Thursday, October 25, 2012

An announcement...

Yep, a big announcement that is about eights weeks late...can you guess?  Bet you won't!  Well, if you guessed that the kids are being homeschooled you are correct!  All summer I had been researching and studying about homeschool.  And we had been praying...LOTS!!!  So the middle of July we did a little school off and on.  The kids were a little freaked out at first, and once they believed they could do school at home they were okay.  I did not tell them that it might be permanent though.

Anyway, the more and more I taught, the more and more I LOVED it!  We started to do it on a very regular basis and the kids were going along with the flow...then a couple of weeks before school started we told them that they would have school at home.  Srecko had the hardest time with the concept...still sometimes brings it up.  Daddy named our school Fun To Learn School and the kids love it.

On the first day of regular school, we went to McDonalds after breakfast and got ice cream cones and drove through the parking lot of their school...and I said, where do you think that the kids in school right now want to be?  They all said eating ice cream..I think I got my point across, don't you?

Well, it is now about two and a half months into school and my kids love it...and me?  Let me just say  I can hardly stand how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!!  Even on the hard days, like today I still love it!  It is such a HUGE blessing to be able to work with my kids everyday and sometimes Saturdays.  That is Srecko's desire.

Let me say that the kids have done a wonderful job!  They have learned so much!  For example, Jovan and Kristna were learning and barely learning five spelling words a week and now they are learning about twenty words every eight days or so.  Srecko is learning about the see him learn new things is incredible!  His whole face lights up and he smiles broader then anyone in the world.  Who wouldn't want to see that everyday?  Today, we learned a new phonics game and then for a boost fruit snacks were passed out.  The kids thought that was great.

We have been up to other things...but mostly school.  I have pictures to post and more blogging to do, but I am tired by the time the kids go to not much gets done after that.  Another plus is that they can sleep in later...bed time is basically the same, but instead of Kristina getting up at 5:30am to start her neb treatments and make the bus...she now gets up a little before 7am and she is able to be ready for school and work very hard.  Now you all are a little more caught to bed I go!m

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sweet Sound...

Today Jovan and I were going to see his physical therapist to make adjustments and order him a walker.  It takes about one hour and twenty minutes to get there.  We were listening to KTIS a Christian radio station. Anyway, our kids have a "song".  Music calms the soul...and this particular song just fit what we were going through trying to adopt Jovan.  The song is called Mighty to Save by Laura Story.  Love it!

I called the radio station just to tell them thanks for playing that song...and told them a little tiny bit of Jovan's adoption story and they said thanks for calling and making their morning.

A few songs later...on comes the DJ and played back what I said to him and then the DJ said "Jovan if you are listening you have a very special mother"  And Jovan said to the radio..."I know".  Then Jovan said..."mom, you were on the radio"...and he said "I heard me too".  In the background of what I was telling the DJ you could hear Jovan say mommy.  So cute!

I am very thankful that I have Jovan as my miracle that God gave me through His grace.  God loved both Jovan and myself so much that he matched us together forever!!   Praise God!  Just had to share that sweet moment from this morning!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Made in Serbia...

My Serbian children!!  They are the most precious wonderful gifts from God that I could have ever dreamed of having!!  I love them so much!!  I am sure that most moms say that about their kids!  For me being a mother is the best!!  And I know they love me too!  Sometimes (and I probably have said this before) I forget that they were is that possible you ask?  Well, they feel like they have been with us forever!!  Even Srecko who has been ours for one year, two months and fifteen days.  Time flies!!

I could go on and on about them...really I could, but I won't !  I'll let you look at their precious faces and smile!  You could even thank God  for us too!  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Have a Dream...

Yes, I have a dream...maybe more of a goal really.  I want to learn to use coupons!!  Silly you say...well I would like to see my dollars S-T-R-E-T-C-H as far as they can!  I have used some in the past...but no way near what I would like to.  Looking at all the coupon sites available is so overwhelming!!  And boy, have I studied them!!  It's almost like I need someone to literally lay it all out in front of me!  Or a live step by step demonstration!!

Anybody use coupons and can suggest a great and EASY place to learn?  I have been getting up before the birds to get my "chores" done so I can devote my day to my children's schooling and therapies!  So I need something easy and without much brain effort!  HA!

I hope to have this all set up by Thanksgiving, because I want to have a deadline.  So hold me accountable!

And I also have some posting to do on the children...but that takes mommy's brain power and that does not wake up for hours yet!  Just kidding!  I do the easy chores that doesn't take any concentration to do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Big day...

Kristina goes to her Cystic Fibrosis doctor every three months for routine checkups.  She had an appointment last week so she and I had a girl's day out.  (Boys were with daddy at their follow-up orthopedic appointments...and that's its own story)  We got there early as the traffic is unpredictable and it is about a hour and fifteen minutes with normal traffic...and we drove in rush hour!!  So, I took her to McDonalds for a second breakfast...actually brunch time.  There was a McDonalds between the place we parked and the building where her appointment was.  

Then when she was done eating we took pictures in their little courtyard.  She took a couple of me and I took a couple of her and one together to remember this great day by!

Her appointment was fabulous!!  We found out her weight was up four pounds!!!  Biggest weight gain ever!!    She didn't really get much taller...which mommy like because she is almost up to my neck!!  She really is growing fast!  The doctor said her lungs were clear...which is a HUGE praise to God!!  We have been praying and really working hard on that with extra time doing her breathing treatments!  

She had been sick for weeks and missed almost two weeks of school at the end of the year.  In fact she only went a half day on the last day of school because she was sick.  We were there with her for awhile and let her spend the last couple of hours there by herself.  We live five minutes from the school, maybe less.

This appointment was her annual appointment where we meet with the "whole team".  We visit with the dietitian, social worker, person to see if there are any clinic trials she can participate in (none of her personal information is used...they use the teat results and I am glad to do it if it means finding a cure for CF), and also the respiratory therapist to make sure her treatments are going well! So it makes for a LONG appointment but it is so worth it as it gives us a plan to work on for her next appointment!

I am so thankful to God that he has kept her healthy...yes, we have our days and possible weeks when she is not...but she gets well!!  We are Kristina's parents and we do what we need to do and God does the rest, biggest thing is relying on Him and having the faith to trust Him with her health!  He loves her so much and knows exactly how her life will be.  The good things and also the not so good things!

Enjoy the pictures and thank God with me that she is healthy!!  And also that he has so graciously given this wonderful girl to me!

Going on...

Wow, we have been so busy this summer I can't believe we are in the middle of July!!  I realized that I never acknowledged Srecko's gotcha day!  He has been home one year, one month and one day!!  This year was crazy because we had Gotcha Day/Father's Day, and my birthday all falling on the same day.  Crazy!

The day was a little laid back even with all going on, we grilled hamburgers and had a really nice day.  A few days after that we went to a state park near us and the kids swam in the lake.  They were thrilled!  We had a picnic with grandma and grandpa too!  The day could not have been more beautiful!

