Thursday, August 20, 2009

Incredible Woman #2 - Kristin Johnson. Thursday's questions

Kara: "You spent a great deal of time in a foreign country, taking care of your new little daughter. Can you tell us about that time? What was hard about it? How did you get through that? What did your family do while you were gone?

Kris: "August 7th through December 30th 2007: When we received our daughter in Guatemala she was so sick, we talked with the attorney and they told us they could get us a medical visa for her in 8 weeks and get her to the states for the surgery that the doctors there felt she needed. Dave and I prayed alot about what we should do, and after talking to the owner of our agency who was at the hotel for a few weeks, we decided that I would stay there with her and care for her until we could get her home. What started as maybe 8 weeks turned into 5 months, missing 4 of our kids' birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas! Dave was so great and held down the fort at home while I was there. He took care of all of the boys and their needs, put up with alot of problems and alot of stress for months. He talked to me every day and we saw each other on the computer every night and talked for hours. He was able to come down twice to see us for a few days, and we enjoyed that time together and tried to keep each other strong. The fact was, he was worried sick everyday! After spending part of the first three weeks living in a hotel, and the other part in the hospital with Ellie, I moved in with a lady who worked for the attorney there. She had 2 kids and her husband was gone most of the time in the military. She became a very good friend and her family was wonderful. Though they all spoke Spanish, and I did not know any Spanish at all, we were able to make it work. Ellie and I lived in an 8x8 bedroom. I learned to cook differently, wash clothes differently, and to live with cockroaches! I dyed my hair black to blend in more, and spent most of my time alone. It was a hard and lonely time. I was bitten by a mosquito in November, as were the lady I lived with and her son. They were both in the hospital for days before I found out we all had Dengue Fever (kind of like West Nile Virus). I don’t think I have ever been that sick. I was alone and felt so horrible and weak I could hardly pick the baby up to change her. It was all I could do to walk in the kitchen to get bottled water for her bottles. It took about 2 weeks for the rash to clear up- it was horrible, my skin felt burned all over and it was hard to even wear clothes. I was so exhausted and I cried all day because I just wanted to be home with my family and Dave. The exhaustion lasted for months after I came home. I went to the U.S. Embassy the Friday before Christmas for our immigration appointment and had my flight scheduled to leave the next day. The embassy was missing Ellie’s immigration paper and the only place to get it was the office in Utah, which was closed until after Christmas! I walked out of the embassy in tears and called Dave and told him I would miss Christmas, then I called my mom and sister and cried the entire day. Like I've said before, I think there is a reason for everything - I was able to spend the week of Christmas with my friend's family and learn alot of Guatemalan traditions and recipes; I shopped for the kids and my family. I brought more back for Ellie in tradition that I can share with her for the rest of her life, then I would have been able to had I left earlier. When Ellie and I got on the plane and it took off I started to cry, I couldn’t believe we were on our way HOME! It had been years of looking, lots of heartache, months of stress and tears and fear and joy and love, and we would finally be with Dave and the other kids! When we touched down in California and the pilot said “Welcome to the United States of America” I bawled! It was all I could do to get Ellie and all of our stuff through immigration and customs and onto the next plane taking us to Utah! When the plane was over Salt Lake, I looked out the window at the mountains and had never seen anything so beautiful. I still look at those mountains everyday with a reverence, they symbolize “home” to me. The pilot landed and I could not get off the plane fast enough! The excitement and anticipation were killing me! Dave, my dad, and my sister were waiting as I came around the corner, her son Alex was taking pictures! Ellie went right to her daddy with a big smile! Then grandpa and Kara got one too! We hopped on the elevator and when the doors opened at the baggage claim, there stood all of my kids, my mom and Kara’s family waiting with a big banner that read “Welcome home Mom and Ellie!” I think it was possibly the best moment ever for me! After Ellie met her siblings and other family members, we left and went to my parents to celebrate Christmas together- better late than never! It was such an emotional night, and the days that followed were surreal. I know that the only way I got through that time is because of my faith. I prayed everyday that Heavenly Father watched over me and Ellie and watched over my family while I was away, that He made us strong and helped us through this time. I know that there were so many people at home that were also praying for us, and through their faith, as well as our own, Ellie and I made it through. Ellie and I were on one of the last planes to leave with adopted children - the following day the new president was put into office and all adoption processes stopped. There are still, a year and a half later, over 900 children in the process - trying to get home to their families under the old laws. I ache for each of them and pray their families will be blessed to have them home soon. Ellie was tested at the Primary Children’s Hospital here and was fine- no surgery needed! We are SO blessed!"

Kara: "You are a beautiful woman – you look much younger than you are. I know you sell Mary Kay. Can you give us some beauty tips about our skin, makeup, and bodies?"

Kris: "First of all, thanks for the compliment! I must say that most of it is good genes! Thanks Mom! She passed them on to Kara and me both! I do sell Mary Kay, I am not one of those who is out “working the biz”, but I am devoted to the products! I have been using MK skin care for over 20 years! Though the formulas have changed some over the years, I feel they have just gotten better. I wash my face and use the products every morning and night and am grateful I am holding onto some of it, though I do detect some wrinkles around the eyes- I have EARNED every one! I drink alot of water, that is my big thing, at least 6-8 20 oz. water bottles a day. I know that it helps clear out my system, keep my skin clear and helps me lose weight. I am not real happy with my body right now- I have put on a few pounds, but I am working on it and am determined to exercise and get it off. I want to take care of myself so I can grow up with Ellie! It is my responsibility to be here for her and be a fun, active mom even though I started with her at a later age!"


blushing rose said...

Lovely post. TY for sharing. TTFN ~Marydon

nima said...

It was nice to read...thank you for sharing

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