Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We got PA!!

We got US Preapproval (PA) today!! On to PGN!
This is Maria, Maya's little sister. I haven't posted her picture yet because it makes me nervous to do so. The adoption isn't final until her birthmother signs off one last time after we exit PGN (which we hope will only take the average 8 weeks to complete). But I'm very excited about getting PA! One step closer....

Isn't she a cutie? Everyone says she looks like Maya, but I don't see any resemblance at all. Other than they are both drop dead gorgeous, of course! :-)

I am worried about the current status of US adoptions in Guatemala right now. The atmosphere seems to be deteriorating daily with regards to anti-American sentiment. Rumors abound about the reasons behind American's adopting from Guatemala, plus the Hague treaty issues, plus the push by UNICEF to keep Guatemalan babies in Guatemala, regardless of their government's inability to care for these children. Yes, I think adoption processes could be greatly improved in Guatemala, and yes, I think there should be more controls over the lawyer's roles in adoptions, and yes, I think the government should do far more to assist the 75% of their population wayyy below poverty level. But dammit, NOT at the expense of the children who will die or suffer malnutrition or abuse because their gov't does not assume responsibility for them!! So, with all the current hullabaloo, I think it would be best if Maya stays home. I will NOT endanger her life, even for the opportunity to get to know her little sister before facing the big crowd at home. Hopefully things will improve after their elections in September, but if not, Maya will have to stay with Gran. I hope she understands one day.

Rant over, for the moment. I don't want to hijack my own thread with negativity. PA takes an average of 60 days now (up from 30 days when we adopted Maya), and today was either day 60 or 61 for us. An adoption forum that I joined had a bunch of people announcing PA today, and I was feeling quite left out. So I checked email one more time (have been checking daily for a couple of weeks now) and there it was! I'm so excited. I still have hopes of bringing Maria home this year, hopefully late November or December, so we can combine my 6 weeks of maternity leave with holiday leave. Otherwise I won't have any leave time at all over the holidays and will have more LWOP time. But, of course, I would fly to get her tomorrow if they would let me!

Oh, and E has 'officially' agreed on Maria B- (his mother's maiden name) for her name! I'm excited about that too! Maya's middle name is my maiden name, so I loved the idea of using a grandmother's maiden name for Maria's middle name. Her first name is for my mother (one of her many middle names), so it was only fair to use something from her other grandmother, aka "Gran".

I have really got to get started on Maya's big girl room so we can modify the nursery for Maria. Maybe this weekend .... I think this announcement is a great incentive for me to get started!

I'm soooo happy!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Don't know what to call this one. Just general ramblings of an old lady, who is sick of bringing work home from the office, from missing lunch because of work, and who can no longer retire in 10 short years because she left the state retirement system to work closer to home, but doesn't seem to be home much more than when she commuted 3 hours a day. Sigh. I really don't hate my job, but I'm just annoyed at all the computer problems we've had at work, which really slows down the productivity, so I end up working longer and harder but not getting as much accomplished. So here I sit at 11:10 p.m., updating the blog because now my HOME laptop keeps kicking me out of excel. Sigh again. I guess it's not in the cards for me to actually finish the Medicaid reimbursement analysis I started oh-so-long-ago. I would eat something, but I ate a whole bag of almond m&ms already today. Not good for the old diet, huh?

Speaking of un-named, Eric agreed to my favorite choice for Maria's name! But again, we must remember that E will change his mind at the drop of a hat, no matter what he has committed to in the past. So we'll see if it lasts. He has agreed to it 2 other times, but changed his mind. We had sort of agreed on Anna Maria, but that just seems so bland compared to Maya's unique name ... Maya R-(my maiden name). Paired with our really common last name, poor Maria would probably be one of 100 of them in our state alone. So, I suggested again the Maria B-(Eric's mother's maiden name), which I really love and which his mother seems to love also. He mentioned tonight that he was ok with it. Don't know what changed his mind this time, but we'll see how long it lasts. I wouldn't rush out and get anything monogrammed with MBL on it just yet.

Let me see if I can find some cute pictures of Maya to post. bwahahahaha! I can ALWAYS find cute pictures of Maya to post!

Guess who figured out her tricycle/scooter thing?! Her feet still don't reach the pedals, but she learned how to 'walk' it up the small hill then lift her feet and just ride! She laughed and laughed and laughed. I just love that little grin she gets when she figures something out. Needless to say, this will require even more "outside" time than before. She sooo loves the outdoors, and I'm happy that she prefers that over watching tv inside, but I am just not an outdoorsy gal myself. I think I'm allergic to outside. Five minutes near the grass and I'm sneezing. Or if it's too hot, I'll sneeze. But I'll brave it to be able to get pictures like this! I just love that little kid of mine. She makes days like today worth it all ......

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Her first "car date"!

Somehow I thought this would come much, much later in life, like when she's 20! But we were visiting friends last weekend and they have a 3 year old son. He's a real cutie, and he has one of those motorized jeeps. So he took Maya for a ride in their yard! It was the cutest thing EVER! Ok, so his mom actually had to run over and turn the steering wheel for him whenever he needed to turn, but he was pushing the pedal all by himself. They would be heading across the lawn and I would just watch them go, and Maya would yell "bye, mommy, bye!" And I imagined that same scene picturing her as a teenager. Oy! My heart ached, and she's only TWO!

