Saturday, March 17, 2007


...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


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