Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas with my son

I cannot even put into words the joy in my heart that my beautiful son is home with me this Christmas. I cry each time I step back and look at my life. I am so very blessed.

Just having breakfast





December has been a pretty difficult month to make time to blog. So I thought I'd just share a few pics of my cutie. Have I mentioned how crazy I am about my little man?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Books, books, books

I spent a lot more time reading this summer than is usual for me. I typically just don't make the time. But this summer was unusual to say the least.

Tim's parents spend their fall/winter/spring in Florida and their summers in Delaware. Their Delaware house is just under 2 hours away, so Harrison and I spent every other week there this summer. A major benefit to this arrangement was the new grandparents wanted all the time they can get with him so I had plenty of time to read. A major disadvantage was no internet access which meant I wasn't emailing, keeping up with my list serves and I wasn't blogging (equals even more reading.) So here are some of my favorites from the summer...


Home-Making by J.R. Miller (originally published in 1882)
It is probably one of the best books I have ever read. Despite the title, it is not just for housewives, it speaks intimately to each of the various roles within a home. To the husband, the wife, the parents, the children, brothers and sisters. Encouraging each member of the family to work together to make their home blessed retreat. Practical and poetic, it simultaneously presses my nose to the grindstone and sends my heart soaring with joy.

I have so many favorite quotes from this book, but here are a few:
  • The true wife clings and leans, but she also helps and inspires. Her husband feels the mighty inspiration of her love in all his life. Toils are easier, burdens are lighter, battles are less fierce, because of the face that waits in the quiet of the home, because of the heart that beats in loving sympathy whatever the experience, because of the voice that speaks its words of cheer and encouragement when the day's work is done. No wife know how much she can do to make her husband honored among men, and his life a power and a success, by her loyal faithfulness, by the active inspiration of her own sweet life.
  • I know not how any father can honestly meet these questions, as he looks upon his innocent helpless child, given to him to shelter, to keep, to guide, and not fall upon his knees and give himself to God. Rather would I see my own little ones laid away in the grave to-morrow and miss from my life henceforth all their love, and go with empty arms and sobbing heart through this world to life's close, than to attempt to train them, teach them and lead them on without the help of God.

There Is No Me Without You by Melissa Faye Greene
Everyone needs to read this book! Everyone! It opens your eyes and breaks your heart. I couldn't put it down. It has been called "
our contemporary Schindler's List" We simply can't close our eyes any longer to suffering in Africa. We need to pray, we need to act. There are horrors occurring in our world, in our lifetime. If you name Jesus as your Lord, you don't have the option of ignoring the orphans (see James 1:27). This shouldn't just be the hip new crusade of the rich and famous, the church needs to rise up. Go on a missions trip, sponsor a child, purchase (red) products, everyone can do something.

The Shaping of the Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliott
I hadn't picked up any Elisabeth Elliott books since high school when she was my hero. But when I found this book I was really interested. It's such a good book, but not at all what I expecting. Very inspiring. Something very cool that I learned: Elisabeth's mother attended a Reformed Episcopal Church growing up and then she married a Presbyterian. I am a Reformed Episcopalian, with a bit of a Presbyterian leaning. (But shhh, don't tell Josh)

Miserly Moms: Living on one income in a two income economy
Loved this book, so many hints for cutting financial corners and dispells a lot of preconceived notions (eg. you have to eat crappy, nutritionless food to save a lot of money on groceries) The author fed a family of 4 on $40 per week, with plenty of protein and fresh produce. That alone would revolutionize my budget. I have been applying some of the techniques and I was able to do five dinners for 4 four of us for about $15. Three bucks a dinner ain't so bad, and we still had plenty of leftovers for lunches.

You On A Diet: Waist Management
Good solid information, one of the best diet books I have read, but all the "humor" and cultural references get a little tired. The thrust of the message is focus more on the size of your waist than the number on the scale. Belly fat, not a big bum, brings on the weight related health issues. Unfortunate news for me and my body type, but helpful to keep me focused as the number on the scale drops much more quickly than the tape measure around my waist.

