Monday, June 23, 2008

Summetime, computer problems, etc x 2!

I know you're all wondering "Where in the world is Donna?" Okay, maybe not, but anyway.....

Donna's gettin' her butt kicked! lol

First off, Austin is okay - thanks for all the prayers and well wishes. Whatever is was went away on it's own and Logan never really got it. How lucky are we? Swoo

Summertime with two two year olds who are all about being outside and in the water ALL the TIME is crazy! So, I'm never really near my computer to blog, heck - I'm not even really taking pictures right now! yikes!

I am also down a computer and have slower-than-dial-up-Internet speed at the moment, camera issues (still!) and just an all around horrible time trying to get to the computer when I do have a spare minute.

On top of all that, Gary's job have changed some and he is having to help open a new store while still "overseeing" his current/old store (read: Gary is never home!) and then I am loosing my flex hours and having to go to a "scheduled" work week.

Yikes, yikes, yikes!!

So, lots of change and adjustment on top of busy schedules! I apologize to my blogland buddies - I am trying to keep up with your blogs, but just can't seem to take the 7 hours needed to post a comment with my stinky internet connection. Charger for the old computer should be arriving soon (which will fix both my computer and camera issues).

In "big" news, I would like to report that Austin and Logan's re-adoption here has been finalized. Anti-climatic - we don't go to the court house or to a judge or anything. We just paid a lot of money to have a lawyer submit/file our paperwork for us. And then we got a little letter back saying it has been done. So now we get to move forward with new social security cards, US passports, etc.

blah, blah, blah.....sorry, no pics...Oh, and as for my story and the retelling of last year's extended pick-up trip, well, in the midst of all of the above, that seems to be put on indefinite hold. boo. I truly want to get those words and thoughts down "on paper", so I will be trying!

Monday, June 16, 2008

House Cleaning...

Okay, I will resume the story where I last left off sometime this week. Last year, I could not blog basically the whole time I was on my "extended pick-up" trip. So I am trying to document that journey now. Thanks for the enthusiasm!

My little Austin has got some nasty, nasty bug that is sending him into the 103 temperature range. Comes down real easy with a dose of Motrin, but then spikes right back up when the Motrin wears off. So....while taking care of him, I did not get a chance to publicly wish my hubby a Happy Father's Day!

Here's Austin and Logan "presenting" their gifts and cards. They hand picked a fish card and a Spiderman card! And they made two little "catch-all" dishes at church for him.

Boy, they sure do love themselves some DadDa!! And I love this man who is a hands-on Daddy with all of his kids. He sets such a good example, the older boys are very proud of him and we all just love him very much. Bath time is Daddy-time. I'm Mom Boring, but Dad is Funtastic!! Oh - the games they play!

And of course, I thought a lot about my Dad yesterday. Six months. It seems like SO much longer since I've seen him. Mostly now my memories of him are from when he was healthy and cancer free. I still expect to see him sometimes, too. I know that won't go away for a long time. And I also I know with all my heart that Dad is still around us all the time, watching over us and sharing in our happiness - especially watching the twins grow up.

Okay some more housecleaning!

From the previous post - on guessing Austin and Logan's height and weight, Suzanne nailed it exactly!! 34 inches and 27 lbs. They've grown 6 inches since last year, but they've only gained 7 lbs! As active as they are, it 's not hard to see why they haven't gained more!

Next, we finally got to play with Van (! He's been home from China now about two weeks and we met for a playdate at the park. That was a memory a long time in the making between Tracey and I!! Van is oh-so-adorable! And looks just like another Austin and Logan. Same height and weight and same Asian features. We were asked twice if they were brothers or if they were triplets! We can't wait for this relationship to blossom between these three very special little guys. Not many pics as it was incredibly difficult to get all three of the muchkins together. And I can't get my pictures to upload from my other camera, urrr!And lastly, Evan grabbed the camera yesterday and did a photo shoot with the boys, poses and all and he got some GREAT pictures. Austin was already feeling bad, but wanted to participate SO badly, so he got in there some, too!

I bow down to Evan's newfound area of expertise. He is now the appointed family photographer!

Please keep Austin in your prayers, we'll see what the doctor says tomorrow.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June 14th, 2007

(This is what I wrote in my journal last year.)

