Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 3 in Antigua!!...................








Wow was it hot! It had to be 90 degrees out today!
We headed out for a walk, and quickly turned around and headed for the pool!! The boys played in the pool, and played catch in the lawn for hours. This apartment is perfect for us! Jen and I painted Anaya's toe nails ~ What fun!

The kids think they are on summer vacation, but today, they actually read one of their school books, tomorrow we are going to ease into a few more! We did some laundry today, they say the dryer takes up a ton of electricity, so we had our clothes strewn all over our little courtyard! Here is a picture of part of our courtyard, and the laundry room, which isn't in the house, but in a small room off the courtyard. There is a picture of me at the pool with our apartment in the background.

Anaya slept so good last night! I don't know what time She went down, but she woke up at 4:45 AM! The first night she went down late, and woke up at 1:30, then again at 4:30, so I was pleasantly surprised to wake up at 4:45!! The problem is that the steps are very loud, and when I went up to put her back down, the boys heard me and woke up! It was 5:00 AM here, but, it was 7:00 back at home, so they were not tired, and stayed up! The time thing is hard, they go down at 8:30PM Guatemala time, and wake up at 5 AM! Tonight they were so tired, they were falling asleep at 8:00 PM! We figured they would be tired after all the swimming, and our long walk! We couldn't get good pictures of the volcanoes again, because of the haze. The air here is awful! We feel so dirty after our walks, our eyes are all gritty, and it smells of exhaust, it is something to behold! No emission standards here!! The chicken busses scare poor Anaya half to death! I have her in my carrier, and hold her tight, but her little arms flail out and her big eyes get HUGE every time! The boys like to watch her and laugh!!( I will post a picture of the chicken bus tomorrow!)

We are really enjoying our time here, and are so thankful for SKYPE, so we can see and talk to Ryan,(and a few others have joined us also Yeah!)! Anaya is doing well, and loving the boys, and she is starting to want ME!! Which drives the boys nuts, they want to "babysit", but she sees me and wants to come!!! She is so sweet!!!!
We still have no word on our b.c. so... To any of you who have said you were interested in coming, we would love to have you anytime from the 19th to the end of May, (and probably longer!)
Just let me know!!

Day 2!................





Well, we are starting to get settled in, and having a great time. We all think the days go so fast, yet we don't seem to do all that much, I guess it just takes extra time to figure out all of the "little" things when living in a foreign country! For instance, last night we both were nervous about taking the first shower, because there is NO water pressure. So Jen went first, and said "hey Stac, look at this" I came in to find like 10 drops of water falling from the shower head!! "NO WAY" I said, "no one would rent this place, if that is all the water there is!" Then we remembered that the apartment manual we skimmed over said something about bad water pressure, I wonder what they say to do about it?? So we decided to actually READ the whole thing, and come to find out, there is a switch, outside to turn on the pump! YEAH!! So I had Dylan find and flip the switch, and I heard Jen scream, so I thought she was excited that it worked!! When I got upstairs she was cleaning up the water that had sprayed EVERYWHERE, because when the pump was turned on it had so much pressure, it blew the shower head right off the spout!!! We also found out that since Antigua is such an old city, you can't flush the toiletpaper down the toilet~ OOPS! Well we won't any more! We also read that the front door locks automatically!! When we went to the pool yesterday we left it open, and Dylan was adament that we take the keys, so he took them for us! Good thing!! That could have been bad as our phones and contact info was all inside, and you can't break in for goodness sake, it takes 10 min. just to lock and unlock all the doors and gates!! I have never felt more safe!! So the lesson we learned today, is always read the manual, right away! It could save a few headaches!!

I am posting some pictures, but none of the baby, as we still have not gotten that birth certificate!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We are here!

Hello Everyone!!
WE MADE IT! It took us a while to get the internet and everything up and running...but, I think my sister got it up and running now!!! :) I'm so glad she's here and typing all of this for me, cuz else I'd have to put Anaya down and you wouldn't get this until I return home! (last part added by Jen!)

