I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. I Samuel 1:27

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Getting to Guatemala

(Editor's note: This will be the first in a serious of posts about our trip)

Well - getting to and from Guatemala ended up not being very easy. We got to the Louisville airport at 5:15 am to get a 7:00 am flight to Houston. (I got up at 3:00 to finish getting ready) We immediately found out that our flight to Houston was going to be 2 hours delayed. The plane that came in the night before from Houston was big time delayed because of weather, and the flight crew needed to have their scheduled rest.

This wouldn't have been that big of a deal, except that our layover in Houston was only an hour. So, we would miss our flight to Guatemala. The next flight out of Houston to GC was not going to be until 7ish and would get us into GC at 10:00. At this point it has hit me that I may not get to see Alex that day. The lady started checking to see what she could do. The best she said she could do was to re-route us on American through Miami and get us into GC at around 8:00.

By this time, I'm a wreck. There was no way we were going to get Alex that day - and it was supposed to be my birthday present (Friday was my 34th birthday!) We had them reroute us, but now we were in the airport at 5:30 am and weren't going to leave Louisville until 12:30!!!!

I waited until I thought that Jeannie or Marie would be in the office so I could let them know that we wouldn't be there to meet the foster mom, and to see if they could get them to bring him to us on Saturday. Luckily everyone at Mary Kendall and A Helping Hand worked for us to get the arrangements changed. Phillip at AHH even called the hotel for us to let them know that we would be coming in late.

So, we finally get to Miami and have a 3 hour lay over - they switched our gate 3 times, and we left 2 hours late. We ended up not getting into GC until 10:30!!! It was a VERY long day. You thought I was stressed before - you should have seen me on Friday.

Skip to Tuesday. Continental has a office in the Marriott. Jay found out that our flight was on time and that if we took our passports in, they could issue us our boarding passes. So, we go in there, give our passports to the lady working the counter. Even in another country, I know that look. It's not good. Long story short, we're pretty sure that the lady in Louisville didn't mark something correctly in the computer, and the computer thought we never went to Guatemala, so it cancelled our return flight. AND - our flight home was completely full. Again - I was an emotional wreck because we had just given Alex back to the Foster Mom, and then this.

This lady was also wonderful. She found us two seats on Delta through Atlanta. That flight only left 1 hour later than our Continental flight, but got us into Louisville 2 hours later than we were supposed to. So, instead of getting home at 9:45, we got in at 11:45. Another long day.

The ironic thing is that we used Continental frequent flyer miles, but never actually flew Continental. As long as our pick up trip isn't at eventful, I'll be happy.

Alex and Jay

Ok - I know that some of you have been waiting for pictures of Jay on the blog. Here you go!


Ok - here are a couple of pictures. I promise to write more about our trip in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I know that some of you are waiting for pictures. I had the draft for my fantasy football league tonight, and we did it online for the first time. I actually had to pay attention and pick my own team.

I still need to download the driver onto my computer so I can download them. I PROMISE I'll post pictures tomorrow.

I had a rough trip home, although Jay said I did better than he expected me to. Today was ok - I only cried twice at work. :)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Alex and His Beach Gear

We put Alex in one of my favorite outfits today - khaki pants and a white button shirt with blue and tan flowers along the bottom (very Hawaiian). We took him out to the pool so he could soak in the rays. He looks all ready to go to Sanibel.

More naps - more bottles - more playing. The days are going quickly.

One More Night

We both made it through one more night and we have one more night. We had an easy night again. He took 1 oz of a bottle at 9:15, fell asleep, woke up at 4:45, took another bottle, and then went back to sleep until 7:15. He's taken a couple naps today, but not very long ones.

We're in the baby room right now letting housekeeping clean our room. We've been in there every morning so far, so we've just had them clean the bathroom. Alex is loving it in here today. He's playing on the mat with the toys, and is just having a great time.

His Foster Mother comes tomorrow at 9:30 to get him and we then head to the airport. The time has gone so quickly, I can't believe it's time to head back home tomorrow.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

One more day

We've made it through one more day. Jay, Alex and I are in the baby room trying to keep Alex up a little bit longer so that he goes to bed during his bedtime. He's laying on a mat right now, just staring at everyone.

