Sunday, February 18, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane

Well, Chris and I made the executive decision to fly to Guatemala on a wing and a prayer. We spent a large chunk of the day on Friday contacting our senators and representatives asking for help with our embassy appointment. Unfortunately the embassy is closed on Monday for Presidents' Day, so the earliest we will hear anything is Tuesday. We just didn't want to be sitting in the states waiting for the phone call only to find out we have an appointment first thing on Wednesday morning. I went through that stress last year with Garrett, and I don't want to do it again.

So, Tuesday morning we are taking off for Guatemala. Chris's folks are staying here with Garrett and my mom is flying in tomorrow to travel with us. That way if we don't get an appointment for Elena's visa this week I will still have someone with me down there. Worse case scenario is that Chris gets to spend four days with his little girl. I really hope that is not the case because this means so much to him. He really wants to be at our appointment, to give the oath that we will take care of our daughter forever (why don't all parents have to guarantee that?), and for us to travel home as a family next weekend. He doesn't get emotional about many things -- worked up about the Marine Corps keeping him from some of the stuff civilians get to do -- but this is a biggy to him. I'm praying that God will hear our prayers one more time on this.

Well, I guess I had best get away from the computer and finish packing. We have lots to do still before we leave and a busy day tomorrow. I'll keep you posted while we are gone -- just can't wait to have that little girl in my arms forever. Of course, the downside is I have to leave my little man behind, and I'm not sure how I'm going to do that for a week plus. Guess I'll see.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Day of Mourning

This is the first Sunday since September that our family has not had football as the focus of their Sunday afternoon/evening. That is good because we had more time to spend together actually doing things (yes, errands count as doing things). However, it is also very sad because Garrett and I have to wait until July/August to receive any news about our beloved Patriots. So, in memoriam I decided to post this picture of Garrett cheering valiantly for the Pats during the AFC championship game. May next year end on a brighter note. Until then, spring training is just around the corner. GO BO SOX!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ahhhhhh ....

Okay, so I thought that the worst part of the wait was over. I mean, we are out of PGN -- we are legally the parents of Elena Angelina Dayana Merrill (or as all her documents coming into the states will say, Angie Dayana Merrill). Chris and I should be walking on cloud nine every day.

Of course, his deployment date is looming large in the future, so I am starting to get antsy about if he will be able to travel with me to pick her up, have to leave me by myself in Guatemala, or if my mom will make the trip with me. We have a very small window of opportunity for Chris to travel with me and then spend some time in the states with Elena, Garrett, and me before heading back to Iraq. I'm not a normal prayer. I don't ask for prayer requests, feel slightly uncomfortable when one is asked of me, all that. However, this is one event that is truly in God's hands, and so I am praying like crazy. I even asked the online forum that I belong to for a prayer request! I'll take whatever help we can get at this point. Please, God, let us be able to pick up Elena as a family.

Of course, that will then present a whole other bevy of problems. I've moved on from stressing about how I am going to care for two toddlers. Now my nightmare is that Elena is going to have some grieving to do (she's been for 9 months with the same family, and will be gone from everything that is familiar) and obviously I'll want to tend to her. Garrett has decided lately that this is the time to cling to Mom. So he's going to have this little sister move into his house, claim lots of Mom's time, and at the same time Dad is going to go back to living in the phone (seriously, sometimes I still think that Garrett believes Dada lives in the phone he carries all around the house -- great idea when Dada was far away, how is little man going to take that transition?). Alright, I know that I am probably borrowing trouble from tomorrow, but I seriously needed to vent. I'll probably look back at this post in a few months and just laugh, but whatever.

Well, little man is down for a nap right now so I am going to be smart and use this time to clean. Too soon again will I be using nap time for my own naps!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Happy Christening

This past weekend we had Garrett christened at St. Anne's. We were blessed to have many of our family here to celebrate with us. Chris's brother, Travis, and his youngest son, Matthew, flew in from Texas for the weekend, and his Grandma Lil flew in from Cheyenne. This is the first time any of them have been able to visit us in Jacksonville, and we were so glad to have them with us. Chris's cousin, Jodi, and her husband, Mark, also joined us. Diana Riford, Chris's second mom, drove over from Wilson to help us celebrate as well. Becky and Scott drove up and were on hand as Garrett's godparents. My folks flew down and stayed with us for several days. Finally, Cynthia, Ian and Jack rounded out party of well-wishers on Saturday and at church, and Stephanie, Emily, and Jeff came Sunday to celebrate over brunch.

Garrett looked very smart in his faux tux (pictures to follow). However, he developed a cold and ear infection over the weekend so he wasn't too happy. Father Doug said that he has been told that when babies cry and fuss during the baptism that means it really sticks. :) He definately was happier once he was splashed!

All in all it was a grand weekend, and we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our families. The other positive about the busyness of the weekend was it gave us very little time to think about the wait until Elena can come home.