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!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Prayers: Amazing God!

Do you remember when we were in Bulgaria and got "scammed" into paying for another little girl's visa photo?!?!?  Her mom found us yesterday!  She is home, or on the way home (not totally sure) now!  I love love love how God works, and things come full circle.  This wonderful lady reached out to our US facilitator to let her know that she had seen Danny and that he was adorable! God is so amazing to give us just what we need.  This might be my first mother's day, and it's without our son, but it's so much more special for this news!

In other news we will be in B two weeks from now, making the journey to his orphanage.  I can't wait to get my hands on him!  Here are this week's prayer requests:

1. that Danny is fully prepared to join our family.
2. that he is excited to learn how to live in a house with parents, and dogs, and soon a baby brother
3. for our travel: I will be 25 weeks pregnant when we leave for B....please pray for our health, and that the airlines take pity on us and give us better seats so I can spread out a bit.

That's it!  Pretty simple, and greatly appreciated!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday close!

Good Morning!

We have lots of stuff planned for today, so while my dear husband gets ready for church I thought I would write a quick post.  Thank you again (I'm probably thanking you for about the 2,956 time) for following along this journey with us.  We are so very grateful for our supportive friends and family.  Without you I'm not sure we would have made it this far.  It's hard to believe that in one month our boy will be here, in Texas, living with us!  We couldn't be more thrilled!  I have some travel related prayer requests today, and they will probably be the same for the next few weeks.  We will leave the last Friday in May to go get our son!

1. Danny: that he is as prepared as possible to make this long journey with us, and learn about life in a family.
2. US!  We are truly hoping to catch a quick weekend away next weekend, just to connect and be together one last time before little people enter our world.  Pray we can disconnect from the world for at least 2 days.  Please also pray that we are able to accomplish more than we can imagine in our jobs so that our time away from work is easy and stress-free.
3. Travel: pray for no travel delays, that our luggage gets there with us, that we get every where we need to be, exactly when we need to be there.  Pray that our drive from Sofia to the town where he has lived the past four years is uneventful, and that we have good rest the entire time we are in B.  (Please pray all these things for my friend Mandy Rhodes who is traveling at the same time we are.)

That's it!  We are so thankful for each of you!

PS: Don't forget, we are still fundraising for the orphanage roof, if you are so inclined to make a donation please click on the Chip In box to the right.  Any help is greatly appreciated so the orphanage can continue to provide hot food to the children.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Prayers

What a week the last one was!  We (finally!) have our travel dates to pick our son up.  He is officially and forever ours, but I'm pretty sure he has no clue.  While we were there in January meeting him we were told it would be 4-5 months before we got back for him, and we will be at the very end of the 5th month while we are there.  In other news we will get to meet another family who we have "known" for the entire adoption process.  Can't wait to meet Mandy Rhodes and her new sons!  Here are this week's requests:

1. That our son is ready and willing to come with us on May 28th.
2. That we have safe and easy travel for our trips there and home.
3. That our friends (the Rhodes') have as much success as we hope for!

Thank you so very much for keeping up with us for the past 12 months.  We are having a hard time believing we are finally "almost there!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

going back to Europe!

That's right!  After yesterday's whining we received our travel dates this morning.  I will tell you they are not as soon as we would have liked, but we have been on God's path this entire time anyway, so we know it's exactly when He needs us to travel.

We will be leaving on May 25th, and will pick him up on May 28th.  Return home to the US is scheduled for June 2.

That's all we know for now, and we are so excited to be near the end of this part of the journey.  Thanks so much for following along with's about to get good!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

trying to learn a lesson over here

So it's pretty clear that I am super bad at estimating things.  At least in adoption.  I truly believe God is trying to teach us that we are on His time-frame not our own.  (no, He is not teaching me patience!) When we started this whole process we were told it would be around 8 months before we had our boy home....and then the next person we spoke to said 12 months.  But, oh me! I am so very good at paperwork, and excellent at expecting governments to meet minimum deadlines that I thought for sure we would have him home by December.  Yeah.  We didn't even meet him until the first week of January.  So here we are....12 (pushing 13) months later and we are waiting.

Basically I came here to whine.  Whining is a part of adoption, right friends?  :)  So what we really need are more prayers.  We want our boy home ASAP!  Like, in the next few weeks.  For that to happen we need another country's government to hurry up and get our final court decree done!  Then we are only waiting for our attorney to put us in her rotation.  Please, we beg! pray that our court decree is complete and just waiting to be picked up tomorrow.  Also, pray that we can find affordable airfare, and that Danny is ready for us!

Thanks for listening to me whine.  And praying.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Prayers

I slacked off last week and didn't get a prayer request post bad!  These past few weeks have been very busy with final preparations for our boy to come home, as well as preparing to be off from work for 6 weeks.  We do not have travel dates yet, but are hoping against hope to have them this week so we can book our plane tickets and finalize our plans to bring him home for good.  We can't wait!  Here are this week's requests:

1. Our SON.  He's ours forever!  Please pray he's prepared to take this journey as our first child.
2. Travel Dates.....please pray we get them as soon as possible.
3. Our Sanity!  Really, I'm sort-of kidding, but we are about to undergo some serious changes.

That's it!  I will be back (hopefully soon) to let you know when he will be home!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"how we got here"

Back in June of last year I wrote three posts titled "how we got here" and included some back ground on how Wes and I came to adoption.  Now that our adoption is almost completed I have a new installment to add to our story!  Ultimately this blog is to help chronicle our lives, as well as adoption, so I thought I would go ahead and add another chapter.

Before you read this post please click here to read the first three installments....we will wait....part 1, part 2, part 3.

