Wednesday, February 29, 2012

fear not.

Regardless of Little Dude's needs, we are pushing forward.  We simply cannot leave him in The Bad Place and we know that we have the ability to care for him.  This certainly threw us for a loop, though.  Not what we thought or planned.  But then, it's so often not what we plan, isn't?

I just keep going back to what I was told about this process.  So many said it would change us, but they said it in a good way.  They said we would grow as people and learn a great deal.  I can see that now.  This process will mold us and shape us into people we never would have been without adoption.

I wish I could let this Little Dude understand just how grateful we are to pursue this process.  Already we are learning so much about ourselves.  It is because of him. 

Our only real worry was because of this little girl:

(That's an old picture of Chelsea from Hilton Head Island in 2010)

We would never want to harm her, especially because she has special needs herself.  We would never want to make a choice that might impact her care or leave us unable to meet her needs and the Little Dude's needs. 

But today, even as we hear more fearful things and even as we worry, we stand firm in our choice to bring the Little Dude home from The Bad Place.  We believe it is right, and I am personally very glad of this.  He needs the type of home we can provide.  Chelsea excels even as she has needs because of the interventions we've provided...and we will provide them to the Little Dude too. 

I spent a month touring nine different preschools to find the right fit for my daughter, and today we found the place we believe will work the best for our daughter.  I know many moms wouldn't tour nine preschools, but we did.  We would do the same for our future son, if he can even go to preschool. 

A picture from a year ago - sadly this was taken at my grandmother's funeral (I miss her so much!) but I thought you might like a picture of me and our little girl.  She had just started walking in this picture and still couldn't talk much or feed herself.  Oh, what a difference a year makes... (She was two months away from being 2 in this picture; now she's almost 2 months away from being 3!)

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as we negotiate through this unpredictable journey to our Little Dude.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


It has been a tough day overall.  My schooling is in its last week of my eight week semester, and it's been rough.  My daughter has her big meeting with her therapists tomorrow.  We have preschools to tour and another home study visit to complete.

In the midst of this, some of the Little Dude's (that's what we're calling him for now!) medical paperwork is more complicated than we realized.  We now have to learn all we can and decide if this is truly the right road for our family to take.  I tend to think yes, or frankly I would probably delete this blog entirely.  I guess I am just saying that it is scary, and any prayers you can send, would be most appreciated. 

"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." (Isaiah 41:13)

Little Dude is in such a terrible, scary, awful place.  No orphanage is really much good, but his is particularly terrible.  We have come to call it The Bad Place.  At The Bad Place, they sometimes starve children. At The Bad Place, children die.  Little Dude is there.  We do not want him to be.  We do not want any Little Dudes to be there. 

A lovely woman is raising awareness about The Bad Place.  Please read about it here:

Our Little Dude is in That Bad Place.  This is what crushes my heart. Yet I worry about what medical problems may lie ahead.  We already have an adorable little girl with special needs, and we would not want to harm her, either.  I know we will make the right decisions, but it is a scary, unsure time right now as we hope to hear more about Little Dude and pray about our future. 

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid". (John 14:27)

Tonight, I pray that Little Dude and every little one who lives in The Bad Place is blessed with peace as more parents come forward to raise these little ones and give them the homes they deserve.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

medical information.

There is no way around it; it is difficult to hear (or read) a report on your future child's health and read the long list of "what ifs". 

We now know intimately how scary that feeling is. We always knew it anecdotally, but we know it for real now. 

The holes in the records of those adopted internationally are glaring.  They are things that most (certainly we!) did not think of.  Things as simple as a head circumference from his birth are necessary and (in our case) not present.  Unreliable testing from foreign lands adds an additional layer of complexity; never mind the tests that have never been performed or are missing.  Kidney function?  A hearing test?  Vision exams?  It seems that nations such as Bulgaria prefer to use their ultrasound machines rather than rely on comprehensive, good quality physician care. 

Without these tests and in the absence of absolutes, there are few definitive conclusions to be drawn.  And in the absence of that, a competent physician (such as the ones who work for Children's Hospital in Philadelphia) can only speculate.  They are morally bound to provide us with as much hypothetical information as possible, but that information can be scary and confusing.

For example: a hearing test.  When his medical record says he's had a hearing test, we assume he's had one.  But the doctor at CHOP explained in more thorough detail that sometimes, the "hearing" tests consists of nothing more than a hand clap beside the child's head.  If the child turns his head, it is a "good" hearing test.  This cannot possibly evaluate the finer points of hearing and the various ranges.  Because he has a significant speech delay, is it because he cannot hear, or cannot hear well?  Without a proper hearing test, we cannot know. 

