Saturday, October 31, 2009


These are the pins we wear all month to encourage people to ask us about adoption.... and they do. I love hearing the kids answers and will share some of them this month with you....

We had more fun tonite....

We ate out at Pizza Hut and came home for our bingo game, candy eating hunt and a movie....

I am struggling ...May I share why?

Earlier this week we heard we got our court date... and that was a praise. One I should be able to be rejoicing about...and I am for the most part very happy that we will be having court soon for Andrew and Gracie. However, it has not come without a struggle and I am so tired of this struggle... Let me explain

When we first met Dancho it was in Nov. of 2008... we fell in love with this sweet and precious one just from his picture. So we prayed about adopting him and felt very led to adopt... we sent our intent letter in Dec.. and decided we also wanted to adopt a second child... we heard of Gracie in Jan. 2009 and we began our process to adopt both of these children in Feb... Now whenever we adopt we are on top of our paperwork and get it all done in a very quick time.. our agencies know we do this part fast... to us it only makes sense to do it this way because we know what the conditons are like for these children in even "good" orphanages... you can say we have been there and seen many orphanages in the 24 yrs we have been adopting.....

There were small bumps along the way as there always are... things like finding the pysch. doctor, waiting on the I800A approval and all.... we have all been there and done that too. Some of us more than others.... then we traveled for our first trip to visit the kids which Bulgaria requires... it was a wonderful trip and also very difficult to leave them but in all honesty I felt we would be back sooner than later.....

Well in July Bulgaria had new elections... and things were changed for adoptions some....again we have been there done this one too.... sometimes at a huge detriment to our ability to adopt... we have lost children and not been able to adopt, or our expenses were way more than they needed to be or our adoptions have been delayed while the new regeim made changes in their laws or new people came into office......

Our experience has once again been filled with changes ... now they have been ones we can deal with but also ones that have greatly frustrated the heck out of us....

We came home and immediately filled our I800 application with all the necessary documents... that went well and the NBC were great in expediting our documents. This group of the Hague process really does seem to care that a child/children are languishing in deplorable conditions and want to help... especially they were taken with our Dancho's condition. Then it was sent on to the NVC which processes your child's visas request... they took longer than some other previous families and were not as caring or willing to help as the NBC. Finally our paperwork was sent on to the US embassy in Sofia.... it was sent on 9/9/09. We again requested it to be expedited because of Dancho's condition... which was supported with a doctor's letter....In the previous cases for adoption the consular often signed off this part of the documents in just one day... especially for a special needs child with a health condition like Dancho.

However, this is where my time of frustration began.... the consular got our documents for provisional filing and was either to busy or wanted extra documents ( which Toni and AAC our agency was able to get to him asap the next day)... when given the requested docs. we were told he was "too busy" to sign them... this was on 9/14 and 15... then we get this update from our lawyer in Bulgaria,

" Today I received another callfrom the US Embassy and this time they requested the same information butfor one of my other families who are ahead of you and who already arethrough the provisional filing. I have no idea why they want all thisinformation but I provided it to them. They said they want everything tobe transparent and that they request the same thing from all of theBulgarian adoption agencies. According to their promise, your Lettershould be issued after they receive the info from me on the other family."

Now we are feeling discriminated against and our case is being held up because the US consular decided he wanted to change this process for adoptive families and we felt this was unfair to our children..... we complained and even contacted our congressperson, Sen. Rockefeller' office... this did nothing at all to help... actually we finally got the letters and signature on 9/23 and they were then authenticated and dropped off at the MOJ on 9/28,29. Again our attorney, Toni was told by the lawyer there it would be expedited because of Dancho's condition....," I have already talked to the MOJ'sattorney and he himself offered me to expedite your case. He knows thatDancho is very special needs and he is willing to do his best to have thecase sent to the court asap." It was signed by the MOJ minister on 10/16 and suppose to go to the court the following week.. it was at court later the next week and we were given a court date of 11/17... which is wonderful news... but

Because of the new law and the changes it now has added some extra time to the second part of the process... first the passport change which we are all aware of and adds to our time when we pick the kids up... second it is now 14 days for the court decree to be final before it was just 7... and the bio. parents have to be contacted and made aware of this... even though there parental rights were taken ( because that is the only way we could be adopting now)... we are not sure how this will play out. The US embassy consular stated that he will no longer sign the provisional letters like it was done before... it will take a minimum of 10 days for his signature....