This summer has been filled with outings, therapies for the kids, playing outside and swimming!!  All the kids can hold their breath and swim under water!  BIG BIG accomplishment for them!!  And they run through the sprinkler...and they never did that before!  Maybe it has to do with the drought we are having...and the HEAT wave!  Whatever it is, I am glad they are all learning together!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nearing The End...

This was the day after we were told that the embassy had to contact Washington DC.  Wow, talk about many thoughts running through our heads...and here is how the day played out...

Boy, oh boy, We prayed so much...we talked about maybe God's desire was to have one of us be here to be a "light" for Christ.  We know who that would be don't we?  :)  (me)  And wow..we had a hard time taking about us and our makes me sad to think about it.  I thought about what being a Christian meant to me...and sometimes God wants us to make sacrifices.  And in faith like Abraham (Hebrews 11) I would sacrifice my brand new daughter that I waited my whole life for?  Yes, I would have to, if this is what God wants from us.  God comes first.  But, I thought..she is ill and needs treatment in the States to be better. God had the little details worked out.  He knew all about Kristina and her needs and also how I would react to all of the drama surrounding her visa.   Oh, I thought about lots...and Hubby and I talked lots.  Not so much on the negative side...just all the possibilites.

And our love...we have been married for 17 years and 9 days!  We knew our love would survive...but oh..we would miss each other.  We are friends who LOVE spending time together, have very many similar interests, and enjoy lots of the same activities!  And we figured out that about every 2.5 trips, he would get one ticket with turned in miles!  Enough sap, I know!  You get the drift!

Maybe the fear of the unknown...Satan really had us very nervous.  We tried to remain was a long journey out of  fear!

We got up in the morning...but we prayed HARD before our little girl woke up.  She woke up all smiles and very happy... made everything worth while!!  We had breakfast..she loves yogurt!!  She had more than that... :)  We got ourselves together.  Spent time on the phone and online.  Then I was irritated enough to go down to the US Embassy and sit.  Which is exactly what I did.  Armed with a book, copy of our dossier, and a bottle of water!  I waited only about 1 hour before I was given the run around and told that I would get a call between 4 and 4:30pm that afternoon.  Okay...fine I would go home.  Mind you I was alone!!

All by myseeelllffff, all by myyyysssellffff..    How was I to get home?  I asked if there was a way to call a taxi...I was told no.  Okay...hum...I was petrified to "hail" a cab!  Are you kidding and risk losing a foot or get run over?  Not to mention the fact that I had to look like I meant business!  More things were running thru my head...I had to cross the street to be able to get the cab going in the right direction.  If I was going to do that, I might as well just walk home.  So, with my faith showing on my sleeve, I walked.  I really wasn't really that nervous..and it gave me a chance to pray.  Doing that didn't make me feel so lonely!  And it helped my stress level!!  The walk went by felt kinda good too.  I was walking alone in a foreign country!  What an accomplishment!!  :)

When I got home, Kristina was waiting for me with open arms.  We walked to the Pekabetta and got some food for supper.. And to help pass the time.  I think we even picked some great frozen treat...The afternoon passed and at about 4:23pm we got a call.  The guy said that they were still waiting for some more info.  But, he sounded positive...could it be?  I prayed for such a thing!  I was feeling better.  Still nervous...cuz my faith bucket got tipped.  We had a nice supper and relaxed a bit.

Kristina had her bath and went to bed.  We wanted to watch a movie...Hubby found out that the couch made into a bed.  So, we got ready for a slumber party.  :)  The movie started and we fell asleep.  However, in the middle of the night..we got up to sleep in our own bed.  The couch bed felt like a torture chamber!!  Good Night!

The next day I again went to the embassy to wait.  Isn't it the squeaky wheel that gets fixed?  The guy behind the counter was not happy to see me.  I basically did the same thing as the day before...sat and waited!  He then told me they did not have an answer yet.  Okay, I was getting angry and had about enough of this whole mess!  I left and when I got outside I had this conversation with myself...just suck it up and walk home was one thought.  Then quietly I had an impression (I truly believe from God!) to walk a different way home.  I said to myself, you have got to be kidding me!!  All by myself?  Really?

I was sure the guards could see the conversation bubbles going on over my head.  So, off I went walking a different way home.  Oh, did I tell you that there was no way to get a hold of hubby and let him know anything?  A few days before we were riding in a taxi we went down this really STEEP STEEP hill and I said to him I am glad we don't have to walk on this street.  Guess what street I found to walk home on?  Yes, you guessed correctly!!  I thought I was out of my mind and wanted to turn around, but my legs kept moving forward.  After that moment I started actually talking to God, and it felt like I was doing it with him walking beside me.  It was a very different journey that I had ever been on.  Like I was walking on a rode that led right up to heaven.  I am serious...  Well, I had walked for hours...literally!

Anyway, my prayer was that I would do whatever God asked me to do.  If he wanted me to stay and share the gospel...telling people about God and the way to salvation, then I would do it and no questions asked.  I thanked him over and over again for the chance to become a mother of the most beautiful girl in the whole world that He hand picked for me to be my very own!!  (of course hubby's too)  I told God that I never asked him if I could be a mother for any amount of time...and I knew if we stayed in Serbia that she would likely die because she didn't have the medical treatment that she needed to live.  But, I thanked him over and over again...I was following God's will and he gave me the desire of my heart, a child.

I praised him for the wonderful journey we had been on...the whole experience of trusting God and persevering...and patience!  Oh, those words!  Just thanking God for everything!!  I thought for a split second that I was lost, did not panic and kept walking and found out where I was.  I walked by a hospital and saw a teen age girl with a scarf around her head...the kind that gets worn if you have no hair.  I prayed for her and her family...and thought wow God, I wonder if she is going to die and wonder if she knew him.  I continued to walk all the way back to the apartment...boy did I go WAY out of my way!!!  And before I arrived back at the apartment I went shoe shopping for Kristina!  :)

After my LONG walk I got back to the apartment and hubby tells me that Kristina's visa was ready.  I said what?  Really?  When?  And he said about 10:30am...that was shortly after I had left the embassy!!!  It was now time for me to hustle back there to pick it up.  I called a taxi and got a driver we had in the past.  Great guy!  Told him the story of the visa...he thought it was great!  I got to the embassy at about 3:20pm and they close on Friday's at 4:00pm.  Could hardly contain my excitement walking back home...the SHORT way!!  I am sure people thought I had lost my mind or something while I walked with a HUGE smile on my face!

We had ice cream for dessert!  And a long shower!  But Praise God we got her visa!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Very Very Slow...

