Thursday, March 6, 2008

Blogoversary!!!

Wow - what a time to reflect!

One year ago today, I created this blog for family and friends in an effort to answer questions and explain the adoption process. The process, that for all intentional purposes should have been over for us.

Instead, we were living a nightmare and actually had no idea what the outcome of our adoption would be. We had just returned from our 2nd visit trip (Feb 1-8th). Back then Pre-Approvals from the US Embassy were typically taking 3-5 days. Austin and Logan's DNA results were signed into the Embassy on Dec 23rd. During our visit trip in Feb, we received Logan's PA (some agonizing 40 days later) and thought Austin's would arrive within minutes. However, by the end of our trip, we still had no PA.

We arrived home and were hit with yet another bombshell, our facilitator had just been arrested! Each day, each 24 hours brought hour by hour of "refresh" in my e-mail box, the Guatadopt site and adoptions.com forum. We were calling and e-mailing our senators and congressman desperately trying to get Austin's pre-approval which I was convinced was stuck to Logan's file and had been completely overlooked. The other scenario in my mind was that all of our facilitator's cases were thrown in investigation and could be tied up forever.

This time last year when I started my blog, we hadn't even made it into PGN. We had crawled and clawed our way 8 months into the process and hadn't even made it to the "long part" of the journey.

Their first birthday, April 29th, loomed in front of me like a huge, annoying flashing neon sign. I hadn't been there for their birth day and I had vowed never to miss another birthday of theirs. Nyquil and Tums made up 35% of my diet. I existed in a haze. Whenever I went "out" into the world and had everyday encounters with family and friends discussing the weather, TV shows, etc...I always had visions of wanting to shake them and scream and shout "My babies aren't home! I don't know when/if I'll ever see them! I can barely breath and I'm only talking to you because I have to find a way to go on with life! But every second of the day is a second that I am not spending with my babies and it is killing me!" Thankfully, I never actually did that!

I was tired of hearing "What's taking so long?" Because every one else who knew someone who had adopted in Guatemala had their 5 month old, 6 month old, 7 month old, etc. baby tucked in at home, What was wrong with our case, people wondered? And "Gosh, you're not even going to be getting 'babies.'" Like, gee, I hadn't even thought of that, but you just made me feel so much better!

I know people don't walk around trying to be mean. In fact, I had SO many supportive, loving people surrounding me and helping me get through every day. But Gary and I were the ones "going through it." We just clung to each other and held on for dear life.

I am not the same person I was pre-adoption. God really stretched me and used the opportunity to teach me so many wonderful things - patience, compassion, to be even more non-judgemental. That we don't always know what's best for us. God's plan. Even if we don't get it. God's plan is what matters.

Last year, every waking second I visualized life with my babies. I would try and focus on one year from now, what would my life with my babies home be like. What would my refrigerator look like? What would my daily routine be? How would I manage two of everything? When I drove in the car, I would remind myself that one day, I'd hear little voices behind me. One day little feet would kick the back of my seat. One day I would hear "Momma, Momma!" One day I would feel little arms around my neck.

Why did I have to wait longer than everyone else? I don't know....why are some people still waiting? I don't know, but I cry for them, I pray for them.

All I know is that my babies are home. Even eight months later, I still can't stop touching them. Hugging them. Smelling them. There are trying times, exhausting moments. And most of the time, I don't care. I am just so thankful they are within an arm's reach.

The pain of missing their first 13+ months is gone. Well, the constant, heart piercing, stabbing "I can't breathe" pain is gone. I find that the missed time doesn't matter as much as the time and memories created here at home does matter. The fact that I missed their first birthday doesn't seem as important now. I'm more excited about planning their upcoming 2nd birthday. And what does matter about that missed time is saving and salvaging and piecing together what I can for them, for their sake, of their first year in Guatemala.

And I admit, it still hurts to see "little ones" come home. A little whine, "why couldn't that have been us?" Only because it didn't have to be us. If everybody did their job right, if everybody involved in adoptions realized how precious every second is, how remarkable these children are, how deserving they are, how amazing their mere presence is, how joyful they are and how much joy they bring us then maybe they would have been home sooner. I don't begrudge the thoroughness of the program or the process. It's the wrinkles, the bumps, ALL the unnecessary days when there was no movement on our case at all. A constant that is all too familiar in most Guatemalan adoptions.

Last year, times were tough. The dark cloud over our heads just grew and grew. Last year, we lived for one day. Our only hope was hoping in One Day.

So, Happy One Day to me! To my family! To my wonderful, I can squeeze my children any ole time I want Day ! The future I dreamed about is here!

Steph and Tina - it WILL happen! Your One Day will come too. Eli and Daniel will make it home. So, hang on and hold on, just a little bit longer. It is so worth the wait!
We're all praying for your One Day!

10 comments:

ManyBlessings said...

A year already? It remember all this so well. Definitely a Happy ONE DAY to you guys. Bless you today.
d:)

Bobbi said...

Ok, are you trying to see if you can make me cry now? Because, if you are, it worked!! What a wonderful post.

What you went through noone should have to go through. I too am a different person than I was pre-adoption. But,I do believe I am a better person.

My case was "flawless" and I consider myself lucky for that. But, sometimes I wonder if that was because I am not as strong as the rest of you.

Enjoy those exhausting moments.

Happy Blogoversary!! And, to all those "WHAT TAKES SO LONG?" people (oh, how I hated them) BLLLLLLLLLLLL to you!!!!

Steph said...

Okay, I am bawling! What a beautiful post and thank you, for everything.

Greta Jo said...

What a beautiful post. Don't stop hugging your handsome boys.

Gwen, Jenny, & Mia said...

You write so well! I can't imagine how hard the 13 months was for you guys. Even though Mia came home at 9 months I still get jealous of the poeple who bring home 5 month olds, but everything happens for a reason. I think if we did bring her home at 5 months we wouldn't have a relationship with Maria so I feel that is our reason.

Our Family of 5 said...

Happy Year Anniversary! What a great blog you have. Keep it up. I love reading about the twins and seeing them in action!

Anne said...

Donna - You post was so eloquent it brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for the pain you suffered last year but glad that God has found a way to make it a memory for you. Our oldest son (John) came home at 11.5 months, when most babies were coming home as 3 month olds. So I was laughing through my tears at what you wanted to say to others - I remember clearly those same feelings. But like you, the intense pain and anger is gone. Replaced by love and joy that he is home. Keep on blogging, I love following your life with the twins!

Donna said...

A great post! I can so relate to all of it, I can identify with a lot of your thoughts. We were in similar spots last year at this time. And now they are all home! We should have found each others blogs last year, we were on a visit trip and pick up at the same time!

take care,
Donna

Guatmama said...

Your comments are precious. Some days the wait seems so far behind, other times it is still very real! Happy one day to you.

Tina said...

Donna,

What a beautiful post. Thank you for thinking of us and keeping us in your prayers. We know that Daniel will be home, hopefully very soon.