Friday, June 29, 2007

Yippee!! The US says we can bring them home!!

We had our embassy appointment this morning......another 3 1/2 hour "waiting appointment" for a total of speaking to three different US officials for a combined time of maybe...12 minutes?

But oh well - the boys did really well, they were some of the only ones walking around and probably theoldest at 14 months, but we had a really good day meeting all the other adoptive families and even getting to finally see in person some of my online buddies!!

And the best part is - our Visa Requests were APPROVED!!!! We go pick them up on Monday at 3:30pm and we are clear to fly home on TUESDAY!!!!

Logan was sick again all last night and very lethargic today. We came straight back to our hotel after the Embassy appointment and Logan slept away the day! We spoke with the doctor and he feels that Logan will be fine by tomorrow. No fever, big ppetite, just can't keep anything down. I feel like there is a HUGE difference between Austin and Logan now. Logan is all skin and bones and Austin is nice and healthy and plump.

Health wise, it has been a very good day for Logan, he's kept all of his food down and we've seen some of the old fun-loving, happy boy that we haven't seen since Monday. We are praying with all our hearts that our little boy returns to 100% tomorrow. And poor little Austin has done really well without his best friend, but will certainly look forward to having him back around, too!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Here's What We've Been Up to...

We moved back to Guatemala City - we wanted to be nearby the Embassy in case we could move up on appointment date - which doesn't look like is going to happen, but we can still hope.

On Monday, we had our medical appointment (Us Embassy requires that the boys be seen by a certified doctor and given clearance to enter the US). Well, long story short, that was a huge fiasco!!! We basically spent 4 hours in a very crowded, very busy spanish speaking doctor's office. We finally all made it out alive, but not without Austin and Logan escaping both a vaccine and a newly picked up viral infection!
So, we spent Monday night and most of Tuesday with two pukey, high fever, very sick two little boys. We were able to call the hotel doctor who came and checked them out for us and has been available by phone as we have waited prayerfully for our little boys to heal.

And today finally brought about two much healthier, happier little tikes. We took them out to the zoo which we were delighted to see how involved and interested they were in all the animals!
We miss home. We miss our two precious older boys - who are doing wonderful in our absence. Mason is working around the clock and Evan is enjoying his first real lazy week of summer while playing lots of basketball. They deal with constant phone calls from Grandma, Aunt Anne and two very far away parents!! We can't wait to be reunited with them and become a real family with all 6 of us in the same geographical location!!

So - here are some more pictures and we'll check back in soon!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Hi everyone - it's me Donna....and Gary and Austin and Logan! Hola!! Thank you mom for doing such an incredible job updating my blog, I may have to retire and turn things over to you!

Wow - where to begin! Remember when I said coming down here solo was similar to jumping off the high dive and the swimming pool? Well, it was all that and more! It was like hitting the high dive with one big gigantic bounce before jumping off!
I probably cried more in those first few days than I have the whole process - very scarey, very emotional, very overwhelming and I definetly thought I bit off more than I could chew!

But - now that I have finally "landed" and gotten my sea legs, I am doing wonderful!

Austin and Logan are even more spectacular now than they have been on any previous visit trips. If I do take a moment to brag a little - they are incredibly smart, very funny, extremely co-ordinated and drop dead gorgeous!!
They also have two of the biggest most loving hearts I have ever seen. They have taken to Gary and I as if we have been caring for them all along. They love us wholeheartedly. We get smiles in the mornings, open arms running to us when they fall, besitas (kisses) galore and giggles, giggles, giggles, all day long!

Thank you all for your love, support and prayers - for those of you still in process, you are in my constant thoughts and prayers. I KNOW you're day will come, too and I pray that it comes even sooner than you had dared to hope.

As for now, we are still scheduled for embassy appointment this coming Friday with Visa pick-up Monday (July 2) at 3:30pm. We're a little concerned about hotel rooms (the city is quite booked with, go figure, the Olympic Committee meeting here beginning June 30th) and a little concerned about flights home, but we again, turn to God and prayers to help us through this last little leg of our journey home.

