Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Our Last Day in Guatemala

Hello to everyone,
Well it is our last day in Guatemala and it was the best so far. We went to Antigua today and had a blast. Noah slept most of the time except when we were in a place that he needed to be a little more quiet. We did have a lot of help with him from the local people. Everyone has been so kind and the people here are beautiful. We will miss them greatly and will never forget our experience in Noah's birth country.

We are looking forward to being home though not looking forward to such a long day. Noah is teething and has a cold so he gets fussy when we stop for very long. We do appreciate all the prayers and thank God for each of you. Your emails while we have been away have been so comforting. It has helped more than you will ever know.

Love the Milners

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Our First Outting with Noah!

We have met our new son, met his foster mother, exchanged gifts with the foster mom {we got the better end of the deal -Noah}, finished signing paper work, taken pictures, and said our goodbyes to Grandma Alice.

Now it is time to enjoy our little guy and get to know him. What we have learned so far is that he really likes to smile. Unless of course you take his picture and then he is all serious. He is much smaller that we were expecting. Very healthy just not as big as he looked in the last set of pictures. This is okay with us just brought the wrong size clothes. We were expecting him to wear 9 -12 months clothes based on his weight. We thought that we were pushing it by bringing 6-12 month clothing (thought they may be too small). It turns out that 3-6 months is a good fit. We have those too just not as many. Pjs will just have to be big till we get home. Thankfully we brought a few pairs of smaller socks that will work until we get home. After holding him I think that the reason his weight had us thrown off was because he is solid and barrel chested.

After a very long emotional day we are going out for our first dinner together. We have decided on Apple Bee's because we can see it from our hotel room and it looks easy to find. Noah has been changed into his new out fit and he is sporting his new hat and his new snuggly. He seems to be pretty happy at this point.

Toes, Toes, Glorious Toes!

We waited so long to see these precious piggies! They are all there and accounted for. They are however much smaller than we expected them to be. He is 6 months old and wears a size newborn shoe. The socks that we brought are huge on him.

The Other Woman

I know that the title sounds a little odd but that is really how I have felt until today. For six months I only knew that our son was being cared for by his foster mom in Guatemala. We had no name or face to assign to to the woman who was holding and comforting our son, providing his every need. Questions and thoughts would arise such as...what does she look like, how old is she, why did she chose to foster, does she have children of her own, is there a father figure in the picture, if so how is there marriage, does she put sugar in his bottle (this was my biggest fear- crazy as it sounds), will she miss him when he's gone, and the biggest question of all does she know how much we already love him?

All of those questions and fears faded the moment I saw "Grandma Alice". She was beautiful, warm, and kind. Her smile spoke all the words that could not be communicated. We knew right away that the "other woman" loved our son and had given him a home, his first home and that we were blessed to have had such a wonderful foster mother for our little boy. We respectfully and lovingly refer to her as Grandma Alice. Noah has her picture next to his crib and we talk about her every day. She will always be very dear to our family and we will forever admire her for loving our child completely knowing that it was only for a short time.
Thank you Grandma Alice. Our words can never truly express our gratitude.

Meeting an Angel

Today we held our precious little boy for the first time. It has been six months and 6 days since the birth of our son. As each day passed our love for this little guy has grown far beyond anything we can describe. Each passing day our bodies ached to hold him and touch him and even to know his smell. So today we are so relived and feel like such a burden has been lifted from us. We just feel complete. We have prayed for such a day as this and have stepped out in faith anticipating it's arrival. He is every thing that we could have imagined and so much more. He is beautiful beyond words. His smile and eyes have captured our hearts. And holding him...well it just feels so good. We want time to stand still so that we can treasure this moment forever yet we can't seem to move forward fast enough.

We Have Noah!

We have NOAH! To say he is beautiful is an understatement. He is doing very well. The transition was easier than we thought but very emotional. Noah has laughed and smiled and kicked his little legs since we got him. He is a very happy ,healthy boy. He is not as big as we thought he would be. But he is huge in his chest. He loves to go out side. When we went to dinner he smiled all the way.

Okay well we could go on and on but the little guy is getting sleepy and we have a very early morning. We are ready for our Embassy appointment then we should have the rest of the day tomorrow.