I read a bunch more, but these were the most noteworthy. I will probably still be calling a few of them favorites 10 years from now.

I am currently in the midst of
Reaching For The Invisible God by Phillip Yancey. It is another awesome one, so I'll post about it when I finish.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Pix




My baby and me










Little chicken (or duck, it's up for debate)












Go Skins!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Seven months later

It is hard to believe that last time I posted Harrison had been home only 2 ½ months.

After waiting so long, I felt like my post should be big. Lots of updates, thoughts, pictures. The task seemed daunting and so I didn’t post. A month passed and I didn’t post and then another month and another. Oh, I started. I have several of drafts in my account, updates on Harrison, thoughts on the many books I have been reading, and random musings. But I never actually posted.

I know that around the first of the year, I will be moving my blog to a new site, so I thought of just waiting. But a couple people have told me recently that they miss my blog... and I miss blogging, so here I am.

Harrison is amazing and I can gush with "the worst of them". I have plenty of baby pictures and updates.

As for me, the past months have been eye opening. I have so many things that I would love to write. I have read some challenging books that have sparked some changes in the way I see God, those around me and myself. I wouldn’t exactly call it spiritual growth, although I hope I am in fact growing. But this has been more a changing gears. So I have a lot to *talk* about.

Anyway, I will update overtime in bite sized pieces, so as to not overwhelmed myself or the one or two people who may still be interested in reading. ;)

Blessings!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Updates

It has been quite a couple of weeks at Casa Fitz. Just after Easter, my dear Harrison turned one year old on the 10th. (I can hardly believe he's one, he just got here!) Then I got a little bit sick and then he got really sick. His head cold moved into his lungs and then he topped it off with an ear infection. He is currently on a nebulizer 3x per day and on his first antibiotics. =( But he is such a little trooper, even sick, he never stops melting my heart with his infectious little laugh.

So not much has happened around here. Not much sleeping, not much eating, not much internet, not much to update, so I have just posted some photos below of the last 2 weeks. Also, my friend Stacy posts letters to her each of her children on their birthdays. I love her letters, thought it was a wonderful tradition and I posted my letter to Harry.

Enjoy!

Harrison Turns One

Thanks for stopping by my mommy's blog to see my birthday photos!

Mommy made everyone wear hats...
Brayden didn't like his
And she made this cake to look like me
After much debate, she let me eat some... and I loved it!
I got cool presents too!
With my hot new ride, I am a cool cop like Uncle Steve
Auntie Renee sent me this present... It's Daddy's favorite, but Mommy says I can't wear it yet cause she is 29 and that would be lying.








To my beloved son

Dear Harrison,

Happy birthday, my dear little one.

As we celebrate your very first birthday today, I have been reflecting on the first year of your life. The pain of all the happy and sad moments apart is so distant from me in our day-to-day life together, for you are such a joy. But today, as we commemorate one year of your life, I cannot help but remember much of this year, when we did not have each other to hold. I am sorry but I don't know what time you were born, or what your life was like that day. I know that your birth mother loved you very much and she cared for you for your first 2 months, until she took you to the orphanage. It was then, when you were 2 months old, that I first saw your beautiful face. Less than a week after I saw that photo, you were in my arms.

During the months that followed, I watched you grow through photographs and videos. I prayed and waited patiently, and not-so patiently to be reunited with you. My heart ached as I thought of you going into surgery without your mommy in the waiting room. Or when you cut your first teeth without your mommy to comfort you. My heart soared when I read you were gaining weight and when I first saw you giggle. I am so blessed, because you saved so much of yourself for me, learning to sit up unassisted, crawl, and now walk sideways along the couches all since you have been home.

In the almost 3 months that you have been home, you have turned my world upside down with joy. I am truly the happiest I have ever been in my life, and that has everything to do with you.

