Thursday, January 24, 2008

The littlest Sozio

We just got new pictures today of our sweet Ella. She's in one of the Christmas outfits we sent down to her in December. She looks like she is starting to sit up all by herself! I can't believe how old she already...the last time I saw her she was just 4 weeks old and TINY. I'm so ready to go get her and bring her home! I can very happily say that she will be home exactly 2 weeks from today! I'm so so excited about my pick up trip and finally getting to hold our little beauty and also about getting to spend a few days in Guatemala which is a country that has become very close to my heart. BUT, I'm already dreading leaving Dawson, Daeton, and Emmy. I actually cried when I booked the plane trip thinking about leaving them. I have such a hard time going anywhere for very long when the boys and Emmy aren't with me, so pray that mommy can focus on the complete EXCITEMENT of the trip. I know that once I get past the initial goodbyes and plane ride down there, and once this little angel is in my arms, I'll be okay. I'll still be missing my kiddos like CRAZY and calling every hour on the hour (so watch out, Ernie, the phone is going to ring off the hook), but I know that I will be so elated and thrilled to get to spend some one-on-one time loving on and bonding with my Miss Ella. Isn't she cute?!?


Saturday, January 19, 2008

My little Star and a Note on Dateline.....

Hey all! I wanted to post today for two reasons. One, I wanted to tell everyone about Dawson's basketball game. He's been practicing like crazy for weeks now and he is so in love with this game. Today his team had a game and my child was amazing! It's nearing the end of the season and he's had games since the beginning of December, but something turned on in him today! All of a sudden, my child can dribble the ball down the court really well, gets rebound after rebound, hustles though CROWDS of defenders to catch loose balls, and made TWO baskets! He was a TOTAL star! I wish so much that I had taken my camera to the game so I could post pictures. But I'll be sure to take some next week. I am SO SO proud of him!

Secondly, I want to address an issue that I feel like I need to say something about. Tomorrow night on Dateline, you will see a show about adoption from Guatemala. I want to say that although I do not know exactly what will be shown, I am confident the picture painted will not be a pretty one. So, before you question things or before any of you think about Emmy and Ella and wonder, please hear what I have to say. First of all, the media is going to portray what attracts viewers. They will not give both sides to the story. They want to sell their show. So prepare yourself. What you will see is probably true (and it needs to be seen as the story that will air will show an instance where the greater good was done), but it is NOT going to be the whole picture. I will say that the process of adoption in Guatemala is changing. In fact, currently you CANNOT start a new adoption in Guatemala. As of January 1st, new laws have come into play and children can no longer, for the time being, be adopted by families in the United States. I will say that I DO believe that the adoption process needed to be changed somewhat in Guatemala (and it has been to some extent within the last year....more safegaurds such as a 2nd DNA test have been implemented). There was a need for that. I will say that their WAS some corruption and their was a need for more ACCOUNTABILITY within the system (if you want the details of what the system entailed to my understanding and how I feel that it should have been changed, feel free to email me and ask). I will also say that I'm sure that their was a percentage of birthmothers who had babies for the sole purpose of putting them up for adoption in hopes of a monetary return. And, I'm sure that their is also a percentage of birthmothers who had children stolen from them for the purpose of adoption...in the upcoming episode of Dateline, you will see a situation like this. Guatemala is a poor, poor nation. Money is a motivator in such a nation, and when people need to put food on a table in an already poor and violent counntry, a child seems reasonable payment to some of them. Did I know all of these things going into Emmy's adoption? No. Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. In the blink of an eye. In a nanosecond. Why? Because despite the harsh reality of these situations, there is another reality that some, those who are blinded by the above mentioned situations, fail to see. I will say again, Guatemala is a poor, poor nation. BUT, the above mentioned situations are only a percentage, I don't know what it is, I don't know if it has been formally figured out. Most women in Guatemala who give birth to a child are no different than you or I, but they are poor and many uneducated. They love that child, and want to give them the best life possible. But for many, life with their birthmothers would mean going hungry, working on the streets when they are old enough to walk, and no oppurtunity at an education. That's not the case for all, but for many. Giving thier child a life with chances to be whatever their children can be, with food, with a warm home and a coat and shoes with no holes is the best thing that many of these women can do. On a very personal note, my Emmy was born to a barely 20 year old girl. This girl works as a housekeeper making about 100 dollars per month. She lives where she works. She can't read or write. She has parents who would not support her when she got pregnant. The boy who was the father had been seeing Emmy's birthmom since she was 15. When he found out she was pregnant, he disappeared. Emmy's birthmother loved her child. She wanted this child to have something more than she give her on 100 dollars a month. She wanted Emmy to have life and a chance to live it. I'm forever thankful to her and blessed by her and humbled at her desicion. I don't know Ella's complete story yet, but I will when I go to pick her up. I will say with FULL CONFIDENCE that my girls were adopted ethically and legally. Their life here, as a Sozio, was meant to be. It was and is God's design. The agency I adopted my girls through is a WONDERFUL CHRISTIAN agency who LOVES JESUS and who CARES about children...not just in Guatemala, but all over the world. I searched through MANY MANY agencies and even switched from one before I settled. The attorney that completed Emmy's and Ella's adoption is a wonderful man. I had the joy of meeting him on our pick up trip with Emmy. He is compassionate and caring and he has a heart for these children and what he is doing. Do all agencies and attornies operate this way? NO. Are their some out there who try to complete or take unsuspecting parents for a ride through a unethical and illegal journey? YES. I've seen it happen. Should the process in Guatemala change? Absolutely, Yes. The sad part is, through the changing, adoptions have now stopped. In a poor country where adoption should be an option, it won't be. I was told by my facilitator in Guatemala and that most Guatemalans do not want to adopt the children in their country. Adoption isn't really a workable option as it is in many other countries such as the US. And, if they do want to adopt, they want fair-skinned, blue-eyed children. However, most of the children put up for adoption are indigineous to the country. They have dark hair, dark eyes, and usually an olive-colored complexion. If the people of GT don't want these children, people from the US can't adoption these children, and the birthmothers can't keep them.....what's to happen? Guatemala has no social service system set up to feed poor families and their children as we do here. There aren't public orphanages where all of these babies can be kept. There are private orphanages, but they won't be able to hold all of the children. What's to happen? How many Emmy's will never have a family to love and hold them? How many Ella's will go to sleep at night on a hard street with a hungry belly? It's honetsly too much for me to even comprehend. I'm going to wrap all this up...I didn't mean to write this much. But this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. This is a country that will forever hold a place in my family. Please, if you watch Dateline, please do so with an open mind and a soft heart. Remember, there is so much more to the story that what you are seeing.

