I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams
You are here each day with me, at least that is how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are.....what' s taking us so long,
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind .

May God hold you in his hand until I can be with you,
I promise you, my darling , I 'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

-Author unknown

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I did it . . . I couldn't wait . . .

Yes . . . I called PGN today. . . . I just had to know "something". The 2 people I spoke with (who spoke English quite well) were VERY nice and helpful! They even told me to call back in a week and a half! :) Basically I learned that our case is still being reviewed (I couldn't make out the name of our reviewer as he said it so fast. That's ok.) Our case was actually logged back in on June 1st. I asked if the reviewer would be done with our case in a week and a half - and the man I spoke with said "Um . . .I hope so" . . . but you never know. I won't hold my breath - but that sure would be nice! :) From what I've learned, there are 3 stages to PGN - the reviewer, the accessor (I think that was the term) and then Mr. Barrios himself (the main man who says Wendy is ours!). I don't know how long the next 2 "steps" take - but hopefully not as long as the first reviewer.
I was chuckling the other day when I was going through some initial paperwork I received from my 2 adoption agencies that I have worked with. Both of them said on their info sheets that PGN usually takes 2-4 weeks!!! LOL!!! Of course - just before we started our adoptin - it WAS taking only 2-4 weeks. Then Mr. Barrios was hired (I think it was spring 2006) - and everything slowed waaaaaaayyy down. I've heard it was to weed out the "not-so-ethical" lawyers/cases, etc. But who knows. Anyways . . .
It was good to hear something. It's hard to hear nothing for weeks on end. Even just a "yes, your case is still with the reviewer" is better than "we don't know where your case is - but I guess it's still with the reviewer". We also found out that we were KO'd on April 16th - 6 days after we entered PGN. So, for a month and a half we thought we were still in PGN, but we were not. We got our PA the beginning of May - so I'm not sure why it took 3-4 weeks to resubmit us - unless there was some tie-up with that "medical form" they needed to resubmit. Not even sure what that was about. I don't care. I'm just glad to know we are still being looked at. :)

Sorry that was so long - I just wanted to update you all and say . . . Yes . . I did it . . .I couldn't wait. . . .

Lori :)

11 weeks . . . where's my "waterfall"??!!

I didn't think I would ever had to say that we were in PGN for 11 weeks! It's been 3 1/2 weeks since our resubmit. No word. Nada. I may break down and call PGN myself to see what's going on with our case. :) I know it won't speed things up any - but at least I can get an idea of where we are at. I don't even know when we got KO'd. I would love to have that info. We'll see. I'm trying to remain patient - but as I've said before . . . I MISS MY LITTLE GIRL!!! I thought the vision of the "waterfall" would mean that we would have a speedy process . . . . but it must mean something else that we don't know about yet. Hmmm . . . . any ideas?? Anyone have any insight?? Oh well. Time will tell. In the meantime . . . . . . what have I been doing to keep busy - you ask??. . . . This:
I had a coupon for a free 8x8 book (only 20 pgs though . . . I went a little over that) from ordering something from Shutterfly - so I thought I would take advantage of it. I was just going to send down some of the photos we took from our trip - but this is much better. :) Now I just need to figure out how to get it down to her. Not sure if I trust the mail system. I'm trying to find someone who is going down there soon to take it to her. (Just found out our agency director was down there last week. :( Oh well. She may have not even gone to Casa Bernabe on this trip). If I can't find anyone - then we'll just have to bring it when we pick her up. :) If you click on the book it should take you to the website to see the whole thing.

Keep praying folks! Pray for my patience (the days are getting longer and longer!!!). Pray for our paperwork to be approved quickly. Pray for Wendy's protection (she still hasn't gotten the Chicken Pox - despite 2 rounds of it going around the Baby House). Pray for the remaining finances we still need (and for wisdom for us to know how to come up with those finances). Just pray! Thanks so much! You don't know how much it means to me to know that you all are praying!!!

Oh - it was cute - Wendy's caretaker said that everyday when Wendy looks at the kids with Chicken pox, she says "I don't itch. I don't hurt". :) I think she feels bad for the kids, and is a bit surprised she doesn't have the same thing. :) Bless her heart! Her caretaker also said that they have been trying to teach her to say that Jesus is in her heart (corizon) - but she keeps saying that he is in her "calzon" . . . her "underwear"! :) Don't you just love it when kids are learning how to say things?! :)

It looks like we will probably have to get our fingerprints redone anyways. Even if we got out of PGN TODAY - we would have to travel in less than 5 weeks - which would be pushing it. Normally it takes 4-6 weeks to go get your child once you are out of PGN. There are a few other little things that have to be done after approval (ie - new Birth Certificate, visa appt, etc). We have to have current fingerprints in order to pick up our little girl . . . . so . . . . it's off to pay the gov't $140 for fingerprints . . . that they already have on file!!??? Don't you just love our gov't? :) Wouldn't it make more sense to just do a file check on our fingerprints to make sure we haven't committed any crimes in the last 15 months? My fingerprints haven't changed any. I know it's got to be some "brilliant" idea some over-paid gov't official came up with to help "raise money" for his salary. :) Whatcha think?? :) . . . . OK . . . . I'll stop criticizing. I'm sure there is some "good" reason for having to redo fingerprints in 15 months. . . . . . . . But why does this 171h expire at 18 months? That doesn't make sense. Unless it is to give a 3 month processing time for our "new" fingerprints before they have to send you a new 171h. ???? Again . . . . . . . oh well.

