Our 120-Day Hourglass

Our 120-day hourglass timer has begun. The passing of seconds, minutes, hours, days and weeks will go fast, but perhaps not quite fast enough.

And while I don’t ever wish time away, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I am kind of wishing these next 120 days to fly.

Samarah turned 6-months old on Wednesday.


As of today, we have had her for 4 months.

Wednesday the hourglass started; today we have just 118 days left until the 366.26 hearing.

According to California law, this hearing “takes place 120 days after Family Reunification services end. Here the court approves a permanent plan.  The court may also order termination of parental rights (TPR) at this hearing.  The adoption finalization hearing occurs after the court has ordered termination of parental rights and a series of legal and social work requirements have been met.”

I’m not exactly sure how it will all play out after the 120th day, nor do I know the timeframe for when we will celebrate Gotcha Day, but I should know more next week.

This has all been quite the exhausting process, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Each day we have Samarah, I know the Lord is watching over us all. Moments like these melt my heart, and be honest -> it’s melting yours, too. She has radically changed our lives.


I might still have a ton of fear around losing her, but that smile of hers and her “Chatty Cathy-isms” she is now so keen on makes me understand that for today, in this place of ultimate loving on her, is all we need to be concerned with.

While the sand gently seeps through the hourglass, I hold her hand and she holds my heart. {I tell her this daily so she knows that the physical clenching of our hands is nothing compared to the emotional clenching we are consumed by.}


Our forever day together is coming soon, and we’ll never have to let each other go.


Love your guts,

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  1. Carla says

    It’s funny – we never celebrate GOTCHA. No major reasons more because we could never decide what day it would be.
    The first visit to Guatemala when she was a few weeks old? When I moved down to Guatemala and took over custody? Months and months and months later when we finally moved home.
    It’s always stuck in my mind the date, but only because we ended up getting freed from the red tape which bound :-) and able to head back to Texas on Guatemalan Independence Day.

    • says

      Yeah, I’ve never heard you talk about “that day.” I love that you get exactly how I’m feeling during all the waiting!

  2. Niki Berg Tirivepi says

    We still celebrate Gotcha Day 28 years later and some of my favorite family memories are from Gotcha Days in the past….thinking of you guys often!

  3. Brooke says

    Goosebumps. Having been a caseworker, it still gives me chills when a child gets a second chance with their TRUE family. Bless!

  4. Jane Hall says

    And my heart is feeling truly overwhelmed with love for you, Ryan and Samarah… along with a few “happy tears” :)
    I know that you two are meant to be her parents forever.