When you first came home you were a bit unsure of what had happened in your world and so you were a bit unsure of us. You didn't know how to cuddle with us, and you didn't know we wanted to comfort you when you hurt yourself. In fact, other than that amazing laugh, we rarely saw you express any emotion at all. But with a little time and a little work, we have won your heart and you have opened up to us. Now, you can't bear for me to leave the room, you snuggle up to me throughout the day and I have even caught you fake crying, just for extra snuggles. I am happy to oblige! And when Daddy gets home from work, well, you have never seen a baby crawl so fast. Daddy usually ends up rolling on the floor, still in his suit and tie, because he just can't resist you tugging at his leg.

For the most part, you are a very easy going baby, but when you get something in your head you are incredibly determined. You are a terrific blend of laid-back and spunky, and each day your daddy and I see how God chose the perfect child for us. And your laugh! I can't say enough about it. You laugh with every inch of your body, with every ounce of your soul. You kick your legs, wiggle your toes, shake your fists, squeeze your little eyes shut and bare those 4 perfect teeth.

Right now, you like to wave hi, give 5, play peek-a-boo, and blow raspberries when we kiss you. Your favorite activity is jumping in your jumperoo to the beat of my clapping. Sometimes you will jump and jump until you put yourself to sleep, still bouncing. Your favorite toy is a spoon. For some reason, spoons of all shapes and sizes provide endless entertainment. Bath time is your favorite. You love the water, and you are fearless. You proved to be a natural swimmer in Mimi and Grandpa's pool.

You are not crazy about eating, but when you must, you love vegetables. Often, we have to hide the meat in your veggies to get some protein in your little body. You do not like sippy cups. You either want your bottle, or you want a regular cup, and you are actually very good with regular cups.

You say "Dada" constantly, and "Mama" once every few days. Daddy plays a little game with you... he says, "Say Mama," and you giggle and say "Dada!" "Say Mama"..."Dada!" You and he do this over and over, both of you cracking up!

You are truly our little dream come true and we thank God for everyday He has given us with you. I pray for you to grow big and strong and smart, and that you learn to trust us more and more. I also pray for us, that the Lord will guide us and give us wisdom and courage as we endeavor to live up to the amazing gift God has given us in you.

I love you my son!

Easter Pix






Uncle Steve has turned into such a softie!











Hanging with Uncle Bill










Playing with cousin Brayden

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Back when it was spring...

Somehow, the beautiful spring weather vanished and we went back to yuck-o winter. Have I mentioned lately that I am ready to move to Florida with my in-laws!?!

Anyway, back when the weather was nice we were taking Harrison on walks in the evenings. Here are a few photos to remember brighter days...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Harry goes to Florida

Riding a gator

Breakfast by the pool

Out on the town

Playing in the hot tub

Reading with Grandpa

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I had to take a break

It has been awhile since I have posted. Life has been crazy and blogging had to take a temporary backseat.

My dh's job, almost overnight, became a very bad situation and we were concerned for his safety. God provided a job offer at exactly the right time and we decided he should leave immediately. We had a free week before he needed to start at the new firm, so spur of the moment, we headed to Florida to visit his parents. We arrived home late last night.

Harry loved Florida and just adores his ever-doting grandparents. Though he loves the water, and never wanted to get out of the pool, he was no fan of the actual beach. I truly enjoyed the break and was able to get in some coveted reading time. My mil treated me to a pedicure, something that I so took for granted when I was working, but now it is such a treat.

I am hosting Easter dinner for 17 tomorrow, so I must be going. I usually host it on the screened porch, but since it has been snowing, we may be turning our living room into a dining room tonight. I will post vacation pix and some better updates soon. As always I have several posts rolling around in my head but I can't find the time to get them out.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

HAPPY ST PATTY'S DAY!

...from a lil' Guatemalan Irishman!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Broccoli... it's meant to be

I have long said if I was stuck on a desert island with only one food, I would choose broccoli. I think it is absolutely delicious. I love the way it tastes, the way it feels in your mouth, the way it looks like cute little minature trees.

