Friday, August 31, 2007

Best Buddies

We were a bit worried about leaving our furry baby, Porter, for an entire week. The few days leading up to our departure were a bit stressful for him. He just knew something was not right! Everytime we left to run an errand, even for 30 minutes, he chewed something while we were gone. We just knew that our house was going to be a disaster if he was home alone for too long after we left. Well, Greg and Chris generously offered to have Porter stay at their house for at least a couple days of our trip. Well, they became so smitten with him, they decided to keep him the whole week! And, Porter and Chloe (Greg & Chris's dog) became best buds!! Aren't they cute?!

The Million Dollar Question - STILL!!

First of all, we want to thank all of you for your amazing support through every step of our journey. Your posts and comments mean so much to us and they help lift us up. For all of you lurkers, we know you're out there!! Thanks to you, too (though, a comment here and there would be nice. hint hint)!

The question everyone is asking us now that we have returned from our trip.......

When is Eli coming home???

Oh, we certainly wish we knew the answer or, for that matter, any answer. But, alas, we don't. That is the most difficult thing about Guatemalan adoptions: they are UNPREDICTABLE. We are still hoping that Eli will be home by Christmas, but that is only if our case is approved quickly. We still have many hoops to jump through. It certainly is possible for him to be home by Christmas, but we are also trying to prepare ourselves for longer.

At this point, we are waiting for the US Embassy to issue preapproval for Eli's visa and for approval from the Guatemalan Family Court. We should be receiving preapproval ANY day now. And, for all we know, we may be out of Family Court already and our attorney has just not updated the agency.

So, we wait and wait and wait......sigh. We sure miss our little pea.

I know we have not really posted many details of our trip. It is one of those experiences that is hard to put into words. Plus, it has been a pretty emotional week leaving Eli, coming home to a natural disaster, and adjusting back to everyday life. We'll get to it, maybe. :)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Buenos Dias, Eli

Meet Our Little Pea!!

Opening the heart

"We carry around in our heads these pictures of what our lives are supposed to look like, painted by the brush of our intentions. It's the great, deep secret of humanity that in the end none of our lives look the way we thought they would. As much as we wish to believe otherwise, most of life is a reaction to circumstances."

I am inspired by this quote posted by my FTIA friend, Nicole. This quote is from a book called The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans. This quote is a true reflection of our journey to parenthood and, really, life in general. When we decided we were ready to start a family, we both just assumed that it would come easily like most people. I certainly had an image in my mind of what I thought our family would look like and simply assumed that is how it would happen. I clung to that image for a long time and part of my journey was to learn to let go of those images and expectations. Consequently, I felt stuck for so long. Dealing with infertility was probably one of the most painful experiences of my life. During that time, I really struggled with the idea of never experiencing pregnancy and giving birth. It was simply one of those life experiences that I always dreamed of having and that intention was driving our journey at that time. It was a struggle to let go, but I slowly discovered that my dream and my intention was bigger than that. It was not about being pregnant and giving birth, my intention was to be a parent and to bring a child into our lives. This was a huge shift for me and little by little my heart began to open to other possibilities. Once we made the decision to pursue adoption, it was like the world opened up. Suddenly, our lives were once again filled with hope and possibility. A year ago, I never could imagine being grateful for our infertility struggles, but now I am because it led us to Eli.

Friday, August 24, 2007

National News!!

Wow! Findlay made the national news and has been declared a disaster area. It is unbelievable. My sister and her family were finally able to get back to their house yesterday and we all expected the worst because their street was literally a lake. But, their house is DRY!!! It is a miracle. There are houses next to them that are completely flooded. We are all so relieved and grateful.

My brother and Chris ended up with about 4-5 feet of water in their basement. At one point they had 4 or 5 pumps going and it just wasn't enough to stop the water from rising. Fortunately, the water did not reach their main living area, but they still lost much. My brother works from home and his office was in the basement. They also lost their furnace, water heater, and many other personal items. Please keep them in your thoughts.

The devastion is just heartbreaking and so many people have lost everything they own.

Here are some additional pictures of the flooding in Findlay.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mi corazon esta in Guatemala (My heart is in Guatemala)

We're back. Our hearts are full of joy for the precious moments we spent with Eli, but they are also very heavy with sadness. Handing Eli back to his foster mom was probably the hardest thing we have ever had to do. Even so, we treasure every single moment we had with him and it is worth every tear. And trust me, there have been many tears!! We will post more about our trip later.

In the meantime, we flew by the backside of Hurricane Dean yesterday and came home to the worst flooding our town has experienced in 100 years. It is just devastating. My sister's family had to be rescued from their home by boat and my brother's home is also flooded. We are sooooo extremely lucky in that we only have a little bit of water in our basement. The Blanchard River has not even crested yet and more rain is forecasted through Saturday. The governor of Ohio is currently in Findlay assessing the damage. Please keep everyone in your thoughts. Here are some pictures:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We made it!!!

