Monday, September 15, 2014

June 27-28: more court.

June 27
2nd court appointment today.

We really didn't know what to expect from the day, and now that it's over, we're not quite sure what actually happened. The court process is very confusing, as we are outsiders. We haven't been given any kind of an overview. We just step in when and where we are told!

We went to the orphanage and waited for the orphanage rep, who joined us at about 10:30. While we waited on a bench outside, we saw the daily parade of nannies carrying large bundles of laundry held in gathered-up sheets. Also many women with empty plastic bottles and other containers for water. Curious, I followed them to the back of the building. It seems there is one spigot in an outbuilding for the whole facility. Each morning the large bottles and buckets are filled and brought in (for drinking and cooking, I assume). The heaps and heaps of laundry - 400 children's worth - land in the back of the building also, where there are well-like stations for washing clothes by hand (by foot, actually). Then the clean laundry is hung to dry on wires strung across a covered patio and the playground. The workers grinned and laughed when I wanted to take photos. Imagine these mundane tasks being interesting to a foreigner!

Finally, we drove to court with Mari. Waited in the car while the rep went in to the court. Oh, it was hot in that car. Sweat poured down Mari's face. After about an hour we decided to wait in the hallway inside. Eventually we were called in to the courtroom, but only for a minute and we didn't have to do anything there. Suddenly we were out in the hallway again, and both the rep and the attorney said the judge would visit our case again after July 2. We were not at all clear about what had happened…did he want more information? Was he stalling? I think now that his verbal approval was given today, and he will sign the case next week. Someone must have to type up a summary form for him to sign after he declares that he will approve the case. So I think he is signing next week, and THEN the court orders will be written up (couple of weeks?) and then the passport, which the orphanage representative swears will be done in 1 day.

Due to the language and culture barriers, we are a little unsure about all this. We're doing the best we can.

We had to wait in the court hallway for a long time while the orphanage rep worked on another case. Mari wanted something. She pointed down the hallway with great purpose and urgency. I followed her point, carrying her down the hall. She directed us outside to the courtyard and parking lot. There she signed "drink" and pointed to men drinking coffee! Before I could respond, our cab driver approached me to ask what had happened in the court room. Mari saw I was distracted and she put her hand under my chin and tapped, saying "Akka, akka!" This is the first word she's spoken directly to me. It means "big sister," but in the orphanage it means "big person who could help me," since of course there are no sisters or mothers. So, Akka, I want some coffee. Ha! I gave her a small water bottle. She was able to drink it all without spilling, and then put the lid back on and screw the cap herself. Wow.

The other case ran long, so the rep said we could just take Mari to the hotel for now and return her later in the afternoon. So we drove to the hotel, dressed Mari a little more warmly for the a/c building (the 12-month leggings I'd bought are way too big on the waist - I have to bunch up the waistband and pin it), and brought her down for lunch. It was a day of firsts. First fancy lunch, first restaurant, first high chair. Maybe first spoon? She mostly ate gulab jamun (basically a donut hole swimming in syrup) dipped in soft butter. But she also ate watermelon, mango, hard-boiled egg, caramel flan, ice cream, and naan bread. She rejected the tandoori chicken (probably has never had meat before) and the lentils. We are just trying to get calories into her. Butter and ice cream? Oh yeah. Mari liked learning to use the spoon and having control over her own dish of ice cream. She does not like to be helped. She likes to do it herSELF! 

Back in the room, Mari and Jenya played with sunglasses and matching snap-shut cases. ADORABLE. So fun to see them playing together. Jenya demonstrated how to open the case, unfold the glasses, put them on, take them off, fold them up, put them in the case, close the case. Mari imitated with great focus and determination. They did it over and over, giggling and grinning.

After a while, Mari indicated that she was tired and uncomfortable. I lay her on my lap and she passed out. She slept through my phone call to the orphanage rep, our rush for the taxi, the ride back to the orphanage, and the complete change of clothing in the car. She only woke when I delivered her back to the nannies. We waved goodbye and she seemed fine. Then we zipped to the administration office and discussed the paperwork necessary for foster care (keeping Mari with us before final paperwork is complete and we can leave the country).  We could have filled out foster paperwork today, but we all decided not to do that until the judge signs our case. If there is any complication or delay of any kind, and we have taken foster care, there is no going back. We would be stuck in India until the case was completed. So the new plan is that we will "borrow" Mari tomorrow for 4 hours, taking her to our hotel but returning her for nap time. We will visit her at the orphanage briefly on Sunday. Monday we will keep her with us all day while the rep goes to court, seeking the judge's signature. If that is successful, then Monday afternoon we will apply for foster care. We could receive her on Tuesday. Jenya and Roger leave on Wednesday.

