stroller but the belt held him in.
S.undid his stroller while I scooted back to give him room to walk to me.
That's when my world fell apart.
S and M looked at me in a strange way and said, "He doesn't walk."

WHAT????? He is 22 months old. I was told he was "just a little developmentally behind like all Guatemalan kids."

When I stabilized his body, his legs started to move in a strange way, almost as if he was running in place. He locked eyes with me and was smiling at me. He tried to reach for me but did not have the motor skills to touch my face. His upper body was extremely wobbly and I was honestly afraid he would not be able to hold his head up. I wanted to cry for him.

I tried to smile, pay attention to him but I was also pleading with Blake with my eyes to tell me what was going on.

S and M then went on with the bad news. They asked if we knew about his condition. No. We don't know what you are talking about. We were told he was "developmentally delayed" due to health conditions at birth by S and M.

From this point on everything we thought we knew about Jake turned out to be false. S and M had a doctor's report stating he was delayed due to asphyxia at birth or from the "bad blood" that required a blood transfusion at 21 days. Cerebral palsy was a possibility.

As we sat in the hotel room and tried to listen to what history they knew, Blake and I were devastated. We did not have any idea that ANYTHING that was wrong with him.

Finally S and M left after going over his schedule. They seemed to so sad as they left. I later found out they doubted if Jake would go home with us. But I also found out these two wonderful ladies went to the church and asked the Priest to pray for the three of us and lit candles for us.

They didn't know us. They really didn't have to care but they did.

Jake was such a sweetheart. He laughed, never one time cried, went right to his dad and was in general a happy baby.

Blake immediately did a neurologic exam on him which was normal although he was quick to remind me he was not a children's neurologist and it had been a long time since he examined a child, about 26 years.

We were stunned. We were shocked but yet we were in love.

I really don't remember a lot from then on for a few hours. I do know we realized he was probably hungry and went down to the restaurant in the hotel to eat.

Blake wasn't sure if he could swallow very well so we started with very little bites. It didn't take long for him to want bigger bites. It was clear he did not know how to use a spoon or fork. I broke some small pieces of bread and he tried very hard to pick them up.

His grasp was great but it was very hard for him to find the piece of bread due to horrible motor skills. My heart was breaking.

He didn't know how to use a sippy cup or straw. I used the straw to trap tea and he sucked it out. That didn't last long and before the meals arrived he had learned to drink from a straw.

I was in such a state of shock and so was Blake. We didn't talk much. We watched him and tried to eat. I maybe took three bites. Jake on the other hand didn't seem to know anything was up and ate a huge supper. Would he ever walk? What were we facing as far as "life issues"? Would he ever be able to live a normal life?

He was getting restless while we were waiting for our bill and he and I went out to the hall. Once again as I placed him down and grabbed his little hands, I was scared when he went into his "dancing walk". That is what we later called it.

It was clear to me we had a huge problem and at that point I didn't know what to do or where to turn. We were in a foreign country, didn't speak the language and had a little boy to care for we didn't know a thing about. I felt so all alone. I knew we were in need of real help.

As I picked him up he grabbed my neck and held on tight. He placed his little head on my shoulder and I all but melted. It was quite clear what to do.

It was time to pray. We were the only ones in the hall and we walked off away from all the excitement of the restaurant. He still had such a grip on my neck.

One thing I do remember was his grip felt so good. It felt natural. It felt like love. It was pure and trusting. He was making my his mommy forever. He was bonding heart to heart.

I started to whisper a prayer in his ear. As I started to pray two things happened.

He listed to my prayer. I know he didn't understand my English but I know in my heart he understood what I was doing.

As the word's rolled off through my head and quietly off my tongue I prayed a prayer I will never forget.

I prayed for a miracle. I prayed for a miracle of my son. I prayed God would perform His perfect miracle in our lives, all of our lives.

I thanked Him for our good flights. I thanked him for our son. I thanked Him for His stripes for our healing and in specific, Jake's healing.

As I prayed I felt such a warmth fill me. I felt God working in both of us. I wanted so much to shout it from the rooftop but at that point I wasn't sure what there was to shout about. What did God have planned? I didn't know what He was going to do but I knew for sure He was going to do something.

As I stood there and prayed, I rocked my guy in my arms. A peace poured over me. It was that peace that would hold the three of us together over the next 72 hours.

