Monday, March 24, 2008

Settling In... and a Catch Up Post

Super LONG post! In fact, please don't feel like you need to read this... ha! I just had to get some of this on here... I was feeling a bit backlogged!

I feel like I have so much to catch up on this blog, but, at the same time, like not much has really happened since we have been home. I guess I may feel like not much has happened because it has all been so incredibly normal and drama free... it is just so very different than life before Lucy was home (email stalking, pacing, panicking, praying...). Things are not dull by any means, they are just "right". I feel complete, at peace in the midst of the chaos of 2 (sometimes 3) children, and happy.

So, I thought I'd back up a bit and take some time to get a few pics that were missed along the way. This blog, after all, is meant to be a bit of a journal for my children and there are some moments I have yet to pop on here. (Feel free to jump to the end to read about our first 2 weeks home.)

Scrapbooking for Magda:


Luggage:

This was the "map" we used to check off each step before bringing Lucy home... Sam colored them as we went... you can see the point where we threw in the towel and took off for Guatemala!
Lucy's Passport:

Welcome Home Signs:

Meeting Papa, Great Grandparents, Aunt Katie and Sweet Jaiden on our first night home:

A couple of random videos:
video
video

Luciana has amazed us with her transition home. She is adjusting so well. Sam ,too. Lucy is such a happy and sweet little girl. She smiles (and waves!) at everyone and has a very playful personality. She is rolling like a champ, sits up solidly, and wants to crawl and pull herself up desperately. She usually wakes up once a night for a bottle, and takes so-so naps. She loves to go for walks... I think it reminds her of Antigua.

On Tuesday Luciana had her 9 month check up. You know I just had to take a picture of her sans green wall! She did a great job and charmed her pediatrician! She now weighs 17.5 pounds and is 27 inches long which is about 30th percentile for both. I can't explain it perfectly, but taking her for her first "well baby checkup" at home was such a special moment. I think it is probably because so much was made of her monthly checkups in Guatemala. It was the only way we could get an updated picture of her, and our only real communication that she was happy and healthy. Often the updates were very late and our desperation to see her sweet face was torture! Those days feel long gone as I look over at her precious face this morning.

We really are just so happy. I don't have a complaint in the world (well... just one... get Eli OUT of PGN!!) and feel truly blessed for prayers answered. In the darkest of moments it was hard to understand God's plan for our family, though we knew He had one. Looking back, it is so clear to me how He had His hands all over us. I could go on and on about where our family was 4 years ago and where we are today, but I think for today I will not look back, not look forward... I am just going to logout for a bit and enjoy today.

Love, love, love... love!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter and First Tooth!



Sam lost his FIRST tooth yesterday! The Tooth Fairy AND the Easter Bunny have been here! What luck!

I am long overdue for a true blue update and will make every attempt to get to that this week. In brief, aside from a burst ear drum last week, Luciana is doing great at home with us... we couldn't be happier and are just enjoying a very normal, happy little life here in bitter cold Maine. Everyone is settling into life and we are just having a blast. Much love.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy 9 Months!




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Our Welcome Home Shower

We were blown away by this very special (and very FUN) "Weclome Home" shower. Thank you!




"It takes a village."


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"We Are Home"




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Monday, March 10, 2008

HOME HOME HOME HOME HOME

We are here and will update sometime soon.... I promise.... All is well, settling in, and STILL unpacking in between wonderful visits with family and friends!! Our welcome home was so touching... happy, happy, happy. Luciana and Sam are LOVING being HOME!!! We are SOOOOOOOOO HAPPY!!!! I am finding it much harder to be in touch (update blog/email/return calls) than I expected... though I know we have only been home 3 days and it is to be expected... so, if you are wanting to come by, meet the girl, welcome us home, or just check in... please, please call or stop by! Luciana is doing a great job of meeting new family and friends!

PS_ My computer has not been working until tonight... it took it's own "vacation"!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Goodnight Guatemala

These are just a few moments right before we put Sam and Lucy to bed tonight. They are just moments... but isn't that what this has all been for? It's what we have dreamed of all this time... moments together. I am at a loss for words tonight...

