Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nothing. nothing and more of nothing...

There will not be any signatures this week. We do have 1 signature down, the lawyer for the MOJ, but the minister that needs to sign is out of office till after Easter. Seems as if the work ethic of government workers is universal. :( That may not sound very nice, but I am not feeling very nice right now. I am sure she has a life too, and even a good reason for being off this week... but all I can think of is my girls right now.

Praying that she comes back to work refreshed, and highly motivated and signs our papers quickly!

God knows me so well. He knows that if I had known how this journey would go, and the frustrations, upsets, and "ulcers" [not literally, by the grace of GOD!][ that would come with it I would have walked away before ever committing! THANK YOU JESUS for knowing what I DIDN"T need to know! Thank you for handling it. Thank you for placing such a burning passion in my heart for you and an enormous amount of love in my heart for these girls that I couldn't quit, no matter the struggles!

Not having the girls here hurts!! So much more than I EVER thought it would! That isn't said to discourage anyone from taking this journey themselves, but let's be real here. Nothing about this process has been easy, and NOTHING about it was done apart from the will of my Father in Heaven! He is the central driving force! He is the keeper of my heart! He is helping me with the wait, because honestly I just don't have anything left!

The words of a song are ringing very true lately, and though the whole song isn't fitting into my feelings, the chorus rings out so accurately.

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

God WILL bring them home. And all I can do is hold onto Him!


While I wait, I am praying for Adeye, the Burman family, Shonette and AnnaKae, little Jaxon who is now home with his mommy :), Jodi and Hunter, Tracy, Shelley, Renae, Valerie, Alinas family, Jean and her girls coming home soon, Anna and little G, all the families adopting from Bulgaria, and so MANY more!!!! Each child that comes home makes my heart overflow with joy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random thought for the day...

I really love Bertolli's!

For lunch during the week it is usually just John, Luke and I. Since we are both dieting, I try to not prepare something huge for lunch. We are both just doing oatmeal [me] and special K [John] for breakfast and supper.

These frozen meals that you cook in the oven, or in a skillet are really VERY YUMMY, surprisingly so! And they are fast and EASY! Pair them with a light salad, and it makes the perfect lunch for us. You can buy the bags that serve 2 people. So you don't end up eating HUGE portions of YUM! :) For around $8.00 or less a bag, I think it is a good trade off. It beats eating out, and it tastes better than a lot of choices we have in town. :)

My dieting is more like fasting, as I am also focusing on prayer before breakfast and supper too. I love it.

So far John has lost 6 lbs, and I have lost 12lbs. I started March 1st. :) I think he started a week after me... :)

Monday, March 22, 2010


Another praise! Our case was filed with the MOJ last Friday. There is a chance we could have the needed signatures by the end of this week on Friday!!! PLEASE pray with us that this will happen! The NEXT step after the signatures is a court date!

PRAYING hard for court, and even travel in APRIL!!!! GOD CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!

So 2 months after leaving the girls, ... we are filed! We are moving, and moving quickly. Nothing at this point moves fast enough though! :)


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Learning from the past...

I was reading back through my posts of when I was in Bulgaria visiting the girls.

First, I LOVED reading all the comments! What a great group of friends shared this journey with me!

Secondly, the immense God infused joy I experienced during that time was in question in my mind... but you know what? It WAS real! And it warmed my heart, it healed it!

If any of you are new to my blog, or need some encouragement and assurance that God has specifically, intricately designed your family through the adoption process... please take time to read through my time in Bulgaria meeting the girls. It is my hope it will bless, comfort, and inspire you!

The first visit is HERE!

Read the words of my heart HERE!


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pity Party over... at least for now. :)

Okay, I woke up this morning determined to be more at peace with this adoption journey. God is working. He is bringing them home. I have seen Him work in many ways and in many hearts during this 14+ month journey. He cares, and He will bring them home to us! So for now, I sit and I wait, and I pray....

AND I REJOICE because God is bigger than any problem or delay that might arise! And because His heart is FOR the ORPHANS, the FORGOTTEN, the LONELY.... I know that He has dug in and gotten "His hands dirty!" He is their WARRIOR, and He is fighting for them!

HE sets the lonely in families [Psalms 68: 6a], and He will bring the girls home to their forever family!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Yana Jewell!

I can not believe that Yana will be 7 tomorrow, March 20th and she will not be with us. I was so sure she would be here by now, at least when we started out. I feel like I have really let her down.

I know she doesn't care, she doesn't even know she was supposed to be here... but I know. :(

How much longer must we wait to be together as a family?

You have heard the phrase "Adoption isn't for sissies!" And boy is THAT the truth! 14 months of waiting, of hopes, of dreams, of wondering, of paperwork, of longings, of wishing we had some control over it ... and that doesn't even count the time prior to our commitment to the girls. My heart was committed LONG before we were committed on paper.

