Retro Spring


Monday, June 25, 2012

one month....

Four Mondays ago we picked our son up from the orphanage, and drove away with him forever.  No, it's not one month home yet, but one month out of a life of forever behind bars.  It's been an amazing month, and it feels like he's always been here with us.  I know lots of families probably say the same thing, but it's true.  He's ours, there's no doubt about it!

Here are some fun things we've learned in the last month:

1. Bulgarian poop stinks....much worse than any other we've ever smelled.
2. This little guy can eat!  And it's truly his favorite thing to do.
3. Sleep is fun....get some when you can, he wakes up early.
4. Independence is good, and he will play in his room as long as you want him to!
5. Dogs and toddlers are a great combination.  Dogs who must wear the "cone of shame" and toddlers are not a great combination.
6. LOVE.  He loves and knows who we are.  He seeks us out in a crowd, and wants to know where we are.
7. He is SMART!  Colton has already learned more than 15 signs, and is working on words.  He will "go" on the potty, but isn't really ready to potty train.
8. He pushes buttons...and knows just how cute he really is and will do his very best to use it to his advantage.
9. I've learned that being pregnant and chasing a toddler takes a superhero's amount of energy.  And I'm just about out!
10.  More people should do this.

That's the update for now.  Still working hard to continue blogging, but I know I've seriously been lacking.  If you've ever considered adoption please pray about it now.  It's SO VERY worth it all.

Monday, June 4, 2012


We are home.  It was such a relief to pull into San Antonio on Saturday night, and we both truly breathed a sigh of relief.  Many of our family and friends met us at the airport, and since we were the last off our plane I'm pretty sure they drove the rest of the passengers nuts!  Both sets of grandparents and some cousins came over Saturday and hung out for a while, well until the boy decided it was time for bed!  We blacked out his window and he's sleeping like a champ since we got home.

Sunday was filled with more grandparent fun and a tired mom, dad, and son. Yesterday I finally woke him up at 9:30 and then put him back down for nap at 1:30...bedtime at 8:00pm came without protest, and he's still asleep now!

We feel so blessed to have finished the first part of this journey.  While I can't promise to keep up with blogging as well as I have for the past year I will do my best.  Thank you all for praying us through this journey, and we ask that you pray as we learn to be parents.

Big LOVE to all who read along!

Friday, June 1, 2012

last day in country!

That's right! We are in the middle of the last full day in country. Last night the boy went down a bit early, and he seems to rise with the sun, so we've all been awake quite a while. We went for a long walk today, had some lunch and now it's dark and quiet in our room so he can nap. Once he's awake it's packing, then dinner with our adoption facilitator as a celebration of being done! His passport is ready, his Visa is ready, and we hit the road at 8am local time tomorrow morning. Layoever in Vienna (how we wish it was long enough to tour the city!) and Immigration & Customs at Washington Dulles and we will be home to Texas around 9:30 tomorrow night! I honestly can't believe it's here and real! Please keep us in your prayers as we journey tomorrow. It's just over 22 hours of travel including layovers. We only have about 3.5 hours at Dulles to make this kid a US Citizen and then catch our last flight. The Embassy Agent advised us to not get in line, but to find someone to help us out once we get there. Please pray we have an understanding officer who speeds us through and helps us get to where we need to be. We absolutely can not wait to see everyone, and properly introduce our son to the world. He's pretty precious to us, and hope he is to you too!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

the past few days....

Parenting is no joke! (pretty sure most of you are laughing already....) Monday bedtime was so difficult. Screaming for three hours. No joke, literally screaming for hours. It was awful for all of us, and by the time it was over Wes and I were spent. It started with bath, and ended three hours later when, at 10pm, he finally was out. Only to wake up at 5:45. Tuesday was a good day all in all. He only fought us for 30 minutes each at nap and bedtime. We took him to McDonald's, gave him a Happy Meal. All was right in the world! Today....since we didn't bathe him last night we decided to after breakfast this morning. It's not the sound of the wather that bothers him. It's the tub. It's slippery and overwhelming I think. Even with a towel in the bottom it's still traumatic. I wonder how he was bathed at the orphanage. We are pretty sure it was standing up in a sink, being roughly handled and sprayed with a sprayer. He does like it when I massage his head with shampoo, but not enough to over come the horrifying screaming. We know this is just a thing we need to work through, but it breaks my heart and even causes me to cry when he's upset like that. I can't stand it! We had planned to go to the zoo this morning, but with the bath going the way it did none of us had the energy. Instead we walked up the street to the cathedral (gorgeous!) and wandered around, finishing with lunch at an Italian place. Some of the yummiest pizza ever. Our son ate just as much as I did, and loved every bite! So far the only thing we've given him that he hasn't liked is grapefruit! Now we're waiting for him to wake up. Will probably go to dinner in the hotel restaurant and then it will be bedtime. Even with the "hard" stuff so far I know we are in the exact place we are supposed to be, and that this is nothing we can't handle. Just part of raising a child who hasn't ever had parents before! Love to all reading this, thank you so much for praying for our son!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Gotcha Day!

