Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Tonight, as i have read through many of your posts tonight, trying to get caught up a little on YOUR lives, i realized something that i am a little sheepish in sharing with you all.  Not once did i think of Ethan's birth mom today (as it must still be Mother's Day since i have not gone to bed yet; 0 ).  Till now.
I DID think of how i have friends who like me have lost a child through miscarriage and has a child in heaven like our son, Isaac.  I thought of other Moms who are step moms who more than likely never get to be with their step children on this day set aside for the "Mother".  I have thought of those friends and had compassion as i know that they are also Mothers who LOVE the children of their husband as if they had come from their very own body.  YET, on THIS day, it is abundantly and painfully clear that the child(ren) did not.  My heart has hurt for these friends today.
I read notes from children and mothers who have told of the incredible ways that they felt the love of their children today. I read and wondered if there were Mothers today who wonder if their child even loves them.
Mother's Day is such a mix and violent of emotions for so many.....but today, in MY own little world...
i awoke to a cry of a son who had only been an American citizen for less than a day!  A son whom i ran to as soon as i heard his one little cry...who was only six feet away from me. I was so proud of the fact that our son had slept IN THE SAME POSITION THE ENTIRE NIGHT!!!
I watched as our girls & Ethan learned our 'new normal' for our 'routines' for Sunday mornings!  I watched in horror, shock, sweet compassion, and a whole mix of emotions as our son hit Sophina over the head with his cup...on purpose and watched her little lip come out and watched her little heart be devastated that her brother could do such a thing.  I tried to teach a child who has had workers laugh at such things that what he did was WRONG and not a laughing matter to see about thirty minutes later, our son scramble onto our couch where Ally was cuddling Sophina, and try to inch closer and closer to the little sister he hurt.  It went on throughout the day today...this same thing....he hurts her, she is completely crushed, he comes to her to hug and she backs away with mistrust,  she goes to him to give him motherly hugs (that is all i can call them due to her sweet nature in doing so) and him sometimes accepting them, sometimes pushing her away in meanness, to sometimes hugging her back.
I couldn't believe that we actually all made it to church and ON TIME for when we were to be there!  Thirty minutes early. As we waited in the green room our Pastor prayed over the guest preacher ( a young man whom we love as he had been in our connection group for two years) AND almost the entire time our son sang what he sings...he LOVES to sing it when he is happy, when he needs comfort, when i sing to him, or just whenever.  He sang it more than he has ever sung it at one time...i pulled away from their prayer time and i am sure that the prayer was amazing but i must be heart was hearing my son sing in worship...i felt like he KNEW he was in a place of worship and. he. sang!!!  Yep, my Momma heart was singing with him and i didn't hear anything much else!
Scott & i wondered for those minutes right before we were to come out of the green room if Ethan was going to make it as he had a meltdown...mild one BUT was it going to go big???  We tried singing, rocking, even food and nothing was calming him down.  I had to take him almost as far away as i could due to us thinking that the congregation could hear him....and THEN....the next thing i knew....two of the guys came running with Scott saying...IT IS TIME!!!!!!
I am sure that i was beaming as what happened next was nothing short of a miracle....Ethan and i walked out to the large platform (with Scott walking behind us) and amazingly Ethan immediately STOPPED screaming and crying and fighting and just was quiet.  The whole family came up to the platform as Matthew (not our Pastor Matthew) spoke about our family very quickly and our desire to dedicate our son's life to the Lord as soon as possible...almost EXACTLY 12 hours from the time that we made it HOME!!!  The words that we made a vow to were beautiful and godly and all that i want to be as a mother!  
