Thursday, June 26, 2008

Poor Sick Baby.... the chicken pox strikes again!

We were aware of the chicken pox being present while we were at Eagles' Nest with only 1 affected ... but it has only gotten worse as it slowly makes it's way through the orphanage. Poor Sarah looks like she got an especially nasty pox right between her eyes : (
This precious college girl and a few other girls are serving the Lord for a few weeks working at the Nest during their summer vacation. What an amazing gift they are to all of us waiting families as they have been SOOO kind to send pics and emails of how our little ones are doing!!! Thank you girls and especially Ashley for contacting us!!

Here's an email we received from her :

Hey Dave and Marianne - I wanted to let you know that I have posted some pics on my picasa site. There are a few I took with Sarah today. She is doing so much better and most of her pox are dried up. There is a scab between her eyes but I think it has improved already. Enjoy the pics...and I'll try to keep that sight updated or at least let you know when I add more. Blessings on your travels and your wait until then!Ashley

Please be praying for all the EN babies as this yucky virus is being passed around. Also, please keep the Allums family(Stephanie and Nathan link to the side) in your prayers!! They truly need the Lord to act in a MIGHTY way!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

She's 9 mos. old and it's official.... she's GROSS!!!!

I woke up this morning thinking, "this would be a great day for Sarah to get her new birth certificate.... her 9 mo. birthday". And wow, I think God thought so too because about 4:30 this afternoon we got the message... we have it!!!

I didn't realize I would get so excited about her name change until it occurred to me why it's so significant. When the Lord adopts US into HIS family we "take on" His Name by becoming "Christ"ians.... just as God put "h"(like YAHWEH) in Abraham and Sarah's name when they became His. This is a sign of covenant.

To know Sarah has a new name signifies the new life, new hope and new family the Lord has chosen to give her.... which we pray is only a precursor to her spiritual adoption into the family of God! Father, how I praise You on this wonderful day for all the ways You love each one of us and how You've chosen us for Your glory!

ps. The next steps are... passport hopefully this Sat., then 2nd DNA test and results sent to Embassy, and finally a PINK slip telling us when we can bring Sarah home FOREVER!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A HAPPY 34th BIRTHDAY TO MY ONE AND ONLY!!...and a few pics : )

Not everyone gets to see the silly side of Dave... but here he is! I love you, Honey!!

This amazing woman(my mom-in-law) held down the fort while we were in Guate!!..Thank you Linda!!

At the request of my sweet friend Karie... pictures of Emily : ) Which by the way, Karie, you HAVE to get one of these Bumbo seats for your next little one... they are AWESOME!

So serious!

She loves her hands... no pacifier for this little lady! uh oh... hope we won't have a thumb sucker.

She's getting SO big ... so fast : (

Just chillin'... watching my brothers and Mommy play baseball!

Not sure if this picture does justice to the amazing amount of HAIR LOSS this poor girl has experienced ... no worries, I've had 2 other babies, I found out it grows back : )

Just want everone to see how TALL I'm getting! (Christie, we LOVE this travel bed... we have used it and used it... just been perfect!)

The three musketeers... don't worry "Grandmas", Daddy's hanging on tight : )

The boys hard at work! They get a quarter for every 15min. spent pulling weeds.... it usually gets spent at the pool concessions : )

If you spend ANY time with our family, you know how MUCH Zachary loves little Emily.... sometimes a little too much! But this picture is just typical of Zachary wanting to hold Emily's hand when we are walking... melts my heart!

Hugs from Caleb!

And hugs from Zach!
Blessings to all for a GREAT weekend!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Saying goodbye to Sarah(visit trip)

The day I dreaded from the beginning of our trip had finally come. We were supposed to leave at 8am but got a knock on our door at 7:15am saying we needed to leave immediately to be able to make it through the rain. I was very upset expecting to have 45 more minutes with Sarah. It actually was probably better that way because I was unable to dwell on the inevitable.

We took her upstairs to the mamas and hugged and kissed her one last time. And then we hugged and kissed her again. I cried, of course, through my smiles but somehow I was able to subdue the sobs rising up inside me. She went easily to one of the mamas and smiled goodbye to us.... and then we left. There is no doubt in my mind that the prayers of the saints and the all-surpassing peace from our Father is what enabled us to put one foot in front of the other as we made our way home.

It only seemed fitting that it was raining that day. My own tears seemed to mirror the drops of rain streaming down the airplane windows. I felt as though the heavens were crying with me. If the saying is true that a mother carries her heart outside her body, then mine is not in one piece. In part, here at home and in part, still in Guatemala.