Signing off from Heaven, a very content and happy Momma whose arms are finally and constantly filled with two precious miracles!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A "First" We Didn't Miss

Through the wonders of technology, Donna's Dad and I were able last night to witness with our own eyes a "first" for our grandsons. We watched in wonder thru the magic of a video cam on our PC as Austin and Logan walked (but mostly ran) around outside their room at Quinta de las Flores, took one step off the veranda into the courtyard where a light afternoon rain was in progress, and held out a tiny little hand to receive a rain drop. It was obvious from their reactions that they had never felt rain before, for they immediately turned around and headed back up the step to safety, not knowing what it was they had just encountered.

However, being inquisitive young fellows, they once again ventured off the step into the rain and back to safety several more times until they became comfortable enough to stay and play awhile in the light drizzle. Amazing hardly begins to describe how we felt as we watched this miracle unfold before our eyes. So, maybe we've missed a lot of "firsts" for them, but this one that we were privileged to view will remain etched in our minds forever as a priceless gift from them to us.

We have so much to look forward to and so many more "magical" firsts once those babies come home.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Daddy's Here

Those were the words I heard a few hours ago when the call came from Donna. Gary arrived safely in Antigua about 5:30 our time (3:30 in Antigua). The call was brief - she just wanted me to know he had arrived - in fact, they were still getting his luggage out of the van.

I'm sure they are in "heaven on earth" now that the 4 of them are all together, beginning their life as a family - one that has been a long, long time coming. The only sad part is the fact that their older sons, Mason and Evan, aren't able to be with them. That won't be for long, though - only until next Saturday, June 30th, when they are scheduled to bring those beautiful baby boys back to the USA to meet their brothers and extended family and many friends, who are all waiting with open arms to welcome them home!!

I write those words still with disbelief - it's hard for me to realize they are really at the end of their "heart's journey." Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

We hope all of you who are still waiting to progress through the steps with have the strength and courage to hold on even when it seems as if it will take forever - you'll make it and it will be an amazing moment and so worth all the struggles it took to get you there when you see those wonderful words "Your Pink Slip has been issued."

Bless you all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


That's the message I just got from Donna - who called hysterically from Antigua. THEY GOT PINK - Embassy appointment is scheduled for June 29 (the boys will be 14 months old on that day). Gary is flying down tomorrow to join her and his new sons and will remain until they can bring the boys home (right now that date looks as if it will be Saturday, June 30) I think they are going to try to have the Embassy appointment moved up a day or two, if possible, because the following week (4th of July week) is a very busy one for hotels and flights, and they want to be able to leave that Saturday.

Donna had the boys last night all on her own for the very first time (no nanny, no foster sisters) and she happily reported to me that she did very well - the boys went down at 8:30 and didn't wake up until 4 in the morning - they all got a wonderful night's sleep just in time for the big news that arrived today.

Glory Hallelujah - Praise the Lord - all is good with the world - Thanks again to everyone for the prayers - they worked.

An extremely excited Grandma who is retiring today after 25 years at VCU - what better retirement present could I ask for.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Still waiting . . .

Donna & Gary are still waiting for their pink slip - seems there is a document missing from the paperwork that was submitted to the Embassy - they're trying to find out what it is and what is needed to make it right. So, it looks as if she will be there a little longer than anticipated.

This process continues to be a journey of uncertainty at every turn - just when they think it's going smoothly, another obstacle appers. Very frustrating, as I'm sure many of you know from your own personal experiences.

We'll keep you posted as the "wait for Pink continues."


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Exploring Antigua

Short post tonight - Grandma is tired - we had a Father's Day gathering at our house today, which included 5 dogs in addition to all the humans who were present - lots of fun but a little tiring.