Last night, we did okay. With Mason's graduation and graduation party behind us, it was time to turn towards my packing.

Gary did a great job – stil assembling the stroller at 11pm!

After a few hours sleep (who am I kidding, I didn't sleep!) 4:15 am - it's time to leave.

(Think the weariness shows on my face any!?!)

It’s 5;45am and I just made my first flight! 1 down, 1 to go.
Last night, when I checked on line, there were 35 empty seats. At the airport this morning, a flight attendant (flying non-revenue) said she had seen 23 available. There should have been plenty of space.

[Each time we traveled to Guatemala we flew "non-revenue" or on Buddy Passes compliments of our flight attendant friend.]
Now, today, this morning, at the counter, they said they were FULL!
I Prayed! Prayed! Prayed!
And I made it. I made the first flight out. When we had traveled on our 2nd visit trip back in February, we had our seats already assigned before we even left Richmond – all the way through. Not this time. I had to wait for everyone to board the plane, see if there were any seats left…and maybe, I would make it.
So, anyway, I made it! Yay! And poor little seat passenger says he’s been flying since Tuesday (today is Thursday) because of all the bad storms! Oh – that explains the suddenly full plane!

377 days down, 6 hours to go.

I waited at the wrong terminal in Charlotte for 3 ½ hours! At 10:20am, I decided to look around and found my flight at Gate D1 not D7! Ugh!

They were already pre-checking folks. My stomach churned. I just kept picturing “calm” and “opening my hands to receive.” You’re not in control, I told myself.

I asked about flight space. She looked briefly and said, “Oh, you should be fine.” SO casually said, I thought.

I met another traveler who travels to Guatemala all the time. He went and spoke with the very efficient counter rep and came back. "Hmm, she said only 115 of the 138 passengers have checked in. Maybe they waited at the wrong terminal like you. I’m going to go look for more.”

What? Are you kidding me? I called Buff (my flight attendant friend who had given us the buddy passes), she looked online and saw 138 seats taken, and 11 non-revs waitlisted.

Oh, puh-leeze don’t go look for more passengers. Can these numbers really be right?

What happened to 1 seat left and 9 non-rev which is what I saw online last night?

Finally – the counter reps eye’s found mine. “Taylor, right? First class?”
[We always paid the extra ($35) to upgrade to first class, too. If the back of the plane filled up, we couldn't go to first class unless we had prepurchased the upgrade.]

As I stood as the ticket counter, the rep kept banging away at keys, more computer stuff, I kept trying to prepare myself if I didn't make the flight. "Ugh, I can’t get this to work..I don’t know if….okay, I’m just gonna hand write your seat number # 2F.”

I don’t remember much after that – I got in line.

Will she take my ticket? Some confusion about the hand written. I stand there, waiting. No, no you can go.

I start walking the gangway, tears start coming. I am here. I have made it. OMG! My babies! My boys.

Tears, big, ugly tears slide down my face as I board the plane, find my seat, but I don’t sit down…just in case there’s a mistake. Still crying. Ask for tissues. Poor stewardesses.

After a lull, suddenly more people start to board. I think they’ve found all the missing passengers, I’m going to have to leave. I actually hear from the flight attendant, “Yes, I know who, I’ll go tell her.” But they say row 4 and walked right by me.

The doors to the plane closed. My heart breaks, crumbles with the emotional enormity of the situation.

I am in. I am on. I am safe.

I have made it. OMG. The end of my journey. Nothing but motion now. It will all happen. I do not have to do anything. No more calling attorney's and agency reps. Or writing letters to government officials. No more hitting "refresh" on my computer. It’s over.

Tears, choked up, over come. 377 days and today, June 14th, my dreams will come true. They’ll be in my arms. In a matter of hours.

As the plane taxis, I feel the pull get even stronger. The same pull that shattered my inner core when I had to leave Guatemala in Feb. When I had to leave my children behind. Now, the center of my being is being pulled home - like a beacon. Home to my boys.

I wish Gary was here. Or my mom. Or my best friend, Anne. Anyone to share in the joy, in the moment. But I’m glad I’m still doing going, even without anyone by my side. I don’t know how long it’ll take. I don’t know when anyone will be able to join me in Guatemala. But none of that matters.