OK, here goes.  When we started the adoption we were still trying to get pregnant, but with all the stress of adoption and life we quit trying.  As in went back on birth control.  (Hey, I'm baring it all here!) In December, once we had our travel dates to meet Danny (Colton Daniel now) we decided that we were ready to start "trying" again, truly believing it would be a few months before anything happened. Boy were we wrong!  The entire week we were in Bulgaria we knew something was up, but neither of us really wanted to say much about it.  When we left to come back home (so stinking hard, by the way) we decided that I would take a home pregnancy test the following morning.  I bet you can guess what it said....PREGNANT! We were thrilled!  And we are not good secret keepers, so later that day at lunch we told our friends and family, but then asked all them to keep our secret because of our history of miscarriages.  Wes and I also requested their prayers for a healthy baby this time around.

Today, 19 weeks pregnant, I am happy to tell you that Colton will be a big brother!  Baby BOY Whiteaker will join our family in early September.  We truly could not be more thrilled with God's timing in all this.  His plans are always better than ours, and neither of us could imagine our lives without Colton in them and know with out question that we have been walking His path this whole time.  Especially when our hearts hurt, and we didn't understand what was going on.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Court Update!

There is one less orphan in the world today!  

Colton Daniel Whiteaker will officially be a member of our family in 7 business days!  We will have travel dates sometime earlyish next week and will let you know then when we will be arriving home with our son.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers, as we have a sneaking suspicion that this journey is really just getting started!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Prayers "court" edition

Tomorrow is court!  I can't believe it's finally here.  It seems so real and yet so unreal all at once.  We only have two prayer requests for this week:

1. That Danny is prepared to come home with us very soon!
2. That court goes smoothly and that we have travel dates by the end of this week.

I promise to post as soon as we have some news!

Thank you for praying for us for the past year, and loving us while on this amazing journey.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

overdue update on fundraising

Hello All!

Just wanted to give you a quick update on where we are with fundraising for the orphanage roof.  The chipin account shows $500 + I have about $250 in cash!  We are so excited to have had all the help!

In other news we are still waiting for our court date next Monday.  We will have travel dates a week or so after court, hoping to pick him up late April or early May!

Thanks for sharing about our fundraising and donating if possible.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Prayers

Who can even keep track any more?  Not me!  Here is what I can keep track of: court is one week from tomorrow!!!!  (and just to be clear, it's already tomorrow in his country!)  We could not be more thrilled to see the next part of this ride start.  I can't say "end" because it's really just getting started.  Today though I told Wes that it was getting a bit surreal.  Danny will be our first child, so to think that a four year old is going to be living with us in a month or so is so strange.  I wonder if families who have other children feel this way.  Anyway, what you came here for: here are this week's requests for prayer:

1. Danny: please pray his heart and mind have been prepared for us to come bring him home
2. Danny's orphanage: the judge requested some additional paperwork about Danny, please pray it reached the court in time so we aren't delayed
3. Us! We still have some last minute things to do to finish being ready for him to come home
4. Airfare: costs have gone up pretty significantly in the past few weeks, please pray we can find reasonable fares to fly on.

Again a short list this week.  Next week I will be back with just one request: that court goes well!

Friday, March 30, 2012

what happens next?

It's been a while since I wrote a "what happens next post" and I've had a few questions, so I thought it would be easiest to just answer them here all at once!

We have a court date on April 9.  Lucky for us our attorney in "B" gets to go in our place.  After court we will wait seven days for the adoption to be finalized.  At that point our attorney gets to apply for some (more) paper work and we get our travel dates.  Usually travel dates are anywhere from 3-5 weeks from then.  Plane tickets can't be purchased until that point, so we fully expect to pay a premium price for this trip.  Spring and summer is the most expensive time to travel to Europe!  We are praying that we will get to leave sometime at the very beginning of May to bring our boy home.

Wes and I will both be traveling to pick our son up.  Typically families arrive into country on Saturday, and then on Sunday drive to the village where the orphanage is.  Monday is "gotcha" day and we will race back to the capital city to apply for his passport.  It's important we get this done as quickly as possible so that it's ready for us to leave the following Saturday.  Other things we will complete the week in "B" include a trip to the US Embassy and a doctor's appointment so he is medically cleared to enter the US.  We will leave very early Saturday morning to fly roughly 24 hours back home.  With a 4 year old.  Who has probably never seen an airplane, much less been on one....or three.

Wonder what happens in the next few weeks?  We spend pretty much all of our free time finishing getting ready for a 4 year old to live with us.  Doing laundry, packing, take a bunch out, and then repacking.  We will both be taking a little time off from work after we get home, so we will also be scheduling some doctor's appointments for our boy, as well as getting something set up with the local school district so he can begin to receive therapy as soon as possible.

The other things that we are working on include collecting a few more toys for the orphanage, and raising funds to donate for the roof.  As of right now we are over $600 in donations (including the case donations and chipin totals)!  Thank you!

We appreciate the continued prayers on our behalf, we feel like we are finally in the home stretch!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

We got our court date!  Our case will be heard on April 9, at 3pm.  Thank you all for your prayers, we are in awe of God's timing in all of this.  Hopefully we will be home with Colton by mother's day!  What an amazing gift that will be.

The judge did request some paperwork from the orphanage, so please pray it arrives in time.

Thank you for continuing to pray!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dear Danny

Dear Danny,

There is so much I want to tell you right now, but the biggest thing is how much we miss you!  It's been almost forever since we left you in Bulgaria and we honestly don't know when we will see you again.  Your dad and I have been working very hard at getting ready for you.  I've been shopping like a good mom, but your dad has built you a bed!  It's beautiful and I can't wait to see you sleeping in it.  Just so you know it's a "big boy bed" so it's pretty different that the crib you've slept in for the past four years, but we just feel that you are ready for a big bed since you aren't a baby.

