Sunday, December 30, 2007
Domi made lots of friends on this visit... he LOVED his blue turtle that sang and danced to "Macarena". He also discovered his tongue and loved to stick it out all the time... we are so BLESSED to have this angel as our child. :) He is crawling like an expert and standing on his own. He has one tooth and several more emerging. He is a very happy baby and such an absolute joy!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
He is a little shy with other children and doesn't like to share his toys very much, but we are working on that. He has three little girlfriends and several baby boy buddies that play with him. It was so sweet to see all the babies in their Christmas outfits, we took cute group photos. Domi was not happy in any of the pictures, he wanted Mama... I couldn't say no so I am the only parent in several of the shots!
More stories and photos via Snapfish to come!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Believe it or not, I am also very, very close to my pooches and have a heavy heart because Brody's birthday is December 26 and we will be away! He will be 3, and the last two years he had a big family birthday party on the 26th with lots of love, attention and gifts. My parents will be watching him, Alfie and Katie while we are away, so they will be in good hands. I just know my relationship with them will change once we have children, but my prayer is our children will become just as close to them as we are, and there will be even more love all around in our family. :) Thank God we have them to help with our wait for our human babies....
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Domi does not like to have his diaper or clothing changed. It is crazy, but I just tried to get it over with as quickly as possible. Domi is almost always in good spirits. He had diarrhea on Wednesday and I put him on Pedialyte, then on Thursday he started spitting that up. So his foster Mom came to pick him up to take him to the doctor. He did not have a fever so they gave him an antibacterial medicine. I have since learned that one of the babies he played with also got sick. I am told this happens, but it made me stressed nonetheless. He was all smiles and eating well when I left on Friday.
Domi loves all the attention he gets from his beyond fabulous hair. :) He was dubbed "Little Elvis" and one grandfather said "Elvis has left the building" every time we left a room - it was funny!
Dan and I are heading back to Guatemala from December 22 - 29, we are excited to spend Domi's first Christmas with him. We are also so blessed and grateful for this amazing opportunity we have been given to parent an absolute angel.
Thank you to all our friends and family who have offered endless love, support and sincerely sharing this journey with us - the joy and the sorrow. We feel more confident than ever that we will have our son home soon.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Please continue to send your good thoughts and prayers. Our Guatemala coordinator will bring Domi to me tomorrow afternoon. I am struggling with our agency to get detailed and accurate information, and of course to maximize my time with Domi... this is a take what you can get situation which does not sit well with me.
I envision me, Dan and Domi on a beach when Domi is old enough to understand that we have a BIG surprise for him... we are going to China to pick up his little sister. :) Hope I am not completely gray at that time. ;)
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
My agency also tells us we are out of Family Court so we should enter PGN soon! That is the LAST step on this journey, I am pretty exhausted with all the chaos about the Hague Convention and am just staying focused on bringing my son home. I just know in my heart it will happen soon.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
I am heading to Guatemala City November 17 - 24 by myself because Dan is unable to take off time from work. I pray I have the energy and patience to make the week a special one for my precious son. I know we will have a blast, but will really miss Dan!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I am personally sickened that many agencies, including my own, are STILL accepting applications for new adoptions! How can this be if families like us already deep in the process (5 months plus) don't know if our adoptions will complete? I wrote my agency an e-mail using strong language (perhaps using words born from a state of extreme emotional distress) and questioned their current practice. The response I got back was that I was "attacking" the agency, and I was the only parent that took this stance. So frustrating and ludicrous!
I want answers, I want answers, I just want answers. Each day that goes I can't catch my breath at the thought that we may not get to bring our baby home. The pain has become so constant, it takes all my energy to keep it together in public. His nursery is empty, I don't even walk down that section of hallway anymore.
Friday, September 28, 2007
The posting indicates that Guatemala intends to stop international adoptions with any country that is not compliant with the Hague Convention by January 1, 2008. This implies that we, and many other families, will have our adoptions interrupted and the process will be delayed indefinitely.
We implore you to PLEASE HELP us find a way to prevent this from happening. Our son is six months old, and we have already visited him twice in Guatemala City. He is our child and our sincere and simple desire is to provide a loving, happy and healthy home for him. Our son needs to have a permanent routine as soon as possible to ensure he does not suffer from any development delays or emotional issues.
Please, please, please help us to complete our adoption and bring our son home safely. You can help by going on-line to sign this credible on-line petition to our government asking them to support in process cases to completion, and to work with the Guatemalan government to pass legislation that will keep international adoption as an option for the children of Guatemala.
