The greatest experience, the one which shakes a soul with hopes and fears, the results of which are never ending, and incidentally, the one which pays the biggest dividends, is to be found in the adoption of children.
--Anonymous

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Reservations Are Made...

Maria and I finally have our airline tickets purchased for our August trip to Guatemala. We'll be in Guatemala at 11:00 on the 10th. The hearing is supposed to start at noon, but from everything I've heard up to now, punctuality is not a priority in these court proceedings and they can go on for hours and hours. We probably won't hear any update until the following day. Maria is not looking forward to traveling without Daddy, (me either really) but I told her we'll have a good time and we won't be gone for long. We're flying out on Monday and returning on Thursday. She's already planning what she and Daddy will do when we get back. The first thing on her list is going to "Donald's". That's McDonald's for you and me but for Maria, it's just "Donald's". You have to spend some time with Maria to get comfy with her speech. She's come a long way in the last couple of years but still has a long way to go.

I feel like a bundle of nerves when I think about the hearing. I'm sure the closer we get to August 10th the worse I'll be. I have a good feeling about the outcome, but still, I'm very, very nervous.
Here's Maria stylin' in her huipil we brought home for her from our last trip. She's not real crazy about the skirt since it doesn't twirl when she spins around but she did wear it to church last Sunday when we did our orphanage presentation. She actually lost her skirt during children's church but it didn't bother her much. She's used to running around half naked anyway. There has to be some kind of trick the mothers in Guatemala use to keep traditional clothing on active little girls.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Aw, I'm sure missin' this sweet little face.......

After returning home from Guatemala, I decided to make some changes to my blog. I've removed any mention of the name of the orphanage where Nola is staying. In an effort to protect her and the progress of the case, I've also removed the link to the fund raising site. I hated to have to do that but I don't want to take any chances. I know the orphanage director would not have let us in, if she knew our connection with Nola. I couldn't take a chance of someone with authority googling "the name of the orphanage" and pulling up our blog. For now I will walk on the safe side.

We were all so blessed on our trip. It was truly a life changing event. God's hands were most definitely surrounding every aspect of the trip. It could not have been more perfect! We all left with a sincere desire to do everything we can to help all of the children housed in the Orphanage. We have already started making plans for next year. We spoke with the director about taking the children to the zoo and she loved the idea! We're talking about tie-dying little shirts so the kids are easily recognizable, taking a deep breath.................and going for it! I think we'll have a blast. We even got a quote for renting our own "chicken bus". We're thinking about going the end of July or the first of August next summer.

Between now and then, we're going to work on getting bumper pads made for the baby beds. The director said they could really use them. The beds are small, similar to portacribs. I would imagine toddlers who move around a lot when they sleep would probably bonk their heads easily since there is little wiggle room. We also hope to provide some twin size sheets for the special needs children area. They're also in need of some pack-n-plays. They currently only have one and would like to have more for the children who have seizures.

I will be returning to Guatemala for Nola's court hearing. It's scheduled for August 10th at noon. I'm praying the judge will release Nola to her foster mother and if so, I'll be able to have her with me while I'm visiting. It will be a quick trip with just Maria and me traveling.

I'm praying for good things to happen!!


One last picture. This is Mark consoling Nola after she was put in the time out chair.......................for biting! We're going to have our hands full when she comes home............but I can't wait!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

One Happy Momma!!!

First of all, I'm sorry for not posting sooner. We have had a wonderful time! And yes, the picture below is me with our sweet Nola! The orphanage director let us take all the pictures we wanted, so we took a bunch. Between Alison and me we probably have close to 300 pictures inside the hogar with children. Nola wasn't too happy to have momma holding her at first but very soon...........................................she was holding on and not letting go. What a wonderful feeling! She seems to be doing very well. The staff is doing the best they can for the children and it is evident the children are loved.
Our little one is quite the eater. All the kids are! They all sat at their little table and fed themselves spaghetti.............what a mess! While Nola was eating, the little girl beside her put her hand in Nola's bowl but not for long. Nola started shaking her head no and bonked the little girl on the head. She has obviously learned how to stand up for herself. When I saw that I was actually happy. Not happy that she hit the other little girl, but seeing she has a strong will and is able to stand up for herself already helped me to know she will be alright in the situation she's in.

I have so many pictures to post and so much to say about our trip so far. I'll post on the orphanage site tomorrow.
Please know that all of our prayers for this trip have been answered. It has been the most rewarding experience I think I've ever had. God is watching over us.
Gotta go for now but will post more soon.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Bags Are Packed........

.......and the van is crammed full! We leave tonight at midnight for Guatemala. We're driving to Chicago to fly out of O'Hare. We'll be in Guatemala tomorrow at 11:41 Guat time. We're going to hit the ground running. Tomorrow will be shopping day and Saturday and Sunday will be hogar days. We're all so excited about taking the donations to the hogar. I'm even more excited about the possibility of seeing Nola.
We'll keep you posted.
Pray for safe travel and a successful mission trip!

Gordon Mote - Don't Miss the Glory