Friday, December 05, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Shopping Spree Heard 'Round the World

Here's my own little political joke:

Hot red leather jacket and other sophisticated, vogue outfits from Neiman Marcus: $75,063

Black suede stiletto boots and other sophisticated, vogue outfits from Saks Fifth Avenue: $49,426

Damage to Palin’s folksy, joe-schmoe image (not to mention the RNC’s, and McCain-Palin campaign’s image): PRICELESS

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Busy Life

I cannot believe I haven't posted in more than three months. On the other hand, I can. If you notice, my last post was in early July. I hadn't been back to work very long. Griffin hadn't started first grade yet. Summer coasted along reasonably well, although my life was considerably more hectic once I went back to work. But when school started the end of August... WHAM! I don't know why school makes for more busy, but it does. And Griffin started Cub Scouts. WHAM again! And we've been fighting a redistricting proposal that would move Griffin to a different school. Anyway, it has been busy, busy, busy. But, for updates. Griffin is doing fantastic in first grade. He is reading now and is a great speller. He does really well in math too. His obsession and love of science still rules the day. I bought him some Magic School Bus videos and he watches them over and over and over. He learned to ride a two-wheeler. We haven't ridden our bikes to school yet because he still struggles with the starts and stops, but soon we will. I got a bike seat for Izzie and so soon we'll all ride together to school. Speaking of Izzie, she is doing fabulously. I really can tell that she's blossoming and it's almost as if a little weight and sadness has been lifted from her body. Adjusting to a new life and new family hasn't been easy for her, even though she's always been a happy, sweet little girl. But now her spark really sparkles, her smiles are more spontaneous, and she just looks more content and comfortable among us, with us, in our home. She has a few words: done, hi, bye, duck, yes, and she tries to say other words. She carries on little conversations and carries her purse, cell phone and baby around all the time. I'll do my darndest to post again soon. There's lots to talk about.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fabuloso Fiesta!

My neighbors and I celebrated our Guatemalan babies this past weekend. We had a fiesta to honor Izzie's homecoming and F.'s 2nd birthday. F. came home from Guatemala about a year and a half ago. He is so adorable and I just know he and Izzie are going to be great friends. We invited lots of friends and neighbors to the fiesta, and I think everyone had so much fun. We also used the opportunity to raise money for our agency, which continues to support orphanages several places around the world, including Guatemala. These orphanages struggle, so contributions from people like us are so very critical. Now, I'll share a few photos from the FIESTA!

Oh, and Happy 4th of July!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

He Blinds Me With His Science

This morning, when I dropped Griffin off at Science camp, the camp instructor walked him to the door, saying: Let's skip there! Griffin enthusiastically began his "skip"... a half-run, half-walk with a little bounce of his body at the start of each step. In one hand, he was holding onto his rocket that he bought home from camp yesterday to finish decorating; in the other, his lunch bag containing a snack. His "almost skip" was the best thing I've seen in awhile. I want to sear it in my memory, to call upon it whenever I'm sad or overwhelmed or worried. It was so precious.

The morning started off with a little humor from my little scientist. Griffin: Mom, do you know what Gabby's (the pup) favorite vitamin is? Me: No. What? Griffin: A BITA-min.

Too funny. I'm sure that joke's been told somewhere sometime by somebody, but my amazing little guy had never heard it and thought it up all on his own, while finishing breakfast. I love him with all my heart.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

One Week

Okay, so it wasn't terrible being back at work. Our new nanny is great, and even though Izzie cries still as soon as she arrives, she's quickly over it since the nanny is so sweet to her and plays with her all the time. Griffin had a week of gymnastics camp -- which he LOVED! -- and next week is science camp, and then he gets full attention from the nanny in the afternoons too, so he has had a good time as well! I'm at home, so I get to see their sweet faces a lot, and I can get a kiss and hug any time too!
It's Saturday now, and it's a rainy, stormy morning so far. We need the rain, but geez, I wish it could have rained during the week instead of on my day off! To boot, Griffin started complaining of a headache last night, and now has a slight fever. He's asleep now, and Izzie's been napping for about 45 minutes. So, our Saturday will be an indoor one. And low-key. I hope to be able to run some errands this afternoon, as we are preparing for the big Welcome Home party next weekend for Izzie. My neighbors, who adopted a little boy from Guatemala a year and a half ago, and I are having a Fiesta! celebrating Izzie's homecoming and their little boy's second birthday. We've invited a bunch of folks from the neighborhood, plus other friends and family. We are going to have a taco bar, margaritas, and more! It'll be fun.
I better go before children awake. Here's a few fun photos from the last few weeks!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Work Looms