Her adoption day was the best day of my life and one of the most stressful we experienced so far!!  More to that another day!  So here goes the explanation of that day on June 10th!  (And I do not know why there is white highlighting of some of the text...sorry)

The alarm went off so early, or it felt like it!!  We got ready, but did not dress up as much as we thought we would.  I am glad..details later!  At 7:45am we got into the car to drive to Kristina’s home town.  Kinda weird!  It was a nice size town..I thought it was going to be like a little village.  But it was full of shopping opportunities that would elude me!  How sad!!  Just kidding!  The walk up to the social center building was nerve racking…the walk inside scary!  Now the walk up the stairs…well distracted us! (There were MANY)  It was nice to see the people that we saw the same day of meeting Kristina!  That helped me a lot! The chairs were arranged like a U shaped table and our chairs were right in the middle.  It really made me feel like I was on trial!!  I just wanted to run!!  Emotions were so high at least for me.  I was tired, so tired, hungry (didn't eat anything for breakfast…thought I would throw up), missing Kristina..and anxious of what the outcome was going to be.  My head was so full of all of that...In Serbia you do not have to go to court, it is just an adoption ceremony.  They read your adoption decree and you sign papers.  Sometimes you are presented with gifts, sometimes not.  And you do not have to wait to get your child...the next day is when we picked up our children.  The whole day was taken up with adoption to do lists!
Okay, the proceedings started.  I so wished we could have understood them personally and not have to listen to it translated for us.  The pages being read to us was like an eternity!!  Get it done with a hurry!  The feelings of wanting to throw up came several times to me!!  Then it happened!! (not throwing up...but the end of the ceremony)    The END…but, what happened next was about the WORST thing I could have imagined!!  They started pouring some liquid…didn’t see the bottle, so I didn’t know what I was toasting with…  Then I thought for a split second that I should pretend to drink it..split second number two, I drank it.  And I gulped it.  Death by drinking fire was sure to be written on my tombstone!!  The burning, the pain that ran from my throat all the way into my stomach, acid that made a wide path..get my explanation?  I looked at hubby and asked him if he was burning.  He said a little.  It was about 9:40am, for goodness sake!!  Handshakes and gifts later we were on our way to get her birth certificate!  But, first I needed to use that little girl’s room...  Or, the toilet I was told!  I walked in after our translator..and to my HORROR, it was one of THOSE!! (Yes, a floor toilet)  I turned around and walked right back out!  Hubby went in…he laughed when he came back out and looked at me!  I said I would try to wait.  Yeah, right!

We got to the place that had her birth certificate.  It was a hospital, I thought my chances would be great for a regular good ole’ restroom. My chances were not very had a toilet, but one you stood over and with no toilet paper, which I had remembered to put in my purse..oh, forgot to tell you the door didn’t lock!!  And it also had one of THOSE as well!!  I hoped I no longer needed to use any little girl’s room until I got to Belgrade. I think, my family knows  about me and bathrooms!!  Let’s just say, camping in the woods is not my idea of fun!!

Back to the birth was a big book, and there were records back to the 1800’s.  My goodness!!  It was then our turn to watch our lives really change forever!!  We were now the parent’s of Kristina!!  I felt funny just with a stroke of a pen two people were erased forever!  And then, we became parent’s after waiting for 17 years and 1 month!  Wow!!
Getting her passport was the next thing on our list!!  So fast, to be done in one day,  We stood in line for what seemed like an eternity!!  Then it was our turn,  The old lady in a pink top and black pants behind the …said NO!!  What?  What was happening?  Are you kidding me?  Hubby and I looked around in a state of confusion to what was happening… The driver acted as our translator as our translator/lawyer argued with the woman, and argued with the woman.  She went down the hall after the woman closed the door on us.  I was in a state of panic!!  The next thing I know is that the women from the social center came and started talking very LOUD!!  And one of them getting so exasperated that she turned red and started to sweat!  After all the exchange of words had happened, we were escorted to the chief of police's office.  I began to pray with tears of course, as we all know that is what I do best!!  J  Even the women from the social center smiled, I think they understood!!  All the talking and gesturing…then I had to show pictures to the chief that there was indeed a child that was wanting her passport.  The adoption decree was not good enough for THAT woman in the pink top and black pants!!  After a long time, they, the chief and his boss agreed that she could get a passport without her being there.  Oh my, I should have been on my knees!!  Oh, how thankful we were to God’s grace!!
We stopped at this restaurant for lupper..which is lunch/supper together in our family!! We had traditional Serbian cuisine, and it was wonderful!!  Especially the tomato and cucumber salad…as that is what I always eat in the summer!!  YUM!!  And I got to use a regular toilet...but had to pay!

Home (going back to our apartment) was the last thing on our agenda!!  And it started to rain and the downpour was like by the bucketfuls being dumped on us!  Thunder and lightening rounded out the display!!  I was dead tired!!  Emotional because we were so close by the orphanage..we could see it, but not touch it.  So that meant no daughter!  I was weepy!!  I fell asleep on the couch and went to be early!! Hubby stayed up and watched tv, or the computer screen…don’t know and really didn’t care!  J I needed sleep!
That was the drama for this day!!

Gotcha day...(day we took Kristina out of the orphanage forever!)

The doctor’s appointment was at 9:30am, so we got to pick Kristina up early.  She was fine..and very glad to see us!  We loaded up her toys that we left with her..and then ALL of the medicine that she comes with!  Oy,  Big load that is!!!  Whoa!!

After we got her loaded in the taxi, with all of her things..we headed over to see the doc.  I was worried because she is sick.  They are giving her Amoxicillin...   But, I was concerned that because she sounded so bad..that the doctor would say something.  But got an okay!  Then the ride to our lawyer/translator to finish all of the glad to be done and then on with the visa appt.

We had the chance to go and have lunch and we tried to lay Kristina down for a little nap, she fought us..of course since she hadn’t see us in two days!  UGH!!  So we got up and decided to walk to the US Embassy.  We thought she might fall asleep in the horrible stroller we bought!!  She did not, but we got the exercise.  It only took us about 25 mins.  The apt was for 2pm, and we got there at 1:30pm.  Waiting was a little nerve racking…then we were allowed in.  Our turn came, but not until 2:40pm.  Door 8 was where we were told to go.  The man inside was not happy to see Kristina.  He said that the child is not present during the first visit.  Okay, news to me.  We brought all the paperwork and then he told us that there is a problem with the paperwork.  And there was only two things that were an issue and he had to consult with his colleague. We waited for 1.5 hours.  Kristina had only one flare up of being crabby and one poopy diaper.  We sang, read books, talked and we were quite calm.  Then his colleague came and started talking to us about those 2 issues.  We tried to understand about the issues, and tried to explain and clarify things.  She said she agreed with us, but had to check with Washington.  As in, Washington D.C.  My heart sank and I was scared.  I felt like a criminal..and I was an American citizen!  And later hubby said the same thing to me!  She said they would call us and let us know what Washington said.  Well, I asked her what if they said “no”?  And she said well then one of you would have to stay here for 2 years.  She then said, we have to wait and she would send the email right away.

Are you still with me?  Hubby and I were so upset…many emotions.  Anger, that we had a problem. Horror about the fact we could be separated.  Disbelief that we had issues with the visa.  Sadness, about the whole thing,  then having to wait until the next day to find out. 

Defeat seemed to loom at every step we took!  Having faith was what we needed most..and it was hard to bring it to the surface!  Fear really shook us.  Minutes and minutes went by before we shook everything off!  We walked home and relieved some emotion.  I made something to eat, don’t even remember what I fixed.  Oh, yeah, something that Kristina wouldn’t eat.  She played for awhile, then had her beloved bath and went off to bed.  Not happy at all!!!  Hubby and I were still struggling not to let Satan get in our way.  He was pushing us with all of his strength!  And we were pushing back.  Praying was being done and the struggles were tough.  It was like, leave us alone..and God would you bring us this far to not let it happen now?  Maybe, I am meant to stay here to be a light shining for Jesus.  I was afraid, and really don’t want to be without my husband!!  Especially, because we are new parents of a beautiful, lively, little girl with the biggest brown eyes you ever did see!!  