The holidays are fast approaching... and with all of these changes we now will not be able to pick up our children until January! I do not care about getting them home for a b-day like some or even getting them home for Christmas... in all reality it would make for more chaos to bring them home before.... BUT they and especially Dancho is not healthy and we lost 2 plus weeks because of the power struggle with the embassy consular, and another week because of the new law and who knows how much more if the judge requires their bio. parents to be notified.

I am so upset by all of this and all the new changes and surprises... we get all of our paperwork done quickly even when we have not had a child like Dancho... why can't the authorities do the same... even when they say they will.... We have been in the adoption arena for 25 yrs...we have done fostercare to adopt and we have adopted almost 19 children... and I HATE this ugly head of not caring, power struggle that some get into when it comes to a child's fate. How can you be to busy just to sign a paper? Who is anymore busier than me with 24 children and homeschooling... I do it because a child is worth it... and it gets done yesterday if I can.... Sorry but this news just makes me sorrow so... that some people just do not get it.... a child is worth it and then some.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tonite we had fun.....

Tonite we carved our pumpkins.... 15 to be exact. I buy the ones that cost only a 1.50 or 2.00 dollars for most of the kids and then 2 from Walmart that cost us only 3.98 for 2 special ones to carve... we had a blast as you can tell. It was cold as the sun set but we drank hot chocolate and ate peanuts... then we had a favorite... Tortellini and Sausage Soup with cheese bread... out on the back deck in the dark watching our pumpkins glow.... tomorrow we are celebrating the Fall season by eating out.... yeah if you remember my birthday post and we will come home for m an m bingo and a candy hunt... some years we square dance but our "old fashioned" record player is broken.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We have a court date!

We just heard this am that we have a court date for the adoption! It is Nov. 17... we are happy to have reached this point... and so can not wait until they are in our arms again... thank you for those who prayed... we also got a more adoption friendly judge.... PTL

Sunday, October 25, 2009

We were surprised and blessed

Paul and I were treated to a birthday lunch out with our dear friends, Helen and Dick... when we got home we were surprised with about 100 people celebrating our adoption of Gracie and Andrew.....
Our kids and friends gave us an adoption shower. We had wonderful food, a 24 question and answer game ( because we will have 24 children), a special song sung and played for us by Abraham and so much fellowship.
My heart was full of joy and my eyes were tearful as we celebrated the blessing of these 2 precious children the Lord has given Paul and me. I am a momma who certainly appreciated the gifts but, it was so heartwarming to have so many around us who feel these 2 are special... as special as they are to Paul and I. Thank you all for sharing with us as we give "birth" to Gracie and Andrew.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A post about God's provision in our lives

I have had a few days of devotions that have encouraged me and I thought I would share some of my thoughts about how we do what we do... adopt so many children and raise them... We are christian and hopefully live our lives in a way that would be pleasing to the Lord. I have shared that a man who lived a long time ago has influenced Paul's and my life very much as well as a man who is still alive serving the Lord today. The first is George Mueller and some of these quotes are from him....His life of prayer has encouraged me greatly... he never shared prayer requests with "people" but with the Lord only and always the Lord provided in His own time..... One time the orphanage he was running was out of food for the children and he and the children prayed for food. That morning a bread wagon broke down in front of the orphanage and they had food. Another time a milk truck also broke down and the children had milk. If you read any books about him you can tell he was a man of prayer and the Lord provided for all thier needs. He would often not take a salary from his church and at the years end the amount of money his family received from annoymous or unique ways was more than his salary if he had been paid. I recommend reading about this amazing man.

These are some thoughts from my devotions :

It is always safe to live by God's methods and to live by His clock.

Wherever God's finger points... His hand will clear a way.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything.... anxiety should never be found in a believer.

One way or another, we must all learn the difference between trusting in the gift and trusting in the Giver. The gift may last for a season, but the Giver is the only eternal love.

Our life has been lived with the Lord pointing all thru our life and then providing for us as we took the step of faith to follow His will . His will has lead us to adopt 19 children and to have 5 bio. so far. We do not have anything typical to most families and life is intense but, the Lord is in it all. It has been such a journey to have walked and one we do feel blessed by.

