We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Papa!!!!!!

Asa took this picture earlier this week. Guess how old Papa is today!?

Today is Papa's birthday!!!! I love you so much Papa! Now I have to come up with something new to blog about him. I wrote a post about him almost a year ago that you can read here. Since I said pretty much everything about him that I wanted to say, I will talk about what I've learned about my papa these past 12 months.
I like how in that last post I said that papa didn't want to travel to Guatemala to meet his grandchild. At the time of my last post, we were four days from a referral. When Norm and I first started talking about adopting (approx 4 years ago), papa made it very clear that it would not be same as a "blood" grandchild. He said that again after Asa was born. "Blood" relations mean everything to Mexicans. I didn't worry about it and I'm so glad I didn't. I'll never forget the look on papa's face 2/16/07, when he saw those first picture of Valentina. It was pure love. As we would get new pictures every so often, I can remember calling out to papa if he was outside working on the lawn, "papa! We have new pictures!" and he would literally come running to look at them. Yes, papa changed his mind and wanted desperately to visit Valentina in Guatemala when we went in July, but was unable to because of our idiotic government refusing to issue him a passport. But in a way he was there because we had the webcam. Papa loved watching Valentina on the webcam, oh yeah, and he did talk to us every so often too. On our pickup trip, we did the same thing. I was also very upset that we were going to be apart for Thanksgiving but looking back, I see that papa was needed at home to help out with Trina, Josh and Asa rather than in Guatemala. God does work in mysterious ways! We don't always see it at the time, but we usually do later on. When we came home, papa was waiting for us at the airport. Again, the sheer love that shone from his face was unbelievable. Valentina took to papa like a duck to water! He was the first one she felt totally comfortable with. I have video of them dancing together the night we got home and it is amazing to watch. Now here it is, almost two months that we have been home, and papa feels absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between Asa and Valentina, other than the age and gender thing. I have also seen my papa be very sensitive towards my feelings. This past year, when I would get upset and cry over the adoption process, mom would just hug me and let me cry whereas papa would leave the room because he hates to see any of us girl cry. It is too emotional for him. Since he retired over a year ago, papa has gone from being a work-a-holic to a nap-a-holic, and NOTHING makes me happier! Papa has always worked so damn hard, it's nice to see that he is finally take a rest. Don't get me wrong, it seems like everytime I look out one of my windows, he's puttering in the yard or trimming the trees, or cleaning the gutters or any one of a hundred tasks that Norm and I don't have to do because papa does them. He does manage to get a few naps in throughout the day. So this year, on papa's birthday, I have only five words to say to my papa;


Oh yeah, and happy birthday too!

From New Years Eve

Papa is always in heaven when he has both his grandkids with him.

Out to dinner last month. He had both kids and was looking out the window.

His arms were about to break off as he was carrying both kids here. That's a combined weight of over 50 lbs!

January 14, 2008
Valentina's first birthday

And this one is for Holly because, well, she knows why, heehee.......

Oh, and today my papa is 67. Can you believe it? I think he looks GREAT for his age!

sidenote: please check out sissy's blog as she's having a rough patch right now. If you could please leave a few helpful comments that might help her when she is doing better, especially if you are familiar with bi-polar. It's a horrific disease, but it's a good sign that she's able to talk about it and post what she is feeling which is something she couldn't do a year ago. Thank you.