Friday, January 18, 2008

We've been ePINK'd!

We recieved our ePink notice yesterday afternoon! Ella's visa appointment is on Feb.5th at 7:15 am. I can pick up her visa on Feb.6th and she will be home with her brothers and sister on Thursday, Feb.7th! We are SO excited that our littlest angel is coming home and all of our children will finally be under ONE roof!!! Yipee! Thank you all for your prayers and support! This has been an amazing journey! Now...off to make some travel plans!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

EMMY IS WALKING!

Emmy took her very first steps yesterday afternoon! We are SO EXCITED as I thought it would be awhile yet before she decided to walk all by herself. She's been cruising and standing for awhile, but always acts scared when she has to move her feet. But, yesterday afternoon, I let go and she just walked right to me! I am SO PROUD of her! Of course, we have been walking all day to everything...to her cup, to her toys, to her cracker, to mommy, etc....she probably thinks mommy is NUTS as I stand a few feet away from her whenever she wants something and get SO EXCITED when she walks right on up to me. But, she does it with a smile and acts like she's just queen of the world now! I'll try to post a video of her on here soon! But for now, I just wanted to share our news!

Monday, January 14, 2008

DNA is At the Lab!!!

Yet ANOTHER UPDATE: DNA arrived at USE today at 4:06 pm. Nope, I didn't stalk Fedex ALL day..nope, sure didn't, not me, I wouldn't do that......HA! Hey, ePINK...here we come!!!!

UPDATE: DNA was sent to the lab yesterday and is scheduled to arrive at the embassy in GT before 6:00pm TODAY!!! Which means, after today, we begin the wait for our ePINK! Yipee! I'll keep you all posted!

Apparently Ella's DNA test was, in fact, taken early last week. Her sample got to the lab on Friday! Just got word today that the lab should have it ready by tomorrow and be overnighting to the embassy tomorrow evening....which means that USE should recieve the results on Wednesday and match our test to our file and we should have ePINK a few days after that!!! OMG, folks....Ella will be home in just a few short weeks!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

An Update for Mel

Okay, Mel told me I needed to update my blog....so just for her, here are some pics...it's the best update I can come up with as there's not a whole lot of new stuff going on around here right now. We had a low key weekend hanging out around the house. We went to Pizza Hut (YUMMO) Saturday after Dawson's basketball game for dinner with my whole family (Mimi, Papa, Uncle Than, and Great Grandpa)! We don't do it often enough and it was lots of fun having dinner with all of them! Emmy is very very close to taking steps on her own.....that's our BIGGEST news of the moment. But still not there quite yet. We're hoping for big news on Ella this week! I'll keep you all posted!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Our Orange Weekend.....

We had a lazy weekend here at home. Here are some shots from around the house this weekend:










In ELLA News:
We found out Friday that Miss Ella has recieved authorization for 2nd DNA or as we in the adoption world like to call it....we got ORANGE! Yea!!! Ella now has to have her DNA test scheduled to make sure that she is the same baby that we started with (LOL she is, but this is a precaution that the US has in place for all GT adoptions). The test should be done at the beginning of this week sometime. I will be informed when exactly when my agency finds out. My agency coordinator said on friday that she expects it to be about 2 weeks until we get ePINK (or emailed the date of our embassy appt.). We are SO CLOSE to getting our sweetie pie home and we are so very excited!!!!