Saturday, February 16, 2008

Reason to Celebrate

Emeline knows how to celebrate!!!!!!!

Emeline having some fun at meal time.

Who me??? What??? I didn't do anything...

Well, I might as well eat some.

Guatemala Sunset--look at that Volcano. This is the view from our room.

This was Emeline taking a nap on her first Valentine's Day.

We have reason to celebrate! We are praising the Lord that our visa appointment at the US Embassy here in Guatemala City went very smoothly. Many thanks to all of you who have been praying for our appointment. We were at the Embassy around 7 am and left around 10 am with no problems. We should be able to pick up the Visa on Tuesday afternoon and will be flying out on Wednesday afternoon. We will arrive in Louisiana late Wednesday night.

We are really enjoying all this time just to get to know Emeline. The three of us are having some real quality bonding time. She has our undivided attention—and she likes it! Emeline is adjusting very well. She is a very outgoing baby and smiles at everyone. She is a real charmer.

We were able to spend some time yesterday with some co-workers who have been doing what they do for over 35 years here in Guatemala. It was such a treat just to be with them and here about some of what has and is going on here and how God is at work in Guatemala. We will be going to church with them on Sunday as well. We will be spending tomorrow with Emeline’s foster family. Please pray that is a good time and that she is not upset when we leave their house. Please pray for them as they say goodbye to Emeline at this time.

Again, we can’t wait to get home--to the US and to Germany—and introduce you all to our daughter!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We have her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have her—and I can’t wait to bring her home to meet everyone. She was brought to us by her foster family late Monday afternoon. It was very emotional for us all when they left the hotel. Even her little foster brother who is 9 was crying as he kissed her goodbye. She is one loved little girl. I had always joked about her sleeping through the first time she was brought to us when she was just 11 weeks old. She slept through it all and woke up with us and just smiled and smiled. I was always saying she wouldn’t sleep through it this time. Well, she did fall asleep before the foster family left, but then when she woke up this time she was not smiling! We had a rough first night as she cried for almost 3 hours straight. However, at some point in the middle of the night when she woke up, she started just looking us over. Then, by Tuesday, the second day, she was much better. She still had her moments, but was giving us some smiles and playing with us. I also must confess that at least at this point she is clearly a daddy’s girl. She wants Chris to hold her all the time.

We also took the entire foster family including one cousin and an aunt out to dinner last night. This was such a special time as we were able to celebrate Emeline’s birthday all together. Karina, Emeline’s foster mom, also gave us a gorgeous pink blanket that she made by hand for Emeline. Emeline was going from person to person eating off their plates and drinking their drinks. I was also able to ask some more questions about things that Emeline likes and dislikes. I was very nervous that Emeline would be upset after we left, but she went right to sleep when we got back to the hotel. We will be visiting the foster family in their home on Saturday as well.

Now about Emeline…she is very social. She waves at people even when they are not waving at her. She just started walking...the foster family says she had started walking 4 days earlier, but she just takes a couple of steps. She especially loves children and other babies. She also loves to dance, and according to her foster sister likes to dance to High School Musical Music. She just starts dancing when she hears music. She also loves Barney (yikes!) . She is a very good eater. Her diet consists mostly of beans, bananas and eggs for breakfast and dinner. She eats whatever you eat for lunch in baby size bites. She also still takes a bottle with vitamin enriched milk several times a day and during the night. She NEVER likes to be alone. She loves baths and to swim. She also sleeps with us and likes to try to take over the entire bed. She also has 2 baby dolls that she will periodically rock, pat and kiss. This is so sweet. Oh, and she can roll a ball back and forth. She also says the names of her foster sisters. She likes her shoes—but not to wear them. She prefers to use them as a chew toy. She is very sweet and gives hugs and if you are very, very fortunate you might get a kiss.

Lastly, our big US Embassy appointment is early Friday morning, so please keep us in your prayers. We look forward to seeing many of you soon!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Hello everyone. We are in the New Orleans International Airport waiting to get on a flight to Charlotte, NC and then on to Guatemala City, Guatemala. We are due to arrive at around 3pm and will be meeting Emeline in our hotel lobby at 5pm. Please keep us all in your prayers—especially sweet Emeline as she gets to know us.

