Monday, May 31, 2010

Contest de Agatha

So...yeah...did you hear about Agatha?

In honor of my extended stay here in good ol' Guate, I've decided on running a contest. I haven't read anyone else's blogs while I've been here and the reader is just piling up. I'm scheduled to fly home this weekend but our schedule has changed about 7 times so far so I'm not counting on it. I've danced this dance before...

So! The contest: Guess how many blog posts are unread in my reader at the 2 week mark of being gone (this Friday). The winner will get a pound of Guatemalan coffee all to themselves and maybe a few cute little bracelets.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Guatemala just wants to keep us apparently.

So if you haven't heard yet, the volcano we normally hike on our mission trips went crazy Wednesday night. Here's a link to an amazing (and short) video from BBC.

Antigua is where we're staying and it's unaffected by the ash but the city is covered. Our schedule included a trip to the city and here's a few shots we got. The volcano ash closed the airport and we are officially stuck here. We have a plan currently so I'll keep you posted once that all settles.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guest post!

While I'm off filling my heart with little brown faces, I asked my friend Chrissy to blog in my stead. God gave her a pretty great story that I thought you bloggees would love. Click on over to her blog once you hear her cliff notes here. She's a great writer and I'm LOVING her entries over the last month!


I didn’t think it was going to happen.
I figured I missed a sign somewhere along the line. Maybe God wasn’t really calling us to adopt. Maybe it was just me wanting to be a hero, do something “big”….
In the fall of 2006, I convinced my Man to attend an “If You Were Mine” adoption conference, sponsored by Family Life. He thought I was nuts (and rightfully so) but went with me anyway. I had decided when I was a teenager that I wanted to be a foster parent, take in babies and love them forever. My husband didn’t necessarily feel the same way. At first. He had all sorts of concerns. Finances. Birth parents rights. Finances. But he humored me and went along.
He left the conference more excited than I was.

We decided on the way home from the conference that we would adopt internationally. That a domestic adoption or one through foster care was just too risky.
A few months later we applied to an adoption agency. We started the home study process. We chose a country in Central America. We started raising money. We made payments. We turned in our homestudy. We were about done with our dossier.
And the country shut it’s doors to foreign adoptions.

Yup. It did. So now what? Our agency offered to transfer our money and paperwork to another country. This time in Africa.

We got back to work. More fingerprints, more paperwork, more home studies.
Missed a deadline (through no fault of our own) for our application at immigration services.

And we were told that we would have to start the process all over again.

I was devastated.

We took some time away from the situation. It was so painful. And so hard to understand. Here we were, a great family (at least I think so) that really just wanted to provide a home for a little girl. Nothing more. And I didn’t understand why all these roadblocks kept being thrown in front of us.
And quite frankly, I was mad.

Meanwhile, our neighbor across the street had adopted two little boys from Russia and she recommended that I talk to her social worker.

What a gift. This new social worker gave us SUCH hope.
We had her redo our home study for a domestic adoption. We filled out MORE paper work. And waited.

And waited.

And waited. Still rather fearful of a domestic adoption….but really not knowing what else to do at this point. We also knew that we were out of money. And that we really, really couldn’t afford to pay for an adoption. But we pressed on.
Almost a year later we still hadn’t been chosen by any birth moms. Our SW suggested that we do the foster parenting classes. You know…that one thing we did NOT want to do? Yeah….but we did them anyway.

And we fell in love.

Fast forward a bit here….we finished the classes in November, got our license in late December....and finally, FINALLY, we got the call on May 3rd.

I describe that day in great detail on my blog but let’s just say it is a day I will NEVER forget.

And now, I am typing this story in the room next door to where my beautiful 9 month old TWIN babies are sleeping.

We started out just wanting to adopt a girl. We got so discouraged that we questioned our calling to begin with. Waited 3 ½ years…and then got “our baby girl and bonus boy”.
In the words of my 11 year old…”that’s just ridonkulous.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Doctors before borders...

Remember this shot Eliot took? Over a month ago?

Well, here's the deal: Russ was helping me learn how to use my nasal spray. Judge me if you will, but the last time I took nasal spray I passed out. Don't ask. Some basic life skills have passed right over me, ask my SIL about teaching me how to make coffee.

I was taking nasal spray in order to save my marriage. Ya know how old couples get super irritated with each other when one spouse has lost their hearing? Well, apparently that happens to young couples (33 is the new 23) as well. For some time now, I've had a hard time hearing. Not just at home, admittedly, since they were starting to make fun of me at work about it, too. Good thing I can't hear them.