Our flights went very well, the kids did great. They kept staring out the windows to see the "bottom." Jayden asked aunt Jen if he was in a dream becuase we were "riding the clouds." Dylan has said the whole day yesterday felt like a dream.

Jen speaking here: when we showed up to the orphanage, I can just tell you how amazing it was to see this sweet mama so eager to see her little girl. I video taped the whole thing and was crying along with everyone else. It was so amazing, everyone should have this opportunity.

Stacy back: It was AMAZING to finally have her back in my arms again. She has been very good. We are having tons of fun. We found out she has 6 teeth and she is SOO TINY! :) Most of the clothes I brought for her are going to be too big. She sucks her little thumb and puts her other hand on top to touch her lip with her fingers. It's so cute.

We went from the orphanage to Antiqua to our apartment. It looks just like the picture, it's very nice. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, one half bath, and is very "secure" with gates and grates over all windows as well as doors. We feel very safe in this area, the apartment complex has a huge large wall that has to be opened by the gatekeeper. In front of our house we have a gate. We also have 2 swimming pools right in front of our house.

When we got here the internet wasn't working on my computer. jen had to try to figure out the home computer they have here, but it was all in spanish!!! Talk about knowing if you really know how to work the computer!! hahahah But she got it figured out. We now have a webcam for those of you who want to see us.

As of yet, no word on B.C. I did not go to Mixco because they don't feel it will do any good and we don't want it to hurt our case at this point either. We are hanging out to see what happens...for now.

I will email pics later!
Gotta go for now. Time to make lunch!
Keep praying, we'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dylan singing, & our last post from the USA (for a while)

video

I accidentally messed with my camera, and didn't catch the first part of his song, but, here is Dylan singing Strong Tower, by Kutless, with part of the local christian school choir this morning!! He did an amazing job! He loves to sing, and he loves the group Kutless, so when our music director asked him to sing, he said "sure!" He has sung a few times at our other church, but, this was his first time at the new one!! Ryan nor I can sing (actually Ryan does have a good voice, but wouldn't feel comfortable singing!), but we wish we could! So, it is fun to watch him do it so eagerly at his young age!! He wants to be a worship pastor someday, so hopefully we will see a lot more of him singing on stage!

We are in Chicago at my sisters house, and I am almost ready to put the 3 boys to bed, as we have to get up very early to catch our flight to GUATEMALA!!! We are SO EXCITED!! It was hard to say good-bye to everyone, as we don't know what the future will hold, but then again, do we ever really know what's going on?!? We already miss Ryan, we will see him and Easton on Friday, but after that who knows. So please continue to pray that the b.c. is released soon, and we can get back home and be a family, all under one roof! Also, please pray for Anaya, as she will be leaving the orphanage, and all that is familiar. She will have lots of changes in the days and weeks ahead, and we want to make that transition as easy as possible for her! Also, for our safety, and the plane ride, the boys have never flown before, so this is a big adventure!!

We should land in Guatemala at 11:30 am (their time), Able, our driver will pick us up, bring us to the Guatemalan version of Wal-Mart for a QUICK grocery stop, then on to Hannah's Hope to pick up Anaya!! I can't wait to get my hands on her, and I am so excited for the boys to finally meet their little sister, who we have prayed for, and waited for, for so long!! I hope she is ready for all the attention she will be getting!!

I will post tomorrow night, if I am able, I have to figure out the internet connection down there, but, I will have my computer techie sister with me, so I am confident Jen will be able to figure it all out!!

Thanks for praying!

Friday, April 25, 2008

still waiting.........

Isaiah 42:3-4"He will not crush those who are weak or quench the smallest hope. He will bring full justice to all who have been wronged. He will not stop until truth and righteousness prevail throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for His instruction".
My friend sent me this verse yesterday! Thanks Ranae, I needed that!
We received a call yesterday saying that there was no news from Guatemala, and that some families have been waiting about 3 weeks past their 31 business days(none of them have been waiting since Nov.). We are so tired of waiting, we have waited almost half of Anaya's lifetime, for her birth certificate with our name on it! But, we still hold out the hope that this will be the day we have been praying for, that our b.c. will be released from the Mixco c.r. with NO previo!
I am praying that God will do this today, as I have been told I could go to the civil registry with our lawyer on Monday, but I don't want to go! I will, but I so want God to just do this thing, and I am certain he doesn't need me to help Him, however, I will fight for this baby in any way, shape, or form!! So please continue to pray for His power to bring justice to Anaya, and allow her to come home!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

no news....................

