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Friday, April 27, 2012

A Birthday Wish

Someone (no more special than anyone else)
has a Birthday coming up in 9 Days!!

birthday cake clip art free Birthday Cake Clip Art

They will need waaaayyyy more than 1 candle....

Who could it be?

Its me!!!

I will be 35 on May 6th!!

So what is my birthday wish??
Its for Brigita, of course!
Could you please consider donating to our Adoption?? Our FSP is only at $377 and has been for a little while. Will you raise that number? Can we get it to at least $500? What about $800? What about $1000??!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Yay!! I got my USCIS forms sent off yesterday. I wasn't able to get things together and some questions answered in time Saturday. I was so nervous. I was standing in line at the post office and my hands were shaking, my heart beating fast...these papers are so important to me and no one was able to tell me if there was anything I was supposed to do specifically about Summer no longer being in my home. The court order showing she was placed with her relatives will not be available for a month or so. I was so nervous, I forgot to get overnight or express mail or anything. So, my forms will slowly be making their way to Texas. Oh well...can't think of everything. I just hope everything was done correctly, it will be expedited, and what not. And I'm glad to have one more step closer to Beautiful Brigita!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Home Study officially completed!!

Yay!! I received my finalized home study report in the mail yesterday. I tried to get my immigration forms and docs sent out today but it didn't happen. Between computer and printer issues (as well as some confusion and stress to make sure its perfect), I didn't get the information together by noon to be mailed out. However, I can see any reason I will not be able to get the information sent out on Monday. I am so excited to be moving to the next phase, even if it does mean waiting again. However, since my home study is complete, I can apply for some grants. I have started the application for one and am researching some others. The downside to applying for grants is the application fee. You have to ask yourself, is it more important to use the money to apply for a grant or put towards the adoption expenses. Grants are really hard to get but I feel like I need to try.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Could Andrew be your son? Watch the video link

He is so sweet!
Just ONE More 4 Us?!: Where is his hero?: As you watch the video below think about who is your hero. Think about every boy that loves Spiderman and why. Andrew has no idea who Spid...

Boy, Born May 2007
Oh Andrew…..Andrew was born with cataracts in both eyes.  He is completely blind, and has little opportunity to try to manage his surroundings and learn anything but darkness and loneliness in his current environment.  He most likely has other cognitive and physical delays, but what a difference a loving family will make for him!!
From a family who met Andrew in January 2012:
From what I saw, Andrew is a very smart little boy who is very much in need of a family to rescue him from orphanage life. There was one nanny who really liked Andrew, and she would actually let him out of his crib to walk around the room (very rare for this to happen in this room). He navigated the room very well, was very stable in walking, and very confident in his abilities. There was one time that Andrew was in the big play crib, and when I walked near the crib, he felt my presence (or perhaps he could see me), and he walked around the edge of the crib until he got to me. I patted him and he smiled from ear to ear. I had to stop touching him because the nannies on duty that day didn’t want me near the children, and when I walked away, he just cried and cried. It broke my heart. He’s a precious little boy in desperate need of rescue.


Sweet Darla!

Isn't she beautiful??
Girl, Born November 2008 Sweet Darla is facing the institution this year.  She is considered significantly delayed cognitively, she really needs a family to help her reach her full potential.  Secondary cardiomyopathy. Older parents and large families welcome, married couples only, travel required.

Please consider adopting Sweet Darla before she gets transferred! She is already delayed. Imagine how devastating to her development transfer to a mental insitution will be for her. I would love to adopt her but cannot. She has $600 in her grant already! Please considering donating to her grant if you are unable to adopt!


The end of my time with Summer....

