Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some more misc. pictures,

Annie in her "cage." Check out her cool hair do!

Maddie wrking hard on that apple.

Dirty faced Gideon.

Our pretty "big" girl again.


We've been home 1 week (kind of).

Well, today marks 1 week that we've been home with sweet Gideon. All in all he is doing well. He struggles a little to go to sleep and he gets pretty whiney at times, but those are minor issues in the grand scheme of things. He also seems to be attaching pretty well to me. He prefers me over anyone else, but he goes pretty easily to Ryan, Leah, Logan and Rick. He seems to like men. It is so funny because if someone comes up to him he will shake his head "no" if he doesn't want to go to them. Even if they are just talking to them. He will also shake his head "yes" appropriately. For some reason Gideon and Annie do the same head shake. They both will get a really serious look on their face and their eyes get real big and they shake their heads "yes." For some reason it cracks me up!

Gideon seems to be pretty healthy. He eats well and drinks like 3 or 4 bottles of formula a day. He only has 7 front teeth so he is unable to eat some of the things the girls can. When I am feeding them I have to cut things into 3 sizes for each of the little ones. Gideon has his big appointment with Dr. Staat next Wednasday, so we will find out more when all those tests come back. Poor Annie, she is going to go back to Cincy with us and she has to get more blood drawn. They couldn't milk enough from the poor girl the first time. We also have to look into getting her started on her TB meds.

In general things are great, even though I am kind of exhausted. I have been struggling with some bug since we came home and I think it is kind wearing me out. Also, we went camping last weekend. Crazy? Yes, but lots of fun and we had a beautiful weekend. I do feel though that we are just now getting to relax and settle into a routine.

Here are some pictures:

A cute picture of sweet Maddie.

Leah, looking so old (and beautiful)!

Ok, Annie seriously looks way too old in this picture!

Ok, this is like our 4th attempt at a good family picture..... Oh well.

Annie listening to daddy's I phone on the plane

Maddie taking a little snooze on the way home!

Mommy and Gideon.

All the kids in their OSU shirts!

Logie and Gideon wrestling at the airport in Guatemala.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

We are home!

We flew into Columbus about 1/2 hour early yesterday, arriving around 5:00. The flights were pretty good. The first leg was great because the flirght was only about 1/2 full and we had our pick of seats. The second leg was packed, but we had the bulkhead seats and that was helpful. My mom and niece and brother met us at the airport. When then went to a local restaurant to eat and met my aunt and uncle, my grandma and some cousins. It was great to see everyone! We were all pretty tired though and about 1/2 way through the dinner the 3 little ones started breaking down. It had just been a long day.

The ride home was miserable. We only had the two car seats in because I originally thought I would just hold Gideon on the way home. Well, I was feeling increasingly worse all day and I didn't want to sit in the back where I knew I'd get car sick. Oh and to add here, Ryan was/is sick also. We both have some sort of yucky cold and just plain exhaustion. So anyways, I put Gideon and Annie in a car seat and Maddie in the back with just a regular seat belt. She did fine staying put, but she literally cried and called for me the whole 45 min. ride home. It was sooo frustrating, but she had just reached her max. And then we heard from Leah and Logan about 20 times "mom, can you make Maddie be quiet, we are trying to watch a movie." (Gesh, if I could "make" a child be quiet I think I'd be a millionaire right now). Gideon fell asleep in his car seat pretty quickly and Annie just sat there in some sort of exhaustion coma. About 1/3 of the way home Gideon threw up all over the place. It was a total mess. He doesn't have a fever or anything anymore, I just think his little belly had too much for the day. A lot of new foods and he even got some whole milk instead of formula. So I striped him down to his diaper and sat in between the two bucket seats with him. Of course I got car sick and the smell of throw up did not help any. I was so glad to get home, as I am sure everyone was.

Sleep wise everyone did great. I can't remember the last time I was that tired. Fortunately the kids slept great. Maddie woke up about 7:15 and Gideon and Annie slept until about 8:00. All three of the little ones are running around munching on a highly nutritous pop tart. I am going to work on my mountains of laundry. We also need to pick up our dog and Leah and Logan has piano. I should probably fit the grocery in here somewhere also. If will be a busy day I am sure.

I will post some pictures as soon as we get some transferred.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Big Day yesterday!

Yesterday was a pretty big day for everyone. We decided to go to the Pacaya Volcano. It was probably the scariest and coolest things I have ever done. The actual volcano is about an hour from Guatemala City. I was really looking forward to seeing a real volcano, lava and all.