I've spoken to Donna several times today and she told me that she, Nanny and the boys spent an interesting day exploring Antigua. Among other places, they went to the Jade Factory (where I'm sure she made some purchases) and to a Convent. She sounds wonderful on the phone and very happy (the boys can always be heard in the backgroud babbling away and sounding like two very happy babies). Everything seems to be working out for her- I'm thinking she likes the quiet and beauty of Antigua. (I hope not so much that she won't be coming home)

She's a little frustrated that she hasn't been able to post any photos of the trip. However, once she returns, I'm sure she will be posting plenty of photos on this blog. I really miss seeing them, myself, because it makes me feel as if I'm there too. I guess I'll just have to patiently wait along with all of you.

She and Gary are hoping tomorrow will bring the news they've been anxiously awaiting - her Pink Slip with the Embassy date on it. Once again, we ask for your prayers that "Pink" comes soon, as we continue to pray for all of you who are still laboring to arrive at that point.

God Bless and Happy Father's Day to all the dads!!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Next step completed - we're in Antigua

It's still Grandma posting - I just finished talking to Donna and she and the boys made it safely to Antigua about 2 pm this afternoon. As mentioned in an earlier posting, she is at the Quinta de las Flores and according to her, it is every bit as beautiful as it looks on the web. She has a "nanny" with her full time for the first few days. The boys were a little tearful when they left Guatemala City and had to part from their "foster sisters." but Donna and her new "nanny" gave them bottles on the trip to Antigua and they promptly fell asleep. When I was talking to her, they had only been there for about an hour and I could hear the little ones just babbling and laughing in the background. They seem to have adjusted quickly to yet another change in their young lives and are taking it all in stride.

They were all heading out to explore the grounds and grab a bite to eat, so when I hear from her again, I will definitely update this site. Sounds as if the "new Mom" has adjusted well to the role. She had a little emotional breakdown earlier in the day just prior to leaving Guatemala - when I asked her what was wrong, she said it was just hard for her to believe that she was finally a "Mommy" and she was sort of overwhelmed by it all.

Donna and family thank you all again for your prayers and support - I don't think any of us could have gotten through this journey without you.

I wish I were in Antigua with her - although I'm not there physically, my heart went with her and that's where it will remain until she returns safely home with Austin and Logan.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Getting Re-acquainted

It's Grandma again - Donna's having communications problems in Guatemala and her internet is not working, so I've been asked to keep the blog going until she is able to resume those duties.

She is with the boys and they are all in the process of getting to know one another again. Donna says the boys are "mucho activo" (very active). They understand Spanish very well and are adjusting to English - Austin actually called her "Mama" which, of course, was the highlight of her day. She is fortunate to have the two daughters from the foster family staying with her and helping the boys in their adjustment - Donna says she and the girls have really hit it off. They have been very helpful by encouraging Austin & Logan to go to her and to call her Mama, etc. - I think she is really going to miss them when they all part company.

Tomorrow at 1:00 pm, Donna is off to Antigua where Gary will be joining her sometime next week. They will stay there until they get their Embassy appointment, which she hopes will be very, very soon. And then, it's home to America - I, for one, can hardly wait.

She is quite anxious to get her "internet" connection back up and running and as soon as she does, she will once again be posting on this blog.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Donna just called me a few minutes ago from the plane - she made the flight and is on her way!! Thanks again to everyone for "praying" her there. In just a matter of hours now, she'll be with the boys again - the plane should arrive in Guatemala around 1 pm their time (3 pm here).

The lawyer and foster family will be bringing the boys to the hotel about 4 or 4:30 Guatemala time (6 or 6:30 VA time), so Donna should be able to unpack and unwind a little prior to the big moment of seeing Austin and Logan again. The foster family will spend the night at the hotel tonight and possibly tomorrow to help make the transition as smooth as possible, and to allow Donna to catch up on much needed rest and to enable her to recuperate a little from the trip.

Her "Heart's Journey" has finally come to fruition - the boys are now hers forever.

