Saturday, October 31, 2009

what happened to loulou?

I’ve blogged for years…. I documented every step of our 2 Guatemalan adoptions and made some lifelong friends. We Guatemama’s are a loyal loving group. I’ve noticed as I’ve been documenting my attempts at craftiness that several have joined who know NOTHING about me… about what drives me….. about what makes me who I am. I decided I should start giving you a glimpse at who Loulou is….Who I AM.

For those of you who haven’t experienced an international adoption let me just tell you: they take over your lives…every second. every minute. every day. You don’t leave the house for a week in fear of missing an email about your baby.(the days before the iphone) You won’t be 2 inches away from a phone in case anyone calls….They never call and email as much as you would like. You cling to hope and hate the weekends…you never hear anything on a weekend. Your child is in a 3rd world country, and you have NO control. You eat too much chocolate and gain as much weight as you did in your pregnancies, and NO ONE gets you…. No one EXCEPT those precious souls who are going through the same thing. Your bloggers. Your friends. Your lifeline. Adoption becomes your identity. Finally, your children come home. You spend a year trying to find a new normal….. For the first time in years you wonder where YOU are. What happened to YOU? Where did YOU go as an individual?? Have you ever had a hobby? WHAT did you do before adoption rocked your world?

It took me a while to get myself back together. Sweet Essiecakes has been home 14 months, Anne Pearce for over 2 years, and I am slowly coming out of a fog…. a fog of having 2 babies 7 months apart who couldn’t stand each other most of the time and 2 teenagers with teenage issues. It was tough. Wonderful. Exhausting. Fulfilling. Horrible. The best things we could have ever done as a family. Now I’m having to recreate my life. Who am I? What do I want to accomplish? What do I want for our family? First and foremost I want to do what God wants me to do, and I feel that He wants me to return to the world. Get out of this house. Do SOMETHING….. I’ve had SO many houses in so many different places, and it occurred to me a while back that this didn’t feel like my HOME. I hadn’t done anything creative to change things up and make it feel like my place. My sanctuary. My house. My haven. All of a sudden I was filled with desire for SOMETHING…. I was ALIVE! I have a vision…. I know what I want our home to be!!! All the people who are supposed to be here are here, and it’s time to make our home. Not a home where some of us lived while we waited on the others to join us. A home for all 6 of us. Our place. OUR sanctuary. OUR HOME. I don’t have a fortune to work with or the time I would want to invest, but I am slowly but surely going to make this place be what I want it to be for US. What we need it to be for US. It’s time to live life again, and I am ready. I hope that you will tag along with me on this journey. I always need support, ideas, and I just plain love to blog. This is a different kind of blog than I used to have for a different kind of Loulou. I’m back, people, I’m back. For those of you just joining the story I thought I would help you fill in the blanks…..

The life of loulou:

Fly to Guatemala and fall hopelessly in love with a baby you CANNOT believe God chose YOU to call your daughter…000_0013

Get to know this baby girl and adore her more every minute…100_0330

Watch Andrew become a daddy to this girlie ….100_0401

fall even more in love with Andrew…..100_0508

Fly back home and wonder how you will ever make it another day without that face….Fly BACK to Guatemala to see this sweet angel:


Realize that you love her even more than you thought you did…..


Try to soak up every second until you have to leave her again….you don’t believe your heart will EVER heal….100_0950

Until you make that final trip and NEVER have to give that baby back again…. You pinch yourself over and over again to make sure this isn’t a dream….after all, this is the dream you’ve dreamed every second for as long as you can remember…


Just be a mama to your baby…17

Marvel at every move she makes….


THEN I got to give her BACK to her daddy……after almost 4 months…



I got to introduce her to her brothers for the first time…100_2342

Then you bring her home to all the people who have loved and waited for her… Life begins YOU THINK….

AP June 25-26 038

You think your family is complete…. You think you are done, UNTIL you see this sweet face and KNOW she is your daughter…. PRAY AND PRAY AND PRAY AND BEG AND BEG AND BEG your hubby for months until he comes to the same conclusion: She’s ours too…..


You decide to adopt this baby TWO WEEKS before adoptions in Guatemala are closing….. no time for paperwork…


Fly to Guatemala less than 2 weeks later….the day after Christmas… Sign papers to register adoption….get registered Dec. 28….cutoff is the 30th…. Praise God that you made it in time….

Essievisitdec. 001

Fall in love all over again with this TINY precious girlie…

Essievisitdec. 036

Wonder how in the heck you’re ever gonna take care of TWO of these people!

Essievisitdec. 056

Cherish every second only to leave.

Essievisitdec. 169

Become her mama….

Essievisitdec. 122

Only to have to leave again….fly home to complete paperwork for international adoption. from scratch. by myself. no agency this time. I did it all……Got everything finished in record time and headed back down to see my angel again in March…She had grown SO much.


Still so little and sweet…..loved every second with her.EssieMarch 208

Wondered what I had EVER done to deserve another one of God’s blessings….

EssieMarch 081

EssieVisitMay 206

EssieVisitMay 240

Went home AGAIN.Went home AGAIN.Went home AGAIN.Went home AGAIN.Went home AGAIN.Went home AGAIN.Went home AGAIN.Went home AGAIN.Went home AGAIN.

EssieVisitMay 485

Went BACK to Guatemala AGAIN…..came back to the same sweet girl….a little older….still my girlie

EssievisitJuly'08 067

EssievisitJuly'08 158

This picture is one of the worst memories of my life. Essie was so mad at me for leaving this time….She wouldn’t have anything to do with me when her foster mom came to get her….I was devastated…

EssievisitJuly'08 314

Then the happy day came when we got to go bring her home…Essie Pickup 010

Two sisters together

Essie Pickup 014

Essie Pickup 068

Got to share this with my best friend…

Essie Pickup 079

Our little family missing our boys….

Essie Pickup 083

Bring Essie home to meet her brothers…

Essie Pickup 269

Essie Pickup 280

and her grandparents….

Essie Pickup 281

Come home to try to find a new normal….

August'08 087



All 4 kiddos finally home together

Sept.'08 123


Coming out of the fog…..




Here I am now…..ready to reenter the world……craziness. fabulousness…and all.



Tonya Boster said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the recap, Lou. I knew your story from being on Guatadopt during Arabella's adoption (and your adoption blog). I can relate to all of the joy and heartaches that come with international adoption and specifically the Guatemalan process. I love your story and think you and your family are just precious! said...

Tonya, I love you and Arabella like you're family... You ARE our family!

Mandy said...

I've been reading your blog (well other blogs) since before Anne Pearce came home and have followed along ever since. I'm glad that you are still blogging and I have to say, I LOVE the DIY projects you've undertaken. Welcome back!

Julie said...

I'll just echo what everyone else has said - as a Momma to my 2 from Guatemala (Libby - almost 4 & Derek 2), I admire your finding what defines YOU again!! I can totally relate!! :) Keep being crafty -- you inspire me to get rid of the darkness (but warm dark, not creepy) that is our house that was built in 1922!! :)

Laurie said...

I am so glad to hear you say you are out of the fog and ready to grab life again! I remember the end of AP's journey every step of Essie's. You are an amazing mama! Big hugs!

Kim W said...

Very well written. What a ride, and it's still going! Thanks for sharing your family with us here. I love seeing them and your sewing projects and now the decorating and crafty side. You inspire me, Girl! One day I will get things in gear and get half of what you do done, or atleast I can hope!

Shannon said...

Wow! "Coming out of the fog" is a great way to put it! I've been with you since the fog started rolling in and now I'm with you now that the fog is rolling out!

I'm so GLAD that we met on this journey of international adoption. It's been a great ride!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

What a beautiful story Lou! As a new follower and friend I was so happy to be able to relive this journey just a bit with you....thank you. Your family is absolutely precious...what amazing blessings you have! Anne Pearce and Essie are so stinkin cute I could eat them right up. And those boys of yours...HELLO? They are so handsome!!! I cannot wait to meet y'all and call you my IRL friends!

Love you

laura p said...

Loved the life overview! I still remember following your journey as we were on ours. And the fact that you picked up AP the same week we picked up our two blessings always makes me think of you! Thanks for sharing.

Barbie said...

I think we must be twins. Seriously. I could have written this! We too have teenagers. And two 4 year olds adopted from China. They are ten days apart. I totally understand the fog. I lived it for FOUR YEARS! This last year has been rough but I think I am starting to find ME again. But you are right, it's SO worth it. However, this week I saw a little girl and fell head over heels in love. So now I am in prayer... so confused. Part of me is ready to live the life before me fully and part of me is ready to love this little girl and be her mommy. Sigh. Wonderful post though. It is so refreshing to know there are other women out there who get it.

Elizabeth said...

Somehow I found your blog-just out there looking at decorating blogs, and one thing led to another. I'm so touched by your story-your gorgeous sons and precious daughters! Wow-just amazing! Bless you and your family!


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