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

Sunday, August 25, 2013

YES!! WE ARE HOME!!!!!............

And I'm sorry it has taken me so long to post!  We arrived home on the 10th and life has certainly been busy........challenging........and full!  We thought we were prepared for this but I have come to the conclusion that nothing prepares you for life with a 5 year old who has lived in an orphanage and is basically a stranger.  Nola is a survivor and I'm so glad to say that.  Because of her survival skills, she has learned to do for herself when many times no one else would.  Now, to plop that little strong willed girl into the middle of a fully functioning family was almost more than she could deal with at first.  We've had lots of tears and several screaming fits but every day seems to be getting better.  She's learning more about us and we're learning more about her and I know together we're slowly starting to meld together.  Her fears have been enormous as well as her anger and her frustration but in two weeks time she has come a long way in her trust in us and her comfort level in being in a new strange place. 
She was terrified of the dog when she first came home but he is now her new best friend!  He happens to be enjoying some quiet time right now laying beside me on the floor while Mark is outside with the girls in the pool.
I am exhausted every night when I fall into bed but I'm beginning to feel more confident in my ability to love her through her fears and her challenging tests of my love.  I pray every night for patience and I know those prayers are answered.  She's home!!  God knew from the start that she was our daughter and she's here with us now where she belongs.   She is an absolute ball of fire when it comes to energy.  She has a smile that will melt your heart and a laugh that is contagious!  She loves to sing and she really loves to dance and bath time is generally her favorite time of the day.  She has a baby doll that she cares for like a little mommy and she loves taking pictures of anything and everything! 
She is home!!  There are times when I look at her and I still can't believe it but it's true!  Thank God, she's home!!
Nola with her baby Lulu!
 
Bath time........all smiles!
  
 
So sorry the pool days are soon coming to an end because we dearly love them!
 
The top photo is my brother Jay's home coming gift for us.  The best things in life truly are worth waiting for!! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

We're Coming Home At Last!

Well, I have neglected to post a few important updates.  We received Nola's new birth certificate just the following day after submitting to RENAP.  That was record time!  And now......we are in Guatemala!  We arrived Wednesday August 7 and hit the ground running.  Our lawyer wasn't able to get the passport because there was a problem in one of the documents.  Mark's middle name and last name were inverted so they wouldn't issue the passport to the lawyer.  We had to do it in person but only after we went to the hogar and picked up Nola and had a very short Good Bye time with all of the staff and kids.  After getting the passport, off we ran to the Dr's office to have her final medical exam.  Nola was a bit worried about getting shots but she did fantastic!  The Dr did us a favor by scheduling her TB  test reading for first thing this morning (a little early).  Yesterday, we went at 9:00 to submit our I-600 supporting docs to the Embassy and begged for a visa appointment for this morning.  The gentleman who received the docs was afraid he wouldn't be able to review the documents in time for an appointment today but indeed he did.  We went to the Dr's office at 7:45 this morning for the nurse to check the TB test and then off to the Embassy.  We now are waiting for our 11:00 appointment to pick up the visa!!!  Still not believing it's real!  We will be going home tomorrow morning with our little Nola at last!  Praise the Lord!  Thanks to all who have prayed for us over the years and especially these last few days.  Honestly, it was nothing short of a miracle that we were able to get everything completed and in the correct order in these 3 days. 

Gordon Mote - Don't Miss the Glory