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, August 28, 2007

September 4th!!!

OK . . . .finally . . .the moment you have all been waiting for . . . we have our embassy appointment for 8am September 4th!!!! Yeah!!!! We are still # 21 (out of 30 couples assigned. yuck!). That just means more waiting for us. . . . of course I can pray that maybe that some of the couples won't show up (like us today). :) No - that would be mean. Anyways . . . we will probably be leaving Sunday morning as flights are MUCH cheaper than on Monday - Labor day, and coming back possibly Friday. We are hoping to see our good friend Almarie's parents in Antigua for a couple days, and it looks like we will be able to see Angela (the caretaker) before she leaves!! Oh yeah - and we will get to meet another adoptive mom I have been chatting with online who is adopting adorable Juanito, from Wendy's orphanage!!! So - see? God is good! Plus I will have taken all my antibiotics for this ear infection that cropped up on Saturday. I definitely wouldn't have wanted to fly with my ear killing me like it was!

I tell you - Today I sent 2 emails to the US embassy today and finally had to call them (3 times to get through - and then it was a horrible connection) - and got to speak to a "not-so-friendly-and-slightly-patronizing" woman - but I didn't back down and take "just wait for our email" for an answer!!! :) I think she wanted to get me off the phone and to stop asking so many questions, so she finally gave me a date and time! :) Hee,hee. Yeah! Then she told me "Remind your attorney to follow regulations as we normally do not do reschedules over the phone." - click- :) I wish he would have "followed regulations" - then I wouldn't need to be calling. :)

OK gotta run! Dinner time and lots to do here! :)

Lori :)

Bad news . . . . . We got PINK! :)

Hello Family and friends!

I was startled awake this morning by my phone ringing at 8:15 am. I wasn't coherent enough to get it before the answering machine did - so I checked the message as soon as I could. It was my adoption case worker. . . . . on her cell. . . . . . either that was going to be really good news . . . . or bad news. Hmmmm . . . .

I called her back immediately and her first words were "I have some bad news." ?? Hmmm . . . Thankfully she followed it up with "Well, it's good news, but not good news".

The funny thing is - yesterday I just KNEW she was going to call me and tell what she did! But my consolation was . . . . "well, she will totally understand - as she had it happen to her as well.".
Yes - we finally got PINK (our pink slip has our visa appointment date on it)!!! :) Normally my case worker will tell you that in excitement . . .but ours was said shortly after "I have bad news. . . . you have pink . . ." :) hee,hee. Seemed kind of out of place yet funny. The bad news is . . . our appointment is at 8am, Guatemala time (10 am VA time) TODAY!!! . . . . I don't think we can make it (ha,ha. Boy do I wish they had invented transporters already!). :( Man - bum deal. I kept praying and praying we would be down there before school started so I wouldn't miss my kids first days of school, and even a couple weeks ago I was looking at airfare and a sale was going on for $440/ticket - and I was looking at dates to be down in GT on the 28th! Ha! See . . I just knew when my appointment was supposed to be. . . . we just couldn't get it all together with the lawyer and embassy (BTW - why doesn't the embassy just email the families like they do for PA (pre-approval)? That would solve this issue of lawyers not getting the info to the parents quick enough. Oh well). So - my prayer was answered - we have an appt before school starts. But, we just can't make it! Now, hopefully, we will go down next week. If it's early enough in the week (tues or wed) then we can still see one of Wendy's caretakers before she leaves on the 4th. :)

When I told my 7 year old daughter (who will travel with us) that our appointment was today - she was all excited - till I told her we can't make it down there today. "Tomorrow then?" - No - next week hon. Then she got sad and said "NO! Not next week! You keep telling me . . . Next week . . . next week. . . next week!" Poor thing. She's been feeling the looong wait for her sister to come home (she has 3 brothers - so you can imagine her excitement over these last 18 months waiting for a sister!).

Well - I've talked long enough. Just wanted to let you know our good and bad news! :) I'll let you know when we are going as soon as we find out!