That is the scary part.  It reminds me a little of the home inspection on a house you are dying to buy.  The home inspector always seems to come in and tell you something horrid - like the house has termites or all of the plumbing is leaking, or the house's foundation is falling into the ocean.  Suddenly, the beautiful house is flawed, and you are left to wonder:  Should we buy it anyway?  Can we repair the leaking plumbing, can we restore the floors that were eaten away by termites?  Do we have the money, the time, the resources?  And home inspectors usually go a step further and tell you all of the "what ifs".  They do this by using the term "useful life".  So, a home inspector will say, "I know the hot water heater works - NOW - but its useful life is only twenty years, and this has been working for nineteen years."  Or, "A furnace is designed to last ten years, but this one has been in service for eleven."  Mentally, you're counting up the thousands of dollars a new furnace and hot water heater costs, even though those systems are currently functional.  It's the "what if" game. 

His eyes are crossed.  What if he's blind in one eye?  His biological mother was apparently diagnosed with a mental illness.  What if he has it too?  What if his whole family is afflicted?  He is not currently walking. What if he has a congential defect?  His speech is severely delayed.  What if he can't hear? 

The wonderful consultants at CHOP (or anywhere) can't completely answer those questions either.  They offer opinion, insight, and assistance with asking future questions of the overseas providers; questions that, more likely than not, won't be answered or won't be answered well.  The bottom line is, with all of our available information and with everything we know, we will simply have to rely on our own feeling and faith. 

That is a tough thing.  As responsible parents to a daughter with special needs, that is a very tough thing indeed.  We are generally pragmatic, and this situation (international adoption) is one that relies very heavily on acceptance of unknowns.  The CHOP doctors classified this little boy's referral as a "moderate risk". Not the worst, not the best.  Moderate. 

 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.”
Psalm 32:8

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No child abuse!

Fear not, for as far as the state of Pennsylvania is concerned, we are not child abusers!

We were not terribly worried anyway (laughing) because of course we've never done such things.  Still, as we all know, papers are required to "prove" this, and now we have (some of) the proof.  My stack of documents is growing as we prepare for our social worker's visit next week.

We also had the joy of sharing our news (at last!) with our remaining family and friends.  In true 21st century style, we shared it on Facebook, of course!  It was honestly the easiest way to let the world know.  Now that we are matched, we can speak a bit more freely about things, although of course we are bound to keep certain details more private.  We haven't yet shared the details with our family about where our future child is currently living or what his life is like right now.  And frankly, his life is probably full of sadness.  He may not understand that there is so much more to life than what he sees, but the deprivation he is suffering in the orphanage he lives in in Bulgaria is so upsetting. It is sad to us when we tell people where he is (privately) and then hear or read their stunned words of, "Oh....I've heard of that place."  It is all the more reason why we are going to work tirelessly to pluck this child out of the jaws of that place and bring him to our home, with us, loved and cherished forever. 

Writing checks is a large part of this process, and we have written several, and have several more to write.  We are beginning to get to the end of our initial influx of cash and will now wait on Jon's bonus from work to carry us through the next bit of this process.  At some point, we expect to do some fundraising with our church, family, and friends.  The cost of adoption is staggering.  My mother constantly remarks that she cannot understand why adoption is so expensive when these children are considered outcasts in their own country and are unwanted.  I confess I must agree with her, but also must push past that because we cannot allow price to get in the way.  This is a child that we want in our family, and this is a child that deserves a family like ours.  The mechanism to bring him into our family is somewhat unfortunate, but necessary, and must not deter us from our ultimate goal. 

In the midst of this craziness, I am trying to finish my college paper.  I am a full time college student, although I'm certain that will change as we get closer to traveling to Bulgaria.  I am prepared to sacrifice that, at least partially, for this little boy.  But for now, we prepare home study papers and simultaneously work on college, raise our daughter, and try to spend time as a family.  It is so exciting and yet scary to know how our family is going to change over the coming months and years. 

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Matching Day!

Today is the day we learned that our future son should indeed be ours!  The Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria approved our preliminary request to adopt "Ian" (our son's name according to the agency...we do not yet know what we will call him and are unable to share his 'birth' name) and now his file has been set aside by those officials...waiting for US!

It is an exciting moment for us, and one that allows us to share his referral picture with you.  I wish we could share more right now, but we cannot.  Suffice to say, this little boy's life will be forever changed because of the choices we've made, and we're so grateful to God for bringing this opportunity into our lives. 