Anyway, I have made Harrison a million different kinds of baby food, but hadn't tried broccoli yet. I have made all the basics: apples, pears, bananas, peas, greenbeans, carrots, sweet potatoes. I have even gotten a little exotic with mangoes and avocados. But I just think it would have broken my heart if he didn't share my love affair with broccoli. So finally, last night I steamed it and blended it into the tiniest bits of delicious mush and crossed my fingers...

Well, I couldn't have asked for a better reaction. I put the bite into his mouth, and his little eyes widened. He smiled, then giggled, then flapped his arms in the air with delight. Every time I gave him a bite he repeated that sequence: smile, giggle, flap. He's never reacted that way to anything, much less a vegetable. I tried again tonight and I couldn't get it into his mouth fast enough. He loves the stuff.

So I know this may seem a completely unremarkable event, and pure silliness that I would blog about it. But this broccoli has brought tears to my eyes. When you are an adoptive mom, and you have these tiny moments when you click with your child, when you find something that you share, not because of biology, but because he is the one God chose to be yours before the foundation of the world... well, it is a bliss like you have never known before.

I don't see myself when I look deep in his gorgeous eyes, but I have tiny tearful moments when I know he is mine.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

And now, the rest of the story

As promised, more about our trip; warning this is very long!

Because Tim was in the midst of preparing for the Bar exam, when we took our first trip to Guatemala, we did not have time to visit the beautiful city of Antigua. On this trip, however, we had several full days with nothing scheduled, so, despite some reservations, we decided to go on our second day.

I am so glad we went. It was wonderful to be able to explore Harrison’s homeland with him, to have pictures of him in his country. I kept him in a sling on my chest most of the day. We went to a jade factory, toured a gorgeous monastery and the old Spanish Embassy. We had some very delicious, authentic food and then headed to some markets for shopping. I am a bit taken with architecture, so even when we weren’t doing anything in particular, I was still mesmerized. The day, though very fun, was exhausting and we headed home a little earlier than planned.

Harrison is a pretty easy going baby, and very social baby, so the trip was easy with him. Plus, having the two grandmothers along was a big help.

One of my favorite aspects of our day in Antigua, was the opportunity to get to know another family picking up their child. They were young like us and we just seemed to be able to relate on so many levels. Their precious little girl was about 2 months younger than Harry. I am hopeful that we will be a support to each other in the coming years.

Day three was pretty uneventful, and I needed the break to process. The Marriott, where we were staying was renovating their pool and it would be closed for another month. So we decided to switch hotels.

When we got down to the lobby to check out, I looked around. We were surrounded by adopting families. Babies everywhere! I think I had been in my own little world for the first two days and really hadn’t noticed my surroundings. Tim was checking us out and coordinating transportation to the new hotel. The grandmas were playing with Harry on a couch next to me and I just sat there taking it in. It was the strangest feeling.

I sat and watched as a family was ripped apart. An adoptive mother was handing her baby girl back to the foster mother. The baby was screaming and reaching for her new mommy. The mommy was crying and loading the foster mother with gifts. I sat there in a daze. I knew what was ahead of this woman. I knew she would face so many fears, so many tears in the coming months. She would face illnesses and court dates and PGN, all from thousands of miles away.

And in that moment, my heart broke. I took Harry in my arms and I held him so tight. I rocked him and told him I would never leave him again. Right there in the lobby, I sobbed uncontrollably. It seemed my tears had no end. I was releasing 8 long months of anguish.

By the time we got to the new hotel, I was spent. We unpacked, and then relaxed and had snacks at the poolside bar for the rest of the day.

On day four, we woke super early to head to the US Embassy. Again, this was a very strange experience. Two lines: one for Guatemalan nationals hoping to get visa to come to the US, the other filled with babies and their new parents. We got good numbers, us and the other family from AGCI, so we were actually done by mid-morning. Afterward, we picked up the “abuelas” (grandmas) as they were called by everyone for the whole trip, and headed back to Hannah’s Hope to get more time with my friends’ babies and talk to the doctor on staff. They were not ready for us, so we headed to the grocery store and then back to the hotel.


