Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I am not smart enough to figure out how to write things in Bulgarian.  I have an English/Bulgarain App on the ipad that I thought would make things simpler.  I just can' figure out how to properly make some of those characters nor do I know which version of the words to use.  I wanted to label the picture albums tonight, but it is currently an epic fail.  I also wanted to write something like "Mommy and Daddy Love Me" on the shirts (I posted them in a previous post) that have Brent and my picture on them.  Problem is I can't figure out how too.  :( 

If anyone has any great ideas, I am very open!

Monday, January 30, 2012

So Much To Do

We are super busy right now.  We are trying to get Brent ready to travel.  We are also trying to get some of the 2nd stage documents (due after trip#1) done for Brent to take with him.  We already have the new medical forms to get apostilled.  Brent went this morning to get the local police clearance, but the sherriff was headed to a meeting.  They will hopefully have them ready to pick up tomorrow.  We also go tomorrow to get our new "psych" paper filled out.  All three of those documents will be notarized and certified on Thursday.  Then on Friday morning we will leave extra early to go and get them apostilled in the same city that Brent is flying out of.  That will allow him to hand deliver those to our "in country" person.  :) 

We also had ADT here today.  We decided that since someone got into our unlocked vehicles a couple weeks ago and so much is going on in today's world, that it would be a good thing to get installed before Brent leaves.  Just a little added security!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Recordable Books

I bought these recordable books that I am going to record myself reading.

I am not going on trip #1, but I will be the one picking them up.  I thought this would give them some comfort if they get use to my voice.  I'm also going to talk in English with the exception of maybe adding the Bulgarian word for "love" along with the English version.  I figure it will help them get use to my wierd talking!  :) 

I realize that they may or may not see it again after Brent leaves, but it is the best I can do.  All I can do is try and leave it in God's hands.  Brent can look at it with them at the very least and they have music that goes with the words too.  :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I'm trying to get Brent's stuff packed.  There is so much to send.

Orphanage and Institution Donations (every kid is at a different place by the way)

Packs of things to do with each of the 5 kids

Enough clothes for Brent to make it for a month (He will have to have his laundry done, bc we can't pack enough for a month without laundry, but we do need him to have enough to do each week that he is in the a city doing visits.)

You may want to pray for our packing.  You definitely need to pray for his trip and that all connections are made and that flights make it in good time.  You need to definitely be praying for all 5 of the children.  Pray that God will open their hearts and make them receptive to love. Most of them have no clue what "family", "love", "Mommy", or "Daddy" means.  They've never had those things!  Then you add in the language barrier and it would have to be interesting.  Pray that they aren't scared of the "strange talking man".  Pray that they can find "hope" from the visit and hang on till I can get back there for them.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'll get to more tomorrow, but . . .

for tonight we are celebrating Cody's adoption finalization.  You can read more about it on our family blog (link to the left).  I will post pictures tomorrow on the family blog from tonight as well.  :) 

In one week, Brent will be in the air and heading to see my babies!!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Flights are Booked!

The flights are booked!  That is a great relief.  :)  Brent will fly out on February 3rd and land in country on the 4th.  He will travel to Keith's city on the 5th and start visits with tiny Keith on the 6th.  He will visit with him every day through the 10th. 

Keith is the first one.

Week #2 will be visiting with Ahnja and Anita.  :)

Week #3 will be visiting with Aleshia.

Week #4 will be visiting with Nicholas. 

I can't wait for the updates and I really can't wait for my trip!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More Good News

I emailed our "in country" person and asked if the updates that come with the written referral let us know for sure if Anita is still at her baby house.  This has been one of my big prayers all along.  I hated the thought that each delay could have been the one that made her go from the only place she has known to a place that would be so scary.  I can't imagine her being moved to a mental institution, especially when she has a family on the way and will never have to remain there!

The good news is that she is still at the baby orphanage!!! 


Monday, January 23, 2012

Travel Plans

The plan is for Brent to fly out on the 3rd of February and arrive in country on the 4th.  He will return home on March 4th.  He has to stay there for so long because all five of our kids live in different orphanages and institutions.  They also live in 3 different cities. 

We are in the process of getting the flights figured out!  :)  I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can't wait to have new pictures to show you all!


