Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One Year Ago Today...

We accepted Austin and Logan's referral on June 2, 2006. Six mnths later, we had not moved one step in our adoption process. DNA had finally been ordered in early November, but as we entered December 2006, no DNA had been taken.

I was a nervous wreck. Not sleeping. Desperately yearning for my babies who were 7 months old and never been held by their Momma. On a whim, my husband and I decided with or without DNA we were heading to Guatemala to spend an early Christmas with our sons.

By the time we booked our flight, we had way overpaid and had one crazy schedule. We were nauseously excited about our trip. We began at 1 AM early Dec 13th. We drove two hours to Washington, DC. We parked our car at Reaghan International and then took a cab to Dulles (where our return flight was landing). We flew to Miami, had a five hour lay over, which we needed, to locate Taca airlines and check in for our International flight. I had booked off of the Internet and no idea what to expect from Taca (whom I had never heard of), but had a vague impression of flying with chickens in my head!! Taca turned out to be a very respectable airlines, but the flight was very crowded as everyone else was trying to get home to their families for Christmas. We landed, I believe, around 4 pm.

The Guatemalan airport at that time was very, um, well "behind times." We got our luggage and neared the airport exit where the entire population of Guatemala had gathered to greet loved ones! It was an overwhelming sight. Our hotel shuttle was nowhere to be seen and due to a delay in our flight, our babies were supposedly already at the hotel. In November 2006, visits to Guatemala had been halted due to unsafe travel advisories and it was still a little "iffy" for our foster family to be in a hotel after dark. I was sure they would leave if we were not there to meet them.

We finally located our shuttle and were excited that in 10-15 minutes we would be at the hotel lobby . But, ugh, it was rush hour and I quickly rethought my earlier assumption about the entire population of Guatemala being at the airport because apparently the other half was on the same route with me from the airport to the hotel. It took us 2 1/2 hours to drive 10 miles! I thought I would implode with anxiety! We kept radioing the hotel who assured us that the foster family had not arrived and that this was Guatemala and not to worry, "time" was not stressed in Guatemala. I couldn't help but worry that we would have to wait one more precious day to hold our babies.

Finally we arrived at the hotel. Despite my dressing in layers to accommodate the change in temperature from "snow" to "tropics," I was sweating my toosh off. In the hustle of unloading the hotel van, I heard my husband say. "They're here. Oh my gosh, Donna! There they are!" My stomach dropped as I tried to follow his line of vision to inside the hotel lobby. And there on the opposite end of the lobby sat a cluster of foster family members with two little babies. They were even wearing outfits I had sent in our last care package. The blessed van driver said, "Go, go - I'll meet you inside." My husband guided me through my blurred teary eyes at first. And then it seemed, I took the lead as we crossed the lobby in mere seconds. I hugged the foster mother and sank to my knees to be in front of my babies. I didn't want to scare them, but "one of the twins" practically fell into my arms right then and there.


The next hour was a blur. Our translator appeared from somewhere, we expressed our gratitude and love to the foster family, we took down the twins' schedule, Gary checked us in at the front desk. And all the while, I kept holding one twin and then another. Marveling at their preciousness and their realness. I touched, I held, I swayed, I smelled - I was in heaven and couldn't wait to get upstairs to our room with them.


In a whirlwind of commotion, we said good-bye to the foster family, grabbed our bags and headed to our room. While Gary quickly unpacked "necessities," I took a few pictures and then did what I had been dying to do especially since all of our agencies pictures kept showing the boys layered up in many clothes - I got them out of their outfits as fast as I could so that I could finally inspect and kiss on every inch of my babies!!


Oh - I don't think I can fully describe how heavenly that first night was. All I kept thinking was, it was worth it, it was SO worth every minute, every second of agony and pain that I had been feeling since seeing their first picture on June 2. And that I would wait forever for them to come home to me.


We spent a wonderful week with them. We shared Christmas morning. We videotaped and photographed every second with them. We took imprints of their tiny little feet and their tiny little hands. And I begged God not to let the trip end.


I have always loved Christmas. And for some reason, each time I rocked the babies to sleep, the only "Lullaby" that came to mind was Silent Night. I can't tell you how many tears landed on my two little angels each time I sang or hummed the words to that song...





Sleep in Heavenly Peace!

8 comments:

Tam said...

Oh, wow! You really need to quit choking me up with your stories...

Happy referral-versity!

Auntie G said...

That picture of the sleeping twins is just precious!!
Gail

Greta Jo said...

oh, beautiful post. DONNA! Thanksa for sharing your story.

Our Family of 5 said...

oh how sweet. Congratulations!

Bobbi said...

The memories (and the horror of travel) of these trips will always be with us. They change us forever.

What a beautiful trip down memory lane.

ManyBlessings said...

Awww...that is too precious.
d:)

Beth said...

Thank you for sharing your journey. Those boys are so loved. This was beautiful.

Steph said...

OH, you must stop making me cry!! :) What a beautiful story. I love the picture of the boys with their stockings!