This on-line petition was written by Hannah Wallace, president of Focus on Adoption--a US based group. She has been a wonderful advocate for adoption from Guatemala and is a credible person. Thank you for your help, we hope thousands of people sign so please forward to other caring people you may know. Here is the link:
We are blessed to have the love and support from all of you. We will keep you posted on our status.
Laura and Dan
Friday, September 14, 2007
On another note, I just (tried) to steam clean the carpet in the nursery. It was formerly my husband's office and now that the furniture is out I have come to realize it was also a "den" for the dogs. Those little monsters left their "mark" (literally) everywhere. UGH! My husband also seemed to manage to track in a lot of dirt and spill a lot of soda pop. We may end up changing it our if I can't get the worse parts covered with furniture. I'm thinking the room will really get trashed in Domi's toddler years, then we he is old enough to control himself we will replace with new carpet. ;) Can't wait for the crib and dresser to come later today!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
It's interesting that my passion for music has been rekindled by becoming a Mother. I found myself singing to Domi all the time. There is one song in particular that I enjoyed singing. It may appear to be an odd choice, and it is overall a sad song but the part about constant movement really applies to my son, he likes to be on the move whether it's rolling on the bed, strolling in the stroller or hitching a ride in the Baby Bjorn when Mommy and Daddy are walking. Anyway, here are the lyrics from "Baker Street" that I sang often to my baby - he seemed to like my voice. :)
But you know he'll always keep movin'
You know he's never gonna stop movin
Cus he's rollin'
He's the rollin' stone
The presidential and other political office elections were held today in Guatemala. There is so much uncertainty and disturbing rumors/predictions about what the outcome may hold for international adoptions. We are trying to stay strong and hold onto the precious memories of our son, and the belief he will be home with us one day soon.
We worked long and hard today preparing the nursery. Dan has moved into my office and his former office (which is a full size bedroom) will become the nursery. The crib and dresser are coming on Friday, and my Mom and I are buying the nursery fabric at Calico Corners on Saturday. My Mom is sewing all the custom bedding. I am excited and pray I will actually have the little guy enjoying his new digs by the end of the year. :)
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
One very funny story from today... Dominic was throwing his usual fit when we tried to change his outfit due to another leaky diaper! I finally told Dan lets just throw in the towel and put on his bath robe since it is so easy to put on. Turns out the robe was a little small and gaped in the middle, but we put it on anyway and strolled him around the hotel to calm him down. Well, he turned into the local celebrity and was nicknamed Little Hugh Hefner! I will share photos of that tomorrow, he even waved to the camera! It was hilarious!
Monday, September 3, 2007
Dan and I both have post traumatic stress disorder from what can only be described as a SCARY DIAPER EVENT!!! Let us just say we are stunned at how 6 ounces of formula on a five month old child can produce such a humongous and super stinky package in a diaper! Seriously, it was like a gremlin and kept showing up... on his onesie, on his pants, on his socks, in his hair, on the sheets, on the towels... AYAYYAYAYAY! We were like deers in the headlights and worked on the situation for a good 15 minutes before we felt like baby was clean and all soiled surfaces were banished to the laundry. Thank God they offer laundry services here!!!
We are really enjoying our time with our son, even the stinky parts!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Thank you to everyone who has sent kind wishes and prayers our way. We are slowly making progress with the adoption and still are hopeful to bring Dominic home by the end of the calendar year. We are so blessed and excited to be making this second visit for a full week!
Unfortunately, my father-in-law hurt his hip and ankle and won't be able to join us. My mother-in-law is staying behind too to take care of him. We will miss them, but will shower Dominic with their love nonetheless. :)
As always, we will take many, many pictures and send links via Snapfish. If you read my blog and don't get copied on the links but would like to, drop me a comment and I will add you to the distribution list. My next entry will be from Guatemala! BIG SMILE!! :)
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
To bring in some interest and age appropriate fun, I found this adorable pony fabric with multi-colored horses. I will have just the two blue and yellow horses used as center pieces for pillows, the background will be the same fabric used as piping on the bedspread and the border around the ponies will be bright yellow ribbon.
Here is the whole concept pulled together. I will probably have another pillow made of the Bravada Salsa for use on the glider. I am hoping for a neutral beige Ultrasuede glider or rocker that we can move to our Master bedroom once our children are too old to be rocked (like in 20 years!). :)
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
On a brighter note, we are headed back to Guatemala from August 31 to September 7. It should be another great visit and I PRAY that we will have crossed many milestones by then. So far, things are s-l-o-w and we are struggling not to go crazy and become pushy. What good will that do? No good whatsoever!
So, my darling baby, I am thinking of you on this special day and dreaming of the many, many birthdays we will share together. I promise to make each one special, just as you deserve for them to be!