Tim and the abuelas headed to the pool for the afternoon. I stayed in the room to let Harrison take a nap and wait for our driver, Abel to call and tell us what time he would pick us up to go back to Hannah’s Hope. He never called. I was so bummed! I really wanted to go back and spend time with those babies, but it was not to be.

So Harry and I headed to the pool and had a late lunch at the poolside bar again. Yummy! I love the local food! I think I had the same thing at almost every meal. The rest of our crew was not so thrilled with the cuisine.


Day five was relaxation day. We did some shopping, then called our friends back at the Marriott and told them to meet us at our pool. Harry loved the water! He would have stayed in the pool all day if we had let him. It was soooo cute! His grandma brought him this cute inner tube from Florida and he was a natural swimmer. He kicked and kicked and splashed all over. No fear!

At four o’clock his visa arrived, and we had everything we need to travel. What a relief, we could take our son home!

On day six, we woke early to head to the airport. Our flight got off about 30 minutes late and it became clear, we would most likely miss our connecting flight. On the flight, I was officially baptized into motherhood. Harrison peed right through his diaper, clothes and all over me about 1 hour into a 3 hour flight. As I carried him from the front of the plane all the way to the restroom in theback, I enjoyed the sympathetic glances, stifled giggles and constant whispers. I was the talk of the plane. Very humbling.

Missing our flight wasn’t so bad, we got time to relax and hang out with our new adoption friends and their beautiful new daughter. We arrived in Baltimore around 10 PM and my dear aunt was waiting for us. Baby hat and mittens in one hand, a Diego doll in the other. Too cute!

We pulled into our drive way and saw a huge sign over the door “Welcome Home Harry!” My dearest friends were inside with screams and shouts, hugs and kisses and video camera rolling. They had cooked us an awesome dinner, for that night and the next, loaded our fridge and pantry with yummy stuff and even did some cleaning. The house was filled with balloons and banners! It was the perfect ending to an amazing beginning!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I Can Take A Hint

In an attempt to make bedtime a bit easier for Harry, we have begun a little routine. He gives kisses to Tim and my mom, and then he and I head for the big rocking recliner. We turn the lights dim and cuddle, and then I give him his nighttime bottle. He can never stay awake to the end of the bottle so while he drinks, I pray over him and sing him a hymn. I tried to sing children's songs, but they are generally so short and I want to draw this sweet time out through his bottle. So hymns, with their many verses, seemed to be a good answer. Naturally, I started with my favorite hymn: Come Thou Fount

Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy praise
Streams of mercy never ceasing, call for psalms of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise His name. I'm fixed upon it, name of God's redeeming love.

And my favorite verse goes:

Oh, to grace now great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.

Well if you know me in person, you are probably aware that I am no virtuoso. In fact, I am pretty bad. And in the third line of every verse, the hymn goes up a little higher than I can reach. But I figured, he's a baby, he won't know the difference. Hmmm...

Well, the first time I sang it, my dear 11 month old son was reaching up to my face. I thought: how sweet, he's touching my face. Then I noticed a pattern, every time I got to the third line of a verse, he put his hand over my mouth. Oh, and not just one night, it was night after night.

Sigh... We are now singing "Be Thou My Vision"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What Have I Done To Deserve This?

My husband loves to change diapers. Go ahead and re-read that sentence if you need to. It's true. And not just any diapers, we use cloth diapers. I find this as hard to believe as you do, so let me explain my discovery.

Every night when my dh gets home from work, he asks me if the baby needs to be changed. I say yes, and off they go. Then again about 10 minutes into dinner, he will turn to Harrison and say, "Daddy is going to change you after dinner." I would just think, he is so sweet to want to give me a break.