We went to bed praying and praying thru the night!!  Our God reigns!!  Things will be the way they should be and the way God wants them to be, no matter what!!

I added gotcha day on as well...adoption is not for the weary or faint at heart!!!  We clung to God and knowing that we trusted him completely for the outcome.  No matter what!!  I asked God if I could please become a mother...but I didn't put a time limit on it, like I wanted to be a mother for fifty years...  So if I was only a mother for a short time, then I was thankful for him answering my prayer in the first place.  Understand?  More to come later....  A long fight!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Way Behind...

Sorry, things have been so crazy here!  We are trying to get into a groove since school let out.  Like getting all the ants out of their pants!  Now we are pretty much over that!  I missed her gotcha day on Thursday...and I will post about that.  Today happens to be her America day as we call it.  The day she flew in and became an American citizen!  That's for another day!

This is from the weekend we got her before she was ours!

(Can't get the pics to go with the paragraphs!!  Sorry!!!)

We woke up to a giggling little girl!!  She was so happy to see us!!  We all cuddled in bed before we got up.  Mommy made breakfast...all of us still in our pj's!  Then we got ready for a walk...we walked a short walk about 15 blocks, Kristina just wasn't in the mood.  She came home and played with her toys.  She loves cupboards!!  Thankfully this apt has many on her level.  So she is in 7th heaven!

We did her treatments...mommy was working on laundry and tata (Serbian for daddy) was the busy go between!  He took out the garbage!!  Wahoo!!  ;)  Just kidding, tata works hard!!  I was the busy little housewife and mother.  I cleaned and did laundry. I know how to do laundry now!!  WAHOOOOOO  We have a vacuum for the floors and I had the windows open for the outside laundry smell!

Tata got out the little DVD player to see how she would like it..we hoped a lot since we wanted to have it as a distraction on the plane.  I even got out the headphones for her.  Her favorite spot is her tata's lap!  She was sprawled out in his lap with her hands on her checks watching Little Bear.  And her tata watched it without the sound.  I did the email catching up and enjoyed the time...

Nap time was a breeze!!  She went off cheerfully to take a nap!  She slept and mama and tata watched the movie The Terminal with Tom Hanks!!  Awesome movie!!  Then Kristina woke up changed her, gave her a snack, and went for another walk..about the same as before.  We did not carry her as much as she wanted..She needs the exercise as much as we do!!

After we got home...she played and tata and mommy started supper.  We wanted to have Sunday night pizza night, as Dan's parent's had done.  You should have seen the pizza I made.  We bought this, what I thought was pizza like sauce...seasoned.  Well, it was like ketchup..regular old ketchup!  What a disappointment!!  Anyway, I bought pizza cheese thanks to a woman before me at the meat counter, because she asked for it first.  We had this, I don't know...kinda a cross between a hot dog and pepperoni.  So, I cut the bread  (oh, the bread!!  it is delicious) like having french bread pizza.  It was actually very good.  Well, our little Kristina still does not really like chunky, mommy had rice left over and she added some milk, that hot doggie cut in micro peices, and added the pizza cheese.  Oh and I added some green beans!  She loved her meal!!  She ate like 1 1/2 bowls full.  The happiness on her face was priceless!!

Kristina played a little with this little doll and she was taking care of her.  Then it was her bath time!  My gosh, you would have thought we offered her the moon.  She got in and started playing with her toys.  I always wash her first...then she has the rest of the time to play and won't be interrupted.  But, we did bother her, I took pictures and we were talking to her.  We got her to say hello...she waved and was soooo cute.  It's a whirlpool tub and her little head is the only thing you have to see her!  She played for a long time...then we said time to get out and she went right to tata and mommy got her ready for bed. After she played with tata and then got some lovin's from mama then she went of to bed..

She went off to bed just fine but she got a little noisy before she finally fell asleep.  When we went to make sure she was sleeping we noticed that she had wrapped her babo (baby doll) in a burp rag...Oh, was that to die for!!  That is my baby taking care of her baby!!  :)  So as a gramma of a babo, I was so proud!!

We wanted to watch another this cable has MUCH to be desired!!  Oh, man.ick!!  The movie was a Hallmark, The Love Letter.  Very good, my husband's favorite and it is a chick flick..but it is quite good!!  We both fell asleep!  UGH!!  Parenting is ????, but it makes you tired!  I can't believe the rest of you with multiple kids!  Some day, that will be us...but wow... when you have kids...such a different life!  And mine's a girl!  So like me...can't believe it!!  But, she actually has some of her tata's traits as well!

God, is such an AWESOME God...I know I have said that before!!  But, every little detail!!  She even picks and moves things with her feet!  Same as her mother (me)!!  My husband freaked!!  She loves to primp in the mirror!  We have a mirror door on the wardwrobe/closet that is about 3 feet wide by 12ish tall!  She is a girly girl..but can also get dirty!!  She is fascinated with the kitchen...I know this is all new to her..She is adorable!  Oh, LOVES lipstick!!  Mommy has a fetish with that too.  I brought several shades!  She has worn 2.  And best of all, she has a shoe fetish as well!!  :)

That was the end of day 15..a pretty much perfect Sunday.  We missed going to church!!  And I wished I didn't have to do laundry, as we try really hard not to work on Sunday's.  But, I was ill on day 14, so day 15 was the day.  It really was a beautiful day!

 Here is the day we had to bring her back to the orphanage after our weekend with her!

We woke up to little Miss Kristina giggling, and it was soo cool!  She came and snuggled again.  She had breakfast again in her pj's !  She got ready..while mom took forever!  I don't know if she understood what was happening.  I think she thought she going for a walk.

Anyway, I packed a couple of outfits for her.  She tried to help me.  She took everything out of her drawers and put them on our bed..  It was so cute!!

She was so excited to be going for a car ride.  When we got to the orphanage, she was a little hesitant about going in.  And would you believe that the NURSE was working! UGH!  We saw her favorite nurse and Kristina was happy to see them and her room!  Which was good as she has to be there for the next two days.  Tomorrow we go to get her birth certificate.  It's about 2 hours away.

Anyway, we saw our facilitator in a flash, she wanted us to make an appt for Kristina's visa.  So we went to the US Embassy. Okay, I was THRILLED to death to see the American flag!!  But, surprised that the guards did not speak English.  We went in and went thru the security stuff.  Then we went down the stairs and were told that we would told we would be called by name.  We waited for 20 minutes...I think we were the only American's in there, or so it seemed.

