Tuesday, March 29, 2011

what we've been up to lately...

Just when you think you are done with the adoption paperwork, there is a huge pile at home waiting for you!!!  Fun stuff.  NOT!
Paperwork and the photo book of our trip that I am working on are keeping me busy lately besides normal family life.  But, on Saturday, the girls and I went shopping.

I showed the girls the finer points of shopping, like stopping for a FOOD break!  Auntie Anne's pretzels were a big hit!
Anaya was actually dancing around she was having so much fun!

We went shopping because I needed a new pillow, since someone...{Lucy}stole mine!  She was waking up at least one time each night, but then I gave her one of my pillows (she had one, but it wasn't a nice down filled one,) and wouldn't you know it, she has been sleeping much better ever since!  Poor girl, I can't sleep without the right pillow either, so I completely understand.  However, since I gave her one of mine, I needed a new one!  I found just the right one at Bed Bath and Beyond and we have both been sleeping great ever since!

Ryan loves being pampered by the girls!
On Friday Lucy got to meet Aunt Sarah, and cousin Taylor.  She also got to meet Uncle Robb and Aunt Lisa, however, Lisa was at the hospital so I spared her the picture taking{although she looked great!}
Lisa is home now, but would love your prayers as she is going another round of chemo soon!
Sunday we took Luisa to church for the first time and met many of the people who prayed and helped to bring her home!  It is good to be home, {except for the snow!  Yuck!}

Ryan and the boys put the trampoline up.  The kids have been loving it!

Luisa loves playing "ring around the rosies", especially the "all fall down" part.

We have been going through houses, trying to figure out exactly where God wants us...lots of praying for wisdom, and direction.  
We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new niece or nephew, my sister Jen is due any day now!
That is just a bit of what we have been doing over the last few days.  Everyone is doing well and we are just enjoying being together. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thank You!

We just want to take a moment to say "THANK YOU!"  to all of you who helped us in any way, shape or form throughout this whole adoption process.  We are so incredibly grateful for the love, and support we have received not only from family and friends, but complete strangers as well.  God has been so gracious to us, and we have had the time of our lives watching Him provide for each and every need that we had using so many of you!  Thank you for being obedient and carrying out that which God laid on your hearts!  We had no idea how we were going to bring this sweet girl home, we only knew God had called us to do so, and it is because of many of you, she is here!
Ephesians 1:15 (The Message)

15-19 That's why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn't stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I'd think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

the girls...

Being goofy...
and reading the paper!

 Lucy can't leave her hands off baby Ryan either! 
 the girls beating up on the boys!

I really had myself psyched up for a rough road, adopting a toddler.  But, we have been having so much fun!  Luisa just putters around the house and plays so well with the kids.  They, of course just adore her, {thus far,} and are having a great time watching her explore.

Thankfully she doesn't dare to go down our twirly stairs, she stands at the top and yells "Mommy!"  That is the word for help me get down, anyone can bring her, but she always yells mommy!  She can waltz right up the steps though, so that is a tad nerve wracking!

She is saying: Momma and Mommy {of course!}Bye, Agua~(she uses this for any liquid she wants to drink,) no toque(no touch in Spanish) usually with finger wagging, gato(cat,) ball, she says something like zapato's (datos) for shoes, all done while signing{so she actually has 3 languages!} brothers or something similar, she tries to say Anaya and Dylan (it just doesn't come out quite right,) Daddy, and just today she said "Hi Dad," and came running to gave Ryan a hug just like the other kids when he came home from work!  So mostly a mix of Spanish and English, but not too many words really, she mostly just points and grunts, screams, or squeals.  She totally understands Spanish, so if I need her to do something I say it in Spanish then English.

She has a really long torso, and a big ole' belly so most of the stuff that fit Anaya at this age does not fit miss Lucy!  It won't be long and I have the feeling the girls will be in the same size!

She wakes up on average about once each night, however she did wake up about 4 times one night!  She did that in Colombia too, but there, she was in my room so I just rolled over and patted her back.  Now, I have to go down the twirly stairs in the middle of the night...not fun.  But, all I do is tuck her back into bed (usually she is sitting on the floor, or standing by Anaya's bed, sometimes she is still in bed) and kiss her and she calms right down and goes back to sleep.  She is such a sweet little thing!  I can not fathom what she must be thinking.  I would really love to know!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our first couple of days...

The girls enjoying their first dress up tea party, with Easton as their servant! 
 Too cute!
 Yes, that is a lot of mac-n-cheese!
sweet sippy sporting sisters!
 listening to the piano...it is monkey see, monkey do over here!!
 walking around in mommy's heels.
 Lucy fell in the dirt, and she did not like it on her hands...
 So while mom snapped pictures, big sister came to her rescue!

 She didn't know what to think about the deer target in the yard, she was cracking us all up!
 Running away from the deer.
 Her first feel of snow!  She threw it down and wanted to get more just to throw it again.
 Still not fond of the deer.
But, she loves the cats!

So far it has been going very well.  Luisa just fits so well in our family, she has been a great addition, guess God knows what he is doing!  We stand amazed.  She loves the kids and seems to be having a great time here.  We absolutely love her and could not have asked for a smoother transition, thus far....
Thank you Lord, for the gift of Luisa.  She is such an amazing blessing, we are so incredibly grateful for allowing us the opportunity to be her family!

our homeward bound journey....