No news is better than bad news, right? That's how I am looking at it! We are still praying that God will deliver us from the Mixco C.R.! One of my favorite passages(right now)is found in Psalm 37 "1Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;" So that is what we are doing, waiting for him. I left out patiently, because I don't want to lie, I want the justice of our cause to shine like the noonday sun(tomorrow)! When I hear, I will post!! Thanks for praying!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Crazy boyz!





Okay, let me explain. They watched the movie Snow Dogs, and there was B-Dawg, and his owner was a little gangsta type kid, and would hold up 3 fingers like a W and say "WORD!" For whatever reason, the boys thought that was cool, and one day they all came upstairs wearing their "tightshirts"(as they call them) and had ball caps on and were doing gang signs! They look so tough don't they!?! Easton was so funny, as he tried to get his fingers to do the right thing, it took a lot of concentration,Spencer had it down pat, then there is Jayden, wearing his infamous teddy bear hat, and tough guy Dylan!!

They are tons of fun, and oh so impressionable!! I pray daily for these guys to be imprinted by the things of God, not the things of this world. It is not an easy task to raise a family, and one we do not take lightly! We enjoy life (most of the time!) and are so thankful that we do not have to go it alone, Hebrews 14:15 &16 says this; "15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most" Parenting seems to be one of the places I need His help the most!! Thanks God!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Not do that again!!................................

video

I know as you watch this, you may think I am mean, but all I did was a little rrroooaaarrr!! And he freaked out! So then I grabbed the camera, and I said "should I do it again?" As you, can tell, it was a definite NO," Not do that again!!" I thought it was so funny that he kept saying it over and over! Well, I just ran across this video again, and it reminded me of how I have been with my Heavenly Father about getting another previo!! "Oh please NOT DO THAT AGAIN!!" I know my little roar scared Easton, and I knew he didn't want me to do that again, and as a loving mother, I didn't! I know God hears my plea's and I know he is a loving God, so I am continuing to pray "NOT DO THAT AGAIN!!"

9 DAYS LEFT!! We are down to single digits now and so very excited!! Please continue to pray that on Tuesday our daughters LONG awaited birth certificate will finally be released!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

encouraging news............

We found out that 2 other families who have been waiting for their b.c's. for as long as we have, got them!! That is so exciting, maybe Mixco will stop playing their games, and release ours too!! Ours is due out on Tues. so we are praying that it will come out on that day! We are looking forward to celebrating very soon! We received our update pictures today. They say she has 4 teeth now, it is time I get down there so I don't miss any more!! 12 days left, well, almost 11!


Wow was it windy today! I thought we would blow off our hill at some point, well, we didn't, but our poor bunnies did! Yep, we came home to find our rabbit cage flipped upside down leaning against a tree(thank goodness, else it would have rolled down the hill!) Both bunnies were fine, just a little scared! My in-laws stopped by, and helped us flip it right side up, and we wedged a ladder behind it so it won't happen again! We gave them some carrots, as we felt they needed some extra love! It never occurred to me to get a picture of the poor things while they were hanging upside down, but I do have a great picture of our dog! The boys dressed him up in their Detroit Lions football outfit, and I did get a picture of that! Crazy kids!

Monday, April 14, 2008

14 days!!.......................................



In case you can't see the sign Spencer made, it says 14. He went through and made a number card to count down the days before we leave! I can't believe in 2 weeks we will be IN Guatemala!!


I have been busy packing, and figuring out the details of our trip! This week, the other family who had 2 previo's in civil registry like us, is due out, so it will be interesting to see when, and what they find out! I will keep you posted, we are due out next week, so we are hoping and praying that they release the files when they are due!!


