Saturday, March 31, 2007

Drop off Ya’ Junk!

We’re having an Adoption Fundraiser – a HUGE YARDSALE on Saturday, April 21st! And we’re asking all of our friends and family to help out by donating their junk to us!

We will gladly accept anything that you’re willing to part with, but we’ve also decided to divide our yard into specific areas for better “selling!” So, we will have the following areas set-up:

~ books/videos/CD’s/DVD’s
~ toys (indoor and out)
~ clothing (all ages)
~ misc household items
~ furniture

We will take anything that’s left to Goodwill and will be happy to pick-up donation sheets for you while we’re there. (At least, I think that’s legal, I’ve taken multi-family stuff there before and they’ve given me extra forms….)

So…..Here are three things you can do to help:

1) Drop off "ya junk" at our house
2) Tell your friends about our MASSIVE yardsale (I’ll be e-mailing out some flyers later).
3) Then come on out that day and have some fun along with us!

By the way, we are completely willing to come pick up anyone’s junk, too. It’s just that “Drop off Ya Junk” is a much catchier phrase!

Additional Disclaimer: By the constant and repetitive use of the word “junk” we in no way, shape or form, mean to cause any harm or to insult any of our friends or family by what may appear to be a "negative" word. In fact, we highly respect (and covet) your valuable unuseables and this is one way for us to honor them, or to honor you by honoring them (the junk, that is). He HEE he!

Thank you all for your support!! Hope to see you and/or ya junk soon!

And for more specifics or additional information, you can e-mail me directly at

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Okay, We're IN!!

Yeah! We just got confirmation that our file went into PGN on Thursday, March 22nd. So, yea, now we can do the happy dance!! One more step on the ladder completed.

So, what happens here? Well, refer to the "Go Orange, GO!" post from last week. Basically, our file needs to move along (at lightning speed) to a few different desks and get approved in the Guatemalan system. We now are looking for word that we are "out" of PGN. (As previously mentioned in the "Go Orange, GO!" post, we are hoping for about a 3-5 week processing timeframe.)

If you have not already done so, peruse the section on the right entitled "Just What are the Steps Involved." Scroll to page 3 - and that's where we're at.

So, everyone - prayers please, good thoughts, positive vibes, and a collective focus on an "OUT" of PGN, let's say, by April 19th!

Thank you and God Bless!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Unveiling of the Nursery...

Here it is...just finished yesterday, Austin and Logan's Rainforest nursery! Thanks to my awesome friend, Jennifer who did all of the very talented artwork!

My friend Anne painted the walls for me when she was 4 months pregnant. I am not allowed to paint anymore. Mom and I made the curtains and one of the bumpers, she's still working on the other one. Mom also made to the two alligators on the back of their cribs and I made the two blankets hanging over the edge of each crib.

We named him, "Icky" the Iguana!

As you can see, we have plenty of stuff, just need them!!

Friday, March 23, 2007


I've been waiting all week to post an update, but I needed an update to post. ;-)

We were hoping and praying that we had gotten into PGN on Mon or Tues of this week and I was looking forward to posting that. However, we've had to add that element of drama again. Here I sit on Friday afternoon, hitting "refresh, refresh, refresh" on my e-mail.

There’s a rumor that we got into PGN yeterday. However, we’re waiting on confirmation of that (in the form of an e-mail) that really should be here any minute…

So, if you need me, I'll be glued to my computer (as always)...

refresh, refresh, refresh

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Go Orange GO!

Okay, so last week we FINALLY got Austin’s pre-approval. Now (I’ll try to be brief) what needs to happen next is for our lawyer (in Guatemala) to go to the US Embassy and pick up that Pre-Approval (hopefully happened last week), spend a few days “authenticating, signing, stamping, sealing it” etc and to add that document to the rest of our file (which in my mind is about 8 lbs of paperwork at this point!) and deliver all of that to PGN – which is the Guatemalan’s last stage of the process. There it will pass through many hands and many desks all in the pursuit of authentications, signatures, more stamps, approvals, and maybe even a wax seal or two!

