I'd give $10 for a Q-tip, $100 to have attended my church Christmas tea today, $1000 to be in my own bed tonight watching a Christmas movie with my crew at home, and all my worldly possessions to have my entire family under one roof forever. Yes, I'm still homesick.
But in this post, I'm not going to continue to depress you. It really isn't all bad here.(And I apologize again for the crazy things happening to my text on some posts. It often transposes words and caps words in the middle of sentences.)
Anyway, we're living a Third World version of The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and now that I know I can post pics from here without my laptop blowing up, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into this poorly written sitcom I'm stuck in.
This is our "Tipton Hotel." It's older than many of the nice hotels we could have chosen in Guatemala City but it has a lot of charm and has a very special ammenity--it's a two minute walk to the US Embassy. And since a Visa for Daniel is all our family wants for Christmas, it's like sleeping next to Toys R Us.
Daniel and Alex are our Zach and Cody, so I guess that would make me the mom who sings in the restaurant lounge. And if this adoption drags on much longer, that may be how I continue to pay to live here. But I'm thinking my Feliz Navidad, off-key, with a southern accent, would have me on kitchen duty pretty fast.
We have a small pool that's not heated but the weather has been so warm on most days it hasn't been a problem.(I can't believe it might snow in Georgia and we're wearing shorts here.)
This is in the little hotel restaurant.
They have great food and since we're usually the only ones in there it's been a good place to work on table manners. (Note: I would NOT use the salt and pepper shakers on tables 1 and 4. I'm just saying.)
The beds are for sleeping,
(Hey, there's nothing else to do so monkeys are allowed to jump on the bed if they are careful.)
We moved into a bigger room tonight because Alex's adoptive mom and brother joined us today. This is rub a dub dub, three cuties in the tub (the guest appearance in this pic is Joshua). The pool was cold today so we moved the swimming into the bathroom. (I don't think Daniel and Alex had ever been in a bathtub.)Daniel said, "Look, mama, I have a beard like Santa!"
Yes, you do see Christmas lights in the background of many of the pictures. When we went to Hiper Piaz (it's like Wal-Mart) last week we picked up some lights and other decorations for our room. I think Daniel and Alex are the cutest part of the display.
Daniel's face was precious when we turned the lights on and he squealed and clapped with joy. The hotel staff likes to peek in our window when the curtain is open and giggle at the craziness in our room.
I've watched enough Zach and Cody episodes to know that life at the Tipton is all about hijinks. And boy do we have hijinks. Like this morning when I discovered one of the boys had accidentally used my toothbrush. My choices were to risk getting whatever intestinal souvenir they might have or disinfect my toothbrush with tap water that isn't safe to drink. (Cue the laugh track.)
Or how about when my adoption attorney calls (I guess he's my Mr. Moesby) and says we have another error on our certifications and our judge has had a stroke and it will cost us a couple weeks. This is the episode where I pose as a flower delivery girl and show up at the hospital hoping he'll sign my documents. (No I didn't really do that but I did give it some serious thought.)
But the best part of this hotel life is the sweet time with my new son. The other night Daniel asked what were my favorite things about Christmas. First, I talked about the music, then got bummed that I haven't listened to one Christmas carol since I left the day after Thanksgiving. (My playlist isn't accessible from Guatemala and it's killing me that I can't even add my favorite Christmas tunes to my blog.)
Then I talked about the silly traditions we have as a family, favorite Christmas treats, and how we have "pajama rides" in the car to look at lights. Then I told him how much I love lights--white, colored, flashing, icicle. I think he could tell I was getting homesick just talking about it all.
As I was getting the boys ready for bed we heard some commotion outside our door. Daniel peeked out the window to see what was going on and exclaimed, "Mama, come look!!!!" This is what we saw when they were done.
Here I am, far from home, wishing I could be looking at lights with my whole family, instead of stuck here watching the Christmas season come and go. Yet God makes sure I have a bit of Christmas cheer hung right outside my door. God is so good to me.