We're here!!!!! Brief update: our trip was uneventful. Meeting Eli was probably the most incredible moment of our lives. We have fallen madly in love!! He is just perfect!! His foster mother is wonderful and we can tell she loves him dearly. We are so blessed in so many ways. The hotel staff are AWESOME and have already made our stay soo much more comfortable. There are so many other adoptive families here so we are certainly not alone! Our first night was a little rough as Eli tried to figure out what the heck was going on. He fussed until about 2:30am, when he finally fell asleep until about 8:00am. By the time he fell asleep, we had already been up 24 hours! Needless to say, we were a bit tired and feeling very initiated! I need to get back to my boy, so that is it for now! This is certainly an adventure of a lifetime! Here are some pics! Enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Changed Man

Over the past few days, I have realized how the idea of becoming Eli's father has changed me. I already feel responsible for Eli's well-being, and I haven't even met him yet. I find myself wanting to be a better man. I want to be a positive role-model for my son. Over the past few months, I find myself more outgoing, caring, empathic, and generous. I now expect more of myself in all aspects of my life because of Eli. Everything we have experienced so far has transformed the man I was into a better "me." I now feel a stronger urge to be a better husband, a better teacher, a better uncle, a better son and brother, and a better everything.

I sense this is a part of the unspoken glamorous side of fatherhood . . . that and simply spending time with your children. You are provided a nudge from the universe into the deeper regions of yourself and asked to explore and examine what needs changing in your life to become a better human being in this world in order to nuture your son or daughter into a positive force in our world. You damn well better make the best of the opportunity because you only get so many nudging like this in life. I hope I don't squander my nudge.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Then and Now


Here I am in 1994 packed for my 3 month trip to Central America, which included 6 weeks in Guatemala.


Here we are packed and ready to go meet our son in Guatemala. Jason and I had just started dating right before I left on my trip in 1994. He was constantly on my mind during that trip as our relationship had just started to develop. Consequently, I felt like Jason was with me during that experience. After my trip in 1994, I always felt like I had left a piece of my heart in Guatemala and I knew I had to go back someday with Jason. It was such an inexplicable feeling. But, now I understand and Jason and I are finally going to Guatemala to find that missing piece.

Our trip officially starts Monday night. We will be staying overnight in Detroit and flying out on Tuesday at 6:50am. After a layover in Miami, we are expected to arrive in Guatemala City at 12:35pm.

Our next post will be from Guatemala with Eli in our arms! Stay tuned and we will see you on the flip side.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The "Dry Run"

So, Jason thought it would be a great idea to do a "dry run" packing Eli's suitcase. We have so much stuff for Eli and Jason was very concerned that it was not all going to fit. Now, this is the big difference between me and Jason. He prepares ahead, I procrastinate. If it weren't for Jason, I probably would not start packing until about a hour before we are scheduled to leave. I would be okay with that, but he would be very stressed out!! So, it was better for the both of us to do the "dry run." Ha!

So, part of the "dry run" included going through all of the toys we have acquired for Eli to determine what we should take and what should stay home. It was quite a night just trying to figure out all the new toys. Oh, the adventures of new parents! One toy was particularly confusing, but Jason's creativity and ingenuity prevailed. I think we will get through this new parent thing just fine!

We also recently purchased our very first video camera and, of course, we had to try it out!! So, enjoy our fumbling towards parenthood and our very first movie!! OH, REMEMBER TO HIT PAUSE ON THE SONG ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE BLOG RIGHT UNDER "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL." (This is primarily for my sister's benefit. hee hee)


Thanks to our WONDERFUL FRIEND, Mindy, we received an update from Eli's foster mom yesterday. We were able to do a 3-way call so we could hear the foster mom's voice and ask lots of questions! Oh, we also heard a baby in the background cooing, but just briefly. We are assuming it was Our Little Pea showing off for his parents. :)

Eli's foster mom informed us that Eli now weighs 16.8lbs!!!! At the end of June he weighed 10lbs. It sounds like we have a little butterball on our hands! Soon to be IN OUR ARMS (YEA!!). Eli's foster mom also bragged about how smart and alert he is. He loves music, noises, and being around people. We also learned that he shares a crib with his foster sister and they really enjoy one another. Apparently, they make each other laugh and giggle before going to sleep. Too cute. Oh, he is sleeping through the night! Of course, we know not to expect that when he is with us since everything will be so new. We are also sure that he will be sleeping with us since he is not used to sleeping alone. That's okay. We'll take all the snuggle time we can get!

We can't wait!!!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Sappy Stuff

Okay, I am a sucker for anything sappy: songs, commercials, cards, etc. This one scores a 10 on the sap scale and always gets the tears going! This is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman about adoption. He and his wife adopted from China. Oh, you will need to pause the song on the right hand side in order to listen to this. Get some kleenex and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


We received updated measurements this week, but they were taken at the end of June.

weight: 10 lbs
length: 22 inches
head circumference: 15 inches

He seems to be gaining 1.5 - 2.0 lbs per month. At least we do not have to worry about whether or not he is eating well!