I sob, I am crying, the ugly cry. I realize it is not going to stop! I just wave the flight attendants off. Please, go tend to your other sane passengers. You have no idea, I’ll just take another glass of white wine. Thank you.

377 days of waiting, of wanting, of hoping.

Praise God, I shouldn’t be on this plane, but He did it!

Stay tuned for Part II....

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Bryan Carlos!

Okay, drum roll please - I would like to introduce you all to Bryan Carlos!! Bryan Carlos is from Guatemala. His birthday is one day before Austin and Logan's. His Mom and I met "on-line" last year right around the time of our sons' first birthdays cuz Bryan wasn't home either. And we were consoling each other. BUT - lo and behold, Bryan's Mom, Suzanne and I go to the same hairdresser and we live in the SAME town! How cool is that!?!

Last year, Bryan and his family including Big Sis, Miss Emily were sweet enough to join us for Austin and Logan's baptism. He was pretty much the same size as them. Isn't he a cutie-pie?

Now, fast forward to this year, at Bryan's birthday party (which was a month ago, but we're playing catch up here)....he is even more adorable, and he is OFF the growth charts! He could squoosh Austin and Logan! He is a tank - 100% all boy, too! We love him!

Aren't those shirts great? Suzanne got them off of Ebay.
Austin and Logan loved the Micky Mouse theme! So much so, that Logan, ummm...well, Logan decapitated Micky Mouse with some over zealous lovin'. Thankfully, Bryan Carlos enjoyed waving bye-bye to the gigantic head as it floated away from the park...and, well, in true birthday spirit all of the kids continued to have fun with Micky Mouse's, body parts! Hope that didn't destroy our chances for a re-invite!

We truly hope we can get together and play more often with you, Bryan Carlos! And we can't wait for your Momma to start HER blog!

By the way, we went to the doctor last Friday for their 2 year old check-up. Anyone want to take a guess at Austin and Logan's stats (weight and height)?!?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

8 Things..

I've been tagged by Gwen and Tina...

So, here goes: 8 Things...

8 Things I am passionate about (I cheated and asked my husband, here are his answers):

1. being right
2. being a good mom
3. prayer
4. financial stability/budget
5. keeping a neat closet
6. journaling/blogging
7. bags (I love bags, buy 'em all the time. Evan and Mason call me The Baglady!)
8. The underdog (I don't care too much for sports, but I always root for the loosing team)

8 Things I want to do before I die:

1. Enjoy my future grandkids
2. Go to Italy and meet my family there
3. Take Austin and Logan back to Guatemala
4. Do Mission work in Guatemala
5. Find my daughter if God has given me one
6. Meet Austin and Logan's birthmother
7. Be the recipient of a "Thanks, Mom for raising me so well" from any one of my four sons.
8. Wrtie a book

8 Things I say often:

1. Okay, Mommy's going to go put her pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty
2. Can you peez hand me...oops, sorry - I mean can you please hand me... (when I realize I'm
talking to another adult)
3. NO hitting
4. ticka, ticka, ticka (tickle, tickle, tickle)
5. Yes, I do have my hands full, and it's about time, you should see how full my heart is, too.
6. Hold hands, hold hands, HOLD hands!!
7. Shake your bootie!!
8. Let me call you back.

8 Books I've read lately (You actually think I have time to read)

1. My Best Friend's Daughter
2. Chicka-Chicka Boom boom
3. Cars (Board book)
4. Colors
5. Barney - opposites
6. Sleeping Habits of a Healthy Child
7. Animals
8. My First Words (both Spansih and Enlgish editions from Usborne)

8 Movies I've watched 8 times or more:

1. Dirty Dancing
2. Grease
3. Beaches
4. An Officer and a Gentlemen
5. Moonstruck
6. Pretty Woman
7. ShangHigh Noon
8. Miss Congenality

8 People I'm tagging

1. Bobbie
2. Heidi
3. Cheryl
4. Anyone who wants to play along!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Reflections and Rainbows


June 2nd, 2006: Two years ago today, we received our referral for Austin and Logan. Precious! Precious! Precious!