Ethan had a moment when he started to get antsy and i gave him to Scott immediately so we didn't have a meltdown and then Matthew prayed a heartfelt prayer over our son and family.  It was a special time as a family to be up front and say ( with a smile on my lips) that we are choosing to raise our son in such a way that we pray that he will have an incredible relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ....YES, OUR SON!!!  I believe that there are many who will wonder if he COULD have that with Jesus and my smile was in complete utter faith that Ethan can and will in such a way that many of us would only dream of....the trust and faith and love that he will one day have, i pray, will probably be teaching ME more about MY relationship with Christ than me teaching him!
Once it was done we immediately tried to sit in the back row...completely the opposite of what i am used to as a front row LOVER!!!  Ethan would have none of it so we went out.  Scott wanted him and wanted me to go to Sophina so i did and it was such a special time as she reached for me to hold her and then she looked kind of funny and completed to put her head on my shoulder and fall asleep on the very beginning of the second song!!!  I held her until the very near end as i went out as Scott had come in as he left Ethan with Ally & Becky!  I didn't want Ethan to be without one of us so i went and found the three of them, with him playing in the older baby nursery...learning to NOT take away toys from the other children!  He was quite brilliant in there and shocked me by his ability to play with the toys that he played with.  The girls had fed him yogurt and he had wanted more-go figure! :)
We saw some people afterward and then the whole family went home and ate the leftovers from the meals that people had lovingly brought our children while we were gone. (oh my! How i appreciated that!!!!!!)  All i had to do was heat things up!  I went and put Sophina to sleep who struggled for about 40 minutes and then i found myself with my chin to my chest, so i put her to bed and asked if i could nap.  The children let Scott and i sleep for about 90 minutes which felt amazing!
We woke up and played a game that Liz & Nate brought over with trains and a map of North was really fun and it was a special time.  Sophina finally woke up at 6:15pm & at almost the same time, i let Ethan get awakened by Catia. (the game had gone that long so we let the 'schedule' slide-big time!  Ethan did NOT want to wake up!!!
Tonight, we took the two around the block in the stroller we got instead of the electronic device i had won for our trip...a double stroller that WILL get its money's worth!!!  It is an incredible thing that works so well that we got at Target...the night before we left for Bulgaria.  SUCH DELIGHT it was to push them through our neighborhood!!!  Such a proud Momma was i...with Catia (who was just as proud)!
THEN while we were doing that and Ally was at church, Scott & Vika had cleaned up & made Scott's famous popcorn!!!
We got a surprise visit from Cynthia who was dropping off the towels that i had asked her to embroider the names of the little ones onto....Ethan has a monkey towel and Sophina has a froggy towel...can't wait to have them WRAPPED IN THESE towels! She also had fixed Catherine's dolly that had been broken for years!  It was a short driveway visit and then we went in to have popcorn - WITH our son....who absolutely LOVED IT!!!
We were all worn out from the difference from being a family of just girls to a family with a son but not a single one of us wants it any other way!  This boy will be loved and treasured for all the days of his life.  He is a precious little boy who is going to learn what it means to live in a family....our family....our son.....the son that i didn't bear through by way of birthing BUT i bore through my ever enlarging heart.
Yes, THIS was a Mother's Day that will never be is a day that was about being a mother...a mother who loves her children dearly and is so honored to be called MOM!
ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