Blake came out and together we walked to the elevator and back to the room in silence. I wanted to tell him what I was feeling but sadly enough I didn't. I was afraid he would think I was nuts.

(To be continued tomorrow)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

THE MIRACLE OF JACOB

I am so sorry I have been MIA lately on this blog but things since we came home have not always been good. We are super busy.
I have debated if we should tell our story of Jacob since we received him 16 days ago. We have come to the conclusion our story serves as two things- 1- As a reminder to potential parents to be careful with your expectations and even your updates when you go to Guatemala for pick up and 2- to glorify God in the miracle of our son Jacob.
His story has changed my heart and changed my life.
Never again will I allow myself to become fearful and worry when I have turned something over to God. When I turn something over, I have learned to leave it in His hands. I promise to never forget God's working and his love in this adoption. I never want to take His miracles by casual thanks again. He is a great God who took a poor little boy and through him worked a miracle beyond my wildest dreams.
We came home with a sense of hope and trust in God that was not there before. We learned as a couple to pour our hearts out before God and to trust Him to work his perfect will even in a terrible situation with no light in sight.
Jake is God's gift to us.
Even with all the hurt, pain, suffering and confusion I would not give up the lesson I learned or my son for anything thing in this world.
Tomorrow I will start with our first meeting Sunday night. If you are adopting and an anxious parent, please think twice before reading about our pick up trip and the new life of our son.
Oh and stay tuned for the pictures of my little sweetie.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

TO ALL MY WEB FRIENDS

I wanted to update you on our journey. We will be leaving for Guatemala on Sunday and be there in the afternoon.
I am swamped and really tired trying to take care of everyone, do office work and get ready to go. Annie and Jesse have been a big help but there are things that only mommy can do.
Because of this I have not been on too many blogs lately and I sure haven't answered any emails.
BUT.... I promise when we get back I will be more vigilant about doing these things.
I am still hoping to post pictures before we leave and of course while I am there if possible.
Thanks for your understanding.
You are great blogger buddies and friends!

By the way, a BIG THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SUPPORT AS WE HAVE SAILED THROUGH THIS CRAZY RIDE.

LIL B

"I wanna be an American. I wanna mommy and daddy. I wanna quit itching!"

I just received new pictures of Lil B.

He has the chicken pox. I guess they are going through the orphanage.

Can you imagine having 30 kids with the chicken pox? How horrible for the children and the workers. I can't imagine trying to soothe all those miserable, itchy little bodies.

He is growing and is as beautiful as ever.

Please continue to be in prayer for all the Guatling cuties.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'M LEAVING ON A JET PLANE!!!!!

Finally WE HAVE PINK!!!!

I am soooo very happy. It came in tonight about 5:00 PM.

Our appointment is MONDAY!!! By SUNDAY at this time we will be in the Grand Tikal holding our sweet baby boy.

To keep in real I have got to tell you I have just been too overwhelmed to update. I have been working a few days a week (three days a week) and then running to practice, running to here and there, etc has left me in a tailspin.

Our driveway is half done and then it rained buckets last night so they weren't able to work on it today. It sure does look pretty and Anabeli is just dying to get her little bike out on it.

Hopefully I can get July 4th pictures posted tomorrow night.

Anabeli got her glasses on July 3rd. I did all that worrying about how I was going to keep them on her. That was a huge waste of worry time. She loves them and I don't have to fight her about them. She gets up, puts them on and doesn't even touch them. I take them off at lunch time and clean them and then clean them at bedtime.

She is gorgeous in them. I will post a picture.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

MY HEART BELONGS TO BELL BELL

I worked today and when I came home I sat down in the over stuffed office chair for a minute.
Anabeli came in and said, "Mommy did God make Bell Bell?"
"Of course he did and he loves you very much."
"Did God say you were my mommy?"
"Yes God sent Bell Bell to be our little angel."
"Did God say daddy was my daddy?"
"Of course he did."
"God sent me a nice mommy and daddy. Love you." and she was off again running around in her neon green princess shoes.
I am sitting here thanking God for giving us Bell Bell. We belong together. We truly are a family.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