Friday, July 13, 2007
- elephant mini-backpack (so cute for pre-school!)
- hand made pool slippers
- t-shirt of Guatemala from A to Z
- wooden toy
- wooden horse
- hand woven book mark
- picture frame
I can't wait to pull one of these gifts from hiding each year for the next 18 years to talk about his heritage and reminisce about our journey to bring him home. I have no doubt the pain and suffering we feel now will soon be a distant memory as soon as we are united and begin to celebrate our lives together!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
We were concerned on Thursday that he was getting sick. He had the sniffles and a mild cough. So, we called our Guatemala coordinator Cindy for help. She came right away and called the pediatrician and had medicine delivered to us. I knew nothing was seriously wrong with our son, but wanted his symptoms treated before they possibly developed into a flu or cold. I apologized to Cindy if we appeared to be alarmists, and she said "No need to apologize. You as a family have stolen my heart". I was so moved by her words I started crying. It really moved me that she could see how we were meant to be a family with our little son from Guatemala.
There is a lovely song by Dashboard Confessionals and the chorus is "You Have Stolen My Heart". I sang that to our son over and over, because that is exactly what happened in Guatemala. He stole our hearts and is keeping them with him until we return for another visit. While it was the most painful experience of my life to leave him behind, I choose to celebrate the miracle that he is in our life and is on his way to becoming our child legally. I choose to celebrate that we were blessed to spend an entire week with him 24/7 and got to know his big personality. I choose to celebrate that I will have a lifetime of loving this child that is the most special gift I have ever received.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
We are having such a wonderful time getting to know him, and feel so blessed to spend this full week with the little man. He loves to snuggle, eat, play with his piggy toy, walk in the Baby Bjorn and stroll in the stroller. He also likes to have his diaper changed and loves lotion rubbed on him and powder sprinkled on him. He is not yet fond of baths, so we compromised today with a sponge bath and he was a bit better with that approach.
Dan is such an amazing father and it warms my heart to see him with our baby. He has endless patience and such a healthy respect for an infants needs. Our baby just loves him and always has a smile ready for Papa. I have also bonded with our little angel and I get a big smile when I come back in the room after I have been away. There are no words to describe that feeling!
Sunday, July 1, 2007
We are here in beautiful Guatemala City and met our son yesterday. We arrived at the hotel around 3 p.m. and expected him at 3 p.m. too, so we were relieved when we called our local coordinator to learn she was about a half hour behind schedule. We waited and waited in the lobby with racing hearts every time a car drove up. I had seen a picture of our local coordinator so I recognized here when she finally did come around 5 p.m. I completely broke down with tears of joy and so much intense emotion. Our baby was so bundled up I couldnt see his face, but I awkwardly took him and just kissed him and hugged him and cried my eyes out. He is a little peanut with a VERY full head of unruly hair.
Dan and I slept very little the night before we left so we were quite exhausted but ready to try our hand at being Mama and Papa. After trial and error we figured out the cereal we were told him to give with every other bottle is too thick for the nipples, and he doesnt like the nipples on the bottles we brought with us. So, Dan went out by himself to buy new nipples, bottles and baby hair gel. I am not kidding when I say it is an issue, it gets in his face and eyes when he is eating. I tried to comb it back with gel but he just ends up looking like Albert Einstein in his prime, hee hee.
The Baby Bjorn is a God send and our son loves to be held and walked and fed while in the carrier. He is not fond of baths, but loves a good rub down with the Crabtree and Evelyn body products we brought with us. He takes about 2 naps a day for 20 minues and he slept about 6 hours straight last evening. We all feel more refreshed today and Dan and I are slowly gaining confidence. It was comical last night, neither us of felt we could do anything without help from the other. We hugged and kissed goodnight last night and told each other what a good job we are doing as new parents. IT DOES INDEED TAKE A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD.
The hotel is wonderful and the staff is AWESOME. I had to go downstairs at 11 p.m. to get some bottles washed and the housekeeping staff could not have been more friendly and kind. My Spanish is not what it should be, I understand about 80% of what is said to me and am resourceful when speaking but don't know tenses very well.
Anyway, we love our little angel and are having fun with him. He is training us on his likes and dislikes and we are eager students. More to come soon....
Friday, June 29, 2007
I sincerely want to THANK all of our amazing a supportive friends and family who have sent e-mails, phone calls, prayers and good wishes our way. I am sorry I have not been able to respond to everyone individually, but promise to do so once we return. I am overwhelmed with the love and support we have received.