Since I had to get a physical for the Fostering stuff anyway, I was given strict orders to tell the doctor that I can't hear. He recommended I go see an ENT doc and that I may have some fluid behind my ears. Then my teeth started hurting. Aha! [self-diagnosed] Sinuses, of course! With the upcoming trip to Guate, I wanted to prevent my head from exploding on the flight. Safety first, people. So off to the ENT I go.

I've never been to an ENT before and it's always surprising to me to be in a doc's office and not see posters of ovaries everywhere. Anyone else have that problem? No? Mmmkay.

So, last week I head in and meet Doc 1. He checks all the basics and recommends the Audiologist do some tests. I walk through the office to Doc 2, who proceeds to do some extensive hearing tests on me including a few in a Dharma Initiative type enclosed room with a woman's voice saying things repeatedly into my ears until I decide to hunt wild boar in the woods while looking for electromagnetism.

After all the tests, Doc 1 comes back in holding the test results, pulls a stool up to my chair, takes a deep breath and says, "I'm not sure how to put this." oh crap. Then he says,"How much Dairy do you eat?" just kidding. He really said, "You don't have anything in your allergies/sinuses areas. Not a thing. Also, not only is nothing wrong with your hearing, it's exceptional. It's in the top 5% of hearing abilities."

Have I mentioned before that doctors have told Russ he has "fighter pilot vision"? No lie. We're the freakin' Incredibles! Only with smaller hips.

So, what does that mean for my hearing loss vs. supersonic hearing? My husband apparently needs speech therapy for all the mumbling. (just kidding, honey, you're amazing. and hot. oh, look, baseball's on tv!)

And the doctor *might* have said I have too much going on in my head and can't focus long enough on one thing to process all that I'm hearing. Too much going on? Whatever do you mean? (hammerdrop)

So, coming this June? A less busy-minded me. Any ideas on how to make that happen would be spectacular. You don't have to write it, just think it and I'll hear you.

p.s. if you're still reading...I also went to the dentist and they solved my teeth problem but not before the assistant poking around in my gums with a sharp metal object says, "Does that hurt?" really? Do you hear yourself, woman?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ginormous bits of my weekend, vol 10b

Make sure you saw 10a to see the first part of the weekend! Before you roll your eyes about (oh, the pictures!) I posted from this weekend, know that I fought for you. I fought my way through over 1000 photos and narrowed it down. Feel loved, cherished and honored in my lengthy posts.

This weekend was not only Russ' CD release party (This Moment by Fundamental Elements, not available on their website, amazon, and iTunes until Tuesdayish!) but it was also E-man's 4th birthday. We had a bigger gathering (albeit spontaneous) last year and have taken the 'every other year will just be Eliot +1' idea.

So, Saturday morning we picked up E's friend A. Here's the rundown of the following 5 hours of what I like to call Transportation Blitz 2010 : Starbucks, KW firehouse, Metrolink, Spiderman tattoos (What? he's his own transportation) lunch, Transportation museum, and ending with Lightening McQueen cupcakes (You win, Disney, you win. I caved.) Did I mention it rained all morning? No worries, it was a couple of 4 yr old boys, they love a good rainy field trip.

The picture of success...

I stole another idea from Whittaker Woman for birthdays. We bought Eliot a few things, hung string (or crepe paper if that's all you could find) starting from his room to those few presents so that he has to follow the string to find his gifts. He was when he woke up from his nap and walked out of his room into this web. As you can see, he got over it.

Birthday dinner was at our fav local restaurant, Amigo Joes, with the Amundsons!

Bloggees, meet Luis. He's one of E's best friends. They love each other. It's adorable.

We've spent SOOOO much time making sure E doesn't get into puddles (rain much, st. louis?) that Russ thought we should just let him embrace it.

The final moment of the birthday weekend! So far, being four is pretty awesome.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ginormous bits of my weekend, vol 10a

Edition: It's all about the boys!

There is no 'bits' when you have a big weekend like we did. Oh my gravy! (You totally should have won, cowboys!).

For those of you who are unaware, the Mr. is a rockstar. Like a real one. If you don't have his music already, head to iTunes or to check them out. They're legit, I promise. Friday night was his STL CD release party. There was an amazing turnout for an amazing show! We had a blast and I'm 7 kinds of tired today but it was worth it.

We *might* have started the day with pancake CDs... (Before you think I'm 900% amazing, realize I totally stole the idea from Whittaker Woman!)

Fundies Undies! (the support system for the Fundamental elements...) sans one member with a newborn (missed you Jess!) and one member TBD.

(shout out KM)