Thanks for the Divine nudge....

God must have known we needed a little ray of hope for baby Joe! We have been submitted to family court. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This part ususally takes anywhere from 6-12 weeks. We don't have DNA auth, yet and that could end up delaying us. The good news is that we had some sort of movement. Today, I am on one of those roller coaster high hills! So, thanks God, for the little Divine nudge from above! I'll just warn, ya, I may ask for a few more along the way.

Little bummed...

I checked, My FTIA - our site that tells us of exciting updates with Joe's adoption, but no new news. I am pretty heartbroken. I am now wishing that even have DNA authorization prior to Christmas, but no real indication either way.

To digress, I was really hoping to be past this stage by now and moving onward to something like Family Court so that we could enter the dreaded PGN in the dreaded winter months. Anyway, I do trust God's timing, and understand that Joe will come home in his timeline. I just think our attorney in Guatemala needs a little Divine nudge from above. Can I pray for that?


One more post...

Pfewww...the thanksgiving holiday is wrapping up! We had lunch at Dan's parents today to celebrate with the Stoll family. It is a big bunch and it was only the ones from this area. We had a yummy lunch that centered around the ham that Grandma Jean fought for at the store (funny story). We took Dan's famous chocolate dessert and spinach and herb dip, must have been good, they are gone!

I figured I better post again now, as it will be a busy week again. One of these day, my work weeks won't seem so hectic, I will have to figure out the madness. I will leave you with these precious pics of my men dressed for the bitter cold days we are having...


Thanksgiving Day

I am thankful for:
Our love of Jesus and all the blessings he shares with us
The 2 mini loves of my life: Sam and Joe
The big love of my life: Dan
Our supportive family
Our nutty friends
Our health
Our jobs
and even though sometimes shorter than we have plans for... the cherished time we spend with our loved ones ( I miss you mom, dad and baby Joe).


How big is Joseph?

Latest measurements: 11 lbs 2 oz 24.5 in. These were taken at the beginning of November - 3 mo old. A little peanut!

Sweet Autumn Blessings

Already, autumn is coming to an end! It has been a quick fall it seems. I think it was warm late into the year this time and it has made winter roll around ever quicker! Grandma Sam and I had spent the day in Odon on the day these pics were taken. We went to one of my favorite shops -Sparks Country Store. They have great knick nacks. The close quarters make it hard to take Sam anymore-afraid I will have to buy something that is already broken!
We are looking forward to a nice Thanksgiving tomorrow. Both familes are close, but are both eating at noon! We plan to go early to one, leave and make the other as well!


What a difference one week makes!

No wonder my life feels like utter chaos this past week! Would you look at this mess! I am so glad we are doing this prior to moving in! I know, no excuses for not posting, but to be completely honest - it has been chaos. I have all the laundry clean (have since almost 7 days ago) but it is still not folded and put away. Yikes!
On a good note, so much progress was made on our home renovations while we were gone and in the week since we have been home! We are ready for electricians, Dan's cousin, Craig is coming tomorrow. We picked out some fun stuff this weekend. The best of which was our toilets. Who knew they had names. We have a Cadet and a Plebe. I think I will take the Cadet, what is a Plebe????
Sam is back into the swing of things. That little man loves Sponge Bob Square Pants. I am almost to the point that I don't fight it. I do encourage other things - but he loves Bunge Bob.
I hope to post some more pics from our trip for all to see. One week ago today I was holding baby Joe. At times it feels like months ago, other times it seems like yesterday. Either way, it was magical to have both of my boys together.


We are home..

and Sam is making the best of it. First things first, when you have been away awhile. "Bunge Bob, Ma, Bundge Bob. So Sam is watching Sponge Bob and holding the chicken flashlight mom's friend Amanda got him. He is loving life now, very comfortable.
I need to go unpack. Those suitcases seem huge right now, though... I let you know later the verdict.
Mama to Sam & Joe.


Making the most of our last hours together

joe decided that he and mommy neeed some quality time so he is wide awake. he is content in one arm, so any movement there could be bad. i will type with one hand. i love my time here with our family wis it could last forever.....


Precious Smile

Yesterday we had a great day. It is early am on Sunday and daddy is in the room resting while the other 3 are in the adoption lounge. I wanted to post the precious picture of Joe I go while in the baby swing. We met with Maritza and Armando (Sam's foster family) last night and it was incredible. We are also going to their home today. I want to give his visit with them its own blog so I will write later.
We went swimming yesterday. The air is chilly but the water is warm. Does that face from daddy look like any pics from our 1st trip here? Sam loved the water. We are lunch poolside. Both boys loved being outside.
Joe is really paying attention to Sam. Sam is very attentive as well. Right now Joe is in the swing and Sam is giving him "gentle" pushes. I have used that word out this weekend! Be gentle, gentle kisses, etc. Sam is doing great though.
Today we are going to have breakfast buffet and then go to Maritza's for tortilla surprise this afternoon! Loving our time here, each moment is precious.
Oh, for all you mom's of young babies...I saw Joe's heartbeat in his softspot yesterday - that was awesome.