Praise God the written referral is signed!!!!!!!  I'll write more later, but I have to go out the door.  I just didn't want to leave you hanging.  :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ok, It is Finally Monday

Monday is finally here!  Weekends are always the worst when you are waiting for a government official to do paperwork.  (Dallas, TX nearly drove me insane on many occassions when weekends or holidays nearly finished me off!)

It is 8:04 AM in Bulgaria.  I am praying hard that today is the day!  Written Referral . . . PLEASE! 

Please send up lots of prayers and I'll let you know as soon as I hear the good news!

Right now, I'm going to try to get this ornery little angel to go to sleep with me.

I can't wait until my other "Chromosomally Enhanced" children are home and I can discover their personalities!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I Just Booked Brent's Flight to . . . .

FINALIZE CODY'S ADOPTION.  Yes,  that is wonderful news.  Cody's adoption will finalize on Friday morning.  Brent doesn't have any chance of making the first trip to Bulgaria this week now.  :(  That is bad news, but we are thrilled that he gets to go and finalize Cody's adoption. 

We've had the date for his finalization for a few weeks, but had hoped that we'd have to postpone it.  Cody is here and safe.  Our kids in Bulgaria are not, so we had hoped he would be able to travel to there ASAP, even if it meant delaying Cody's finalization for a few weeks. 

Court there is at 8am on Friday morning.  So soon after that Cody will be "officially and forever and legally" our forever son!  He's been that in my heart for years, but on that day it will finally be legal!

I'm so thrilled that God has blessed me to get to be his Mommy.  :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Still Waiting and Another Item for Waiting Kids

Well, we still didn't get the good news that we were hoping for.  :(  I am praying that it comes Monday.  I know it is in God's hands.  I am trying so hard to be patient.  It is getting more and more difficult to be patient though.  I am trying to just focus on the "planning" to make everything as perfect as possible for when Brent goes to them and even for trip #2 and when they get home.  Those are the only things that I can do anything about right now.  

Here is another one of the "personalized" items that I ordered from Sam's online photo center for Brent to take to them. 

The t-shirts have Brent and my pictures on them.  I am going to try and find the proper translations to put something similar to "Mommy and Daddy Love Me" on them in Bulgarian.  I have gotten pretty good with fabric paints over the years.  :)

I don't know that each of the children will fully understand it.  I doubt that they can read it, even with it in Bulgarian (though Ahnja may read a little since she does go to school and may recognize some words).  I also doubt that they fully even understand what "Mommy", "Daddy", or even "Love" mean, since they have never had any of the above.  :(  I do think that the staff there will know what it means.  It may make them think of my babies as someone's children!  It also may make them think about the fact that parents travel all that way to adopt the children that society in Eastern Europe often thinks of as "less than". 

I surely do hope that they can start to look at my babies and realize that to me they are "Priceless Beloved Children" who are longed for every moment of every day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Bear of a Wait

The waiting is horrible.  I am hoping to wake up to news that we have that written referral!  Please keep praying for that referral, a fast process from here on out, and for our kids who are waiting.

One of the things that we have for Brent to take to each of the children is a BEAR.  It has a picture of their new family on it.  :)  You can order them on Sam's Club's online photo shop if you would like a special bear for a child that you are waiting to make an official part of your family.  Here is a picture:

I'll keep showing more of the things that Brent is taking for them as we go.  :)  I think I found some pretty neat things to help them understand a little and at least get a "picture" of us in their heads.  Tonight we worked on each of their picture books as well.  Dayton and Jose had a good time helping me put them together.  Things are so much faster when you have lots of hands!  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We Should Have It By

We are already suppose to have the signature that we need by the end of the week!  Keep praying.  We really want to ship Brent over there so that he can check on my babies.  That will also put us one step closer to them being in my arms and no longer orphans. 

The pictures that I ordered for their albums are in, but I need to find a way to label each one with the Bulgarian word for "mommy", "daddy", "brother", "sister", etc.  Anyone have any great ideas??  I did order pictures of each of my 5 Bulgarian Blessings as well.  I am going to put those pictures in the albums as well.  I figure that they will serve two purposes.  One, it will give them a glimpse of their siblings that they will be travelling home with.  Two, it will help them to see themselves as a part of our family.  They already are in our hearts - that is for sure!