But it was adorable enough for me to post the picture against my 'no other children' rule. Oh well, I might as well toss that rule ... I'm not sticking to it very well.

Oh, and this picture is a recreation of the actual event. The little boy really was driving Maya around, and she was just as happy as can be in the passenger seat. I mentioned "I wish we had taken pictures of that" several times, and so his dad finally got his camera and we went back outside. But this time Maya jumped in the driver's seat. I just can't get over how cute these kids were!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Birthday parties galore!

Hmmm, what to do, what to do? Work on the spreadsheet I brought home from work, or update the blog? Work, or blog? hehehehe.... not much of a decision huh?

My problem comes, though, in trying to select pictures to post. I try not to include other children in my pictures here, as I wouldn't want someone posting Maya's pictures without me knowing it, but it's kind of hard to find a picture at a child's birthday party without other children in it! I'll have to break my own rule and post this one anyway.... this captures my baby's personality to a 'T'!

Yes, she does that backward fall into the pool all the time. And she usually precedes it with a "Watch! Mommy! Watch!" She's absolutely fearless when it comes to water. Which terrifies me with the big swimming pool right outside. Eric is supposed to get a lock for the pool gate, as she does know how to open doors now. And we have GOT to get her signed up for swimming lessons ASAP!

She also loves to face the water and sort of dive into the little pool face first. Either way, she always comes up laughing and smiling. The first time she did both stunts, she just about gave her old mom a heart attack!

Two years old. Have I mentioned she's TWO YEARS OLD now? I know I'm being repetitive when I say I just can't believe it. But truly, I can't believe it! I look at her now and see a young girl emerging. She has all but lost the baby-Maya look. Occasionally we'll see the open mouth, wide-eyed stare we knew and loved so well in all her pre-placement pictures. And oh, the memories that come rushing back. I'll just say that 2 years have never gone by that fast before in my entire 42 years. Wait ... I take it back. The first 9 months of those 2 years positively dragged and I thought I would die from the anticipation ... all we had were pictures of her those first 9 months. It was the moment we held her that time seemed to incrementally speed up, at approximately 10:15 a.m. on May 1, 2006, in the lobby of the Marriott hotel in Guatemala City. Whoever coined the phrase "time flies when you're having fun!" certainly knew what he was talking about!

Anyway, on to the birthday parties!

We had 13 people attend her birthday party at my parent's house on July 15th.
We had 31 people attend her birthday party at home on July 28th, and 21 people attended the party at home on July 29th. That little girl is very much loved by a lot of people! Only 3 people invited couldn't make it Saturday, and 17 couldn't make it Sunday (those 17 were only 2 families, however!) The parties at home were swimming parties, and we set up Maya's little shark pool beside the big pool. We had several children there around Maya's age, and they all seemed to enjoy both pools. But having the little pool was nice, so that they could get in and out as they pleased without an adult freaking out if they got near it (as we tend to do around the big pool). Both parties at home were 2:30 - 4:30, but of course family and friends hung out until close to (some even after) 6:00. Some people brought gifts, of course, even though I added "no gifts" to the invitations. I certainly understand wanting to bring presents, but honestly, her toy-cup overrunneth! Now mommy has to do a major clean out of toys this coming weekend. It's such a difficult thing to balance .. you want them to have it all, but not be greedy or selfish. You want them to always be happy, but to be humble. You want them to enjoy childhood, but not be a brat. You want them to be healthy, but to enjoy cake and ice cream and cookies and ... well, you get the idea.

All of her parties were "Nemo"-themed. I don't understand the facination with fish, but she's hooked! (pun intended...) My best toy-investments ever were 1) her $15 Target clearance-priced orange cat-chair, which she dearly loves and kisses so much that it's little nose and mouth are constantly brown instead of off-white; and 2) her $15 Belk cheap-plastic fish screen (shaped like a plasma tv, but quite simplistic) that she loves to turn on in the mornings. We count "1-2-3!", and then she yells "Wake up, fishies!" And then, as if by magic (or a very good mommy), the light comes on and the fishies start 'swimming' across the screen. I can't tell you the wondrous joy I get from watching her little face light up from those two items. She has other favorite toys, of course, like the meowing cat that Auntie Lisa gave her, and her teddy bear that she wakes up to each morning in her crib, and any bag that has ever been given to her. She loves bags. And her newest birthday gifts, of which her favorite seem to be the fold-out Dora couch, the little veterinary shop with the 6 doors that lock and unlock with color-coded keys (given to her by a coworker of mine), and the little pet shop parlor with the tiny hair dryer that really makes noise (given to her by a friend of mine and her 3 girls, who watch Maya on Tuesdays and Thursdays).

I could go on and on ... and I think I did! But I have enjoyed seeing my daughter have such a wonderful time with her very large, loving family and her friends. And I look forward to the day when we can finally bring her little sister home. These kids are my life now, and I wouldn't trade it for all the riches in the world. Being a part of their lives is something I will treasure for as long as I live, and I hope they come to know that one day.