Yesterday I said goodbye to Summer for the last time. The court did approve her placement with her relatives. She wasn't picked up until 2:00ish, so I had most of the day to spend with her. We have snuggled every chance I could and played every time she wanted to. She is growing so quickly. She is starting to sit up better (still falls over if unassisted of course) and has started teething though no teeth have actually come through yet. Summer has the best personality and temperment. She is so happy and alert. She watches everything! I love our snuggle time best though and that's what I'll miss the most. When you lay with her, she nestles in as close as she can and looks so content. Then, as she's drifting off to sleep, she will keep opening her eyes to make sure you are there. I will miss looking into her deep brown eyes. Also, when she's starting to fall asleep, she will smile. Its so precious. She thinks its funny when you are changing one of her major "blow outs" or when she has spit up all over you. She'll smile and smile. I'm not exactly sad (though I do have episodes of course). But its weird to be holding her and loving her one minute and then suddenly she's gone. I'm thankful for the transition period though. Not only for her but for me. It kind of helped me let go of her a little at a time. And I'm extremely grateful for the shared parenting. I was able to meet the family. Tell them about our baby. Sure they will find most of this out themselves. But isn't it easier on everyone if they know these things up front? She did settle back into our routine and home quickly when she was returned so I feel she will do the same at their home. The "mom" is planning to stay home with her until Monday, which will also help Summer. I'm glad I cannot take any placements right now (well, I can but would have to then have my home study updated or amended). Though I love fostering, the thought of having a child for 2-3 years and then losing them...I can't imagine how hard that would be! Or having them returned to their parents when there are still some concerns of recidivism or a relative that is questionable...Again, I'm so grateful that Summer's placement is not like that and her situation is not like that. She will not be returned to either parent. Her relatives seem like a really good placement.

On the adoption front, I should be getting my finalized homestudy report in the next day or so. Yay!!!! Then I start the process of getting the USCIS approval. Please pray this moves swiftly as it can apparently take months. Please don't forget our FSP either or the ChipIn. I'm still about $12,000-14,000 away from what I need to be fully funded! If you are able to help in anyway it would be greatly appreciated!!!! Please consider some kind of fundraiser yourself. Its yard sale time...could you and your neighbors get together and donate a portion of the proceeds to helping Brigita come home?? Or your church?? How about a carwash or bake sale?? You could make this into an annual event to sponsor other children and families just like me and Brigita. That was my original intention when I found Reece's Rainbow. I very much wanted to help these children and families be united. Then before I knew it, God was telling me I was one of these families. Help families like us take some of the worries away. If you send a check directly to RR for our FSP, we get 100% of the donation. And its tax-deductible. And for those interested in helping orphans, its does just that! In most of these international adoptions I have seen, a portion of the adoption fee is donated to the orphanage to help the children left behind. I'm not sure about all of the international adoptions. I portion of my fees does go to the orphange. In addition, most families also use some of the money and/or donated items to leave as gifts for the orphanage children and staff.  Please consider helping! Thank you!!

 See how tiny she is? This is Brigita at 5yo (the date on the photo is wrong). She is the size of a 2yo toddler. Please help me bring her home so she can grow and develop!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Summer's Last Days

I had such a good weekend! I received a letter from Summer's pediatrician re: Brigita to hopefully help medically expedite the powers that be in regards to our paperwork for her adoption. She did a beautiful job on the letter. I'm not sure if it will help or not. Luckily, Brigita is not in a bad place and is not really bad off. However, she is malnurished, dehydrated, and needs to start seeing some doctors ASAP! The agency is still reviewing the homestudy so it has not yet been finalized. I've asked a church if we can use their parking lot for a carwash/hot dog sale. Waiting to hear back. I think that is it on the adoption front.

Friday night I had my usual girl's night with my friend, Paige. We had a good time of knitting/crocheting, listening to 80s music, and gossiping. The simple pleasures in life. I love low-key, relaxing time spent with good people! Saturday another friend came over with her dog and all 3 of the dogs had a wonderful time. Rigby got put in "time out" and then leashed for chasing my poor cat, Smut, down the road. The other 2 started to take off as well (they didn't even see the cat, they just knew something fun was going on). However, they obeyed when called back eventually. My brother-in-law and sister came over to work on my deck. He started it in November but due to sickness, birthdays, holidays, rain, etc it is still being completed. It is so beautiful. He came back over Sunday to work some more. I have to share...