Blessings to you and your family today! I pray you are enjoying your summer!

Lori :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Guatemala Earthquake

I am posting 2 articles regarding the Earthquake that happened yesterday just off the coast of Guatemala. Upon hearing about it (at 4:20 EST - 2:20 Guatemalan time) - I called down to Wendy's house and spoke with her house mom. I felt silly saying "Hi, this is Wendy's mom. I was just calling to make sure you all were ok." :) They were all ok. The house mom didn't feel anything when she was outside, but the ladies in the house did feel some shaking. God is good! I am so thankful for the ability to call and check on my little girl! I would have been so worried otherwise.
I am blessed.

Lori :)

Last updated June 13, 2007 2:16 p.m. PT
Strong earthquake rocks Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY -- A powerful earthquake shook Guatemala and parts of neighboring nations Wednesday, sending some residents in El Salvador's capital rushing into the streets for safety. Officials said there were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage.
The quake struck at 1:29 p.m. local time and was centered 70 miles southwest of Guatemala City off the Pacific coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It gave a preliminary calculation of magnitude of 6.8.
Benedicto Giron, spokesman for the National Disaster Reduction Center, said there had been some landslides in the southwest province of Escuintla but they apparently didn't cause any serious problems.
He noted that telephone service was down in some areas and information was tricking in slowly from the various provinces.
The Geological Survey said the temblor was strong enough and close enough to population areas to have caused damage.
The quake was felt strongly in neighboring El Salvador, where some people ran into the streets in the capital of San Salvador, but the Red Cross there said it had no reports of damage or injury. It was also felt in the Mexican city of Tapachula, near the Guatemalan border.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center based in Hawaii said no tsunami was expected from the quake.
The region is prone to earthquakes. Almost 23,000 people died in a 1976 earthquake.
(This version CORRECTS Corrects time to 1:29 p.m., ADDS comment by disaster relief official, no risk of tsunami, felt in Mexico.)

Last updated June 14, 2007 8:39 a.m. PT
Guatemala quake causes little damage

GUATEMALA CITY -- A powerful earthquake that shook Guatemala and parts of El Salvador caused widespread panic but left both countries virtually unscathed, officials said Thursday.
Landslides were reported outside the Guatemalan capital in the southwest province of Escuintla from Wednesday's quake, but they apparently caused no casualties, said Benedicto Giron, spokesman for the National Disaster Reduction Center.
"Besides some landslides, the only other damage confirmed has been a wall that collapsed at a home under construction," said another spokeswoman, Ana Luis Olmedo.
Eddy Sanchez, director of Guatemala's seismology institute, said several aftershocks have been felt since the 6.8-magnitude afternoon quake struck southwest of Guatemala City. It was centered 70 miles from the capital off the Pacific coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
In Guatemala City, people fled into the streets, causing massive traffic jams.
Gabriel Arana said she was cooking when the earthquake caused the corrugated metal roof on her shack to flap up and down. "We're used to earthquakes but this was really scary," she said.
The quake was also felt in neighboring El Salvador, where people ran into the streets in the capital of San Salvador, but the Red Cross said it had no reports of damage or injuries.
The Pacific coast of Central America is prone to earthquakes. Almost 23,000 people died in a 1976 earthquake in Guatemala.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hola Mami

That sweet, slighly raspy, 3 year old voice of our little girl just brings a smile to my face and a warmth in my heart! "Hola Mami." she says so quitely and sweetly. "I love you. I miss you." she says - repeating what she is told to say by her caretaker. I don't care if she has to be told to say it - I just love hearing it!!

Talking to a 3 year old on the phone is always an interesting adventure. I can't see her shake her head "yes" and "no" to things I say - but I can imagine. . . .at least I hope she is understanding my mix of English and Spanish. :) Her caretaker says she seems to understand what we are saying . . . . she just doesn't communicate much in English on her own. She will - one day. At least she can understand us some. That will help when she comes home. And when will that be???? . . . . . time will tell. Keep praying that it is this summer! That's my desire. But God knows - and it's all in HIS hands.

We were told that they posted the pictures we sent (printed on a sheet of paper) up by Wendy's bed. She loves to look at it every naptime, night and morning. She gets excited seeing the pictures of herself with her "Mami y Papi" and the pictures of her "hermanos y hermana" (brothers and sister). I love it that she sees us every day - before she goes to sleep and when she wakes up. I see her too - every day - on my computer, in my bedroom, in the living room, in the kitchen . . . . . . OK - I know I take too many pictures! :) It keeps me going each day.