I have some other cool things planned for Brent to take with him that should help them to get use to seeing our faces.  :)  I'll take some pictures and share that with you all soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another Day That They Are . . . . . .

Every day that I wait drives me crazy, but for my kids it is much worse.  It is another day that they have no idea that they have a Mother somewhere who loves them like crazy.  It is another day without a Daddy to feed them a yogurt (Julianne thinks that Daddy is for that purpose at night).  It is another day that they don't have brothers and sisters to play with.  It is another day without a home where they belong. 

It is another day of . . . . being  . . . . orphans.

My heart breaks for them.  We just need  a signature on a piece of paper to move to the next step in this process.

A signature is what they need to be one step closer to realizing who they really are and how loved they already are.

Please pray for that signature to come tomorrow. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Prayers and Faithful Planning

I ordered the pictures for the picture albums for the kids tonight.  I've been trying to "pace" myself during this waiting.  I don't want to have absolutely nothing to do to feel like I am doing SOMETHING for them.  They are just ordered from 1 hour photo, so they could have been done last minute.  I have the photo books here to put them in. 

I also found some more rattle/key rings for donations to Keith's place.  They had them on sale at Kroger so I got some of them to go with the other donations we have ready.  That made me feel like I could do something for him. 

I do ask that you continue to pray.  I am going to go to bed and hope that I wake up in the morning to a written referral and a travel date for Brent.  I love him dearly, but it is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy past time for him to go!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Please Pray Hard

We really need a written referral in order to get a travel date for Brent to go on trip #1 to see my babies.  Please pray hard.  God says that with faith the size of a grain of mustard seed we could move mountains.  We need lots of faithful prayers!  I know that He has this under control, but I also know He likes to hear from His people.  Let's make our faith in Him to do this known and watch God move those mountains!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Julianne Trying Out the High Chair

I bought three of the high chairs, because I knew Julianne's wasn't going to make it much longer.  I have had her new one set up now for several days and I LOVE IT!  I can't wait to set the other two up, but I need my other two little ones here to use them first. 

As you can see she really likes it too.  She wasn't really sure what it was or why it was until we put some chocolate chips onto the tray.  :)  Then she KNEW!  lol 

It took less than 5 minutes to put it together.  It easily converts from a high chair into a table and chair.  The harness that is with it is great, but Julianne really doesn't need one.  She loved to stand up in the other one, but in this one she hasn't been able to because the tray sits down lower to her lap.  I LOVE that too!  The harness would be good if she was using it as a table and chairs though because it would keep her in her seat for an activity, so I can see it being very useful for training the little ones to stay in their seats when doing an activity as well as for eating. 

There are several other things that I love about it.  It takes up LESS SPACE!  This is huge when you are going to have 3 of them!  It also is very easy to wipe off.  It has simple lines, less grooves, and even the seat cover is easy to wipe off.  Julianne also has a habit of "rocking" back and forth when she sits.  This one doesn't have a reclining seat, so I'm hopeful that it won't gradually tip backward like the other one that we had. 

I had to show you another.  She really is so adorable and leaned forward for this picture with that little smirk of hers.  :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Have Some More Pictures of Aleshia

I had another picture of Aleshia, but I just couldn't get it to open.  I worked hard on it and finally got it open.  Here it is:

Then Shelley and Andrea found me a baby picture of her.  It makes my heart wish I had been her Mommy then all the more.  She is just adorable and still tiny! 

Let's just be honest, that is one of the cutest babies you've ever seen!  She still is just adorable, cute, and beautiful.  Soon she will be home. 

Right now it is 8:43 am in Bulgaria and I am praying that whoever needs to sign our referral feels so compelled to do so today that they can't get the pen to detach from their fingers until it is signed.  MY GOD IS BIG ENOUGH TO DO THAT!  God loves my 5 Bulgarian Blessings even more than I do (I know it, but it is hard to fathom!) and He wants them home too.  Will He answer my prayer with a "yes" today or another day?  I don't know, but I know that He has it under control. 