I am just longing for Yana and Tavi to be here, with us, with ME. I want us to be "doing" for them. I want us to be LOVING on them. I want us to be teaching them all about what having a mommy and a daddy AND a family truly means! I want my husband to meet his daughters, at long last... and look at them with love in his eyes.

How long is half of forever? Because that seems to me to be about how long we have been waiting!

I am SOOO truly happy for all of my friends who are traveling to bring home their kiddos in the next couple of weeks! The orphaned, the abandoned, the lonely, the forgotten all coming home to Christian families IS ALWAYS a cause for sincere celebration! PRAISE JESUS!

BUT oh how my heart wants it to be US bringing OUR GIRLS HOME! To see so many who committed after us, already home with their little ones... IT IS GLORIOUS... but to keep it real... it can make my heart hurt quite a bit too. I am safe to say this because adopting parents everywhere understand how one can be truly happy for someone and so sad too. I dont' want them to NOT have their kids home, I just want MY girls home too!

Someday, I know they will be home... but right now half of forever is just too darned long!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Praising God! One step closer!

We are one step closer to having the girls home! Our article 5 letter has been released from the embassy! Woo-Hoo! 3 whole unheard of days early! Thank you Jesus!

Now Toni will translate it and have it authenticated which takes 5 business days. So pray with me it is ready and can be filed with the MOJ early next week! There our dossier awaits 2 signatures, and then it is off to court where we are assigned, God willing, an adoption friendly judge, and a, God willing again, quick and successful court date!

Still praying for an extremely unlikely April travel date, but also for at least before May 21st!

Rejoicing today!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Waiting Child Plea

This is 6 year old Bobby. Isn't he a cutie?! How I would love to see that sweet little boy face break into a huge grin!

Here is his info:

Boy, Born February 7, 2004


Diagnosis: cerebral palsy, mental delay, secondary cardiopathy. Unable to walk at this time.

There is a $5,100 grant available for his adoption at this time. As well as many other younger children in the same orphanange who can be adopted with him. $5,100 is a significant grant, and makes things very possible for many families waiting...

He is in danger of being transferred to a mental institution where he will remain bed ridden for life. Often, a life of lonliness, and significantly shortened life span. So ... won't you please consider Bobby?

Click HERE for more info. This is a FAST program!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Oh how I am a nester!!!! In fact, I have had such a HARD time NOT preparing for my girls arrival! It was something I knew my heart would need as the time to bring them home got closer and closer, and yet seemed so far away.

So, I told myself that I could start preparing for them in March. You would think they were coming tomorrow as hard as I have been working! LOL. I have managed to move 2 boys out of the girls room and into the sunroom/computer room which I converted half of into a bedroom [thanks to a dressing screen]. Luke and Nolan actually like it. OH! And I bought a cheap dresser from K-mart and my husband assembled it for the boys. :)

On top of that, I went through ALL the clothes my sister and sister in law gave me, and put them away into the girls dresser [summer/spring on one side, winter/fall on the other]. Other than socks the girls are pretty set clothes wise. :)

Now, last night and today I PAINTED their whole room a BEAUTIFUL Eddie Bauer WATERMELON SLICE pink. It is so much prettier than what this shows! One wall has navy wall paper with floral accents. It is going to be perfect for our girls! I will have pictures when it is finished. [I am waiting for coat one to dry!]

I am storming Heaven with prayer. I know that it will be quite a while before they are home, but I am STILL praying for April, and secondarily praying for a travel date before May 21st [which is the last day of school here!]

For today, I must say I am excited to have them home and feel very UP! Our article 5 letter will be released next week, then about another week before it gets sent to the MOJ. So please pray specifically for God to prepare the hearts of the MOJ to sign the approvals QUICKLY upon receiving the letters and send it just as quickly to court!

For all of my friends waiting for their children to come home too, know that I AM praying for you! We have to carry each other through the tough times! We can't do this alone!

I love you all!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't you just love waking up to good news?

I received an email from Toni, in Bulgaria, this morning. Our I800 has arrived at the embassy and she has already scheduled the provisional filing for tomorrow at 3:00 pm., which will be 7:00 am here! :)

Woooo-Hoooo!!!! I REALLY needed to hear this news!!!! :) Please pray with me that everything is in order and goes as planned! This is step 2 of the final four!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Look what I made...

Since you can't blow it up bigger... both the girls pictures are on it with their names. And underneath it reads "I'm waiting on you Lord!" in hot pink and lime green. The shirt is black. It's cute!

Joy Cometh...