I am getting really excited!! Is it possible to hold a baby non-stop for a week? I am going to try, and just let Dan snuggle once in awhile. ;) Love to you all, the next time you hear from me, we will be with our son!!!! :)
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I am almost done packing for him, and YES I will take many pictures in each and every of the 30 or so outfits he will be wearing while we are there. :) I am at least done shopping, Dan is off tomorrow and will get the last few things we need.
I am so HAPPY and RELIEVED that our dossier is officially done TODAY! I cannot thank my lovie friend Maria enough - you will not believe what happened...
Maria and her husband Andrew agreed to write Witness Statements for our dossier. These documents have to be notarized, certified and authenticated. Well, when I went to the Secretary of State yesterday to have a load of documents certified, the expiration date for the notary Maria used did not match the date in their database so she rejected that one document and told me it had to be redone! UGH! Maria was a TOTAL TROOPER and said "No problem, I will get it redone right away". So I met up with her last night to get the redone document only to find that the notary (different than before) wrote Maria's name instead of her own, crossed it out, initialed it and squeezed her name in place. Needless to say, it did not look clean and I have been warned that the Guatemala courts look down on messy documents. I scanned the document and called my agency for their advice - they said to have it redone again! I am not making this up! So, this morning I met Maria at her bank for the third document and the notary (different than before) accidentally stamped the document with his seal upside down!!! AYAYYAYA! He did some quick thinking, whited out the seal and ran a fresh copy that they both signed. SUCCESS!!! Is Maria a TRUE FRIEND or what? Major gift from us in her future. :)
Did I mention that we are advised not to wear shorts, denim or sweats in public areas? I'm thinking we will have some very spiffy pictures in our nice outfits. :) FYI, I will not be posting pictures from our visit, rather I will e-mail a private album for our friends, family and blog buddies viewing pleasure. ;)
P.S. I almost took pictures of all the clothes, toys, supplies and books we have for our baby, but then realized they will look even better in pictures WITH OUR BABY!!!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
OK, EXCELLENT news. We received notification today from USCIS that they have notified the US Consulate in China to send our paperwork to Guatemala. Also, our China I-171H is good enough for Guatemala to get the DNA test done, so that may happen next week. We have 15 documents to walk through the Secretary of State and Guatemala Consulate here in Phoenix tomorrow, then we will HAND DELIVER our completed dossier to our coordinator on Saturday.
We arrive in Guatemala City at 1:30 p.m. and will have our son at 3 p.m.! YEAH!!!!! Dan is so sweet, he bought a cap that says "Rookie Dad". I think we will fight over who gets to hold our baby more! :)
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I came home and started washing all the baby stuff with the special baby detergent my Mom told me to use. Dan and I sorted his clothing based on color and wash temperature and ended up with 5 little loads. Oh well, I suppose that is a day in the life of Mommyville. I was just folding another load and ended up with an extra sock! Already we have a missing sock and our child has not even worn them once yet! I hope it turns up in the next load.
I really am exhausted now, my weekend was very full and this week will fly by. We are six days away from meeting our baby and are filled with so many emotions - mostly happiness but also anxiety and fear! I swear when Dan and I were buying diapers (our agency told us to take some) we were like Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber. There are so many options but also not enough - for example, I wanted some overnight diapers then my Mom told me "He may not be sleeping through the night". Huh??? Oh yeah, he's 3 only months old!!!
Off I go to read the Chapter on "What to expect from your 3 month old" in the Child Development book my sister encouraged me to buy! I will have sweet dreams. :)
Thursday, June 21, 2007
This is called "Safari Parade". LOVE the detail on the dust ruffle and the overall very tailored look.
This one is called "Jungle Walk". I like chocolate brown and look at the interesting dust ruffle.
This one is "Cosmo Baby" and looks very modern and sophisticated. Too sophisticated for a baby? Even my child? ;)The final one is called "Coco Baby" and combines chocolate brown and turquoise - GORGEOUS! But again, is it age appropriate? I could see these colors and fabrics in a living room...
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I have a list of items to pack from our agency and Dan, my Mom, my oldest sister Diana and I are going shopping on Sunday. On our agenda: Children's Place, Gymboree, Macy's, Build-A-Bear, Babies R Us and possibly Target. I keep asking my sister and Mom, "How many outfits will he need each day?". Of course I am hoping the answer will change to at least 5, but apparently if you use a bib at meal time they stay relatively clean. Doesn't matter, I will buy cute outfits and change him if only for photo opportunities!
Oh, you may be curious why Dan is tagging along with shopping? He is so excited too, and we are recording our voices in a custom teddy bear at Build-A-Bear. Dan said "He needs 4 stuffed animals, one with our voice and three with our dog's barks". He was serious too! We also have to buy a carrier, like a Baby Bjorn and I want to be sure we pick one we both feel comfortable in.
