Sunday, July 29, 2007

Did you know that elephants are pregnant for a FULL 22 months?!
Oh, do I feel their pain!

Okay, on a serious note (for a wee bit, anyway!), it is the night before we leave and I thought I better make one last and quick post before I sign off.

If you think about it, please pray for us and Mia. We are all in for an adjustment, but my heart sure breaks for her as she is in for the greatest change of all.

We will be without computer access at least for the first few days of our trip. I'll be sure to post an update on Friday as that is THE day Mia arrives. WOW!

Heather, thankful MY due date has finally arrived!

Friday, July 27, 2007

It is a dream no longer!

It is official! As I was moping, I mean, mopping the floor, the phone rang. Mia will be in our arms August 3rd! Can you believe it?!

Our Embassy appointment is scheduled for August 6th and we will return home the 8th. We wanted to squeeze in some sight-seeing beforehand and we managed to snag a fairly good deal on our last minute tickets.

Yep, we are leaving THIS Monday! I better get packing, don't ya think?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

One year ago today we were packing up and heading for home. We had spent a good time at the lake with our best buds and the kiddos, but our time was up. It had come time to return to reality and air conditioning (can you guess which I was most thrilled about?! hint, hint...the temps peaked at 115 degrees).

Before we started our engines, we had one last piece of business to attend to; it was picture time! We propped the camera on the BBQ and let the timer do its magic. We took two pictures that day: one posed and smiley and the other was downright silly. Who knew our little tradition would have so much meaning?!

Meaning?! Yes!! You see, as we posed before the camera, our Social Worker was trying (and trying again!) to reach us on our cell phones. We didn't hear the ringing, because we were, well, busy. Once we were in the car we checked our phones, both had waiting voicemail messages. I retrived my message first and heard there was "exciting news" awaiting us. We weren't expecting our referral for several months, but found ourselves wondering, "Could it be?"

Well, yes it could and it was! The wonderful news was shared with our best friends via speakerphone. There was not a dry eye in that rusty old gas station parking lot. God's timing could not have been more perfect! I couldn't have orchestrated the delivery better in my own mind (and we all know women are pretty darn good at planning!).

And so, July 25th, 2006 will forever be remembered as a day our hearts grew.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Okay, I did it. I called our local Representative's office today and asked for some assistance with our hold up at the Embassy. The woman I spoke with told me she's made phone calls for a few other families who are also experiencing delays. I guess I should take comfort that we're not the only ones, but instead I say, "What gives?"

If the delay is with immigration, there's nothing she can do. If the snag is with the Embassy, then there's hope.
7/24 Update
We didn't hear back from our Representative's office today. Actually, I never did find out when I should expect to hear back.

I did call the Embassy today though and I was told that the office only accepts calls like mine between 2-3 p.m. When I called back during "business" HOUR, I was told that the information on record shows our fingerprints expired in June. Oh, wait...maybe we do have the updated information....oh, wait maybe we need approval from immigration before we can process your pink slip. And I asked, "What paperwork do you need from immigration?" His reply, "I'm not sure. You'll have to call immigration. They'll know exactly what we need."

So, you guessed it, I called immigration. I retold a quick version of our predicky and asked about the status of the paperwork required for our Embassy appointment. She asked me what paperwork the Embassy was requiring of us. What?!

Please hold...I need to bash my head against the desk.

Please excuse me if I'm a far cry from Miss Sunshine. I just don't have it in me today, and I'm too exhausted to make the story "fluffy". I'm having a difficult time with our continual delays. This just stinks.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Help! Please!!

Today was week two of soccer for the little man, or shoulda been week two!

We only have two rules: try your best and have fun. Neither of which happened this morning and the meltdown was almost immediate. Shoot, I felt like having a meltdown myself! Wah, wah, wah! We believe follow through is important; he made the choice to play soccer and now, he needs to finish it up.

Does anyone have any advice to offer? Any other "I can't do it" kiddos out there?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

No updates to report. Matter-of-fact, I feel like things are moving at a snail's pace. Thankfully, this delay is with our very own government and we can take action if necessary.

