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Monday, November 27, 2017

Getting ready for our yearly St. Jude Run

Looking back at where we have been, Tesorito! You have been the pearl in my heart since before you were born. These years of spring were worth waiting for and I am grateful to be able to live them to their fullest with you! Valuing what matters- cuddling, inventing games, make believe, silliness, story time, and secret missions.... Te amo mi cielo venga lo que venga. 

This weekend we will go back to Memphis and I will run that same race that I ran so many times before I even saw your face.  We will visit that same table where we received that life-changing phone call and reminisce about what an amazing journey we are on.  Cada día le doy gracias a Dios otra vez por tu presencia en mi vida.  Con todo mi corazón te amo......

The final leg of our journey

.... and here is the other part of waiting, the part I can't publish until all the family knows....It is 11:25 pm on 5/20..... as I type this, I am on hold with Delta thinking of HANDSOME LITTLE HIM again..... Yes, Delta.  ALAS!  We are booking our flight!!!!!  I can't believe it!  We are in the last .2 of our marathon..... We are ALMOST a COMPLETE family!  I knew this day would come, but I could never imagine it!  As I was leaving school today on the way to yoga we got THE CALL!  I never expected to receive it so soon and with such short notice.  We will be seeing our son in just 1 week!  Then we will sign the paperwork that will start the paperwork we need to get him home so he can meet and play with you all!!!!!!  YIPPEE!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Some more waiting....

The last day of school is tomorrow.  Mother's Day is past.  Our little boy is looking bigger in pictures..... I think about him constantly..... on my runs, when I am frustrated with my students or touched by their kindness, before I go to bed, as soon as I wake up, during my drive in to work, in the pauses between work.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Short and sweet

Some people say that I am a short and sweet person, so I guess I will have no trouble being short and sweet in this post.  Everything has been a whirlwind since Thursday of last week.  During my first block plan period at school on January 8, my phone rang-- that Texas number again!  I rarely have time to look at my phone at work, but by chance I had an extra moment and saw it light up.  Neither I nor the Honduras program coordinator in Texas had much time to talk, but quickly she told me that we received our first appointment!  January 29, at 9:30 am, we have an appointment with DINAF for testing and we are not sure what else.  Then, more importantly, on January 30, we will get to see our little boy for the first time!  Even now, just typing it, it makes me emotional!  I can't wait!  How I have imagined the moment a million times and it makes me heart flutter every time!  I feel excited, nervous, surprised, scared, OVERJOYED, relieved, and panicked!  I don't even  know what to think or how to plan, but I am just making lists and checking things off one at a time.  First, I bought our airfare-- we will stay in Honduras from January 28 until February 4.  Then, there is the business or notifying our employers and following the correct protocol.  We are still working on names, acquiring necessities, organizing paperwork, getting the final apostilles, making hotel reservations, and myriad of other final details.  Each little task is joyful because it leads us closer to our little one and towards becoming a forever family!  Little by little, it all becomes more real.  After the first call back at the beginning of December, it has taken a while to wrap our minds around the changes that lie ahead.  First, on December 21, we hosted a Christmas party for our immediate family.  Dinner was magnificent!  Smoked salmon prepared by Papi and a dozen sides were our feast, followed by my specialty-- dessert!  I have earned the nickname "Aunt Sugar" largely due to my sweet skills with baked goods, and so it was my pleasure to bake mini creme brulees-- one for each guest.  On top of each creme brulee, I put an tiny envelope containing a different fact about our little one.  When it came time for dessert, I called everyone in, with the rather unusual excuse that I needed help decorating the desserts.  With everyone gathered around the island, I proceeded to unveil the big news.  "We have received an assignment!  But, in order to find out the details, you will have to open the envelope on top of your desserts and share your fact."  Oh how everyone cheered!  ¡Fue un momento inolvidable!  What an excited buzz it was as everyone shared their little bit of news.  "It's a boy!"  "Sleeps through the night!"   ""Likes fruit!"  Granny said that I was absolutely glowing as we shared the anticipation of our little one's arrival!  I am sure that it is true, because my heart felt so light and happy.  Since then, there have been other reveals too-- each one special and memorable!  We treasure each one!  Aunt Aimee and Uncle Loreto, Uncle Dave and Aunt Amy, and all the aunts and uncles that are our adopted extended family.  Todos no pueden esperar conocerte.  Pues, la realidad es que todas las emociones y todas las experiencias no caben aquí, pero espero que puedas aceptar que guardamos cada momento precioso en nuestros corazones y contamos los días y las horas hasta verte.... y FINALMENTE ABRAZARTE..... ¡MUAH!  Tengo una foto de ti que siempre está conmigo, pero muy pronto, podré verte de otras perspectivas.  Podré oír tu voz.  Podemos empezar a conocernos de verdad.  Quiero ser la mami que mereces y espero que crezcas sabiendo que te amo mucho..... bueno.... mil besitos hijito...... besitos como estrellas...... Te amamos.....