His Daddy has not stoped smiling either. If we miss a flight on Wednesday it will be okay because we can just fly home on the rush that we have after holding him.

Thanks for the prayers. We love you all.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Update: We met with Carol from our agency on Monday June 5th which was also the day that Noah turned 6 mo old. We were discussing what we should expect over the next couple of weeks, and we made our last payment "OUCH". We asked Carol if she had any information about Noah's paper work and she said that our lawyer had no new information. We left the meeting encouraged with a lot of information about what to expect next.

What we didn't expect was that Carol would call about 8pm that same evening to inform us that our lawyer called and we have an appointment with the US Embassy. Our Appointment is at 7:15 am Monday June 12th. We have to pick Noah up no later than the day before the Embassy appointment. While in shock we started looking at the calender. We would need to fly out on Saturday so that would only give us four days to make arrangements and fly out. We were expecting to have another week to get things done.

So.... We have booked a flight that leaves Saturday early afternoon and will arrive in Guatemala about 10pm. Our lawyer will bring Noah and his foster mom to our hotel on Sunday were we will have a chance to give the foster mom a gift and ask her questions about Noah and his routine. Noah will remain with us from that point on. We will go to the Embassy Monday morning, pick up his Visa packet Tuesday afternoon, and we will fly home on Wednesday arriving about 5pm.

Please continue to pray for our family to have safe travel with no problems going through customs or immigration. Pray for Noah's foster family as they prepare for the separation, and for Noah as he is leaving the only family he has ever known.

We will try to update the blog as soon as possible when we get home.

Love the Milners

Monday, June 05, 2006

May's Noah Pictures!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Out of PGN At Last !!!

Last night we received the long-awaited call from our adoption agency, telling us that at last we had cleared PGN!

We were sure that since the week had come to a close, we would not hear any news until the beginning of the next business week, at the very least. So you can imagine our excitement (not to mention shock) when Carol (from our adoption agency) called us at 8:00 on a Friday evening to tell us that we had cleared PGN.

We were more than relieved to finally get the call, which came following one of the toughest days we've had since entering PGN. Friday marked the 12th week since we had cleared the U.S. Embassy, and we were reaching the point of beginning to wonder if we would be able to bring Noah home by mid-summer.

Within the next week, Noah's birth mother will sign his adoption decree, granting us legal guardianship and making him legally our son. It will take about two weeks to receive Noah's new birth certificate, at which point our lawyer will apply for his passport. Once this is done, our exit interview with the U.S. Embassy (also known as our "pink slip") will be scheduled.

Once we've received our pink slip, we can officially make our travel arrangements and hopefully leave for Guatemala within the next week.

Monday, May 08, 2006

April pictures have arrived.

Our little man is getting to a point that he is not so little anymore! He now weighs in at a healthy 16lbs, 8 oz. Dad is currently considering Football Scholarships as a college funding option, and we are still waiting (ever so patiently) to clear PGN. The call could come at any time and we are ready (oh, so ready) whenever they call. Once the call comes we should have about 10 days to get to Guatemala, and about 4-5 days “in-country” to bring him back home!

Friday, March 31, 2006

New Pictures, March 2006

It has been four weeks since we cleared Embassy and we were hoping we would have cleared PGN by now. We did find out that our lawyer did not turn our case in to PGN when we expected she would have. This puts us about three weeks behind where we thought we were. We are, however, very excited to get new pictures. Noah's medical records say that he has found his fingers (and his pictures are proof positive). He is changing so much...we can't wait till we get to bring our little guy home.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Exciting News!

We were very excited to get pictures on Thursday (March 2nd). We were not expecting any more news until we cleared Embassy or until our next set of pictures. Today, Friday March 3rd (which happens to be our 13th wedding anniversary), we received a call from our adoption agency that we have cleared the U.S. Embassy! This took two weeks as opposed to the six weeks it was supposed to take. We go to PGN on Monday. This is the final stage of the adoption. This process can take two to twelve weeks. We are hoping for two weeks. We'll keep everyone posted!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Noah will be three months Sunday March 5th. He is 12 lbs 4 oz and 22 in long.