At this point, we are waiting on word that we are IN to the PGN phase of our journey. Again, refer to the timeline on the right. Every step on the ladder matters!! In the fall, an average file stayed in PGN 6-8 weeks. Since January, we have seen that time shortened to about 5 weeks!?!

We are, at this time, asking for a two part prayer – one, that we get into PGN early this week (Mon or Tues) and two, that ours is one of the fastest cases EVER to get out of PGN! We pray that our file touches the right person’s hand at the right moment in God’s time for miracles to happen! I want that file barely on each person’s desk long enough for them to do what they need to do and then movin’ it on to the next person’s desk in record time!

In fact, I’m going to visualize my file being an offensive, yet eye catchy, neon orange and that it actually glows. It’s SO bright, those folks in PGN are actually looking for it before it gets to their desks! They’re standing over the person who’s turn it is to review it and telling them to “Hurry up, it’s my turn to look at and approve that file!”

Thursday, March 15, 2007

New pictures and a Pre-Approval!!

Well, the boys had not been to the doctor (that we know of) since November. But, looks like on Monday, while Mom and Aunt Anne (oh, and her husband Brian) were bringing (or helping to bring) baby Eli into the world, Austin and Logan were getting a check-up!

Austin weighs about 18lbs pounds now. And Logan weighs about 17lbs. We are again, astonished by how much they’ve changed. Their hair finally seems to be growing! And they’re changing into little boys right before our eyes.

Yes, it’s very sad that we’ve missed their “baby” phase, but aren’t we so blessed to have been to see them twice during that period! Memories we’ll always cherish!

And on to more astonishing, incredible news – we finally have Austin’s Pre-Approval!! Yea! The US Embassy ever so non-chanlantly dropped me an e-mail Tuesday around 3pm. We have no idea if one of our many letters, or our congressman or our senator or our agency or whatever, finally got through.

There was no explanation – just, there it was! Believe me, I stared at it for 5-10 minutes wondering if I was really looking at what I had been looking for since Dec 18th!

Then, shouts, rejoicing and Praising God!! We’re back in the game! Check timeline on the right. PGN here we come!!

And here are three handsome little guys…

Introducing Eli! Born March 12th at 2:21pm, weighing 8lbs 6 oz!

Here's Austin at the doctors. Can you see the little of tears under his eyes. Mayhaps he had just had a shot?
And here's Logan showing us his "I'm a big boy look!"

Okay, baby boys. We are READY for you to come home!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Journal 03/12 - 3/13/07

03/12 post on forum

"World’s biggest Pity Party – care to pull up a chair?"
So today I was in the delivery room to experience and welcome my best friend’s third child being born. She did great, the baby came out wonderfully. It was beautiful, and as someone who has never experienced that herself, I am so grateful my friend has honored me by asking me to be present for all three births. And I am so blessed to have that same friend to walk by me hand-in-hand on this road to adoption. She even logs onto this site daily and tells me news and updates I have missed. She knows who Pres. Berger is, she knows what PA, PGN means – even more than my husband! She’s my rock!

I was so happy most of the day, even when welcoming her other two children to share in their joy of seeing their brother for the first time. And remembering their births, too – the first one over 7 years ago. And remembering each time that they were born that I, too, was looking for a child of my own. Obviously, it was a bittersweet day.

I didn’t realize the toll the entire day took on me until I got home and collapsed into a heap of sobs on my bed. How can it be SO easy for some? She got pregnant by chance, had a beautiful pregnancy, was at work (church) yesterday and delivered in a mostly painfree – 6 pushes, he’s out birthing. The baby is beautiful, healthy, precious.

I am so thankful God gave me my own two beautiful sons, well four – my two almost grown-up, wonderful stepsons and my two little baby boys in Guatemala. And I can honestly say that it’s not that my friend delivered her babies, it’s that she has her baby. Today, now and each day from now on, her baby will be in her arms.