You have many friends and family members who eagerly await your arrival.  They are all praying for you and us while we wait for news of our court date and finalization of the adoption.  I hope you are spending lots of time with Baba Mila and soaking up her love!  We are still hoping and praying to bring you home in May, so start getting ready!



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Prayers

First I want to thank everyone who has donated and committed to donate to the orphanage roof repair fund.  As I said in my previous blog post if the roof is not repaired soon the orphanage may have to close the kitchen, and I honestly don't know how they will feed the children. Heartbreaking for Dr. A to have to possibly make this decision, so we are very thankful for the support of our family and friends.

Here are this week's prayer requests

1. Danny: he is constantly in our hearts, we pray that he is as ready to come home with us as we are to have him here!
2. Court Dates: I'm going to be real here for a minute: I'M GETTING VERY IMPATIENT AND IRRITATED.  :)  So many of our friends who are at the same place we are have their dates yet, and we have heard nothing.  Please pray that we receive our dates soon, and that they are within two weeks.  We are still praying to bring our boy home in May, and it's getting harder to believe that will happen.
3. Donating: please pray about donating.  We know times are tough, but I can promise your money will go to the best cause I can currently think of: leaving a legacy behind for our son.

Thank you for continuing to pray with us.  It's wonderfully appreciated!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Leaving a Legacy

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!  This is not the first day recognized as Down Syndrome Day, but I understand it to be the first that the UN has recognized.  Just goes to show, that people like Danny are a huge part of the world and should be honored just like all other groups!

Today I received an email response from our facilitator in Danny's country.  Unfortunately it did not contain court dates, but we are still hopeful that we will receive these dates at some point this week.  What sweet Toni did tell me is that the orphanage Danny has lived in for four years is in need of repairs to the roof.  This was not a surprise, as Wes and I spoke directly with the orphanage director about this when we met her in January.  What was a surprise is how much worse the situation became during the winter.  In January we were told only one room was effected, and it wasn't a room that was used often.  Today I learned that now they are in danger of having to close the kitchen!  Here is the news directly from our facilitator:

I just talked to Dr.A (the director of the orphanage) and she was so glad to hear from me and especially that you are still planning to help them with the repair of their roof. She said they are facing a threat to have their kitchen closed because of that roof. They did a lot of research and although most of the companies are giving them outrageous sums, they had found one which gave them a reasonable amount. It will be 3 160 Bulgarian leva (2 150 US$) for full repair with warranty for 10 years or 2 536 Bulgarian leva (1 725 US$) for full repair with warranty for 5 years. Dr.Alexieva said that whatever amount you are able to donate would be hugely appreciated and even if it is partial, they at least would have something to start with. If you need any further info or help, please let me know.

Now I don't know about you, but I find this to be appalling!  How could an orphanage, where 30 children live every day of their lives operate without a kitchen? 

So I am here to ask you to help us out.  I will admit that when we committed to help with this I didn't expect the price to be quite as high as it is.  $2,150 to one of us might just break the bank, but if I can respectfully ask that you help us with this it would be greatly appreciated.  I have set up a chip-in on the right side of this blog to accept donations.  These donations will not be tax deductible, but I can guarantee they will go to a good cause.  We will receive a receipt, as well as an update from Dr. A when the repairs are completed.  I'm scheduling the chipin to end on April 20, as we genuinely hope to be traveling soon after that to pick Danny up.  

This would be his legacy for the children who will continue to reside in the orphanage.  Wes and I genuinely hope you will consider helping us leave this gift to the orphanage.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Prayers "are we there yet" edition!

To simply answer my own question: no.  We are not "there" yet.  I haven't heard any updates from our facilitator in a few weeks, which means there is nothing new to tell.  I promise that if there was she would let us know.  The next steps are as follows: 1. MOJ signs our final documents; 2. A judge is assigned to our case and court is scheduled; 3. We wait 3-5 weeks after court to pick our boy up!!!  Now, I'm honestly hoping that we get to skip straight to step 2 in this process. This happened recently to a friend of ours, so I have hope!  Here are this week's prayers:

1. Danny: we hope that Baba Mila is still seeing him as often as she can, and that he is being prepared for life in a family.
2. The Dean Family: Autumn is traveling on March 24th to pick her kids up!  She is still short around $1,000 to complete the process.  Will you please click HERE and support her? Even $10 will help!
3. Court Date!  Please pray this is the week we get our next does of news.  We are all getting antsy over here to have him home!

Thank you for continuing to pray!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday Prayers

Wow, I am beginning to think that a "Spring Break" should be compulsory for adults as well as children! This week has been tough, nothing adoption related, just life in general.  Without any further ado here are this week's prayer requests!

1. Danny: continued prayers for his safety, health, and happiness while we are waiting for word that he will be home with us!
2. The Adoption Process: please pray this is the week that the MOJ signs off on our final paperwork so we can have judge and court date assigned.
3. Our family & friends: we are all in need of prayers, as Satan tends to attack when you least expect it.  We are all waiting eagerly for word on the adoption, but we also have to live "normal" lives and could use all the encouragement we can get!

Thank you friends!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I did it!

Well, unfortunately we still don't have an update on the adoption process, but we KNOW God is in charge and His timing is perfect.  So we will continue to wait patiently.  In the wait-time we continue to get ready for our son to come home to us.  The past few weeks we have been working on his room, specifically his bed, which my awesome husband built and stained himself!  I'm so proud of him, and the bed.  I've also been working on filling his closet with cute little clothes and shoes.  So much fun shopping for him!  Here are this week's prayer requests:

1. Danny: please continue to pray that Baba Mila is showing him our pictures and telling him about life in a family.
2. Autumn Dean's adoption: please consider donating to her.  She only needs about $2400 to be fully funded to pick her kids up!  Dean Family FSP
3. Adoption Process: pray that our facilitator is feeling better this week, and that we get news that the MOJ is moving quickly again!