We are all doing well, and we are all tired. Roger and I continue to hit the wall around 8 or 9pm each day. It is a very good but intense time.

We made it through "Madagascar 2" this evening and now Jenya is trying to sleep. Swimming pool was closed tonight due to cleaning, so we had to improvise an evening activity. 

Just a few piles of laundry...

Washing the clothes by foot

 Hanging clothes out to dry

 Filling some of the many water vessels for the day

 Taken from our car in the court parking lot. See the Notary sign? See the guy to the left at his manual typewriter? This is where all the court documents are typed up for signing.

 Back at the hotel...

June 28
Nice day today. Not as hot!

After another indulgent breakfast buffet included with our room, we went to the orphanage at 10 to pick up Mari. We didn't succeed in finding her for at least half an hour, because there are planned power outages throughout the city and the orphanage (and neighborhood) was scheduled for 10:00-2:00 today, so none of the English-speaking administrator-types were there. It was hard to communicate that we'd been given permission to take Mari from 10:00-2:00.

We managed to scoot out with Mari, although her nanny was concerned that we were taking her for good. Nope, not for a couple more days, at least. Our driver helped with translation.

Back at the hotel, we changed both girls into swim suits. The 9-month tankini-style suit I'd gotten for Mari was far, far too big. She must wear 3-mo bottoms. (The size 2 diapers are also too big. I will have to switch to size 1, which I think our boys wore at birth.) The 9-mo top is okay for size, maybe a little small.

So I pinned the bottoms and we headed for the tub. Today was De-lousing Day. We ran about an inch of water in the tub and Jenya demonstrated how to climb in and sit in the water. She was also a sport and let me pretend to put the lice killer in her hair and a shower cap on top. Then I put the goop in Mari's hair and a shower cap also. Fine. When we tried to put her in the tub, though, she screamed like a wild banshee. She has clearly never had a bath. We let her stand (while I held her hand) and watch Jenya scoop and pour with little nesting cups. Mari was interested enough to try a little of that, but she would NOT sit down. Finally it was time to rinse the shampoo. Ohhhhhh Noooooooo, she did not like that. I thought the police might come, she screamed so much while I rinsed her head. Then I had to apply Vaseline and let that sit for a while, and then try to get the nits out with the nit comb. Not a favorite activity for either of us. Thank goodness she has really short hair. It's about 1" long all over. I combed and combed, but could not get all the lice and nits out. Gross. We will have to endure Round 2 on another day. Well, I hope I made some progress. The kid was absolutely covered. 

Once we had her in some cozy clothes, we played a little ball and showed her the wooden puzzle I'd brought (the kind with a little knob for each piece). She was very interested in the puzzle and she caught on right away. She did the whole thing independently on the second try.

We gave her a little lunch in the room. Banana with peanut butter? No. Banana with peanut butter and BUTTER? Yes, a little. Butter plain? Yes. Bread and butter? Also yes. Formula? Yes, but she prefers water. 

We went out to the pool to watch Jenya swim a bit. We stayed until a sudden rain shower came, and then we changed and went back to the orphanage for our 2pm drop off time. I took Mari directly to her room (still no one at the front desk) and saw all the children sleeping on cloths on the floor. There was a space for Mari next to her little friend. The nannies signaled their question: had she eaten lunch? When I said yes, they gently told her to go lie down for her nap. She walked over to her spot, but just stood there looking a little disoriented. I think the children must go directly from eating to nap time, so she wasn't sure what to do when she had skipped a step. Her nanny gave her a little bit of potatoes in a bowl so she could have a bite and then nap.

The rest of us headed to our favorite place for lunch, picked up a few gifts for friends, and got some bread for our sandwiches for dinner. Although we rarely use up our paid 8-hour block with our taxi driver, we are too tired to stay out. We came back to the hotel for some rest. Jenya is playing "Stack the Countries" on the Kindle, and she intends to write down her elaborate plans for her future business of owning a dog kennel/grooming salon/vet clinic/doggie exercise clinic. She has thoughts about how the holidays will be celebrated for the dogs, how many dogs will be allowed to sleep on her bed, how they will be disciplined and rewarded, and so on. Roger and I have heard all this in a blue streak all afternoon.

