Retro Spring


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.