Saturday, March 8, 2014


So, one month ago today, the most awesome thing happened.  Jocelyn and Lanie became American citizens, after tolerating a VERY long day filled with flights and more flights and waiting and more waiting.  The trip was about what I expected ;) 

So much that I could say about the last month.  The dilemma comes when posting things on a public forum, such as a blog.  Do I say everything is great and wonderful?  Do I talk about the struggles we have had?  What do people want to hear?  Before I adopted, I think I wanted to hear that everything was wonderful and all children just slid right into their families, even though I logically knew that wasn't the truth.  I have seen other bloggers open themselves up to lots of criticism and worse, by being honest about the truth that adoption can be hard, the hardest thing you may ever do, and im just not sure i'm ready for it.  But I think, there can be a medium there.  Potential adoptive parents need to know that everything isn't glitter and unicorns after you get these kids home.  We work so hard and so long and fundraise and paperwork and EVERYTHING that goes into getting these kids home, that sometimes I think we forget we will actually have to parent that child we have worked for.

 I think one of the reasons adoptive parents are so reluctant to be REAL, is that there is a mentality that "we asked for this".  Well, of course we choose the girls.  We choose to bring them home even knowing that they had down syndrome and other delays.  We knew it.  We choose them.  We choose life for them.  But does that mean that it is never hard?  Does that mean that I shouldn't be able to complain to a friend or family?  Does that mean that I should struggle in silence?  No, I don't believe it does so here is the truth.

Both of our girls are very delayed.  It wasn't a surprise  as we had read their files before committing and of course Jared met them in September before we were able to bring them home.  Knowing in my head that they were delayed, and even understanding the "why" of it, is not the same thing as caring for them every day.  Neither girl is mobile or verbal, and they both have varying degrees of institutional behaviors such as head banging, rocking, self aggression, eye contact avoidance.  We have one child who is desperate for any kind of kind word or kind touch, and one that would be very happy to lay on the floor and have no contact at all.  One of my children was not treated very kindly, from what we can tell.  We will be dealing with the repercussions from that for many, many years to come. 

Honestly, the days are hard, we all got the flu as soon as we got home, so our beginning was made even harder.  Physically caring for both girls is hard, carrying and changing and hauling them around, feeding and diapers and all that.  Finding a new normal is coming slowly, very slowly.  I hate asking for help, really really hate it, and so I am learning a lesson in humility these days.  I asked for help from other parents to get Eli to school, as I was having to wake up the girls everyday and it was stressful for all of us.  Accepting that my kids are eating a lot of sandwiches and fast food right now, and that is okay too. 

 Laying out the reality of our days to a very few trusted friends and having them assure me, yes, it is normal to be hard.  It is okay to cry.  It is okay to struggle.  Hearing others say those words is SO helpful to me, to feel that I am not alone in all this. 

In fact, I had just poured my heart out to a friend the other night, really telling her everything I was struggling with, and today I opened up my mail to the sweetest letter (from someone I don't even know) telling me how she had been following our adoptions and wanted to bless us with a little surprise.  Dear friend, your note was exactly what I needed today, it lifted my spirits like you cannot even imagine.  Thank you so very much!

Now, I know you only come to read to see the pictures ;)  so here you go!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


We had a great Christmas day today!  Lots of presents, family, fun and mayhem!  Can't wait till next Christmas when our whole family is here!!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Whoopsies!!!  Long time no post!!!!!!  Life has gotten in the way of blogging LOL!!  Jared got back from his trip to Bulgaria with no problems at all.  We finished our paperwork and have our I800 and article five approval.  We are waiting on a signature from the girls government and then we will get assigned a judge and a court date.  Best guess is Feb for close yet it feels SO FAR AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pics to tide you over :) 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wonderful Wonderful Words

This has been an amazing couple of days.  We found out this week that we got travel dates to go see the girls for the first time.  This is VERY exciting b/c we were not expecting to travel until late October, and Jared will be leaving in just two weeks to go meet them!  We CAN'T wait.  We have seen videos (recently) of Jocelyn, and feel like we have  a pretty good handle on what she will be like.  We have NO updates at all on Lanie (Lillie) so that will be a lovely surprise for Jared to learn more about her.  I will not lie and say I don't wish I was going, or that i'm not jealous of Jared because, dudes, I totally am.  But this is the best way for it to work for our family.  I will go on pick-up trip and hopefully that day will come soon!

So, after calming down from that excitement, we got an early message on facebook from someone who works with the organization we are fundraising through.  I went to look at our grant and almost passed OUT cold when I saw that we had been given a 10,000 donation overnight.  I IMMEDIATELY burst into tears and called Jared, where he tried to understand what was going on through my sobbing. 

I don't know who donated the money and don't know if I ever will.  If you happen to be a reader of my blog, PLEASE know you have our never-ever ending GRATITUDE.  We can now simply focus on bringing the girls home, and not have to worry about where the money will come from.  I still tear up to think of it.  What a HUMONGOUS weight that fell just right off our shoulders and shattered into dust at my feet. 

THANK YOU DEAR ANGEL!!!    Also, thank you to everyone else who has supported us during the fundraising journey, donating even when you are adopting yourselves, buying toys im convinced most of you didn't need to help us raise that amount, tithing to us, giving when you should have been saving, sharing our story, writing heartfelt posts about us, listening to me cry with worry about the girl's health, listening to me cry with worry over money...THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!

One day, hopefully very soon, I will be rocking these little ladies to sleep, whispering in their ears how much they are loved.  How a whole community rallied around their mama and daddy to bring them home.  I will stroke their hair, and tell them all about the angels who gave and gave and gave, and how mama and daddy were able to rescue them, thanks to all our new friends.
Thank you dear friends!  From the bottom of my heart, thank you <3

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why this country?

Forgive me for not posting recently.  Nothing is wrong, I've just been feeling quiet, as we are kinda stuck waiting for things out of our control right now.  But, when I saw the picture below, my heart was stirred and I had to post SOMETHING to acknowledge this little guy. 

One of the questions we get sometimes is "why not adopt from this country".  Although there are MANY reasons we are not adopting from this country (and we do recognize that in-country adoption is a PERFECT choice for some families), this is one of the main ones. 

Please look at this sweet boy.  He is in a country that has recently CLOSED to American adoptions.  This is his before and after picture.  Before and after what you ask?  In many countries, children with disabilities are transferred from a "baby" house to a MENTAL institution that will often house children to ADULTS.  The common ages for these children to be transferred is 4-6....

Oh sweet boy, how we have failed the people charged to keep you safe have failed the system as a whole has failed you.  My heart broke and I wept when I saw this picture.  Beyond the obvious bruising, cuts and sores, he looks VERY thin in his recent picture. 

I won't say this NEVER happens in the USA, but it is VERY rare.  Unfortunately, this is not all that rare in different countries, especially once children are transferred. 

We have other reasons of course, for choosing to adopt out of the country, but this is a biggie for us.  We need to protect the innocent, the ones who cannot protect themselves.  I think we are all called to protect those who are weaker than us, one way or another.

PLEASE, consider helping these poor children.  Adopt, pray, advocate, something.  Call a family who is adopting and ask if you can help.  Ask if you can bring them a meal.  Ask them about the children they are adopting.  Do something...please.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One Step Closer!!!!

We got verbal approval!!!!!!  WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!

Now we need written approval and then we will get travel dates!!!  We are coming girls!!!!!!!

the kids in chronological order!