31 March 2008

home sweet home.

we made it home on friday. safely. stella didn't mind her carseat at all! i was totally shocked! the grandparents were here all weekend and are OF COURSE totally in love with stella already! stella and i are both SICK SICK SICK. we are both going to the dr tomorrow.

stella's first birthday is tomorrow. but we had a little party for her yesterday while the grandparents were still here. i have some AMAZING friends who took care of making cupcakes and organizing everything for us! THANK YOU MICHAEL & JESS!!!

and my Jilli has been here with us cleaning and doing dishes and keeping me SANE. i wouldn't have made it this weekend without you and there is NOONE else who could EVER take your place!!! stella will ALWAYS know and love her aunt jilli!!!

and i also have to say a HUGE thank you to uncle jason :) he has been here through all the tears and tough waiting and anxiousness. he is always here to do whatever we need and we LOVE LOVE LOVE you uncle jason :) he is also stella's paparazzi. he was CRAZY with the camera this weekend - which we LOVE :)

i have tons of photos to post from this past weekend. will try to do that tomorrow.

27 March 2008

Last Day.

today we went to antigua. we saw some of guatemala's beautiful countryside and were excited to get out of the hotel! we are exhausted! it's tough toting around a 25 pounder . . . especially when you haven't slowly worked up to it! stella was amazing all day, despite missing a nap AND lunch! we have some good photos from today, but have WAY too much to do for that tonight! we have LOTS of packing to do! TOMORROW we will be HOME :) we have enjoyed our time here and definately have plans on returning, but next trip we want to stay in antigua! it's such a quaint little town! our tour guide today was Victor (www.getaroundguatemala.blogspot.com). he was AWESOME. i highly recommend him. he does tours, errands, WHATEVER! he has very high knowledge of guatemalan culture too! we learned a TON from him! but HOME is all that is on our minds right now! we can NOT wait for our family (and when i say family, that means our close friends too - cause ya'll ARE family too!) to meet this girl! she is unbelievable in every way :) we LOVE you all!!!! we will see you TOMORROW!!!!

26 March 2008

today in photos.

our breakfast picnic.


poolside lunch.

ready for the pool.



mashed potato head.


we are having so much fun.
stella had a rough night on monday night. she screamed for 2 1/2 hours straight. she woke her self up coughing and that's what started it. luckily we have a very sweet adoptive mom right next door who heard her screaming and came to see if we needed anything. luckily, she had gone to the parmacy the day before to get cough syrup for her daughter who had the same cough and gave us some for the night. she FINALLY went back to sleep. despite the long night, she STILL woke up in a good mood! she was all smiles and ready to play. we had to rise at 530 am on tuesday for our 715 am embassy appt. we were there for 3 hours and stella handled it like a rock star :) i, on the other hand started getting sick on monday night - TERRIBLE sore throat - and by the time we got back from the embassy felt like TOTAL crap. so i was in bed down for the night by 8 pm. HA! so not like me! michael knew i didn't feel good! he went to the pharmacy and got me throat spray and cough syrup for stella. we are all MUCH better today though! she did wonderful last night! only woke once. we gave her a bit of a bottle and she was right back out. she slept until about 830 am. we've had a lazy morning. we ordered fruit and yogurt for breakfast and all had a picnic on the floor :) stella pooped a little on her daddy and we had to throw her in the tub this morning :) we just put her down for a nap. when she wakes we will have some lunch and then maybe go play in the baby room. the sun just came out so we might go to the pool too! we get stella's visa and passport today. we are EXCITED to have those because it means we can come HOME. it's fun to be here & have this time together, but we are ready to come HOME. pictures later today.

24 March 2008


well, michael has had his FIRST traumatic diaper experience :) i changed the first one so he could watch, but this time was supposed to be him . . . that was UNTIL he SAW IT!!! wow. how is it POSSIBLE that someone SO TINY can produce SO MUCH POOP that is SO severely STINKY?!?!?! i watched michael gag, and stare, and ask me how he should proceed with attempting to clean THAT up?!?!?!?! HAHAHAHAHA!!!! in his defense - it was REALLY bad :) so i helped him . . . being the good wife and mommy that i am. we even had to change her clothes. luckily though, it didn't get on us or on the bed. i quite enjoyed watching him though. maybe a little too much. this girl HATES, i repeat HATES getting her diaper changed. she must have enjoyed watching daddy gag and mommy laugh though, because this was the first and only diaper change that she didn't cry the entire time :)

our first day as a forever family just came to an end. we fixed stella her bedtime bottle according to her usual routine with her foster mother, but she only drank about half. then she was OUT like a light. hopefully she will sleep until 6 am, which is her usual schedule. it will work out perfect if that is the case because we need to get her up at that time anyways. we have to be downstairs for our ride to the Embassy at 7 am.

our first day was perfect. her transition has been smooth so far. we haven't had a total meltdown yet. i know LOTS of people have been praying for her transition and we hope you all will continue the prayers : for stella, for us, for the foster family, and for her birth mother. adoption is such a blessing, but there are many people affected by the life of miss stella who will not be fortunate enough to spend her life with her. we are so thankful for the opportunity to be her parents. i was honestly nervous that i didn't have a motherly bone in my body, but it turns out I DO! as i sit here watching her sleep, i know that i love her. i know that she is ours. i know that she was always meant to be my daughter. it's such an odd feeling. knowing that this little person was made for you a world away. but in my heart i know it's right. she is ours. we are hers. family.


a few more....



almost time.

it is currently 934 am. we just received our call from the agency! they should arrive between 11 and 1130! as soon as the phone rang both of our stomachs DROPPED! wow. jilli, the pins and needles are starting!!!!