Oh, I ache for the last 10 ½ months I have not had my babies. How can God be so sweet to provide so abundantly for me and then place them (my babies) on a shelf so high up and far away that I can only stare up and drool I want them so badly! How can it be so easy for some! ….and so difficult for others?

We’re beyond broke. We have one senior graduating high school this year and another one off to college in 3 more years. My “good” car broke down and will cost $3000-$5000 to make driveable again. Our “bad” car resembles Fred’s – four wheels, a few side doors and is powered by running feet!

And today, of all days, I can add in that we’re trying to bring our children home in a world where what we’re doing is frowned upon by the media – we’re made to feel that we’re adding to the problem by “stealing” our babies from poor mother’s who just want to provide for their babies and that we’re “paying” way TOO much for them.

What were we thinking? What are we doing? Amidst my sobs, I kept crying over and over, “Mercy, God, Please grant me Mercy, spare me any more pain.” If there was a white towel, I think I would have been tempted to throw it in today.

And then, I look at my screen saver, my two boys giggling together on the bed in our hotel room on our last visit trip. Yes, I’ll keep going, I’ll walk through fire for them. I’ll wait forever for them.

I know we all have our ups and downs, but I’ve gained so much comfort from others when they’ve shared, from the heart, their lows. I thought, I would be honest and share one of my worst days yet.

Thanks, ladies!
This is what I posted this morning, after reading several of their wonderful, great replies:

03/13/07 forum post

Wow! What an uplifting! I got forum messages, private messages, guest book messages on my websites…you folks poured out the love and I have a little bounce in my step again this morning. Okay, not much of a bounce, the wine from last night is keeping me pretty “grounded” shall we say?

Thanks to all those who reminded me that there have been others who have walked my path before me and plenty who are still walking it. In the middle of a pity party, you can only seem to recall that anyone you’ve ever met had a 4 month adoption process as well! LOL. But getting glimpses and images of the future are so appreciated, a snapshot to hold on to and keep focused on.

I still don’t have the answers, why the road to our children is so much harder. I know God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but I wouldn’t mind if He thought of me as just a little bit weaker and maybe not up to “handling” so much. ;-)

In truth, I am so blessed to have Him in my life. And I know that He will provide as He always does. I feel His love and I know He cares for us all.

Thanks for the shower of love, I am sending back lots of ((hugs)), prayers and good thoughts to all of you!

And this is what I just posted!!
03/13/07 4pm

Holy cow!! Last night I was in a heap of sobs, begging God for mercy on my broken heart and to spare me any more pain and Man-Oh-Man did HE deliver!!!

This morning, I received so many words of encouragement from you all, so many helped pick me up and give me renewed strength to face the day with hope again instead of despair.

Then, midday, around noon, after 4 months of no medical updates and no explanation why they stopped - we suddenly got medical updates! And pictures of our little princes!! Today of all days, to see their beautiful little faces and remind me why I'm here doing what I'm doing.

And then, today at 3:05pm, 3 months after our DNA tests were done and 1 month after we got Logan's pre-approval, weeks after congressmen and senator's have called and e-mailed on our behalf, today of all days....we finally got Austin's PRE-APPROVAL! We're moving again!!! Hallelujah - PGN here we come!!

God has rained down His love on me today and I am in a heap of sobs again!! I couldn't wait to share the joy!!

Thank you ladies for carrying me through my darkest hour!!
DPline, you sent me luck, it worked!
Slatond10, you said after the storm, there's usually a brilliant sunshine....I aint even gonna wear my sunglasses!!!!

Basking in all His glory,
His humbled child....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bad, Bad CNN

I really can’t say much more than that right now, but they did a horribly one sided and very ill-informed story on adoptions. It’s very eye-opening (and a little sad and a lot scarey) to realize that the supposedly “news” media is much more on the “entertainment” side of things than the actual “fact” side of things.

If I can compose myself, I might elaborate later, but for now we'll just leave it at, "..bad, bad CNN."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

CNN Interview

CNN will be running a segment about Guatemalan Adoptions. The segment will be air sometime tomorrow (Monday) on their morning show, between 6am and 9am.