One Down - One to Go

This is Josie, Donna's Mom, letting everyone know that Donna made it safely on the first flight from Richmond to Charlotte. She arrived at the Richmond airport at 4:30 for her 6:00 am flight to Charlotte, not knowing until after all other passengers had boarded whether or not she would have a seat. Luck shined upon her once more, her name was called and she was able to board the plane, arriving in Charlotte a little after 7 am this morning.

Her flight to Guatemala leaves at 11:22. She doesn't know yet if she will be on it but things are looking good at the moment that she will have a seat. Please keep the prayers going - they are needed now more than ever as they are nearing their final and last step - bringing those precious grandsons of mine home forever.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Present and accounted for...

Austin and Logan survived the earthquake! My friend/translator just called and she spoke with the foster family. They felt it pretty bad, but they are all okay, present and accounted for! Yay!

Okay - now, lets just put our praying hats on one more time and pray me on down to Guatemala. Most of you know that I am flying on stand-by or what is called a "buddy" pass. And I will most definitely need your prayers and God's intervention to get me on that plane!

Not to worry, though. For the last few days, I think I have finally found my zen, my inner peace and it's getting me through all of this.

Ever try to catch something delicate like bubbles, or butterflies, or those little twirling helicopter leaves, maybe an escaped feather from your down comforter? How do you try and catch it? Do you swat at it, reaching for it, trying to grab it? Ever notice that in fact by trying to catch it, you're actually creating a wind current that sends the object of your desire further away. Or worse yet - you wind up popping the delicate bubble. So how do catch it? You relax. you sit still. you stay calm. And you open up your hands. You just cup them together and leave them as they are, hands poised ready to receive. And the object of your desire will float gently and safely into your waiting open hands.

So, when trying to catch something as the delicate as the preciousness of my baby boys, I'm not going to frantically swat around anymore. I'm not going to get in God's way by creating a wind current for Him to overcome.

I just going to relax. and sit still. try and stay calm. And I am going to place my hands, palm up and empty, ready to receive. to receive those two precious and delicate gifts He has chosen just for me and my family.

6.8 Earthquate?

A little over two hours ago Guatemala was rocked by a 6.8 earthquake. They said it was pretty bad. Those of us living in the adoption world right now are gathering information. Here's what I've found out so far.

1) Yes, pretty bad - even felt in California
2) Location about 70 miles off the pacific shore of Guatemala city
3) Some homes damaged, may have people missing, torrential rains, no reports of after effects
4) Folks in Antiuga are fine
5) Folks in Guatemala city felt it pretty bad, lots of shaing, but all are okay

My immediate thoughts are "Where are my children?" I have always just assumed that they are somewhere close to guatemala city. Let's hope so. I have asked my translator to call the foster family, but she is not optimistic that the lines will be up. we'll see.

Second thought, if the center was off the coast - in the ocean.....tsunami? So far, they are saying that is not likely.

Please join me in prayer.

Monday, June 11, 2007

It's really happening!

Ohmigoodness! Such a long time in waiting and now I think it's really gonna happen! I mean, seriously. I think I'm really leaving on Thursday! How can I be in shock (for so long it just didn't happen), excitement (for so long, we've been waiting for it to happen) and just a wee bit of nervousness and fear (what in the world have we gotten ourselves into!!) Two running little dynomoes!! ;-) How are we ever going to learn how they work!?! ;-)

We are just SOOO excited. Mason graduates tomorrow at 3pm! We are extremely proud of him. I will try and post pictures before i leave, but we just have so much going on...(argh!!)

More good news: We have new birth certificates!!! We were scheduled to get new passports today!!! (Yippee!!!) and we should be submitted to the US EMBASSY tomorrow (Tuesday)!! That means we could get pink by the end of the week!! (Whoohee!!!)

That pink slip will tell us when our appointment is for our visa!!! (and ultimately when we get to come home).

I'm gonna be a mommy!!! (Right now, Evan and Mason call me "Donna" and at 10 and 13 years old, they were too old for me to change their diapers! I do consider myself their Mom (one of two)...