Right now, I am going to go to bed and hope that the morning brings wonderful news.  I will just beg Him all the way until I fall into a deep sleep. lol  I mean, I am HIS child and that is what kids do.  :) 

Thank You with No Way to Send

Our Family Sponsorhip Page on Reece's Rainbow received a very large donation on the 31st of December.  I would have loved to send a "Thank You" card to that person and the other people who had donated earlier since I found out how to get the names.  The problem is that I don't know them.  There is one group that was put together by a group of wonderful teens that did a change drive.  I was able to thank them via Facebook.  There were 3 other people who had already given before that point as well, but I don't know who any of them are.  Then a $1,000 donation came in on the 31st of December.  I have no idea who the wonderful couple is and I won't publicly post their name.  I hate to not be able to thank the people who are helping to bring our 5 Bulgarian Blessings home.  So I'm going to do the best I can and say "Thank You" on here.  Maybe they will run across it!  God surely is using people that we don't even know to be such a blessing in the process of bringing our little loves home! The prayers, donations, and encouragement are so very appreciated from everyone.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Part 5 of Introducing Our Kids

Last, but not least by any means is "Ahnja Joy".
She's 9 years old and just GORGEOUS!  She lives in a group home setting right now, but spent some time in the same mental institution that Nicholas lives in now before her transfer to the group home.  She is the oldest (by just a few months) of the children we are adopting right now, but in the past we adopted Unique when she was 11 years old. 

Ahnja seems to be a lot more advanced as far as we can tell.  She runs, climbs, and is "very quick".  She actually talks well and has a vocabulary (or course since it is in Bulgarian that isn't going to help our communication with her much, but it menas she will hopefully catch on quickly).  She attends a public preschool.  She is potty trained, dresses herself, eats independently, and interacts well with children and adults.  She likes to make up games and is imaginitive!  They say her favorite thing is dolls.  :)

Ahnja caught our attention very quickly.  We had originally thought we would probably only bring home one child that was as old as 9, but she and Nicholas both stole our hearts and we KNEW they should both be ours.  She is just beautiful and I believe that from the beginning of time God planned for she and all my children to be mine.  He didn't "will" the bad things to happen to them, but He knew that they would, so He planned for me to fall in love and adore each one.

I can't wait to get her all dressed up and let her see how truly beautiful she is.  She's likely in a better situation that most of the kids.  Yet, every child needs a Mommy to help them see their true beauty.  Every little girl needs to realize that her beauty comes from God and isn't dependent on anyone else's opinions.  They also need a Daddy to tell them how wonderful they are and make sure that they always know that their beauty is recognized.  :)  Every child (boy or girl and no matter how old) needs a family to adore them!  We can't wait to do let Ahnja (and all the children of course) feel that!

Ahnja has a look in her eyes that I am VERY familiar with.  That is the look that Julianne gets when she is like "come on already" or "don't you get it".  lol  I'm pretty sure that God meant that look to let me know that she was ready for me to "come on already"!

I think that this picture was actually from 2009.

I believe that this picture was the newer picture and is from 2010, but the one I use is the one that was her profile picture on Reece's Rainbow. 

I am with her and ready for this whole thing to "come on already"!  I want to get to bring them all home and show them the love that they deserve and I can't wait till they realize that not only do we ADORE them, but God does too!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Part 4 of Introducing Our Kids

Next up for his introduction is "Nicholas Cole".
We decided to keep his Reece's Rainbow name of Nicholas.  Nicholas actually means "victory of the people".  He is finally going to have "victory".  Frankly, we "people" will actually feel a big victory when he and his brother and sisters are home as well. 

Nicholas's information that we have is quite old.  It will be 3 years soon since the information was updated.  As of then, he was not yet speaking.  He was using the bathroom, but had to be reminded to go.  He was able to go up and down steps and run.  He liked cars, trucks, and could build with legos.  I don't know how accurate all that is, but it doesn't matter really.  It also said that he enjoys music and rocking in a rocking chair.  That is something he and Julianne most definitely have in common.  :) 

Nicholas has such a mischievous look about him.  He caught my attention from the first moment that I saw him.  I knew that I wanted that little boy that managed to look both "sweet" and "wild" to be my son.  Thankfully, Brent fell for him quickly as well. 

It breaks my heart that he has already been in an institution for so long.  I pray often that God preserves his personality and keeps him safe there.  I also pray that God will give him dreams of a Mommy who loves him so much and will give him lots of love someday soon. 