That's it.  I'm trying to keep our list pointed for now, as we have very specific things to pray for.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

just in case you were wondering....

Yeah, we've got nothing new to report.  Well, not true.  Our facilitator has been sick the past few days and could really use your prayers.  Also, Autumn has travel dates, and frankly they aren't too far away.  Any chance you can spare even just $10 to help her out?  Click here: Autumn Dean

Monday, February 27, 2012

your prayers are coveted any day of the week

I'm afraid the weekend got away from me again.  Just too much to do in so little time.  (Can anyone say with me "Jessica needs a vacation"?) 

Also going to admit here first....I'm a little disappointed.  My last blog talked about a friend who is in need of funds for travel.  And we've gotten only $60 in donations.  Autumn still needs around $2400 in order to have enough to go pick her kids up.  I will also tell you that many families in Autumn's (and our) situation are really sweating the rising fuel costs as well.  We just don't know what that will do to the cost of airfare.  Please consider donating to the Dean family.  Here is a link directly to their fund:  Dean Family FSP.

I had really hoped that my next post (this one) would contain an update on where we are in the adoption process.  But there hasn't been an update yet, and I'm working on patience as a virtue so I haven't asked. 

Here are prayer requests for this week:

1. Danny.  do I really need to explain again?  :)
2. Our facilitator: Toni is so busy right now, which is a great problem!  Please pray for her servant's heart and that she has enough hours and support every day to get done what she needs to.
3. Autumn Dean's family and donating.  Is it on your heart?  Please prayerfully consider.

I'm going to leave the list short this week.  I think these three items need focus this next week.  Please consider them, and join us in prayer.

Thanks friends!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's (almost) my birthday

So my birthday just happens to be March 21, which is a month from today.  (Yay!)  As an aside, that just happens to be Down Syndrome Awareness day.  3/21 pretty much RoCkS!

I've been thinking for a while that I would like to do something to bring awareness to adoption, or Down Syndrome or something for my birthday.  And this morning I found a way!  One of the "adoption friends" we have made through this process is named Autumn.  She is pretty impressive if you ask me.  Autumn is in her 20's, an officer in the US Airforce and is a doctor! She is also choosing to be a single mom, adopting a sibling group of a boy and girl.  Let me tell you, they are gorgeous!  (and happen to be in the same country as Danny!)

Let me get to the point.  Autumn's adoption petition was presented to a judge last week and it was approved!  She plans to travel sometime in the next month or so.  The big problem here is that Autumn still needs about $2,500 to travel.  To some that's a drop in the bucket, but to Autumn that's all that's standing in the way of bringing Sofia and Samuel home.  Now you may ask, what does MY birthday have to do with Autumn's adoption... For my birthday I want Autumn to not have to worry or stress about that last $2,500.  So I am asking, out of the goodness of your hearts, will you please take whatever you were planning to spend on me and donate it to Autumn, Sofia and Samuel. Not planning to buy me anything?  Maybe consider donating anyway! There is not a "prize" as a part of this plea, just the knowledge that you helped a very deserving mom be with her kids.  Well there is a bit of a prize....all donations made through Reece's Rainbow are tax deductible!  

Here is the link to Autumn's Family Sponsorship Page:  Click Here  (you can see a pic of Sofia & Samuel here!)

Have a donation of over $250?  Please mail a check to this address:

Reece's Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD 20885
*please put "Autumn Dean" in the memo line

Thank you for thinking of and praying for Autumn over the next few weeks if you aren't able to donate.  I know she will appreciate it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Prayers

I feel like a bad blogger lately.  All it seems I've been able to keep up with is a once a week post that really isn't that tough to write!  I hope you are still following along!

1. Danny: As always at the top of our list.  He's probably completely forgotten us by now, so I pray that Baba Mila is going through the photo album with him!
2. MOJ & Judge: Please pray this is the week we are submitted to the MOJ, and that our documents work through their system quickly.  Please also pray for a judge who is quick to schedule our court date and make a decision on our adoption.
3. Us: We are juggling many things right now, including full time jobs, our home, and getting ready for our son to come home.
4: YOU: that's right.  Please pray for you.  Pray for God to speak to you about an orphan or orphan ministry, or even something else that He is breaking your heart for.  I guarantee this is not an easy pray, and the task at the end may not be what you expected, but your life will be better for having prayed it.

That's it!  Pretty simple this week.  If we get any updates I will be sure you keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dear Danny

Dear Danny,

Happy Valentine's Day!  I'm going to be real with you, your dad and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day with each other.  However, last night we were talking about how excited we are to have you here next Valentine's Day.  I was telling your dad that I can't wait to make you heart shaped pancakes, and put together goodies for the kids in your class!  It will be so much fun!  I also hope to dress you in a cute red shirt, but only because your dad is anti-pink on boys!

Just so you know we are working very hard to get you home!  I'd love for you to be here in time for Easter, so I've been praying about it.  But either way, I know God is doing His best for all of us to get you here as soon as He needs you to be.  We love you so much and can't wait for the day you are ours forever! (legally.)  :)



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Prayers: I've completely lost track

Well one of our prayers has been answered!  Our facilitator has our Article 5 letter and it will be headed off for authentication tomorrow.  Once that is back, and the rest of our forms are translated we will be submitted to the Minister of Justice's office for final approval.  With that news I bet you can guess what our next prayer requests are!