Here is "Ian"!

We do not know when this picture was taken, but we do know this:  He's an adorable, special, and valued child of God who deserves a home and, barring any calamities, a home with OUR FAMILY.

Psalm 100 says (in part):
Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His.  We are His people, the sheep of His pasture...For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
God made "Ian" and "Ian" belongs to Him, as we do.  We will raise him up to know his rightful place, not as an orphan, but as a child of God...and our son. We rejoice, even as we lament the time this all takes, and it is so very long!  Last night was the first night I forced my husband to think - really think - about "Ian".  Not about paperwork, or whether or not my birth certificate will come when I want it to, or any of that.  We just talked about this child and what he must be like, what his days are like, what his preferences are.  Will he like Elmo?  Will he prefer red or blue or green?  We must never forget that "Ian" is a person and not a stack of paperwork.  He is the little boy that will be our son.

Although I want to race to him this minute, we must continue to wait.  But today, my soul rests in gratitude that he will not be shown to other families...he will be ours.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

finally - fees!

Although the IRS hasn't been cooperative with our tax return, a helpful influx of cash has made it possible for us to send the next installment of our agency fees ($3,000) to our agency.  We are excited to be able to make a dent in the adoption expenses in spite of our continued wait on the IRS. 

We also continue to hope and pray that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) will meet quickly to approve our initial paperwork to adopt our son and let us finish the dossier.  I know our agency believes we are in "good shape" but we still want that assurance that his file will be set aside for us to continue on this path.  I keep hoping for an email at any moment from our agency, but it hasn't come yet.  With the time difference between Bulgaria and the East Coast, coupled with the time difference between our time zone and our agency's time zone, we're pretty certain the MOJ could not have met today.  Tomorrow perhaps?  It is tough, even at this early stage, to wait and hope and wait some more. 

Luckily (sort of) I have a very busy day with my daughter tomorrow.  It will be a whirlwind of therapists and then a preschool visit in the evening.  We have appointments at 9 AM, 10:30 AM, 3 PM, 4:30 PM and then at 5:30.  I won't have time to wallow in uncertainty with a schedule like that!  And if tomorrow is not "the" day, then I will be too busy on Wednesday to worry.  Thursday will arrive before I know it - maybe it will be Thursday!

Today we are simply thankful that we have additional funds to continue to pay our fees.  We will keep moving forward.  We are one day closer to traveling to our child...whenever that day is, we are one day closer.

Monday, February 20, 2012

sharing the news.

Today, our family social worker (not related to the adoption) came to visit. She is a pleasant lady whose only real job is to give us ideas on things such as finding Chelsea a proper preschool and helping us secure additional resources for her.  I happily chatted with her for the entire hour about the progress we've made with our daughter.  At the end of the visit, I decided it was probably a good idea to share our "news" with her.

She was amazingly positive, which was so refreshing!  "You have to do it," she kept saying.  "You're so passionate.  There will never be a 'perfect' time.  Do it."  I actually applauded at her - I was so happy to hear her positive attitude and sunshine.  It is nice when you hear a good response from someone.  I began to tell her a bit about our future child, and she just smiled back at me and said, "You should see your face when you talk about this.  You are electric; you just light up!"

I almost had to blush, realizing that I am, indeed, excited and passionate and all of those great things about this process.  It is exciting, and scary, and uneasy, and wonderful, and special, and shocking, and elating to consider having a son.  Are we really going to have a son?  It is a stunning thought; one I cannot yet get my mind around and one I try hard not to attach too hard to.  What might happen along the way to thwart this?  Already the IRS isn't cooperating because they are not processing our tax return - money we desperately need to continue paying our adoption fees.  There were delays (significant ones) with people who filed their taxes in early February, and particularly those folks who used a particular popular online filing tool.  We are 'blessed' to be in both of those categories, so we wait. 

Our adoption social worker (for the home study) won't see us until March 1st, and I pray we have 90% of the paperwork completed by then.  We have most of it now.  I wish we could meet with her sooner, but we have to wait. 

My daughter needs a physical and the doctor's office won't see her until March 2nd, so we have to wait.


"And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone."  1 Thessalonians 5:14

Be patient.  With everyone.  Home study social workers, the Ministry of Justice, my spouse, my daughter, our adoption agency, our written references, doctors...everyone. 