We will see you again soon my sweet Sarah!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 4 of visit trip... and case update : )

This was by far our favorite day for many reasons!

Wearing my favorite dress that I brought for her... Emily has a matching one : )
We laugh at how much bigger Sarah always looks when I hold her than when David has her.

Rain or no rain... we ALL needed to get out. So Ron and Beverly took us to Pana for shopping and lunch! We enjoyed that SO much after looking at the same 4 walls for a few days : ) I got to get some special gifts for Sarah's future birthdays and a few trinkets for the boys and our nieces and nephews. I hope to get to do more shopping on our next trip. Our lunch was great... I had some kind of breaded chicken and Dave had the meatloaf( so weird but it had a hard boiled egg in the middle...good thing Dave will eat anything). Sarah was AMAZING! She never fussed even ONCE and we were gone for maybe 4-5 hrs
It still was raining or should I say POURING when we headed back to the Nest. Now all of you EN families know what I'm talking about when I say the street that goes up to the Nest could use a little work. I'm telling you... it was an ADVENTURE trying to get up that road, several inches deep in mud, windshield wipers breaking every couple minutes, 4 adults and a baby all piled into a small pick-up... we LOVED it : )
Daddy has held all his babies like this... Sarah loved it!

So, Dave got to bring 1 outfit for Sarah... and here it is!!! Big surprise... ha ha!

She had a great time slobbering all over the Cardinal's hat... hope that isn't a sign she's going to rebel against loving our favorite team : )

Saying thank you and goodbye to the mamas. I enjoyed feeling TALL for once in my life! Juana and Maria are 2 of Sarah's special mamas. Kendall also got to join in on the photo shoot : ) Which by the way, THREE other EN babies are going home besides Sarah!!!! We can't wait to see Kendall, Danny and Braxton with their AMAZING families!!

Ron and Beverly with Sarah... we love you guys!!

A last partial family picture before we leave. We had a GREAT last night together. The 3 of us were laying on the bed winding down and all of a sudden Sarah starting imitating Dave's motor boat sounds... he'd been doing it all week to make her smile. She did it over and over and over... spitting and drooling the WHOLE time. It was hilarious! Thank you God for such a special bonding moment with our little girl!
Putting her to sleep was also very precious that night. I held her close, walking around the apartment, singing every worship song I could think of with tears streaming down my face. Oh, Father, to know the tears You've shed over us. I pray I never take His love for granted!
Well, we've been praying for a couple months now that we would be able to bring Sarah home when our church goes to Eagles Nest in July. We found out yesterday this should be possible! Thank you Lord for covering EVERY detail! We still don't know yet how to work out the plane ticket situation since Dave already has a flight paid but I do not.... plus we'd like to come home together. Also, we aren't sure yet if we will do the Embassy appt. during the mission trip or tag on a few days at the end of the trip.... we know the Lord will guide us through these last few steps!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ADIOS PGN!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALL smiles in the church van in the Bonanza parking lot!
At 6:59 pm tonight as we pulled into a Bonanza with our youth group we received THE CALL!!! I can hardly believe I'm typing these words!!! We just yesterday made the decision to take all 3 kids on the youth mission trip... summers in youth ministry are hard on the boys missing their Daddy (and hard on Mommy too)... but I'm confident part of the reason we needed to come is so that we could all celebrate this moment together : )

For those not familiar with Guate adoption terms... this news means our adoption has been approved by the Guatemala courts. There are a few more final details to finish up before we go get her, like: birth cert., visa, DNA test, Embassy appt... but getting out of PGN is a BIG DEAL! We'll let you know as we receive more details :)

I'm going to leave this post up for a couple days and will continue posting our visit trip later. As overwhelmed with joy as I am, my heart aches for all my friends still waiting. Please continue to pray for all the Guatemalan babies and their families.

Thank you for all your prayers, support and encouragement!!! And most of all we praise YOU Father ..for every perfect gift is from above! Love to you all!

Day 3

This day we were supposed to go to Pana to church with Ron and Beverly but again it RAINED!!! If there was one disappointment to our trip it would be thtat it rained the whole time we were there... we were pretty much stuck in our apartment.
Being inside, gave us plenty of opportunity for photo shoots : ) Dave teased me saying by looking at her outfits, you'd think we were there for 2 weeks instead of 4 days!

This girl was putting EVERYTHING in her mouth... she's not teething or anything!

Daddy and his sweetheart.... one of them!

OK... so I admit it, I was a cheerleader. Much more proud that I was a gymnast BEFORE I was a cheerleader. Anyway, found this cute little cheerleading shirt yrs. ago for a little girl someday.... I so enjoyed finally seeing one of my girls wearing it.