Has it really only been 47 days since I kissed both my little girls good-bye? It seems like it has been a lifetime. Or maybe it was in another life in which I held them close? Was it only in my dreams? The best of dreams....

I have noticed I am writing events on my calendar for April and May. They don't seem that far away... so why does the homecoming of the other half of my heart seem infinitely out of my reach?

I spent 45 minutes on the phone this morning, ON HOLD, waiting to talk with a person at the National Visa Center [NVC]. I found out our case is STILL there, and that it could be sent off today. But to find that out I will have to call back later!

I know we are just steps away from having them home. But those steps are giant, and each one seems to take so LONG!

Each month, each week, each day, each hour, every minute, every second that we are apart is breaking my heart.... I know, I KNOW, this is part of adoption, and esp. international adoption. I KNOW THAT, I just can't make my heart understand!

At the park, at the mall, at dinner time, at bath time, at bedtime, at the doctors, at my kids school, at the VETS for goodness sake... I think of them, and what they would be thinking or doing if they were with me. Sometimes I think this is what a truly crazy person feels like.

I can still smell them, feel them, see them, hear them.... I just can't touch them. And it just really, really sucks. And it hurts. And I don't like it much at all.

I keep telling myself that...

"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." [Psalms 30:5

I keep lifting my heart up to God. Praying that He makes it whole.

The best advice I can give to an adoptive parent, well any parent really, is to "GET RIGHT WITH GOD! Cause if you don't, you are never, NEVER going to make it through till morning!"



**take a look at my adorable niece in her custom made outfit!**
Ella Ruth

Friday, March 5, 2010

Adoption statistics...

I just found this all interesting. So many children being adopted! Praise God! So many children still waiting, day after day, passed over, not chosen, not wanted....

How is your life affected by your commitment to Christ? Has it really changed at all?

"about 50,000 children are adopted from U.S. foster care and about 20,000 through international adoptions occur each year"

statistic taken from this article

The following are taken from HERE.

>US adoptions from Bulgaria:

Detailed Adoption Information From Bulgaria To The United State:

The Total Adoptions from BULGARIA from 1998 to 2009 is: 1302

Fiscal Year Total Adoptions
1998 1
1999 125
2000 214
2001 296
2002 260
2003 198
2004 110
2005 30
2006 28
2007 20
2008 5
2009 15


The Total Adoptions from UKRAINE from 1998 to 2009 is: 8029

Fiscal Year Total Adoptions
1998 176
1999 321
2000 658
2001 1240
2002 1094
2003 692
2004 793
2005 824
2006 463
2007 613
2008 490
2009 610


The Total Adoptions from RUSSIA from 1998 to 2009 is: 47453

Fiscal Year Total Adoptions
1998 4432
1999 4381
2000 4286
2001 4292
2002 2685
2003 5221
2004 5862
2005 4631
2006 3702
2007 2303
2008 1857
2009 1586


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fabulous blog post!

Okay, for all my blog readers, you simply MUST read THIS!


PRAISE GOD! Finally! We got our I800 approval!!!!

Moving forward once again! Now just 3 more stops ... the US Embassy in Bulgaria, signatures from the MOJ, and Court. Please don't let them delay the process or request more info!

*** though the above seems simple, it is far from it. We are still praying for an April return date! May might seem more likely, but God can do it! All in HIS timing and under His rule!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Remembering My Mom

Hey all... It's Riley (again).

I have this friend, and her name is Aly. Aly was about five years old when her mom passed away to breast cancer.

This year, Toyota is having a design-a-car contest. Aly's family are huge NASCAR fans, and so she designed one in memory of her mom. It's quite spectacular, and even holds a picture of little her, her brother, and her mom on the hood.

Aly has two weeks to get as many votes on this car as she can (each car is closed to votes after two weeks). On April 1, round one ends, and the top ten cars with the highest amount of votes will move on to round two. After that, well, I'm not sure what happens. But then whatever car wins round two will be raced in the All-Star Race (we believe it's the one right before Memorial Day).

We really need to get cracking on these votes! You can only vote once a day, but it counts IP addresses so vote from as many computers as possible!! There is already a car with 32,000 votes...it's about hugs and kittens. Which is fine, except Aly's means something. Please, everyone, help us remember Aly's mom by racing her car!!

http://www.sponsafier.com/#/gallery/view/158580 <--that is the direct link to her car. Show to all your friends!!

(If the link doesn't work, go to toyotaracing.com->click on the purple car on the right hand side->click the gallery link->search->remembering my mom).

Thank you everyone for supporting us on our adoption journey, and Aly on remembering her mom!

Much love,

Monday, March 1, 2010

Love it, had to share it, so glad to be living it!

*** borrowed from the blog of a friend, Thanks Lyndi!

From the National Catholic Register (no, I'm not catholic, and yes, I do get asked that a LOT!)

