Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Eight Years

At 3:51 this morning Andrew turned eight years old. It's hard to believe it has been eight years. Yet, I cannot remember life without my (not so) little buddy. Andrew is kind hearted. He is compassionate. He is loving. He is 150% boy. He loves superheroes and video games. He has great debating skills ... interpretation: he's fabulous at arguing. He sings so loudly in church that people turn around and look at us. He loves Jesus with all of his eight year old little heart.

Happy birthday Buddy!

Friday, September 4, 2015

And Her Name Is (drumroll) ...

We our wrapping up our week in Bulgaria. It has been amazing, exhausting, exciting, and emotionally draining all at once. Today we are back in Sofia to finish up our paperwork. Part of that includes renaming our girl. With our little one last year, we planned on keeping her name. It fit well in America, and we liked both the name and what it meant. However, for various reasons, which I'm not going to explain in depth other than to say due to some of the origins and history, we decided to completely change our little girl's name.

Name meanings are very important to me. Not in a superstitious sort of way, but in the bible God always called people names that had big meanings. He called them what He intended them to be. More than a couple times throughout the bible, even well into adulthood, people's names were changed. So along those lines we decided to give her a name with a strong meaning. It was not easy to pick a name. It took a lot of back and forth, praying, and a little arguing to come up with her name, but we finally got it. Her first name will mean "Gracious; God has shown favor" and her middle name (my middle name also) means "her father's joy". So now that I've strung you along forever, her name will be ...

Anna Gayle 

We leave early, early tomorrow to fly home. Our connections are tight (short notice on flights will do that) so please pray we have no issues and catch all our flights. Also, please pray for continued good health and safety as we travel. Thank you for all your prayers! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Countdown to Take Off

Sorry about the silence. Things have been crazy. Even though we accepted our referral three weeks ago, our agency here wanted us to wait on pics and videos before we made travel plans. We finally got them this past week. Oh. My. Word. Tiny, adorable, bright eyed ... did I say "tiny"? ... they're all great words to describe our sweet girl. Certainly worth the wait, and we fully expected to have travel dates Friday morning. What we didn't expect was to be asked to travel with just one week's notice! Yep, I said, "One week". Thankfully, I was already preparing. I have been setting aside clothing. Toiletries were ready to throw in bags. And I was able to get plane tickets at a really good price. So we will be boarding a plane next weekend and heading back to Bulgaria.

Once again, I'm going to throw prayer requests out there:
1. Pray for good health for all of us. Patrick had a stomach bug yesterday. He's feeling better. I'm about to don my hazmat suit and disinfect everything (I'm not really joking). But please pray for good health for everyone both now and throughout our trip.
2. Pray for safe travels.
3. Pray for a great time with our sweet girl.
4. Pray for Andrew's safety and peace as he's starting school while we're gone. I'm a little sad to be missing his first day of 2nd grade, but I know he's in good hands.
5. Pray for smooth sailing for this whole process. Yes, I'm a little apprehensive after what we've been through, but I'm believing that a year from now our girl will be sleeping in her crib in her room in our home.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For everything ... your prayers ... your support ... all of it.

Friday, July 31, 2015

This Is It

Last Friday, Andrew and I were out shopping. We were browsing around Marshall's when my sister posted on my wall on Facebook to tell me my phone wasn't ringing. I turned my phone off so it could reboot, and when I turned it back on, there was a voicemail from our caseworker asking me to call her back. I honestly thought it was about our home study because I had just sent an updated copy a couple days prior. But when I got on the phone with her, I quickly realized it was not about our home study.

It was . . . THE CALL!

There in the middle of Marshall's, shaking and trying my best to look sane, I heard about a precious little Bulgarian girl for the first time.

We've been waiting all week to consult with the International Adoption Pediatrician. Today, we finally had our consultation, and it went very well. Her medicals were pretty much as we had interpreted, and there weren't any big unknowns or surprises. Before we receive travel dates we'll get updated stats and videos. I wish I could give y'all all the the details, but I can't. Privacy is important, but I'll share that she's two and she's beautiful.

Our caseworker asked me today how I was doing, and it was the first time I really paused to think about it. I've been a bundle of nerves, but that's pretty normal for me. I'm also excited, but there's some fear there . . . a part of me is hesitant to fall head over heels in love. Last summer, I fell hard for another sweet little girl, and the heartbreak when we lost her was almost unbearable. But God does heal, and He has done amazing healing in our lives. He is a good God, and He gives us good gifts. And y'all this little one is a good gift.

I called my grandmothers tonight to tell them, and they were thrilled. It brought huge joy to my heart.

I seriously thought about waiting a long time to make this announcement. I even considered not telling until after Trip 1 or court, but first, I'm the world's worst secret keeper and second, y'all have been our partners and our support system throughout this journey. I think you deserve to know.  I've asked for prayers more times than I can count, and so tonight, I'm asking once again. Pray for our little one (name reveal to come soon . . . just as soon as we can come to a consensus . . . let's just say Andrew will not be naming her). Pray for her health, continued well being, and growth and development (normal kid stuff). Pray for us to have peace as we wait and peace as we go forward. Pray for smooth sailing and a quick process. Pray for great attachment and bonding for all of us.

As always thank you, thank you, thank you for all your prayers!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mom Life

It's 1:15 in the morning. I've been asleep approximately 90 minutes. I've hit the sweet spot where deep sleep is starting to take over, and I'm starting to dream . Then somewhere in the recesses of my mind I hear something. At first I think it might be part of my dream. It's not.

"Mommy . . . Mommy . . . I don't feel good."

I pull myself out of the realm of blissful sleep and deliriously throw off the covers. I glance over at my sleeping husband and then trudge to the bathroom with my seven year old where we proceed to sit on the floor while he "decides" if he's going to be sick or not.

After about 20 minutes of hanging out on the bathroom floor, he says he's feeling a little better. He wants to get back in bed . . . the loft bed not the twin bed. I cannot convince him that the twin bed is a better option, and at almost 2:00 a.m., I don't have the fight in me to carry this argument further. I pray he doesn't puke all over his bed because I don't really want to climb up and down a ladder while cleaning his bed. I lay down on the twin bed in case he needs me. This might possibly be the most uncomfortable bed ever. Just as I start to doze off . . .

"Mommy . . . Mommy . . . my tummy feels nauseated. I think I'm going to throw up."

And up we go. Back to the bathroom. Back to sitting on the floor. Fifteen minutes pass. He's starting to feel better, but now he's worried that if he lays back down he'll feel sick again.

I have a light bulb moment. Didn't the pediatrician say you can give a child Benadryl if they're nauseated? Or maybe it was for motion sickness? Ehhh . . . potato . . . pototo (how the heck do you write that anyway???) . . . and maybe as a bonus it'll help him sleep. Who am I kidding? I hope it knocks him clean out. I'm tired.

He chokes down a Benadryl., "gacks" a few times but doesn't puke it up. That's a good sign. We head back to bed. It's now close to 3:00 a.m. Please Lord, let him sleep. He gets in bed. Thirty minutes go by, and he's definitely out. I roll out of my spot on the awful twin bed and stumble back to my comfy bed. Patrick mumbles, "Is Buddy okay?" I'm not sure if I answer. I'm asleep in less than 30 seconds.

And three hours later, the alarm goes off, and the day begins. I'm dragging, but Andrew? He's bright eyed and raring to go. Seriously kid?!?

These nights can be exhausting. The days that follow are long. But when it comes down to it, I wouldn't trade it for the world . . . or even a good night's sleep.