Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our day in court

So, again, today was Flor's finalization of adoption. It went very smoothly. We (Chris, Flor, Daddy, and I) met my lawyer in front of the probate office and he told us that the judge was out for the afternoon. Luckily there was someone who could fill in for him in our hearing. She didn't tell me to raise my right hand, but I did swear to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God." Chris told me later I should have raised my hand, but she didn't tell me too and I thought about it, but before I could react I was in the middle of being sworn in, then it would've been obvious I had no idea what to do. But anyway, she asked me a series of questions and my lawyer asked me some more, including, "Were you asked to spend an accessive amount of money?", "Has anyone approached you, claiming to be related to her or wanting to adopt her?", and several other questions. I really started to feel hot, like I was in one of those police questioning rooms, where even if you did nothing wrong you were about to get in trouble for something. haha! The cutest thing that I will never forget is how the lady overseeing our hearing asked Flor how old she was. "Five.", "Are you in kindergarten?", "Not yet.",' "Are you excited about it?", "Do you want me to sing my ABC's?", "Of course I do!", "A,B,C,D...," And she proceeded to sing her ABC's very proudly. It was about the cutest thing I've ever seen. So, in about 1/2 an hour we were done and had our pictures taken and hopefully in a few months I'll have 3 new birth certificates for Flor. We celebrated with dinner at Chedder's. :) It was good day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

He is still faithful

I'm not sure if I wrote about it here, but on the way to Birmingham for Flor's surgery, my car broke down. It's been frustrating and stressful not having a car, having to rely on others even more to help out with getting Flor and taking me places, borrowing cars, vans, SUVs, trucks..., whatever you've got. I've gone some days without a car. Honestly, looking back, its always worked out. I've never been stuck in one place when I needed to be in another.

All the while, I am so blessed to have the best daddy in the world, who also just so happens to know a little bit about mechanics. So, for basically the same price, he's replacing the entire engine instead of just the transmission. I don't know what I'd do without him.

So, this week, someone asked me what God was teaching me through all of this. Uh, well.... besides patience?? (always)... I had no idea. So this got me thinking and I asked God what He wanted to show me. My answer has been humbling.

Back up a few months.

Recently I've been thinking about my move home from Guatemala. I know that it was meant for me to begin the adoption process. I moved home and out on my own again, got a "real" job, and began taking care of things myself. There is the problem right there. In Guatemala, it didn't matter how many bills I paid or what problem arose, I knew that God had moved his people to give and through them He provided my every need. Every single one. Well, now I just take care of things with the money I make from the jobs I go to 5 to 6 days a week, right? And when the end of the month comes and money is tight, I silently panic. But I make it work and get my next paycheck and the cycle repeats itself. I'm not kidding. This has been my life for the past several months. And maybe it's everyone's life. Maybe that's just how it works here.

So, when asked what God was showing me through all of this, I had to think about it. It hit me like a ton of bricks. His faithfulness. I've driven five different vehicles in 8 weeks and asked for favors to get from here to there more times than I can remember. He provided what I needed. I'm beginning to think that there was more than an answer to prayer in my car breaking down. (I prayed for safety, which apparently was not going to happen in my car!) If my car hadn't broken down, He wouldn't have been able to prove to me that He is still faithful.

Monday, February 15, 2010

"the" conversation

I'm having to write this down this second before I forget...

This conversation came a little sooner than I had hoped or expected, but God knows and is control of my little girl's heart, so I trust him to protect her.

Flor asked me tonight if she was in my tummy when she was a baby. I said no. (I should've known that wasn't the end) So of course, she wanted to know whose tummy she was in... I just told her that I didn't know her name, but that she was in Guatemala. I said that she had wanted another mommy to take care of her that would love her very much. Well, she misunderstood me and got the saddest look on her face. She said, "Mommy, I just want you to be my mommy!" I reassured her. She asked if Mama Shyrel and Papa Steve had her in their tummy. I said that the other lady could not take care of her and asked God to help her find a mommy that would love her THE MOST! So, she took her to Mama Shyrel and Papa Steve because they would be able to find the best mommy in the world for her that would love her the most. Then the part that just melts my heart... she said, "I know who it is... MOMMY, IT'S YOU!!!" Then she hugged me so tight and said, "Thank you for coming to get me in Guatemala."

Thank you God for understanding for a 5 year old's heart.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

This week (last year) in fotos... continued

Waiting to go home... but today was the day!!!

