Monday, May 28, 2007

The journey to Guatemala has begun for me...!

Well, here I am at the Pear TRee Inn in STL, right across from the airport. Shannon left about 30 min. ago, amidst my tears and endless hugs, poor guy! We survived, though. He can't stay w/me because he has weight-lifting and summer school in the morning. Darn!

So, I did cry for a while, then got into figuring out how to get the wifi to work here! Nothing like a problem to keep me occupied.

Tomorrow my place leave at 6:15am. I go from STL to Newark (yes, New Jersey--groan), then Newark to St Lauderdale, THEN Ft L to Guatemala. I'll get to Guate. at 6:50pm! Sheesh! But Owen and his foster mom will be there to greet me, and we'll be on our way to Antigua. Our facilitator will also be there, and should be getting me a cheapo phone that has minutes on it so that I can call home. :)

Love you all--thank you for all of your love, prayers, and support. Check in on Shannon now and then for me!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Some Guatemala pictures





I'm randomly going through my pictures from our last visit and choosing some to post here. I'm doing this mostly because I miss Owen so much and need to be doing something that is somehow related to him!!!
The first one are some plants hanging off the roof of a beautiful outdoor restaurant/nursery where we got mango ice cream one afternoon.
The 2nd one is a 6yo boy, who lives with a group of other boys and shines shoes to earn money for his family. No, he doesn't go to school.
The third picture is one of fat little Owen legs! I love them!!!
The last photo is a tiny girl I saw walking alone on an empty street in Antigua. I stopped, took her photo, and waited for a while...eventually, 2 older kids, just as dirty, came up and got her by the hand and dragged her to a very poor-looking mother. My heart ached for all of them.





Monday, May 21, 2007

Some MORE pictures!











I know you all don't read all my posts, and I KNOW you are just here for the pictures of Owen! So here you go. Thank you, Irasema!!

Last few days of school...

Today is the last Monday for this year! Woohoo! We are done w/the kids this Wed. at 11:15.

I leave for Guatemala a week from tomorrow!

Friday, May 18, 2007

52 days in PGN

Today marks 52 days in PGN. Argh! We're hoping NOT to reach the way-too-common 100-day mark that so many other cases are reaching.

Owen's room is still not totally finished--for some reason, after I painted it and moved the furniture in, we haven't finished getting the border up. I did clean out his closet and remove all non-baby items, hung up his clothes, etc. But since then, it's been tough to go in there and work. I just want him here so much. (Big news there, I know.) I can't wait to get him out in the yard, in our woods, fishing from the neighbor's pond, petting the neighbor's horses, swimming in Pa and Nana's pool, reading (and watching the Cubs!) with Grandpa, toddling through the yard with Grammy.

Let's make a list of things we can't wait to do with Owen when he gets home! What a productive way to spend my time, huh?
We can't wait for Owen to come home so he can...
1. meet Ellie and Josey and Cleo (if she'll show her face around him, she's not a big fan of kids!)
2. eat out of Ellie and Josey's food bowls
3. pick Mommy's flowers (with and without permission)
4. kiss Grammy and Grandpa when they come up for a visit
5. run next to Pa and Nana's pool when he's not supposed to
6. sit in a floaty-tube in the pool with a big floppy hat on
7. meet other adopted Guatemalan kids like Eliot in St. Louis and Heydi in Fredericktown
8. come to school (on a day when I'm still on leave) and meet all of the faculty and students here who have prayed for us and loved him from Day 1
9. meet his great-grandmas in Cape and in Chicagos
10. hear stories about his great-grandpas--about train-hopping, the war, fishing, how GG blew his thumb off
11. skin his knees after falling and run to Mommy for kisses
12. learn to throw a football and baseball from Daddy
13. learn the names of the birds that come to the feeders
14. learn to tell venemous snakes from non-venemous snakes
15. do 'raspberries' with baby food in his mouth, much to my amusement
16. learn to walk
17. learn to use sign language, before he can talk
18. say his first word (which will be MOMMY of course!)
19. call his best friend Daniel in Texas to say 'Hi, I miss you!'
20. meet all of his cousins and aunts and uncles in Arkansas, Washington, Oregon, Florida, and California, and Missouri!
21. run around shirtless and wild in the backyard
22. giggle hysterically at Daddy's antics
23. be held by his daddy...in those big strong arms!
24. toddle around Grammy and Grandpa's house after their cats
25. give big wet kisses to Mommy and Daddy--and probably to the dogs, too

