Monday, February 4, 2008

The Mother Of All Updates

(Full disclosure: This post if copied and pasted from an email I sent to my friends.. hee hee... just easier.)

Good morning,

I really wish I was sleeping in right now (5:45)but I just can not sleep.

I figured it was a good time to sit down and let you know the details... this is a group email simply b/c of the enormous amount of information... but, I want to talk to each of you SOON! :)

Our adoption process hit a snag. I can call it a "snag" now b/c I am finally breathing again. While the issues were being corrected, Keith and I decided that it was time for me to get down to Guatemala to be there with Luciana and to ride out the remainder of the process. I am taking Sam and we are OUTTA HERE!

I am flying out on the morning of Tuesday, February 12 with my Mom and Sam. This was the first time I have ever purchased a One Way ticket! We will arrive in Guatemala City in the afternoon. Soon after that, M (Luciana's foster mother) will meet us WITH LUCIANA at a hotel in Guatemala City with our attorney, A.

Then, we will be with Lucy FOREVER!!!! That is called "GOTCHA DAY" by a lot of families... isn't that great? Oh, every time I think of it my hands start shaking and my stomach feels full of butterflies. It is almost like I can't quire let myself believe that that is really going to happen. That there is an actual date on my calendar that says, "Luciana". I always wondered what day that would be, and I never pictured it like this. God seems to have better plans than I could have made for myself b/c I really can see the good that has come out of our latest setback! I would have never wished for it, but I also could not have ever imagined this adventure of becoming a family. Life is GOOD!

Anyway, we will stay in GC that night just b/c it is easier for everyone. We will go the next day to the town (not island) of Antigua. Click for a slideshow of the town. I booked my mom a hotel room b/c the apartment really is too small for all of us. I will likely stay with her for a few nights, but the apartment will remain available for me. Her hotel is also close to the center square which is the "place to be". It has a pool, so Sam is loving that! She has been great about me wanting to maintain the apartment as opposed to just staying in a hotel the whole time. (apartment is less $$, too) Our families' support has been unwavering. She is staying about 2 weeks and my Dad will join us for part of that. I am so thrilled and amazed that they will be a part of this!! I think they will feel better seeing that we are okay, too. I am sure there will be some sightseeing during that time. I am looking forward to that.

Keith will come whenever we finally hear about our final embassy appointment, That could be the end of Feb, beginning of March. I hold a little hope for sooner, but I know better than to wish for that. He will come before the appointment so that we can enjoy a little of Antigua together. We will be so ready to be together by then. That is the one thing I just can't think about. Give him a call from time to time if you think of it. :)

As for the apartment. It is a cute study apartment, no frills, furnished and perfect for our adventure. I am very lucky that Emily helped me locate it b/c they are hard to come by at short notice and this one is a great find! Thank you, Emily!!! I have already met my neighbor via email. She is a lovely mom from Dubai. She is not yet through PGN which is too bad. She has been there awhile and has been so helpful with information. My other neighbor will also a fostering/adopting mom (I think), and the other is my 80 year old landlord who speaks English, Spanish, and German... and makes cookies! I also have made 4 wonderful contacts who have been so generous with their time and information already. One of them almost cried on the phone telling me why she helps adopting families and how hard it is when we leave b/c they become friends. Another one says, "God Bless You" whenever we talk. The other is a church contact, and the other is my friend Tamar's mom's H.S. exchange family and she was just there telling them that I am coming! They said they can't wait to hear from us and want to show us around! Ha! This world isn't so big after all!! Let's not forget ALFREDO (our friend who gave us a tour on our visit trip... he's great) hee hee! SO, I tell you all this so that you will know I am already in good hands and feel totally safe.

Also, the apartment is in a gated street that is locked after dark. My soon-to-be-neighbor, D says that she has not felt worried about safety once. Actually, everyone says that. They also say to use common sense, etc. and no one goes out after dark. Why would they when they can cuddle up with their sweet babe!??!