We don't know what to expect with him really.  We just know that we LOVE him.  That is really what matters.  God put him in our hearts and we are going to bring him home.  We already know we love him and soon he will know as well.  We know that bringing a child home who has been in an institution for so long will have plenty of challenges.  Thankfully, we have lots of experience with challenges and know that we can help him overcome them.  Will he be wild, scared, closed off, or attention seeking?  Who knows????  God does!

Soon you are coming home little boy!  You don't have any idea as to what that means, but we can't wait to show you!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Part 3 of Intoducing Our Kids

Today I am introducing "Anita Faith" (was Anjelina on Reece's Rainbow). 

Anita Faith is 6 years old.  She was still at the baby orphanage last we heard and we are praying that she hasn't been transferred.  She is the only child that is on the way in which I have a baby photo. 

Baby photos are such a rarity with older children adoptions.  It is such a blessing to have one of her.  I wish I had that of all my children, but it just isn't possible with most of our children (even those in foster care before coming to us). 

Anita Faith is a name we had picked out quite a long time ago.  We see a nurse practitioner whose name is "Anita", who I consider a treasured friend.  Without her to take care of my kiddos (and me for that matter), I wouldn't have near the peace of mind that I do each day.  She has helped us through some very tough times and is always there to pray.  She also always asks about the kids on the way and is such an encouragement.  "Faith" is a middle name that I had always planned to use and a few years ago I put it with "Anita" and knew I would name a child that some day. 

We had already committed to the other children (with the exception of Keith of course) and really wanted to add a 4th child to our adoption.  I badgered Shelley (who always puts up with me so nicely lol) to let me know when a child came through who would be near one of the two locations we already had children.  I told her to let me know as soon as she found our 4th child and she said she would (probably hoping that I would leave her alone lol).

On the day that I first saw sweet Anita's picture, I knew that Shelley was getting more files and was praying that one of them would be ours.  I had to take Ezekiel to an appointment that day, even though I hated for Brent to get a glimpse first, I asked Brent to watch my computer.  I had received an email from Shelley just before I left saying that she thought she had me my 4th child.  I told her that I couldn't wait to see, but I could tell her that the answer was most definitely "yes".  I was dying to know who, how old, boy or girl, ok really just EVERYTHING.  I had my iphone with me and checked it as soon as we arrived and continually through the waiting time at that appointment.  When I got out to my vehicle to start home, there in my inbox was a link to Anita (Anjelina on Reece's Rainbow).  My heart leapt immediately.  I was so thrilled and of course we said "yes" officially.  We filled out the commitment documents and sent in to add her to our adoption!

The things that I know about Anita are not very in depth.  I know that she can run, climb steps, and ride a 3 wheel bike.  I know that she loves to dance.  I know that we will be following up with a cardiologist even though her heart issue is mild and probably with a kidney issue.  Most of all I know that she is MINE and I am so blessed that God chose me to be her Mama.  I can't wait to have her home.  I pray that God keeps her safely at her baby orphanage instead of her being transferred to a mental institution. 

Soon, sweet girl, you will be playing at home with all your siblings and I can't wait to see you dance!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Part 2 of Introducing Our Kids

I'd like for you to meet "Aleshia Noelle" (she was Paula on Reece's Rainbow)!

Aleshia Noelle is 5 years old.  She is just a few months older than Julianne.  "Aleshia" was the name of my first best friend in elementary school and when I saw her listed as "Paula" I just immediately thought she looked like she should be named Aleshia.  Brent liked the name, but questioned my spelling of it.  lol  I explained quickly that because of my friend "Aleshia" this was the natural way for me to spell it. 

She was actually one of our first Angel Tree kids.  I think for that reason that the name "Noelle" is so fitting.  We found her at Christmas time!  Christmas of 2010 was when we fell in love with her.  :)  We checked on her (Paula on Reece's Rainbow) and a boy named Derrick.  We were hoping to start after we got Cody home, but we found out that Derrick had already died.  That threw us into urgent mode.  We knew then that God expected us to act IMMEDIATELY.

Aleshia does not talk, walk, or likely even sit up.  She is actually completely unresponsive last we heard.  Another adoptive mother met her and Aleshia didn't respond when she touched her, talked to her, or got in her line of vision.  She didn't even seem to notice, but just continued to brush her hand up by her eye.  She was propped in a tiny wheelchair outside when that mom was visiting her child.  I was thankful to hear that she was outside getting some air.  I pray that she doesn't have to spend much time "laying" in a crib.