Oh - I told my mom this morning about it all . . . she was so mad (and rightfully so!). :) Mad that we couldn't be down there already, that the lawyer didn't let us know in time, etc. She is truly experiencing the emotions that we have dealt with through this journey. By this point - I've given up being mad at people for not doing what I expect them to do (or what they should do) - as, ultimately, it is in GOD's hands! He controls everything - and I have to trust HIM that this delay is for a reason! I may not ever know the reason, or I may find out some day, but I still trust God 100% - especially since I know that this adoption has been covered in tons of prayer since the beginning! So - I'm really not mad at all. I'm bit sad that I couldn't be holding my little girl today (and that I'll miss my kids first days of school) - but very excited that I will definitely be holding her soon!!!!

Blessings today!

Lori :)

I was going to tell you guys - Today - August 28th - was the due date for my first son and my last son. 3 of my babies all came7-12 days LATE. My youngest was the only one that was kind to me and came 10 days early. So my one son came Sept 8th, and the other August 18th. It's not surprising to me that my "due date" (embassy appt) is August 28th - and that we can't "deliver" till a week later! :) Wendy is definitely a WEST! :) hee,hee. What I want to know is . . . what's so wrong with August 28th that none of my kids want to be born on that day?! I think it's a great day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Embassy closed? Entertainment books!

Keep praying! Evidently the embassy was supposed to be closed all week ("not accepting new cases") due to training - and we were told that meant NOTHING would be happening this week (except the visa appointments already scheduled). However, I have found out that a couple people have received their PINK slips (visa appointment dates) and some PA's (pre-approvals) this week - so SOMEONE is still working at the embassy! :) Yeah!! There's a chance then that we could get our PINK slip this week and still travel next week. I was getting so discouraged yesterday (and frustrated at the gov't) thinking we would miss Angela, etc. Anyways . . . Please pray!

Also - I wanted to let you know that the 2008 Entertainment books are in! They came in yesterday. They are only $20 this year (for the Norfolk/Va. Beach book) - and we are selling them again because we still need to raise a few thousand dollars to pay off our final fees and travel expenses down there. this year - for buying the book, you will get a FREE 2 week membership to Entertainment on Vacation - for "2 weeks of savings wherever you vacation - even at home (a $9.95 value). " If you would like to help us out you can get them directly from us (call or email that you want one and we can coordinate a pickup/drop off) or you can order directly from the website using this link - Entertainment book - or the link on the sidebar (click on the picture of the book). There will probably be a S&H charge when ordering online. If you do not live in the Norfolk/Va. Beach area - you can still order a book for your area through the web link. :) *Make sure the blue box at the top of the site says you are supporting the "Best of the Wests". Thanks.*

And if any of you have it on your heart to help us out with our adoption fundraising and sell these books - please pass on this info to your family and friends - or let us know if you need local books to sell (to your co-workers, neighbors, etc) and we can get them to you - especially before the schools start selling them. :) For every book YOU sell - you would also receive a FREE Entertainment on Vacation 2 week membership, PLUS a chance to win a 32" Plasma-screen TV, Starbucks gift cards, and many other great prizes! (I'm warning you though - I'm gonna win that TV! hee,hee.)

Thank you all who have helped us sell last year! We really appreciated all the help you gave!!! Every little bit helps and gets us closer to our goal of bringing Wendy home!!

Thank you for everything!
Blessings today!
Lori :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In the Embassy!!!

Most of you know this already (as I couldn't help but scream for joy . . . via email of course) - but . . . . . .
We are currently IN THE EMBASSY!!! Well - our case is. . . . . . waiting for PINK - the pink slip they issue stating the date and time of your visa appointment to bring your little one home. We were submitted on Thursday - but I found out Friday morning. This has been a good week (on top of celebrating our 15th Anniversary, going to Busch Gardens with the kids, and celebrating 2 kids' b-days)!

I had not heard anything from my agency since last week when they said that Casa Bernabe was responsible for getting Wendy's new Birth Certificate and passport - and that they had not done that yet. :( I emailed them again early this week. On Wed I my case worker finally had news for us that CB did get Wendy's BC and passport!! Yeah. I also heard from Wendy's housedad that he had gone to pick it up on Monday. It is a happy time for him, but sad as well - as he loves Wendy and has been her "Papi" for 2 years. I can't even imagine having to let these little ones go that you have helped to raise and that you love. It's got to be hard. The only other option is to distance yourself from them - emotionally,etc - but then they don't get the love they need. God bless Antonio and Carmen for loving those kids!