After what seemed like an eternity we finally received the newest pictures of our little Noah (who is not so little any more). The pictures were only about four days late, but when this is the only connection that you have you rely on it a great deal.

While we were anxiously awaiting the pictures and medical records Dad, Mom, and big sister Kayla decided to guess Noah’s weight. Kayla guessed 13lbs 2 oz, Dad guessed 11 lbs 9 oz, and Mom nailed it on the head at 12lbs 4 oz. I called it mother’s intuition they called it pure luck.

The medical reports say that he received his latest shots and that he is healthy. He is eating well, smiles when you smile at him, and is responding to playfulness. We were excited to hear the positive reports but this makes us all the more anxious for him to come home!!!

We received notice that the DNA was a match and that his biological mom signed away her parental rights for the last time. Our case is now in family court and going through the Embassy for pre approval. They expect this to take 5 to 6 weeks. Next it will go to PGN where it could take 2 to 12 weeks to process. Please pray for accuracy in family court and that the Embassy process would happen quickly. Also please begin to pray that God would place our case with the right person in PGN and that there would be no mistakes in our dossier (and if there are that God will cover them).

Our last prayer request is also a praise. God has supplied all of the financing needed to complete Noah’s adoption. We are so grateful for God’s provision and give him all the glory for bringing this part to completion. The only financial hurdle that we have left is our travel expenses. We have about $1,800.00 left to raise for travel. This cost is an estimate by our agency since we are not sure when we will travel and can not book flights in advance. Please pray that God will show us what we need to do and that we will continue to trust him to meet this need.

The church baby shower is going to be held at the Pinnacle Country Club on March 11th. We are very excited about this event as it adds some normalcy. We’ll add pictures to the blog after the Shower.

Friday, January 27, 2006

NEW Photos at Last

Some of these are a little fuzzier than last time, but they do show that he seems to be doing just fine! 9lbs. 6oz. of big-ol-baby-boy! And he's in the outfit we sent to the foster family to boot!
I'm afraid we may be seeing a lot more of that look in the third picture as time goes on. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Ecstasy and the Agony

We finally received our paperwork back from the Guatemalan consulate (Hooray!) only to find (to our horror) that the dates on the Notary section were incorrect!! That means these documents have to start over again! (Ohhhh!) This took quite a bit of wind out of our sails, but we recovered.
James went to little Rock at 4:00am this morning to get that leg of the process over a little faster and still salvage some time at work. By the end of the day the documents should once again be on their way to the consulate in Huston via FedEx. We think the consulate must be getting used to seeing letters from us every few days and the receptionist will probably have my number memorized on the Caller ID after tomorrow.
We're hopeful that we'll have everything going to Guatemala Monday if everything goes right.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Well, the Secretary of State's office was a little behind and was not able to turn around our documents as quicly as we would have liked (Grrrrr..), but we recieved them back from thier office today, and we have sent them on to the Conuslate in Huston. We're hoping for a quick turnaround there and to have the completed forms back by Monday. This only leaves us a couple of days behind I guess, but since we've seen him, time is of the essence, and even the little dealys cause large ammounts of grief to waiting parents.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Paperwork Continues!

One more picture to show evereryone. It may be redundant but "Look at those Fingers!". They're soo... Long! I'm thinking basketball scholarships! I've put in a call to the University recruters, but they are busy guys and haven't had time to get back to me quite yet. I'm sure it's just an oversight. ;-)
Friday we received, checked, corrected, signed, and notarized our “Special Power of Attorney” document and got it sent to the Arkansas Sec. of State office for Seals. FedEx-ed both ways, we hope to get them back Tuesday or Wednesday so that we can FedEx them to the Consulate in Texas and get them back by the end of the week. If all goes well, we’ll be able to send the “Fully Complete” dossier to Guatemala Monday so that it arrives at the Lawyer’s office by the 15th, when she is scheduled to return from vacation. Everything is in a hurry now, but I understand from those who have been there before that the “rush, rush” will soon turn into “sit and wait”.
We painted the nursery blue this weekend, and we plan to get a mural put on the wall over the next couple of weeks (or a month perhaps). We’re going with an “airplane” theme in the room, so a nice blue-sky background will definitely be help.