Someone said this process - the process of finding our son - will change our family in ways we will not consider or believe until it happens.  God can use all things for good, even a frustrating adoption process.  My prayer today is that we can all endeavor to embrace the blessings that waiting affords us.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

finally fingerprints!

Does anyone remember those "Suddenly Salad" commericials?

I think "Suddenly Salad" still exists, although I remember making it a few times and thinking it was quite putrid.  Maybe I'd feel differently now, but I thought of this as I finally, finally, finally got my fingerprints done on Friday.  I thought, "Finally! Fingerprints!" and somehow, my brain went to Suddenly Salad, which is just a strange example of how my mind works sometimes.  The whole purpose of the product is to take ingredients and, with little work, create a salad.  I wish they made something like this to get fingerprints done, because if they did, I'd market it as Finally Fingerprints!

The schedules of the State Police aren't terribly conducive to fingerprinting.  The small station near my home encouraged me to call after my fruitless visit on Thursday, and I did...only to hear, "Nope.  Try Monday."  But I felt too stubborn to be denied, especially after Jon had his carefully-printed fingerprint card ready to go. 

Instead, I bundled up my daughter on a warm day and decided to make the trek to the same State Police Barracks where Jon had had success - Lancaster.  Nearly 90 minutes later, I arrived, and prayed for good results.

First, I got there and the woman behind the desk kept asking me why I needed fingerprints.  I explained it was for an adoption.  Then she asked me where my 'paperwork' was.  What paperwork?  Jon hadn't told me, and I never thought to bring my FBI application with me. 

"We can't take your fingerprints without some paperwork," a woman who was obviously pregnant announced to me.  It was 82 degrees in the waiting area according to the thermostat on the wall, and my two year old daughter discovered playing with the water fountain until the refrigeration unit came on was a wonderful trick.  But it was driving me bonkers.

A phone call to my husband ultimately saved the day, and he faxed over the FBI application.  After ten more minutes of waiting, Chelsea and I were called back to the fingerprinting room.  I think this is the first time I've been fingerprinted and the police officer kept saying "Relax your fingers!" I tried to pay attention while keeping one eye on Chelsea, who was working furiously to leave this postage stamp-sized room and take off down the hallway.  "Chelsea, sit down," I asked her in vain.  "Chelsea, be a good listener!" I was begging - what two year old is a "good listener"?  Finally another police officer arrived with two small bears and let her choose one.  This temporarily interested Chelsea, but only before she re-discovered the fluroescent lights on the floor, or that the fingerprint machine printed paper that she delighted in trying to grab.  I felt hot and fried to the core, but I got my fingerprint card and thanked the officers weakly as I headed to my car to make the long drive back toward Philadelphia. Of course, there was a huge accident on the highway ONE EXIT FROM MY HOUSE, which delayed my return by another twenty minutes.  At that point, I think I was ready to throw in the towel for the day.

But when I returned home, and the dog was let out and Chelsea was settled in, I spent several minutes looking over our future son's photos.  I don't do this often because I don't want to get "too attached".  I remind myself that there are a hundred things that could happen between now and then (and probably more like a thousand things!) and I guess I can't ultimately be sure if he will come home with us.  But I looked at the pictures, and at pictures of his horrid orphanage, and rededicated myself to the process of bringing him home.  I know the process is going to be full of times like this one, but the end result will be amazing in ways I can't imagine.

I tried to picture his face beside us at church as we worshipped on Sunday.  I can't, but we spoke again to our Pastor and I look forward to sharing our journey with him and more members of our church.  We also worked on our paperwork.  The financial form is finally done, but with more cross-outs than I would like and I suspect we'll have to do it again.  We printed off copies of our various insurances and emailed off our autobiographies.  Our goal this week is to get our medicals done, including Chelsea, and hope some of our reference people will finish writing their references so we can give them to our social worker the following week. 

Meanwhile, a little boy in Bulgaria has no clue that this week (I PRAY) the Ministry of Justice will meet and put aside his file for us while we are working.  I know it's a formality, but we are hoping this will happen quickly and maybe early in the week!  We are also praying for our tax return to arrive, which is delayed for unknown reasons.  Monday is a holiday of course, so maybe it will be deposited on Tuesday?  Let's hope.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

fingerprints = strikeout!

My first attempt at getting my ink fingerprints failed today.  How horribly frustrating!  Because of the requirements of Bulgaria, I must obtain fingerprints on an ink card and mail it (myself) to the FBI and then wait up to 2 months to see the magic piece of paper that assures me I have a clean record.  I bundled up my adorable daughter, who isn't really feeling well today, and zipped off to the State Police Barracks, a place I was told would certainly take my fingerprints on the card I had!