1., warm, happy and well loved until we can get there.
2. MOJ: that the office can move quickly to get our final petition signed off on, and a judge assigned soon.
3. For our Judge: pray that he or she will promptly schedule a date to hear our case as soon as they receive the assignment.  Pray also that a decision comes quickly and the approval gets signed as soon as possible.
4. Us: still working hard to get ready for our family to grow by 1.  :)

Thank you friends and family!  Know we appreciate you and all you've done for us on this journey.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Article 5!!!

We got an email this morning from our facilitator saying she was able to SURPRISE! get our Article 5 letter today!  This came as a complete shock since we hadn't received word of an appointment.  I think this is just one more way that God is working on behalf of us and because of your prayers.  So, thank you for continuing to pray that this process is expedited and we get our boy home as soon as we can!

Monday, February 6, 2012

adios Stage 2 documents!

I am THRILLED to announce that our Stage 2 documents are on the way to Danny's country!!!  They will be in our attorney's hands on Wednesday, and then will be translated while she waits for our Article 5 appointment the the US Embassy.  Hey!  I just realized we will get to visit the Embassy when we go back to pick him up.  So it probably makes me a total dork, but that's sort of fun!

Beyond getting the paperwork out the door there is not a single other thing we can do to speed up this process....except to PRAY.  So please pray that the final stages of this (MOJ & Court) happen quickly and without issue and that we get to go pick up our son soon!  We haven't heard any more updates on time-frame, so I am still assuming that it's 4-5 months from our first visit, which was one month ago!

Thank you for praying!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Prayers "determined not to forget" edition

For some reason this is getting harder and harder for me to get done.  I'm not sure if it's another of Satan's plots to take our attention away from our adoption, or if it's just that life is getting in the way while we continue getting ready to bring our little guy home.  Last night I caught Wes staring at the fridge, but this time the door was closed. ;)  I asked what he was looking at, and he said it was Danny's picture, and it's amazing how happy it makes him!  We are head over heels in love with our little guy, and just can't wait to get back to him!

Here is a quick re-cap of where we are in process: a. We have our copy of immigration approval, and our attorney is waiting for an appointment at the US Embassy in Sofia so she can get our article 5 letter; b. Our Stage 2 documents are all notarized, and I'm taking them to Austin tomorrow to be apostilled and they should be in B by Thursday for translation; c. Once everything is translated and she has our Article 5 letter our attorney will submit our final documents to the Ministry of Justice....this is a month process; d. A judge will be assigned and prayerfully will schedule our court date as soon as possible; e. 3 to 5 weeks after our court date we will get to go pick our boy up!  We are still climbing a mountain but I feel like we are finally at "high camp" (for any of you who have ever climbed a mountain) and working our way to the top!  It's exciting to be here!

Here is a list of things we still need to get done around the house to be ready for Danny: a. EVERYTHING!  Ok, maybe not, but it's still a lot, including finishing his room, and general decluttering of the house.  I probably need to resign myself to putting all my breakables up, but they are so pretty on the shelves in the dining room.  Maybe we will wait and see, that is if we get brave!

Finally, what you are actually reading all this for: PrAyEr ReQuEsTs!!!!!

1. Danny: please pray that he is warm and that his orphanage has power....there is a rowdy winter storm just churning over Eastern Europe and the highs this past week didn't get above 20*f!  Also pray that Baba Mila is talking to him about family and us, and life in America.
2. Our Attorney: has so many families in process right now, about 15 of which are waiting for court dates.  She is a busy lady who works so hard on our behalf.  Please pray for Satan's attacks on her to cease so that she can continue to do a good work.
3. Us: still working hard at our jobs and around the house.
4. The Process: Please pray that all of the remaining steps in our process are handled with speed so that we might get our boy home sooner than we ever expected.  We would love to have him here in April, but that's a stretch right now.

Thank you so much for continuing to pray for us and with us.  I can tell you that since I started writing this post weekly we do not feel the stress or pressure that we felt at first.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Prayers *late edition

I messed up. We were having so much fun with our Sunday that I flat forgot to blog! Even after Crystal reminded me to! Guess that's what will happen when we get home with Danny and I'm just preparing you. Yeah, that's it. I meant to forget. Or whatever. Here we go!

1. Our SON. Please continue to keep him in prayer. We feel so blessed that he seems to be in a 'good' orphanage, but it's still not home where he can be loved on daily. Please also pray that Baba Mila is taking lots of time to talk to him about family and home, and showing him our pictures.
2. Our Process. I'm a little frustrated with myself here, but we are down to only one last form that needs to be signed, and I have an "appointment" to get it done on Thursday evening. Saturday while the bank is open we will get it all notarized, and early next week apostilled. We hope and pray (and beg?) to have it in the mail headed to B by middle of next week.
3. ALL the other families: Many MANY families (like 12) have been waiting since before Christmas to be moved to having court dates scheduled. At least two were told today that they will hear soon. Please keep these families in prayer, encourage them through God, and pray they get their littles home soon. VERY SOON.
4. Jessica & Wes (hey, that's US!) We are both spending these next four to five months before we get him home working very hard at our jobs so we won't be missed while we take some time off with our son. Please pray that our respective employers will make it easy for us to be away and will pave the way to some flexibility in the first few weeks he is home.

I think that's it for now. Thank you again for praying with us and for us. While we are beginning to see the light at the end of this tunnel it's still a pretty small speck in the distance!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Just want to let you all know we got our USCIS approval this week!!  We have only one more form that needs to be signed (hopefully this weekend) and we can get it all notarized, apostilled and shipped.  As of right now our facilitator is waiting to hear form the US Embassy in "B" about our Embassy appointment so that they will issue our Article 5 letter.  Once she has our Article 5, that and our second stage documents will be submitted to the Ministry of's about a month wait to have a judge assigned, and then we wait for court.  Normally it's 3-5 weeks after court and we can pick our boy up!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Prayers, vol 31

Good Sunday morning, everyone! My dear friend Jessica has asked me to guest blog today. My name is Crystal, and like most of you I am blessed to be a guest passenger with them on this amazing journey.