We had decided previously to take the horses up the mountain. The walk seemed a little too long and brutal for all the kids. Well, let's just say the horses, in my opinion were more brutal. God love those poor animals. We weren't just trucking up a nice wide trail at a steady incline. Oh my goodness, I seriously feared for our lives at times. Ok, maybe that is a little overdramatic, but it was pretty scary. I was worried about all 5 of the kids and mama and papa (who was sweet enough to lug Annie on his back the whole time). We are talking very rugged terrain and very steep inclines. Lots of mud, lava rocks and grooves in the mountain that were just wide enough for the horses hooves. It was crazy. But, the incredible view was 100%worth it. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen! I am so glad we went and now we all have an experience we will never forget.

I have to add, I was so very proud of everyone yesterday. This was Debbie and Logan's first horse riding experience and they did amazing! If they can ride up a steep volcano, I would venture to say they can ride anywhere! Oh and Gideon LOVED riding the horse. Almost so much that I wonder if he had done it before. He didn't even ride in a carrier. He just sat with Ryan like a big boy!

We also got to see some more of Guatemala on our way to the volcano. Including the city the Annie was born in. We went through some local "towns" also. It was there that we saw the people of Guatemala in their more natural setting. It was very touching and sad. It was what you probably envision when we say 3rd world country.

We pick up Gideon's visa today around 4:00. And, our flight leaves tomorrow around 6:25. I am ready to come home.

A couple prayers requests if you will: Gideon has been fighting a fever (it was 102.2 last night). We seems to be doing ok while on Tylenol, but I just pray it doesn't progress to something worse and he feels better soon. Maddie is 100% again, so at least we don't have two sick babies. Also, I am not feeling great. Nothing horrible, but certainly not great. So prayers for overall health and safety would be great!


Pictures (sorry they are out of order)

Annie and Rick on their horse.

Logan and his guide at the top.


Ummm, I don't think we should be poking the lava.....

This little guy's name is Alan and he was soooo cute! He lead Ryan's horse.

This is a market across the street where we've bought a lot of goodies to bring home.

Leah on the trail.

Maddie and I on the trail.

Volcano information.

3 of our guides. They were really super guys. Oscar if on the left and he led Deb and I's horse. He was super nice and never once did he snickers at us for being such rookies. He helped us on and off the horses, and even carried our backpack. Which is probably going to stay in Guatemala now. Lets just say Oscar left his mark on it. The guy on the far right was sweet also. He carried Gideon for me for a little bit while we were walking down to the lava. And then there's little Alan again.

More lava.

This was our supermarket we went to.

A good picture of papa and 3 of his munchkins.

The volcano and how it looks from Rick and Deb's room.

Ok, so this isn't the best picture, but you get the idea. Gideon loved the water and Annie cried if I wasn't holding her. Which is crazy because she loves the water at home now.

Deb and I and the 3 little ones waiting for everyone to get back from the lava.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Ok, this picture is for Aunt Esther. It's the 3 little bambinos sporting thier Cedarville Tee's. She actually bought the light blue and pink onee a couple years ago and I had the dark blue one left over from when I went there.

We didn't get to go to the volcano today. I guess is was too rainy. It is funny because it is a beautiful day here in the city, but you can see the volcano from Rick and Deb's room and it is indeed cloudy and rainy. **Sigh** maybe tomorrow?

Instead we walked down to the local "Subway" and ate and then to the mall. It was a nice walk, until the 3 littles started breaking down. It was nothing 3 suckers couldn't handle. They were a sticky mess by the time we got home, but they were happy. They are all sleeping right now. After that we plan on taking all 5 of the kids down to the pool. That should be interesting.......


Another update and pictures.....

Boy, I like having Ryan's laptop and internet in our room! It is great to be able to get on-line from here and not have to go over to the baby lounge like we did last time.

Well, yesterday was the embassy. It went fine, although we encountered a snag. We thought Gideon would be able to come home on an IR-3 visa because Ryan is here visiting. Annie came home on an IR-4 visa because Ryan did not visit her. The difference between the two is whether they are a cictizen or permanent resident when they hit US soil. If they are only a permament resident (which Annie is) they have to be readopted in the states. I really don't understand it all because I think they have to be readopted regardless of the visa. I know Ohio recognizes the kids as our legal children (including all the benefits of that, like insurance), the law requires that, but I just don't understand all the in's and out's yet.

So, anyways, back to the Embassy. We get up to the final window and we didn't have enough documents because of the visa thing. I guess Gideon's adoption was finalized in early September and Ryan would of had to of visited before that. Luckily we got the extra papers we needed from the Embassy and Ryan was able to come back to the hotel to print off the tax return we also needed. We got all that done and back to our window before they closed at noon. So, all in all it is fine, but a bit of a pain.