No one has ever been SO HAPPY with 0!

A week ago, at about this time, we saw his face for the first time!  Just an image on a cell phone screen, but it was the most AMAZING DAY ever!  Last week was THE CALL!!!  Of course, I have been told many times that the referral would come at the least expected moment, así es Dios, but I could not see how this could possibly be true since I had been clinging to my phone for weeks waiting for the call that from all accounts should have been coming at any moment.... really.... I had imagined every scenario!  In my dreams-- it could happen in the middle of class while teaching (would I break into tears and have to explain to my class?).  Maybe I would be driving home when the phone would ring and I would recognize the number knowing what words to expect.  (Would I run off the road with excitement?) If I was lucky, maybe it would happen while Mike was around so we could share the call.  I have to admit, that the exact timing of THE CALL was NOT one I anticipated.  Yet, it WAS the PERFECT moment to end the first part of our waiting.  It was the ONLY moment, I had stopped thinking about the call that we were waiting for since I had heard that we were the #1 family.  Driving down Friday afternoon to Memphis for my yearly St. Jude run (the half marathon this year, after completing my only full marathon just 2 years ago), I was still thinking that maybe the phone would ring.  Then I would have the BEST motivation to run my race.... but..... no such luck.  So, on the morning of December 6, 2014, I got up early, like always, to deal with morning nerves, pick the perfect ensemble, and fuel the run ahead.  Everything felt normal. It was a cool and muggy morning, and happily our little room at the Vista Inn was perfectly placed at corral 15 of the starting line. Mike and Celeste gave me good luck kisses on the way out the door(yes, the whole family came, even our kitten).  Then, I  met some friends, and settled into a spot at corral 4.  I was focused. My goals were not impossible, a sub 2 hour half, and no injuries-- then to be rewarded with the traditional post race lunch at the Rendezvous-- motivation!  At 8:00, the running started.  One foot in front of the other.... left then right.... the familiar pounding of feet with so much bustle in the background.  Hay demasiados detalles preciosos que recuerdo de este día-- una conversación genial con una mujer mayor empezando la carrera conmigo, el sentido de las brisas glaciales contra mi piel sudadosa, viendo los niños de St. Jude animando y sus familias en sonrisas-- y la presencia de tu papá que vino a verme.  Sabía que él tuvo tanto orgullo de mí. I ran.  I ran.  I ran some more-- knowing, as I was keeping up with one of the faster pacers, that I was setting myself up to meet my goal, and even beat my goal by a lot!!!!  Steady, I paced myself.  I thought of my friends and family supporting me.  Those who were cheering me on from miles away, and those who helped make me who I am.  Y pensé en ti-- en Honduras-- en nuestro futuro.... La familia que seremos.  Mile after mile.  I ticked them off in my mind and did the math to try to estimate my finish time.  It was a long race and I was feeling the wind, but with each mile completed, there was one less to do.  So, at mile 13, where the race separates the marathoners from the half marathoners, I nostalgically reminisced back to 2012, with gratitude for my last big race in Memphis and the countless miles I have traversed.  I knew, as I was rounding the corner, that we were at number 1 on the adoption list.  This was it!  THE LAST MILE!!!!   I felt content that this was progress.  In no time, the finish line came into sight. The runners around me were accelerating towards the end, but I found it within me to push even harder. Certainly, I have never finished another race with such speed.... and as I crossed the finish line, I felt such a HAPPINESS I can not explain.  I knew that I was glowing, inside and out!  It was a moment of elation....followed by complete disbelief.  I had finished my half marathon faster than I had ever completed one before.... by 4 minutes!  (In running, that is A LOT!)   I paused to breathe and made my way into the stands... up to the chocolate milk, where I knew Mike would be looking for me.  Behind the main gates, there he was, HANDSOME and waiting for me, and of course I gave him every detail of the race that I could think of as quickly as humanly possible.  It meant so much to me that he shared my HAPPINESS too!  So we went back to the hotel.  I stretched, took a hot shower, and changed for lunch.  No hobbling, no exhaustion.... we were out the door.  Destination- Rendezvous.  I will never experience that restaurant in the same way.  We were beyond satiated as we finished our barbecue.  Beans and rice.  Chicken sandwich. So much food!   We were still reliving memories of the race and our trip down, rehashing plans for Christmas, and just catching up-- when the phone rang.  An out of state number I recognized very well.  "Jeanette, is this a good time?  Is Mike there?"  Who would say no to that question!?!?!?!!?  I was trembling!  And at the MOST unanticipated moment-- our lives are transformed! No sweeter dessert in the world could exist-- and THE CALL (OUR REFERRAL!) was so much better than I had ever imagined it!  Tu papá y yo nos quedamos perfectamente boquiabiertos--  nuestros corazones pararon-- ¡no pudimos pensar! Escuchamos algunos detalles de tu vida por teléfono y no pudimos formar ni una pregunta.  ¡Fue una sorpresa total!Ahora, yo guardo tu foto en mi teléfono y con unos papeles importantes que siempre están conmigo.  A veces, en mi trabajo, pongo tu foto en mi escritorio y te veo mientras trabajo en la computadora.  Por la noche, duermo con tu foto debajo de mi almohada.  Trato de imaginar lo que estás haciendo y le pido a Dios que no sufras demasiado con la separación de tu vida conocida en Honduras.  Sabemos que tantos cambios te esperan y aunque serán duros, te prometemos estar siempre a tu lado con mucho amor y mucho cariño. Te hemos querido desde antes de tu nacimiento y seguiremos amándote para siempre.  Of course, after this kind of news, there is nothing left to do but celebrate!  We ate like royalty for two days!  Good hot tea from a corner coffee shop!  Cinnamon ice cream from the fancy Peabody Hotel.  A breakfast for champions (the Elvis waffles for me) at Automatic Slims.  It seemed that even our kitten Celeste understood understood the news as she darted about the tiny hotel room with uncontainable energy.  We were living in a dream!  Truly magical.  Laughing.  Happiness.  Pure unexpected JOY!  Of course, there is much that can not be shared at this point regarding our little boy, but we treasure every precious detail in the preliminary reports that we have received.  Even the littlest things-- such as his preference for fruits and his first words provide an additional picture of him in our minds.  We feel freer to dream at this point, and we are so EXCITED to share the news with friends and family.  They have been waiting so patiently too.  While there is always the question of  "what number are you?", our loved ones have been content with the vague uncertainties that we have learned to accept.  Hopefully, this news will grow in them the PEACE, LOVE and JOY that is inherent in the season.  I can say with certainty, that although Christmas has never been my favorite time of year because of all the rushing and commercialism, seeing our son's face has made this season of Advent special for me in a way that it has never been before. Waiting has given way to HOPE and this year Christmas HAS been the BEST season of 2014~ and my life!   Who can imagine what lies ahead!?!?!?!?!!!!!!  Esta noche, voy a correr con unas amigas en la ciudad para ver las luces navideñas.  Espero que sepas que en todo, pensamos en ti hijito.  Te amamos.  BESOS BESOS BESOS BESOS-- ¡no hay suficientes BESOS en el mundo para mostrarte el amor que tenemos por ti.

