Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Grade

Yesterday was Andrew's first day of first grade! First grade, y'all! He is growing up too fast. But he had an awesome first day, and I know he's going to have a fabulous year. 

This last picture is an added bonus and a peak into my child's goofy personality. I told him to get dressed for soccer, and he came out wearing this. He is absolutely the greatest, craziest kid ever. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


We're home.

The suitcases are unpacked.

The clothes are washed.

Life is returning to business as usual.

The trip that we've anticipated for so long has come and gone.

And we'll never be the same.

I printed almost 200 pictures of our daughter on Monday. Ridiculous. But each one holds a moment. A memory. A laugh. A smile.

Our week with our daughter went very well. There were a few bumps in the road, but they didn't slow us down much. I'm trying hard not to over analyze every moment, or to read too much into any one thing.  Did we see some orphanage type behaviors? Yes, we saw a few. Especially upon meeting us. But we also saw a very well cared for, happy, chubby, and love able little girl. We saw a little girl that has established some pretty close bonds with a couple of her caregivers., and I know it's going to be confusing to her when the time comes to leave.

Upon first meeting us she didn't cry, but she did seem cautious, a bit nervous, and shy. Having said that, she warmed up pretty quickly.  I felt like her behavior was extremely normal given her age and situation.  I was more than relieved to see how physically healthy she is, and I was thrilled to see that she has formed some attachments.

Now we wait. We are at the Bulgarian MOJ which means that at this point it is out of our hands. We are now waiting for our file to reviewed and signed, and then we'll be given a court date. It sounds simple, but the process takes time. It is unusual for a family to be at this stage immediately following trip 1, but we got a jump start on our paperwork before we left. Hopefully, that will save us at least a few weeks.

So in the meantime we pray. We pray for peace, patience, protection for our girl, a speedy process in Bulgaria, and good bonding and attachment when we return home. Thank you for all your prayers throughout trip 1. We felt them, and we know God's hand is in this every step of the way!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On Meeting My Daughter For the First Time

Today we met our daughter for the first time. They told us she would cry because she always cries when she meets strangers. However she didn't cry. She was hesitant and cautious when they first brought her in, but she warmed up to both us and loved Patrick. I can tell that she will be a daddy's girl. 

She's beautiful, and she has the best laugh in the world. She loves hugs and kisses and tickles. She loves to put her forehead up against yours and then look straight into your eyes.  She loves to play and dance and be held. She doesn't love the stroller. Haha!

Her orphanage blew us away. It is clean and bright and cheerful. Most importantly, the caregivers seem to genuinely care about the children. You can tell by their interactions that these kids mean the world to them, and they want the best for each one. 

I can definitely say that today has been a storm of emotions. It has been such a long journey. I am happy to have her in my arms, sad because I wish we could take her home with us, and overwhelmed by it all. But through all of this God had been good . . . actually I think the word amazing would be more appropriate. Thank you for ALL your prayers. Please continue to pray as we go through this week and have to leave her to return home. Please pray for her safety and our peace.  And just one more time, thank you!!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Thank You A Thousand Times Over

I'm sitting here waiting to check in for our flights.

Our bags are (mostly) packed.

The dogs have been dropped off for their "vacation".

Andrew is ready to spend a week with his grandparents and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Hector.

I even took Andrew to the dentist this morning. It wasn't his first visit, but this was the visit where he chose to give what I consider an Oscar worthy performance. It really deserves a blog post completely of its own. And heaven only knows why I decided he needed to go to the dentist the day before we leave for Bulgaria. But I made the appointment. We survived the appointment. And McDonalds may or may not have followed the appointment.

My OCD and ADD tendencies are both showing themselves strong right now which means that I want everything in the house in order, put away, and clean before we leave, but I keep starting one thing, leaving it, and then starting something else. So I have laundry going and no sheets on the beds and dishes sitting in the sink and the vacuum in the middle of the living room. It's how I roll.

But with everything that is going on, I wanted to stop and say, "Thank you!" How inadequate those two words seem. You see in the past few days I've received numerous emails, texts, phone calls, Facebook messages and posts, and so on telling me that we are in people's prayers and that you're thinking of us, and I think some of you are almost as excited as we are. I've had more than one person grab me and say a prayer for us. And all I can say is, "Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts." You really have no idea how huge of a blessing y'all are. I don't if you'll ever know how much we covet and appreciate your prayers and support. One day this little girl is going to know how much she was loved even before we ever met her.

So one last time . . .

Thank You! Y'all Absolutely Rock!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Emotions . . . I Got 'Em

One week from today Patrick and I will be on a plane, somewhere above the Atlantic, bound for Bulgaria to meet our baby girl.

In the past week I've been asked numerous times how I feel . . .

"Are you . . .  Excited? Anxious? Nervous? Terrified? Overjoyed? Thrilled? Overwhelmed?"

My answer is, "Yes". To every single one of those questions you will get a resounding, "Yes". It's hard to put my finger on my emotions right now. At any given moment, I'm likely to be feeling a combination of all of the above.

Meeting our daughter for the first time is both thrilling and terrifying. There is no way to accurately express my feelings about the upcoming trip. I can't wait to lay eyes on her. To see that she is well and cared for. To hold her and play with her. But I'm already dreading leaving. I'm finding out that I'm not a huge fan of having two kids on two different continents. They both belong in my house where I can see them and touch them and kiss them while they sleep.

And then there's the fact that we're leaving Andrew here. Ummm . . . I may be a bit of a helicopter parent. I'm working on it. Maybe I'll start a support group . . . but the longest that Andrew has been away from both Patrick and me at the same time is right at 24 hours. So this is new territory for all of us. If you know Andrew, you know he's a homebody, or as Patrick says "He's a hobbit like his mother." only, he means hermit not hobbit . . . I may be short, but I'm not a hobbit. Sorry . . . major bunny trail. Anyway, I know we're leaving him in good hands, and he'll get to consume massive quantities of junk and play too many video games and watch way too much t.v. He'll be happy as a clam, but I'm going to miss him like crazy.

I've probably read and prayed Psalm 91 more in the last few weeks than ever before, and I somehow don't think I'm going to let up anytime soon. It definitely helps me keep my crazy emotions under some semblance of control. And if your so inclined, would you say a prayer for us? For peace . . . for health . . . and for a fantastic and safe Trip 1.

Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!