The last few days have been hard. I am feeling like a pregnant woman in her 9th month - or at least the end of the 8th month - anxiously waiting for "the day" - the day we go into labor . . . . the day we get the call telling us we are out of PGN! I want to hold my little girl. I want to sing with her. I want to pray with her, read her stories, take her to the pool, tickle and wrestle with her, and be her "Mami" EVERY day! I just want her home! . . . . . one day . . . . I just don't know when.

Well - pray for the kiddos in Wendy's house. Quite a few of them have come down with Chickenpox. Wendy hasn't - but with 21 babies/kids in the house - I bet she'll get it soon enough. :) Pray for all their health. Thanks!


Lori :)

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I meant to post yesterday - but time slipped away from me.

Yesterday was D-Day. Did we hear anything? . . . . acutally . . . . we did (after I emailed our agency)! :) No - we are not out of PGN (the attorney general's court) for good - but I did find out that we DID get a KO (kick out) from PGN at some point. My case worker didn't know when. The lawyer said we got a KO for the missing PA (pre-approval) and for needing an updated medical report (on Wendy, I assume). Our case was supposed to be resbumitted on May 31st - last Thursday! So - as of today, we have been back in PGN for 1 week! The next call we will receive will either be - "You are out of PGN (and the adoption is approved)" - or - "You have been KO'd again and you have to fix . . . .". Please pray that we get the 1st phone call . . . .and soon! :) Sometimes it can take just as long for the case worker to review your file and pass it on to the head of PGN for approval, as it did before the 1st KO. I've been told our case goes to the bottom of the pile (for our specific reviewer) after a KO and resubmit. I'm really not totally sure HOW it all works down there. I've seen some people get through PGN in less than a week, and others - it takes over a year! There's just no way to tell. Too many variables that can affect the length of time your case takes. I'd love to be a fly on the wall down there. :)

So . . . Happy News yesterday!!! I was praying that I would hear we had already been KO'd and resubmitted!! And that's what I got. NOW my prayer is that we will get our approval before June is over! Our fingerprints (and 171H form from the USCIS) expire on August 11th - and I think we would have to redo them. The USCIS is increasing their fees by about 84% (on some things) around the end of July. I really don't want to have to dish out more money to prove that we are still good, upstanding citizens without any criminal record and are able to adopt a child. PLUS - I just want her home!!! I want to enjoy some of the summer with her here. We'll see. But just as D-Day (the battle of Normandy) was the beginning of the end of World War 2 - this is the beginning of the end of this "war" . . . the spiritual battle to bring our daughter home!! :) Please join us in "battling" for her freedom!

Prayer requests:
1. Process - For a speedy approval from PGN - and then a speedy process to get her new BC (birth certificate), passport and visa appointment (our "PINK slip").
2. Provision - For the remaining finances we need to pay once we are out of PGN (about $6,000) and for the travel expenses for myself, Jeremy, Meghan and then Wendy on the return trip ($2500-3500). I believe we have about $1000 towards those - possibly more (I need to do my budget and see).
3. Protection (spiritual, physical, emotional, etc) - for Wendy and our family here - as we get closer and closer to bringing Wendy home.
4. Preparation - of Wendy's heart and mind as well as our family here too - for the transition and changes that are coming. Pray that Wendy will adjust easily, and that we will have wisdom to know how to pray and how to help her with the grief she will experience in leaving her "home" and "family".
5. Praise - for all that God has done this last year and a half in our adoption journey, in our family, in our walk with the Lord, in our personal lives, etc. Praise Him for all He has done and is currently doing in your own life!! GOD IS GOOD! . . . . . ALL THE TIME!

I figured I'd do some alliteration. :) Did you like it? It may help you to remember what we need prayer for. :) Anyways . . .

Thanks for all your support and encouragement! You are truly a blessing to us! Thanks for walking with us on this long road and exciting adventure. We are nearing the end . . . but it will really just be the beginning!!! :) PTL!

Blessings today and always!
Lori :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

8 weeks . . . and Nada!

"Nada" means "nothing" in Spanish. We have not heard one single, solitary thing - good or bad - from our agency, lawyers, etc. :( We are still hopeful though.

Tomorrow is D-Day. For those that have been following our journey since the beginning - you all know that this day could "possibly" mean something. (see The Dream post) Only time will tell. I'm not holding my breath though. I think that the D-Day reference was more about "how" we get our daughter - not necessarily "when". Adoption is a spiritual battle (see the Spiritual Warfare post) as the enemy (Satan) does not want the people from "his camp/army" to be adopted into the Lord's family/army. However - we WILL bring Wendy home, and she already puts her hand over her heart when you ask her "Donde esta Jesus?" - Where is Jesus? :) I'm soooo glad she's at a Christian orphanage!

Well, I can't write long as we are heading out the door to swim at the pool. I'll let you know if anything significant happens tomorrow. Please pray!! We have paperwork expiring soon and would really rather not have to do it all over again. :( Plus - we just want Wendy home!!!!
Thanks so much!

Blessings to all of you today!

Lori :)