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

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It's a girl!!!

Some of you have already heard me screaming with joy today. Why was I screaming?

The news you have all been waiting for . . . . . . . . . (drum roll please) . . . . .

We have a daughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
OK - so you know we already have a daughter. What I mean is . . .

We are out of PGN!!

What the heck is PGN? . . . . don't you know? . . . . Haven't you been reading my blog? :) Well, for those that have just been skimming through my lengthy posts . . . it's the Attorney General's court in Guatemala that decides the fate of our adoption. Mr. Barrios (the director/attorney general/whatever his title is) signed off on our case and approved us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But here's the funny thing . . . .

A month ago I put a donation widget on our blog, and I had to list an "end date" for the donations. I looked at the calendar and said "Hmm . . . I bet we'll get out on the 24th. That's a good date." So that's what I put (I later changed it as I started doubting last week). Even yesterday I woke up and said "OK Lord. Today's a good day to get out of PGN". But then I didn't hear anything all day. This morning around 11:10am, the phone rang and I thought "Wouldn't it be nice if that was Mandy calling me" (my case worker). And it was!!! She sounded happy - so I didn't think it was bad news. And it wasn't! Yeah!!!!!!!!!

So - we will travel in 4-6 weeks. Our lawyer needs to get Wendy's new birth certificate (with Wendy Elizabeth West on it!) and her passport. Then he can submit us to the US embassy for her visa appointment. When they make our appointment, they will issue us a PINK slip (our appt date) and we will travel 1 to 1 and a half weeks later!!! Can you believe it?!!! Wendy could be here by mid-August! No wonder I've been "nesting" these last 2 weeks! Our 15th Anniversary is on August 15th, and I can't think of a better present than to be able to travel down and bring our daughter home!!! For our 10th anniversary we got Jacob! :) What priceless gifts!

Please pray for us to travel in 4 weeks (or sooner)- before school starts. 6 weeks will be a crazy time to travel (don't want to miss the kids first days of school and I don't want to take Meg out of school to travel). Also pray for the remaining finances needed for this adoption. I know that God will provide! He has so far! God is good!!!

Well - folks . . . .stay tuned for the departure date! Thank you sooooooooo much for the many, many, many prayers, support and encouragement over these last 17 months. We have totally appreciated it and needed it!! It's still surreal that this part of the journey is almost over! I'm excited for what God will do next in our lives with Wendy home! God has good and perfect plans!

Lori :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wendy's ABC Adventure!

Just for fun . . .

Watch our "talented" and very "experienced" little girl in her own adventure! :) hee,hee.

Or you can check it out at this link: Wendy's ABC Adventure

Lori :)+

Friday, July 13, 2007

Waiting . . .

I sat down to write a song or poem about the waiting we've done to bring our little girl home - but what came out was more from the perspective of an orphaned (older) child. It's still a work in progress. Haven't decided whether to put it to music or not. It's been a long time since I've tried writing songs. :) I'm a bit rusty. Maybe I'll get my hubby to help. He's much better at it!!

Let me know what you think.

Lori :)

Waiting . . .

Waiting . . .
For a family to love
Waiting . . .
For a gift from above.
Waiting . . .
Will the day ever come?
I'm waiting.

Waiting . . .
For a parent's hand
Waiting . . .
For a brand new land
Waiting . . .
Do you understand?
I'm waiting . . .

Lonely and longing
A sense of belonging
Desiring to know how it feels
Safe and secure
In a love that is sure
As the wound in my heart heals

Here I am . . .
Ready to love
Here I am . . .
Sent from above
Here I am . . .
Today, can't you see?
Here I am.

Here I am . . .
Going home!
Here I am . . .
I'm not alone!
Here I am . . .
In a family!
Here I am.

Lonely no more
Someone opened the door
Of their mind and heart to see
The beauty of love
That is sent from above
in the form of a Family.

Waiting . . .
No more
Wonder . . .
What's in store
Wishing . . .
That more could stop

Thursday, July 12, 2007

God is so GOOD!

Thanks to some investigation, and some info from a few friends - I was able to contact the USCIS office about our re-fingerprinting (to see if we really had to pay another $140 to get them redone, as we are almost done with this adoption). This is what they told me:

According to the Federal Register (Volume 72, Number 203) Effective 7-30-2007, Prospective Adoptive Parents who have I-600A applications with an I-171H approval notice that expires on or after July 30, 2007 can file a one time extension to waive fingerprint biometric services. Request for fingerprint clearance update must be made in writing, with a copy of the I-171H attached. Fingerprint appointments will be scheduled when the request for extension has been received.

YEAAHHHH!!!!!! WHOO-HOO! PTL!!! God is so good! OK - well, it's the gov't who is giving us the break - but I am thankful to God for my inquisitive nature and for following up on it! :)

So - that's one prayer down. :) Now . . . keep praying for the others!!

Oh - and another praise report - Jake's stye popped some yesterday. I was able to get some puss out before he started freaking out and throwing a royal fit and not allowing me to get any more out (he's a big boy and hard to hold down by myself!). I'm going to try again today - if the stye will cooperate! PTL it is healing!

Thanks for your prayers. Keep it up!