Instead, I was greeted by a woman who simply had no idea what I wanted, made me wait several minutes with my daughter in tow, and then told me there was no one there to take them.  I could feel myself wanting to say, "I'll bet if I committed a crime someone would take my fingerprints!" but I held my tongue, took the phone number she offered and hastily made my exit.  We were in such a hurry that, as I buckled Chelsea into the car seat, she said "rectangle!" (referring to the puzzle piece she'd brought with her into the State Police) and I realized it was gone.  Angrily, I raced back into the building to retrieve the puzzle piece, which she had carefully placed on one of the three chairs in the tiny waiting room.

I called my husband on the ride home, admittedly to complain.  I asked him if he would be willing to take some of the money we have set aside for our adoption and use it to bail me out of jail when I committed a petty crime. My "plan" was to find some small crime that I could commit, get arrested, and have Jon bail me out - so long as the police would give me my fingerprint card!  :)

Of course, I realized that there was a fatal flaw to my plan; getting arrested would lead to a criminal record!  (And I was only joking, of course...I would never actually do that!)  UGH!  I am still so frustrated, and it's far too early on to feel that much frustration.

God smiled on my husband though; he phoned to tell me that the State Police Barracks where he went did take his fingerprints today.  I rejoiced with that; one down, one to go.  Jon also reminded me that this was just one example of the bumps on this road we would face, and that patience would serve me far better than frustration.  Of course, he is right.  Thank God for calmer and more logical voices than my own.

Galatians 6:9:

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

This is a message to everyone - whether in an adoption process or not.  It is difficult to do good, and it is easy to become weary.  But at the proper time (which is not always the time that I would like!) we will reap the harvest.  For us, our harvest lives in Bulgaria, in an orphanage.  For him, we will not give up.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

about him.

We're so excited to continue to grow our blog, reach out to those who are adopting from Bulgaria, and edit our blog to include more information and pictures as we expand our reach to friends, family, and others.  As you can see, I have added a photograph to our profile.  It is a picture of my husband and daughter.  My husband is a terrific father and we have an amazing little girl who has made enormous strides over the past nearly three years of her life. 

Today, we shared the news of our adoption plans with our respective parents.  We were thrilled to hear my husband's family support and encourage us.  My parents are generally more guarded and more questioning, but I know they support us and will be a source of strength.

I am thinking today about 1 John 3:17-18:

"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."

Even as a child, I was taught by my parents to care for those less fortunate and show compassion to those in need.  As a adult, our family has embraced this message in our committment to sponsor three children (two through Compassion International) and give as generously as we are able to the needs of others. 

While our adoption efforts reflect the spirit of this passage, it is by no means the sole reason we have chosen to add a son from Bulgaria to our family.  This would not be fair to him, or to us.  Not everyone is called to adopt.  Not everyone is able to adopt. A child who comes from an institution has needs that must be met, and those who feel moved to help those children must be prepared (as best they can be) to accept and nurture that child's particular needs.  There are some families that are capable of doing this.  For those families, they must heed the call of John and  "let us not love with words or speech but with actions". 

The son we are praying for celebrated his second birthday in Bulgaria in November.  He is a son of a mother who has delivered four other children, and was relinquished shortly after his birth.  He was born prematurely, and has suffered numerous colds, infections, and other maladies of institutional life.  At his birth, he had a hydrocephalus that has since resolved. His suffers with crossed eyes and a heart murmur.  Of course, he also has social and developmental delays.  Right now, he resides in one of the worst orphanages in Bulgaria, with little personal stimulation or care.  His life story is currently written with echoes of despair and hopelessness, with little hope for a positive future.

Our decision to adopt him has torn the pages out of that life story and rewritten it completely.  He cannot know what we are doing at this moment to bring him home.  It is strange to consider that he doesn't know about a decision that two people made in the family room of their home which has changed his life.  It is also sad, even in the midst of joy.  This is a Bulgarian child who will not be able to grow up in Bulgaria.  This is a child who was rejected by his primary caregiver and may never know her or his birth siblings.  There is loss in adoption, and even as we rejoice to adopt him and pray for him, we understand that there is loss.  He will not grow to hear his native language spoken commonly, he will not live among those who look like him, and he will not live among his birth culture.  Although we fervently believe that the life we're working to provide him will be better than the life he leaves, the story of adoption is sad.  We feel sad for him, and we pray for his birth family. 

