Sunday, August 26, 2007

Carmensita really is that amazing!!!

And she really is this cute...

And this beautiful...
Yup - that's right - we're home from visiting our little Carmen - or as her foster family refers to her - Carmensita.

As my wife just told her father - she has me totally wrapped around her little finger. CJ is the sweetest little girl in the world. Her smile lights up a room, but she's a little stubborn with her laughs. Actually, many of her smiles are little smirks that sometimes develop in to full blown smiles and sometimes do not. She loves to be held, and hugged, and kissed. She's not at all bothered by noisiness and in fact prefers that you go ahead and be loud! She likes to eat about every 3 hours and will tell you with all her might when she's hungry.

We flew down last Sunday afternoon from Philly via Miami, with a fairly uneventful flight. It's 2 2.5 hour flights that way, with a 2.5 hour layover in Miami (not the most pleasant airport in the world). Even with smooth travels, we were weary, and anxious for the next day to come. We traveled with Carmen's Tia S - who really helped with advise, a little Spanish, and of course - videos and snapshots.

The plan:
  1. Meet Carmen, her foster mommy - N and translator - O, at 10AM Monday in the hotel lobby.
  2. Spend Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with her
  3. N will come back to hotel mid-day Thursday to take her home
  4. We spend the next day and a half as tourists - possibly visiting Antigua (a beautiful colonial town about an hour from Guatemala City.
  5. Then we head home Saturday
Reality in Guatemala:
  1. We awake Monday morning, brimming with anticipation, but expecting Carmen to be a little late as we were warned might be the case.
  2. The phone doesn't ring until 10:45, but it's not O.
  3. We call O at 11:30, and leave him a message.
  4. The phone proceeds to ring 3 more times, including a call from O telling us they will arrive around 2:30 with the baby.
  5. The phone rings around 2:35 - it's O in the lobby with Carmen and N.
  6. We head downstairs, Carmen is placed in our arms and we review all kinds of info. B shows up just as N and O are about to leave so we get to meet her as well.
  7. O unexpectedly tells us that N and B will meet us in the lobby of the hotel at 5PM Friday!!!
  8. We spend the week with Carmen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. We head down to the lobby at 4:55, N walks in at 5:00.
  10. B finally shows up around 5:50, after having been called by N.
  11. We travel back to the US, slightly down in the dumps, but confident because N is so awesome.
There you have it - our week in a nutshell. But it was so much more than that. It was so much more than diapers (yes - she peed during one of my diaper changes), bottles, drool, zerberts, and naps.

But, then again, that's exactly what it was about. It was about getting to know our Carmensita. And we learn about her through her play, how she eats, and how she laughs and cries. Right now she expresses who she is through these things.

Will she remember us? Not really sure. We made an audio tape of us playing, singing, and talking to her, which N was looking forward to playing for her. This might help in that regard. We're pretty sure she missed her Momma N, as she has known only her foster family since day 10 of her life. What an amazing family she has in Guatemala.
She loves to play with her hands and suck on her fingers and wrists. She hiccups quite a bit and yawns regularly - we have both on video. She has smooth brown skin and a complexion that looks great in yellow, blue, and green. She has beautiful deep brown, expressive eyes - I can see my reflection in them - literally.

As you can see above, her hands and fingers seem a little large, but her feet are a bit on the small side.

As luck would have it, we received a new set of pictures, a medical report, and a case update while we were there with her. She's 16 lbs now at 4 months old - very healthy. We're still waiting on Pre-Approval from the US Embassy, but the case has entered PGN - the Guatemala attorney general's office that handles adoption cases. They will review the file, and tell our lawyer what items must be fixed. We know for sure the Pre-Approval must be there, but some lawyers will submit knowing this so they can find the other potential problems and fix them quickly. Not sure yet if this will speed up our case in the end game, but it may give us more certainty a little further down the road.

It was an amazing week. Totally amazing. She's a wonderful little girl who is developing her own personality right now. Her family right now in Guatemala loves her to pieces. We were are at piece knowing she is so loved- this helped us a great deal as we watched her leave us.

We will be back. Soon I pray.

I've got tons more pics (as does Tia S), so I'll share more soon. We've also got hours and hours of video (again thanks mostly to Tia), which I'll share as well. Not sure exactly how I'll accomplish this yet.

I must end this post with the cutest picture in the history of photography. You've seen all kinds of cute pictures in your day right? Babies, puppies, kittens, babies with puppies, kittens with puppies. All of them are cute.

But not like this. I present to you: CJ lounging the pool with one of her trademark smirks.

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At 9:16 PM, Blogger waitingforanthony said...

Okay - so I am wondering if there is a limitation on words allowed in each comment because I literally could go on and on about Carmen! Thank you for sharing all the amazing and beautiful pictures of CJ. She is probably the most beautiful baby girl in Guatemala (you know that it truly is okay for me to say that right? - Because Anthony is probably the most beautiful BOY in Guatemala)
Thank you for opening up this wonderful trip with us and allowing us to share in the joys that were experienced by all. We are so grateful. What a wonderful blessing to have the opportunity to spend such intimate time with her and really get to know her personality and mannerisms. You ask if she will remember you - how could she forget such wonderful parents that love her with all their hearts?

At 3:23 PM, Blogger SJ said...

She is amazing! I'm glad to hear the trip went so well for you :) The pictures are a treat!

At 3:26 PM, Blogger BlessedWithDaughters said...

Oh. My. Word. How do you STAND the cuteness of those chunky little arms and legs. And the cheeks! AHHHHHH! I love it! She is just precious. I know you must have been down in the dumps, but it is wonderful to know what good care she's in. I'm so pleased for you that you got to spend the week with her.

Best wishes to your fam,

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

What an incredible week you guys had!!! Here's hoping she'll be home with you guys very very soon!!

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

I am so glad to hear your trip went well (besides the tardiness.) She is a beauty to look at and so-so-so sweet. Watch out cuz you can tell she is full of spunk and personality. I pray your wait is short and I look forward to seeing some video of the chubbster.

At 6:06 PM, Blogger petunia said...

You just want to squeeze those sweet little biscuit jaws...ooh, that's my favorite part of the baby...
she is so beautiful!! I would kill me to leave her...keep the faith, time will fly and you'll have her with you before you know it!

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Heather.PNR said...

She's absolutely adorable!


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