KEEPIN IT REAL

OK So Angel, http://thevoiceofadventure.blogspot.com has asked us to give a "real" post of our lives. Girl you don't have any idea what you are asking for right now.
1- I haven't had any time at all to work on this blog. Since I came home from vacation, if it could go wrong, I think it has. So here goes a list.
First of all- things that have broken just THIS week.
Blake's camera with all the vacation pictures. We mailed it out over the weekend to get it fixed and I forgot to take the chip out. So all the vacation pictures are in the shop. I can't post them.
2- A week ago I took Anabeli to the eye doctor. For those of you who don't know Anabeli's story, she was cross eyed when we accepted her referral. She had surgery at 1 for her crossed eyes and it was beautiful. If you didn't know her story you wouldn't know she had problems. Our yearly check shows she needs glasses. I am really bummed. How in the world am I going to keep glasses on my little firecracker???
3- Right before vacation I lost my ATM card and driver's license. Huge relief that it hasn't been used but I need my license and I haven't had the time to get a replacement.
Huge problem yesterday when I needed to get a Jake paper notarized. It was so hard to find someone who could notarized and knew me. UGH.
4- My computer died and I just got it back. BUT I didn't get everything off the hard drive so I will need to get the other reinstalled to get my year's pictures off.
5- I have worked at the office Monday and Tuesday and need to go back tomorrow. It has been really tiring because I have had to do things I haven't done in 8 years!!! I am not dumb but rather clueless to the world around me sometimes.

This doesn't even begin to explain all the stupid little things that have come up.
6- My house is clean by messy.
7- I am petrified of how I am going to handle three little kids so close in age in a matter of three weeks.
8- It has rained almost nonstop since we got home. I am sick of rain.
9- I spent an ENTIRE day looking for a piece of paper I have yet to find.
And many many more things I can't even remember since I got home. It nevers stops!
I am trusting God but I am scared.
By the way Sunday was a great day. The pastor's sermon was on the parable of the vineyard. it hit hard. OUCH.
Then we went to Sunday School and talked about patience. Like that isn't another sore subject. Double OUCH.
We will probably be leaving for Guatemala in abut 2 weeks. YEAH but oh NO. Laundry is piling up again.

So Angel "real" truth is this. We all have to remember not to always paint just the good things and make ourselves out to be better than we are.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

BAD NEWS

I won't be able to post vacation pictures for a few days. My laptop of 8 months lost its hard drive today. I am lost without it.
At present I am using the clunker computer, "family computer" and it is on its last leg, literally. It makes this really nasty noise now and is very slow.
The odd thing is I told Blake earlier this morning I didn't think Clunker would be around much longer. But it outlasted the high tech laptop. Never underestimate the power of an older model (in anything such as computers, cars, wives, husbands or whiny children).
Clunker can't print or post pictures because it doesn't believe in working that hard.
I should be up and running again no later than Tuesday they said.


On a brighter note, I received an email tonight that Jake is ready for his Embassy doctor's appointment. Man this is going so fast.

I am so excited I can't sleep. So yes the time stamp on this post is correct. I am still wide awake and ready to take on the world.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

EXCITMENT IS BUILDING

I didn't go to sleep last night until after 3 AM. I am getting so excited.
DNA was to be done this morning and we were told we should have a pink slip in about two weeks.
When I couldn't sleep last night I was laying in bed thinking about my little guy. What does he look like now? How does he act? How is he going to react to us? What is his little personality like? What is he going to think when he comes home to 5 siblings and the noise level that occurs with all of us home?
How am I ever going to make it to the grocery store again once the older kids go back to school? Am I really going to be able to keep up with three little guys? Am I too old for this? (Answer is yes but who cares?)
Today we are going to pack his suitcase. Marvin and Anabeli are excited to help. They have each picked out a toy for us to take to him. I still need to make a picture book together with every one's picture in it and need pictures of cousins, grandparents and aunts and uncles.
I am still swimming in dirty laundry.
But honestly at this point I DONT CARE!!!!
God has given this wonderful little boy and it is almost time to pick him up!!!
Blake got out the calendar last night to figure roughly when we will go. He is excited too.
Other news---- Most of the pictures of vacation were taken on Blake's camera. I don't know how to download pictures yet so he will need to help me tonight. So stay tuned...

2nd DNA

Received word tonight that the second DNA will be done on Wednesday. I am getting excited.
We should be traveling in about three weeks.
I can't believe we have made it this far!
Please keep us in your prayers that things will continue to speed along. As a lot of you know, things tend to get lost at the good Ol' Embassy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

We are all so happy to be home! I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it feels to know in a few minutes I will be getting in my own bed and going to sleep.