MORNING of Thursday

Sorry that this is out of order again....

May i just say that my Momma self is so STINKIN' proud of our son....who did amazing this morning!!! He had to go to larynologist, an optomologist, and a pediatrician and he did fantastic at each visit. He did amazing waiting for the other little boy to get his visits done. He did amazing on both car rides. We are so thrilled to see the improvements...still ALL BOY BUT not the out of control craziness....yep, he still would steal my glasses...actually quite a few times but there was VERY LITTLE of that 'laughter' that he did. He was very cuddly like he has been typically BUT no biting!!! Yep, i am one proud Momma!!!!!


Our time at the embassy-PICTURES

We are back and we are so grateful for your prayers! Ethan had his biggest meltdown yet for a MAJOR time right before our needing to leave. We finally just had to put him in the middle of our large bed where we both comforted him and i sang to him. He calmed down finally BUT Scott had to get ready to go to the high Hague government official meeting. Ethan lost it again so i tried to console him and he seemed to calm down again but it DID make us wonder how the trip over and the meeting for our Visa and then the "big" meeting would go. I put Peace & Calming oils on both of his feet then had about 7 minutes to get ready!
ETHAN DID FANTASTIC!!! From the beginning all the way through now! It was so wonderful!

What was really wonderful was that there were so many families at the USA embassy at the exact same time for this 'special meeting' with a woman named Patricia who was especially here to hear the concerns from our six families. PLUS, there was another official there named Andrew. There was another official there but i missed it as i was taking care of Ethan at that point as he had come when we were almost done.
It was a half hour drive to the embassy. We got there & were met by an official who told our driver to not park where he did but Marty was just dropping us off. We were told that we were not allowed to even take a picture from the "parking area" let alone anywhere near it! We were told that only two of us were allowed to go in through the security system at a time. (for those of you coming after....think airport security type of deal...minus taking off shoes...SO do not carry coins, wear a belt, makes it take a lot longer. Also, bring water because it may take awhile BUT you will be asked to take a drink to show that it is REALLY water)
We went through the security point fine two by two. THEN you walk through a very peaceful garden-like pathway to the spot where you will be told what to expect when you get to the states with your child. We had Andrew and Patricia was actually in the room observing. This happens in a setting that reminds me of a jail visiting station where Andrew is behind the glass. We couldn't hear him as Ethan was making a little noise and we found out that they had a speaker that Andrew turned on (just as an fyi...don't be afraid to ask if he can turn it was VERY helpful as we had been struggling to hear all that we were to hear before this time).

He then said that we would be meeting for coffee afterward. We went back to the waiting area which had to have had over 100 'students' waiting to get Visas to America so they could work in our country! Almost immediately we were told to follow a woman for our meeting. We were separated from the woman who we had come with and have been with almost all weekend. We were escorted with a single gentleman from WI (who has a sister in Sauk Rapids), who is doing his second adoption, to another building where we were led to a nice big room with a big table in the center. Just as we were getting our tea and coffee the other families came in. There were six families in all, each with only one child being adopted.

A few seconds later Andrew and Patricia walked in and were extremely pleasant. They both are not usually able to meet people where they can shake hands, Andrew always has a glass in between and Patricia is usually behind a desk with just the paperwork part or maybe will talk on the phone with a family. They both were American.

Our meeting lasted one and one-half hours. We thought that our process took long when we compared it with the families in Ukraine but our adoption took 13 1/2 months....which was VERY SHORT compared to the other families! THREE of the six families had been in process since 2009!!!!!! There were HORROR stories that were told and they eagerly listened and at times explained things of the Bulgarian government. Both were very understanding and i appreciated how Andrew had respect for the Bulgarian government BUT also saw the need for many improvements. It was reassuring to know that he heard us AND that they are working on improvements.

It would take me a VERY long time to explain all of the items that were discussed BUT i wanted to assure you all that one of the biggest ones was the amount of time that happens in-between the first visit and the second. THAT was what i talked about as i explained that as a mother who heard about the deaths and the cold and the weather that was unheard of this past winter and to then not hear a single word in these 5 1/2 months was horrible. EVERY family was heartily agreeing when this was talked about. I said that it would be so much better if they could make it a TWO week stay and have it be done in that time. I, of course, started to get choked up as i spoke about the fact that our 3 yr old son was in 9 month pants and that he was in the orphanage for 5 1/2 months longer than needed.

The gentleman from WI. (whose name was also Scott;)) was just as vehement in saying that it is absolutely RIDICULOUS that so many families have had to wait for the MOJ to literally sign EACH of our paperwork when TWO committees had already ok'd each of our adoptions!!! MONTHS were added because we were all waiting for ONE PERSON to sign a document that we were all sure she didn't even look at before signing.! There was much more but we all felt like both of them heard us and our prayer was that because of this meeting that there would be changes for the future of the children in Bulgaria.

I spoke about the things that i appreciated about the Bulgarian process and how because of our age that we would be unable to adopt in most other countries! We love Bulgaria! We love this place and would come back here if we ever had the money!

OH! To give us on this side more understanding Andrew let us know that the 400 social workers that are covering ALL of Bulgaria only make $200-$250 month....EVEN if they have worked in that position for many years. Each social worker has probably 125 children to cover in BG. He also explained some other things about the BG government....remember it wasn't long ago that it was communist.

We haven't had supper yet so must go but i knew that many of you were anxiously waiting for the meeting results!

(btw, our Ethan is just growing closer and closer to us and we are thrilled!!! 

Girls, you are going to have a little brother coming to change your world soon and you are going to love it almost the entire 24 hours a day:)) There WILL be times where it will be overwhelming BUT....oh my, Ethan is so worth it! Love you all...KEEP praying!