Yesterday we went to a nice little Italian place to celebrate. They had really yummy food!!
We had a really good time and the place was pretty accomodating for our large group.
It rained all day yesterday. It is the rainy season here, so you expect some rain in the afternoons, but all day isn't really normal. Needless to say, our walk to and from lunch was wet. It wasn't a downpour, but steady. We had the kids covered the best we could. Annie and Maddie were in their strollers and I had Gideon in the carrier. We are all walking along and this local man comes up beside me and shares his umbrella with us. He walked a block or so with us, partially out of his way, until we got under the awning of a hotel. He didn't speak any English, but he just smiled and was so kind. It really warmed my heart!

So, here's a picture of Ryan, Gideon and I right after we got back from the Embassy.

Well, I have to go. We are going to see a volcano soon and I have to get the kiddos ready!

I will post more later today because I have a special picture for Aunt Esther!


Friday, October 12, 2007

And we have "mommy"

Just a little note, Gideon appropriately said "mommy" this morning. I think he's said it before, but there was no doubt this morning. Ryan had him in the shower with him and he cried and reached for me saying "mommy, mommy" the whole time. It was quite pitiful, but very heartwarming for me!

Also, he seems to be adjusting more. He is sleeping a little better and just has a more calm disposition, although he still has his moments!

Well, it's off to the US Embassy for us!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tons of Pictures

This picture was taken shortly after the foster family left. Take note of the blankie that Logan picked out for him.

This was taken day 2 with Gideon.

The girls with daddy on the way to Antigua.

At the Guatemala airport.

At a local coffee roaster, on our way to Antigua.

A beautiful view of Antigua!

One of the many beautiful churches in Antigua.

On of the locals working on a table runner. They did an incredible job!

Gideon fell alseep on Leah.

Ok, this cannot be comfortable!

A local vendor at the Artisian market. He was a really nice guy, not as pushing as the hundred other vendors that "give a really good price, special for us."

Leah got all dressed up by "Carolina." She owned this shop. This is the same place as the picture of the local woman making the table ruuner. This shop was kind of special. It is pretty well known in the area and has won lots of awards.

Some snuggle time. Ok, do they get any sweeter than this??
Gideon was happy to finally be able to run around a little at the artisian market.

He looks like such a big boy in this picture. Man, I love this kid!!

At the zoo today.

That's all folks! The Embassy is tomorrow!!

Things are going well

Hello everyone, things are going pretty well. Today we went to the zoo and the Artisian Market. The zoo was nicer than I expected it to be and the kids seemed to enjoy it. The Artisian market was nice also. We went there on our last trip, so I knew what to expect. We also ate at the local steak house there and that was really yummy!

Gideon is doing pretty well. He's not always the happy go lucky baby I know he wants to be, but that will come I'm sure. He is just really tempermental. Sometimes he is totally fine and sometimes he is just really whiney. Poor little guy. I am just cutting him tons of slack and loving on him as much as I can! He really is such a sweetheart. Oh and his sleeping leaves little to be desired, but at least when he wakes up he doesn't stay up. I tell you though, Maddie has gotten up at least once a night and Annie is getting up 3 to 4 times. So with Gideon, sleep is somewhat minimal, but nothing I can't handle.

Ryan is hoping to get some pictures loaded today so I will post some when I get the chance.

Tomorrow we go to the Embassy and the only other thing we have planned is a trip to a local volcano.

See ya!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Just a quickie..

Gideon is sitting on my lap right now. He is being pretty fussy right now. Antigua was great, but it was a pretty long day with all 5 of the kids. They did well but they just got very tired and bored by the end of the day. I am glad we went though and if it weren't for fussy kiddos I would have loved to stay longer.

One thing I just really like about Guatemala (which I think this is kind of a Central America thing) is the park like areas that everyone gathers to. I mean we are downtown Guatemala City and there's a large sitting area and fountain just a block from here. And people actually gather there just to hang out. Antigua was the same way. I just think that is really nice, but I guess that is the social bug coming out in me.

There are a couple random things I'd like to note. Another thing about the foster family that I thought was cool was that when they brought Gideon here they brought all the things I had sent for him the last 10 months. They had also filled up the two disposible camaras we had left. I never expected to get things back and I did!

The second random thing is that I met a couple here that both graduated from Cedarville University. I couldn't believe. They seem like a great couple. They are adopting a little girl Gideon's age and they have two older girls Leah and Logan's age. They are here for an extended period of time, so I have a feeling we will hook up some!

Well, that is it for now. I hope Gideon sleeps as well tonight as he did last night. He is just so whiney right now. I mean I totally understand the poor little guy has been through a lot, but it is just tough to not be able to make him better. Please pray for him as he transitions. I think he wants to be happy. Sometimes he plays like nothing is going on, but lately, well, I think he is just a sad little guy.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Intermission over....

Ok, I'm back.

So, after we talked about his name Ilse asked if there was anything the foster family would like to say to us. Gideon's foster mom said that she felt that our family was a blessing from God. She also said that she has a million things going through her mind, but she couldn't get out what she wanted to say. I felt the same way. She held my hand part of the time and it was just very precious to me.