Tomorrow we will visit the home of the family we met on Monday at court. Then on Monday we'll have Mari for the whole day. Yay! We looked over Jenya's old adoption papers, court order, etc, and we think we can use them as a model for what is happening here. We feel certain that the judge gave his verbal approval yesterday. But before he can sign anything, a 1-page summary document will be typed up (manual typewriter) and he will sign and seal that (Monday, we hope. Maybe Tues or Weds). Once his signature is on that summary letter, someone will type up our entire case history and court order. So we think we're on track and making good progress. It's been tricky that each stage does not have a name, or not the name we were giving it, so no one could really tell us where we were in the process. So don't worry - we feel it's going well. Certainly the orphanage rep and the attorney are advocating for us.

 First bath

First puzzle. She did it independently on the second try!

Desperate for an evening activity at the hotel for Jenya, I abandoned my usual rules and allowed her to have her nails painted. Looks quite smashing with the mehendi!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

June 24-26, the days between court appointments

Tuesday June 24, 1 day after court:

Another hot, sunny day, about 105 degrees.
We visited at the orphanage. Mari was very subdued this morning.

There was a group outing to see an ENT doc. I rode in one cab with 2 nannies and two tiny babies, plus Mari. Roger and Jenya followed in our cab. This visit was coordinated by a volunteer from an NGO that has been working at the orphanage. 

The doctor had a walk-in clinic about the size of a port-a-potty. Well, okay, maybe the size of my closet. Mari whimpered when we walked in, the first sounds I've heard from her in 5 days. The doc took a culture of the green goo in her ear and prescribed an antibiotic and ear drops for both ears, as well as a probiotic to help her stomach while on the antibiotic.

Roger and Jenya had the real adventure in getting the prescriptions filled. Our taxi driver, who is just terrific and is super-enthusiastic about our adoption, drove them to 6 or 7 pharmacies to try to get the meds. We are not sure whether the meds were not in stock or were simply too inexpensive for the pharmacist to want to fill. Finally the cab driver took the prescription sheet in and got the things filled. The total cost for the three meds was about $1.50.

I met Roger and Jenya back at the orphanage. Mari had been swooped up by her nanny to prepare for lunch time, and it was my job to take the prescription and medications to the doctor's room at the orphanage. In a room about 8x12 there was a doctor at a desk, a sick bed, and a table covered with medicine bottles. At the table sat a woman filling little medicine cups with various meds. Apparently each child has a smallish paperback notebook with complete health history, including all doses of all meds over their years there. As the woman filled a medicine cup, she would place it on that child's book and rest both on a tea cart. When the cart was full of books and cups, someone would deliver the meds. Anyway, the doctor at the desk took my prescription and found Mari's book, so the medicine lady would know to give the antibiotics and drops. 

We went on our way, found some good lunch and did a little shopping, then decided to call it quits for the day. 

We were asked to provide Jenya's 1st-grade report card at the court on Friday. We are also submitting a personal letter of recommendation from Jenya's teacher. I realize now that the court thinks we may give preference to our biological children over our adopted children. We now must prove that we will not ignore the needs of our adopted children. Of course, we are not allowed to just speak up in court. Anything we want to communicate must be in an official document. The orphanage rep and the attorney seem nervous about our case. We are doing everything we can to prepare and organize every document we can think of.

We are not discussing our case on social media. It's just too…well, global. Many people who live in India or who are adopting from India are connected to us through Facebook. I just don't want to take any chance that anything we say about our case (positive or negative) would be copied, shared, misunderstood, and then would hurt our chances of adopting Mari. We are hunkering down and trusting that our family and friends back home will understand. 

We will continue to visit Mari in the mornings and make little minor plans for the afternoons. It is too hot and sunny to do any major touristy things. Going to a fort or to the zoo does not really appeal! The heat and the intensity of our visit are sort of exhausting. We are crashing early each night. 

Wednesday June 25:

Today we learned that Mari can talk!