Our friends from Colorado, who we met in Guatemala on our visit trip, are in Guatemala today picking up their daughter! Babies are coming home, and we are so happy for that!! Soon, Anaya will be home too, and we can begin a "normal" life once again!! Funny story about the friend from Colorado, when we got our referral of Anaya, we received her picture, and their baby's DVD. They got their baby's picture and Anaya's DVD. Well, both of us were so excited, then so confused, as we watched our DVDs and knew that there were 2 different babies, but which one was ours??? We both called our caseworker, and she told us that it was the picture that was our baby, and the DVD was someone else's baby!! Then we got to Guatemala, and started talking to this couple on our way to the orphanage, and lo and behold, we had each seen the others baby DVD first!! So, I hold a special place in my heart for their baby, because she could have been mine! We had a great time getting to know each other over the past 11 months! And Anaya, and Emily have been seen in several pictures together, so we believe they are good friends!
I will have to post one of them as soon as we get that birth certificate!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

20 days and counting............

Every morning the boys wake up, and tell me how many more days we have until we get to see Anaya!! We are all so excited!!


Our friends from Holland are in Guatemala this week, picking up their daughter!! They are having an awesome time, and we are living vicariously through their pictures and updates. They hope to see Anaya tomorrow! It makes me so happy that they are there, and getting their daughter, however it has been difficult to know we could have been there too, as we were due out of the civil registry the same day, and had hoped to be doing this together! But, God had other plans for us, and we are looking very forward to our b.c. coming out, and going to Guatemala soon!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Thank you?....................







We are not supposed to post pictures of our baby, however, it looks like a doll, and no one can recognize her in this picture, so I thought it would be okay! I just wanted to show how tiny she was, when I last held her in my arms!! She is 11 months old today, and while she is still tiny, she has grown and changed so much! We received her DVD from last month, yesterday. I was so excited! She was sitting up and does this weird little army crawl/scoot, it is so cute! We also caught a glimpse of her 2 little teeth! It is so time for me to hold her again! Please continue to pray that we will get her new birth certificate before we even get on the plane on the 28th! That would be a miracle, as they have been about 2 to 3 weeks behind in getting them out(past the 30 business days!) Either way, I am getting on that plane, I would just love to KNOW for a fact that I don't have to leave her again!!




Now, on to the title of today's post...



I have a verse that I love, so much so, that it is on the living room wall in our home, it is 1 Thes. 5:16-18, and it says this, "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."(emphasis mine) I guess I do not love that verse so much, but that I NEED it to remind me to give thanks in all circumstances!! We seem to have had a few circumstances lately that, quite frankly I am not all that thankful for!! But daily, I do need to say "Thank you" and I found a song that I LOVE and I try to either sing it every morning or listen to it at some point, and it is a great reminder. For those days like, this past week Wed., when I was driving the van, and heard a loud noise, and got home and saw reddish fluid gushing out from under the van! I told Ryan, and he went out and checked it out, he come back in and said, "Well, I got it to the service center, but, I think the transmission is shot!" Huh? (thankfully the service center is at the bottom of our driveway,) but wow, that is a huge expense!! "Thank You" was not my first response! So I am learning, and not there yet! I will try to upload the song later, it hasn't worked the last 5 times I tried, so maybe next time!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Antigua...................





Here are a few pictures of Antigua from our visit trip last May. I can not wait to go back!!
We are finally in April, and at the very least we will see our baby this month!!! YAY!! It has been way too long, and we are counting the days until we see her again!

Right now I am busy packing and trying to figure out all of the must haves, and what I can do without, and what I can buy when we get there. My friend Steph has been such a blessing to me, as she spent a few months down there fostering her 2 beautiful little girls last summer! She has given me a lot of good advice, and is such a big help! Did you know Guatemala has their own version of Wal-Mart?!? So cool, because as my family always says(& does) on vacation "gotta go to Wal-mart" It is actually called Hiper Paiz, and Steph says they have almost anything I would need to set up home down there!! Thank you so much Steph!