My heart breaks for Aleshia.  I had hoped that she would be home or at least almost home by now.  Instead we are still waiting on trip #1.  :(  I remind myself daily that God is there with her.  That gives me some comfort, but I know that since He put her on my heart, I won't get much comfort until she is in my arms.

We've been asked if she will improve or why we continue forward knowing that she doesn't respond.  The fact is that we don't know if she will improve in her responsiveness.  I hope for her sake that she does, but if she doesn't it doesn't change how much we love her and how much she is OURS.  We'll either love her out of the state she is in now or we will love her in the state that she is now.  If she never becomes responsive, then she will be dressed cute, kept clean, and spoiled while she is unresponsive.  It doesn't matter what someone can or can't do, EVERYONE NEEDS LOVE.    That is something that she has never had.  Imagine being 5 years old and never having a Mama to love you.  It is heartbreaking.  She's never had much reason to respond.  No one really cared if she did anything as long as she did cause them much trouble in taking care of her.

My biggest concern in bringing her home is that I don't want these 13 kids already here to overwhelm her.  I don't want them to overstimulate her or scare her.  We've been talking with them about how not all little ones are use to the same amount of attention as Miss Julianne gets here.  We have different ways planned to let her (and the other little ones) adapt slowly, but still be a part of as much as possible.

Aleshia Noelle is already a very loved little girl.  She just doesn't know it yet.  Soon she will know it!  Very soon Aleshia Noelle will be home with us and beginning to live the life that every princess should live.

God, please protect her and give her hope that someone loves her and is coming for her.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Part 1 of Introducing our Kids

I've decided that since we have a name now for Keith then I will introduce them 1 by 1.  :)  Their names are very confusing for us since some have a birth name (I can't disclose), an online name that they were given on Reece's Rainbow, and another name we are giving them.  Some days I get confused and close friends who have heard me use all kinds of names are now thoroughly confused as well.  So each day I am going to introduce a child and from then on use (or at least try to lol) that name to refer to them.  I think it will help a lot with everyone getting them straight.  It will also give each one their day to "shine".  I'll also tell you a little more about that child in the post. 

So first up is "Keith Isaac"!

Keith is the youngest of the children we are adopting and is only 4 years old.  He is also very tiny at only 11 pounds.  We can't wait to get him home and see the miracles that God has in store for him.  We are expecting from what we currently know that he will need 12 to 18 months size clothing for the length, which will be waaaaayyyy too big to stay up so we will be buying one piece things for him most likely.  It breaks my heart to know how tiny he is and I was looking at a friend's little girl who was so tiny the other day.  She isn't even 2 years old yet and is considered quite small in a size 18 months clothing.  I was thinking that he is about her height but only about half of her weight.  It breaks my heart into a million pieces.

The name "Isaac" was actually the most popular for a middle name for him on the poll.  :)  We had decided on it too, so knowing that others liked it really helps! 

We like the sound of the name, but also the story of Isaac in some ways reminds us of our story with Keith so far.  We thought that we were only bringing home the 4 children to begin with, but really felt like God wanted us to bring home Keith as well after some prayer.  We felt everything come together and were able to get the USCIS approval for 5 quite easily.  Then once our dossier was submitted we expected our "verbal referral" on November 11th.  Instead we were told that if we left Keith behind, then we could get our verbal referral the next week, but if we wanted to pursue him then we would need to have a homestudy addendum showing that we could have other adults come in to help if needed and that my two oldest daughters (who are legal age of adults but have special needs that in Eastern Europe would have had them in mental institutions) were not taking care of kids.  Our daughters most certainly don't do child care, but to try to convince someone across the ocean of that seemed daunting.  We were told that with the paperwork the committee would look at our dossier, but there were no guarantees that we could bring him home.

We were so upset.  That day I cried while I vomitting from a stomach virus.  We just couldn't leave him behind though.  We all already loved him!  We decided to do everything we could and leave it in God's hands.  It truly felt like we could be asked to put Keith on the alter, as Abraham was asked to do with Isaac.  We did all we could and left it to God.  When people asked we told them that if Keith was left behind it would be because a governement made us leave him and not because we didn't do all we could.  We begged for prayers from everyone we knew.  We got the paperwork done quickly and drove to get it apostilled and had it hand delivered to Bulgaria with a friend who was travelling to pick up her little girl. 