We know that a couple/family from one of our forums was interviewed. We were “solicitated” for a family to come forward who had adopted one child already from Guatemala and was considering adopting again, but a little hesitant because of recent developments.

So, we (all of us living in adoptionland) are truly hoping that this is a pro-adoption story and not something that sends the media on another Madonna/Bradjolina adoption tangent!

As you can see on my timeline, President Bush is traveling in Latin America right now and I believe he will be meeting with President Berger (Guatemala’s President) tomorrow sometime. We are hoping that President Bush will strongly encourage President Berger to continue processing adoptions, especially those already in process!

I will be in the delivery room with my best friend Anne (oh, and her husband, Brian!) as their Baby #3 joins the world! I'll have updates on both the baby's arrival and the CNN interview!

Wish us luck on both!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fostering in Antigua

Boy - I am really missing my little angels today. My very talented friend, Jennifer has been coming over and painting murals of the rainforest in their nursery. Before we start, we plop in the latest videos of Austin and Logan taken during our February visit trip and it plays the whole time we are working, them giggling and having fun. It just feels like they are in there with us! Sigh

So, as the days away from our precious boys lengthen, Gary and I have begun talking about the possibility of me fostering the boys in Antigua. In Guatemala, with your attorney’s permission and the proper paperwork you can foster your child(ren) yourself. We originally had not put much thought into this since we thought the boys would be home with us in Nov/Dec.

I have met many, many mothers who have recently taken that plunge and are either there now or on their way. Things we need to consider – first and foremost, the finances. While Antigua is very affordable, to say the least, we’ve exhausted most of our funds in the adoption process itself. Not to mention, I’ld have to take a leave of absence from work. Additionally, while Mason and Evan are certainly old enough to be left here at home with Gary, I don’t treasure the idea of missing 4-5 weeks (or more) from their lives. And lastly, there’s that whole taking care of two boys in a foreign land all by my lonesome thing. ;-) For that last little part, I propose each one of my friends come and spend one week with me in Antigua – any takers?

I'll keep yall updated on our research and on another note, the US Embassy seems to be moving a little this week, here's hoping to Austin's Pre-Approval Monday or Tuesday!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Where we are right now and what we need from you!

We are currently waiting on Austin’s Pre-Approval from the US Embassy.
This is usually a quick little step in the process, 1-2 weeks (although they do quote a 30-day standard day turn around). We received Logan’s Pre-Approval on Feb 5th, approx 30 days after the US Embassy received their paperwork. We cannot seem to get any information from the embassy in regards to where Austin’s Pre-Approval is. We are currently working with both our congressman and our senator in hopes of getting somewhere on this Pre-Approval.

We are down to our last 3 steps in the process – Austin’s Pre-Approval, Entrance into PGN (and exit of PGN), and then our visa appointment back with the US Embassy. This visa appointment is actually the day that Austin and Logan legally become ours!! We are THIS close!

So, please join us in praying for this next very important step to get our process moving again! We know that at any day we can receive this e-mail granting Austin his Pre-Approval.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Hello and welcome to our continued journey…

I am starting this blog because there is a new sense of urgency that friends and family should know about concerning our in-process Guatemalan adoption.

Most of you know that we got back from our 2nd visit with Austin and Logan in early February. On my most recent postings, I mentioned that new developments had happened and may have an affect on our adoption.

Earlier, I used the word, “urgency.” Gary and I are very positive that our adoption will be completed and hopefully very soon. However, now, more than at any other point in the past year, we are calling upon our friends and families and even strangers to pray for us and all families currently involved in adoptions from Guatemala.

Over the next few days, I will attempt to explain the adoption process and provide information on the recent developments affecting our case. I hope that you will come back often. I hope that you will grow to love Guatemala as much as we do, the people are rich with love and their culture runs as deeply through them as vividly as the colors that surround their heritage. We are so proud and honored to become a part of that. I hope that you learn to appreciate the international adoption process through our story and through the individuals you might meet with us along the way.

Thanks for stopping by!