We have been in the US over the weekend visiting my family in Louisiana. This was our first time home in 2 years as we have not been home since leaving for Germany. Right after we got off the plane we went to eat at Chilis with my entire family…I was practically drinking the salsa. Then, my nephews beat us home and shot off fireworks as we came down the driveway. The next 2 days involved much eating and many visits to Walmart and Target. I was in awe of the cereal aisle at Walmart. I also managed to eat at Taco Bell and have lots of nestle chocolate chip cookies and Blue Bell ice cream in the past few days. Oh, and Chris was able to help Devin “build a fort.” The boys spent the night with my parents and us on Saturday night. I also got to visit with my grandmothers and one of my best childhood friends and her family. So, lots of memories, food and fun were packed into a very short time.

In just a few hours we will be with Emeline!!!! Now, we are off to Guatemala!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Emeline's Room

These are pictures of Emeline's room. At first, I thought I would go all pink for Emeline. However, after I meeting my daughter I decided she was more of a yellow kind of girl. I chose bright colors after being inspired by our time in Guatemala. I have displayed some of the items we bought for Emeline in Guatemala in her room and plan to collect more items from Guatemala when we are there next week. I can't wait to show Emeline her room!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Guatemala Bound!!!!!!!!!!!

(These are the absolute latest pics of Emeline from 2/2/07 when she was 11 months 3 weeks old. The next pictures you will see of Emeline will be of all of us together in Guatemala!!!)

We have our PINK slip—that means we are cleared to travel to Guatemala to be with Emeline!!! We got this news very late last night, and I was happily up until 4 am getting plane tickets to the US and Guatemala. We will arrive in Guatemala on Monday, just in time to celebrate Emeline’s first birthday on Tuesday, February 12th. Our visa appointment is at 7:15 am on Friday, February 15th. If all goes well we will be able to pick up Emeline’s visa that allows her to enter the US on Tuesday, February 19th. Normally, you can pick your visa up the next day, but we have a weekend and a holiday in between. I will also have my birthday on the Saturday we are in Guatemala—oh, and there’s also Valentine’s Day. Chris better get busy preparing for a busy week pampering his 2 special ladies!!!

Now, we are packing and finishing up baby proofing our apartment. It doesn’t seem real!!! Please pray with us that we have a very smooth and trouble free visa appointment. Please also pray for Emeline as she transitions to having us as her parents. (I think we will be a little bit more excited to see her than she will be to see us!)

Keep checking the blog, because I plan to post pictures of Emeline’s room in the next couple of days. We will also be posting from Guatemala. So, stay tuned…it’s going to get good!!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Adoption Poem

The above pictures are our newest of our Emeline...she is 11 1/2 months old. I found this poem on the Internet a while back, and it really touched me. I am so blessed to be Emeline's mommy. I hope you enjoy the poem.

Adoption Poem

As a girl I had a common dream, to be a mom someday.

My baby would have eyes of blue and hair the hue of hay.

But now my dreams have been transformed. New visions fill my head.

Now the tresses that I long to stroke are raven black instead.

And in my dreams those eyes are not so big or blue or round.

Now in my dreams they're almond shaped and colored cocoa brown.

And in my dreams my arms can stretch across enormous seas.

They reach halfway around the world and hold you close to me.

As you grow in your mother's womb, carefully knit together,

you're also growing in my heart, where you will stay forever.

And in my dreams the moment that your mother says good-bye,

I'll be right there to comfort you and hold you as you cry.

Our features may not look alike; we're different as can be.

But still I know that the Father has created you for me.

And though I've not yet seen your face, or held your tiny hands,

And though we're half a world apart in very different lands,

I'll be right there to get you just as soon as God allows.

But 'til He says the time is right I give you to this vow...I'll pray for your protection every day on bended knee.

For God to hold you in His arms, until you're here with me.

Written by: Gayle Leubecker