So, I am ready. Of course, I am not "packed ready", just emotionally ready. I am so ready to hold my daughter and look into her eyes and tell her that we are family forever. I just keep seeing it over and over. I shake thinking of the first time Sam will see her. I know this trip will have some down sides, but I just can't believe that there is really a down side to finally being with my daughter! Daughter! I love her so much that it honestly hurts to be away from her any longer. I am feeling so amazingly grateful that I am being supported on this crazy adventure. I am also feeling grateful to be able to share it with Sam. He has been a Big Brother in heart for so long and I am full of joy for him! Although, I am not so sure how he is going to feel about this whole deal when I become his teacher for 4 weeks! ha! JK. I think we are going to be just fine. He is so on board for this! We got him a camera so that he can document "Bringing Lucy Home" for his friends and classmates.

I have so much to do it is a bit overwhelming. I don't even know where to begin... well, I do have my famous "list" from Steph, so that helps! I really don't have a lot of time, so I am going to try to be pretty focused on packing an planning. With that said, I really need to see my friends before I go. I have to. I can't leave my home for a month without connecting with friends! I have to thank you for supporting me, for riding out the melt downs, for jumping up and down with the good news, for caring so much about my family that you, too, have become a part of bringing Lucy home. I would love for people to come by anytime... even if I am packing and you just come hang out.... hee hee... a few of you have done that before!

Anyway, I knew you'd want to know the details. I have 8 days... email me with questions, call, stop by... anything! Just please don't think that I am so overwhelmed that I don't want company or calls b/c I really, really do! I just might be a bit scattered! (nothing new?!)

The waiting is almost over. Soon I can return to something that resembles my former happy little life... plus one!
Thank you, thank you... I can never say it enough. We could not have done this w/o friends and family... we just couldn't have.
Much love,



Kerri said...

Ooh - I have goosebumps! I'm so excited for you and know you will have a great time in Guatemala with your children together.
Kerri and Ruby

Sandi said...

Oh how wonderful!!! What a wonderful blessing. I will be praying for you all! How exciting.

Bobbi said...

Maybe I'll copy my reply from yesterday....heehee

Glad the counter to Holding Lucy Forever is up!!!!!

Let the countdown begin!!!!!!

Donna said...

Oh Beth- it sounds like you have been very busy and very productive! Netting fantastic results!!
Dont you worry about responding to me, I'm just providing information to you, I know how valuable it is!
I will say that you are NOT allowed to stop blogging once you get there!!
I'm very happy your parents are going, too. That's fantastic that they'll get to experience this part of their grandaughter's life.
And I will say it too, it's very safe there!
CONGRATULATIONS to you final countdown days!

Kelly said...

This is soooo exciting!!!I will be thinking and praying for you. Have a wonderful time and savor every minute. Congratulations!!!!!

Auntie G said...

That sounds wonderful that you will get to be with Lucy soon.

Guate4Jack said...

congrats!! I'm so excited for you. I hope you have a great trip and I can't wait to hear updates!

Becky and Jack

Emily said...

Beth- your new adventure is waiting for you and it sounds like you are there greeting it with open arms! Very exciting.

Happy packing and can't wait to see pics from your gotcha day!!


Laurie said...

Beth congrats on your trip and stay in Antigua. I am so glad you will be with Lucinda forever AND you get to experience Antigua for a while. What I would give to have that opportunity! Blessings and safe travels! Can't wait to see pictures and hear stories!

The gFamily said...

That is so exciting that you will be in Guatemala with Lucinda soon and this time it will be forever! I can't wait to hear all about it and see pics!! This is very exciting!!

Terry said...

How exciting! You are going to LOVE spending time in Antigua with your daughter (and son). Just a bit of advice....if you get there before you know when you're going home, be prepared for a bit of culture shock. I wish someone would have told me that. It probably would have helped to know that everyone that fosters goes through it, but it doesn't last long (after a week and a half, I was over it and wanted to stay forever). But since DNA is ready to be done, it sounds like you won't be there long at all. Congratulations and have a safe trip and enjoy every minute of it! :)