You read that right. It's been a big day in our family. Today we picked up Colton Daniel Whiteaker from the orpahanage and drove him away forever. It was truly bitter-sweet knowing we were seeing Baba Mila, and the ladies who have loved our son, for the last time. Mila told us that both of the children she has cared for the past few years are leaving with adoptive families today. I can't imagine her sorrow and joy all at once! She said she has prayed for this day, which totally calmed my heart. The drive from his hometown to the capital city was long, about 5 hours. He did amazingly. We know he has never been in a car this long, so we were impressed. We did nap for about 30 minutes or so, which was good since we went straight to the passport office to apply for his passport and have his photo taken. Once we got back to the hotel we played with the Rhodes boys for a while, and then reazlied just how tired he was. Against my better judgement it's 5:00pm and both of my boys are asleep. I don't plan to let either sleep for long because we all need to sleep tonight. We could not thank you all more for your love and support over these past 14 months. This adventure is truly just beginning. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, we are new at this parenting thing, and can already tell it will be tough, but rewarding.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dear Danny: the last night...

Dear Danny, Tonight is the last night you will ever spend in an orphanage. It's just after 7pm here, so I imagine you are finished with dinner and getting ready for bed. We really aren't sure how much you have been prepared for tomorrow, but we pray that you come with us willingly to begin your new life. I hope that you find this new life to be exciting, as it's got a lot going on in it! By this time next week you will have met all 4 of your grandparents, many "aunts" and "uncles" and so many friends. Your Dad and I can't wait for the world to meet you! Your new life includes being part of a family, which I know you won't remember, but you've been part of one before. I know your birth-parents believe they did the right thing when they dropped you off at the children's home....I hope we are providing for you in all the ways they didn't feel they could. In our family you will soon be the big brother! Our prayer is that you and your brother grow up to be incredibly close and love one another in a way only brothers can. Tomorrow we will come to pick you up, and drive you into the capital city of your birth country. It will seem a little hectic, but know it's to get you home as quickly as we can. Be ready Little Man, we are coming! Love, Mom

Sunday, May 20, 2012

the last "Sunday Prayers" post....

That I get to write before traveling to bring our boy home.  What an amazing journey this has been.  From loosing our daughter 17 months ago to leaving on Friday to pick up our son.  With another baby in my belly.  (One that is bound and determined that I will be awake no later than 6am, no matter what day it is!) God has been ever faithful to us during our first three years of marriage.  I will not sugar-coat it.  Marriage is tough!  Marriage with job changes, lost babies, adoption, etc is very tough!  But I know with every ounce of who I am that He is faithful, and His grace is enough, even for a sinner like me.

We've been told numerous times over the past year that we are "good" people for choosing to adopt a child with special needs.  Let me tell you something: No We Are Not!  We are just people who fell in love with a serious face in a photograph.  Then we met him....and now we are in love with a precious laugh, and infectious smile.  He's a mimic, and 100% will throw anything you put in his hands boy!  And we can't wait to see him one week from tomorrow!

Our house is not completely ready for him, and at this point probably won't be by the time we leave.  But we are ready for him.  There is no doubt about that.  His bag is packed...ours are not.  All he's done the past four years is wait.  All we've done since we first saw his photo is pray for him and love him and count the days until we could be with him.  And now we are here!  If you haven't prayed with or for us before I am going to very humbly beg you to do so this week.  It will not be easy, adjusting to life with three, one of whom has no idea what family is.  Here are this week's (and maybe the next few week's) requests:

1. Colton Daniel: that he is as ready as ever to come home with us.  Our prayer is that Baba Mila and the orphanage staff have prepared him as much as possible to live in a family and that he recognizes our faces from our photos, and feels immediately comfortable with us. Pray that his first trips to the doctor are easy, and that there are no surprises medically speaking.

2. Baba Mila: what do you say to the woman who has probably kept your son alive for 4 years?!?!?  Thank you is just not enough.  There is no gift in the world that seems adequate.  (But I do really hope she likes the necklace we got her.) Please pray for Mila's heart and soul.  I do not know where she stands in faith, but I pray with every part of me that she follows and loves God.  I pray that she will not be saddened by his leaving, but joyful for him and us as we begin our lives together.

3. US!  I feel like I've asked for thousands of prayers the past year or so....but please.  Pray for our marriage, our jobs, our families, our friends, our sons (both!), our lives. We know it will take massive amounts of faith and prayers to get through the first few months of having our son home with us.  Please pray we have only kind words for one another.  Pray that we are on the same page as far as parenting goes from day 1.  Pray that we don't get so wrapped up in being a mom and dad that we forget to be a wife and husband.

Thank you all so very much for following along this far.  This adventure is only beginning!