Until then, we just wait....and we're REALLY good at doin' that!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I seriously LOVE older people. I'm sure this is near and dear to my heart because I was so close to my grandparents. My hubby frequently insists, "You'll REALLY love me when I'm old!" The problem is, then I'll be old too!

I've spent the last two years driving for Meals on Wheels once a week. When I started Spencer was in his velcro mode; he could walk, but just wouldn't. And now, he's truly the highlight of the week. Boy, oh boy, is Spencer sure loved...forget me! A lot of the folks on my route have been my originals and today I had to say my goodbyes. As we prepare for Mia's arrival, I know that it just isn't realistic to take two kids on the route.

It is tough to wrap up this chapter of my life, but I know an even greater chapter follows. More than likely, this is one I'll revisit in the near future :).

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Happy Birthday to you!

Dear Mia,

Today is your very first birthday! I can hardly believe it!

I had a little bit of time to myself today. After my class, I went next door to the ice cream shop and bought a scoop in honor of you. Sure it was my favorite flavor, but I think you'd approve. I lit a candle (pink, of course) and just at the right time, blew it out. Just steps away from my little celebration was the same park I played at when I was a little girl. Mia, I sure could see you there too!

We are eagerly awaiting your arrival. You've been in our hearts, but we want you in our home!

Mommy, Daddy and Spencer

P.S. Spencer just had to buy you a little something. Jada the giraffe, is tucked away in your room waiting for a snuggle.

First day of soccer

Here are a few pictures from this morning. Spence only had one minor meltdown...we're proud!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Craving Substance

Being a woman is tough sometimes, don't you think? The world tells us how we should dress, behave, live. Sometimes, it is just plain tiring!

Alfonso came up with a perfect anology. We have this beautiful tree in our front yard. Come spring it produces gorgeous blooms that last through summer. Its a tall beauty too. The branches stretch to the roof of our two story home and that's quite an accomplishment since it was itty-bitty five years ago.

We began having problems with our "beauty" last summer. The wind picks up real nice here and "beauty" couldn't take it. Our tree had spent too much energy growing tall, growing out and growing those blooms. Unfortunately, little effort had been spent on growing deeper roots.

All too often I find myself chasing what the world tells me is important and it ain't godly. I most definitely don't want to end up like our tree, currently supported by three wire cable (yes, our "beauty" has become Frankenstein-a). I am convinced more than ever before that true fulfillment can only come by chasing the true fulfiller.

Oh, and I'm holding tight to this too:
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This is how my husband gets himself out of household chores.....CIRCUS TRICKS!

A minor snag, no biggie

We received an email from the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala. Our case was issued an objection (an I-72) for updated fingerprints. We did update our fingerprints a few months back, so no need to worry! Our fingerprints will be cabled to Guatemala City in the next few days. After that, we should most definitely be making progress.

Really, compared to our wait in the "Black Hole", this is nothing!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Today, I opened a letter from the Texas Department of Justice. The man who murdered my mom is up for parole. As relatives of my mom, we're notifed and allowed to plead our case. We are required to respond to this letter within ten days. It was dated July 3rd. Well, isn't that just lovely timing.

Two years ago was his first parole review. I went on a small letter writing campaign (which we're encouraged to do) and even requested an interview with a member of the parole board. This time though, I just don't have it in me. Oh, I will most definitely write a letter, but I can't carry the burden. I'm not responsible for this "justice" system. A sentence should be a sentence (BIG FAT) period.

My uncle reminded me today that the best way to honor my mom is with my life.

I will.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The end is near...

Our social worker stopped by our house today to explain the last little bit of paperwork. Really, it will be just a breeze. Nothing can compare to the anxiety-filled days of dossier preparation. Even Alfonso admitted the paperwork made HIM sweat.