Well, we talked to the man at the window...nice man!  I was a little nervous..don't  tell Dan. He said he would be right back..he came back with our, paperwork stuff.  Freaky, that they could pull that within minutes of us going to the window.  He explained the paperwork and such.    And the cost of the visa is $380.00 USD.  I thought it was $350.00, but whatever.  He checked our pictures that we had for her and he said they were just fine.  We told him that we get her new birth certificate tomorrow.  And we made the apt for Wed at 2pm.  Scary, I know that God is in this...but it is kinda like WOW!  Were bringing a kid home to America!!  Okay, you all have to remember that she is our first!!

The time came to leave that building...I asked about calling a taxi as we do not have a cell phone.  We were told to just hail one off the street.  Okay, I was chicken!!  I asked Dan, what if we walk?  There was a policeman, and I asked if he spoke English, and he laughed.  And we started walking...we walked down the street that was bombed in 1999, by NATO.  (Thanks Dan for that info)  The walk was so easy..we walked passed the Mc Donald's and on to our apt!  And we went not knowing where we were going...just looking at tall buildings that we see from our street.

We have come a LONG way from the first Sunday we were here.  Literally, scared to death to walk past the opening of our building.  We can go anywhere, I think, but please don't make me hail a cab.  I think I would die!!

So, we made it home..needed to exchange money for the trip and for our lawyer.  We always exchange at the Bank of Greece which is down the street.  The same guys are there every time.  And we chat of course while they do the transaction.  Today I told him that this is the last week he is going to see us.  And he asked why..and I told him that we were going back to the States.  He asked us if we would miss Serbia, and I explained the things that we would miss.  The stores closing early and not open on Sunday.  The laid back lifestyle....except for the cars!!  Oh, my goodness...I have nearly died millions of times riding in them.  Mom, you'd have died the very first trip!!  And the fresh produce.  This trip made me think about what is really important.  It doesn't matter where you live, what you have, what you have achieved..but your faith in God and your family!!  Living with God is without a doubt something I missed here!!  Nobody that I have talked to talks about God!!  Boy...that was sad to me...but I did not hesitate to talk about God, as He is the reason we got here!!  Maybe someone will try to find out more...because I said something to them.  And when God asks me about Serbia..I can tell Him that He was there and people knew that I loved Him and was not afraid to show it!

The young man at the bank said he would miss us!  He was so cute.  I told him about the story of getting off the plane without any numbers or anything.  He laughed.  I told Dan when we left, that we have really made some kind of impressions on Serbia!!  :)  The Pekabeta was our next trip...we needed a few things.  Sometimes the things you need, they are not always then you need to make several trips in a week, or walk to another little store.  Most of what we needed was on our list.  This lunchmeat was to die was so good.  I also got our old stand-by mortadella!  :)  The bread!!  And of course we could not resist the CHOCOLATE that we love.  It was Dan who could not resist it!!  But, mom I bought those marshmellow on top of a cookie covered with chocolate.  Kinda like the ones the Easter Bunny put in our baskets!  :)

Lunch was kinda on the go for us as we were in  a hurry to get back to Kristina.  She had NOT taken a nap.  Later she got crabby! nap=crabby!!  She played on the swings..and I asked if Jovan  could go outside.  He is on the same floor as Kristina in about the opposite corner.  The nurse said yes, and put socks on him, and away we went.  We have seen him scoot across the floor and also make his way around in a walker.  It was such a beautiful day out, I couldn't help myself!  Kristina didn't mind.  I put him in the swing next to her.  She laughed and said his name.  He wanted out of the swing so I let him slide down a few slides then put him on the ground.  Kristina was swinging and playing with her babo.

Jovan rolled around the ground and laughed..more like a soft high whisper.  He does not talk..but he has a bright spirit!  He scooted around the ground..he was outside for a little over an hour.  We went in to do her "mask" as we call it.  I gave Jovan back to a nurse..then went to help Kristina with the mask.  After her treatment we went into her room to play, and guess who came scooting down the hall?  Yup, that would be Jovan!  He came into her room and just giggled with his high pitched whisper.  Kristina was playing with her babo.  Jovan and Kristina were interacting..which I thought was a blessing..cuz they both need child interaction.  Anyway, Jovan got up into a toddler bed..and wanted to look out a window..I had showed him outside several days earlier..anyway I picked him up and we were looking out the window and Kristina wanted up too.  She and Jovan laughed and looked out the window.  We waved to the workers outside.  And Kristina tried to pick up the "baby".  I laughed..then Kristina wanted to go out of course..and I stood there with Jovan..he was so happy!  Then I started to sing to him..he melted in my arms!  I don't sing well at all..but God gave me a voice that reached Jovan..  I sang Jesus Loves Me and a couple of other kids songs.  I prayed hard for Jovan..I asked God to help his spirit and him from a horrible life that he could have.  I told Jovan in his ear that Jesus loved him and God made him for a reason, we don't know why...but for some reason and he was loved!!  He was so peaceful.  He has a little excited wild side as well!!  Loves glasses..He does not speak..but he has a strong spirit and grip!!  With a just a little love and the right help he would be perfect..even with his limb difference!!  Please pray for him..I just feel that everyone needs to pray for him!!  Pray for his spirit, and his life, that God would spare it from the hell he will have to go to if no one takes him as a son!  I know they all need homes..but please pray for him!  I feel a burden!

I gave Kristina a bath and we had to hurry as it was thundering and lightening all know what happened the last time it taxi!!  But, this was going to be a big rain!!  So we got a taxi by the hair in our chinny chin chins!! The street was flooded when we got out!  It continued to rain for hours!!  I made supper!  The best hamburger I have ever tasted, and not really any grease!!  Then I have tried to straighten up her toys and her clothes that she had taken out.  Then spent lots of time online!  It is late and 5am is coming fast!  Hope everyone and there families are well!!  See ya for day 17 and the birth certificate!  :)  Yippeee!!

Exciting wasn't it?  Re-reading it, I can remember those days like they were yesterday!  So, now I have to tell the story of her adoption day...and that will be another day, as there is a wonderful thunderstorm starting now and I want to get off the computer!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Here is how the day meeting Kristina's mother went.  I had thought about that moment for a long time and what it took to meet us and know that her daughter was leaving Serbia forever with her future unknown.  Wow, bring tears to my eyes just thinking about it!!  Now on to our day so long ago.

We got up early and got ready to go and meet Kristina's mother.  I had thought about what I had wanted to say for months and months!!  Decided to just let the morning play out.

When we got to the orphanage, her mother was already outside with her.  My heart leaped for a spit second..then I had the most beautiful peace!!  I was glad!  God really held my heart in his hand!! Oh, we said hi and she tried to get Kristina to go to her new mommy.  Kristina didn't want to leave her mother's arms!  Okay, at that moment..I was sad.  In that split second, I thought what if her mother changed her mind?

We went in the orphange and told some of the nurses that we wanted to give her mother time alone with Kristina for a memory!  I thought that she would like that!  Then our facilitator came down and we all walked outside for formal introductions.  We chatted with her mother with our facilitator as the go between.  Well, I was very peaceful, then our facilitator started to tear up!  I told her that she was supposed to be the strong one!  So..we had a nice chuckle and it lifted the air to higher ground!