23 March 2008


we arrived about an hour and a half ago. we are unpacked and organized (i think). exhausted. hungry. happy to be here. ready for stella! we should here from our facilitator tomorrow morning around 9 am and hopefully receive her around 10am. more tomorrow.

22 March 2008

locked & loaded.

yep. we are ready. as ready as we can possibly be.
we left springfield this morning around 1030am and spent the day at the Nelson Atkins Museum with friends from college. They also just got engaged recently (CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN GREG & AUDREY!), so it was fun to be celebrating all together. After the museum we went to dinner and enjoyed catching up.
we are now in our hotel in KC for the night, although it's going to be a short night. our flight leaves in the morning at 750am so we shall be rising bright & early. for those of you who know us are probably laughing really hard right about now at the thought of US actually being UP early enough to get ANYWHERE by 750am. but to be honest, we have been waiting SO freaking long for this to happen, i'm pretty sure we can handle it.
this is really happening. and we totally can't believe it.

next post from guatemala!

21 March 2008

almost time.

have we packed yet? no.
yes, i think we are crazy too. we have dinner plans tonight with friends then we go home and will probably be up ALL night packing. we leave tomorrow morning to drive to KC. we are spending the day with friends from college who live outside KC going to a museum and then to dinner. then, we shall rise bright & early for our flight to GC.
it's starting to bother me that this all still doesn't feel real. i'm hoping that once i have work under control (by the end of today) and can officially leave the office and go home that it will start to feel real. we shall see, in a few hours!

stella, we love you oh so very much and can't wait to be with you forever! there are SOOOO many people here who love you and can't wait to meet you! we will be there in a few days!

18 March 2008


so i am sitting here this evening make my THOUSANDTH list for this trip. how does one make a list for a trip to meet & pick up the child they have been hoping and praying would become a reality? i have no idea. which might explain why i have so freaking many of them. whatever. i think making the lists is keeping me sane right now. so i'll just pretend they really do make sense.

i was reading some other blogs tonight. some of them for people still stuck either IN pgn or in limbo trying to GET IN pgn. my heart is so heavy for you right now. i go back and forth between being so happy to be out of that position and feeling completely guilty for being out of that position. i know all of our situations are different. some of us have tried for YEARS to have children. some of us have biological children. the circumstances don't actually mean all that much. what matters is that each of us have a child in Guatemala (or some other country) that we are aching to love . . . aching to bring home. please know that i am thinking of you. that i hope one day we meet with our guatetots. that i remember the aching. that there is still a part of me that does not believe i am really leaving to get my daughter.

i have tried so hard to be positive throughout this process. but i wasn't most of the time. i can put a brave face forward, but i have been in some very dark places over the past 4 years. do i believe those dark days will end once i have Stella home? no. i know i still have lots of work to do. but just for a little while i am going to allow myself to be blissfully and truly happy.

13 March 2008


so the anticipation is starting to get to me. at first i wasn't really all that excited because it still doesn't feel real. we have been trying to have a baby for about 4 years. now, all the sudden, after alllllllll this waiting, we are down to TEN DAYS. that is just the weirdest feeling ever. i can't even explain it to someone who hasn't experienced it. i honestly think in my darkest deepest soul that i was beginning to believe we were never going to have a child. and yes, it is a dark deep place that i would rather not visit again, thank you very much.

last night i pulled out most of stella's stuff we are taking with us and started a list of little things we have left to buy this weekend. i also made the list of things we need to get DONE this weekend. i am a little daunted that in TEN DAYS our lives will be forever changed. michael and i have been 'officially' together for 8 years and married for 5 (almost 6) of those years. that's a long time with just the 2 of us in our own little happy world. now, it will be stella's world. we are totally excited about that, it will just (obviously) be an adjustment for us. but as the title of this post indicates . . . we are ready.

i couldn't sleep last night just thinking of stella. i so afraid of so many things. i'm afraid she won't like me. now THAT is something only another adoptive mom could say and definately something i never thought i would worry about. yet here i am. i also am terrified that i will not have any patience with her. i used to have ZERO patience, but i like to think that over this LONG wait we've had i grew some. i know i have more than i used to, but i'm still a little nervous about it. i could go on and on about my worries . . . but i think i'm going to try REALLY hard to focus on all the exciting things and try to soak up every second of this crazy thing called life. especially during these moments. we are going to an amazing place to get our first daughter and bring her HOME. it's moments such as these that define the term - significant.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." ~Ferris Bueller

11 March 2008


flights - check.
hotel - check.

we are really going. we leave sunday 3/23 and will be home friday 3/28. it was MUCH cheaper for us to fly out of Kansas City, so we will also be in the car for awhile. Who cares though. We are coming HOME. with Stella.

it's about time.