God did for us what He did for Abraham.  We were not made to sacrafice Keith by leaving him behind.  God gave us that verbal referral.  We are now waiting for the written referral and a travel date for Brent to go for trip #1.  Then I will go for trip #2 and get to bring Keith and our 4 other Bulgarian Blessings home. 

Keith is tiny, but MINE.  I can't thank God enough for the blessing of that referral happening.  God is holding Keith right now and soon I will too.  :)

Keith was actually the name of my uncle that passed away before I was born. 
Isaac means "He will laugh" and I surely can't wait to see Keith Isaac LAUGH. 

This is my very tiny boy.  Mama is coming.

Isn't "Keith Isaac" a handsome little guy?  Imagine him home and what food, love, and attention will do!  Soon baby boy, soon!

Friday, January 6, 2012

For their First Sunday at Church

Ok, so I have to "prepare".  I've been "nesting" for waaaayyyy too long.  I keep expecting things to start to move at lightning speed and I want to be ready.  :) 

I was at Sam's Club and they have started putting out their Spring/Summer clothing.  I have always loved to buy the cute clothes there.  Destiny has outgrown them, since they only go to a size 7, but thankfully Julianne arrived in time to be able to keep me buying all those cute things. 

I looked at those beautiful dresses and wanted so badly to buy them, but I wanted to buy them for all 4 of my beautiful "Chromosomally Enhanced" girls.  I mean, anyone who knows me knows, I will have to have them matching as much as possible.  Ahnja may or may not be able to wear smaller sizes than Destiny, but likely will.  One way or the other, the younger three at the very least MUST have some matching outfits.  :)

I looked at those beautiful dresses and decided that I would buy them for all 4 girls!  I then thought "But what sizes do they wear?".  So I thought and then I felt a frivolous smile creek onto my face.  Yes, I decided to buy a 3T (in case Paula is smaller than Julianne), two size 4's (in case someone is Julianne's own size), a size 5, a size 6, and a size 7!  Surely that will cover all the bases!  They can wear them on their first Sunday at church.  I needed 4, but bought 6.  I figured that the dresses were less than $20 a piece at Sam's and if I bought them else where they would be twice that.  With that mindset, I still got a good deal!

I have to admit that I keep pulling the dressing out and looking at them.  I sit and imagine how pretty each one will look in those pink dresses.  I think of how blessed I will feel to have them all together.  Four chromosomally enhanced sisters all stubborn and BEAUTIFUL!  I can just see each of their little faces above those dresses. 

I haven't picked out clothes for the 2 boys yet.  I have no idea what sizes to buy for Nicholas and Keith.  I am maybe going to wait until Brent actually meets them.  With the girls all so close in age, surely I hit their sizes!  Also whatever they don't wear now they can probably grow into (unless of course the size 3T is too small lol).  Nicholas's info is YEARS old, so we have no idea what to expect.  Keith is so very tiny that I am hoping he has grown some since our last report. 

So here is what the girls will be wearing!
Of course you will need to multiply that times 4!

The question is "Which 4 dresses will fit them?" 

What is not in question is that they will ALL be beautiful!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Trying to Survive the Waiting

I've been waiting so long for that travel date to get this thing rolling faster.  I've been paper pregnant so long that I should have given birth to an elephant by now!  (I was still paper pregnant with Cody when I got paper pregnant for this international adoption!)  I'm praying that we get the written referral that we need tomorrow.  Yet, I fear to get my hopes up.  I know it will happen in God's time.  I really do KNOW that, but it sure feels like the devil is pulling out all the stops to slow things down. I'm ready to see God squish his little head and make this thing roll quickly.  I live each day while thinking about what time it is in Bulgaria.  Right now it is about 7:15am there.  I begin to pray about their breakfast and that God sends them a hug through someone today.  At lunch time here, I am praying about their bedtime.  It is just a cycle.  I get a lot of praying in.  Of course through most of that praying I'm cooking, cleaning, and homeschooling.  I surely don't want the kids to worry about their 5 siblings there as much as I do! 

Yet, my trial of waiting is so minimal in comparison with theirs!!!!  I am ok.  I have a family and I am loved.  I have plenty to eat, a warm place to call home, and more than my needs met.  I get more hugs a day than most people can imagine!  I am not worried about ME.  I am worried about THEM! 