Her mother wanted to take Kristina to get her picture our facilitator had one of Kristina's PT's go with.  Dan and I stayed behind.  Our facilitator went to go get the last fax needed for Kristina to come with us for the weekend.  We had already gotten verbal permission...just needed that blasted signature!  UGH!!  Well we got it, so we could for sure take her for the weekend!  YAH!!! more twice a day visits..and the watchful eyes of some of the nurses for two days.

But, our facilitator kinda put a damper on things by saying that they still did not know where the minister was.  He was so busy and that we are his first adoption.  I thought to myself..boy, I hope we get it before our plane tickets say we can go home.

Well, we took pictures..and I gave her our gifts.  I gave her mother a pink photo album.. And a butterfly necklace.  To me it symbolized the fact that she was setting Kristina free to be healthy and we also decorated her room with butterflies!  Her mother was touched!  And I also told her that I have one and when Kristina was old enough to understand..she will get one too.  I am glad that she was happy, I think that day was a good memory for her.  I watched her walk down the driveway and around the corner..until I couldn't see her anymore.  That is a  memory I will never forget.  At that moment our lives changed forever!

Dan and I were now getting excited to get on with getting her "home" with us. Kristina knew something was going on as well...she wouldn't eat her lunch...  And then Dan and Kristina went for a swing...can you believe it.  They were just ansty to go.  Well, we got her meds together..I knew about problem.  The nurses got some stuff ready for Kristina..her favorite shoes, and a bunch of other things...I tried to tell them that it was okay...we didn't need them..but they insisted.  So, that was an awesome blessing..because the things I had brought were too big for her.. Even the white sandels are too big...that is what socks are for right?

Anyway back to the story...while the nurses were getting her meds and stuff together our facilitator came out of nowhere and said the papers had been signed.  I said what?  She said the papers had been signed, Kristina is yours..the minister was found and he just now signed the paper.  I said what?  She said Kristina was ours forever.  I said what? and I said what? again.  And she said if I asked what one more time she didn't know what she was going to do. I couldn't believe it..I shed a few tear..because I was in such shock...But God knows me..very well.  He's my kinda guy!  Cool to the last detail!  She was coming "home" and she was ours...really ours!!  That is the most perfect way I would have liked it to happen!  Again God is so good to me!!

Well, they called a taxi for us, and we loaded up and drove away to "home"..Tata is front seat, mama and Kristina and stuff in backseat.  She was so excited, she loves car rides!  Well, we got to the apt and we unloaded the taxi and walked to the door of the building.  She did not seemed to get scared at all.  We walked up the 7 stairs to the apt. and Dan opened the door and she went right in.  The toys came out only after a few minutes and all over the floor and coffee table they went.  She acted like she had been her a long time!  We played for awhile..ate lunch and we tried to lay her down..that was not going to happen.  So after about an hour and a smidge we got her up and changed her and then we went for a walk.

Now, mind stroller a very excited, kinda sleepy, and sweaty girl =hot parents!  We carried her off and  went on an excursion to look for a stroller and I knew the Chicco store (a store that sold kids things) was close by, but could not see it or find it!  UGH!!!!  We walked death!!  And boy were we sweaty!!  ICK!!  So we were kinda like floppy wet family!  :)  Then we washed up and I made supper.  We had fish sticks and potatoes, with yellow beans.  And of course, mommy smashed it together for Kristina.  And mommy put it in a regular bowl.  Her face lit up like a lightbulb!!  She giggled!!  And then she ate everything up!!  She played after supper...

Bedtime was let us say...difficult.  But she eventually fell asleep.  Tried the "Super Nanny" tricks of putting her to bed each time she got out without saying a word to her... It only..took 3 times,  Mom and tata suceeded.  She woke up very happy!!  So that was very good!

So that is the story of how we became three!!!

Now, after all of these years, I still remember watching her mother go...still has has a tender spot in my heart!!  And I think about her OFTEN!!!!  Wish she could see Kristina now!  What a beautiful little girl she is.  Tender and sweet!

Oh, the first day full day Kristina was with us I was flu like sick!  But Kristina still played with me and her Tata!!  It was a great day in spite of me being sick!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A few days later...

Sorry, I haven't kept up with the days.  We (my mom and I) had a trial garage sale on Saturday.  The "real" on is this Thursday and Friday as it the city wide garage sale days.  Okay, let me just say...OH MY GOODNESS, the work we did!!!  But, while we were setting up I made a huge sale...and then more the next day.  I kept telling God that I didn't want to be greedy...and he knows what our needs are so I will just go with the flow.  But did I say how much work they are?  But since we got most of it should be better this coming week.

So the days we missed...let's just start with Srecko one year ago.  June 3rd was the day we were able to go to Srecko's school and watch the last day of school program.  He was so excited!  I posted video of him a few posts back.  To meet his teacher and see where he spent a little part of his day was priceless!  I was so overcome with so many emotions...okay, should I be totally honest?  Here goes...when I went into the school I was afraid that he would miss so much of his life that he would always wish he was back doing what he had been doing for the last seven years.  In spite of his life in the orphanage he was a happy boy, easy going (for the most part) and very lovable!!  Afraid that as a mom I would not meet his expectations...afraid he wouldn't like me.  Then there was the other side of the coin, the mother who was so happy that her new son could show her a part of his life that was important to him.  To meet people he loved and would miss! (He still talks about many people even a year later)  And then the proud mama that watched her son sing his little heart out!  To watch him in what was probably the best thing to happen to him in a long time...he was beaming light a ray of light!  I had tears in my eyes as I watched him and so proud of him for working hard at singing.  That was awesome!

I have lots of video that I took of that performance!!  Something that I have watched off and on this past year...wondering what Srecko might think if/when I show it to him.  Memories...what can I say!

Now on to Kristina and FIVE years ago. (it does NOT feel like five years has gone by)  I skipped the last two days because nothing big happened...I am off somewhere...I'll combine days now after this one...

I shall just start this by saying GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!!
 Got your attention?

Okay..we got up early to walk to the Pekabeta to get some bread (yum) to make sandwich's for lunch.  We planned to stay at the orphanage especially if the NURSE was know which one! (The one who was ALWAYS crabby with us and wouldn't let me do anything for Kristina)

Anyway, when we got back from the store...we got a buzz at the door and it freaked us out.  There was a man from Beorent (our apartment rental place)...he brought us 5 bags of stuff!!  It was like Christmas!!!  We got pans and towels and laundry soap, storage containers, tea, coffee, sugar, oil, grater..jello molds, strainer, and dish rags...oh and a Belgian waffle maker!  It took our breath away.  We just wanted a bowl..oh, which we got too.  And a bigger pan and some towels...we did not ask for the rest.  But, let me tell you..I feel like I can give to the world with all the gratitude we feel!!  My goodness!!  God was way to good to us!!  Spoiled!!

We got to the orphanage in a cloud!!  The feeling of greatfulness, and in awe of God!!  Our baby was excited to see us!  She was playing with her tea set.  Well, of course we went out to the swings.  Then I wanted to ask a nurse about Kristina's meds.   I ran into our facilitator and she told everybody was ready for the adoption, except they needed the minister's signature.  UGH!!  He is a new minister, and we would be his first adoption. so no one is really pushing him.