Saturday Morning in Guatemala

Saturday morning in guatemala. Sam is having a good time, we were a little nervous about how he would do being confined to a hotel room for the most part. He is doing great with Joe as well. He loves to hold him and we have even gotten him to kiss him once or twice. We went to McDonalds yesterday for lunch and Sam played in the play area for almost an hour. He barely had time to eat. We are going to meet Sam's foster family tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully that all goes well. More pics later...


Pictures worth a 1000 words...

I could stay here forever...

More on Joe

We were dressed and ready to leave the room, all of us.....are you ready for this? Drumroll....by 11:30am, hee hee. And where did we go? To McDonald's. Our first family outing. What a precious memory. Well, we are discovering the joys of parenting 2 instead of 1. We are not outnumbered yet, but why does it seem so much more difficult? We are loving it and cherishing every moment of the short time we have with Joe.

I think Sam will miss him, already. He is very aware of where Joe is at all times. He says why crying, ma? why crying? I am in the baby lounge and Joe is with me. Dad and Sam are in the room. Sam is sleeping (so is daddy, don't kid yourself). Joe loves the vibrating bouncy seat. To be quite honest, he has been in it for about 20 min. This is probably the most content he has been thus far. He eats pretty well and rests well, but in between we are hearing his tiny little voice a lot.

We are already so in love with him. He has to melt your heart eyes and a tiny nose, precious lips, and cute little ears. His hands and feet are so much smaller than Sam's ever were. We also found out yesterday that he was 4.5 lbs at birth, tiny little man. He had smiled a couple of times and we surely treasure those smiles.

Happy one day late birthday to Baby Colton, he was one year old yesterday. He is our friends Hanna and Dave's son. Thanks to Kia, my faithful blog reader and to Melissa who called our room this am to chat. It was good to hear a familiar voice! November 9th didn't used to mean a lot to me, but now is is one of the days that we met our son for the first time. Special times.

(I am still working on the cord thing)

He is precious!

And don't I ever wish I could show you? Mama must have had her head somewhere else when packing. I did not pack my USB cord to connect to the computer. I cannot download photos. We went to every electronics store in both airports - not in stock. We are going to a mall today and will look there for a cord.

We arrived around 1 pm and got a room, only one available was on the 5th floor so we took it. The adoption lounge is on the 3rd floor so it is better to be there. Well, I was about 3/4 the way unpacked so we would be ready to meet baby Joe at 3pm and Dan discovered the the fridge was a minibar that cost $10 a day. This meant we needed to move because the fridge is free on 3rd floor, and they had a room available?!?! So we repacked and moved. Mama was a little distraught so daddy helped out a lot. We moved and our room is nice.

Baby Joe was placed in our arms about 3:15pm yesterday. He is nothing short of a tiny perfect miracle. And tiny he is . Our last update photos were deceiving. He weighed 11 lbs on Nov 1. He has the most petite features, tiny hands and toes. He looks more like our referral pics than our update pics. The foster mother was very kind. She is married with a 17 yo son and 13 yo daughter (the daughter came with her). They were very shy and spoke no english. I hope to get to know them over the process. Good news was shared with us in two forms already. Joe's doctor said he is perfectly healthy upon his last visit. Norma states that he is a good baby and eats a lot. The best part, she has had him since he was 5 days. The actually puts my mind a little more at ease that his birthmother had made the decision much earlier. It took around a month to get all the paperwork signed to place him for adoption. It had not been done prior to his birth. This is her 1st foster child. He was very clean and content, she had a difficult time leaving.

Sam was an angel from the time we left yesterday morning at 3:50am to the time we went to bed at 7:30 last night. He slept on the 1st flight from takeoff to about 5 min. prior to landing. Played in the Houston airport during layover. The flight to Guatemala went just as well he played for most of it. Grandma got him a book that worked perfect for quiet play. And in true Sam style, he has been charming with Joe. He kissed him while we were still in the lobby right after we received him and has wanted to be near him ever since. I guess he did understand all the times we talked about him. He brings us his bottle and says Joe (wish you could hear). He has held him and does well when mom and dad have him.

Last night is a whole other story - we found out the meaning of family bed, swapping beds, sleeping sideways in bed, sleeping in the chair, walking the hallways, ummm just to name a few. And, yes I did the forbidden, Joe was in bed with me for part of the night. He was really fussy last night. He would sleep for around 1-1.5 hours then was awake. This morning he is really happy and content. We hope to capture some precious memories today - off to do so. Until I post pics rest assured he is perfect!