Until... the other night my mother-in-law called to talk with her son. While he was talking, I noticed Harry was a little stinky and took him upstairs for a change. A minute later, Tim walked in, still on the phone, made a sad face and left. I didn't think much of it. But I noticed he was sort of grumpily pouting later in the night. When I asked what was wrong, I discovered my beloved was upset that I changed the munchkin's diaper. Evidently, once dh gets home from work diapers are "his job!"

I suppose, as a god-fearing wife, it is my duty to submit.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lent


Is it wrong to think your child looks adorable with ashes on his little head? And then post it on the internet?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The issue of the day

Some mornings, while I feed the baby breakfast, my dh reads the me headlines and tidbits from the morning news (typically courtesy of Matt Drudge.) Imagine my dismay this morning, to discover James Cameron will be disproving Christianity once and for all, at a press conference tomorrow. He claims to have proven that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, had a son named Judah and died. Mr. Cameron will say that through DNA testing, he can prove that he has found Jesus' remains.

My gut reaction this morning: Give me a break! What exactly is going to compare this DNA to, in order to prove this is Jesus? And even if there were some to compare it to, they are analyzing two thousand year old DNA? C'mon anyone who has watched CSI knows, it is difficult to get good DNA from a body just a couple of years old, much less two thousand years. Okay, so I know CSI isn't scientific, but I would take the bet that it is a lot less fictional than Mr. Cameron's findings.

After church I began to think on this more. While I am not afraid I am going to need to go search for a new religion anytime soon, I did spend some time thinking about the gullible nature of man. It seems that if people hear something enough, they just begin to believe it. If someone somewhere says they've proved it, well then, it must be true. As I began to fret about this prospect of the difficult road that may lay ahead for Christ's church, the Lord gently reminded me that rarely have His people come under attack, that He hasn't risen up strong among them... That when sin abounds, grace does much more abound... That even in the midst of the unspeakable suffering under Nero, his church did not just survive, but she thrived. I began thinking, "Bring it on, Mr. Cameron!"

But the day wore on and by evening, my heart was moved again by the Lord's gentle prodding. James Cameron is not our enemy. He is not who we fight. Remember, we wrestle not against flesh and blood. The Christ, who he seeks to discredit, is the Christ who died on a cross for this very action.

And so tonight with Christ, my only response can be to pray...

Father, forgive him, for he knows not what he does.

Gotcha Day

Well, since I have been home 3 ½ weeks now, I guess it is time I get back to blogging and give you all the details of my trip. I feel like I am finally starting to get into a rhythm and I am learning to function pretty well on no sleep! =) So I will begin by taking you through our Gotcha Day, January 26.

From the time we found out we had travel approval, life went into overdrive. Making our travel arrangements, packing, buying last minute essentials. I was physically incapable of more than 2-3 hours of sleep per night and naps were impossible. Life was way to exciting! The night before we left I finally got a solid 5 hours, before waking at 3 am to head to the airport.

My mom, Tim and I met up with Tim's mom at our connecting flight in Houston, and the four of us were on our way. The flights were uneventful and we arrived in Guatemala City on time. After our driver Abel, stopped at the hotel so we could check-in, we headed to Hannah's Hope, the orphanage where our baby boy lived. The drive to the orphanage was familiar, and yet surreal. I could hardly believe forever was about to begin.

I leaned over his crib and touched his back. He was so beautiful. I asked if I could wake him, still so unsure in my new role of mother. I lifted his little body and he snuggled into me. It was one of those amazing moments in life that you know you’ll always cherish. Everything around us was gray, I have no idea what was going on or who was there to witness it. I just remember the purity of those moments holding my son, as my husband held me.

We changed him into his new clothes and took turns holding our new son. Looking back, I can tell that he was a little stunned by what was taking place. The new grandmas got in some snuggles while Tim and I were running around getting photos and giving hugs to the babies of my friends on the list serve. We were a bit rushed and didn’t get quite as much time there as we would have liked. I missed a few very important babies.