Lucy and sweet staff member (forgot his name) outside of Hotel Paris

All ready to go at 5:30 am!

Reynal was our driver the whole time in Bogota.
We left the hotel at 5:30, picked up Helena {our agency rep. here in Colombia} and headed to the airport.  We got to the airport by around 6am and Helena came in to make sure we had everything all set.  OH. MY. WORD.  I had no idea how important she would be.  I made it up to the ticket counter successfully but then the Delta lady said something to the effect of..."you need to have today's date on the permission document, this won't work."  Um, Helena???  I quickly went and had her come to my side, she was standing back with all of the kids.  So started a long conversation in Spanish, that I could tell was not going in my favor.  We were directed to go upstairs to the immigration office.  Once there, things went about the same way, except the lady at the ticket counter was nice.  This man was not.  They all spoke only Spanish,(I would have been in big trouble if Helena was not there!) he said we needed to have Ryan hand write a letter stating that Luisa could leave the country this day and scan it and send it to 4 email addresses.  I knew right away, this could be a problem since I have the only computer that works with our scanner, and we live in...let's just say a very small town with no office max or kinkos available to run to.  So, I asked it it could be faxed.  No.  Okay, so I call Ryan, no answer.
Tried again, and again, and again, leaving extremely frantic messages at this point.
We went to a place and paid to use a computer to send him an email so that he knew what to write in the letter, and the addresses to send them to.
I sat down with the boys and prayed.  I called again, this time he answered his phone.  I explained the situation and he hung up and tried to find someone here with a scanner he could use.
I called him back 10 minutes later.  He had called 12 people, with no success.
At this point it was about 8am.  Flight leaves at 9:30, and we had not gone through security yet.  We went and got the kids some doughnuts and I got a coffee.  Helena went back to the immigration office and I waited with Reynal and the kids.  We waited and waited and waited.  I didn't have the phone to call Ryan so I had no idea if he had found a scanner or what, I just stood there and prayed.  I knew it wasn't the end of the world, but at that point, I just wanted to go home!
Finally around 9am Reynal said "listo"  so we went to the immigration office and Helena gave me the thumbs up!  She handed me her phone so I could tell Ryan we were all set.
We quickly headed out and they waited while we went thorough security, and once on the other side, we waved goodbye!
Then we still had to clear immigration, and for whatever reason the lady who knew we were in the office earlier, read EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. of  EVERY. SINGLE. PAPER.  We could see from the monitor that they were boarding the plane, and there we stood, waiting!  Finally she stamped all of our passports and we headed for our gate.  There were Delta people standing there and they called ahead to tell them we were coming.  We had to then go through the next security check and finally boarded the plane with about 2 minutes to spare.  Then we were off, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and a big prayer of thanks to God!  The kids were great through all of this and did a wonderful job on the plane as well.

*Apparently a new 'law' came into effect on the 15th of March stating that the permission paperwork that is required in order for one parent to leave the country with kids without the other parent, must include the date they are leaving.  Well, with adoptions, you don't know the date when the other parent leaves.  With the old law, we just needed permission from Ryan to leave, which we had.  But now the date must be included, which wouldn't be a problem if you are aware of that before hand, and they could get the document ready.  So apparently there is a meeting going on this week with ICBF and Colombia Immigration to try to figure out this 'issue.'  Which wouldn't had been an issue, if they would let the agencies know this ahead of time!  So goes dealing with the government!!*
Luisa found perros!  (Dogs.  She seems to really like animals)

They were happy campers to be heading home.

Do you see the lady next to Lucy?  She had on a black mask and Lucy sat there and stared at her forever!  Luckily she couldn't see her...but I was cracking up!  Here she was watching a movie with the headphones, she kept pointing and saying "Mommy, mommy..." to show me everything that was going on.  So cute!
We made it through immigration with out any issues.  Only waited a little bit and the guy was extremely nice!  Whew, blessed relief!
Our first stop after immigration and rechecking our bags in Atlanta was of course CHILIS!!!  Welcome to America honey!

We were so hungry, the food on the plane was nasty so none of us had eaten lunch and it was now around 5:30pm.

Luisa has the worst ever dirty diapers, and I am sure it is from the awful meds she is on, so I packed another pair of pants in the bag.  I did not however, plan on having to change her shirt!  We had to give her a bath in the sink of the family restroom we found!  I contemplated dumping the outfit she was wearing, and would have, except I made the shirt, so I decided to try to salvage it {yes it was that bad!} so we double bagged the dirty outfit and stopped at a store in the airport and bought a new one for her, a souvenir to remember the massive mess there.  It even says USA on it!  She was not thrilled about the whole ordeal.

After all of that, I needed a Starbucks!  I used up my last gift card from Christmas.  bummer.

We found a quiet corner to give Lucy her meds around 8pm.

I even shared my coffee with the kids.  And then we were off...

Crazy kids

Sweet girl slept the entire flight from Atlanta to Grand Rapids.
 Arriving in Grand Rapids to a group of waiting friends and family...


Everyone checking her out, and vice versa!

What is going on here?

So thankful for dear friends that came out to welcome us home late at night!

Together at last!

All strapped in the vehicle ready to go!
She did really good on the ride home, we wondered how it would go being strapped into a car seat.  She sat and watched a movie and had to show me everything..."Mommy, Mommy..."  Then started getting sick of it about 10 minutes from home, but never cried, she just kept arching her back, like...get me out of here!!!
Home sweet home!