Without further adieu, let's pray.

  1. For Danny. Pray that Baba Mila is going through the books with him and preparing him for life with his new family.
  2. For Jessica & Wes. Pray that the next weeks fly by until their son is back in their arms.
  3. For Safe Travels. Jess does a lot of travelling for work. May God watch over her in her journeys.
  4. For paperwork! Jessica hopes to finish it up next week, have everything notarized & apostilled and on the way by Feb. 1.
  5. For all of the children in need. I've learned so much watching my friends go through this. This little girl, Katie, has particularly touched my heart. She is nine and a half. She looks less than a year old.
Finally, a prayer of thanksgiving. So much unexpected good has come from them opening their hearts and allowing us in. New friends have been met, existing friendships have strengthened, closer relationships with God have been forged and others have considered bringing orphans &/or special needs children into their homes. This amazing little guy has no idea how many of us love him and how many lives he has touched. Thank you, dear Lord, for bringing him into OUR lives.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Prayers vol. 30

We have been home for a week.  A whole week gone off the 4-5 more months we have been told it will take to complete the final steps in the adoption process.  So I guess that leaves us somewhere between 19 and 24 weeks left.  Somehow 4-5 months sounds shorter. To me anyway!

Here you go, and thank you in advance for praying!

1. Danny: please pray he is continuing to be prepared mentally and emotionally to be a part of our family.  Also pray for Baba Mila to be preparing herself for him to leave. (they are very close)
2. Us: we have so much paperwork still to complete, and honestly haven't really started on it yet, other than immigration.  Please pray our doc's office gets our medical forms back this week, so we can work on notarizing and apostilling.  (Yes, AGAIN!)
3. Our Families & Friends: All are SO excited to meet and love Danny.  Please pray for them as we all prepare to bring him into our world, and everything changes.

That's pretty much it.  It's quiet here until we are ready to send off the second round of paperwork.  Thank you for following along!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Prayers vol. 29 (I missed last week!)

Well it's pretty early on Sunday for this (I've done really well until traveling last week) weekly post!  But, due to overwhelming jet lag I'm awake!  And so taking advantage.

Here are this week's prayers:

1. Danny.  We LOVE him!  I can't believe he is our son for the rest of our lives.  Please pray that Baba Mila does go through the photo book with him in the next few months and that she talks to him about family and moving.  Also pray that when we return in 4-5 months that he is ready to come home with us!
2. Us.  Again: jetlag! We both are back to work this week, and need to be on top of our games since we will be out for extended periods of time once we have Danny in the US.  These next few months it's important that we put as much energy as we can into our jobs so we aren't missed while out.
3. Paperwork. The monster strikes again!  Now it's time for Round 2 of paperwork.  Tomorrow I will (hopefully & prayerfully) get our final application to USCIS in the mail.  This is the one piece that will take the longest, so we want it on the move!  Everything else we will be working on as the next few weeks go by.  I'd love to have our final package in the mail by 1st of February.
4. The other children in the orphanage.  It's our understanding that there are 2 babies with DS there, but neither family has terminated their rights yet, which means they aren't available for adoption.  Both require heart surgery, and for some strange reason the families (both!) believe surgery will cure Down Syndrome.  We all know this is not true, so please pray that someone can explain to them in a way they will understand so that the children can be listed for adoption.  Early intervention is best, and the sooner they are in a forever family, the better!
5. The orphanage workers.  Everyone we met is so nice, and seems to really care about the children.  Please pray they will not be weary by their work, and that if they don't believe in God that they will see His Light shine through us and Danny.

Thanks to each of you who have followed along.  I want to also thank the people who leave negative comments on our blog.  I know you believe you are doing what is right and good, but KNOW, with conviction, that adoption is a good thing.  Children in institutions get only very, very basic needs met, and that is all.  Children in a family have the world at their feet....yes, even those with special needs!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Final Visit

We are a little disappointed that our final visit with our son was cut short. There is a pretty brutal winter storm in B today, and we knew we would be driving back to the captial in rain and snow, and our driver preferred to start early. We met with the director again for a few minutes, and I was able to thank her for taking such good care of him. I can tell that she is not used to being told that because she dismissed the compliment by saying it was their job. This is a good time for me to tell you that the orphanage needs some roof repairs in one room that they have been unable to get funding for, so we would like to make a donation to assist with them on our next trip. We will be asking our attorney to stay in touch with the orphanage director in the spring when she gets estimates so we know how much we want to raise. My heart says $500 will probably do the job, but we want to be watch here for a fundrasier specifically for the repair!

Danny was so funny when we picked him up from his room today. Wes bent over to pick him up, and he looked at Wes, then laughing, turned to me and lifted his arms. I loved it! While I don't think we will have any major bonding issues with him I do see that he is very comfortable with the orphanage workers and Baba Mila, so we may have a little trouble at first. We spent about 45 minutes total with him today, mainly just trying to love on him a bit more. I whispered in his ear that we would be back just as soon as we could to bring him home.

Now we are sitting in the hotel in Sofia, a little bummed out! Our flight leaves at 6am local time (which is 10pm Texas time) and it will be a full 24 hours of travel to get back home. Honestly we are both looking forward to McDonald's at the Frankfort Airport! (and maybe a Whataburger when we get home!)

Thank you (yes, again) for all of your prayers on our behalf. We are so blessed to have so many following our long as I'm awake I promise you an edition of Sunday Prayers for next week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 3, Visit 2

I can't believe we only have 2 more hours with him! I am so pouty already!