Back at the hotel, we unpacked and played. It was a sweet time of just getting to know each other. We had a delicioso dinner at a beautiful outdoor restaurant at the hotel, then headed back to the room for a bottle and early bed. We were actually all in bed with the lights out before 9 pm. But the very excited new mama just couldn’t sleep. I kept checking on my little guy, to make sure he was okay, to make sure he was really there. He only woke once that night and fell back to sleep pretty easily.

What an amazing day!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Me Church

I know I am so behind in posting about my trip and my amazing son, but I just could resist sharing this video I found on my friend Henry's blog. Enjoy...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My miracle


We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.
---Kristi Larson

Friday, February 02, 2007

In Antigua

Our first full day together...

Home At Last

We are home! Harrison is just fantastic and I am sitting on top of the world. I have a ton to share and lots of photos, but I am exhausted. I will post soon, I promise!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

MIRL (Meet In Real Life)

Tonight was so fun! I got to hang out with Gretchen and her beautiful baby boy John. Gretchen is an awesome friend to all of us on the AGCI list serv, and I have to say, she is even more fun in real life! She had some things she wanted to donate to the orphanage, and we figured out that she lives just 40 minutes away, so she stopped by.

Her little John is just 2 days younger than my Harrison, but he came home in September. He is the same heritage (Mayan), same weight, same height and he is quite the cuddler! So I got a baby fix to help me to make it through the next 42 hours!

Holy cow 42 hours!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

PINK! PINK! PINK!

I was mean, I know, so...

We are pink!

For those of you who don't know the significance of being "pink", at the end of a Guatemalan adoption, the US Embassy issues a pink slip, which is your approval to travel to Guatemala to pick up your baby! We received notification that we are pink today.

We fly out at 6 am on Friday and Harrison will be in our arms by 2 pm. We will spend the weekend bonding, and have our Embassy appointment on Monday morning. Tuesday afternoon we will receive his visa, and we head home Wednesday morning.

I am so excited, I can hardly believe it is actually finally happening. Just 2 weeks shy of the 2 year anniversary of making the decision to adopt, our son will be home.

GUESS WHAT???

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tagged!

So I was out of the blogging loop for like 5 days and I guess I missed the tagging sensation started by Sarah.

So here goes..... Six weird things about me...

1. I eat my pizza crust first.

2. I have a book buying addiction. I love owning books. The library has no appeal to me. The only problem: I consistently stop reading books in the fourth chapter.


3. I always sneeze in sevens. And most of my friends count whenever I sneeze.

4. I ate my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich at 29 years old.

5. I was once stoned (with rocks, not drugs!) On a mission trip to El Salvador when I was 16, I witnessed to the leader of a gang. He began to open up, and this really upset the other guys, so they all started throwing rocks at me. I blacked out when I got hit in the head. My friends carried me to safety, and I came out of it with only a few bruises and a headache.

6. And keeping with the cheese theme, I like my Mac & Cheese to be a soup. I keep adding milk until the cheese sauce is more like a broth.

Thanks for the input

Thanks to all who chimed in on my cocooning post. I have quite a wise group of e-friends !

I haven't had a chance to check in lately. My house keeps calling to me, "Organize me, organize me." The baby's room is finally done and the living room and kitchen are much more kid friendly. Now all I need to do is finish up the office. Then there is obsession with getting everything I may want to do in the next 3 months done now. So my computer time has gone by the wayside a bit.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Cocooning?

Cocooning, in terms of adoption, is a subject that I have pretty much avoided. It involves setting boundaries, saying "No" a lot, and well, that makes me squirm.

The social workers, psychologists, etc. say you should really keep adopted babies home “cocooning” anywhere from 3 to 6 months, to give them time to understand that their little world is safe and isn’t going to turn upside down on them again. This cocooning involves rarely leaving the house, limiting visitors, and allowing no one but parents to care for babies basic needs. (So to everyone who was dying to change his poopie diaper: sorry, hate to disappoint you!)