Wednesday's posting-sorry that these are out of order

We were given some medicine that is supposed to help him sleep and help with his mess in his head of congestion and thus breathing and he and Scott are sleeping next to me right now and Ethan has never sounded so good-for breathing! SO, praying that this means HOPE for his sleep as this would mean that he could breathe and thus SLEEP would be better if we could get that taken care of once home.

TODAY, oh my! An amazing thing happened on our way home....first, Ethan fell asleep in my arms in the carrier! THEN, we found a tiny Christian bookstore WHERE A YOUNG MAN SPOKE English and the people inside were SO different. You could SEE the love of Christ in them...just their friendly smile was incredible for us. We asked if they had any cd's in Bulgarian for children. They did. There were two and we bought them both! One was by Integrity music and the other had songs on it that our girls will be able to know in English! My eyes filled with tears as i heard the music that i love in our son's language!!! It moved me immediately as soon as i heard and KNEW the song. THEN they GAVE us a Bulgarian Children's Bible that is also in English!!! I can't wait to have Gerry Kiedrowski read it to our son!!! To have Ethan hear that Jesus loves him in his native tongue...again, when they gave it to me....moved to tears!
Ethan woke up and they loved on him and we got to converse for awhile. Ethan then had another meltdown where he did his "laugh" and went after my glasses several times and then started going after my face SO we knew that our time was done! ALL of us were encouraged by this visit.
BTW, we found out that they have a church here that has about 300 people generally attending. 
We are hoping to find a couple more couples tonight. Tomorrow Ethan will have his medical which is supposed to be for two hours. Then tomorrow afternoon, Scott and i and Ethan, i am sure, will go to the embassy to meet high government officials of the Hague part of adoption. PLEASE, i am begging of you, will you PLEASE pray for us as we REALLY want to answer honestly AND also answer in such a way that many children will be able to be saved from the lives that they are living. I AM BEGGING THE LORD FOR WISDOM, GRACE, AND BLESSING on this time tomorrow!
We are SO thankful for those of you who ARE praying, encouraging and giving HOPE!


Hey Everybody! Caleb back again :) I am beyond honored to bring the good tidings that Scott and Connie officially have Ethan in their arms forever! I've got a summary of gotcha day from Connie here to share with you as well as some pictures, for all you excited and inquiring minds :)

Our son is laying next to me asleep as i have been fighting with this stinkin' computer! He did such a great job on the trip here! He had a few melt downs but not anything we couldn't handle. 
 We got to the orphanage and we went right to the director's office. We were able to ask our questions! We got our answers too. We were not shocked by anything that we were told. He doesn't like to be told No, he takes toys from the other kids, he eats other kids' food, he bites when he is upset. He will need a few surgeries but nothing different than a 'typical' child with DS needs....adnoids, tonsils, and his eyes. They told us that he has broken numerous glasses and he refuses to wear them...he also can't stand ours:)
As we were talking a worker brought Ethan into the sunny room. This time he didn't come right to me but rather he just looked and i did more of the approaching. He is a MAJOR cuddle bug but can sometimes be a little rough, SO you can't ever let your guard down and just let him kiss you! He will learn soon enough though.

Signing some important papers!
Father and Son :)

Getting into a new outfit with mommy!

"Look everybody! I have a daddy :)"

Reunited forever!

We then got to have a tour of the orphanage!!! His room was bright and colorful and i was thrilled with how clean it all was.

We were only in the orphanage for a TOTAL of 50 minutes and then we were escorted out with the director. She walked Ethan from her office and then she had Ethan take my hand on his other side and she let go on her side. Then i got to walk our son out to freedom and an incredibly DIFFERENT way of life that he would have NEVER had!

Our over three hour trip was not the way i expected it to be. It was WAY better:) For the first twenty minutes he literally held both of our hands and would not let them go! He just sat there and looked out the window! We were thinking that this was pretty sweet!!! We had a smoke break for our driver and interpreter and it got him changed up SO we started feeding him Puffs-Sweet Potato and he was amazing! He BITES HIS FOOD!!!! He chews with his teeth! Those of you who were with us last time knew that he more or less just 'tongued' everything -including a croissant! We were thrilled! THEN he drank from a cup with a lid! WONDERFULLY! He was hungry and thirsty almost the whole trip!

He threw a few fits where he would throw himself around the seat....he isn't used to having a seat belt on so we were NOT surprised! Then we would try different things and another shocker was that he was VERY good with books....well, except that he bites them!!! SO, Sophina will have some bite marks on her books now.