BUT even better news:

WE HAVE A BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have been doing the happy dance since Wednesday. Passport was done on Friday!
So I have come home to do lots and lots of laundry, get someone to watch the kids and then in a very short time we are leaving for GUATEMALA.
Even with all that needs to be done I am so happy. There is an end in sight.
More tomorrow. I am going to enjoy my night in my own bed.
Vacation is great but like Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

UPDATE 2- ANNIE



Annie has been busy.

She is out of school and enjoying summer. Also she is working part time for daddy in the evenings helping out with office paperwork. It is sure giving me a break.

Since school has been out she has spent the night with her best friends and they have been here a lot too.

These sweet, skinny girls can sure put away the food!!! They will tell me they are not hungry and not to worry but as soon as I go to bed I can here them raiding the kitchen.

Now the boys will eat microwave frozen pizzas and chips but the girls are a different study. My freezer is no void of all ice cream and I have gone through five pounds of flour in two weeks! Around midnight I hear the mixer working and if I am awake long enough I will smell the sweet smell of cookies. When I get up in the morning the plate will be empty. Salad and fruit go faster than I can buy it too. I just don't understand how they stay so thin.

It is nice to hear the giggling of the girls at night but the running up and down the stairs can keep us awake.

Ann cannot drive until the September due to a fender bender in January. She slid on ice and hit a telephone pole. In Ohio it doesn't matter what the reason is if you have a wreck in the first year you lose your license. She can drive with us in the car but not being able to take out her little Mustang is putting a huge cramp in her style. Getting into the Mustang is a big cramp for Blake's back and my legs.

Unfortunately Kierstan also had a wreck so it is up to Courtney to do the driving. She doesn't seem to mind.


I guess it is our fate most of the summer to hear giggles and smell cookies. :) They are a happy bunch.


Courtney, Annie and Kierstan getting ready for a dance. They are gorgeous girls.

Monday, June 9, 2008

SUNDAY SWIN DAY

It is so hot here. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and today all had temperatures of 92 or above. In Ohio this is very unusal for this time of year.
Friday I packed up all the young ones and we were off to the pool. I forgot my camera so no pictures.
Sunday we went swimming after the sun was not quite so hot.


Four out five kids hanging in the water. I am sure we will spend a lot of time here this summer.

Hey Mom these floatie things are kind of fun. I can swim.


This is Anabeli's version of "swimming under water".


Sam jumping off the diving board.


Jesse spent a great deal of time helping Marvin and Anabeli learn how to swim alone with floaties.

RUMOR HAS IT...

I am so excited. Rumor has it Jake's birth certificate will be released tomorrow!!! I am trying hard not to get too excited in case it doesn't happen but I can't help it.
Tuesday might be an exciting day here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lil B goes to Hawaii


I just received a new picture of Lil B. Talk about cute. He is so adorable.

The Eagle's Nest says he cries to be held. The say he is spoiled.

How could you pass up on holding such a cute little guy???? I just want to cuddle up next to him.
Please continue to pray for Lil B and all the other little babies left in Guatemala with no immediate hope of a family. All children deserve parents and love.

Friday, June 6, 2008

AWESOME FACILITATOR

We have such an awesome facilitator. She took time out of her day today and called just to check in with us.
You know you have made the right choice with an agency when people go out of their way to make you feel good.
THANKS TRACEY!
Anyway she also said RENAP is releasing Birth certificates and hopefully we will get one soon. I have my fingers, toes and knees crossed for good news.

To all of you who have sent emails, etc. Thanks so much for you support. I am doing much better and feel all of this will happen when God's timing is complete. It is once again just that ol' control factor. I believe I will fight to the day I die to get the control thing settled down.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