On June 16, I officially go back to work. Now, I know I shouldn't whine. I work for a great company and have a great boss who is very supportive... and most fantastic -- I work from home! And I'll have a nanny here, so Izzie will be here with me, albeit in the next room. Griffin, too, will be in and out (here and at various science, golf, swim, and vacation bible school camps). But oh have I enjoyed playing stay-at-home mommy for the last three months. I wish and wish and wish it could go on for a longer period of time. I wish I could win the lottery (guess I'd have to buy those little tickets!?!). I love the freedom and flexibility staying at home gives me. Laundry can get done, or it can wait because the beach or park beckons. Dinner can be a frozen pizza or something much more elaborate, and can be on the table by 5:30 so evenings can progress at a much more relaxed pace. Cups of coffee in the morning while Izzie happily plays with her toys, trips to the grocery store that are easy and whenever, walks in the neighborhood... and on and on. Sure it isn't perfect, but it is wonderful. Ah well, I am extremely blessed to have had these three months!!! Now, a few photos...

Bro and Sis

Dancing Queen

Sweet Sleep

Nina Bonita

Wotr Snacs aka Water Snakes

p.s. The snakes aren't real, but I did cave in to the boy's request for a Hermit Crab. Crabby, as the little fellow is affectionately called, moved in two days ago. So our family of four is now five: Mommy, Griffin, Izzie, Gabby, and Crabby.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Turning One

Happy Birthday Izzie! Our sweetness turned one on April 23 (sorry my post is so belated, she's now almost 13 months old!) Some of the milestones: she's taking her first steps, she gives kisses, she has about 13 teeth!, she has the start of a few words... hi/hey, leche.
She's fiercely independent, but prefers to be in the same room as others and not alone. She has a fiesty sense of humor. The other day, she reached into the dog's water bowl and I said "No No No Izzie." She stopped, then reached again but instead of putting her hand in the bowl she pulled it back, turned to me and grinned. Then, she did it again, as if to say... "tee hee hee mommy, look what I'm about to do. Ha ha! Just joking. Had you fooled, didn't I?"
She loves Griffin, who in turn loves her. He loves to make her laugh and giggle. He loves to play with her in the bath tub. And he loves to be the one that gets to teach her about things: "No No Izzie, don't pull the dog's tail. That will hurt the dog." or "No No Izzie, it is dangerous to climb up on the bed."
Griffin of course is also exhibiting typical brother behavior. He's declared a portion of the room they share together as 'his side,' in which Izzie is not allowed.
All in all, things are fabulous! Hectic, yes, but fabulous!
On a separate note, there are still many families waiting to complete their adoption processes and to bring their children home. The Guatemala system is hitting snag after snag. Please pray for everyone involved... that God will lift up the families and children as they endure this wait, that God will inspire the hearts of those running the show to put the children first and set aside their different political and idealogical agendas, and that God will change the hearts of those that have acted at best unethically and at worst criminally as they worked in adoptions.
I'll leave you with some super cuteness!

My first birthday cupcake tastes great and wears well!

Hosiery - More fun than a bag of toys!

Puppy Love!

A day at the beach.

Izzie's world-famous yoga pose: One-Arm Volcano Pose!

The most handsome mug at Wrightsville Beach!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Amazing Izzie

She is pure love.

I know it has been an eon since we reported we were going to Guatemala to bring Izzie home. I had every intention of getting her picture up and letting you all know all is well. It is. Beyond well. We are all adjusting and settling and falling in love. Griffin is such a super big brother. His favorite thing about Izzie: "She's a baby!" And what he likes about having a baby sister: "When she is happy, I can make her giggle."
Izzie giggles and smiles a lot! She is such a happy, sweet girl. I will write more and post more pictures, but here are a few. We are very busy, and having a blast!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Here Comes Mary Isabela!!!