We went to our hotel and picked up a woman with her son from the Pleven orphanage and they have been here for MONTHS!!! Pleven is the orphanage that was in the Bulgarian news and is where Katie came from. We then went straight to the Police Station where we got Ethan's picture taken for his passport. Let's just say that it was NOT an easy time and i think that they just gave up and let it pass. We have no idea as to what it looks like.

We then exchanged some money into Bulgarian money and brought Ethan to the hotel. He was exhausted, scared and hungry by now. I ran to the market a few blocks away and bought him some yogurt and bananas. Came back to him laying on the bed gabbering to his heart's desire!

 THEN we tried to Skype with the girls (6:30am their time) but Ethan just screamed as he was tired and scared. I put some calming oils on his ears and he started to get sleepy but before that there was much 'scary crying' as you could tell that it was hitting him that something was different and he didn't know what was going on. We gave him some Melatonin to see if that would help for the airplane later and he was asleep soon after BUT...BUT he HAD to have me holding him. He would cling to me if i even tried to put him down....and that lasted for quite some time!
He is a dear little boy....who just LITERALLY sat up and crawled into my arms & laid his head down on my shoulder...better go!

Tuesday's FB posting

Again, i have no idea as to what time it is. All i know is that Ethan is FINALLY sleeping...just as i had told Scott that we should just probably have him up for the day....LOTS of tossing, turning, sitting up, laying down, sitting up for over four hours, i am sure. I watched him as he would try to sleep...he was just like Scott was before he got his C-pap. He would go to sleep and then there would be nothing and then he would gasp and wake up and try to get into a different position. The bed is ginormous...he can lay straight across the bed and not touch Scott nor i (laying on either side of him as if we are his crib). Ethan has been "out" for nearly an hour i think. He woke up scared once in the middle of the night....not knowing where he was kind of scared. I sat up...he reached for me and i rocked him over my shoulder while sitting up in bed-not good for me BUT he slept for about twenty minutes after that time. This last time of him sleeping came AFTER he came to me and i sat up and held him in the sitting position in my lap with his body against mine sitting up while i rocked him....he has slept ever since!

Scott and i walked the farthest we have walked so far...trying to find nursery Bulgarian cd....we would get all the way to where someone would tell us and then it wouldn't be there THEN we went to a Sony store where the man drew us a map to an even farther spot where we FINALLY got to and they said that they didn't have it. It had been a couple of hours. We saw a KFC and got Ethan some chicken...i tried it and it was delicious! We started on our way back and it started to sprinkle! We got to an underground underpass (obviously) and i saw a large souvenier shop where Scott went in to ask if they had any children's cd's...they had two!!!!! They also had umbrellas. We had to wait in the underpass for awhile as it was coming down HARD! We finally went through the lighter rain and made it to a HUGE building that had a MASSIVE covered stone walkway. There were many of us who waited it out...for a LONG time there. Many of us saw it taper off so a bunch of us went for it. Problem...about halfway to the 'next spot to take cover' the rain POURED down complete with lightning and major wind out of nowhere! Ethan clung to me and was scared and we were SOAKED to our knees as the puddles were enormous. I was in sandals -NOT good and Scott was in his only pair of shoes, minus the ones for our meeting tomorrow! He doesn't think that he will be able to use the shoes today. We waited it out again at the 'food mall' again, along with MANY others. The wind was intense and there was lightning. It seemed to let up again so we ran for a taxi!!!!!! The man didn't know where the Budapest was so i was nervous for a second but he called it in and found out. (Ethan just woke up-he is so handsome and precious) The drive was intense for a little bit due to flooding. The guy kept on tsking-which is Bulgarian's way of saying UFFDA :) When we were about three blocks from our hotel, the rain let up. It is a beautiful cool morning, as it has been every morning.