UPDATE 1- Grumpy GUS

I am off a few days on the updates but we are busy.
Update 1 is just about the normal day to day lives.
We still don't have the birth certificate for Jake. I am one step away from needing a padded room. I am also very down about it. (I mean really down). We are to leave on vacation very soon and he won't be going with us.
Which brings us to our next subject- VACATION
We are all excited but a little sad Jake won't be going with us. We are going on a Carnival Cruise and I am really getting pumped. I booked the cruise several months ago with cheap fare and couldn't understand why the price was so low. (I know I am very slow) Then I started looking for airline tickets. This was before the big jump and the prices were still really high.
Finally after weeks of looking we were able to get reasonable (it's all relative at this point) airfare but will leave from a smaller airport two hours away. No big deal since it takes us about one hour to get to Columbus Airport and it is usually so busy.
SUITCASES- Here is the fly in the ointment. I had already packed one of the big suitcases for Jake and I was going to add Marvin and Bell Bell to it. So today I have the task of putting his stuff back.
I haven't been able to do it yet. I am too sad at this point.
I decided to check out luggage the other night and found out that one of our big rolling bags has a huge rip in it from last year's vacation. I thought it was a small rip that could be sealed with Duck tape but I was wrong. I sure don't want to be pulling my suitcase around and all my unmentionables fall out the hole so I had to get two more suitcases, one for me and one of the big boys to share.
We have plenty of sunscreen, good books and toys so all we need to do is bag it all and GO!
Blake, Jesse and Sam are going to do something called "rip cording" through the jungle in Jamaica. It sounds like so much fun. Ann and I will probably take M and A and walk into town. They were definitely two young to rip cord and Ann is afraid of heights so we are chilling that day.
Just for Marvin, one day we visit a pirate ship for lunch and he gets to see real pirates. Marvin loves to talk about pirates so I am sure this will be a fun day. He is trying decide if Jesse or Sam should "walk the plank".
Another day I will stay on ship on M and A and Blake with the older kids will go see the Mayan Ruins. I am soooo jealous but I really didn't think this would be fun for them and I really thought Jake would be here too. (sniff, sniff)
That tour ends up with two hours on the beach so Ann is happy.
One day Blake and I are going to visit the Mayan ruins alone. Then I will be able to enjoy it.
So that is vacation. All in a nutshell. We are going to have so much fun.

REMODELING- Months and months ago we decided to basically remodel the whole first floor of this house. Nice master bath and a huge kitchen with an even bigger eating area than I could hope for all open to the family room.
Our floor plan now works but it will help so much to have the kitchen up to the family room. When we moved into the house nothing had been updated since it was built in 1976 so it is time.
We should be ready to start on that as as July. I am going to take before and after pictures. Thanksgiving will be so nice without everyone walking on top of everyone in the kitchen. This is the most exciting thing so far to me.
We are expanding the basketball court by cutting down some trees and repaving it along with the looooonnnnngggg driveway to our house. They were supposed to cut down trees today but the tree service felt it was too wet after almost two inches of rain yesterday!!!
The driveway will be done by the end of the month.
This will give Sam a great place to ride his bike and skateboards and play basketball.
It will be a bigger place for Ann and Jesse to have friends park.
M and A will be able to ride their bikes. Right now the drive is so old and cumbly they find it hard to pedal through the rocks.

That about covers it for the main house update. We are just chugging along here.

Summer is such a great time in the woods. The trees are gorgeous. The sun is beautiful. Every window in the house has a breath taking view. God is so good. It is amazing how beautiful He planned our world. Things like this don't just happen by accident. Someone mightier than us had to plan it all out! All that I can say is "Thanks God." Hardly seems like enough though.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMBONI

Today is a very special day.



My little Samuel Curtis K. turns 12!!!!




THEN

Sam's first picture

Sam's first trip to Disney World



My all time favorite "home boy" picture.

NOW




Sam being Sam




Sam's last day of School



Sam today

Last night Sam decided to stay up until midnight. That would allow him to open his presents because it would officially be his birthday. Did NOT work.

After he finally went to bed Blake and I walked down memory lane.

Sam is a true miracle from God.

I was sent to bed at 14 weeks for preterm labor with Sam. The doctor told me that day he really didn't know if he would make it full term or even live. The words he spoke to me before I left the office that day are still so real to me.

"Sometimes we don't understand what is going on. Only God knows what is in store for this little baby. He might choose for things to end now or we might make it all the way. At this time we just don't know."

I left feeling very downhearted. The whole pregnancy was that way.

We didn't talk about names for a long time. I was afraid that would make things too real if something did happen.

Finally after many ultrasounds it was clear to us we had a little boy. We were thrilled. Jesse was thrilled. Ann cried. She wanted a sister.

We fought tooth and nail to keep this little guy safe and sound. Every week that passed I would breathe a sigh of relief. We were coming closer to his due date.

The time came at about 24 weeks for us to pick a name. We knew his middle name would be "Curtis". It is my father's middle name and it was very important for him to have a "family" name.