We were visiting with her this morning for a couple of hours. After some time, her little group of peers walked by, choo-choo style with each child's arms on the shoulders of the one in front. They were headed outdoors for some fresh air. As they walked past us, Mari waved and whispered, "Bye! Bye! Bye!" in a tiny, high-pitched voice. I was so surprised! She really wanted to join her friends outdoors (reaching and leaning in my arms), so we walked out. She was carrying a little book we'd brought. She was super-excited to sit down in her group with her special book. She plopped next to a friend, who also leaned in to look at the pictures. I asked the ayah (nanny) if this girl was Mari's friend, and she began asking Mari to name all the children in the group. In a teensy little high voice, just barely discernible, Mari named all the children. Shock of shocks! I don't think she's speaking in sentences or anything, but after 5 days of hearing not a single word, babble, or coo from her, this was a lovely surprise, and very, very encouraging.

The kids got to take a little walk, again choo-choo style, and then they headed over to the old dilapidated playground. There they all climbed on to the old merry-go-round and were spun slowly. Then it was back inside. I think it was 105 degrees again today, so a little sunshine and fresh air went a long way.

Mari is gaining confidence with us, showing us her preferences and insisting on holding tight to the toys we bring to play with her. She is quite strong-willed for a little sprite, and impish too. As we get closer to her, we are also noticing more physical needs. I think she may have broken her wrist at some point (it is a little crooked and has a lump), and there is something wrong with one foot and possibly the leg as well. Her toes curl under her foot, as if she had a mild club foot. One leg seems that it may have broken in the past. Not sure. She is so bony, with almost no muscle or fat to pad her. I am afraid of breaking her every time I pick her up! Anyway, we will take her to an orthopedist somewhere down the line. Nutrition first, then heart, and then bones. 

After our long visit at the orphanage we had yet another too-spicy lunch ("mild" and "no spice" means "almost but not quite burn your tongue off" to these wimpy Americans). Then our taxi driver, who is very helpful, took us to an outdoor stand where Jenya and I had mehendi patterns done on our hands and wrists. The driver bargained hard for a good price for us. He is very protective -- perhaps overprotective? -- and is always trying to get a good deal for us. Sweet. 

We switched to a better hotel. Lovely, clean, and fairly inexpensive by US standards. A nice Skype with folks at home, a family movie, and then Roger and Jenya hit the hay at 8pm. 

 Seen on the street - eggs being delivered to a shop or restaurant


 Mari's little roommates

"Look what I have!" 

the group sits on this mat for sunshine and fresh air


 Getting mehendi done

Letting our fancy mehendi patterns dry. No touching!

Thursday June 26: 

Everyone is a little nervous about tomorrow's court appointment. We now have copies of Jenya's old Indian court order from 2007, Jenya's report card, and a recommendation letter from Jenya's teacher. We are ready for Round #2.

We again visited with Mari this morning for about two hours. She is so darling. She loves being outside, and we played on the little entry patio (shaded). It was about 104 degrees. Mari loved playing with a balloon. She also stacked the nesting cups, drank her customary cup of formula, and grabbed ahold of her favorite books. Roger read with her a little bit. She likes being with each of us, but she also has Certain Ways Things Should Be Done, and she makes that clear. I'd say that yes, she is TWO. We are so glad she is insistent and strong-willed. That's probably what has been keeping her going.

We got an email from the US Embassy today asking about our adoption case. They approved their portion in March 2013 and wonder if we have dropped our case. We had to write them back to say WE'RE STILL WORKING ON IT and please hold on to our approval! With any luck we will be in New Delhi before too long.

In the evening we visited a pearl shop. You can see the lovely finished pieces on display as these men assemble new strands of little pearls. Evidently Hyderabad is famous for pearls. Who knew?

Friday, September 12, 2014

June 21-23: the weekend and the court date

I wrote long notes to our parents and our sons during our stay in India, so I'm going to copy pared-down versions here. 

June 21: We were able to spend a couple of hours with Mari. There is always a long wait while the nannies get her all spiffed up and her face powdered. Oh my goodness. She is SO CUTE. She walked across the room to Roger, who was sitting on the floor, and then over to me. Cautious, but not fearful. She sat with us for a very long time, never making a single noise, but staring at us in a way I've never seen a person stare. She certainly has no problem with eye contact or attention span, I'll tell you that. I don't think she even blinks. She just looked right at my eyes and did not shift her gaze for AGES. 

She took interest in anything we showed her. We brought along some little nesting cups, and Jenya showed her how to separate them and nest them again. She took them out one by one and put them in an exact line by size. Nest, separate, nest, separate. Over and over, happy to explore and to look to me for affirmation after each move.

She liked stickers with Jenya. She does not seem to get bored with an activity. (This bodes well for our day at court.) She did not giggle or smile or make any kind of noise. Of course we were trying not to startle her, so we weren't tickling or anything like that. But nothing really seemed to change her very serious expression.