I have no idea what their days are like.  Are they sick?  Did they have enough to eat?  Are they clean?  Did anyone hug them today or even this week??  Do they even know to long for something more?  I don't know.  I do know that they need to come home! 

Please pray that we get that written referral.  God is big enough to get that for us and make this thing move quickly.  I take comfort in that He loved them before I even knew that existed.  I know He is there with them.  I also know that He laid it on our hearts to bring them here to be with us.  They are already loved just as much as my kids who are home with me.  I know He wants them HERE!  So please pray that we get that written referral and that God gives us miracles to bring them home quickly. 

Tomorrow, I will try and tell you about what I did today to prepare for their first Sunday home.  :)  Being able to feel like I am doing anything for them or getting anything for them, makes me feel useful and makes their homecoming seem closer.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Update on Keith's Name

Well, several of my Facebook friends gave us some great input on a middle name for Keith.  My brother also saw this posted on Facebook and called to give me a lot of lip over the name "Vladimir".  lol  My boys value his opinion quite a bit, so that definitely helped to sway them away from Vladimir for a middle name.  :)

We have not fully settled on one yet, but I think we know the final 3 that we are down to. 

What do you like? 

Keith Samuel

Keith Aaron

or Keith Isaac


There is a poll to the left of the blog to give us your input!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Name Trouble

I have names picked out for all the kids.  Everyone has middle names chosen too, except for Keith.  My boys have convinced my husband on the middle name of Vladimir.  I really am not sold on it.  It is nothing like the names of any of our other kids either.  The problem is that nothing is clicking with "Keith".  Our boys already have many of the names that seem they would go best with it.  I had an uncle who passed away before I was born named "Keith Michael".  The problem with that is that we already gave "Michael" to Cody as his middle name.  If I can get his name ironed out then I will announce all of their names. 

Anyone have any ideas?  Keith Vladimir doesn't sound bad, I'm just not sure of it.  If you have any great ideas, then I'd appreciate it if you'd share them!

Feeling a Little More Real

It is 2:30 am and I just finished ordering things to prepare for our soon to arrive children.  Earlier today, I bought and packed some things in a bag for Brent to give to Keith's "Baba" that comes to spend time with him through a ministry there.  I'm hoping that if she uses it, then it will help him now and with the up coming transition.  I also purchased the photo albums that I will be preparing later this week. 

Tonight I ordered two cribs.   Keith and Paula will both need one when they arrive home.  There are twin size beds in the rooms now, but they aren't ready for them.  We are not sure if either one even sits independently, but we know that neither is mobile.  So, even at ages 4 and 5 years old, they will both be in need of cribs. 

I also ordered two of the small pack'n plays.  Keith and Paula will need places to be where they won't get too much attention as they adjust and since they are neither one mobile.  I'm trying to keep reminding my kids here at home that the kids coming aren't use to constant attention and that we will have to be careful not to overstimulate them.  I am however preparing places and ways for them to be a part of the household even if they can't stand any more "touch".  Julianne has had her current pack'n play as a play pen for her entire time home (going on 3 years!), but is in no way willing to give it up.  She gathers everything that she wants up and puts it in there (it is where ALL the combs in the house land!).  She then uses a chair to climb in it, or gets someone to put her in with her ingenius nonverbal bossiness, and plays with everything before she throws it out.  lol

Then I ordered 3 high chairs.  Keith and Paula will be in need of these as well.  Since I don't know if they even sit independently yet, these are especially important.  They are also important bc they will be exploring different textures and foods.  Julianne loves to do that in her high chair.   She also likes to take us there to nonverbally boss us around.  Even the dumbest of people know what she wants if taken to a high chair, so we have no excuse there!  lol  You notice that I said 3 high chairs, even though only 2 kids coming home should be in need of them.  The third one is for Julianne.  She has had her current one since arriving home and it is DONE.  She rocks in it and sits backward in it.  It is nearing its last leg!  A new one is on the way, so I pray it holds out!  These are on the ones on the way.  :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Pictures

 There really hasn't been any more news since the verbal referral.  The written referral should be soon and then we will be given a date for Brent to travel.  We are praying that it is just a few weeks away!  This is all I have to offer while we wait.