Happy 3 months Little Joe!

Happy 3 month birthday, Little Joe. We will be there in 3 days to celebrate with you!
Daddy, Mama, and Sam


Hooray for the Washington Post...

Here's a great article from the Washington Post in support of Guatemalan Adoptions...

Great article in the Washington Post today...
Slamming the Door on AdoptionDepriving Children Abroad of Loving HomesBy Elizabeth BartholetSunday, November 4, 2007; Page B07Last month, Guatemala was effectively shut down as a country from which children can be adopted into the United States. While the shutdown is officially temporary, it is likely that even when new laws are in place, Guatemala will follow the path taken by many South American countries in recent years: eliminating the private agencies and intermediaries that facilitate the placement of children who need homes and substituting government monopoly over adoption, which will reduce to a trickle the number of children escaping life in institutions or on the streets.In recent years, Guatemala has been a model for those who believe in adoption as a vehicle for providing homeless children with permanent, nurturing parents. It has released significant numbers of children to international adoption, many at young ages, before they suffered the kind of damage that results in attachment disorders and other life-altering limitations. Ironically, these policies are why Guatemala attracted the attention of UNICEF and other human rights organizations that, along with our State Department, have been pushing for adoption "reform." These official "friends of children" have created pressure that has led to the cessation of international adoption in half the countries that in recent decades had been sending the largest number of homeless children abroad. Until recent years, the number of international adoptions into the United States had been steadily increasing, but the numbers are dramatically down.Why close down international adoption? The real-world alternatives for the children at issue are life -- or death -- on the streets or in the types of institutions that a half-century of research has proved systematically destroy children's ability to grow up capable of functioning normally in society. By contrast, we know that adoption works incredibly well to provide children with nurturing homes and that it works best for those placed early in life.Critics of international adoption argue that children have heritage rights and "belong" in their countries of birth. But children enjoy little in the way of heritage or other rights in institutions. The critics argue that we should develop foster-care alternatives for children in the countries they are from, and UNICEF's official position favors in-country foster care over out-of-country adoption. But foster care does not exist as a real option in most countries that allow children to be adopted abroad, and the generally dire economic circumstances in these nations make it extremely unlikely that comprehensive foster care programs will soon be developed. Nor is there any reason to think that children would do as well in foster care as in adoptive homes. Indeed, for decades the research in countries that use foster care, such as the United States, has shown that such care does not work nearly as well for children as adoption does.Critics also condemn adoption abuses such as baby-buying. But there is no hard evidence that payments are systematically used in any country to induce birth parents to surrender their children. In any event, the right response to such abuses is stepped-up enforcement of the overlapping laws prohibiting such payments, which would rightly result in the lawbreakers being penalized. Closing down international adoption, however, wrongly penalizes all those homeless children who could otherwise find nurturing adoptive homes, condemning them to institutions or to the streets.Policies restricting international adoption replicate the same-race matching policies that used to exist in the United States. In the mid-1990s, Congress passed the Multiethnic Placement Act, rejecting the notion that children should be seen as belonging only within the racial group into which they were born. Our lawmakers recognized the harm children suffered by virtue of being held in foster care rather than being adopted transracially.Congress, the State Department and the human rights organizations that purport to care for children should similarly reject the notion that children in other countries must at all costs be kept in their communities of birth. Children's most fundamental human rights include the right to be nurtured in their formative years by permanent parents in real families.

Elizabeth Bartholetis a law professor and faculty director of the Child Advocacy Program atHarvard Law School. She is the author of the books "Family Bonds" and "Nobody's Children."

Great job Professor Bartholetis!!

Silly Kia...

What was she thinking? Dressing like this for halloween. She just wanted to get out of working this day! Well, my coworkers (friends) and I had a great time for halloween this year. We had a mummy making contest where we split up by departments and had to make the best mummy in 3 minutes. We did get second, just second, can you believe it? Nakia looks so good, a very authentic farmer. For the rest of the day we unwrapped her and she joined the rest of the farmers in the pharmacy. Anyhoo, our customers love it when we dress up. Halloween is for everyone afterall!


Favorite Photo Friday

Could it be any better than this? Our new update pics of baby Joe....We are already smitten! I love to see that his cheeks have filled out and he looks so healthy. We are coming to


The boys are packed....

and do even feel a bit sorry for them! They have an entire suitcase! It was really fun to think about some of the outfits going on that bitty baby body! Here's the evidence:

Our matching athletic gear...

Our Gap athletic gear...

Off to get ready for lunch with Melissa, Kyleigh and Brianna!