I wanted to slip some nutritious food into her, so after checking with the staff leaders, I opened a Lara Bar and fed it to her in little pea-sized bites. She ate more than one whole bar. That's about 200 calories on her 16-pound frame. She drank a little infant formula in a sippy cup I'd brought. 

About 5 minutes later, we saw a new child. HUGE smiles. Grins. Sparkle. We couldn't believe it. 

She was whisked away for food and nap at noon, so we headed out for lunch and a brief tour of 3 other lodging possibilities after our 5 pre-paid nights at this lousy place are over. (We might leave early. It's that bad.) Hyderabad has a great deal of traffic, so it takes a long time to get anywhere. We were pretty tired by late afternoon. We bought some supplies to make PB+Js for dinner and settled down for a quiet evening. Now Roger and Jenya are fast asleep and I'm about to head to bed also.

June 22: We had a lovely 3-hour visit at the orphanage this morning. Mari walked unassisted all the way down a long corridor to the patio where we were waiting for her. She was exhausted from the effort and was happy to melt into my arms. She loved sitting on Roger's lap and looking at books with him. Turning the pages seems to be a favorite activity. 

Jenya and I had a fun time teaching some of the school-age girls how to make simple bracelets from the popular Rainbow Loom loops. We taught two girls, who then taught a few more, who then taught two ayahs, and before long there were many clusters of children and ayahs laughing and chatting and making friendship bracelets. It was so fun. I only wish I'd brought more loops and hooks to make more bracelets!

Once again Mari perked up after some baby formula and bites of a Lara bar. She gave us a few little smiles, which grew to huge grins when we lifted her high and brought her down again. I think she likes the feeling of swooping up and down. 

She also had an enormous grin after swiping a little toy from a friend. "Oh no," says Jenya, "she is a stealer and keeper!" Someone is a little nervous about sharing her room now!

Mari enjoyed the stacking/nesting cups again. It's fun to see her figuring out how to put them in the right order.

She still didn't make any noises. No giggles, no words. She supposedly has one or two words in Telugu: "give me" or "I want." However, both her ears are oozing green gunk, and I wonder if she can hear much at all. 

Tomorrow is court. We are nervous but ready. The main concern seems to be that the judges and other officers do not always appear on the days there are scheduled hearings.

June 23: We rode to the orphanage early to fetch Mari for the long, congested drive to the court house.

The court house is a large facility with open-air hallways and courtyards and a number of small court rooms. It was vaguely reminiscent of a California school, except in disrepair. And no a/c. We sat in the muggy hallway for a few couple of hours before being called in. Mari was very content to do stickers with Jenya, eat, drink, and be held. She was very easy all day. I chatted with a lovely family we met there in the hallway, an Indian couple finalizing the adoption of their second daughter. The woman and I completely hit it off and we yakked away until their family was called in to the court room. 

Jenya was a real champ at court. A robed attorney came to get her and interviewed her apart from the family. She was asked if she liked her parents and her brothers, whether she attended school, and a number of other questions.

We were finally called in to the court room. We watched the domestic case of our new friends and then we were called forward. We had been warned that the judge did not like that we had two biological sons already. He did not understand why anyone would want to 1) adopt 2) two girls 3) from India 4) one of whom has medical needs. He appeared to examine every page of our thick file while we stood in front of him. Finally he called Jenya forward. He asked her for her full name, her Indian name, whether she attended school, what grade she was in, what school she attended, etc. 

Roger and I were sworn in, but were not asked any questions. Then the judge asked for a document we did not have with us, which was amazing since Roger carries around every possible document we would ever need, all neatly organized in the Amazing Binder of Adoption Documents. That this judge would ask for Jenya's original court order from 2007 seemed beyond belief. But that is what he wanted, and the case will not proceed without it. We have a copy on my laptop at the hotel and will email it to the attorney. The judge has set another date for Friday the 27th. As Roger was searching frantically through his binder for the document, I looked up and saw our new friends waiting on the court room bench, staying after their own case just to be a source of encouragement for us. Tears came to my eyes. God places his angels in the most unlikely places.

Last, the judge called me forward and as I held a sleeping Mari draped in my arms, he asked if I knew she had medical needs. Would I get her the proper treatment? I told him Yes, I would really like to do that. Then we were brushed aside and the case will be re-examined on Friday (although we do not need to be present). 