A quiet moment between siblings.A private joke?

Taking each step together...

Deep breath. We are coming home.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Embassy Day... DONE!

What? You mean... we can go home?
Sam! Sam! We can go home!

Mom and Dad! We can go home!

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!
Our embassy appointment was at 7:15 this morning. We did not have someone from our agency there to meet us, which was a disappointing surprise. Thankfully, Claudia was with us and made the choice to stay for the duration. (We are so fortunate to have met Claudia and Alfredo; they have made each step of the way so much more smooth and a lot of fun!)

Well, it was pretty much what we expected from all the stories we have heard. We paid fees, waited for I-600 approval, had our 3 minute interview and left! It all took about 2 1/2 hours. Claudia is going to pick up our Visa tomorrow, so we have 2 days to just enjoy ourselves... kind of like our first family vacation! Our room at the Grand Tikal is bigger than my apartment in Antigua, so I am loving life! HA!

Oh my gosh. I just can not tell you the weight that has been lifted. We feel so complete and can't wait to be home! Thank you ALL for your well wishes, support and encouragement! It is time to CELEBRATE!!! See you all soon!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lake Atitlan Pics

Adios Antigua, Muchas Gracias


Packing up our month's worth of luggage while preparing to leave Antigua was truly bittersweet today. I am not entirely prepared to process it tonight. To be brief, I swallowed hard, took a good look at my family, and put one foot in front of the other with joy in my heart realizing each step was one step closer to the our dreams of coming home with Luciana at long last.

I feel so overwhelmingly blessed to have had this time to bond with her and get to know her in such a special way. As we drove away from Antigua, I felt a kind of sadness I was surprised by, but it soon turned to excitement. We are so close. Tomorrow is one of those days we have imagined for so long, it is almost hard to believe it is here. In fact, it is going to come quickly and I really should get to bed.

With that said, I felt I had to at least post my own little thank you and farewell to the town that will forever hold a special place in my heart when I look at my baby girl. It is not her birthtown, but it is our own special, colorful, spirited little spot in the world. And, it is time to say goodbye.

If I can keep my eyes open a little longer, I'll get some pics from the lake up... if not, tomorrow. Oh... and by the way... TOMORROW IS OUR EMBASSY DAY!!! YIPPIE!!!!

Much love.

Quickie

Bobbi requested an update, so this will be a quickie.

We had a great and challenging time at Lake Atitlan. More on that soon. We packed up the apartment yesterday and spent a wonderful evening out to dinner with new friends. The walk around Antigua all lit up was bittersweet.

This morning we will finish packing, Alfredo will pick up up after lunch, and we will head to Luciana's 6th "home" in a month! We will be staying at the Grand Tikal in Guatemala City. Our embassy appointment is TOMORROW! I just can't make myself believe that! We will pick up our Visa on the 6th, and fly HOME on the 7th.

We arrive in Maine sometime between 11 and midnight. Luciana will see her first snow before arriving to our home that will be forever changed. Yippie!

Saturday, we plan to sleep!

It has been nearly impossible to email or update the blog this week... sorry! It has just been so wonderful to be all together and the computer hasn't gotten much attention. (hee hee)

We had many people recommend the Grand Tikal (thanks Donna) and it seems like a place that Sam will have a blast. My big boy deserves to PLAY! I am so proud of him, and it is time for him to get home and have playdates! He is so ready to see his friends... so friends, when we are home, do not hesitate to call Sammy to invite him to play... he hasn't had a friend his age in a MONTH!

We, too, are really looking forward to spending time with friends and family. We know you are all so anxious to meet Luciana after all these months. We can't wait to make some time to get together with everyone.

So, it is time to begin another adventure... our journey back to the city for the final time. Stay tuned!

Much love.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

So Happy Together

 


I won't have an update for a few days because we are leaving for Lake Atitlan in the morning. We will return Monday late afternoon. We spent all day today exploring (9 hours worth!), lunch at Cafe Sky on the roof, and ended the afternoon with a swim. It was a wonderful family day in every way! Pics will come one of these days... we are just having the nicest time being ALL together.

Much love.
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