Finally home to all of our waiting family, plus this familiar face:

Friday, February 12, 2010

prayers needed

There have been 2 shootings in Huntsville in the past week. One at a middle school, where a 9th grader shot and killed another 9th grader... now a university professor has shot and killed three other professors and another is critically injured.

People need Jesus. Nothing is worth taking another person's life. It makes my heart sad. Please pray for the families and staff involved, for the students, for this city.

This week (last year) in fotos... continued

Today, last year, we went to say goodbye to friends at Amor del Nino. Here is Flor playing with her 2 very best friends that she still talks about all the time... Danny and Adriana.


Register here to win this really cool camera bag!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This week (last year) in fotos... continued

February 11th, last year, we were on our way to the US Embassy for our visa appointment...

What a crazy morning that was... God had his hands all over us that day!!
I can't believe how much she's grown in a year!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This week (last year) in fotos... continued

The second day of our trip last year was our day in Antigua. I definitely wanted Stephanie to see where used to live and you just can't be in Guatemala without having a trip to Antigua!!

... and lunch at Mono Loco... best quesadillas ever!
Then she dragged us all over some of the ruins near my old school.
but we were exhausted, so what better to cool us off than...
HELADO de McDonald's!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Gotcha Week!!!

This week I will post pics from each day of this week last year... I've never been sure which day to celebrate "Gotcha Day", so we're celebrating all week!! Last night we started the celebrations off right with a Krispy Kreme donut... and yes, the hot light was on!

This was our first moment together forever... priceless.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New old Flor pictures

I received an email tonight from a lady who knew Flor before she lived at Amor del Nino. She's sending me a disk of pictures and video of Flor from when she was a baby. She emailed me a preview:

How excited am I? I only have a handful of pictures of her from those years and I cherish them. They are my greatest treasure! I can't wait to see the rest!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

post surgery week

We walked into the hospital at 7:30am and Flor ran into the arms of her abuelo! She loves him so much!! She played with Stephanie for an hour and then they called us back. Once back in pre-op, she began to get a little nervous and started crying for her abuelo. The sweet nurse said that he could come back and so she sat in his lap and cried her little heart out. She kept telling me, "I'm trying to stop, moma." Bless her heart. I told her it was ok to cry sometimes and she just cried on my shoulder. Then God sent an angel named Atasha to come visit her. She brought in a puzzle and colors for Flor. She knew just what to say to her and made her feel better almost instantly. When it was time for us to say goodbye, we walked as far as we could and got our hugs and kisses. She walked back with Atasha like a little princess, even holding the corner of her gown up so it wouldn't drag the floor. That was 9:00am.
I heard from the nurse at 9:40am saying that Dr. Grant had just started surgery and that Flor had done great. They updated me every hour until Dr. Grant finally came out about 12:15pm. He said she had made him work harder than he expected, meaning there was lots of scar tissue to work through and he also found a hole behind the hard pallet that he got my permission to fix while she was already under. Daddy and I got to go back into recovery by 1 as we waited for a private room. She was knocked out the entire time.
When she did finally wake up, I got my kisses and she asked for Chris, who was on his way up with Jami and Stephanie. She did not complain of any pain whatsoever, she didn't even flinch when she noticed the "straw" in her hand. She slept on and off for most of the afternoon. Daddy, Jami, and Stephanie left before 3 to try and get home before the roads got bad since it was sleeting in Huntsville. Chris stayed with us in the hospital, but left by 5am to get to work by 9. That was nice since I was able to go to the cafeteria to eat and take a little break.
Flor ate a little dinner, but lost it all only an hour or so later. Zofran took care of the nausea after that. She was up and down all night going to the bathroom, or trying to at least. We didn't sleep much and waiting anxiously all morning for word on when we could go home. But the morning came and went. Flor got upset several times because she just wanted to go home. After barely eating her lunch, she napped for about 1 1/2 hours... no, I didn't eat all day! Finally, about 2:30pm, the nurse came in and told us we could go!

The drive home was uneventful besides a little nausea at first. She slept from Gardendale until we exited off of I-565 and we were welcomed by her aunts, Connie and Stephanie and their families. You wouldn't have guessed she had just had surgery because she was almost bouncing off the walls! But as soon as they left she became whiney and crashed! We slept for almost 11 hours that night!

Since the surgery, Flor has been doing extremely well compared to what I was expecting. She's still been very whiney and sensitive about everything, crying more than usual, and has a few minor personaloty changes, but I'm expecting that to get back to normal when she starts feeling better. She has only a few minor complaints a day about her mouth bothering her and she's having some trouble with constipation, but we're working through that.

All in all she is doing extremely well. Thank you all so much for your prayers!!