We hope to hear more this next week. At this point, we expect to have an appointment with the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala sometime in the next 3-4 weeks. We'd like to sneak in some sightseeing before then, so we expect to travel a week or so before our appointment.

Gettin' close folks! One of these days it just might sink in!
Now I now what sort of update we're to expect! We've been submitted to the Embassy for our pink slip (date?). At this point our agency expects that we'll have our pink slip THIS Wednesday. The Embassy is running a bit slower than usual, so we'll be patient. Okay, that was a straight fib!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The 4th of July is a good time for reflection. Too often our view of freedom is jaded. May we always remember that our freedom truly is a privledge, not simply a right.


Tonight, we headed back to our former stomping grounds and watched the fireworks show on the football field of our high school. Matter of fact, it is the same place we spent our first 4th of July together, as a family of, five. Allow me to explain:

Spencer was just about seven months old and as most giddy new parents, we were absolutely pumped about sharing this first with our little guy. Alfonso had an even better idea...he suggested we bring our two (big) dogs to share in the fun. I remember being hesitant, but he assured me, they'd be "just fine". (He may have a different story to re-tell, but this is MY blog). We had the stroller, the baby bag, the jar food and the all the "just in case" paraphernalia you carry as first time parents. We were prepared for anything. Almost anything, that is.

Spence and I were bundled up under the blanket waiting for that first big boom. We had the dogs tied nice and secure to the stroller to free up our arms. That's when it happened. The first boom was one too many for our dog, Scout. He took off! That would have been simple enough to handle, but along with him went the stroller, baby gear, and our other dog, Cooper (he simply had no other choice). Needless to say, we missed the entire show as we used each and every flash of light to re-gather the loot. It was absolutely everywhere! Sometimes a "ruined" experience makes for a wonderful (and funny) memory.

We had a great dogless time tonight. Spencer enjoyed the story of his first 4th of July and hootin' and hollerin' at the fireworks. And we...we lived vicariously.

Will Spencer's future include a trip to "Marge"?

For the last few weeks, Spencer's been talking an awful lot about his future as an astronaut. I love to hear his mind at work, for almost anything is possible when you're three. Specifically, he's dreaming of his trip to the planet "Marge" (a.k.a. Mars). Honestly, it is too darn cute to correct!

Today was his flight simulation test and he passed with flying colors. I just love my little guy!

P.S. If all else fails I think he'd be a shoo-in for the next Matrix movie, don't you?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I always imagined my reaction to "the call". I figured I'd cry tons, just as I did when we learned of Mia. I didn't. I thought I'd run like a woman gone mad finishing all those projects I'd put off. I haven't.

Relief. My heart was just too full to feel anything but.

A few months ago, I was sure struggling. I was participating in a church-wide study on World Changing Faith, but truthfully, it just wasn't sinking in. That's when my dear hubby pointed out a portion of scripture I'd completely missed:

"That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him, and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up rebuked the wind and said, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Mark 4:35-40

This was me: "Alrighty Lord, I SO get it now! You want my complete trust and faith. You said we're goin' to the other side and darn it, I believe you!"

But, just like that infamous reed, my faith and trust swayed: with each rumor of a possibly shutdown, with every passing day without news. I was left wondering, "Why, oh why, Lord must I continue to doubt you so?"

Today, a sermon was preached on Luke 1:5-25. The focus of the sermon was on Zechariah, as in John the Baptist's papa. Elizabeth, his wife, was barren and the two were childless. As Zechariah stood in the temple at the alter of incense, he prayed. An angel appeared before Zechariah. The angel delievered fabulous news; Elizabeth would indeed bear him a son! To Zechariah's credit, he was described as "upright in the sight of God", yet his first reaction was one of doubt: "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." Oops! Zechariah was silenced for Elizabeth's entire pregnancy.

I sure wish God put a sock in it, it being my big mouth o' doubt. Instead, He let me spout off my frustrations, in the end proving His mercies are indeed new every day. While I wish my initial reaction to "the news" wasn't relief, but thankfulness, it just wasn't. And you know, He loves me anyway!