Our facilitator said she would try to talk to Kristina's Center and whomever else she needed to find out if  we could take Kristina for the weekend...  She came down later and said "well they would let us have her for the weekend, but they would need our passports, if that was okay"  We said "no problem"!! And we asked if they would need anything else.

We played a little more in her room, feeding  her babo's and tickling her!  Kristina's favorite nurse came by and started hugging and kissing her..can you all guess what I did?  If you guessed are correct!

It is so hard for me, especially to see the nurses that love her!!  She has had more care and love, then most of the other children.  So my heart hurt very much!!!

We did her treatments...I did both...we played in her room and outside.  She ate lunch and we went home. We ate our sandwich's and then walked up to the Lilly...for I forgot what.  Anyway, we walked thru a market!  Interesting, and can't wait to go back and by some veggies and some chicken!!  Wahoo!!

We went back to the orphanage and she was still sleeping!  That was good!  Hubby and I chatted about this weekend with our daughter and how weird that is!!  We also meet Kristina's mother tomorrow!  I am a bit overwhelmed..and will have so many emotions!!
Kristina woke up and has a stinky diaper...whaoooo  We then went out side and played, being told where to stand and sit by her.  Pretty bossy!!!  :)  Hubby and I were still stunned!!  She had her snack, and let me tell you her tea drinking days are over!!  What is the nutritional value of tea?

I am tired I will finish day 12 in the morning!!  Sorry, I can hardly see the screen!  Keep making mistakes.   It worth it though!!

I am sorry, I had almost finished typing day 12, then it disappeared!  I was very discouraged, and just quit!  My loving..husband told me to finish it, as it was a memory of our trip and our daughter...UGH

I have to think...oh, yeah..after Kristina had lunch, we went home to go exploring before Kristina came for the weekend.  We walked up to the market about 6 blocks from our front door.  Wow, what an experience!  So many stands of just stuff and then the fruit and veggie stands.  We were just scoping the place out to see what there was to see.

We went back to the orphanage and got her up and went outside to play!  We had a good time, playing on lots of things!!  She had her snack and her treatments, which I did!!  No more nurses for my daughter!!!  :)  Then we went back outside before dinner, and Kristina, the daughter we had only know 10 days went down the slide completely by herself!!  When we first arrived to see her, she could hardly walk to the swings..remember when I thought she had an inner ear issue?

Well, she needed plain old fashioned fun!!  No electric entertainment, nothing!!  Fresh air!  No smoke!!  Just absolutely God blessed weather for the our family!  I can't tell you that the blessings that we have had, with the weather and the taxi company finally knowing and understanding where we were and where we wanted to go!!  Sounds like not a big deal to some...but the rest of you know!  I think!!  :)

After Kristina had her supper, we went home and waited to eat supper later.  We walked down to the end of the street and turned right...walked down about six blocks, then I have NO clue!  We were looking for children's things.. Found some, and oh my, not at the prices we saw.  They were like boutiqes!  No places like Target or we walked, and walked and walked some more!  We walked for 3 hours and a smidge.  We did not buy a thing!  And, I am pretty good at knowing the conversion rate!  :)

So, when we were walking home we were not 100% sure of the street we turned down to get to out street.  I was past dark!!  We hurried as fast as we could without looking scared out of our minds!  I was more out of mine then hubby was!!  We made it home, it was very late.  My husband thought of Mc Don's..but I said are you crazy!!??  It was dark and that was another 6ish blocks in the other direction!  No way!!  So, I ended up making these wonderful deli like sandwiches!!  Yum!!

Then it was much too late to communicate with all of you!!  Sorry!

Well, we had a busy day..and our feet got walkin' all over town!  :)  We were very proud of ourselves for walking!!  And not dying!!  :)

Now, even five years later I remember that day like it just happened!!  Wow, memories!  Wait until tomorrow, and I will blog tomorrow about meeting Kristina's mother and a couple of days after...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Through A Child's Eyes...

Today was the last day of school for our kids.  YAH!  So glad for many reasons!  But today on the way home something happened...wait I will back up a second.  Today I was moving things around to get ready for a garage sale I am having on Saturday.  (I have already sold stuff and I am just setting up!)  Anyway, I found my grandmother's walker...and it had a tie on it that she used to use to pull herself up on to stand.  I cried and held it to my face like she was touching even had her smell.  Makes me tear up just thinking about it!

Well on the way home from school we past by a nursing home and Srecko said "I saw Buni".  (that is what we called her because my brother could not say grandmother in Ukrainian and shortened the word!)  Then I said "sweetie that was maybe someone's grandmother, not Buni because she is living with Jesus now".  Then Jovan says "she needs to come home, she has been gone a long time and I miss her!"  I said "me too"!

I don't know for sure if my kids understand the concept of heaven...but this I do know-I believe God has given my kids a peaceful understanding of what we are trying to teach them.  Jovan is VERY his mommy, bless his heart!  He is very compassionate...Srecko is very matter of fact, it needs to make sense and add up.  But he is very thoughtful!  Kristina is just quiet...but she will add her opinion in when she thinks it fits.

Someday I hope they understand more about heaven, truly know and understand God and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!  In the Bible John chapter 14 verse 6 says- Jesus answered "I am the way truth and life. No one comes through the Father except through me."  Chapter 14 talks about Jesus preparing a place in heaven if you know God...his house has many rooms.  We had a picture hanging in our dining room when I was growing up of a table that looked like it went on forever and ever.  Gold, white and light blue were the colors...very regal looking!  It was a table like it was made for heaven and that Jesus would sit at.  I always looked at that picture and wondered where at the  table I would be sitting at and what my room would look like when I go to heaven.

I need to go and care for Kristina...this is the second night in a row that she is suffering with her CF.  Coughing ALL the time...tears rolling down her face because she is with tears because I can not stand to see her this way and she is SO tired...she had a very late night last night...Oh God help her, give me the wisdom to know the right thing to do...PLEASE!!  Thank you God that you have allowed me to be her mama for five years, I am very blessed and thank you too for hearing my prayers!  And others who are praying for her as well!
An Eventful Day!!...

I went back and read what we did five years ago.  Fun to go back and have something to remember the day by!!  The adapter was a BIG our rope to the outside world!  A little drama, but it was true...I had never been really out anywhere in my life, let alone fly 5000 miles away!!!  We survived!!  And wait until read what happened...

We got up very early as she had to go to her doctor for a check-up.  The jackets had to come on as it was windy and cooler!!  YEAH!!  Kristina loved her jacket that we brought for her!  And later did not want to take it off!  Our facilitator, a nurse that Kristina calls BaBa went with us as to the doctor's office.

It was a little ways away..seemed like 20 minutes.  MaMa (that's me!) was looking for a place to shop.  I think that I was having a Target or Wal-Mart withdrawl!!  And Tanya...a Kohl's one
as well!!