So Wendy has a B.C. and passport that say "Wendy Elizabeth West" on it! Kind of cool, eh? :) They automatically put her first and middle names (that she currently has) and her new last name on the documents. Then when she comes home - if we want to change her name, we would fill out the appropriate forms here to do that. We are still talking about adding Kathryn in there - either first or middle name. But I really feel we need to talk to Wendy about it - so that may be awhile. We'll see. No matter what her name is - we love her!!! Maybe Kathryn is supposed to be for our next child. . . . . . um . . . . did I just say "next child"?? . . . . . hmm . . . . I'm leaving that one up to God. :) You just never know. Now that I'm no longer in the "4-no-more" club - and adding 1 more just means it's still just as chaotic here as before . . . . . what's the big deal about adding one more? :) Though - we would definitely need a 12 passenger van then! :) J wants one already. It would be nice to have more space in the van. That's for sure.

Well - that's about it for now. We are waiting to hear from the embassy about our date to travel. It usually takes a week to hear back - though I heard rumors that the embassy might be closed next week for some training?? Can't find that anywhere online though. I'm looking into that! I hope not - or at least I hope it doesn't affect them issuing me my PINK slip next week. So . . . we could travel in 2 weeks . . . or 3-4 weeks . . . . we'll see. But - it WILL be soon!!! Yeah!

Lori :)
ps - Thank you to everyone who was praying for Wendy, her caretakers and the babies in the baby house last week. I have not called again or heard how everyone is doing - but I am believing they are getting better. I will probably call again this weekend. Keep praying for their health and safety! And keep praying in the remaining funds we need for this adoption! God is so good and faithful - but we always have to do our part! God bless you for doing yours!!! You are a blessing!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Getting closer . . . and Juanito

Sorry I haven't posted lately. I was hoping that this week I would be posting that we had been submitted to the US Embassy. :( Unfortunately . . . we did not get that news. That means that now it is looking like we won't be in Guatemala till the last week of August at the earliest - but more likely it will be September. Not what I wanted at all. I REALLY wanted to go down the week of August 20th - be home the week before school started - so we could spend a little time all together as a family before all the kids started school. Doesn't that sound like a good plan to you? :) Me too. God has other plans though - evidentally.

The one benefit of going the first week of September - would to be able to finally meet (in person) my friend Kris - who I met online and is adopting adorable little Juanito from Wendy's orphanage. They are going down to visit him then. You can check out her blog at Their local paper did a story on them - click here - or find it on their blog. You can see video footage of Juanito (taken by us) and some video of Kris and her family. Please pray for their adoption. Juanito has a heart condition that needs surgery - so we are praying that their adoption goes quickly. Pray that he stays healthy too. Speaking of which . . .
Many of you got an email from me earlier this week asking for prayer for the babies at Wendy's orphanage. There is a nasty respiratory virus (worse than bronchitis - so I've been told) going around - and it has hit the littlest babies the hardest. There are about 20 babies in that house & several of them have to be on a nebulizer 3 times a day. The caretakers need prayer - to take care of all these kiddos, to stay healthy, and to get more help. Everyone needs prayer to stay/get healthy. Keep praying. It's not good for Juanito especially. Pray for his protection and health. I called and talked with Wendy this week - and she sounded a little congested - but not too bad. But still pray for her health as well. It just makes me want to go down and rescue her and bring her home now!

Well - today has been a slightly "down" day for me (too hormonal I think). With hearing that we haven't been submitted yet, and knowing that it will be even longer to go get Wendy, and having a dream last night of Wendy hugging me saying "I've missed you soooooo much", and it being Friday (ie - meaning no news for at least another 3 days) . . . . . I've held back the tears today. I just want to get on a plane tomorrow and be with my little girl till she can come home. I wish all my kids had passports (and we had the money) - and I would totally take us all down there tomorrow. :) . . . . . ahhh . . I can dream, eh? Some of my yahoo forum "friends" have done just that. I'm jealous.

So . . . . . Please pray for:
-Me (and J - and the kiddos here)
-Wendy (her health and protection - and her transition to our home/family)
-Juanito (and the Dreyer's who are adopting him)
-The orpahange to get Wendy's Birth Cert and passport QUICKLY!!!!!!!!!
-To be submitted to the US Embassy (in Guatemala) for our visa appointment
-For our remaining finances (I should find out soon how much we have left to pay)

Thank you guys! You are a blessing!!

Lori :)