I'm not sure if the picture is showing or not thanks to this stupid computer. If not, I'll try to repost it again later. My sister brought their kids over Saturday and then my brother, his wife, and kids also came by for a little bit. I had all 6 nieces and nephews at my house!! It was great. I haven't had that much company in months. The baby, Braden, went in my cabinets, pulled out a can of corn, and brought it to me. He's 18 months old. Guess the boy knows what he wants and when he wants to eat. Saturday night I grilled steaks with potatoes and broccoli for me, my sis, and her husband. Kids had already eaten. Then Sunday, I had church, spent a little bit of time with the dogs, grilled hamburgers and corn on the cob, and sat on the deck and read until Summer was brought home. She got home late, around 7:30-8pm. When her relatives were walking away, she started to cry a bit. It made me feel good that she wanted to be with them. Its been kinda surreal having her back home. We snuggled for a bit in the bed until she fell asleep and then I put her in her crib. She seems a bit confused but not unhappy. She has smiled at me but keeps looking around. I kept help but worry that this is more confusing than helpful. Its so hard to know. Its hard on me. At first I was glad she was coming home and am still excited to see her. But this means I have to go through the letting go process again. I had 9 days to get used to not being her mom. Now I don't really feel like her mom. I also feel like I'm holding back a little because I know I won't have her long and I want her to want to go with her relatives. It also sucks that I can't just be at home with her these days but I have to work. Fostering is hard. Its worth it and I feel so blessed to have had this time with her. But it is hard. I want her to be healthy, happy, and well-adjusted. I keep worrying about Reactive Attachment Disorder in her future. That despite all the efforts, she has had too many changes and losses in her little life so far. Please pray that she will be okay. She is such a wonderful munchkin.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nothing Much

Just thought I'd check in right quick. Summer left on Friday but I got to see her today. She is doing great!! She looked and felt bigger. She was happy. She, of course, knew me and my voice and was very interested in me but was not distressed or overly eager to get to me. Though I'll admit part of me wanted her to be aching to be with me, mostly I was happy to see she is transitioning well. She will come back on the 15th but then will leave for good on the 18th.

I dreamed about Brigita last night. I haven't had too many dreams about her since those first few weeks. During those first couple of weeks or so, when I was struggling with all the emotions associated with hearing God's words, falling madly in love with Brigita, and scared of everything this adoption journey and lifetime committment would entail, I dreamed about her a lot. But as time has gone by, I rarely dream about her. But when I do, I wake up so peaceful. The only thing I can remember about the dream is holding her. Maybe that's all I did in my dream. But I was happy and content and she was too. I hope that will be a reality soon (not just holding her but both of us being content since I know it will be an adjustment for us both). I spent some of the afternoon running around getting some things together for the dossier. Then I organized my notebook a little bit better. It feels good to be doing anything that will bring me closer to her. I ache for her all the time. I think about her all day every day. Its so hard to focus on anything but wanting to know more about her, wanting to see her, wanting to be closer to having her in my life. Now that Summer is gone, there's even more time to think and obsess about Brigita. I know things will work out. I have no doubt abou that. But waiting is so hard. Patience truly is a virtue.

Check out all the wonderful happenings with Pleven!! So many changes. Financial resources, medical intervention, "surprise" visits by the Minister of Health and Bulgarian Child Protection Agency, changes in the making, children being adopted (Adeye has an awesome announcement!)...God's presence is strong and not letting go of his children!!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Eggs, Easter, and Promises


So here are my crushed not so perfect eggs. I'd like to claim I usually boil beautiful eggs. But that would not be true. I am one of those people that are so worried about undercooking eggs and chicken that I over-cook them. Oh well, ain't nobody gettin' food poisoning on my watch! 

Anyway, it was fun. I didn't have enough onion skins. Had I known I was going to do this earlier, I would have been preparing. But as a single person, I don't really have a bunch of onions on hand at one time. Next year I will start hanging on to onion skins months before. I do intend to try dying eggs B's country-tradition next year (with Brigita, Lord willing!)

I checked out some online stuff while they were cooking and also realized that I could have left the onions in the water to help with the coloring. I'm not really sure why the 2 eggs 3rd down from the top in the carton didn't take the color very well. They were all put in at the same time and I rotated the eggs around. I also need to replace the burners on my stove. I had to keep cutting the temp down and then up. I actually used red onion skins but only from one onion. Next year I would like a pot of red and a pot of yellow. I was also tired by the time they were cooling off and decided not to do any etching or anything. I did try letting blades of grass dry on some, a couple of leaves, and some flower petals. Nothing really happened but I also didn't wrap them up to dry and stuff like you were supposed to do.