I have never been a person who blindly follows psychobabble, but this concept seems logical, even if it isn't something most people would think of on their own. Most people see a 9 month old baby and think of every other 9 month of baby they have ever known. However, the only times my little boy has been out in the world were when his birth mother gave him up, to go to court, and to go to the hospital for his surgery. Not pleasant experiences. Now I will be stripping him of everything that is familiar, every person to whom he has formed any sort of attachment. Everything will sound different (language), feel different (climate), smell different (food, pollution, etc.)

I had planned to just see what happens. I figured once I had him home, I would be able feel him out. Gauge how he was adjusting and then make the necessary decisions.

But alas, I can't avoid the subject anymore. My baby shower is scheduled for about one week after Harrison arrives home. I think I am going to need to cancel it all together. With everything else I have had to miss out on in regards to babies, I didn’t want to miss that too. But I just don't think I can do it to Harry. He will have gone through so much, a party would be way too much on him.

Some "experts" go so far as to say, take the baby nowhere, not even church. I, of course, am not going to give up church for 3 to 6 months, but he sure isn’t going into the nursery. I don’t plan to take any trips, or go to any parties. For how long? I am not sure.

Any adoption friends have any thoughts on this? Or non-adoption friends?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Holidays

Once we received news that Harry is ours, life started moving about a hundred miles per minute. So here is a little update on us.

Christmas was a little hard without the baby, but we had to keep focused. Being with family is a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas, but Christmas isn't about family. It is about Christ. If I am focused on not having Harry with me for Christmas, I have missed the point. People in general are sad around the holidays, because they have taken their focus off Christ and have put it on themselves. Grandpa may have made the Christmas celebration a little more fun, but he doesn't make Christmas. And if he is in heaven now, he is having a much better Christmas than any of us. Okay, enough of that soapbox. :)

Tim had off the week between Christmas and New Year's, and we were planning to spend the week with his parents in Florida. The weather reports were less than promising and the prospect of two 18+ hours drives in 6 days was daunting. We opted to stay home and work on the baby's room and general home organization. Full nesting mode!

Two days, and 14 big black garbage bags later, the nursery was painted and most of what we wanted to accomplish was done. We decided we didn't want to miss out on the opportunity for one last baby-free trip. So packed the car and headed to Michigan to visit our very dear friends Henry and Renee and our 4 beautiful "nephews" and "nieces". We had a fantastic time in Michigan, although, sadly, we saw not one snowflake!

The trip was a blessing to me in so many ways. First of all, I got two 10 hours car rides with my dh... nothing to do but spend time together. Very exciting when you are very in love! One of our favorite past-times is to pick apart issues and look at them from every angle. Though we usually agree, we always pick opposing sides and have a good hearty debate. We almost always come out of it with a better understanding of the opposing side and a stronger ability to articulate our own viewpoint. Iron sharpens iron. So we listened to teaching tapes and parenting tapes and really dug into some meaty issues. We also made a New Year's resolution to pray together daily.

Once we got there, it was so wonderful. Henry and Nae are the kind of friends that we don't have to be anything for, they are family. Our times with them are always restful, relaxing and hilarious. And their children are truly a delight! Honestly, the kind of kids we hope we can raise.

Also, on this trip we got to spend time with our friend Sandy and her kiddos. Even though Sandy and her husband, Joe live close to us, we rarely get time to spend together. They had spent Christmas in Minnesota with her family. Joe flew home to get to work, and she and the kids stopped in Michigan for a day on their drive back. It was so fun to just hang out in the kitchen and have girl time!

We got home late on Monday. Tuesday, Tim headed back to work, and I ran errands and prepped for Harry's arrival. We found out the US Embassy will be closed most of this week due to the death of President Ford, which pushes his homecoming back about one week. I have been fighting getting sick for about 5 days and it finally got the better of me yesterday. So I have had plenty of time to catch up on all my favorite blogs.

So there is our holiday in a nutshell! (must be a big nut...maybe a coconut!)