10 March 2008


PINK is what we received this evening. obviously we are beyond excited, but we still feel like it won't feel totally real until we actually have her in our arms. i actually still can't believe we are really going to get her!!! our appt date is March 25. we received the news so late in the day that we haven't yet been able to book flights or hotel. that is on the agenda for tomorrow. Of course i will update as soon as we have anything definate. YAY! we're goin to the mala!!! we will be there for Easter, so PLEASE pray we don't have any trouble getting flights and hotel!!! i can't believe we are REALLY GOING!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKK!!!! time to make my LAST list . . .

07 March 2008

no pink today.

i'm not really surprised. but i was DEFINATELY hoping. but i KNOW it will come next week :) i have had a really hard time focusing on work since yesterday . . . it's going to be a long few weeks until we go get our stella!!! i can't wait to post our travel news!!! everyone have a LOVELY weekend!

06 March 2008


wow. this is really going to happen. this month. it has been 13 days since stella's dna sample was taken, so i was getting nervous that something was lost or wrong or who knows. i emailed our caseworker and she found out today that the results were overnighted to the US Embassy on March 3!!! So we are REALLY just waiting on our PINK slip!!! our cw also said right now they are seeing pink slips issued approximately 7 days after dna submittal . . . so it could be ANY time now!!! although after that email i'm thinking it will be next week . . . but STILL . . . this wild and crazy trip is almost over . . . and it is going to have a happy ending!!!

04 March 2008

some heavy reflection.

so i've been thinking alot about the choices we have in life. our lives personally have changed drastically over the last 3-4 years. in 2004 we were living in south carolina completely oblivious to the things in store for us. we knew at some point that we wanted to move back to springfield mo to start our family and be closer to our parents. in 2005 we michael started chatting with an old friend from college about a business venture and we dove head first. michael moved here and i stayed behind to sell our house. we went from a comfy 2 income family to a 1 income family. we lived apart for just over 2 months. i finally moved here in early 2006. the first venture ended, but another fabulous opportunity presented itself and we have never looked back. it has not been easy, yet here we are. i keep thinking back to when we did IVF. if it had worked, we probably would not have considered the first opportunity and would not be where we are today. we would not be about to go get stella. we would not have our house. everything would be different. it's just so weird to think about the various roads we can choose to take, and the reasons for the ones we choose. the thing that i've learned is that if you don't take advantage of the opportunities that arise, they will pass you by. sometimes, if you're lucky, you might not necessarily know it. othertimes, you wallow in regret. the point is this : carpe diem.

02 March 2008

Stella's Room

i know i know . . . finally you say! i have had many requests to see the finished product. i still have a few very minor things to do. just some artwork for a few very bare walls. i'm hoping to maybe find something in guatemala . . . so i wanted to keep my options open!

this is her bedding. i got just a generic green with white micro dots fitted sheet from target. i ordered the fabric online and my mother-in-law made the quilt and bumber. it's pretty much perfect.

these are the 'poofs' that hang around her light fixture. i made all of them and they are kindof a pain in the you know what to make :) but they definately make a statement in her room!

don't think i've ever mentioned this before, but stella is named after my great-grandmother. i am a big fan of using old family names (as long as they are appealing). this rocking chair was my great-grandmother's. we also have an old iron bedframe that was her's for stella to use when she moves to a big girl bed. i absolutely love that we have 2 significant things that are tied to the person stella is named after. it warms my heart.

this is kindof a dull picture. i bought a fabulous chair for stella's room at a flea market, but we decided to leave this couch in there because it has a fold out bed. we figure we will be having LOTS more company now and might need the extra bed. my best friend jill got stella the blanket draped across the back. it has orange butterflies stitched to it in felt. we found the little bent fiberglass chair at a flea market.

at the very right you can see a little table. my mother-in-law found it at an estate sale. i refinished it and replaced the knobs. they are green flowers. and of course the famous crib that michael made. it is absolutely PERFECT. the head and bottom are veneered in bamboo and the other 3 sides are painted white to match the rest of her furniture. it also converts to a toddler bed. yes, my husband is amazing. he cooks too!!! why yes, you should be jealous.

another photo of the crib. the artwork on the wall inspired the colors of the room. michael got me these several years ago for my birthday and i had saved them for this exact purpose.

lastly . . . the dressers in her room are totally not exciting, but they will last for a bit. the lamp on the dresser was my very first purchase for her room (after the artwork of course). i knew i wanted orange to be an accent color and knew i HAD to have that lamp when i found it.
i completely love everything about her room. i think it is my favorite room in the house. that could possibly be because it is the only one that is completely FINISHED. but that is another story for another day! hope you enjoy the photos. next time you see any miss stella will be the focus. which is EXACTLY how it should be.