por ti!

WE ARE #1!!!!!

Es un secreto-- no les digo a casi nadie, pero somos 1--- ONLY 0 REMAINS-- I want to shout it to the world, but I know in my heart that I must wait.   Estamos tan cerca de conocerte.... we are so close to knowing our child, to being able to say "his"or "her" correctly..... to imagining a face when we talk about our little one.  We are close to being a complete family, and it is so many emotions all at once.  Really, it is hard to think at times, porque entras cada pensamiento y no quiero que te vayas de estos pensamientos.  I have to admit that I sometimes dream of how I will react when we get the call, and then my eyes start to water and I try not to get too attached to the dream, because I know that however it will happen... the moment will be perfect, and however it all unfolds is how it was meant to be.

Right now, we have been notified that we need to get our paperwork in order.  Some of the paperwork needs to be done so that they can present us to the committee that is supposed to meet in late November. The continuing education coursework (14.5 CEU credits) need to be completed so that we can accept a referral.  I don't think people understand how much all of this requires, I write a report on each class completed as well as take a test to earn a certificate.  Tomorrow, I will drive downtown to get our most recent homestudy with addendums and approval from the US government (I-171H) apostilled.  So, the US government will certify the validity of notarized paperwork that they need to have in Honduras to move forward with our case.  I am balancing and juggling this with a lot of other responsibilities at school.  In addition to teaching full time, I am tutoring on the side, preparing a schoolwide celebration of our school's diversity (complete with national speaker), working on my National Board Certification, and preparing to run the St. Jude Half Marathon.  Ninguna de estas actividades es tan importante como tú y me da cuenta de los muchos cambios que tienen que ocurrir antes de tu llegada.