Lori :)
ps - We called Wendy yesterday. I LOVE hearing her sweet voice saying "I love you" and "Hola Mami". :) I love her so much! I want her home now!!

Soon . . . . . .

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2 weeks away?

13 weeks today. . . .since we entered PGN. But - to be totally fair - it's only been 5 1/2 weeks since we were resubmitted. So - can I really complain? . . . . I can try. :) hee,hee. Actually - I found out that Mr. Barrios (the man who approves our adoption in GT) is signing off on cases that were last submitted around May 15th. We were logged in on June 1st (despite the lawyer taking it down there on May 21st) - so that means we are about 2 weeks away from being approved. . . . God willing. That's good news! :) Yeah! However, I can't count my chicks before the eggs hatch. You just never know with this adoption process. Even though some people have gotten through in 3-4 weeks recently (don't know how that happened . . .hmmmm . . .) - most people are getting through PGN in 8 weeks (if they didn't have a KO - and about 8 weeks after the KO). So - we are really right on target based on our last submit date.

Seeing as our fingerprints expire August 10th - there is really no way to be approved and get down to GT before the 10th - unless they approve us today or tomorrow or some time REALLY soon. It takes 4-6 weeks to get our visa appt - so more than likely, we will be going down to GT around the end of August. As much as it irks me that we have to pay $140 to have "valid" fingerprints for the last couple weeks of our adoption - it's ok. It's only $140 and a little time out of our schedules - and Wendy is worth WAAAAYY more than that!!!

Please pray we are approved soon; that we get "PINK" quickly (that's our visa appt), and that we can travel before school starts. Meg is coming with us, and I really don't want to have to take her out of school right at the beginning of the school year.
Continue to pray for the remaining finances. I'm not worried. Just want wisdom.
Pray for Jacob's right eyelid that is totally swollen with a huge stye! It is trying to come to a "head" and pop. Yuck. So - pray it either pops or goes away miraculously! We don't want him to have to have surgery like he did last summer.

Oh - I didn't tell you. God is so cool! I sent out several emails to some teams/people going down to Casa Bernabe soon, to see if any of them could take down Wendy's book and earrings for us. Only 1 person responded (well - since then a couple more have - but they couldn't take stuff). . . . and what a GOD connection it was!! It is a wonderful team from Ohio that will bring Wendy's things to her. One person on the team knew Wendy since when she first arrived, and is supposed to be sending me some pics of her!! Another woman (a fellow nurse) is hoping to adopt a little girl who lives above Wendy (it's a 2 story building), and another family is hoping to adopt an older boy from CB. Out of the 150+ kids there - we really only met one older child . . . and it was this boy! What are the chances? :) Anyways - I've been blessed (and hopefully these people have been blessed as well) at chatting with these people and getting to know them. They are a wonderful group of people! I have some more prayer warriors on my side in bringing Wendy home, and some possible connections to families who are adopting from Casa Bernabe (in case Wendy wants to meet any of her former friends, etc). God is so cool. He has reasons for our delays - and I am glad that He has used our delay in bringing Wendy home to be able to encourage and connect with others, and hopefully be a blessing. You never know what God will do with these relationships!

Thank you all for checking in us and for continuing to keep us in your prayers! We are so grateful!

Lori :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Approved by first reviewer!

Friday - we had just arrived at our campground to spend a weekend with nature, when my cell phone rang. :) (Hey - I have to still be in touch with the "real world" somewhat!) It was Mandy - our case manager with KAS. She was calling to update us. I was hoping to hear "You are out of PGN" . . . but we didn't. She did tell us that they had someone call PGN and get some info for us. They found out that we have been approved by the first reviewer, and are onto the second reviewer/advisor/whatever they are called. :) After an approval there - it has to be signed off by "the big man" and we are officially Wendy's parents (once the adoption decree is signed)! :) Yeah!!! We would travel about 4-6 weeks later. There's no way to say how long this second reviewer will take and if they will still kick us out at all for something. But - I hope it goes quickly.
So - it wasn't exactly the news I was hoping for - but it was still Great news and it made me happy! :) We're coming soon Wendy!!

On another happy note - I got the book today that I made for Wendy. I LOVE it! It's a hard covered book and it looks great! Now I just need to get it down to her.

We had fun camping at Westmoreland State Park in Virginia (about 3 hours from here). It has a beach that has a large concentration of fossils - shark's teeth, bones, etc. We had fun sifting the sand in and out of the water for the teeth and fossils. We found quite a few - even Jacob found one just washed up on the beach. :) However, the second day that I went looking, I was just about to leave, and I slammed my toe into a tree root and broke it (my toe - not the root)! Ouch! At least it happened at the very end of our trip. :) You have to climb a hilly trail to get back up from the beach - but thankfully the pain wasn't too bad until later when my toe started to bruise and swell. Overall, we had a great time (despite the rain at night). If you love "the hunt" of finding things (ie - seashells, fossils, shark's teeth, etc) - then you should check out this state park. You get to keep what you find (you can't do that in the National parks).

Well friends - thanks for praying. Keep it up! She's coming home soon! Hopefully by August! :)

Lori :)