Sunday, December 30, 2007

The BEST Christmas Gift Ever...

GREAT NEWS!!! We received confirmation we are in the final stage of the adoption - Domi will be home soon! We have waited awhile to enter PGN (Guatemala adoption court) and found out just before we left yesterday that we are in! The average time a family waits while in PGN is 8 weeks - here's hoping that's what our wait will be. After that, a second DNA test on Domi and a short wait to be issued an embassy appointment... in total we are praying he will be home by March.

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

Merry Christmas from Guatemala!

We are here safe and sound in Guatemala and loving every minute with our little Domino. He had a haircut and looks like a little boy now, but I had fun putting gel in and spiking it up a bit. He is VERY attached to me, I am THRILLED that my Thanksgiving visit paid off in spades. He is warming up to Dan too and is very snuggly.

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

5 Days!!!

I am getting VERY EXCITED!!! I can't wait to see my baby love again, and I am so happy that Dan will be with me. We will have a lovely week and I plan to cherish every moment. My hope is time flies this week! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Early Christmas Gift!!!!

There is news today that Guatemala passed legislation today that will allow in process cases to complete under the current laws! We just need Guatemalan President Berger to sign off and we will be 100% relieved...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

We leave in 2 weeks!

We are very excited and blessed to spend our son's first Christmas with him. We are still uncertain when we will be able to bring him home, it is a painful and trying process; however, we try to never lose sight of how fortunate we are to have Dominic in our lives right now. He is an ANGEL, and not a moment goes by that I don't think about him. I really , really bonded with him over Thanksgiving, we missed Dan but the time was so intensely joyful. I even learned how to go to the bathroom holding him and using only one hand! I felt like a CHAMPION MOM! :)

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

Recap of my blissful week...

Well, I am finally taking the time to share more information from my wonderful, blessed week with baby Domi. First of all, he is growing so big! He can crawl and is very strong. He can pull himself to standing in the play pen. He loved laying in bed with me and throwing his little body on mine, and climbing on me like I was a mountain. One morning, he fell asleep across my neck and chest, so we formed a cross. It was the sweetest moment of my life!

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

We're Doing GREAT!!!

I have to be brief, but we are doing great!!! The first half hour that we were alone was stressful for Domi and he was very upset. Slowly he relaxed and seemed to remember me. :) He can now crawl among other shocking tricks - like grabbing Mommy's eyes, lips, hair and clothing with abandon. He is so much fun at this age and is loving all the toys Daddy sent him. He sends a HUGE HUG AND KISS to Daddy! Will try to write more soon, but may not be able to until the end of the week. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

On My Way!

I am in Dallas at the Admirals Club, enjoying a glass of white wine while I wait to board my plane to Guatemala City! I am excited and nervous, Dan is not with me. I miss him already! I travel a lot for business, but this is different - this is family, this is a matter of the heart...

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

5 Days!!!

I am a little out of control buying 9 month old outfits... Domi will be 8 months old on Saturday and we will be snuggling fools on Sunday! :) Can't wait!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Eight Days and Counting!!!

I am so excited - I leave for Guatemala in eight days! I CANNOT wait to hold my little cherub. My agency shared photos of him from her visit last week and may I say he is more HANDSOME than ever! He looks so healthy - pink cheeks, lots of shiny hair and a good amount of baby fat. :) I am EXCITED!

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

Hope and Prayers

The presidential elections for Guatemala will happen tomorrow. Our prayer is the vote for the amendment that will allow in process families to complete their adoption will occur shortly thereafter. Thank you all for your good wishes, thoughts and prayers. We will keep you posted.

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!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Unrecognizable

I am afraid I don't have good news to share. We still don't know what is going to happen with our adoption and we simply don't understand everything that is going on. I don't know what to believe - apparently UNICEF, the Joint Council on International Children's Services, and our very own US Government have all contributed to this nightmare. Our agency said an amendment would be voted on last week to allow in process adoptions to continue, but that vote didn't happen. Apparently it will happen after the elections in November. Who knows, seemingly not our agency!?!?