By Matthew Archbold

Why Big Families Might Be Easier

A woman said to me recently that my five children were very well behaved. It’s one of the best things I can hear so I thanked her. Then she asked me “how do you do it with so many?”

I told her that I don’t think I’d be a very good parent of one child or two. She didn’t believe my answer but honest to goodness, I sometimes think that having many children is easier than just one.

Why big families are easier:

Patience. I never have to teach patience. My children know that I can’t drop everything for them if I have a baby in my arms. So true!

Work Ethic. My children have learned to work because there are always chores to do in a small house packed with little messy lunatics. And they all learn quickly that sometimes they have to clean up a mess even though they didn’t make it. This is a lesson they don't like learning, but it is part of being a family. We clean up after each other, because we care for one another.

Humility. My children have learned it’s not always their turn. They’ve accepted they can’t always get their way because other people have to get their way sometimes. They’ve learned that some children are better at certain things than they are. Jessie hasn't learned this one yet, but the others are EXCELLENT turn takers!!

Foreign language skills. You can learn a lot of Spanish by watching ten years of Dora the Explorer that you just can’t pick up in two. And now with the Diego spin off I’m practically fluent. And now, we can even learn Chinese ;)

Laughter. The children have learned to laugh at the insane non sequiturs of younger siblings. They’ve learned that laughing just feels better when seven people are doing it along with you. We laugh All. The. Time. around here... seriously, if you need a good laugh, just call me, I'm sure one of my kids will crack you up in no time!

Competition. Do I really need to go into this? Everything is a competition in big families. The children compete over who reads faster, who drinks their milk faster, who gets to the bathroom first…etc. Everything is a competition and they’re all keeping score. I'm just glad another parent wrote this article, it makes me feel so much better about me kids, LOL. EVERYTHING is a race or a competition, even who gets out of the car first and who gets buckled first. Sadly, Kami races me and always wins (because I am buckling 2 kids into a 5 point harness!!!)

Balance. The floor of the front room of my home is a minefield of toys and childhood paraphernalia. Just walking through the room requires great skill and balance. I’m absolutely convinced my two year old will be a favorite for Gold on the balance beam in the 2016 Olympics. (She might have to lay off the cookies a little but I’ll deal with that later.) If you've ever been to my house when the playroom wasn't JUST picked up, you KNOW how true this is!

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you just give it to the baby because you want a little quiet. Not all the time. But sometimes. Yep, glad to know this family does that too....quiet is a necessity sometimes, even IF bribery is involved :)

Just say “No.” Being able to say “no” may be the most undervalued skill in this world. The need to be liked is pervasive. The need to be cool even more so. Having brothers and sisters teaches children to say “no” about 143 times a day. It’s a good skill. You mean it's okay to tell my kids "no"?? Who'd have EVER thought that?!?! LOL

Praying. They learn that nothing beats praying together as a family. AMEN!!

Nature/Nurture. Having many children has taught me that nature has a lot more to do with who my kids are than nurture. This is helpful, especially when your children misbehave you don’t have to feel bad about it. Just say “Stupid nature!!!” and blame your spouse’s genes. I'm gonna just sit here and smile, not saying a word!

Name calling. You can occasionally call your child by the wrong name and still not be considered a terrible parent. They know who you mean just from your tone. Sometimes if you need something done you can call the wrong name and someone will still show up. That helps. I'm surprised m kids know their names, I feel like I never call them the right one. Sadly, I don't get them mixed up with each other as much as I call them someone else entirely! The other day, I called Jordan "James", that's Bill's brother, he doesn't even live here!!!

Spying. My children have learned that they can’t get away with anything. I have spies who look a lot like them who are willing to drop the dime on them for anything. Even at school I’ve got a child in just about every grade. If they do something I’ll hear. That keeps them nervous. And I like keeping my kids a little nervous. Insert evil laugh here :)

Friendship. The children have many friends. They’ve got girly friends, crying friends, fun loving friends, consoling friends, and crazy friends. And they all have the same last name. And they’ll be there forever for each other. No matter what. There is always someone to play with and they can never say they are bored (if they do, they get to play candyland with the little ones!)

Love. I think my children have learned to love because there are others around them to love and who love them. I honestly can think of no better way to teach children to love than siblings. And this, THIS, is the best part of all. They learn to love a variety of people and personalities right here in their own house. We may be a family, but we are all different, yet we still love one another. What a great life lesson my kids have learned that some adults can't even master. They love each other for who they are, not who they want each other to be. They accept each other's differences and respect each other because of them. THAT is what being a family is about. It's the one place you should always always always feel LOVE! And in this house, their is a LOT of love!