Saturday, March 15, 2014

3 months home

Stephen and Brayden have been home for 3 months! It has gone by quickly. They are both doing so well. We have seen so much progress.

Stephen failed his first hearing test and then had tubes put in his ears. He now has about 30 words...he still isn't a kid who likes to talk a lot, but he is coming around. We are going to get his vision tested soon. He is doing very well going to the potty. He loves to help in the kitchen and loves to eat. He is a very sweet and loving little guy.

Brayden is also doing well, but it will be a much slower process with him. We have been to Shriners, but are currently waiting to see the neurologist and the geneticists. He needs therapy, but we are on waiting lists. I didn't think it would take this long to get things started for him. We also are discovering that his past may have been a little harder than we thought. Our little guy has a lot to overcome, but he is very happy and seems to love his family.

This time has been wonderful, yet very hard. We have faced challenges we never saw coming. We are blessed... God has carried has through.

There have been many smiles. We are blessed.

There have been many tears. We are blessed.

There have been many changes. We are blessed.

Change is hard. We are blessed.

We know God planned for Stephen and Brayden to be part of our family. We are blessed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Coming Home

We were blessed to have a photographer document our homecoming.  I am so thankful for this, because I know we would never have the beautiful photos to remember if they had not been here.  Thank you so much Eric & Jana

for some reason, I was only able to get this to work by adding the link...sorry for my technical incompetence

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Pictures of our week in Sofia

 Day 1- first order of business- haircuts for the shaggy boys

 Stephen loved to look out the windows at the hotel

 exploring Sofia- we enjoyed the indoor market- it was a very cold week

Beautiful cakes and bakeries all over town...including a very interesting fish cake

                                                   Dinner with the Sheppard family at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant.  We were very blessed to get to spend time with them.  We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner in their home, visiting their church and this memorable dinner! 

Gotcha Day Pictures

Finally....I am finally getting things a little bit under control here at home with our new kids.  I will update more, but first I want to add pictures of our trip.
 We woke up to a beautiful snow covered city

 Walking up to Brayden's orphanage.  Feeling very nervous...
 They changed Brayden's clothes.  Fussed at me for not bringing him several layers and then brought him to us.  What a sweet little guy!

 Busting him out of the orphanage forever!  What an amazing moment!  How this boy's life will change

 so excited that he is finally ours!

 Snowy roads leading to Stephens city
 Stephen and his foster mom.  She was very sad he was leaving, but they knew exactly how to deal with the change to help him
 Sweet goodbyes

Homeward Bound

Wow! Hard to believe we are headed home with two boys after 13 months of paperwork and imagining what they would be like.

These two weeks have been great, and they have been hard. I did blog, but they were lost. I will go back when we get home and add pictures. Stephen is a great kid, he is smart but nonverbal. He is probably on a 3 yr old level. He will accomplish a lot.

Brayden's medical issues are really a lot more than I expected. In addition to orthopedic issues I believe he has a lot of neuro issues that need taken care of quickly. He is a funny little guy and I think he likes having a mom. He is also nonverbal right now.

Both boys have their moments, but are well behaved. Both have some institutional behaviors we will have to work through. Brayden doesn't know how to play with toys. I have gotten weird looks from people on this trip for letting him play with bowls and plastic cups. I just wish I had the nerve to tell these people that he has only been out of the orphanage for 10 days and no one has ever shown him how to play. I hope he will learn to e a child soon and enjoy his new life.

I am nervous going home. I am nervous about how all the people who are part of our world will react to these boys. I know at home there will be a transition, which I pray goes smoothly. Change is always hard, even when it is for good.

Leading up to this trip, we had been very nervous about the ride home. On our first trip, Stephen was pretty busy and we had dreaded the plane. During our time in Bulgaria with the boys, they were pretty well behaved , so we were not as worried. Kids have been screaming throughout this 12 hour flight, but I am happy to say it hasn't been our kids! As soon as the plane lands, they will be the two newest American citizens!

The beginning...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gotcha Day is Here!

We started this process a little over a year ago and the day is finally here. In three short hours, we will pick up Brayden and then drive 4 hours to pick up Stephen and life as we've known it will be changed. I wish we could say that we have been heroic (for lack of a better term at 6AM) thru this process and rock solid but this is not as easy on us as it may appear. We have been thru the fire over the last 6 months since our trip to meet the boys in May. While we knew this was God calling us to action, we had it confirmed by the work of Satan himself. What do I mean by this? As long as we are too busy and too distracted to do the work of building The Kingdom, then he has us right where he wants us...we are no threat to him. But when it comes to the possibility of adding souls to eternal life that otherwise weren't headed that direction, then he goes to work. Our commitment to bringing a better life to these two boys was tested immensely over the last several months. I thank God that over the last several weeks he has given us new energy and strength in this commitment and has brought some relief from the discouragement, testing, etc. that had us ready to throw in the towel. Even this morning, we joked about catching a taxi and sneaking back home. It's not because we don't care for these boys but it is a big commitment. We've known from the beginning of this process that this was God's calling and we have to answer. Still there is a level of anxiety that comes with answering his call but we know he will provide...that is our God...we have not been called to a life of luxury, we must work to build his kingdom until our time is over so we are full of joy and nervous as we reach the moment of no turning back. We are not sure what the future holds but we know our God will provide and he will deliver and we look forward to doing our part as we are called.

So going back to one of our earliest blogs, consider your part in this effort as we will need your help and commitment to raise them.

Something I've thought about a lot during this process lately is how much I've been drawn to care for these two boys over the last year. I really don't know them well but I care for them and want the best for them and their future. Is this a small sample of the love our God had for us that even though we are not of His chosen people (Jews), He has adopted us into his family thru his Son?

Much more to follow but for now it is time for " Gotcha Day"...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Nov. 25

We are on the plane headed to Vienna and then will be going to Sofia. I really can't believe it! It was very hard leaving my kids at home. We will not be home until dec. 7. We will be arriving in Sofia around 1:00 tomorrow. We will change money, buy a carseat for Brayden and then head to Montana for the night.

We have been working at this for over a year. In about 30 hours we will be able to carry Brayden out of the orphanage forever! Little Brayden will no longer be an orphan, he will be part of a family that loves him and cares for him. I can't wait to see all that he will learn and who he will grow into. Please pray for this little boy...that he will adjust well, that he will be able to leave his first 3 1/2 years behind and he will know he is loved.

We are not sure what will happen next. Stephen is currently in the hospital with the flu. He will have a test on the 26th to see if he can be discharged. If the test is ok, we will drive to his city after picking up Brayden. Then, we will drive to Sofia and spend the next 10 days there. If he is not discharged, we donor know what will happen. Please pray. There is a possibility we might have to come back for Stephen later.

Please pray for our family at home. We know that we were called by god to parent these two boys, but it will be a hard adjustment for everyone. There is lots of anxiety over change and fear of the unknown. I can remember with each pregnancy being extremely excited over our new baby, but also nervous about change. So, I guess the feelings I am having now are normal. I can't wait to bring these boys home, but I also fear change. I know once it happens, it will be very good.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of our story. We have so many friends, family and even strangers who have blessed us. We thanks you for your help with our children during travel, for your generosity and especially for your prayers.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Somewhere between US and Europe