We are so grateful that the judge appeared today. And our case was not rejected outright today, so that is good. We don't know how long the remaining elements of the process will take -- if all goes well, we may even have Mari in our arms on Saturday or perhaps Monday. The wait for the passport may be much shorter than we'd feared - perhaps 2 more weeks after Friday. 

We had a long drive back from court, then late lunch/early supper at a small restaurant, and now we are at the hotel doing paperwork. I am about to play a game tournament with Jenya. Then we'll have some ice cream from the cafe downstairs before bed. Tomorrow we will take Mari to an ENT to see about her oozing ears. 

Progress. Making progress.

Backtrack: June 18-20

It's high time I caught up on this blog!

I want to remember our trip to India in detail, so I'm compiling information from emails I sent home to try to re-write our story. I'll throw a few pictures in here and there. Sooner or later, I'll catch up to the present time!

We left for India on June 18. Roger, Jenya, and I all flew out for our court appointment. Our plan was that R & J would stay a couple of weeks and I would stay as long as it took for Mari's paperwork to be processed and I could bring her home.

We had an uneventful flight. Departed Boston on June 18, landed in Hyderabad June 20 in the wee hours of the morning. Made it to our hotel around 7 a.m., and the hotel management allowed us to crash in an empty room before starting our official stay at check-in time that afternoon. Very kind. Wish the hotel had been clean enough that we wanted to stay there for the duration. We had a 5-night reservation and we high-tailed it out of there as soon as our pre-paid stay was over!

June 20 was a Friday. We wanted to try to visit Mari at the orphanage if at all possible, to see her (of course) and to find out details for our Monday morning court appointment.

By chance, when we called for a taxi we got Mr. Mukhtar for our driver. He knew where the orphanage was located (it's quite tucked away and doesn't have a street address). He was a very knowledgeable driver, spoke great English, and was so happy that we were there to adopt an orphan that he offered us a discount on the daily cab rate. We ended up hiring him each day during what turned out to be a 1-month stay in Hyderabad. He was charmed by our girls and very protective of us.

When we got to the orphanage, we learned that Mari had been taken to the hospital. WHAT??!? The HOSPITAL??! Well, it was just to have some skin polyps examined and possibly removed. Evidently all the regular doctors' offices are in walk-in clinics called hospitals. Our panicked images of our child on a surgical table, hooked up to machines, quickly faded.

We unpacked some of the gifts we'd brought for the kids at the orphanage. We had a ton of rainbow loom bracelets, hair clips, and other small pretty things. We got to go from room to room distributing the bracelets and clips amidst a wild flurry of reaching arms and smiling faces. The nannies herded the kids around with short sticks, shepherd-style.

We waited a few hours and ended up being able to see Mari for about 5 minutes that day. Sweet, sleepy little thing. She was very tired after missing her nap time while at the doctor. She was (and is) so, so tiny: at almost 3 years old, she weighed just about 16 pounds. She sat on my lap without complaint, but also without expression. She could walk a bit, but her steps looked painful. Her legs were all crooked and her toes curled under. Our hearts melted. She was so small, so darling, so wide-eyed, and so silent. We longed to know this child -- this child whom we already loved.

We took our family photo to submit to the court and let Mari get back to her nanny and her nap. We were all so tired from the travel and the intensity of meeting our little girl.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

her name

Mari: a wished-for child. This is our chosen name for our little girl. We love its meaning, beauty, and simplicity. We also love that it starts and ends as her Indian name Mahathi does, so the transition is easy. 

Elizabeth: God's promise. All our children have family names as their middle names. Elizabeth is found on both sides of our family, and we are particularly honoring Roger's dear great aunt, Leanna Elizabeth (Aunt Nan).

Mahathi: greatness. This is Mari's name in India. It's pronounced "MAH-HAH-dthee." We are grateful for this beautiful name that was given to our girl when she was a newborn. We believe that God does indeed have great plans for her.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Meet our little Miss M!

Introducing our little firecracker…


After all these many days, weeks, months, and years of waiting, she is finally here! Today we became Mari's legal guardians. What a happy, happy day it is! Our family is complete.

Mari is a darling little sprite who will be 3 years old in early September. Now that the long forced silence of waiting for guardianship is over, we promise to fill this blog with endless details in the days to come. Thank you so, so much for all your love, encouragement, prayers, and support during this long trial. We are grateful!

Together at last!