June 2nd, 2007: One year later and I was a mess! May had been a whopper of a month for me last year. I spent the month of May ready to hop on a plane and foster my babies until we could all come home together. We had been on Barrios desk and our new "hired" lawyers informed us on May 8th that we had most likely been signed off on. This was HUGE because Barrios was leaving for two weeks! However, I needed confirmation so that I could fly out knowing I would get home in time for Mason's graduation (June 12th). Each day dragged on. My file (not surprisingly) hit some Bermuda triangle as it wasn't on Barrios desk nor was it at the window for pick-up. Early on the morning of May 23rd, I was told Barrios had messed up and only given me one "n" in my name. So my file had not been passed onto the window. Now, back up to Mr. B's desk to wait for the other "n."

During all of this stomach churning ordeal, I was spending every minute e-mailing Mason's teachers - ALL of them and basically "pulling" Mason across the Finish Line to graduate high school.

Each day....are we out of PGN? How many points does Mason need on this quiz and still be able to graduate? If we get out today, can I leave and get back before graduation? Will there even BE a graduate?

If we get out of PGN, will the US Embassy let us come home? So far, they had not approved anyone with our arrested facilitator. Families had flown down in Feb last year for their pick-up trips and the Embassy had basically "rescinded" (sp?) their pink slips. As per embassy style, they were tight lipped, were the cases in investigations? What were they looking for, etc? Or were all of our files being slung into a corner and ignored!?!

Can you say exhausting!?!

June 2, 2008: This year...I'm still exhausted! LOL

These little guys do not stop! Some Austin and Logan highlights:

They're kleptos: They've stolen. While shopping at the beach, they somehow manged to stuff some stickers into their stroller. Not discovered until we got home.

Cassie, these little stickers were coming to Maine, except that during the photo shoot, I turned my back for a minute, neigh a second and just that quickly, they were snagged and being used to redecorate our living room furniture! ;-( But take heart in the fact that two little guys down here in the south stole for you!

They're Evil Knivel understudies: They've both fallen down a flight of stairs (two separate incidences). They've both escaped the house and have made it to the street before getting caught (this happens on numerous occasions because apparently the command "Make sure the door is shut, please." somehow doesn't compute in male heads age 16 or over.) Austin has actually ran with a butcher's knife in his hand before it was successfully removed (and a new, higher tech lock put on the drawer). Logan has run with broken glass (from an outside tealight holder circa 2005. Who knew it was behind the bushes!?!) while gnawing on another piece of broken glass. None of the above stunts resulted in any physical, bodily harm...well, except to Mom's heart!

The infamous METAL knob from previous post.

Where the knob used to live before encountering Logan's head!

They're dancers. They follow all of the choreography. They sing. They act.

Oh, and they've recently begun Hitfest 2008 which was pre-empted by the ever popular Slapfast 2008. Luckily, Bitefest 2008 was shortlived. And I'm looking forward to the reintroduction of Hugfest 2007!

Overall, a good year. I can still feel the pain and misery of last year. Well, relate to it - I should say. I was miserable. Heartbroken. Stressed and crushed.

This year...I'm still on a high. Still rejoicing in having them home. Still marveling that I can reach out and touch them. Kiss their little cheeks and their little toesies.

(Well, at least kiss on them the 15% of the time that they're not in timeout!! Seriosuly, we are one Hit away from a 24 hour lockdown! And they all tell me Three is the "new" Two? What!?! Say it isn't so!)

We were coming home last night from a church picnic and we suddeny saw a Rainbow! I have not seen a bright rainbow in years! It was actually a double rainbow.

Gary and I hooped and hollared in the car, "Wain-bo! Wain-bo! Look, Austin and Logan a real Wain-bo!" Rainbow was one of the first words that Logan said without our actually teaching it to him. He brought a book to me one day and kept saying "Wain-bo" over and over until I connected it with what was one the cover, a rainbow!!

We called Mason and Evan who had left 30 minutes before us and told them to run outside to see if they could see the rainbow. When we pulled onto our street, this is what we saw:

The full rainbow...and it was right over our street. Awwww!

That's our house over there on the right. Right where the pot of gold is!! Awwww!