Very shortly, I will be able to share a photograph of him (one) so that you can put a face to the little boy we are working so hard to bring home.  Till then, here is a photo of the cutest little girl you've ever seen, our dear Chelsea.  She was at a museum and is wearing the smock provided to her there. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

who we are.

As much as I want to tell you who "he" (the little boy we want to adopt) is, I suppose I should explain in more detail who WE are.

We are Jennifer & Jon.  We have been married for almost eight years.  I am a stay-at-home mommy, while Jon works near Philadelphia where he runs an office that does international logistics.  If you are confused about what that means, don't fret.  No one understands my husband's job.  I didn't for several months when I met him, either.

We are Christians who attend a Lutheran Church about 1/2 hour south of our home in Eastern Pennsylvania.  We are also enormous football fans.  I am a Saints fan, Jon is a Steelers fan and we both enjoy watching the Eagles.  We invite all football fans to enjoy our blog, with the exception of Patriots fans, 49ers fans, Falcon Fans and Cowboy fans.  Fans of the Ravens and Bears may be permitted on a case-by-case basis. 

If you haven't figured it out by now, the above is a joke.  We have great senses of humor and also love sarcasm.  :)

We are the parents of three children, but only one is living.  Our twin boys died due to premature labor (unexplained) in 2008 after we conceived them via IVF.  In 2009, we used a frozen embryo from that cycle and were blessed with our daughter, Chelsea.  She is a miracle "frosty baby" as some call her, because of the nature of her conception.  She was born five weeks prematurely and suffers with some developmental delays as a result.  She is also one of the cutest kiddos out there, and when I figure out how to post pictures properly here, I will be happy to show you!  She will be three in a few months, which keeps our hands full.

For years, we considered adoption, as far back as 2006 when we thought about Guatemala, then Poland, and now Bulgaria.  While we could possibly have more children of our own biologically, we felt that biology was not nearly as important as some make it out to be!  Instead, we felt blessed in our own family and felt that God called us to reach out in faith to find our son. I pray that the little boy we've identified will, in fact, be our little boy, but it will be a long while before we know that for sure.  In the meantime, we are drowning in paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.  We met with our home study social worker for the first time yesterday.  She was personable, but left us with a ton of "homework" to do! 

Please share our blog with others - we want to know people who are adopting!  We especially like to know of those who are adoption children with varying needs, as the little boy we hope to bring home does have some of those.  In the meantime, happy valentine's day!  Today my "heart" is partially in Bulgaria, praying for a boy in Bulgaria who has no idea what is likely going to happen to him in the coming months...

Friday, February 10, 2012

in the beginning.

In the beginning, two divorcees met and fell in love.

After they fell in love, they got married.

After they got married, they bought a house, then another house, and did a boatload of traveling.

After they bought a house, and then another house, and did a boatload of traveling, they decided to settle down and consider starting a family.

After they settled down and considered starting a family, they went to see many doctors to see why they could not simply "get pregnant".

After they saw so many doctors to see why they could not simply "get pregnant", they went to a very good fertility clinic and decided to try IVF (Invitro Fertilization).

After they decided to try IVF, they were blessed to discover that they were pregnant - on the first try!

After they discovered they were pregnant on the first try, they found out it was twins!

After they discovered it was twins, they discovered they were going to have twin boys!

After they discovered that they were going to have twin boys, they decided to name them Jacob and Zachary.

After they decided to name them Jacob and Zachary, they sadly learned that their twins would perish, due to unexplained preterm labor.

After their twins perished due to unexplained preterm labor, they were horribly sad and broken.

After they were horribly sad and broken, they decided to try again.

After they decided to try again, they returned to their clinic and used one of their frozen embryos.

After they used their frozen embryos, they learned they were pregnant - again!

After they learned they were pregnant again, they learned they were pregnant with a little girl.

After they learned they were pregnant with a little girl, they decided to name her Chelsea Hope.

And after they learned that, Chelsea Hope was born; alive, but five weeks prematurely.

After Chelsea Hope was born early, she spent ten days in the NICU and then she came home.

After she came home, they all settled in as a family, and stayed that way for more than two years.

After staying that way for two years, they asked themselves:  Should we try to have more children?  If so, how?

After they asked themselves these questions, they began to pray about adoption.

After they began to pray about adoption, there was a beautiful picture of a little boy in Bulgaria.

After seeing the picture of the little boy in Bulgaria, they decided they wanted to bring him home.

It's not all that simple, but that's how it started.  That's how we began the journey to Bulgaria, to bring home our son.