OK, enough for now. If anyone has things to add, write them in the 'comments' area, right below this post! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I leave for Guatemala to see our baby in 11 days!!!!!

Hm, if not Guatemala, perhaps Ecuador?

If we're not out of PGN by July, perhaps I'll go with Shannon to his brother's wedding in Ecuador! His wife is a native of that country, and they will be celebrating their union at an eco-friendly resort. Shannon is going, but I have not gotten airplane tickets for myself, because we hoped, and still hope, I'll be in Guate.!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fostering

It looks like I may just go for a visit from 29 May till 9 June, and see where we are at that point before deciding if I'll go foster. We're so afraid that if I go, I'll get stuck down there for months on end, waiting to get out of PGN and then our Embassy appt. (PGN is the big concern!) So, as soon as we're out of PGN, the plan is for me to go.

We hope to be out mid-June!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Commentary on those pics

I love the way he clasps his little hands together. He was chewing on them when we were there in April, and put them together like that, but I still can tell he has more fine motor control here.

I hope she lets me take him for his first haircut when I get there in 2 weeks!!!

In all of his pictures, he looks so happy. That's a testament to how wonderful his foster family is. We feel so blessed by them! We owe them the gratitude of teaching our baby to bond, love and be happy!

Even more pictures!!







We got the pictures of Owen Monday morning from the facilitator, and yesterday evning we got pics from our agent, who was just in Guatemala! He looks so big and like a little boy! I almost think he looks like he needs his first haircut!

Monday, May 14, 2007

New pictures! Oh my!




He is more beautiful every time we see his little face, in pictures or in person! Ooohhhh, how I want to hug, kiss and squish him!!!!







Mother's Day

Well, I don't really feel like a 'real' mommy yet, most of the time. I love my child like crazy but he's not here yet! Does that count???

My family seems to think so! Shannon got me a Mother's Day card, and although he won't admit, I am pretty dran sure he's ordered a bee suit for me, so I can take care of our hive in relative safety! Woohoo! My parents and grandmas also made me an adorable charm bracelet, with beads and charms like a rattle, pacficier, and 'S' and 'O' for the boys in my life! They also gave me a card from Owen (I'm sure he'll thank them later for giving it to me on his behalf), and a little bug cage, perfect for budding naturalists, which he's sure to be! And, as always, more books for him. :) Shannon and I have bazillions of books, and Owen is on his way...

Well, I leave in 2w1d to see the boy again. I'm still not sure if I'm staying to foster--it sort of depends on PGN. HEAR THAT, PGN GUY???? Let us OUT!!! I love Guatemala, but I don't want to live there forever!!!!

In other news, my grandma in Chicago is all settled into her new place--she just sold the house she and my g'father lived in for their entire adult lives, and in fact my g'pa lived in it for almost all of his childhood, as well. She sounds happier than I've heard her since my grandpa died, a year and a half ago. She lives about 10 minutes from her youngest g'daughter (my little cousin!), Shelby, and I know that brings her lots of joy. Shelby is in 1st grade and is just a doll!

Friday, May 11, 2007

My sweet mouth-breathers!

Oh, how I love these boys!!

My mom and alfombras (carpets)


More pictures--to cheer myself up!


See a pattern here...? Hands in mouth...

Rough day...







