Monday, February 24, 2014

Listening to God and COURT DATE!!

God has had his hands all over this adoption right from the beginning.

Nate and I knew we were always called to adopt.  Everyone seems to have a similar story.  Then we watched Bulgaria's Abandoned Children and knew that we were wasting time.  Time that children spent in orphanages or aged out without ever having a family.

But we didn't have the money.

The day we were sure God was calling us was on a Saturday.  We were in Mass and it was a few weeks before Christmas. The priest laid out all the Giving Tree donations that had been made by members of the congregation.  In my head I did the math.  Those donations totaled over $15,000 and were gathered in a week.  God was telling me that people care.  We were all ears.

I started sending Nate pictures of children listed on Reece's Rainbow.  He was non-plussed.  They were cute but none were ours.

As I lay down that night to nurse Olive God spoke (yes he SPEAKS to me even if I'm a bit daft) "you will adopt a little girl older than Olive but younger than Jericho".  Ummmm.....Okay dokay God whatever you say......

The next day the first child listed on Reeces' Rainbow's new listed children site was our Nellie.  Nate had no reservations - "that's our girl!" was all he said.

Then again, when we had raised about $20,000 and I really wanted to fret about the last $10,000 we had to raise God wouldn't let me.  He would soothe my anxiety every time telling me that our grants that we had applied for would provide it.  "But God, if only you would listen to ME you would SEE that we need more money!!"  HA!  Two of the grants came in and we were almost fully funded.  (Except for those pesky post placement fees - we didn't gather donations for those!! Bad move.  Whoops!)

And then the court date.  Last Friday every last waiting family on our agency's Facebook group got their court dates.  But not us.  I fretted, I fumed, and he soothed me with a message - our court date would be March 4th.  Ummmm....okay..dokay.....

And today - TODAY we have our court date!!

March 4th.

The day Nellie and Marin will become our legal children.

When will I learn!

Listen up people - he is speaking!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Fundage

When Kim and I decided to go forward with this adoption, I really had no clue where $30,000 for it would come from.  We had fundraising ideas, and figured some people would help with what they could, but $30,000 is some serious cabbage.  A Mr. McGregor's garden-full of cabbage.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

 There were many adventures along the fundraising way.  There were online auctions, in person auctions, yard sales. Small donations, big donations, mind boggling donations. A few grant applications, fewer grants.  And many items sold on eBay and Amazon.

A street scene in Veliko Tarnovo

There were improv troupes , churches, and church cafes involved.  Friends, relatives, complete strangers, and acquaintances have all been a part of it.

This is on the end wall of Marin's orphanage.

That's not to say that the fundraising is done.  Not completely done that is.

Yellow Bricks of Sofia

However, I am pleased to announce that of the original $30,000 we set out to raise, $29,350.72 is already in (and most of it already spent).

I got to wear these slippers at Nellie's house - very butch.

I thought, and many people agreed, that adopting these two children and having faith that the money would somehow appear to make it all happen was crazy.

$30,000?  A bargain at twice the price!
But one look at these two kids and you know, you just know, that sometimes crazy is the only sane choice that you have.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Generosity on Top of Generosity

On the first trip to Bulgaria, I took many pairs of socks that people donated to give to the orphanage that Marin is in.  I was given this official document as a receipt and to show that I'd given them to the orphanage - or maybe to show that they'd received them - well, it says something anyway.

Official Bulgarian Document

The point is, many people were generous and the socks were well received and I'm sure the kids can use them.  Especially now in the winter.

Pretty sure this is from the Ministry of Very Important Grains

Already for the next trip a friend has bought SmartWool socks for the kids in the orphanage AND she has knitted and felted a hat for each child who is left in Marin's orphanage.  Each one.  She even searched online for an idea of what typical hats in Bulgaria look like and made her  hats to match.  That is a serious amount of work and a healthy dose of generosity - it's really above and beyond the call.

Yes, it has been snowing.........

There have been many cases of this crazy level of generosity during this whole effort to raise funds to adopt Nellie and Marin and work our way through the process of adoption.  The community around us (virtual and the "real for sure" one as Raggedy Ann would call it) has been very supportive and the generosity still amazes me.

While playing in the snow (Jericho, Olive & I were tracking Gaelan),
 Gaelan found where a squirrel had dug up its nut cache.
Close up of the nut cache - only one acorn was left  behind as evidence.
 When I began writing this post I was going to whine at this point about how the process in Bulgaria was stuck due to a technicality and some judges who keep putting on their grumpy pants day after day, but then another technicality just happened to happen in the Ministry of Justice and it all cleared up.

The road to hell may be paved with good intentions,  but I am happy to
note that the road to Amherst, Massachusetts is just paved with snow.
It has been like that this whole process - we wanted to do this, we thought we were nuts - other people thought we were nuts but supported  us - someone knits 30 some-odd hats - you can see a pattern forming.  So I just keep being grateful for friends and family who support us and strangers who support us and Bulgarian bureaucrats who make things happen to bring these kids home and even 12 degree weather and more snow.  After all it is all part of the there and back again of getting Nellie and Marin home.

I met this dwarf on his way to the Misty Mountains........

Monday, February 10, 2014

Things are MOVING!

Dossiers are going to the courts.... if ours is in the pile (why wouldn't it be?) we are now WAITING ON A COURT DATE!!

This is how we all feel here:

So the waiting continues but this is good waiting.  Waiting for the children to become legally ours.  Waiting to bring them home forever.  God is so good!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Olive Ann

She's pint sized and cute.  She loves to kiss, make art, and bake.  She can crack an egg and not get any shells in the mix.

She's our Olive Ann!

And yes, by the end, my brand new (made) gluten free playdough was in her mix.  As well as the puffy paint I made and the colored (GF) pasta.  Olive is a gambler with her art.  It's all or nothing.  :)

A very visual post to make up for the fact I HAVE NO NEWS!!!  There is a bit of a snafoo in Bulgaria - the Vice Minister of Justice signed all the dossiers (the paperwork) and the judges (who give us a court date and make the kids legally ours) don't like the change in protocol.  I've been told "they are working it out".  Let's hope that is a short process.  Please pray and pray and pray for us.  We are praying HARD here because we were hoping the kids would be home by March.  I want to hug and kiss them!!

Pray please and keep praying.  They have been waiting too long.