It might seem like I should be OVERWHELMED-- but really, although I am busy, I am most OVERWHELMED by a sense of feeling BLESSED in everything.  We have a comfortable home.  I have a loving husband whose sense of silliness matches my own playful spirit.  I know that I am giving everything my best effort, and when the time is right, necessary things will change.  So many beautiful twists and turns in this journey make me appreciate that we are on the right path.  Yesterday, I went to a celebratory brunch for a friend who will soon be bringing her little boy home from Honduras.  She spoke of how God has shown himself in every detail and I feel that way too.  Today at church, unbeknownst to me that it would happen, the priest did a special blessing for expecting and adopting parents.  For the first time, I got to go forward and be a mama as he gave us his blessing.  Así ya tienes bendiciones encima de bendiciones.  It meant so much to me to be in that space and know that I don't have to worry about how things will unfold.

So, I am writing this quickly and saving it to be revealed later-- family does not know that we are this close-- not because we are trying to be sneaky and secretive, but because we want to relish giving them the biggest surprise!  A pesar de mi gran ilusión y mi gran deseo de conocerte, quiero que sepas también que yo sé que hay mucho que estás perdiendo.  Te estamos llevando a un lugar donde hay mucho frío.  Las personas que has conocido-- los vas a dejar.  Los sonidos, los sabores y los olores familiares van a disminuir en tu mente y vas a aprender un idioma diferente.  Hay muchos cambios que te esperan.  Y me da pena que tengas que pasar por estas dificultades.... pero te prometemos el calor de una familia para siempre.  Te prometemos una mamá y un papá que te van a cuidar, proteger y amar con todo nuestro corazón.... y voy a intentar, el máximo posible, guardar tu cultura e idioma.  Respetamos mucho la cultura de que vienes y queremos que veas esto.

Well, I am off for my run... still running towards Honduras... and hoping that the next you hear from me, it will be with happy heart and exciting news!  ALAS.... One is a WONDERFUL number, but ZERO is the one we are shooting for!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The last 26....

-- This is where we are.... How appropriate!  After finishing my first marathon in December, I know exactly what it is to be 26 away.... and although it seems far, now I know that 26 IS a manageable distance.  I remember standing at the starting line of my race-- bouncing up and down to generate a little warmth and calm my nerves-- a silent inventory flitting through my mind (gu's, tunes, spare band aids, GPS watch, handkerchief, talismans, names of all my supporters written on an already wrinkled card).  Yes, this would be the farthest I had ever gone, but I kept telling myself that it was going to be a nice leisurely run.  It was still a bit intimidating to consider-- after all, 9 years had passed since I began running races and I had only first gained the courage to actually commit to completing 26.    I knew that finishing the course would not be without pain.  My legs had so much multicolored tape on them, that it looked like the tape might be holding my legs on..... Did I mention that I was NERVOUS?!?!?!?!  You can see the fear on my pre-race picture.  However, once the gun sounded and I started with that same strategy that I have used in running for years (called putting one foot in front of the other), the jittery sensation in my stomach subsided and the miles started dropping off.... one-at-a-time.  I think it was faith and love that compelled me to push on-- the faith that there really was a finish line even though I had not yet seen it and the love of those who were there cheering me on.  I do not doubt that it is that same faith and love that gives me the patience to bear the wait.  People always wonder how it is that we can seem to wait so calmly, but really, what choice do we have?  When the time is right, things will move a little more and we will reach the finish line....even if no one can conceive of just exactly what is waiting for us there.... I have faith that it is better than chocolate milk and Krispy Cremes at the end of 26 miles though (which is saying a lot because I was STARVING!).  And when the time is right, I know that you all will be there to share our JOY.  Y para ti, mi amor, tengo que confesarte que estaba viendo un programa en la televisión que en realidad es basura.  Fue un episodio del programa The Bachelor. Este programa no me importa para nada, pero había una parte de un episodio reciente con una joven adoptada... esta parte me interesó.  Ella dijo que cuando sus padres la adoptaban, ellos le dijeron que iban a decirle «te amo» todos los días por el resto de su vida.  Y ella dijo que lo han hecho.  Ya te estoy diciendo «te amo» cada día en mis oraciones, pero cuando llegues, vas a oír las palabras de mis labios todos los días.  Te amo para siempre..... que sigas seguro/a y feliz -- y que de alguna manera puedas oír mi «te amo» aunque estás lejos..... Abrazos calurosos....