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

URGENT HELP NEEDED!!!

Dear Family and Friends, as you know we are in the middle of adopting a baby boy, Dominic Xavier, from Guatemala and are beside ourselves with fear and worry over the posting earlier this week on the US Government web site specific to Guatemala.

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:

http://www.petitiononline.com/foafoa1/petition.html

We are blessed to have the love and support from all of you. We will keep you posted on our status.

Love,
Laura and Dan

Friday, September 14, 2007

Nursery Photos

WOW! The furniture is even more beautiful and larger than I remembered. Here are some sneak peek photos - we have a ways to go but you can kind of see the direction I am going - a sophisticated, whimsical Guatemala and Western theme. I am going to stain and paint a bookcase and the floating shelf with pegs (pictured below). The majority of these pieces will be stained to match the crib and dresser, but the insides will be painted a vibrant blue! Stay tuned...








ANOTHER MILESTONE COMPLETED!!!!

I am BEYOND THRILLED to announce that we received our pre-approval from the US Embassy to enter PGN (Guatemala Court System). We only had to wait 42 days for this milestone and were expecting at least 60, so this is HUGE! Smile with me people! :)

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

Please Keep Us...

... in your thoughts and prayers. We parted with our baby son on Friday night. We were privileged to meet his foster Mom that evening. She is a loving and lovely woman, we are truly blessed that she is caring for our angel. It was such a peaceful transition for Dominic. Dan was hogging (oh I mean holding) him for about 30 minutes during our visit with her until I insisted that I get to hold him too before we returned him to her. Domi and I had fun, I held him in the air and blew on his chubby baby belly. He loves to laugh and smile and that sweet memory will forever be etched in my memory. He easily went into his foster mom's arms and did not cry at all. It was a comfort to see him calm and happy.

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

Celebrating "Firsts"

We have had the tremendous pleasure of celebrating some "firsts" with Dominic this week. I gave him his first haircut and saved the curls (see below), we watched him roll to the right for the first time, and sadly we watched him have his first little accident. Dan was carrying him in the Baby Bjorn facing out and was playing with another father and his 8 year old son. Dominic was loving it and laughing so hard. Then, the boy fell and both Dan and the father bent to help him and in doing so Domi and the man hit heads! What a scare, but he is just fine and feisty as ever. :)


I also managed to buy more treasures for my cherub - a doll, traditional Guatemala dress shirt and hand woven hat.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Joy and Sorrow

Well, we are still enjoying every precious moment with Dominic, but today was emotionally tough for me. Dominic is teething and fussing a lot. He also will not stay still when we try to change his diaper, and screams very passionately when we try to dress him. I never imagined the frustration and confusion I would feel as a parent. It is actually a helpless feeling that made me question my parenting skills. Dan reassured me this happens, and just let him scream when we do what we have to do. So much easier said than done! I had my little meltdown with tears, but am back on happy Mommy track for now.

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

Lovely Visit So Far....

We are AMAZED at how much Dominic has grown! He is longer, heavier and his hair is seriously past his shoulders in the back, it is very curly on the sides and has a serious mind of its own! Dominic is also extremely active and will not let us just snuggle with him for hours on end like he did before. He likes to be on the move. He can roll easily to the left and often does two rolls in a row to show off. ;) He can almost roll to the right. He can now lay on his stomach and lift his head and entire upper body way up while he kicks his feet. He will certainly be crawling soon! He is a very happy baby and only fusses when he is tired, hungry or needs a diaper change. Speaking of which...

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

We're Off!!

Wow, it's hard to believe we are off for visit #2 tomorrow morning! I have been so-o-o-o preoccupied with my work situation, but have two very good leads and I hope to close both opportunities the week I return. I am very happy to report that neither of these new opportunities requires immediate relocation - yeah!

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

NURSERY FURNITURE!!!!

I am so excited - I bought Dominic's nursery furniture today! I got it at Bellini's and LOVE it so much! Here is the sleigh crib and 5 drawer dresser - they will be delivered in three weeks because we are heading back to Guatemala on Friday for a full week - more on that later, for now, here is the beginning of the creation of our little angel's custom nursery - it will be as precious and special as he is!!! The finish for both will be the darker wood, called mahogany. The only available picture for the dresser was toffee, but both will be in mahogany. LOVE IT!!!



Dinner with Fellow Families

Last evening, Dan and I had dinner with two families who are also adopting from Guatemala. We met at the Tortilla Factory in Old Town Scottsdale and had a great meal, super good company and an overall fun evening! Trina and Jason are about one step ahead of us in the process, and Jill and Chris are in the home stretch to bring their daughter home. It felt so good to connect with our families who know what we are going through - Trina and Jason were also on the China adoption track but may now drop off from that program completely. They are all wonderful and kind people, and we look forward to getting to know them better in the coming months. We pray we will all have our babies home by the holidays! Here is photo from our evening, from the left are: Jason and Trina, me and Dan and Chris and Jill are on the far right.


Friday, August 17, 2007

5 Month Old Birthday Today!!!

Our cherub is 5 months old today! I hope he is having a wonderful day. Just two more weeks until we get to hold him again! I am very excited and grateful to be reminded that he is the most important thing in our lives right now. I am faced with some tough decisions at work right now... travel or relocation. Everything will work out the way it is supposed to and bringing our baby home is what matters most!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

OH HAPPY DAY!!!!

We FINALLY received notification that the DNA test was completed and the results were submitted to the US Embassy on Thursday, August 2! This is HUGE news and I am so happy! Can't wait to share with Dan. :) Bring on the next milestone! We are so excited for our next visit, in just 24 days. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More Nursery Concept Photos

Here are some pictures of the rug I bought in Guatemala along with several of the fabrics for Dominic's room. Also pictured are the wooden letters previously shared - I mounted them in a shadow box on layered scrapbook paper that coordinated with the colors on the fabrics and the letters, then I bought raw wood trim and painted and cut it to create a fillet within the shadow box. I am very pleased with the results - not perfect but whimsical and made from LOVE. :) The "C" is still drying and hasn't been framed yet.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Nursery Design

I am getting really close to finishing the concept for Dominic's room. I have decided on fabrics I found at Calico Corners. I am having a toddler bedspread made (too warm in AZ for a filled comforter) and some coordinating pillows. We're not sure how old he will be when we bring him home and how long he will spend in a crib, so that's why I decided on a toddler's bedspread - we can drape it over the crib until it's time to actually use it. Most of this bedding is decorative anyway but SO FUN, and hopefully will become a keepsake for his children some day!
I scanned samples from the store and went to work in Power Point to develop these concept pictures. The bedspread is a vibrant tangerine colored fabric (much brighter in person!), I will have them make an inlay from this spicy Sunbrella fabric called Bravada Salsa - ole! Love the orange and red colors, plus the blue and yellow pinstripes (hard to see but they're there). The inlay will have a piping made of a blue fabric and the edges of the bedspread will have a matching border made of wide French Blue ribbon.


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

Stationery for our Little Prince

Well, I like to believe I am a SMART Mommy and I know our Little Prince will have many, many royal subjects bestowing good wishes upon him, so I bought him some customized stationery to keep in touch! :) Adorable, huh?

Milestone Today!

We FINALLY received pre-approval today to proceed with the next step and this is a HUGE milestone! We are so happy and my spirits are soaring! :) I feel optimistic we will cover some major ground between now and our next visit in six weeks. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, we CANNOT wait to bring our cherub home!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby!

Our cherub is four months old today and I do feel quite sad that we aren't together celebrating.
:(

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

More Nursery Inspiration

While we were shopping I spotted these colorful wooden letters and immediately envisioned having them framed and hung in the nursery. I LOVE our son's initials DXC, so I looked for those letters. Imagine my disappointment when I could not find a "D"! This happened in the middle of our shopping trip and our guide Luis told me to keep looking.

At the very last strip of stores I was feeling quite sad that I would not find a "D" and Luis told me he could get one at another market for me and bring it to the hotel. Of course I'm thinking this would turn into a $100 letter soon but I was game because I had such a vivid vision of what I wanted to do these letters... As I paid for the wooden masks and got ready to exit the last store, Luis told me my friend Jane had something to show me that would be "of interest" to me. I thought it was going to be a purse for her Mom because she had been looking all day, but I was wrong. Jane found a "D" - OH HAPPY DAY!!! Aren't these adorable???

18 Gifts

Wow, one week has passed since we said Adios to our angel. Thankfully we had a very busy week and were distracted by work and life in general. :) I met a sweet woman at the hotel in Guatemala and we snuck away for some shopping at the Mercado de Artisans one afternoon while our husbands got to babysit. She suggested I buy 18 gifts from Guatemala for our son to give him on each of his first 18 birthdays as a memento of his native land. I LOVED this idea and got a good head start with these treasures:


  • 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

Cute Story

Cute StoryI was just remembering something really cute that happened while we were in Guatemala. I was grooming my baby after a bath and told him "You have stuff in your ears like Shrek" and my baby said "oh grrr". YES - he said "ogre" in baby language proving he is not only drop dead gorgeous, but also a GENIUS with a great SENSE OF HUMOR!!! :)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Stolen Hearts

Well, we are back home after a very emotional yet satisfying visit to our little baby boy. We had a lovely week at La Casa Grande hotel in Guatemala City and enjoyed every moment with our child. We hope you have all enjoyed the many photos we have shared, we are clearly overjoyed and proud of our baby.

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

Inspiration for the Nursery

A local woman who makes hand made goods comes to the hotel lobby every day and I picked up these treasures to serve as inspiration for the nursery, plus this gorgeous hand embroidered tshirt that he will grow into.








Tuesday, July 3, 2007

"He Could Be an Elvis Impersonator..."

That is what my husband Dan said earlier today about our little angelic son. Too funny, but our baby does have a TON of hair and drop dead gorgeous looks too!

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

Hi everyone, the keyboard is not the same as in the US so there may be some funky punctuation. Just ignore and read away...

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

THANK YOU and WHO CAN SLEEP???

OK, it's 10:30 p.m. and we leave in 4 hours for the airport for our 5 a.m. flight. Who can sleep??? My parents are here at my house to watch the pooches while we are away so there's a ton of energy buzzing around. I am truly exhausted but am so grateful I have been so-o-o-o busy. It has been a nice distraction.

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

Dossier Done? Check, check!

I am quite emotional tonight and truly cannot wrap my head around what is about to unfold in our lives. Let me say that somehow my heart knows because it is swelling with love for our angelic baby boy.

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

Update

Well, we're moving full steam ahead with our plans. We are so-o-o-o-o busy shopping, packing, wrapping up our dossier, preparing for the DNA test and of course working full-time! I'm not complaining, just have to be a very smart time manager. ;)

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

Sweet Exhaustion and Missing Sock

I spent most of the day today with my Mom and sister Diana shopping for our trip. We found most of what we needed at Babies-R-Us but also went to Bath and Body Works and Target. We also had lunch at Ajo Al's. What a full and fun day!

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

More Nursery Options

Dan is not fond of the Sock Monkey theme (neither is my younger sister Toree), so I found some more options. What do you think?
This is "Siesta Fishes". The vibrant colors remind me of traditional Hispanic decor. I really like this one!




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

10 Days to Our Baby Boy!!

I am so-o-o-o excited and focused on our trip! Dan and I are researching our hearts out about Guatemala in general, tips for travelers, childhood development, adoption and bonding, etc. We are learning a lot but as my Mom says, "Your parental instincts will kick in and you'll be fine". We have to be fine because our baby is staying with us 24/7 at the hotel starting Saturday when we arrive! I don't think we will put him down for one second (except to change him)!

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 G...

Give me a U
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

More News and Clothes (of course)...

Today we received two more pictures of our baby boy. What a handsome devil he is and he looks so healthy! His hair is to-die-for, thick, thick, thick and a little wavy. So hunky! :) I don't mean to be a tease, be patient with us and before you know it you will see him too!

Before I share my latest treasures for his wardrobe, and before you roll your eyes saying "More clothes?!?!?! This woman needs to get a L-I-F-E", let me say at least I am consistent and have learned to hunt for and find BARGAINS! :)

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

Surprises and Miracles!!!

I was so pleasantly surprised to receive a very thoughtful and generous package from my friend Ashley today. She is my buddy from my LID group for the China adoption and we recently met in Colorado. I cannot say enough about her kind and generous nature, she is a true treasure of a friend and I just LOVE everything she sent for our baby boy including an adorable onesie that is collared and preppy (PERFECT!), little lobster swim trunks (ADORABLE!), two pairs of baby socks (his first socks!) and a bath toy with a heat indicator that will keep our baby safe and comfortable in the bath. She also sent a very touching card for me and included the quote "Miracles happen on days just like today".


Indeed, there was a miracle of sorts today because I got another surprise - VIDEO of our baby boy. I cried and watched it a dozen times (it's only 11 seconds long). He is a mini Antonio Banderas and I am already worried about the girls chasing him. :) He is the MOST beautiful creature in the universe!

My final surprise is that we may get to visit him at the end of this month (June!). WOW! I am overwhelmed, happy and bursting with love. :) What a super duper and miraculous day!!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Dossier Update and Another Outfit

We are making very good progress on our dossier! It is a very time consuming process but we are focused and driven, especially since we have already seen our little angel's face. Our agency liaison is in Guatemala right now spending time with our son and taking more pictures. I am hopeful we will be able to visit him this summer.

While I was out shopping yesterday I couldn't resist buying each of our babies a little outfit (check out our other blog too). Look at these cute olive cargo shorts and cute monkey t-shirt. Our little lamb will be looking good once I get him a matching visor, shades and little brown leather sandals. Be still my heart, he is a looker! :)


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Nursery Idea - Feedback Wanted...

Well, what do you think about this "Retro Sock Monkey" theme for our baby boy's nursery? I am thinking about using this as inspiration and will add my own touches with my Mom's help (she doesn't know it yet, hee, hee!). Leave me a comment with your thoughts...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Good News and Bad News

I am finally back to 100% good health after that dreadful bout with some GI illness. So, I have really taken a deep dive into the Guatemala dossier process and have mixed feelings about what I have learned...

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

The Process

For those of you who are curious - here is a basic outline of the process we will go through to bring our son home:

  1. Complete the Dossier - Should be very fast for us as we can leverage a lot of what we have done for the China adoption
  2. Referral - Already Done! :)
  3. Dossier to Guatemala - Dossier goes through legalization and translation, social worker is assigned and completes study on mother and baby.
  4. DNA Process - Many legal steps but ultimately the DNA test proves the mother giving up her child is truly the biological mother
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. FINAL TRIP TO BRING OUR BABY HOME!!!!!
  8. 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! ;)

News, news, news!

OK, everyone remain seated... we have a REFERRAL! Yes, we are so blessed and fortunate to have connected with the right agency at the right time and we have a referral! We are not going to share more information at this time because we want to move further along in the process before we reveal his identity, but let's just say he is a looker with a huge smile and seemingly warm heart! I have been very ill the last three days with a serious GI virus, but am battling as best I can so I can polish off all necessary paperwork and keep the show on the road!

Believe it or not, we are still learning the whole process, it will take time but feel confident our agency will show us the way. In the meantime, I am doing what any waiting Mom does... stocking up on cute clothes. I found these treasures when I went shopping with my friend Ashley during my recent visit to the Colorado Springs area.


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

Welcome and Shopping Fun!

Hi everyone, this blog is similar to our other blog, "Journey to Treasured Child"; but, it is different in one very important way. This blog will serve as a communications and documentary vehicle for our journey to our baby boy from Guatemala!!!

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!





























This rugby shirt is exactly like one that Dan wears all the time in cold weather. Dan played rugby in college and in his head he is still that 20 year old star of the team. He was THRILLED that his little mini-me will have a matching rugby shirt - AYAYAYYA!