We got the incredible news today... on March 11 we are to be at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala for sweet Izzie's Visa appointment. One day later, we'll have her U.S. Visa. We're flying to Guatemala City on March 9, and will return on March 16.
On March 16, 2008, Mary Isabela Bacheldor will become a U.S. citizen, and be with her forever family. We are so excited. Beyond words. I will write more in the next few days; plans about our trip, thoughts for Izzie's foster family and for her birthmother. And my promise to this sweet baby girl, my daughter.
For now I leave you with this photo: Mary Isabela's mommy and brother toasting her sweetness. We love you Izzie!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm Coming Home Soon!

More good news... the DNA sample was taken, and I expect that the lab will begin processing the test next week!!!! I'm hoping it only takes a week (the test can take anywhere from a few days to 10 days, from what I understand), and that the results are back in the hands of the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala by early in the week of Feb. 25. I also got new pictures today of sweet Izzie. She is the cutest ever, even when she is looking wistful and perhaps even a bit sad, as in this little picture. I still am pinching myself over and over that this wonderfully sweet-natured, beautiful baby girl is my daughter!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


More exciting news to report. As of now, I am officially, legally, wonderfully, and HAPPILY Mary Isabela's mommy!!!! I got a call from my agency last night and Izzie now has a modified birth certificate and Guatemalan passport with my last name on it. The final adoption decree has been issued. And the U.S. Embassy has authorized the final DNA test, a test that will compare Izzie's DNA with the sample that was taken when she was just a few months old. The sample (using a cotton swab on her cheek) will be taken by a U.S.-approved embassy doctor, likely by week's end. Then the sample will be sent to a U.S. lab for testing, and the results will be overnighted back to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala. From there, embassy officials review the results and then make an appointment for me and Izzie to be at the embassy, so she can receive her U.S. Visa to travel into the U.S.!!!! We really are on the home stretch. Hallelujah! We still won't know when we'll travel (until we get the e-mail from the U.S. Embassy telling us when our appointment is) but it could very well be the week of March 10!!!

Oh, and anaranjado is "orange" which is what is referred to for DNA Authorization. When we get our embassy appointment, that's rosado "pink."

It is really time to get all the last-minute stuff done on my list. Izzie will be home soon!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Did You Hear The Good News?

We're OUT!

Finally, after about 125 days, PGN put its stamp of approval on Izzie's adoption. Her family -- mommy, Griffin, Papa, Grams, Uncle Todd, and Gabby the Pup -- are overjoyed.

In about six to eight weeks (maybe a tad longer, maybe a tad less), we'll be traveling to Guatemala to bring our sweet Mary Isabela home!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

International adpotion according to...

John Stossel. And he's GOT IT RIGHT!

Okay, in full disclosure, I don't always ultimately agree with Mr. Stossel, but I generally do find myself impressed with the arguments he makes. He often offers up a compelling case on a variety of topics.

But here, with regards to international adoption and in particular, adoption in Guatemala, Mr. Stossel hit the proverbial nail on the head. Here are just a few pointed snippets from his op-ed:

... a UNICEF representative who huffed to The New York Times that adoption "has become a business instead of a social service."
Oh, yes, everyone loves "social service." But when adoption was a government-run social service in Guatemala, the results were disastrous.

and this:

Guatemala is one of the more corrupt nations in the world, 111th out of 179 countries, says Transparency International.
Even if the new bureaucracy isn't corrupt, there's little chance it will process adoptions as quickly as the brokers did because without profit, it has no incentive to move the kids through the cumbersome adoption process. When other countries have put adoption in government hands, adoptions slowed or stopped. Paraguay went from sending more than 400 kids to the U.S. in 1996 to sending zero in 2006.
That's a tragedy.

To read the op-ed in its entirety, go here.