We gave them some gifts and they were very appreciative.

All in all the hand off was amazingly sad and exciting all at the same time. We are so blessed to have had this particular foster family. I really cannot say enough nice things about them!

Goodbye for now!


Our Family is finally all together!!!

I am teary eyed as I even type that title!

Around 10:15 we got a call from Ilse, our facilitator. She was in the lobby waiting for Gideon and he wasn't there yet. So, Ryan I went down and waited with her. About 10:45 she called our attorney and apparently there was a miscommunication and they thought the meeting was to be at 11:00. So, we waited and about 11:15 I saw Jorge (Gideon's foster brother) walk through the lobby. I guess they went to the baby lounge because that is where we met last time.

So up the elevator we went and when we arrived, Gideon was sleeping in his foster mom's arms. We hugged immediately. Gideon's foster mom has such a sweet sense about her.

We went into the baby lounge and small talked quite a bit. We talked again about what Gideon's schedule is, what he likes to eat, etc. He has 7 teeth (4 on top, 3 on bottom) and no molars yet. He sleeps in their room with them and I assured her that we plan to do the same thing when he gets home, at least initially. After looking through some paperwork, we took the party upstairs for them to meet the clan.

Still Gideon slept.

We introduced everyone to the whole family. The kids were great. Both Ilse and the foster mom were so impressed with how well behaved they all were and how they weren't jealous. I think the foster mom was a little concerned with how Gideon would be received. She was pretty impressed I think. After a little while Gideon woke up. He was a little scared at first, but he warmed up to all the kids quite quickly. Before long he was playing and smiling just like I remembered him doing.

We took lots of pictures and videos. The foster mom said lots of sweet things about our family. I am glad because I wanted her to feel comfortable with us. I really believe she did. She was so concerned for Gideon. She didn't want him to see her cry. Even when she left she didn't want him to be distressed and she snuck out. She didn't even kiss him goodbye because she didn't want to disturb him.

They asked us what we were going to name him and I told her. She asked why we didn't tell them sooner because they would have called him that. I felt really silly for not sharing sooner, but I was afraid they might be offended. I should have known better. Gideon has always been their TOP priority. They would have done whatever was best for him. I told them we got his name from the bible and they wanted to hear the story, so I told them. Through that I found out that Ilse is a Christian and the foster family is Catholic. She seemed happy that we knew of the bible.


I have to go, but I will write more later!


Sunday, October 7, 2007

We are Here!!!

Hey everyone! Well we made it here without a hitch. Everything went pretty smooth, even the flights. The only bad thing is that we can't get Gideon today. :( They called about 2:15 and said something about him not having his embassy medical done yet and they needed to get that done first. So he will be here tomorrow at 10:00 am. So, not the end of the world, but a bummer none the less. I was totally geared up to get him today! So, tomorrow it will be I guess.

Our rooms are excellent. We have a bi-level suite that is twice the size of our last room. Man, we just have so much space compared to last time!

Well, I just wanted to check in. Maddie and I are here in the baby lounge while everyone rests a little before we go to the grocery and dinner.

Keep praying and I will keep updating!!!


Friday, October 5, 2007

And away we go......

Well, we leave tomorrow for Columbus. Our flight leaves first thing Sunday morning.

I am so so so excited!! I have been packing a little bit all week, but today was super busy. I thought I had everything in with some room to spare, but then I went upstairs and realized I hadn't packed anything of Leah's. *Sigh* I had set all her stuff out already it just never made it to the suitcases. So now they are crammed. There's a lot of them also. Unfortunately.

I am feeling pretty good though about all I have done. Pretty much all the packing is done. We aren't leaving until tomorrow afternoon, so we will have a little time to pull a few last minute things together.

I would really appreciate your prayers! I am a little nervous about traveling with all the kids. Don't get me wrong, I am super excited everyone is going, but it will be a little tough. Also, I am pretty nervous about the "hand off." Gideon's poor foster family will be very sad to see him go.

Well, I am sure I will blog some while we are there. So until then....


Monday, October 1, 2007

Some pictures in honor of our pick up trip!

In honor of our upcoming pick up trip I thought I'd post some photos of Gideon from our last trip.

I crack up every time I see this picture of Gideon. Oh my goodness, he can have the funniest smiles!

One of the few times he was in the stroller!

With a buddy at the Marriott. Her mama was so sweet and was on the same flight home with us!

I don't think he found the humor in the bow.......

Just being his adorable self!

Gideon with my good friend Jen that traveled with me!

Just another cute one of Gideon playing in the baby lounge.

Soon, I will be with him again! They are suppose to bring him to our hotel around 2:00 on Sunday afternoon!