Actually, the day itself is fine, it's just me. I broke down sobbing in the shower this morning--I am just so tired of this. I KNOW there are lots of cases that are worse than ours, and people who've been in PGN for months and months and months. I am just in a bad spot right now, waiting for Owen. And I'm waiting to leave to see him--I leave in 18 days. This makes me so happy, but to leave Shannon, and our dogs and kitty, and our home, and everyone else here, to be w/Owen--that just doesn't seem right. We're all supposed to be together as family!!
Well, here's a picture or 2 to make up for my miserable post!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back in PGN!!

We found out this morning that we were resubmitted to PGN yesterday afternoon! So, we were in for about 5.5 wks, KOed for just 2 days, and now we've been back in for 1 day. Someone on the forums who went into PGN 3/8 got out yest., so 8 wks with no KOs. I so wish that our KO hadn't happened...I feel like we could have been out soon.

BUT! To be positive, hopefully we'll just have 4-8 wks before we get out, with NO MORE KOs!!! And, the head guy at PGN is going to be on vacation for the next 3 wks or so, and a replacement will be in. So let's HOPE that the New Guy has a big box of pens, ready to sign all of those cases out of PGN! :)

Keep us in your prayers. We love you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

We got our official KO! (how strange to be excited about that!)

Found out last night that we got our KO! Our agent emailed me a copy of the actual document, too. Our facilitator thinks she can get us resubmitted TODAY! WOOHOO! Keep us in your prayers, please...we hope we are out of PGN very quickly after resubmission!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Someone with the same PGN entry date as us just got out.







So that COULD mean that if my birth cert. hadn't vanished, that we possibly could have been out this week. It's not always that simple (some people who were submitted to PGN in Nov., Jan., Feb. are still not out), but still...it makes me sad.
BUT!!! My BC is in Guatemala, and our fac. hopefully has the ball rolling! We just need to get our KO officially now, so we can resubmit.
Here are a couple of new pics sent by our wonderful facilitator. He looks SO happy!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Owen in the pool


My birth certificate is on its way to Guatemala

Well, Shannon overnighted it (or tried to, they said it'd probably be more than 1 day), so she ought to get it today or tomorrow, hopefully in time to take it Mon. to the consulate. We hope that by the time it should be done at the Consulate on Wed., we'll have our KO and our facilitator can resubmit the whole thing right then and there.

Some cases on adoption.org that were submitted or resubmitted 3/21, 3/26 got OUT of PGN yesterday! I am soooo happy for them, but our submission date was 3/28, so it makes me wonder if we would've been getting out if we hadn't had this KO! Oh, well. No use in thinking about that, I guess...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I HAVE MY BC!!

For some inexplicable reason, my BC was FedEx'ed to SCHOOL, so I have it right now! It's so strange...my home address is on it, nowhere does it say the school's address. My agent swears he didn't call and have them bring it here. ???????? But it's good! Now we don't have to run home, get it, and run all the way back to town to mail it!

More on what will happen next: Overnight it to facilitator in Guatemala. Monday, she drops it off at the Consulate in Guate. She won't get it back till Wed. Then hopefully by then she'll have our official KO, so can hand back the file w/my new BC. We need to get back IN!!!

Also, fostering is looking up...more on that later.

BC is even closer!

Just checked tracking, and it's on a truck from Cape to my doorstep! As soon as we can get our hands on it, we'll overnight it to Guatemala!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

To my wonderful collegues at Fredericktown HS!!!

As I worked on Owen's room tonight, I HAPPENED to come across an UNOPENED card with a rattle attached, on top of a book of bedtime stories. Lo and behold...this was a card w/a gift card inside, and the book, given to us by ALL OF YOU, my fellow teachers, and Shannon NEGLECTED to ever mention it to me!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

I am so, so sorry! The card is darling, and thank you all SO SO SO MUCH for the gift card and book! ((hugs)) to you all!!!!! (I am yelling at Shannon in the background!!) :) :) :)

BC on its way to ME!