He was SO tired this afternoon. When I went to his room to get him the kids were all sitting in their chairs while one of the teachers talked to them. He got so mad when he saw me! (Don't worry buddy, I feel the same way about me sometimes!) He cried for about 30 seconds, and was obviously sleepy. We played pretty gently and didn't take too many things out of his bag. He really loves the blue ball, and I got some good video of Wes and Danny dancing together! Can't wait to get home and load the videos for everyone to see.

We took him back to his room after he laid down on the floor and put his thumb in his mouth. It was about 10 minutes early. We will see him one more time tomorrow morning. Immediately after our morning visit is over we will drive back to the capital city, sleep a bit and take a taxi to the airport at 4:15am. I'm honestly sad our time here is over for now. We will be back in a few months, but that trip will be so busy. Wes and I have really enjoyed spending time together without many demands on our time. We will both go back to work and crazy schedules next week.

Thank you for continuing to pray!

No Problem Wearing My Backpack

"Pound It"

We Have A Thumbsucker!

Day 3, Visit 1

He was excited to see us this morning! I hate that there will be such a long time between this visit and returning to pick him up, so please join us in praying for expediency on the part of both governments.

This morning the teacher dressed him in one of the outfits we brought to try on him. We plan to leave all three sets of fleece jammies here, but the ones that fit him (the smallest) look so stinking cute on him! The pants are a bit long, but I really think by the time we get back they will be just right. I can't wait to get him in some nice new clothes! (What?!?! I'm a girl, it's what we do!)

We played and played and played this morning. He's not trusting of us enough yet that he will sit and cuddle, but I know he will be soon after we pick him up. Danny is also a smart cookie! This morning he pulled the can of puffs out of his bag and brought it to me. I signed "more" to him, and he immediately did it back! At one point he did it without being prompted to! He also signed "Please" for me once. I think we will make a list of signs we want to know before his return and have Aunt Julie and Uncle Pool teach us. Danny is going to be communicating so quickly!

We only have two more visits left before we return to Texas. While I still haven't cried, I'm sure it's coming. Each time we see him I have a harder time turning him over to the caretakers.

Thanks to each of you who are following along. We are so in love with him, and need many many prayers lifted up on his and our behalf.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 2, Visit 2

Danny was a little grouchy this afternoon. I think we are wearing him out in the morning so the afternoon is hard! I tried to sit back and just watch him for a while, wanting to see how he played and acted. Again, his tongue has been out a lot today and at one point he put his thumb in his mouth, but only for about 3 seconds. His hands don't look like he keeps them in his mouth all the time.

He was digging in his bag tonight and pulled out the container of puffs and tried to open them. I took them from him, and showed him how to sign "More" which he did! I know a lot of it is mimicking, but that's ok, he will learn quickly! Looks like we need to brush up on our baby signs before our second trip.

We could tell that he was tired when he started getting frustrated and hitting at us. We both told him no, but he as pretty much done at that point. We finished cleaning up, and took him back to his group. So far he hasn't been super snuggly, but Baba Mila says that he can be. I'm sure we are just too exciting right now for him!

Three more visits to go, then back home to speed through paperwork and get our boy home!

Day 2, Visit 1

Super exciting visit this morning!

We met Danny's "Baba" today!!! He is part of a program where the most needy children are assigned a Granny who gives them love and attention and helps them learn things they need to know. She is amazing! Even with the language barrier we were able to communicate through our translator and tell her about our family (with the help of Julie's photo album) and our lives. She was very excited to see that we have dogs since he wants to touch love and pet the strays that are all over town. Mila comes to spend 3-4 hours a day, five days a week with him. She thinks he is ready to move to more solid foods, since she taught him to chew. Unfortunately the rest of the children in his group eat mashed foods, so he doesn't get a lot of solids. Mila says for sure he can eat bread and similar substances. She takes him out into the downtown area in the stroller, and he will follow all of her instructions. We were so incredibly thankful to get to meet her. This week is a holiday for her, so we probably won't see Mila again, but she promised to go through the photo album with him and talk to him about family life. My prayers are answered again! She made me cry as she left today, because she was telling us how excited she is that he has a family now. Please pray for Mila's life to be blessed and that she knows God.

Other than that we were asked if we planned to continue with our adoption of Danny....uh, YEAH! So we got to go take his Visa photo! There was another gorgeous little girl who needed a Visa photo taken. I wish I could have taken a picture of her, but her caretaker wouldn't even let me touch her, so I doubt that would have been ok. The only "disability" I could see is that she was missing her left leg below the knee. Her adoptive family hasn't been here this week, but we were told she is coming to live in America too! I pray for her and the family that she is able to have the therapies she needs and one day walk. I can't get over how beautiful she is. Funny thing though, once we made it to the photo place it came out that the orphanage did not have any cash on hand to pay for her photo, and could we do it? Well of course we said we would, but I thought it was a funny situation! :) Tomorrow after our morning visit we will return to pick up both Visa photos for Danny and the little girl.

After those two events we only had about 20 minutes left to play with Danny. He is so much fun, but we could tell he was tired today because he spent a lot of time with his tongue out. That really seems to be the only negative behavior so far. I'm sure we will see some other things, but I really think we are lucky and blessed that Danny has had 2 1/2 years of Mila's attention. God is blessing us every day on this journey!

We will go back at 4:30 to see him again!

High Five!


Hello To All of My Fans!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 1, Visit 2

He was a little sleepy this afternoon, I think he had just woken up from his nap. Even after grouching for a bit he was ready to play! We got to go into the bigger room and play in the ball pit! So much fun. He figured out very quickly that if he threw the balls out we would go get them! I don't know how they stand it, but the orphanage is so HOT! Sweltering in fact. So we secretly opened a window. (don't tell!)