Ethan had a rough time for a little while last is unnerving when it happens...he laughs a laugh that is not funny and then he just goes crazy.....running as if out of control, throwing things, biting paper, and then after about the longest 10-15 minutes he is fine. He then struggled going to sleep again last night so i had to lay next to him...thus, the reason i found myself in my clothes again this morning:)

Last night, we found him a bag of his favorite toys! YES, even though he has MANY waiting for him at home...we bought him some and it has brought us and him MUCH relief! He loves them!!! (he fell back to sleep!!!!) He also loved the alphabet cards that Ally packed for him as he has played with them quite a bit. (he's awake) (asleep) (awake and off the bed and by his favorite place...against the wall)

well.....that is going to have to be it for now.....keep praying and encouraging.... he soaked through his Pj's, bed stuff and after changing him....he is not a happy camper...we will be better after breakfast though, i am sure.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Not much sleep.....

I have no idea as to what time it is but i have not slept much as i fell asleep at 10pm here as Scott had already gone to bed while i spent a few hours with Nusha. Scott also has not slept well. The night before, i put lavender and peace and comforting oils on us and we slept through all of the noises of the city life until it was just about time to get up. I was so tired last night that i just crawled into bed and fell asleep.
There have been two dogs who have done NOTHING BUT BARK all night long. I went out and took a picture of an INCREDIBLE moon that is FULL btw and was surprised to hear that the dogs are not even near us but probably a few blocks away! Another one has joined the two...they each have their distinct bark too.  One howls, another yaps and another one sound like a big ole' bass!
Scott has not slept well either so prayers for us as we have one of the biggest days of our life ahead!!!
The bummer is....we won't be able to post pictures for MANY MANY hours!!! We will be eating breakfast at 8am at my favorite place in Bulgaria...downstairs at our Bed & Breakfast-the Hitar Pitar. Nusha asked me last night what i wanted and then asked Scott....i asked for her french can see the picture of her french toast from our last visit here in December.
THEN we will be able to go to Ethan's orphanage! I have asked if we could go early as we have bought pajamas for all of the children, pants and we also brought colored marshmallows (couldn't find those rolled up sweeties without having to buy bubble gum or other things not meant for wee ones) SO, since we saw Ethan GOBBLE down the treat the worker gave him last time....we bought each of the children a filled croissant...yes, the croissants are filled here with chocolate, caramel, fruit & cream, and much more! I was also wanting to see where Ethan slept or where he lived instead of just the visiting room but i am doubting that we will have time as we have to meet another family, who is with another agency getting a special needs child, in Sophia at a certain time for our passports. IF we do not get there in time, i was told that we would be delayed from getting home SO they are not going to take that chance by letting us be there long at all. I have so many questions about Ethan....and i don't know if i will even be able to ask those!
SO, it sounds like only a few minutes at the orphanage and then we are off for Sophia WITH Ethan in between Scott and i OR on my lap (as there are NO car seats. He is SO very little that i have no idea which would be safer or even if he would LET me hold him on my lap.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS MORNING's breakfast time...that i will show the love of Jesus, for our travelings to Ethan just fifteen minutes away, for our time at the orphanage, for our travelings with Ethan, for our time with our precious son, for us to make it in time, for our time after the passport time at the station and at our hotel tonight.
PRAY for us too as we have had little sleep. Yes, i have tried to get back to sleep for a VERY long time but finally gave up so i could write to you all.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

In Country!

Hey Everybody! Caleb Lococo here, doing a little bit of tech support for our beloved Lindquists :) Scott and Connie have safely arrived in Bulgaria, and will be on the way to Ethan's region in mere HOURS!!! In the mean time, Connie has asked me to post some updates and pictures from the last 24 hours so you can keep up to date on all the latest events :)

The Happy Couple at the airport getting ready to cross the sea for ETHAN!!!!

One very excited mama getting ready to travel to go get her son!!!

 "At the Hotel in Sofia! Our short layover in Germany was spent trying to find someone to fix my glasses that i sat on!!! Yep, my left side of my glasses are down to the middle of my ear!!! I had fallen asleep and when they woke me up to eat i awoke with a start and sat up quickly....forgetting that in my near sleep state i had put them next to me! Since it is Saturday there is nothing open for this SO we have tried to fix them ourselves but the bow is about to break off if we do much more! Of course, last time i brought both pair but this time....just THIS one! Yep, meeting a high government official with a broken pair of glasses is NOT what i planned on!"

"We are going to go about town and have already met Erin Loraine and her hubby, Larry....AT THE AIRPORT! We were just about to leave the baggage claim area when i heard my name screamed and since i knew that no one from Bulgaria could have been allowed in...i KNEW it was Erin!!! So fun!"

