"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands." ~ Anonymous.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Family Getaway

Last weekend we spent a wonderful 2 days at the Atlantis Hotel & Waterpark in WI Dells. It was a much needed break from all the stress of the last several weeks. The waterpark is open to children only under 11 so it was great to be able to allow E to explore and be silly without having to worry about crazy adults and teenagers plowing him down. He absolutely loved it and we were all pretty exhausted and waterlogged by Sunday afternoon. Most importantly, it was a chance to get away and just celebrate being a family. Here's a few of my favorites from the weekend.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

....and the wait continues....

Not too much else to say right now. The officials are back from holiday, everyone is in place, yet nothing is happening. There is still no one that can provide any sort of estimated timeline for all of us waiting families.

On a brighter note, we received 2 new photos of K from our coordinator today. They are a little dark and blurry, but she looks pretty darn good. There is some confusion regarding the measurements that accompanied the photos. I'm hoping they are truly not hers. If they are, they reveal that while she has grown 2 inches, her weight remains unchanged from nearly 3 months ago. With her complex medical needs, this has been our biggest fear. She is at extraordinary risk for infection and malnutrition and if she has stopped gaining weight we have much reason to worry. That being said, I haven't traditionally put a great deal of stock in measurements received because there is simply no standardized method of obtaining accurate weights or measurements over there. Hopefully we will receive word in the next few days that the information from today was indeed, inaccurate.

So, we continue to hope and pray for a resolution to the delays. K will be 7 months old this coming Sunday. I pray that we will be together next month!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Raw Honesty and Emotion

I am posting today, with her permission, a letter written by a fellow blogger and Kyrgyz PAP to her agency representative. It is one of the most touching, honest and couragous letters I have read.

Please let me preface this by sharing some of my feelings about it. I am not as eloquent a writer as she, so bear with me.

This process has been, to say the least, one of the most scary and frustrating things I have ever been through. We (PAP's) are reminded every single day by family, friends, government officials and agency representatives that we must remain positive, have faith and trust in the process. I cannot count how many times I have heard "if it's meant to happen, it will - just be patient". Most days, I will agree, but there are many days where I would like to respond with "that's a load of crap". The fact is, we are completely powerless, at the mercy of people we don't know. We have no idea what is going on with these children and that hurts. For those who have children at home, imagine spending 6, 7, 8, and in some cases even 9 months over 6000 miles away from them with no contact and tell me how sad and worried you would be every day. Add to that the stress of not knowing when or if you will ever be reunited. Just because we don't have a piece of paper yet that says they are ours, in our hearts, they are. For most of us, we don't have a large group of loved ones that can possibly understand what we're going through and that is hard, too. That's why I am so incredibly grateful for my virtual family. We are scattered all over the US, but I can always log on and find someone who will "listen", commiserate, and help lift me up. I hope that I have done the same for them.

I have a lot of good days where I am happy and hopeful, but they are often overshadowed by the bad ones. I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking, but as L states in her letter below, this process has at times shaken my faith in God and humanity. Please pay close attention to the last line of the following letter and excuse me for my bad days because I am definitely not in my right mind sometimes.

E's adoption was ridiculously fast and smooth, but K's has not been. I know if and when we bring her home it will all have been worth it, but right now I am hurting along with about 60+ other families stuck in the uncertainty of the current delays.

Without further adieu - the letter that inspired me to have the guts to share this with you:

"...I will continue to worry. I have lost much of my faith in the possibility that any part of this adoption will run smoothly. I am now terrified that the letters will come and ours will all sit on a desk with no one to handle them.I am not placing blame, but it has been just one horrible turn after another. I have come to expect the next catastrophe.I am outraged that the Kyrgyz officials have not had the foresight or compassion to protect the rights of their most vulnerable citizens. But even more, I am incredibly frustrated by our lack of voice in advocating for our children (not biologically, or legally ours but in our minds, hearts and souls, they are) and feeling that no one else can or is willing to move mountains for them like we feel they should. To us it feels the world should stand still until this is fixed!The only thing that could bring relief is to have complete faith that EVERYTHING that can be done - is being done. I do not feel this is the case right now.We live with this frustration and pain 24/7 and it wears down our spirit. The only time I am not feeling sad and helpless is when I am trying to find a means to fight for them, but that is also to no avail. I am not exaggerating to say that losing our baby boy was less painful than this process has been.I know it must be hard and frustrating for you as well. I guess I just need for you to know that you are now dealing with a group of frenzied, heartbroken, parents that are half out of their minds with worry. But I am sure you already know this. I do not think most of us are behaving in our normal manner. It is not my nature to be suspicious and un-trusting. However, I am constantly wondering who is telling a lie, or hiding information in regards to the adoption. I no longer trust my own instincts or gut feelings in this area. It is the most bizarre emotional experience I have ever had. And frankly it has been trying my faith that God is watching over me and my family.So I pray for a happy ending for all. I can't comprehend the depth and breadth of the damage that could be done if this were to fall through for us and the many children waiting. But please, in the meantime, excuse my behavior and my questions and all that must be annoying for all of you dealing with all of us. Truly, we are not in our right minds."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Holiday Wrap up

Whew - it always goes by so fast, doesn't it?

We had an awesome holiday. E was so into it this year - the presents, that is. We were blessed to spend some very special time with immediate and extended family and had just an exceptional Christmas.

Our New Year's was pretty quiet, just us and our 2 closest friends gathered for a fabulous meal, a few cocktails and lots of laughs.

While 2008 was very good to us and so many amazing and wonderful things happened, we are happy to say farewell and are anxiously waiting to see what 2009 will bring. One of the biggest and most special of course being the addition of K to our family. We are told that things are supposed to "start moving" in January and are keeping our fingers crossed that we will travel in February. Selfishly, we just want her here. We want to get to know her and learn about her and fall in love with her. The fact is, though, she NEEDS to come home. With every passing month, beginning medical treatment for her condition becomes more critical to her long term well-being and health.

2009 will also be a year of transition for E. My baby will turn 3! I can't hardly believe it, but I guess it's going to happen. He will be transitioned into the public school system for Early Childhood and out of our County's Birth to 3 program. He has 4 therapists and we will miss them terribly. He has caught up to his peers and is even a little bit ahead in some areas. He can independently say his ABC's, count to 10, recognize nearly all of the letters of the printed alphabet, and sing songs. He's made such huge gains cognitively and developmentally over the last 20 months. He is growing and changing so fast, sometimes I just want to hit "pause" and have a little more time to get used to it. For all those people who've said it to me, I'm happy to say I've learned the true meaning of "enjoy it, they grow up so fast".

With the holidays behind, I am in full blown nesting mode. I find myself cleaning things that don't really need to be cleaned, organizing and reorganizing and then yup, you guessed it, organizing again. I've been gravitating to the baby aisle at stores and picking up just a couple of things here and there. Daddy and E lovingly assembled K's crib and it is ready to be filled with her cuteness. I know we could still be in for a long wait, but if you've read The Secret then you know what I'm doing. If you haven't read it, you need to! Hopefully the Universe will listen and return all the positive mojo we're sending out there!

To all of our family and friends - "real" and "virtual" - Happy New Year! May all of our dreams come true and our children come home!

Okay, here's what you really came for - enjoy the pictures:

It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it (thank goodness I've got my boys)!
Nothing better than giving a friend a ride!
Winter driving in Wisconsin....need I say more?
Hanging his chosen Kyrgyz ornament for the year.
"Bring on the presents"!
Now THAT's a present!
Just plain being silly!
The boxes are still just as much fun as the toys inside.
What a charming family if I may say so myself.