Friday, March 28, 2008

Once again we have been told the same thing....

Since we arrived back home from Guatemala we have been waiting to hear about our case with the anticipation that everything has yet again been corrected and our case was re-submitted to PGN. Well once again we have been told the same thing "your case has not been re-submitted to PGN but Julio hopes to re-submit your case next week". While this is hard news to get we have to admit we are used to this answer and we are not surprised. The past few months we have been waiting for our case to be re-submitted and keep getting told "next week". We really want to see our case move forward so that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and have an idea when Madison will be home. In the post below I posted a devotion about delays God allows and sometimes we don't understand. As hard as it is, we have to accept these delays and continue to trust that everything will work out. Adoptive families often will compare the road of adoption to pregnancy; well I can tell you that both are difficult and completely different experiences. The big difference is that with pregnancy you know that there is an end in about 9 months. Yes the pregnancy may end sooner but for the most part it only last 9 months. With adoption you never know when the end will come. We now have been in the adoption process for over 11 months and don't have any idea when the process will be finalized. Each day we read through blogs about other families who are out of PGN and are getting things ready for their children to come home. We are very excited for them and wish them all the best and praise God that they are finishing up their adoption journeys. We have met some wonderful families through this and they deserve their children home just as much as we do.
While we wait for our case to move forward we are busy trying to get ready for Jacob. It is hard to believe that in about a month we will have a little baby boy at home. I am still amazed at how God has blessed us with this pregnancy.
We ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers. Please pray that our adoption case will move forward, the pregnancy will continue to go smoothly, and Wayne and I will continue to trust in God that everything will work out in his time.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sometimes an email can mean more than you think...

Wayne and I admit that we have struggled off and on about our case not moving forward and that sometimes it is really hard to trust that God is hearing our prayers. I receive encouragement devotions everyday by email and today's really hit home for both of us. We know God is listening and he hears our prayers. We just have to realize that the way we want him to answer our prayers are not always the way he answers them but that he does answer them.
Please keep praying for us and our case.

March 27, 2008

Dealing with Unresolved Disappointment
By Glynnis Whitwer

"'Take away the stone.' He said. 'But Lord,' said Martha, the sister of the dead man, 'by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.'"
John 11:39 (NIV)

Mary and Martha's brother, Lazarus, was sick. Really sick. In fact, they were sure he was close to death. So they called for the one man they knew could heal Lazarus. That was their friend Jesus.

Messengers found Jesus about a day's journey from the sisters' home in Bethany. But when Jesus got the message about Lazarus, He didn't pack up and leave immediately. In fact, Jesus stayed put ... for two more days.

It wasn't that Jesus didn't care. He did. Jesus didn't lose track of the time either. No, the Bible tells us that Jesus intentionally delayed going to help saying "... it is for God's glory, so that God's son may be glorified through it" (John 11:4 NIV). Jesus had a plan, but Mary and Martha didn't know that. All they knew was their brother had died and Jesus didn't come in time.

The sisters were clearly disappointed in Jesus' lack of response. In fact, they both told Him so. Martha chided Jesus first, then Mary fell at Jesus' feet and echoed her sister's words, "Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died."

Jesus knew their pain. He felt it too. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus wept with them. Together the group of mourners made their way to the tomb, and when they arrived, Jesus made an unusual request -- that the stone in front of the opening be removed.

The sisters were shocked. Why would Jesus make this request? Didn't He realize how bad the body would smell? Martha even told Jesus so, perhaps to "remind" Him that her brother had been dead for four long days.

Mary and Martha were devastated. Not only had their brother died, but they knew Jesus could have changed the outcome of their brother's illness. In their minds, Jesus abandoned them in their time of greatest need. The sisters were grieving the loss of their brother, but I wonder if they were grieving because Jesus hadn't done what they asked. In fact, they were so sad and discouraged, when Jesus made a move to help, they wanted to leave the stone in front of the tomb.

Have you ever been disappointed with God's apparent lack of response? I have. It's disheartening when you know God could immediately change the outcome of your circumstances, but He seems absent. So there you sit, in the pain, grief and fear while God delays.

Martha even seems to have given up and accepted her grief and disappointment. She was ready to live with the "fact" that Jesus didn't care enough to heal Lazarus.

However that "fact" couldn't have been further from the truth. As the sisters gave in and moved the stone, Jesus showed them just how much He loved them. In a loud voice Jesus called, "Lazarus, come out!"

Jaws dropped, hearts pounded, wails turned to screams of joy as a formerly dead man walked out of the tomb ... very much alive. Jesus had never ignored their cry for help. He didn't disregard their pain. He hadn't abandoned them. He had a plan that included a delay.

Sometimes God's plans for us might include a delay. As we wait, may we learn from this story to not give up, to not accept grief as our lot in life and to expect God to turn our mourning into joy. Remember, He's coming right on time.

Dear Lord, please forgive me for all the times I have given up on You, and believed You have abandoned me to suffer. Help me to trust that You have a plan to bring about my healing, and bring joy back to my life, even though it may not look like what I had asked for. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

We're back home

We made it back home last night really late but did have an uneventful trip so that was good. Yesterday was a hard day. Having to give Madison back to her foster family was really hard and not something we wanted to do. It helps to know how much her foster family loves her and how much she loves them but we still believe she needs to be home with us. Wayne and I pray that she is home within the next several months.
We only had a few hours to spend with her yesterday but thankfully those few hours were great and she was in a great mood.
We did come back home a little dissapointed and upset because we were supposed to meet with our attorney's assistant but he never showed up. The foster mother received a call from him about 12:15 (15 mins after he was supposed to be there). He told her that he wanted the foster family to go ahead and leave because he wanted to talk to us without them around and that he would be there to meet us in 15 mins. They went ahead and said their goodbyes and left. We waited for almost an hour for the assistant to show up and he did not. We were to the point we could not wait any longer and had to leave to go catch our flight. We had several questions that we wanted answers to and had hoped to have them answered yesterday. We are now wondering when we will get our questions answered. Both Wayne and I feel that it is time for us to catch a break with our adoption case so that we can see it move forward again.
Please keep us, Madison, and our case in your prayers.

Here are a few pictures of our trip....

Madison in her Easter dress

Breakfast on our last morning

Wayne, Madison, and myself with the foster family

Friday, March 21, 2008

Madison's birthday

We started the day off yesterday pretty good after a rocky night of sleep. She woke up several times throughout the night. She was pretty busy all day long. We played in the baby lounge, played in the court yard area, and then took a nap to get ready for her birthday party. We had a few families show up to help us celebrate her birthday which was really nice. She had a great time eating her cake and opening a few presents. Then she played with some of the other kids.
Later that night we returned to the baby lounge to play some more. She absolutely loves the walker and will go as fast as she can across the room. Her favorite thing seems to be to grab a beach ball, throw it across the room and then run in the walker to go get it. Over all I think her first birthday was pretty good. The only thing that would have been better would have been if we had her home or at least knew we were in PGN.

Madison had several emails from family wishing her a happy birthday. We know that every single member of her family wishes they were able to celebrate with her and can't wait until she is home forever.

Her cousins Jordan and Landon sent her the birthday greeting below.

Here are a few pictures of the day.

This is a tired baby after a busy first birthday.

Happy Birthday Madison!!!

Today was Madison's first birthday. (though the blog will have dated it March 21 - it is still March 20 here)
She had a great day and we think she enjoyed every bit of it.

It is really late here and we are exhausted so I will post more later but here are a couple of pictures of her on her first birthday.