 "Scott had fallen asleep while i wrote a post, so i joined him for about thirty minutes then wandered up to Erin Loraine's room to see if they wanted to do something. We had a LONG leisurely supper talking up a storm (no pun intended-you'll see) for a wonderful meal of Shopska salad, french fries w/Bulgarian cheese and Pork medallions w/AMAZING broccoli and potato cylinders that Scott and i split right down the middle. Great food! Great time with friends that have only been through FB!!"

"THEN we decided to go see the town...only ten minutes in a FULL FLEDGED thunderstorm soaked us to the bone as we tried to RUN the five blocks home in a sprinkle turn rain turn downpour! The lightning show is absolutely amazing!I did buy out all of the spices from the market in the middle of all of that though :) NOW, to repack & organize for tomorrow & then.... MONDAY's GOTCHA DAY!!!!!"

 "We have a lot to do before we leave! I have to pack/repack as we are only bringing what is needed! What is scary about that is that i just hope that i don't forget know like the camera or the computer:) Or Ethan's outfit:) No, i organized it last night and it should all get there with us!
The brunch here at the Budapest is AMAZING so we can't wait to get down there...well, Scott is quite wiped out and asleep but i KNOW that he can't wait:) I think he slept well last night too. Didn't hear a thing!"

"SO LOVE BULGARIA!!! SO looking forward to the drive! CANNOT wait to get to the bed and breakfast that we raved about last time! Praying that Nusha is there and not away for the day/night. The B&B is a place that Scott and i said that we would love to go to if we could have an interpreter and driver with....oh! AND MONEY ;) LOVE Ethan's region of Bulgaria and it's countryside but especially the bed & breakfast! Will you pray for me to have the right words to say while we are there?"

"Just talking to a dear friend, messaging, and about 26 hours....we will be holding our son and our adventure BEGINS!!!! Need prayer for this time, remember...not just THINKING about us but PRAYING for us! This is going to ROCK Ethan's world!!! PLEASE PRAY that he is as prepared as he can be! We will be taking him from all he knows and traveling 3/4 hours away from his only -ONLY home that he has ever known in a car ride like he has never ridden (with no car seat) through land that he has never been allowed to see of his own country! THEN we will bring him IMMEDIATELY into Sophia to finish his passport work. THEN to bring him to the start of his life with us in the motel for the rest of the week! LOTS OF CHANGES to pray over!"

As a personal addendum to this post, I (Caleb) would like to offer my personal thanks/prayers/congratulations to the lovely family I have seen carry through an adoption process for almost a year now! It is with some amount of surreality and total joy that we watch it come to a happy close, and I think I can safely say we are all personally praying this family and their adorable new son home. 

"Father, you have called us to care for the Orphaned and the Widowed, watch over this family as they carry out that beautiful mission to bring home their precious Bulgarian son. May this trip and all that happens on it glorify YOU!"

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nope, we aren't ready but we are going!

There is so much left to do!!!  It is already morning and i could stay up for another five hours and it still would not all be done. My mind is racing a mile a minute trying to think of all that i have forgotten!  I DO NOT FEEL PREPARED for this trip in that i have no idea if i packed what i needed to! Did i get it all?  What if i forgot something!?  Today was a MASSIVE fight of the heavenly forces, for sure!!!  SO....even though i have a million things to do...i wanted to make sure that i came on here to ask for your help! WE. NEED. YOUR. SERIOUS. PRAYER. like truly praying for us...not just thinking about us but stopping and praying specifically for our family who will be left behind and the one that is waiting and the parents who are so ready to bring him home that i wouldn't care if i forgot my pj's, shampoo, unmentionables, and even two outfits...we so cannot wait to have Ethan in our arms!
We are going to be meeting with a higher up government official while we are there...will you pray that we are wise, godly and say what needs to be said?  Our Sophina is going to be without her Mommy and Daddy....and the other girls may struggle even more than her...will you please pray for them?  Pray for Scott and i in this emotion packed eight days!  PRAY for the Lord's protection....not just physically either!
I cannot wait to figure out how to introduce you to our son using the gizmos and gadgets again!  We love and appreciate each one of you who have gone on this journey with us....the one that is now BEGINNING...we so so covet your prayers!  We are ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew