Sunday, November 21, 2010

What happened to loulou- a repost that gives a (long) short recap of WHO I am. I’ll warn you… It’s really long. :)

I have so many new friends reading the blog now, and I know that many of you don’t really “know” me. I wrote this brief recap last year for the same reason and thought I’d share the story with those of you now who may be interested. THIS is the story of our adoptions and how they changed our lives (both good and bad) for over 2 years and how I reemerged into the “real” world. I have adoption blogs that chronicle the entire adoptions of both girls…the actual steps as well as how God truly changed ME through it all. If you want to read those blogs just leave me a comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS PLEASE, and I’ll send you an invitation. I’ll warn you, it’s A LOT of reading. :) Here’s the shortest recap ever of the story.

 

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:

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

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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…

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Just be a mama to your baby…17

Marvel at every move she makes….

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

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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….

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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…..

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

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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….

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

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

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Cherish every second only to leave.

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Become her mama….

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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.

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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….

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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.

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

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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…

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

Two sisters together

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Got to share this with my best friend…

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Our little family missing our boys….

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Bring Essie home to meet her brothers…

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and her grandparents….

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Come home to try to find a new normal….

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All 4 kiddos finally home together

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Coming out of the fog…..

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

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Edited:

I gained a lot of weight during my adoptions and after I brought them home… I was seriously depressed and overwhelmed for a LONG time. Since then I have lost 28 lbs. I had let myself go in EVERY way possible…In the picture directly above I had lost about 10 lbs. In the picture below I was at my heaviest- 160 pounds. I have a very small frame, and that is A LOT for me.

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After the first 10 lbs:

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Here are some more accurate pics of me recently:

In September in Jamaica:

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I’m no supermodel, but I’m comfortable in my own skin… and stretch marks :)

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Me showing these bathing suit pics are huge for me. I had been so uncomfortable and hated ME for so long. I never thought I’d be able emotionally to share myself like this.

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With my sister Leelee and my bestie Muriel.

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With my super amazing best friend sister girl Natalie in NYC for my 40th birthday this summer.

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This random guy in NYC walked up and asked if he could take a picture with me… It was hilarious.

281A few weeks ago with one of my good friends from high school 

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Just so you know…. I don’t look like this everyday… Most days I look like this:

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If you’re still here after all this God bless you! LOL! Have a great Sunday!

10 comments:

Kelly said...

Wow! What an amazing journey. Thanks for sharing! You go girl!!!! :)

SavannahGranny said...

I love you girl. May God richly bless you and your special family. Hugs, Ginger

Christina said...

I love this! I am a "newer" follower...so this helps to get to know you :) I have a brother who's adopted from Guatemala...and I know that if I have the resources someday, and God allows, we will also adopt! I love that you shared this beautiful story :)

Janine said...

Loulou, I am so glad that I found your blog a few weeks back. You are so honest and real. This is an amazing post. I admire you so much for being who you are and sharing with such honesty. Look at you!!! You are looking so fabulous! Today I am celebrating with you the amazing victories that you have won over these last few years ... from having your adoptions come through, to rediscovering and celebrating the amazing woman you are today! So awesome. Big love to ya today.

Between You and Me said...

thanks for emailing me with your link...I've loved reading your story..and can't wait to read more!!

kathie said...

I'm so happy you shared all of this. How blessed you are! I am in awe of your two adoptions. We still talk about it :) 'Blessed to be a Blessing' is our theme this fall at church, and you are blessed beyond belief in terms of that!

Julie Harward said...

A long post and a very wonderful post! I love these little beauties...you are so blessed! It's not easy no matter how they come...but so worth it! I have adopted 3 and they were quite the jouneys too! :D

Michelle Smiles said...

I think that is one aspect of adoption I wasn't prepared for - how it completely took over my life for so long. First the paperchase consumed me and then all of the things you described. And you are right - it was so hard to figure out who I was again afterward. It had defined me for so long. I'm still working on it since my adoption was followed quickly with a pregnancy. And the end of my adoption also meant the end of almost everything else in my world (living in the area I considered home, my job, friends and family near) since I became a first time stay at home mom and moved 400 miles from home 2 weeks after I came back from fostering Sabrina. No wonder I still don't feel like I totally have my feet back under me some days lol.
But aside from all of the crazy and the amazing children and country it brought into our lives, it also brought so many amazing and interesting people.
Great post Lou.

Muriel and Jerry said...

The last picture is hysterical...for real! I never saw the bathing suit pic before...looking good girl! I love reading your life story even though I already know it! xoxoxo

Princess D said...

Fellow Guatemamma here and long time follower of your blogs. My little girl is now 5 (time flys). You have made such an amazing transformation of your self, inside and out as well as all that beautiful new furniture your are making. Inspired by you and you look like one HOTT MOMMA in your bathing suit pics! Happy Thanksgiving.

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