Take that, Unicef!!!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Small Joys

I've said before that life with my dear sweet Griffin is what's shored up my fragile sanity during this adoption process. Here are just two small examples of how:

Last week, I suggested we go to Bowling Night, which was being sponsored at the local bowling alley by his school. Now Griffin has never been bowling in his life, but that didn't curb his enthusiasm. After numerous yelps of joy, my son hopped up and down in a circle, blowing kisses over and over and over. I asked, "What are you doing?" His response: "I'm kissing my life!"

Fast foward to today, when I picked him up from school. Here's a snippet of our conversation about our puppy, Gabby, the mixed-up black lab who we think has a lot of cocker spaniel in her blood.
Griffin: "Why doesn't Gabby look like us?"
Me: "Because she's a puppy and puppies don't look like people."
Griffin: "Why didn't God make puppies look like people?"
Me: "God made us all look different. That's what makes life interesting. Imagine if everyone and everything looked the same. Or there was only one color. What if everything was the same color? Wouldn't that be boring?"
Griffin: "Yeah. What if everything was black."
Me: "Yeah, that would be boring. And dark. Our house would be black, the grass would be black. The flowers, our car, the sky. Everything."
Griffin: "Yeah. That wouldn't be good. EVEN IF BLACK IS SO TRENDY."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Turning Blue

It is hard holding your breath for 3-plus months. But that is what I feel like I've been doing. Ever since I got to hold her sweetness and hear her laugh and snuggle up with her in October, I've been holding my breath, waiting to bring her home.

Of course, I do get the requisite breaths needed to sustain life, but honestly, I'm not really breathing...

So I'm tossing up a prayer that we'll soon get Izzie home. I want to hear that we've gotten PGN approval. Then I want to hear that the final decree has been issued, and that the birth certificate and new passport have been completed. Then, that the DNA test has been conducted and processed and then that the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala has received the results and given us a Visa appointment date. I would like that date to be in March, or sooner!!

I would like all this so I can breathe. And so that I can hold her sweetness again and forever.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The View of The Room

Maybe because I'm feeling more optimistic (and because some posters on an adoption thread started a discussion about what their babies' rooms look like), I thought I'd post a pic of my kids' room.

There's still work to be done, but it's nearly complete. We even hung a sweet chandelier in the alcove where Izzie's changing table/dresser is (you can't see it in this picture). And I still have some artwork to hang in there. But I really like it. It is cheerful -- a mish-mash of bright colors: hot pink, yellow, orange, red, sea blue, blue, lime green -- that I think mesh well together but give each child their own personal area.

They will be sharing a space for sleeping and keeping clothes in, but the playroom is upstairs. Of course, I suspect there will be many a night in which one or more of the kids will end up in my bed. Griffin still does on occasion, and sometimes for a treat on a weekend night he gets to fall asleep in my bed with me, as we watch HGTV. I do plan to co-sleep with Izzie if it helps with her attachment and adjustment. I co-slept with Griffin and am a big attachment parenting fan. There has been some good news from Guatemala... it looks like they are making progress on setting up this Central Authority. And I am still seeing cases being approved by PGN so I suppose they are doing some work. But there's still a lot of questions to be answered.

On a sad note, my dear friend lost her mother this week. I attended the funeral on Tuesday, and it was a lovely service for a lovely, beautiful woman. I am praying for the family, especially for my friend's father (he and his beloved wife were married for 60 years!), and for my friend who will miss her sweet mother so much.


Monday, January 07, 2008

In The New Year

It is 2008, and lots will happen. Izzie will come home, I truly believe. And I'm hoping sooner than later. Griffin turns six! Now that is amazing. My dear friend Amy will have her third child. We'll elect a new president! And so much more... It will be a very good year, I believe.
Izzie's file was resubmitted Dec. 20th, thank God. I found out the same time rumors were swirling that since the new law took effect (Dec. 31) PGN was no longer accepting new cases nor allowing current cases to be resubmitted after they were kicked out. There are plenty of questions remaining about the process of grandfathering, but apparently we are supposed to hear some news this week (more rumors, but I'm crossing my fingers!)
This has to be quick update, as I've got tons to do today. Izzie never leaves my thoughts, and this wait to bring her home is definitely taxing my emotions. But the sweet Griffin boy constantly rejuvenates me, as does the support of my amazing parents, brother, and friends.
Here's to 2008!