He is definitely going to take after Jay more than me. He doesn't seem to like big crowds, and likes to just sit back and take everything in.

One more full day - I can't believe how quickly it has gone so far. I also feel like all I've been doing lately is make a bottle, clean a bottle, make a bottle, clean a bottle. I guess that's called being a mother.

I can't wait until you all get to meet him. He's pretty special. We've met lots of great people down here - some are visiting and some are picking up. It's nice to see that babies are going home. It makes me realize that Alex will come home someday also.

I was worried that he wouldn't fit in any of the 3-6 month clothes, so I brought a bunch of 6-9 also. Well - he may weigh enough for the far end of the 6 month clothes, but he's built differently. He seems to be carrying most of his weight in his chest. (can anyone say linebacker??) He has a little waist, and short legs. He is swimming in his 3-6 month clothes. I think I may bring the 6-9 month ones home with the hope that we will have him home in time for him to wear them.

I'll write more tomorrow if we get a chance.

Our First Night

Well - we made it through our first night. Alex did wonderful yesterday. He's such a happy baby. He didn't take as long of naps as the foster mother said he would, but he was very pleasant all day. We went for a couple of walks and took him to dinner (Jay ate the buffet, and I ordered off of the menu).

He took his last bottle at 8:45. We laid him in his crib at 9:10 and he talked himself to sleep. He didn't fuss, or cry or anything. Like clockwork he woke up at 3:00 - took another bottle, and then put himself back to sleep. I didn't do bad. I think I only got up about 10 times to check to see if he was still breathing.

He doesn't lay still in his sleep, and ends up sideways in the crib with his head to the side. I kept worrying that he was going to end up with his face in the crib bumper.

We went to breakfast this morning in the middle of his nap time. He started getting cranky, so Jay took him up to the room as I finished paying.

Jay has been amazing. He's spent quite a bit of time with him alone, and has put him to sleep a couple of times. The bouncy seat has been a HUGE hit and I'm glad we made room for it. He absolutely loves it, and we didn't even bring batteries to make it vibrate.

After his morning nap we are going to attempt to give him his first bath.

Technology is not working in our favor, as our laptop's hard drive has crashed. We won't be able to post pictures until we get back.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

We're Here

I'm writing this from the baby room in the Marriott, and Jay is alone with Alex, so I'll make this quick.

We had a saga getting here that I'll write about later. We didn't get in until 10:30 last night, so we didn't get Alex until this morning. He's amazing - cute - and such a good baby. None of our technology is currently working, but if we get it to work, I'll post pictures later.

We're just glad to be here and to finally get him. If you don't hear from us this weekend, I promise to write about everything and post pictures later.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

And We're Off!!

Well - can you believe it - we leave tomorrow!!!! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

We're all packed. I did really well. We are actually taking one less suitcase than I thought we were going to need. (thanks Margaret for the advice!!)

I have worked too much this week, and haven't gotten much sleep (4 hours last night). Add to that the stress and excitement I'm feeling, and I'm an emotional wreck.

So, I had what I call an emotional outburst. (Jay called it an emotional breakdown) Ok - so here's what happened. I got home and started pulling things together that we need to take with us. I knew exactly where my passport was, and the last time I had checked, Jay's passport was in our adoption folder. I got the folder out and couldn't find it. It wasn't there. I started panicking. Jay went back upstairs and came down with it and said - here it is. I calmed down. Then I looked at it. It wasn't Jay's passport - it was my old passport. I start freaking again. And I mean FREAKING!! By this time I'm starting to cry, and my heart was beating so quickly, I thought I was going to lose it. I took the adoption folder and spilled it out on the floor and started pawing through it. By this time I'm bawling - I mean crying so hard you can't breathe. I couldn't find it. All I could think about was not being able to go on the trip!!!! Jay had brought down another bag that some of our adoption stuff had been put into. I dumped that out on the floor also, and there it was....that perfect little blue book.

By this time the tears were just streaming down my face. I couldn't breathe - but I was starting to calm down. I literally had to sit on the floor for about 5 minutes trying to do some slow breathing to get myself back under control. It was horrible. Poor Jay - I think he's really worried about me.

I do have to say that I felt much better after I was done. I think I needed a good cry.

Hopefully we will be able to post from Guatemala. I'm hoping that I'll be able to post some pictures - so check back here tomorrow night!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I woke up this morning and my left eye lid is very swollen. My eye sort of hurt the other day, but I didn't think anything of it.

Hopefully I can get into the doctor this morning, and it's not a big deal.

Think good thoughts!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Jay Pictures and Bummed

Ok - I know that there are some of you out there that read this blog just to see if I talk about Jay or post some pictures of him. (and you know who you are!!)

I don't have any pictures of Jay that are digital that I can post. I plan on getting at least ONE picture of him on our trip, so I promise I'll post a picture of him soon.

I was so upset this weekend. I was at Babies R' Us and I noticed that our crib bedding stuff was no longer there (they just had a couple packages of the border). I asked, and Babies R Us is no longer carrying the line!!! Can you believe it! So, I thought, no problem, I'll just go buy stuff online. Then I found out the entire line has been discontinued. So, I found a site online that had everything that I wanted (that I had registered for) and just bought it all. I got the lamp, a blanket, a throw pillow, a picture frame, more drawer pulls, and 4 yards of coordinating fabric. Oh well - at least I discovered it now, and was able to get the stuff I wanted. (oh - and dad, you'll love this - I bought the night light on eBay and I'm bidding on the rug right now!)

3 days and counting.......(and still not able to get everything in the suitcases)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Four Days and Counting

That's right - 4 more days. I'm so excited...and so nervous.

I'm currently at work. We had a big client have a big problem that we are trying to fix. I'm just waiting to do some peer review and then I can go home.

So much for getting some more packing done tonight. Oh well - I love a challenge, and I usually procrastinate anyway.

I've gotten a few guesses on Alex's weight when we go down. I could use a few more. I think we'll be able to weigh him in the fitness room (at least that's what I've heard - it could be an interesting challenge)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I Think I Need Help

Ok - I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Jay and I have the ability to take 4 checked bags and 2 carry on bags - and I don't think I can get everything to fit!! Seriously - I need help - or need to be stopped or something.

I don't know what to do. Maybe I can get away with one outfit the whole time we are down there. :) I don't want to leave any of Alex's clothes here. I'm pretty sure he's going to be too big for most of them, but I want to leave them with his foster mom.

I'll keep you all posted on how I do with all of this. I'm off to sterilize the bottles, and I may go upstairs and mark the wall to get the border up.

5 days and counting......


Once the DNA test results are known, LabCorp sends the results by cable to the US Embassy in Guatemala. The next step is for the Embassy to issue Pre-Approval. The reason for this step is for the US government to assure the Guatemalan government that if the adoption is approved in Guatemala, that the US will issue a Visa for the baby to come to the US.

I'm not exactly sure what they are looking for. I know that they look over our paperwork and the DNA results to determine if everything looks ok. This step can take 2 weeks or 2 months (or longer). If the Embassy sees something that they don't like, they can issue a I-72 (I think that's the name of the form) for more information.

Once the Embassy has issued the Pre-Approval, they send an email to the petitioners (Jay and I), the adoption agency (AHH) and the attorney. It's not unusual for one or all of those emails to not make it. This can be because of mistyping of the address, spam software, etc.

You can check out these posts to see what happened to us.



Saturday, August 19, 2006

DNA Testing and Results

I haven't posted an adoption timeline post for awhile. My last one talked about DNA Authorization. Once you have Authorization the testing can take place.

The attorney lets LabCorp know when authorization has been obtained (most agencies in the US use LabCorp for the DNA testing, but there are other labs that can do this work). Around this time, LabCorp charges the parents for the test to be done. This is always a good feeling (how having a charge show up on your credit card is a good thing you ask? become an adopting parent, and you will understand) LabCorp then lets the attorney know that the test has been paid for.

At this point, the attorney has to get in contact with the birth mom and have her come in for the test. Sometimes this is an easy step, and sometimes it can be very difficult. The birthmoms live all over Guatemala - not just in Guatemala City. Many of them have jobs. It can be difficult for them to get off of work and in for the test.

For the test, the birth mom and the baby have a swab taken of the inside of their mouth, paperwork is filled out, and a couple Polaroid pictures are taken of the birth mom holding the baby.

If a birthmom is going to change her mind during this process, this is usually the time that she does. It's got to be so hard for her to hold her baby again.

The test is then sent to LabCorp in the US where they process the results. This takes about 2 weeks. LabCorp then sends the results to the parents in the mail. This also includes (usually) one of the Polaroid pictures that were taken. Depending on how quickly the birthmom can come in for the test, this process usually takes about a month.

(We were VERY lucky! Our birthmom lives in Guatemala City and was able to come in right away for the test. Our entire DNA process went very quick and the results were a 99.98% match. The picture is very sweet - but made me cry for days)

Friday, August 18, 2006


Can you believe it!? I got more pictures today. These were from AHH as they just back from a visit trip. These pictures would have been taken in just the past couple of weeks. These are the two that I can post.

Maria must have taken our latest care package with her when she went down. The book he is looking at is one we sent down, and the pile of stuff in the background is the rest of the items we sent.

Look at those cheeks. Can you believe them?? I can't wait to just squeeze them.

We also got a new camcorder today. We're going to practice over the next week so hopefully we can get some good video of him.

7 days from right now I should be holding him. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Jay called me today from home (I was still at work). We got pictures today in the mail!!!!!!! I'm thinking that these were taken with one of the disposable cameras that we sent down as the pictures were obviously taken at different times.

The best part is we now have pictures of him with both his Foster Mom and his Foster Sister (who is 16). I'm not going to post any of those pictures to respect the privacy of the foster family. I'm just so glad we are going to have these for Alex when he gets older.

We haven't gotten a medical update (not sure we will) so how about we have a contest. So - what do you think his weight will be when we go down next week? (He was 12.3 lbs at his 2 month appointment)


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Shopping and Stuff

Well - I had a successful shopping trip on Saturday. I think I got everything we will need for Alex. I also got the Foster Mom gifts. I have most of Alex's stuff packed, I just need to figure out what to bring for Jay and I. We will be spending most of our time in the room, so I want to be comfortable. I guess I need to make a list!!

I've basically decided that I won't get an updated picture or medical update before we leave. I'm so glad we are going on this trip, otherwise I think I'd be going crazy right now!

Hopefully my boss isn't reading this (and if you are, Joyce - Hi!!) but I'm not sure I'm going to be very productive next week. Oh well, I look at this as my "doctor's appointments" that I would have had if I was pregnant.

Jay and I are getting CPR trained next Wednesday. I'm adult certified, but we are required to be Infant certified before we bring Alex home.

I've met a couple of people on the forum I'm on that are adopting from Guatemala, live in Louisville and are using our agency. It's been wonderful to converse with them. I'm actually meeting one of them on Thursday for dinner. I'm looking forward to it. It will be nice to talk with someone who understands my acronyms and obsessions.

Oh - and because I know that many of you are losing sleep over this - I've decided to stick with the paint on the bookcase and changing table. It's been growing on me, Jay likes it, and Michelle likes it. I still need to buy one more roll of the border, get the border up, and then I'm ready to put the room together.

(and 10 days until we leave!!)

Monday, August 14, 2006


Well, I couldn't help myself last week. I had to bug Jeannie again to see if we were out of Family Court yet. (I know - my lesson in patience isn't going very well) Jeannie emailed me today that not only are we out of Family Court, but we are IN PGN and have been since August 3rd!!!!!!

YEAH!!! YEAH!!!! YEAH!!!!! Now, if we would have received pictures and a medical update, it would have been perfect. :) (ok - I know - I need to be happy with what I've got)

And, in case you've been keeping track - it's 11 days till we see Alex.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

2 Weeks and Counting

Two weeks from now we will be in Guatemala and will have just made it through our first night with Alex. I'm heading out today to get the last of the things we need to bring with us. I'm taking Michelle with me so I have someone to help me figure out what I need. I hope I remember everything.

I thought I knew how I was going to pack everything, but with the new restrictions, I'm going to have to rethink everything. I think we can make everything work, but we'll see.

Time to shop!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Great Day - But Not for Us

Well - we still haven't heard anything....ANYTHING!!! No pictures - no medical update - no word on Family Court.....did I say NOTHING!!!!!!!!

Ok - I feel better now. :) It actually has been a really good day for Guatemalan adoptions. There were 15 outs today on the adoption forum I watch. I don't think there has been 15 outs for the past 3 months. (outs mean out of PGN - the sort of last big step in Guatemalan adoptions - this part used to take 4-8 weeks, and has been taking more like 8-12 lately) It's a very happy day for many families.

I was just getting ready to type that I hoped that my friend Melinda would get out soon, and just checked my email. SHE'S OUT!!!! I'm talking to her now. She should be able to travel in about 6 weeks to bring her little guy home.

Praise the Lord!!!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Our Crib Bedding

Ok - I'm still not sure about the paint. I still need to put another coat on before I decide.

Here's a picture of the crib set. (Linda, can you see it now?)

Once I get the room put together better, I'll post a picture.

Good Book

I just finished reading The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad. Here's a review:

"From Publishers WeeklyAfter living for three months with the Kabul bookseller Sultan Khan in the spring of 2002, Norwegian journalist Seierstad penned this astounding portrait of a nation recovering from war, undergoing political flux and mired in misogyny and poverty. As a Westerner, she has the privilege of traveling between the worlds of men and women, and though the book is ostensibly a portrait of Khan, its real strength is the intimacy and brutal honesty with which it portrays the lives of Afghani living under fundamentalist Islam. Seierstad also expertly outlines Sultan's fight to preserve whatever he can of the literary life of the capital during its numerous decades of warfare (he stashed some 10,000 books in attics around town). Seierstad, though only 31, is a veteran war reporter and a skilled observer; as she hides behind her burqa, the men in the Sultan's family become so comfortable with her presence that she accompanies one of Sultan's sons on a religious pilgrimage and witnesses another buy sex from a beggar girl-then offer her to his brother. This is only one of many equally shocking stories Seierstad uncovers. In another, an adulteress is suffocated by her three brothers as ordered by their mother. Seierstad's visceral account is equally seductive and repulsive and resembles the work of Martha Gellhorn. An international bestseller, it will likely stand as one of the best books of reportage of Afghan life after the fall of the Taliban. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc."

I highly recommend the book. It was quite an eye opener, and has made me very happy to have been born in the US.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Not Sure About the Color!!

Ok - Jay and I primed and painted the bookcase and changing table yesterday. Now, I don't think I like the color. I'm afraid it looks too much like baby poop.

I'm going to put another coat of paint on, with the hopes that less of the primer will show through and it might turn out a little darker. If I still don't like it, then it's back to the drawing board on the color selection.

By the way - Jay thinks it looks fine. I normally would just believe him - but he's color blind, so I'm not sure I want to trust his judgment on this one.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

DNA Authorization

The US Government requires a DNA test done on all children and their first mom that are presented for adoption. The purpose of this test is to prove that the women presenting the child is really the birth mom. They want to make sure that no children are kidnapped and then presented for adoption.

The first step is for the attorney to get authorization from the US embassy to have the test done. I'm not exactly sure what the attorney needs to present to the embassy, but I'm sure it's some of the paperwork that we submitted. Some people wait forever for this authorization. The US embassy will only take the first 40 cases that are presented on any given day. (except for Thursdays....I think) Attorneys (or someone from their staff) has to get in line early (I've heard even as "early" as 2:00 in the morning) to try to get in as one of those 40 cases. If they don't get in that day - they have to come back.

As you can imagine - this is a huge burden on the attorneys and their staff. This is just one step in many steps that they have to manage. I was prepared to wait about 30 days for DNA Authorization. Amazingly enough - we got it very quickly. In fact, we got authorization on the same day that we sent our POA to Guatemala.

This gave me hope that we are using a good attorney.

We Need a Picture

Ok - We need a picture of Alex. So, here's an old picture of him from his 1 month appointment. I can't stand the thought that there isn't a picture of him on this first page!


I've always felt like I've been very lucky. I've always been surrounded by a wonderful family, and I've always found good friends.

I was born and raised in the same town. I didn't move around. I made "friends" once and that was kind of it. (small town - you know everyone). Each time I moved (college, first job, married and in Columbus, Louisville, Simpsonville) I was worried that I wouldn't find a good friend. Each time, I was blessed with friends.

This journey through adoption has shown me how important it is to have family and friends who are supportive. I've heard of so many people who are adopting who aren't getting that support. They have family members who don't understand - who don't think adoption is a good idea - who say evil things about the child - who refuse to have anything to do with the child. It's just horrible.

I've been blessed with family and friends who have been nothing but supportive. It's been wonderful. This process is stressful...and I can't imagine having to go through it without the support of my family and friends.

So to all of you that I consider to be family or friend (you know who you are) THANK YOU!!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

What I Bought Today

I went to Loews today. I bought paint so I can redo the bookcase and changing table we have. I think it will work. I hate trying to pick out paint colors. I'm just not good at it. I had the quilt from the crib set out on the cart with all of these paint colors laid out on it. I kept taking paint samples off until I had about 4 left. The paint lady from Loews came over to see if I needed help. I had one color in mind that I thought would work, and it was the one that she picked out also. So, I went with it.

I also bought some green and cream storage bin type things. They will come in handy. I then bought a curtain rod and a storage system for toys. Everything was on sale, so that made me happy.

I still don't have the border up in the room. I think Michelle is going to come over and help me with it. Maybe I'll get it started tomorrow.

I've found a couple people on the online forum I'm on that live in Louisville (or at least the Louisville area). One of them is even using our same agency. We're in the process of setting up a time for all of us to get together for lunch/dinner. It will be nice to go out with a group of people who understand what I'm going through.

The weather has finally broken here. It's still hot, but the humidity is finally low. I can handle the sun/heat - it's that humidity that gets me every time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Still Nothing New and Just Some Thoughts

I'm done with my "vacation" and am now in Chicago. I come back home tomorrow. Still no news. Alex is 3 months old today, so he should be going in for his doctor's appointment soon. Hopefully we will get a medical update and new pictures in the next week.

There has been some amazing movement in PGN this week. I think I wrote earlier about a family on the online forum I stalk that has been waiting to bring their son home for 2 years. He got out of PGN yesterday. It's been amazing!!

I think I'm going to try to get the border up this weekend in Alex's room (the consensus has been that it should be Alex's by the way). I may even start refinishing some of the furniture. We bought a used changing table/dresser and glider. I want to refinish the changing table and I want to refinish a bookcase.

I've been finding it really hard to concentrate lately. All I think about is Alex and wonder what he's doing at that time. At the same time - I still don't think it's hit me that I'm a mom. He's still just a picture - just a name. I've been wanting a baby for so long, but it still just doesn't seem real. I have a feeling it will become real when we go down there. Which brings me to my next obsession.

Ok - I have a secret - do you promise not to tell anyone? Ok - you have to promise, or I won't tell you. Alright - I'm scared. I'm really scared. Our foster mom is going to bring Alex to us, and then leave him with us - for like 5 days. We don't know what we are doing!!! I mean, I've babysat for babies - I'm not scared of them (like Jay is) - but when it comes right down to it, I don't think I know what to do!!!! Yikes! I think we'll be alright. I'm planning on making my mom and Michelle promise to be online the entire time we are down there so I can email them questions and they will answer right away. :) (ok - I haven't told mom or Michelle this yet, but they won't have anything else to do that weekend, right?)

Maybe the next time I post I'll have more information.