Here is a picture of just one way the Lord gently reminds us that he is our provider. A friend today brought us 6 crates of bread... bread that I would never buy myself because it is too expensive. Even Jonas noticed the cost of one loaf of this special bread was," almost 4 dollars mom ". This happens all the time to us and it is always amazing! Thank you Lord for blessing us with bread today.

Fall activity

I told the kids they had to "color" but not use crayons, markers or pencils these pictures.. they did a great job being creative.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

We decided to stay home this am from church

We have had some illness like high fever, cough and cold symptoms with some of the kids . There are lots of people , teachers, families at our church who are sick as well. We got a call at 2 am from Mary Kate that Ava was having trouble breathing with croup. Her colds seem to come like this at least once during the winter. They asked us to pray and then 15 minutes later called us back and asked if I could come over. They live only about 8 minutes away and so Paul and I went over. She seemed better but still raspy. So we all came back to our house and they slept in their old room . Our Sunday school class had a project to make and send care packages to college students and we had breakfast as a snack for the helpers...I was in charge of the food so he took what I prepared and set it up for me. I thought maybe we were getting the flu but as it turned out it has only been colds. None the less we have decided to stay home and enjoy being home on a Sunday am.... Here are a few of things we did...I made a big breakfast ( some of the food I had made for the Sunday school class)- eggs, sausage balls, a raspberry, sour cream coffee cake and left over birthday cake and donuts. Molly was here with Roxy, we are doing our own worship time and then just hanging out... we had 4 seperate Monopoly games going and one Life game. Paul is working with the awana's kids to build their derby cars for a race. It has been a great afternoon... What are some of your favorite hanging out things to do?

Speaking of dogs... Molly and Mike's Roxy

Molly and Mike lost both of their dogs last week tragically. They had our first "grand puppy", Leyla a very sweet and lovable pomeranian. When we came home from the beach they adopted a rottweiler from the spca. It was a sad week for them and us but they have decided to get another puppy and did over the wknd... she is Roxy. Molly came over this am to introduce her to the kids. I had met her on Sat... she will be well loved by all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We love our dogs and they are just a part of our family too....

We had our first fire of the fall season and the dogs, Annie, Katy and Willi enjoyed it too. This is also one of the reasons I just love my husband !

Our 4th birthday celebration this week-Lily turned 10

Can you tell from the pictures why we sometimes call Lily... silly. She loves to laugh and her laughter is so infectious. Happy birthday to a joy giver.

Some of our boys ( the middle ones) had a late nite out

Isaac, Jonas and the ever dirty faced Josiah and Caleb ( he was already in the shower when the picture was taken) went to a farm of one of their Sunday school leaders Friday nite. It was suppose to be a sleepover in tents, splitting wood, campfire,worship and 4 wheeling it but because of the rain it was just last nite with all those things... they came home so dirty, hair blown away, dark eyes but huge smiles from so much fun... thanks to the men of our middle boys Sunday school class . They got home just before midnite and it was so sweet to hear all about the nite.

Friday, October 16, 2009

It was my birthday today and Andrew turned 5 today

I celebrated my b-day with breakfast out and a shopping trip and lunch out with Mary Kate,Keith, Ava and Joseph. Then Paul took me out to dinner later... do you hear a familiar theme here... eating out. For a mom to 22 almost 24 my favorite treat is to eat out... also I was surprised with a Dell mini laptop and the kids made me lots of wonderful cards and a cake :) I had a wonderful birthday and it also started with an email from our lawyer in Bulgaria sharing that our dossier had the required signatures from the MOJ director and will be sent to the court next week.... that was the best news ever... we are chipping away at this last part of the adoption of Gracie and Andrew... it should be soon now . I so dream of our reunion . Thank you Lord for my dear family... I do feel very blessed. Happy Birthday my precious son.... next year we will have a celebration of the day you came into this world.

Anna's birthday last Tuesday

Anna turned 14 last week... of course as you can see I made another "Dirt Dessert". This is the most requested birthday treat the kids want. She picked pizza for dinner and , Paul and I always take the birthday one out to breakfast... Happy 14th sweetheart!

Monday, October 12, 2009

caramel apples- yummy

We made caramel apples after lunch and enjoyed that fall treat! If you are doing this we found the wrap caramel a better way to do this.. we did the melt kind and the wrap and liked the caramel wraps better. Either way they were yummy as you can tell.