So the Guatemalan Embassy in Denver sent out the envelope w/my stamped/authenticated BC tonight! I just saw it on FedEx tracking!! Yee ha!

When I get it tomorrow, I'm going to turn around and overnight it to Guatemala, to our facilitator! Woohoooooooo!

BC will be at my house tomorrow afternoon!!

Our agent called, and my BC is at the Guate. Embassy, and they are going to mail to me today after they do whatever they have to do! I'll get it tomorrow afternoon, and then I'll send it overnight to Guatemala!

Once in Guate., our facilitator will take it to be stamped somewhere, then hopefully she'll get it back same day/next day to be submitted to PGN w/our file!!

Update on where my BC is!

I tracked it last night and this morning! Last night it was picked up for delivery at 4:00, and it arrived at the Guatemalan Embassy in Denver early this morning! So I called our agent to let him know; he said he's going to call the Embassy and try to get them to do what they need to do, then send it to him TODAY! Please keep us in your prayers!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Another update

I just talked to our agent--my BC was NOT in the file when the translator translated our whole dossier. So it's not the facilitator's fault it was missing, and she just missed the fact that it wasn't there when she reviewed our file for PGN.

So far, according to FedEx tracking #, our file has not left Neb. yet...grrr!

Maybe not so long before reviewer approval, but...

A friend of mine just told me that after their KO was fixed and resubmitted, the review signed off on their file just 3 days after that. So perhaps they won't take all that time!

The issue is that the head guy at PGN also has to sign off on the file. And files usually sit on his desk for literally weeks and weeks--like 8, or 7, or 10 weeks. No set timeframe. :(

Update--we have our plan in motion

I just called the Nebraska Sec. of State's office, who will be doing the authentication of our BC. She said she is working on today's stuff (our document arrived this morning), so she should get it out today! The only catch is that their printer's not working so someone is coming in to work on it, so if it's not fixed today, she said she'll get it done tomorrow and sent.

From there it'll go overnight to the Guate. Embassy in Denver. Hope they will do same-day service and mailing as well!

So, we're doing all right. Hopefully everything will get to Guate. in time for us to get the KO from PGN, and resub. the same day.

Oh, how we miss that baby. This is a setback, although it could be a lot worse. But it'll put us back at least 6-8 wks., putting home Owen a lot later in the summer, possibly even not till fall. Please please please keep us in your prayers.

Our case will be kicked out of PGN soon...document missing.

Our agent called us last night. Our facilitator was told by a friend in PGN that our case file will be kicked out of PGN soon (although right now it's not KO'ed, so we're just waiting to get the file), because for some reason my birth certificate was not in the file. Agent said our facilitator was almost in tears--she is SO competent, and it was just human error, meaning when she went through our file before submitting it to PGN, she just failed to notice that my BC was missing.
As it happens, our agent has another copy of my BC handy, because back in Nov. when I was getting our dossier together, I accidentally ordered 2 BCs from Nebraska for me. So of all the KOs, this one isn't bad, because we have the fix.
The catch is that the BC has to be authenticated in Nebraska, then sent to Denver to the Guatemalan Embassy there for some other type of treatment, THEN it goes to Guatemala to be added to our PGN file. Our agent FedEx'ed my BC to Neb., and I have the tracking #, so as soon as I see on FedEx's website that Neb. has my BC, I am going to call and BEG them to get it done today and FedEx'ed on to Denver TODAY, to get there tomorrow at 10am. (Wow, this is turning into an ad for FedEx!) Then once it's in Denver, agent will call and beg them to get it done ASAP and send it to Guate/agent/wherever is fastest to get it to PGN.
We are very upset, because this could mean another 8 wks in PGN, putting us well into summer for getting out of PGN. This may keep him from coming home in the summertime, and it may keep me from fostering and spending the summer w/our son. But we have a game plan and we'll do the best we can. Please keep us all in your prayers and hope we can get my new BC to Guatemala the same day our file is officially kicked out of PGN!