She is the most beautiful birthday girl ever!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today is our Anniversary

Three years ago, at our wedding, if you had told us that we would be in Guatemala on our third anniversary visiting our little girl we are adopting, we probably would have thought you had lost your mind. It just goes to show that you never know what God has planned for your life. This week has been a pretty rough week so far but there is not any place I would rather be right now than spending time with Madison. This entire process had been difficult but we both agree that in the long run it will be so worth it because she is such a wonderful little girl. Today when I was able to play with her for a short time without her wanting to go to Wayne, well that was all I needed for an anniversary present. Next year we will probably want to find a way to spend the evening of our anniversary without kids but this year we couldn't be happier to be spending it with a one year old. We just hope she doesn't scream all night. We also never would have believed that we would have 2 kids on the way after just 3 years of marriage but again you just never know what God has planned. We have been truly blessed to be able to adopt Madison and to have Jacob on the way. We are just putting on our seatbelts getting ready for the next year because it will be a busy one.

Today has been better!!!!!

Last night after a very long and hard day both physically and emotionally Madison finally began to smile. Around 7pm she decided that she was feeling good enough to play a little. She played in the baby lounge with some of the other children and laughed and giggled for the first time this week.
We even discovered that she likes grape soda. Evidently she has had it before because when I walked in the room with a can she reached for it and tried to take a drink. We gave her a little bit in a sippy cup and she loved it.

Here are a few pictures from last night

This morning we started out the morning with a dose of Tylenol and a walk to the pharmacy. We were able to buy some decongestant for her as well as some children's Motrin (which we have been told to alternate between that and the Tylenol for her pain). With a dose of the decongestant and her pain reliever she seems to be feeling better. She is not feeling good but better. At least she is not screaming constantly. Wayne and I were able to eat breakfast this morning without a baby screaming. Madison even had some eggs and cheese.
We spent much of the afternoon by the pool just enjoying the nice weather. I was able to sit at the table with Madison, while Wayne ran back up to the room, and she didn't even cry. I have to admit that made my day. We played for a good while around the table before trying to go for a swim, but the water was too cold (so much for a heated pool).
She is currently taking a nap and hopefully this evening will be another good evening.

Please keep praying that she gets better and that our adoption will start to go smoother so that she can come home before too long.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The beginning of day three and things have not improved

I wish I could say that things have really improved but so far they have not. Madison woke up about 5 this morning, had a bottle and then immediately started to scream. She will only let Wayne hold her and comfort her, which is extremely hard on me, but it is equally hard on him. We both know that with kids you will go through times like these but for most people those times are at their home and not in a hotel. We are trying to be mindful of the people in the rooms around us but there is only so much you can do to calm a sick screaming baby. Please keep us in your prayers and pray that Madison will start to feel better soon. We really want her to enjoy her time with us and to have some fun the rest of the week but if she is still feeling bad then that might not happen. We also don't want her to be sick on her First birthday which is on Thursday.

Long Awaited Pictures

Monday, March 17, 2008

Day 2 of the 2nd Visit

Well it is day two of our second visit with Madison and there has been no change from the first day!! We called the doctor because this morning when she woke up she had a fever and she keeps pulling at her ears. The doctor finally arrived around 2 pm just after we finally got her to sleep for a nap. Of course she did not like him checking her out and screamed and yelled during the whole time. The doctor wrote her a prescription for some ear drops and said that she would need to get two drops in each ear once a day for 7 days. This is easier said that done! I have to physically hold her down while Meredith tries to get the drops in her ears. The doctor also said for us to keep giving her Tylenol 1 dropper every 6 hours for 3 days only. Well since we brought the Tylenol with us we were able to read the label on it and the dose is every 4 hours which we are doing because of her constant fever. It is now 4 pm and we just finally got her back to sleep for a nap. It seemed that nothing works right now and the only one she wants to hold her is me(Wayne). Meredith did get a couple of pictures taken while she was asleep but haven't downloaded them to the computer yet because of having to deal with her. Will post them in a later post. On another note we finally met the other family today who is using our same adoption agency and whose daughter is a week younger than Madison. They seem to be really nice people.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The first day of our second visit

