I cannot believe that we have reached this milestone. There were so many days during our extraordinarily long adoption that I wondered if this day would ever come. When Greg and I signed with our adoption agency in February of 2006, most Guatemalan adoptions were processing in 4-6 months. Two months into our adoption, I moved to Guatemala to be with Bella for the next "couple" months while everything was completed. Little did I know at that time the journey I was actually embarking on. To say we hit a couple roadblocks along the way is a dramatic understatement. From the week I moved to Guatemala, there were serious complications with our adoption that made every single step more difficult. And beyond those complications, our file kept getting stuck in bureaucratic red tape. Guatemala is famous for "changing the rules" as they go along. One of those changes caused our file to get stuck. Really stuck. So stuck that our agency was concerned our adoption may not be possible to complete. All the while, I was living with this baby and loving her more each moment we were together.
2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Each day was a battle against the enemy and his lies. Each day I had to capture all the thoughts of "What if they can't fix this problem?" and "What would I do if they come to take her away?" and other horrible thoughts like that. Each day I had to reaffirm my faith that God is in control. I had to willingly choose to trust and believe. The thoughts came back over and over again, but every single time I would take them captive, God blessed me with peace. What a gift that was during those long months.
All together, our adoption took a little over seventeen months to complete- MUCH longer than we had anticipated. I lived fifteen of those months in Guatemala, apart from my husband and support system. Needless to say, the day that all four of us got on a plane in Guatemala, heading for the United States, was an emotional day for us. We were victorious! Never have we felt so elated, so exhausted, so emotionally raw, and so, so relieved in all of our lives.
We celebrated our first anniversary of that day yesterday. We're calling it Family Day. It was fun to reminisce about what we were doing this time last year and how we were feeling. We went to our favorite Mexican Restaurant for dinner and then came home and had some cake. It was pretty low-key. I've been telling Bella her story of how she came to be part of our family for a while now. She doesn't really understand it yet, but I don't think we're too far away from the first bits of understanding. In the future, we'll spend more time on Bella's Family Day looking at pictures and talking about the journey.
November 9, 2007
At the airport in Guatemala City
Plane number one
Layover in Houston
At Cracker Barrel that night for dinner on US soil!
November 9, 2008
We are so blessed!