........but in two days I get to be "Mama!!!! Mom! Mommy! Ma! Mummy! Mumzie! You get the gist....

Yay!!! Yippee!!! Ohmigosh - I haven't even packed yet!!!

Friday, June 8, 2007


My Brilliant, Computer-literate, Soon-to-be-High School Graduating Son, Mason helped me add my favorite song to the blog.

The band: Mercy Me
The song: Homesick
About: Being separated too soon from someone you love (and not knowing when you'll see them again)
Me: Usually crying, this is just such a beautiful song that sums up exactly how I have felt this past year, homesick.

(It will stop on its own or you can pause it to stop playing.)

"....And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face

If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home.

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now"

If home is where my heart is, then I'm out of place.....

For my heart has been with Austin and Logan for the past year....


Home, to me, will be having them in my arms, together, again, at last, and forever....

After being Out of Place for so long, we are so close to being Home!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Yes I know...bad blogger...;-)

I know it has been awhile since my last update....the thing is, I've just been "waiting" (I swear once we're home I am banning that word from my vocabulary!) to hear something from Guatemala.

The new birth certificates were supposed to have been picked up Monday or Tuesday, but I have not heard anything yet. Then, another few days to translate all documents and our lawyer is hoping to submit us to the embassy Monday, June 11th. So, hopefully, next week we will know when out Visa appointment is.

Right now, everything is still a go for my departure June 14th. please pray that this actually happens. I am trying very hard to allow God's plan to work out, not just mine. If I have learned anything this past year it is that His timing ultimately needs to take place, not mine. ;-)

I have sent the lawyer an e-mail asking her to see if the foster parents would join me for two nights at the hotel. We would get adjoining rooms and we would spend those two days transitioning care over to me. I could observe how they soothe the children, if and how they discipline them at all, feedings, etc. I think this will greatly help me so that I do not have to "wing it" so much. And overall, it will help the boys if I can at least meet their needs in a manner familiar to them. I also would imagine their little hearts might transition better over two days as opposed to a 20 minute "hand-off." Please pray that this works out according to God's plan, too!

After that I will head to Antigua, where we have booked a room here:

Looks like heaven, doesn't it!! There, we will wait until they tell us we can come home.

Last, I know that you all are awesome prayer warriors for us, so I humbly request for your general prayers as the next several days will bring us:

- The arrival of Gary's parents from Maine on Saturday for Mason's graduation
- The arrival on Monday of Mason and Evan's older brother, Blake and their mother, Lisa
- Mason's graduation on Tuesday (yippee!!)
- Final exams for Evan in the midst of visiting family and Mason's graduation
- Word of our new birth certificates
- Admittance to the US Embassy for pink
- Receival of Pink informing us of our Visa appointment
- And my departure (at last!) on Thursday, June 14th!

Swoo, I'm tired already just typing all that! Oh - and did I mention re-packing? I had just finished unpacking from not going in May! ;-) But that's a problem I don't mind having!!!

Thanks for still being on the journey with us!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

One year ago today....

Austin and Logan were born into our hearts. We received the call at 4:45pm on a Friday afternoon. We saw their picture, this picture about an hour later. And in that one moment, our hearts swelled with unimaginable pride and love for these two little angels half way across the world.

Thus, we began our journey. Our heart's journey.

A journey of love, of joy, of patience, and at times a journey of fight. It's been a journey of Faith and of perseverance. And a journey of unimaginable heartbreak - of missed milestones, of "firsts" that were reached without us, of too many good-byes.

If we knew then, what we know now, would we have done it?



How long is too long to wait for them? Until we don't have to wait anymore. Until they are in our arms forever. And a new journey begins...

A journey of love, of joy, of patience, and at times a journey of fight. It will be a journey of Faith and of perseverance. And a journey of unimageable heartbreak, I'm sure!

We are so grateful. We are so blessed.

365 down, 12 more to go!!!