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Saturday, September 30, 2006

We Have a Winner!

As most of you know we've really been struggling with our baby's name since we received her referral in May. We have a pretty serious candidate. Soleil Annlie Stewart. We love the name Soleil and Annlie is a combination of our moms' middle names. It probably won't be 100% until the adoption is complete and we have her home with us. But for now we'll be calling her Soleil. Four days until we get to see her again! I can't wait.
Not much to report on the adoption front. We're still waiting on pre-approval from the embassy. We received our DNA results on Aug. 30. I emailed the embassy earlier in the week to ask when they had received results and when I might expect to receive our pre-approval. They sent an automated response stating that if it had been less than 30 days since DNA to try back after 30 days. Then a couple of days later I received a response from a real person addressed to family Stewart with a case # that said they had received DNA for our case on Sept. 6. They said they had an officer reviewer our case in order to issue pre-approval ASAP. This was very encouraging news, indeed! We'll see how quick "ASAP" ends up being...
Thanks for thinking of us and checking in. ~Heather
P.S. This is my favorite pic taken on our visit trip when Soleil was 3 months old. (Oh, it's so weird to call her something other than "she"!)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Pics of our Baby Girl!

We just received these most recent pics of our baby girl. They were taken by her pediatrician at her last well baby visit on the 21st of September. She is 4 1/2 months old and weighs 13.2 pounds. Her foster mother says she is smiling and laughing all the time and she rolls in one direction. (I think that's what she said...) Her hair is growing as fast as she is, and she is just so darling. Evie and I leave a week from tomorrow to spend 6 days with her. I'm so looking forward to it. I'm desperate to figure out her name. The kids all vote for Gabriella. I just don't know if I can do such an up and coming name. Dave just learned that his great grandmother's name was Amelia so now we're considering that name, too. Honestly! I don't remember it being so hard!! Any ideas??? Anyone? Anyone? Here's the current list in no particular order: Mari Soleil, Soleil Damaris, Gabriella Damaris, Amelia Damaris, Mari Annlie (sp?), Mari Amelia. For anyone who doesn't know...Damaris is her given name (named by the attorney handling her case). Mari is a shortened form of Damaris and means "wished for child". Annlie is a combination of our moms' middle names. Amelia is Dave's great grandmother's name. And we just like Soleil and Gabriella. Other names that I like, but that I haven't been able to push through "congress" are: Ruby, Rose, Lilirose, and Susannah. It's really killing me not having it figured out!!! I need help! ~H

Monday, September 11, 2006

Another Check-Mark!

I just learned today that our social worker interviews were done the same day as the DNA tests (August 25). Yeah!! Another big check-mark!! Our agency expects to have the social worker report "any day". After that we need pre-approval (hopefully around the end of the month) and then we'll be ready to enter PGN. If we enter PGN by the first week of October (or so) then we might have a chance of bringing baby home in December. I really need not get my hopes up, but it could happen!!! We bought tickets last week to spend Christmas in Antigua. The kids and I have tickets from December 6-27, and Dave will join us December 20-27. We'll rent a house in Antigua, and be able to experience a true Guatemalan Christmas. We're so excited, and, of course, we'll have our baby with us the whole time! We'll home school, and hopefully the kids will be able to do language classes for the first two weeks. There is a small chance that our adoption could be complete by the 27th, but if not, the kids and I will change our tickets and stay down there until we can bring her home (hopefully by the end of January at the latest). Evie and I will be going down October 4-10 for another visit trip. I can't wait! Thanks for checking in on us and keeping us in your thoughts. ~Heather

Sunday, September 10, 2006

My Baby Girls

These are pictures of my baby girls when they were each 3 months old. Even though they'll grow up with different color hair and eyes and skin they'll always be sisters. ~ Evie & Mari?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Is a picture really worth a thousand words?

I received a picture of our baby and her birth mother today. It was taken by the lab that administered the DNA test a couple of weeks ago. I've been anxiously awaiting this picture, and I realized, only upon glancing at it for the first time, that I expected it to answer so many of my lingering questions. I tore open the envelope and stared at it for a full 3 minutes, drinking in every single detail. What was she wearing? What was the texture of her hair? What was the shape of her eyes? Were her ears pierced? Did she wear makeup? Did she look healthy? What was that ring on her finger? Was she smiling? How did she hold the baby? Did it look like she would change her mind? After a while I set the picture down feeling rather dissatisfied. It didn't answer any of my true questions. What is her situation? How does she feel about this adoption? Who is the father? What is their relationship? What has her life been like? Who is her family? What are her interests? her goals? What is her personality? Who is she? These are the questions that I am desperate to have answered. These are likely to be the questions that my daughter will be desperate to have answered at some point in her life. I was getting a taste of how my baby may feel some day: a yearning to know everything there is to know about a virtual stranger who has affected our lives so deeply.
The magnitude of what's happening jumped out of that picture and hit me like a sucker punch in the gut. This young woman is losing a baby and our daughter is losing her birth family. On the flip side our baby is gaining a pretty nice family in California who loves her very much, and, of course, we feel like the luckiest family on Earth to be able to call her our own. It's monumental for all involved, and seeing that picture brought it all into perspective for me.
The birth mother's birthdate was on the paperwork that the lab sent me, and I realized that she is exactly two weeks younger than my baby sister, Hannah, who just turned 19 and is in her second year at Sacramento State. More perspective.
Our baby girl is four months old today and still we are struggling with her name. It's bumming me out a little not to have it figured out. Pretty soon I'm just going to make an executive decision and name her already! ~Heather