Just another goofy face by our silly little girl.

I so wish you could see through the clouds to the BEAUTIFUL CREATION the Lord made behind me.
By the look on her face you won't believe me but she really did LOVE her Daddy's kisses : )
At the end of this day, I was starting to feel a little sad knowing we only had one more day left. I was already starting to ask for the Father's outpouring of peace as the end was coming all too soon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 2

Saturday, we got up and immediately started with the monthly update pictures. Before going down to Guate, they told us we could come up with a theme if we wanted.... my two goals were to show as much "skin" for the adoptive families as possible and make sure the girls looked girlie : ) So, we decided on a "Hawaiian" theme with the lays... seemed appropriate with summer approaching.

We felt confident God had given us the right daughter when she wouldn't comply with our desire to get a good picture : ) lol!! We had a lot of fun... but even more amusing was watching all the mamas. Boy, they can work fast!! Whipping those outfits off and on... and they all tried SO hard to get their babies to smile! I had NO idea what an ordeal those monthly updates are to get done!! It took us 5 hrs. from start to finish! I will appreciate my monthly updates of Sarah now with a whole new perspective : )

David, Sarah and I all went back after the picture taking and took a LONG nap : ) She is a great sleeper!! Woo Hoo! After that, we moved into a different apartment. Ron and Beverly mentioned the apt. next to them for the adoptive families when they come to visit. I said, "wow, I didn't know about that, how do you get to have that apt?" Long story short, we got to use the other apartment for our last 3 nights there : ) It was much more accomodating with a highchair and thanks to the Allums family, a little excersaucer too.

You can see from the next string of photos that Sarah became more and more comfortable with us! She is quite the ham and has the most hilarious expressions! Even funnier though, is that you would expect all kinds of babbling and giggling with her goofy faces... but not a sound. She was the quietest baby I've ever been around. I suppose with all the noise and commotion in the orphanage it probably isn't uncommon for them to be so silent.

My favorite expressions were when she'd crinkle her nose like this!!

This one just cracks me up!!

Just like my firstborn, she loved to play with my hair... and pull!!

I could kiss those cheeks all day long!
On the "real" side of things, our first couple days reminded me a lot of when we first brought Caleb home from the hospital. My stomach was in knots with nerves, emotions, and fears. I remember thinking with Caleb, "they aren't really going to let me go home with this baby, are they?" After the initial exhiliration and joy of meeting Sarah, reality set in and I had all those 1st time mommy thoughts and feelings. By the end of this 2nd day though, I was more and more relaxed and falling harder and harder for my sweet baby girl!
Thanks for joining us on our visit... more to come later : )

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Home Again

I apologize for taking so long to post... once again internet problems so I'm posting from Dave's office. Hopefully, I will have enough time to email pics to all of my friends of their sweet babies : )

A very excited little fan club and a hungry baby greeted us at the airport late Tuesday evening! I was so grateful to have my lonely empty arms filled once again the moment we stepped off the plane. It was an amazing trip and will take me several posts to cover much of the week we spent with our Sarah : )... so I should be posting pretty regularly for a few days. We also are working on a movie to remember this special time... we will share it when we get it done.

First Night and Day 1

After getting Sarah, we headed over to our Apt. (apt. #3 for the EN families). I quickly bathed and lathered her all up in my favorite smell on this earth, Baby Magic and then got her pjs on and added a pink bow for pics : ) The water turned off most evenings by 6: 00pm.. so you always had to keep that in the back of your mind. We then went back to the orphanage for Sarah's things(formula, cereal and crib).

Friday we slept in and then visited el Nido and played with all the children. Most the day was spent just getting acquainted with Sarah and her schedule. I had fun playing with her wild hair... which turned out to be not so wild. Her hair was nothing what I expected. It was slick, baby fine hair and oh so soft. I loved her hair in piggy tails but was SO hard to make it stay : ) The little purple dress was a special outfit from Sarah's cousin Abby... so it was fun to get to finally put it on her.

I miss that cherub little face so much!!!
This was her favorite toy.... hardly left her hands all week!
That night we ate over at the Nest with the kids and ate Luky's famous cooking... egg and ham sandwiches. I think Dave would have loved to bring Luky home with us : ) And before you knew it, our first day was over and it was time for bed. Sarah loved for us to rock her to sleep and we enjoyed every second of it! She would just study both of us so intently and touch our faces with her tiny little hands.... little memories I'll cherish forever.
Come back tomorrow for Day 2 : )