2008 – What a Year!!!!

I’ve been trying to post about 2008 for the last several days and hopefully I’ll get it finished this time and posted.

2008 will certainly be one of the most memorable for us. The highlight of course was bringing Lili home, but there were some great memories made before she came home and since she’s been home and I thought it would be appropriate to share some of those memories with all my blog friends and family.

In January I took another trip to Guatemala to see Lili (courtesy of my wonderful hubby). We had hoped that December would find us out of PGN with an approval, but instead we were out of PGN with a previo and had to wait at least 8 more weeks to get through the PGN process. Being able to go back to Guatemala was a wonderful treat.
February was the month of our PGN approval. Soon we would be on our way back to Guatemala to pick Lili up and bring her home. Our friends Josh and Nicole also travelled to Guatemala to pick up their little guy, Sergio. They were nice enough to take some gifts to give to Lili’s foster family and brought us back some new photos of our little princess.

March was an especially wonderful month. We left home on March 19th and on March 20th Lili was placed in our arms forever. We spent time with her foster family travelling around Guatemala. On March 25th we went to the Embassy for our appointment, picked up her paperwork on the 26th and were back on U.S. soil on the 27th. While we were so happy and relieved to finally have her, seeing the pain her foster family was going through and saying good-bye to them was painful for all of us. The one thing we are confident in, is that we will see them again.

April was a month of adjustment and Lili turned 1. We also hosted an open house for friends and family to come meet Lili.

April showers brought May flowers and Lili was blossoming as well. We saw great signs of good attachment and bonding with us as well as her brothers and grandpa. She still needed quite a bit of time around new people before she would warm up, but watching her seek us out in those uncomfortable situations was a really good thing.

In June we began the process for adoption #2 by choosing an agency and mailing off the application and fee. We decided to adopt another baby girl, but since Guatemala was no longer and option, we decided to adopt from Ethiopia. There were two other big events in June. #1 was Lili’s first haircut. It was not a great experience for her, but a necessary experience none-the-less. #2 was Lili’s decision to finally walk without assistance.

In July we took a trip to St. Louis to meet some other families who have children from Guatemala. We spent some time together in the hotel, but our big outing was a trip to the St. Louis Zoo. The big news in July was our decision to switch agencies. We had chosen a larger agency initially, but when we found out that an agency I had been in contact with over the past year + had an Ethiopia program, switching was a no-brainer.

August brought some exciting news for us when Dave was informed that his work division had won an award and he was one of the employees from the division chosen to go on a trip to Hawaii. One of my dream vacations would become reality and we could hardly wait.

September was the month we completed Lili’s readoption and legally changed her name from Ana Maria to Liliana Maria. It was also the month that we had the remnants of back to back hurricanes move through our area. The second caused a lot of flooding in the area and we ended up with 20 inches of water in our basement.

In October we loaded up the van and headed to Myrtle Beach for Guatoberfest. We were so excited about seeing some of our east coast friends and making new friends in the process. Myrtle Beach was rainy the majority of the weekend, but a good time was had by all.

November was a busy month. On November 2nd we boarded the plane headed for Hawaii. We had a lengthy layover in LA which allowed us time to visit with my sister, her hubby and one of their daughters. That evening we landed on the Island of Kauai for a 4 day vacation of sun and fun. We made some wonderful memories as a family, enjoyed time with friends and made a new friend when we met one of the employees from the hotel who was also adopted from Guatemala as a toddler. Of course there was also our historic presidential election which thrilled us beyond words. We were finally able to begin our home study update this month as well as Lili’s last post-placement review. Of course Thanksgiving was also a major event in our house when family from Texas, New York and here in Illinois gathered for a few days of family fun and food. My sister and her family also came for a visit from California, so there was a lot of activity for a few days. Lili handled all the activity beautifully.

Where did the year go. December seemed to come and go so quickly. We went to Naperville for our USCIS fingerprints. We continued to wait on our updated home study and then found out we had to get another set of fingerprints done before our social worker could completed our home study. I had some surgery on my finger and the highlight was our first Christmas with Lili. Although Christmas Eve had it’s ups and downs, it was so nice having Lili home and watching her enjoy her first Christmas with her family.

Although this post barely covered the surface of everything that happened in our lives in 2008, I think I covered many highlights of the past year.

Overall, we had a wonderful 2008 and are anxious to see what 2009 brings.


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