Ten days, I can barely wrap my head around this adventure! :)
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Give me a A
Give me a T
Give me a E
Give me a M
Give me a A
Give me a L
Give me a A
What's that spell? GUATEMALA!
We are going to Guatemala to visit our son for the first time from June 30 to July 7!!! WOW - we are excited, overwhelmed and so blessed to have this opportunity. I have been through every emotion - tears of joy, fear, anxiety, etc. We are over the moon and have our air travel booked, hotel reserved and are waiting on details from our agency. Our contact was in Guatemala this week and now is on vacation. She is back at work Monday morning and guess who will be up at 8 a.m. EST running through my growing list of questions.
I have found a Guatemala adoption support group through Yahoo and have spoken to a local family too. So, there is support our there, not as large locally as Families with Children from China, but we are networking slowly but surely.
I am on CLOUD 9 and even Jazzercise felt like a really fun time yesterday. :)
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Look at these adorable his and her PJs (cupcakes and dinosaurs). I know our children probably won't wear them at the same time but I simply CANNOT buy something for one child and not the other! How did my parents do it with 5 daughters???
Monday, June 11, 2007
Friday, June 8, 2007
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Bad news first - we have to REDO every part of the China dossier that could possibly be relevant. Guatemala likes "fresh" documents so it's back to ordering birth and marriage certificates, police clearance reports, etc. Our home study thankfully just needs an addendum to redirect to Guatemala.
The VERY GOOD NEWS is that there is Consulate for Guatemala right here in Phoenix and I have already had to visit to get our Power of Attorney expedited! This will make the authentication process very easy as it is a quick drive to downtown Phoenix. I am hoping (praying) we get our dossier turned in within 2 weeks!
I sent two Fed Ex packages to our agency today, it gets very hectic chasing pieces and parts and I learned about the local Consulate after I shipped off the first batch. Oh well, at least I was able to send blankets, pacifiers and a teething toy for our son. I so want to share more with everyone, but I want to be cautious. I promise soon we will review his beautiful photo and name (YES - we have agreed on his name!). :)
Sunday, May 27, 2007
For those of you who are curious - here is a basic outline of the process we will go through to bring our son home:
- Complete the Dossier - Should be very fast for us as we can leverage a lot of what we have done for the China adoption
- Referral - Already Done! :)
- Dossier to Guatemala - Dossier goes through legalization and translation, social worker is assigned and completes study on mother and baby.
- DNA Process - Many legal steps but ultimately the DNA test proves the mother giving up her child is truly the biological mother
- FIRST TRIP TO MEET OUR SON! - We will both head to Guatemala to visit our son and show our intention together to adopt him and also simplify his U.S. citizenship by completing this step.
- After Family Court and DNA - Many more legal steps that involve the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala and the PGN (Procuraduria). This may take awhile as the PGN is very picky and known to "kick out" cases for curious reasons. Many prayers needed at this point - but when finished, our baby is coming home!
- FINAL TRIP TO BRING OUR BABY HOME!!!!!
- Many, many post-placement reports - easy beans after all we have been through already! :)
Also want to note, this adoption is in no way a substitute for our China adoption, this is a blessed interim adoption and YES we realize we will likely have two babies in diapers at the same time! ;)
More information to come, please continue to send your good wishes and prayers our way as we work through the process and unite with our baby boy! Also, feel free to submit suggestions for names as we are once again stumped and can't seem to agree...
Saturday, May 12, 2007
We just decided last week to move forward with this interim adoption while we wait for our baby from China. I can barely wrap my head around having 2 babies at some point in the near future. YOWZA! Life will become crazy busy and deliciously complicated - I cannot wait!
OK, so last weekend I went outlet shopping in Calbazon, CA with my girlfriend Donna and her friend Linda Marie. I raked in the bargains and bought many, many little outfits! I also found great deals at Babies-R-Us yesterday, so now our baby boy has over 40 outfits! How can that be if I have only been shopping twice? I am really having fun planning their wardrobes! ;)
We hope we will be home with our little boy within a year. We are working on names still for both our babies, it is such an important decision! We just sent in our official application and will sign the agency contract and complete our dossier as next steps. I will detail the process in my next post, it is VERY different that China's process.
Once again, we believe that God will send us the right children and we have opened our hearts and minds to the privilege of parenting two orphans. I hope they like dogs! :)
Here is the start of our boy's wardrobe...
Onesies - you can never have too many of these, right?
Somehow many of these outfits (khaki shorts, collared polo shirts) strongly resemble Dan's wardrobe...
Lots of overalls because they're a little boy classic!