While he was still grouchy I turned on the iPod to see if he would dance. He did! So precious, and yes, I video taped it, but with no computer you guys get to wait. :) At one point we turned the music off and he got very irritated with us! I believe our house will be one big dance party for a while when we get home.

Afternoon visits are short, from 4:30 to 6:00, so there isn't a whole lot more to tell. We truly feel that God made this child for us. He is totally boy and we love every second of it. I think we have a little athlete on our hands. It is sad for us that we have to leave him here this trip, but we do feel that he is in capable hands and is very loved. We can't wait to bring him home to his new life.

PS: they tell us he loves dogs and always wants to pet them....can you imagine when he meets Shiner and Lucy?!?!

Just Dancing With Mom

So Handsome!

Ball Pit Fun!

I need to find one of these, it's his favorite by Fisher Price.

Day 1, Visit 1

No promises here, but I am going to try to blog after each visit because I don't want to forget anything!

We arrived at the orphanage at 10am, and the director met us at the door. She is a pediatrician, and seems to care greatly for the children. We sat in her office, and the psychologist came in, which was honestly was worthless! The psychologist just started TODAY, and hadn't even met Danny yet! Wes and I gave each other a "look" but it turned out ok, because we were able to speak with her, and learn her back ground since she will work with him for the next few months. Danny is one of only 3 children at his orphanage with Down Syndrome. The other two are babies who we hope to meet. Once our questions were answered we were taken upstairs to the meeting room. Here they brought him to us, and I have to admit I didn't think it was the same child! His hair is so long, and his skin is much more pale than in our referral picture. The first thing Wes said was: "He needs a haircut!" (and I added, boy clothes too!)

Danny is in everything! He had his whole head in the bag we brought at one point! Too funny, will try to get a photo of that later. He really likes the rolling worm that Erin sent us. He's also quite a little mimic! Will clap, laugh, dance, do anything you ask him to. He understands directions and requests in Bulgarian, so I imagine there will be some frustration at home for a little while.

He seems to really like Wes, and his "pedagog" (teacher) says he seems to like both of us. He was even giving Eskimo kisses at one point. Today we also got to see the rooms where he stays with his groupa. There are about 10 children in there, with 3 or so adults. They sleep in one big room with cribs lining the walls, and have a room where they have lessons daily. Music is his favorite according to the teacher. Tomorrow we will get to meet his "Granny" whom we know he loves! We have received permission to leave some items with him, and promises she will look through the photo book with him in between now and when we return to pick him up.

Everyone at the orphanage seems so caring and loving of him. He is very active and plays with other children.

We will get to visit twice a day through Thursday, and then once Friday morning. There will be quick trip to a local photo place to do his visa photo, but only one of us will be able to go with him, and we haven't negotiated that yet!

Thank you all for your prayers, and thank you to whomever made the generous donation to us in the past few days! We can't tell you how much it means. If I don't fall immediately asleep I will try to blog again tonight!

PS: I just realized I missed Sunday Prayers this week...hope you all understand!

He is so good at mimicking people!

These Potato Head Glasses Look SO Yummy!

First Family Photo

Monday, January 2, 2012

well poop

When we were at home I tested to make sure we were going to be able to upload pictures to facebook, but apparently forgot to check blogger. For some reason it won't upload photos from ipad. Guess we will have to rely on facebook for photos, and I will detail our days here. I won't be able to show all the pics, because frankly we won't have enough storage to get them all, so I will save some gems for when we get home. :) Sneaky, huh? :)

So here is what happened today.....we woke up super early. Wes was up at about 3:30, and I was awake around 5:15, and neither of us could go back to sleep! Breakfast at the Hotel Budapest was very nice. (Connie, I think that orange drink tasted like tang.) Then our driver, Mitko, picked us up at 9:30. We drove about 50km down the road, over some impressive bridges and through some cool tunnels in the Balkan Mountains....and stopped because the van was acting funny. After a trip to the WC Mitko informed us he was taking us back to Sofia, because the van was acting funny. At least we weren't halfway there, and it's a good thing we turned around when we did because by the time we got back to Sofia there was absolutely no fuel left at all! We think one of the hoses must have come loose! Anyway, so Mitko was back in about 15 minutes in a different, but much smaller, car. I was a bit concerned that we weren't going to be able to fit everything and everyone but we did!

Because of all the excitement, our 5 hour trip turned into an 8 hour trip, but we stopped for some awesome Bulgarian BBQ on the way! It was delicious, and we really hope to stop there again on the way back to Sofia on Friday. (Yep, it was really THAT good!)

Tomorrow we will go to the orphanage at 10AM local time, so please keep us in your prayers. We will meet with the director, and get to ask her questions about Danny and his "baba" and we are hoping and praying we get to tour the orphanage. Our prayer and plan is to show you pictures from our first meeting when you wake up at home!

With lots of love, and excitement,

Wes and Jessica

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Almost There!

Well actually, we are all the way to Danny's country. It was a very long couple of flights, and we are both exhausted. I've got dinner ordered so once it comes and we eat I hope we are out! Tomorrow we will drive 5 hours across the country to meet Danny on Tuesday. I've taken some pics already, but most of them are of us being cheesy or snow capped mountains. Honestly nothing you haven't seen before so I'm going to make you wait for the REAL DEAL!!!

Tonight I met Toni, our facilitator. She is an amazing woman of God. Please pray for her, as she encounters spiritual warfare on a daily basis. Toni does the work for families like ours because it is the passion of her heart, and while she wants to give up sometime, she will prevail in her work for orphans with special needs!

Dinner has arrived! Will give a more thorough post tomorrow.