Blake and I talked about names but nothing seemed to fit this little guy who was literally fighting for his life every day.

One night I was reading my bible. I put it down and when I picked it up the book Samuel was open. I thought it was an interesting name and started to read. Hannah's struggle for a baby suddenly became very real to me.

I Samuel 1:20 jumped out at me. "She named him Samuel saying, "Because I asked the Lord for him."

What a startling reality. I had asked, begged, pleaded, bargained and cried for this child. He was to be named Samuel too. Blake agreed.

When I looked up his name in a baby book it said, "Asked or given of God". To me that was even a better meaning. We had asked God and the time had come to believe God was giving him to us.

Even at this time we still were not sure if Sam would make it without severe difficulties.

There were still many scary moments. But Sam fought hard and was born only three weeks early. He was so skinny. He reminded me of a little turkey after Thanksgiving.

Sam did not have one ounce of body fat. You could count every rib. I cried the first time I gave him a bath. He was so skinny and looked so little. How did this poor little guy ever survive?

Two weeks after he was born we went back to the doctor. He had gained almost three pounds!!!

The one thing I have learned from Sam is God has a sense of humor. Does He ever.

I loved Calvin and Hobbes and Sam is still my Calvin.

That child has taught me more about life and living that anyone else in the world. He is not going to miss a thing. He lives life to the fullest and dreams great and mighty dreams for his life.

He has given me lots of gray hair.

Sam loves to walk on the roof, jump out of very high trees, jump his bike across the creek, play hockey with a golf club, try hot sauce even though it is really hot, knock out teeth gracefully, jump off the diving board BEFORE he can swim, make counterfeit money with paper and staples, throw everything that is not nailed down out of his bedroom window, be James Bond, be Superman, be Indiana Jones and lots more.

Through Sam I have learned to love unconditionally, pray harder for protection, see the world through rose colored glasses and laugh until my sides ache.

God has truly given me a blessed gift. His name is Samuel. I can't imagine how boring life would be without Sam. He makes me smile, laugh and want to be a better mom. He helps me dream big dreams.

Sam,

Don't ever change. Continue to be yourself. There is not another you in this whole world. There never has been or ever will be. You are one of a kind and we love you for that.

God has great plans for you. Your life has been in His hands from the very moment you were conceived. He has worked to protect you and has given you a strong will to live.

He has given you a zest for life that I have never seen before.

I am so proud to be your mommy. I thank God every day for such a wonderful young man.

I will love you forever and like you for always.

Grow strong in all the ways of God. You will continue to walk an exciting path.

I also hope at some point in your life you will have a child just like you. Life is never dull with you around and I want you to experience this as a parent!

Love, Mommy.

Friday, May 30, 2008

OOPS....

Things have been so busy here the last few weeks.
Today is the last day of school.
Over the weekend I will update on everyone.
What we are doing. Where we are going.
How the last few weeks have been (hint. UGH)
All the goodies will be posted on everyone over the weekend along with some pictures I found on my camera from spring break! Can you believe it? I still haven't even downloaded them yet.
I am trying to decide how to download onto the laptop and the most efficient way to store them. To be honest, I am not sure I totally know how to do it yet so the pictures are just sitting on the camera.
Off to Sam's fifth grade graduation, then baseball, then baseball again in the morning, then who knows what???

Friday, May 16, 2008

MY SONG

Angel is going to try and come up with a little ditty for me. It seems to always work for her. The minute she posts a song, she gets the news she is waiting for. Bless her heart she is leaving for China in a few short days to pick up Kaiya and yet she is still working on a song for Jake.

But in the meantime, I was singing to the kids tonight and came up with my own, not as good as Angel's but the best I can do.

To the tune of "Where O Where Has My Little Dog Gone?"
Oh where oh where
has Jake's birth certificate gone?
Oh who oh who has it now?
I want my baby to come home now
so RENAP let us go soon.
Oh when oh when
will my Jakey come home?
Oh when oh when will it be?
He needs his mommy to rock him to sleep
oh when oh when will it be.
Oh please Oh please
let it be soon.
My mind can't take much more.
The days are long and the nights are too
Oh please end this real soon.
So that is it. The best I can do. Angel, see why I asked for your help?????
In all seriousness, please pray that we hear something soon and this mess can end. We are so close but so far away.