At church today, we did not study the gospels. But, oh what a wonderful sermon! Instead, our pastor took us to 1 Peter 1:3-5. It talks about the promises God has given us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There were three promises in these short verses: Living hope; an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade; and shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation.

For those I've not shared this with (I believe its in the blog), God has made me a promise. Its hard to straddle the line of caution for the heart, believing in God's faithfulness, and trusting his will no matter what direction it takes. God showed me Brigita. He placed in my heart the concept of Brigita being with another family. Then he breathed words into my body that were so strong, more than anything I had ever experienced. Many others have heard these similar words..."This is your daughter, this is your daughter."

It was almost like I was being introduced to her. But in that phrase is a promise. That when all is done, Brigita will be my daughter. Now I find myself praying for this child as Hannah (1 Samuel 1:27) prayed for her child. And I wait for God to fulfill that promise like he did for Hannah. I can't wait for God to grant me my petition.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Its Easter Weekend!

Happy Easter everyone! Hope all is well!

Yesterday I passed Summer off to her relatives for a 9 day visit! It was supposed to only be for 5 days (or so I was told). However, I was pretty sure the visit would get extended, and it did. I'm happy for Summer and her family. I will get to see her on the 11th though. I can't wait to kiss her!!! I can't quite figure out how I feel this time. I kind of feel empty, I guess. I feel like something is missing. I am not really sad but I'm not really happy either. Its kind of like I feel there is something I need to be doing but I don't know what. Maybe this is what adjusting to a new reality feels like. For over 3 months now I have not had many minutes to myself, unless she was sleeping. So it kind of feels like she is sleeping and things will be busy again when she wakes. Its a bit boring to be quite honest. I like being a mom. I like talking to her, playing with her, holding her, snuggling with her. I like fixing her bottles, giving her a bath, changing her clothes. I like putting her lotion on her and the oil in her hair. I like yucky poopy diapers and getting up half asleep to change her diaper and get her a bottle. She had just started eating cereal this week and I was really liking feeding her. I like watching her grow and change. I can't wait to be someone's permanent mom.

I'm going to dye some eggs like Brigita's country does today. I'll post pics if they turn out nicely. They dye the eggs in onion skins and let them dry, sometimes with blades of grass, leaves, or flower petals attached. Sometimes they etch elaborate designs with a sewing needle after they have dried but I don't think I would be so good at that.  Her country then has a game of knocking the egg ends together to see who's egg cracks. The one that doesn't is blessed with a long life. I don't believe in that part but dying eggs doesn't really have much to do with my Easter belief anyway. Its just fun for the kids. I don't remember anything about Jesus dying eggs before he was crucified. Its funny how traditions come around. Her country's traditions are a blend of their pagan heritage and christianity. I really enjoy learning about the culture and cannot wait to see some of the folk traditions when I visit.

Tomorrow my church is having a sunrise service and then the regular 11am service. After church, my family will meet up at my mom's house for Easter dinner and Easter egg hunt. I had looked forward to having Summer with us for this. We already had her Easter dress. This past Wednesday, we got together for a good bye dinner for Summer. My mom fixed lasagne with garlic bread and salad. I got Summer dressed up in her Easter dress (which she spit up all over). She was so beautiful and looked so big. I'm very proud of my little girl. We had a wonderful time hanging out. I wish we could have had her for Easter for real though. I think tomorrow may be a little harder. I always hate being at family functions seeing all the kids but not having any kids of my own. I love kids so much and want so much to be a mom. But, Lord willing, this will be my last Easter without a child. Please continue to pray Brigita will be home soon. I'm working on getting the home study finalized and getting dossier items together. I'm also trying to get some fundraiser things together. I also am going to try to get a list together of what has already been paid for, what is left to be paid for, and the donations that have been received. I have tried to keep up with totals but with multiple fundraisers going on and donations being made in various forms, its gotten hard to keep up with (especially while taking care of an infant and working full time). But things have come together so wonderfully that I know God has already blessed this journey. Thanks everyone! I know ya'll are part of the blessing!