We arrived in Guatemala today about 1:45pm after a very long flight. The flight was actually only about 4 hours long but we were packed in like sardines. I think I only saw one empty seat on the entire plane and that was in first class. Evidently this week (Holy Week) is a huge deal in Guatemala. Evidently people from all over the world travel to Guatemala just for this week. Antigua has the world's largest celebration for Easter going on this entire week. Antigua is only about 30 minutes from Guatemala City and we found out that if you didn't book your hotel several months ago then you won't be going to Antigua. It is possible to travel for the day but only if you can find a tour bus to take because there will be absolutely no parking for any type of vehicle (including taxi's) We would love to travel there for a day but are just going to play it by ear and see how our week goes.
Once we arrived at the hotel Madison was already here. We walked in the hotel and immediately met the foster father and Madison. We were shocked to see that she is with her original foster family and found out that she was never moved. She was doing great until she realized that the foster family left her with us. She started to scream and some of the most awful screams you have ever heard from a baby. We did expect her to react and cry but those screams caught us off guard. I will admit that it broke my heart and I started to cry. She screamed for hours today and only seemed happy when we were in the "baby lounge" with other families. When we left to go back to our room she would scream again. Wayne also seemed to be the only one to be able to calm her down. I think she was able to tell I was upset which didn't help. She finally lost the battle of being tired and fell asleep about 8pm. We did get some smiles and babbling out of her today but are hoping for a much better day tomorrow.
As far as Jacob and I are concerned we are both doing fine. The flight was a little uncomfortable but we made it. I have to say that he did not like his sister's screaming at all and once she settled down he settled down and I was feeling better too.

Here is one of the only pictures we were able to take today. We hope to have more tomorrow.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


We ask that you all please keep praying earnestly for us and our adoption case. This not getting any information and not moving forward is extremely hard on Wayne and myself. We are reading about other families who started the process around the same time we did if not after and their cases are almost complete. We really are looking forward to visiting with Madison next week and know that being with her will help us with our stuggles but we still need your prayers to get our case moving. Jacob will be here before we know it and he needs his big sister home. She also needs to be in a permanent family and not a foster family.
We ask that you put our case on your prayer list and remember us with your daily prayers.
We look forward to updating you with good news very soon....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Update on Jacob....Still waiting for an update on Madison....

About Jacob...
Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment with the hopes of having an ultrasound
done so that we could "see" Jacob, but unfortunately that appointment was not
an ultrasound appointment. We did find out that his heart rate is still good
and he seems to be measuring right at 32 weeks which is perfect since today I
am 32 weeks along. It is hard to believe that it has been 32 weeks already. I
am still amazed at even being pregnant. We are also amazed that there have
been no complications since the "experts" all said that I would have a hard
time with pregnancy and there would be issues with the baby. Jacob is a true
miracle and we know that he will be a blessing to everyone.
We were also given the green light to travel to Guatemala next week without
anything to worry about. Just the precaution of being careful of what I eat
and drink while I am there.

About Madison...
We are still waiting (trying to wait patiently) for news that our case was
re-submitted to PGN. (Again this is a requirement for the case to more
forward) Last Friday we received an email that our case had not been
re-submitted yet but that the plan was to have it re-submitted this week.
While we welcome the news of the "plan" to have our case re-submitted we are
cautious about it at the same time. We have been told multiple times that our
case will be re-submitted "next week" but we have yet to reach the "next
week". This has been extremely hard on us, we are doing our best to trust in
God and his timing. We really wanted to have Madison home by her 1st birthday
but that is not going to happen. We are now wanting to have her home before
Jacob is born but I have to admit that I am not very sure that will happen
either. We both know that there is nothing we can do and that we just have to
Trust in God that everything will work out the way it is suppose to.
As for pictures of Madison we are still waiting but the wait will end in a
week. We have not had any new pictures of Madison since before Christmas.
Our cameras are already ready and we guarantee that there will not be a shortage
of pictures next week.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers and pray that the next post will
include the statement "we have been re-submitted to PGN".