When we got there we climbed to the second floor..3 flights of one floor.  Kristina was kinda tired.. Then walked into a room that had about 6 nurses and one doctor looking at us!  Talk about intimidating!!!!  My goodness!!!  Both for her and us as well!!  The doctor spoke English!  Yeah for us!  He said that they were so happy that she would have a better future with us than here in Belgrade.  It made me emotional...can you believe it!  :)  His boss is the doctor that knows Dr McNamera personally.  Dr M  is VERY involved with CF and will be Kristina's doctor here in Minnesota.  The hospital where she will be, is accredited with the CF foundation!  God is very good to us!!

The swings were calling Kristina and she and her papa went out to play.  Our facilitator then brought Jovan (deformities with legs) out to me.  Oh, my goodness!!  What a cutie pie!!  He snuggled up to me, it made the nurses laugh..  He is adorable, but needs parents as they all do!!  He has a perfectly formed spine, although he has a few vertabrae that are not perfect. Spinal cord and neurologically he is fine.  He has the "institutional delay syndrome"!!!  But, cute as a button!!  Dan got to hold him too!!  He is on the same floor with Kristina...sad room he is in!!  Wait, Jovan was the little boy that was in a walker one day last week when we were there.  I didn't recognize he was at my knee level and not in my arms.  (This part is now, looking back five years later...who knew that holding him that day would start something, like a flower starting to bloom!  There is more days later about our little Jovan)

Then she had her treatments...then lunch.  Spanish rice kinda stuff.  She ate it, which surprised me.  It smelled spicey!  But, we were glad as we sometimes just make spanish rice with hamburger in it!  Yeah, one meal down!!  :)  After she ate we kissed her and said "Ciao".

We went home to eat and Dan went to find a store that might have had an adapter.  I made tuna sandwiches...interesting as we do not have Miracle whip....but they were not bad!  And we had peaches!!!  YUM!!!  Dan did not find an adapter..but was not going to give up!

To our surprise, my sister called!!  I had emailed my mother the phone number that our apartment manager helped me with..then my mom called.  Of course, I cried!!  Normally, I am not quite as emotional..maybe..but come's my mom!  :)  We chatted then we went off to see our daughter!

When we got there she was still sleeping..Yeah, as she had fallen asleep just about an hour before.  We sat and rested, waiting for her to wake up.  Dan went for a walk and I chatted with the nurses a bit.  The one we have trouble with was working.  She gives us no leway in what we do!  UGH!!  Anyway, I had just checked on her, and she was still in the same position she had been in about 1/2 ago that we had seen her.  Well, not more then 5 mins later she comes walking out half dazed!!  And she had on her 2 diapers.  She must have gone in and gotten her the other nurses let her wake up on her own and let us take care of her.  As we will be forever..but soon, so soon...she will be done!!  And God is really good as she does not work to often.  If she is working tomorrow we will not leave during her nap!

Anyway, we had our little snack in the little foyer..she looked so excited to sit there, and we were having a good time as a family.  So guess who comes out saying no no no..Kristina looked stunned.  She shooed us in the kitchen to take her pills.  UGH.  To make a long story short..she was on our case the rest of the afternoon.  We played and had a good time.  The day seemed long as Dan and I are tired.  We left a little earlier then we have in the past.  We had been leaving as late as 7pm..I know that being a parent, you can never "leave" early.  But as I explained to my husband...I would have been in my own home and it would be on my terms!

So, with supper made from the night before...I multi tasked..yeah!!  Better attitude you see!!  Anyway, I was determined to make that adapter work.  I was sure that God had given us such patience to deal with it.  Anyway, when we finished eating we had someone from our apartment rental office come to our door with the instructions to the washer and the dishwasher!!  I was so excited.  Mind you it took some time to figure it out.  Oh, the adapter..I got it to sit just right and it worked.  But we were afraid of having it go all night to charge the computer.  So, we were watching tv and I was emailing with the battery I had..then we get another bell.  It was yet another person from our apartment rental place, he had come to save the day!!  He gave us an adapter!!!!  Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So, now that it is VERY late..we have clean laundry and power!

Now one year ago we didn't do anything special with Srecko.  Just visited him twice that day and blew bubbles!  He was CRAZY for bubbles!!!!!  It became an obsession with the swings were an obsession with Kristina!  Guess what?  Those are still their MOST favorite things to do.  Bubble and swinging!!  But, you know that I am so thankful that they are able to choose what they want to do and just do it!  Of course with in reason!  And I learned how to make homemade bubbles so we will be all set this summer break!!  And swinging...we got that covered too!  Thank you God for my children!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Here is our big news from last year.  Not too many people knew we were flying on a jet plane to become parents once again!  It took a long time with many bumps in the road, but through God's grace we made it!  I had so many feelings that day!  (And I was still nauseated!!!)

Our meeting with the adoption officials went really well.  This adoption we had GREAT people from COCI (Cherish Our Children International) helping us this trip!  It was wonderful to be able to do what we could on our own, and be able to also have people to help out when we needed it!  From getting a pain reliever for my knee to BIG help with Srecko's passport!

Now five years ago we didn't do much other then visit Kristina.  We really never went anywhere...think I was most scared of getting lost or something.  But with adoptions number 2 and 3 we went all over the place!  It was great, lots of pictures and little shopping trips!  Okay, mostly shoes!  Just kidding!

I have to go take care of our sick little girl.  She is home today again...sounding horrible, but I spoke to the clinic yesterday and we have a plan of care for her!  So maybe in the next day or two she will be feeling much better!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Today, one year ago and five years ago...

Today my beautiful daughter is home sick!  She is miserable!!  And she only has two days of school left...don't know if she going to make it!!  Poor baby!!

One year ago today we landed in Belgrade, Serbia to adopt our third child.  Other then being SO nauseated the whole trip it was uneventful!!  I made sure I had those little tiny bags right in front of me!  We paid for the upgrade in seats to be more comfortable!!  Worth every penny!  But first class looked nice too!  Maybe next time?  Yeah right, one ticket in first class is one adoption I am sure!

We had rented an apartment closer to the orphanage...the closest we have ever been.  But let's just say not the nicest...comfort or close?  Close is what we picked.  And for that we were happy!

Now onto five years ago.  Our converter went crazy and didn't work for a here goes the next day.

I am back!!  Anybody miss me?  God is so AWESOME!!!!  I spent a little time jiggling the adapter..and it worked!!  Oh, how it feels so good to have a God that cares about the littlest details!!  WOW

Anyway on to day 10....
We got up and got our stuff ready to take to the orphanage.  The bag of clothes for the kids, Kristina's neubulizer, and the bag of stuff we take everyday!  Oh, I was hoping we were not going to have to walk!!  :)  When I called the taxi they knew where we lived..I finally said it right!!  I think!!  Yeah!!

We were sent to get Kristina passport and visa pictures.  I couldn't believe it!!  Dan was shocked when I went outside to tell him!  Of course, he was out with Kristina and the swing.  :)

Then we went for a little all know it and the rest of you will!  :)  I worked hard not to cry!! (some of you know how emotional I am)   She fell on the way there and got a scraped knee!!  :( We went with her favorite PT.  We got to the photo shop and she got her picture taken... she usually smiles, but this time NO!!  The fruit and veggie stand was we got a few things while we waited for the pictures.  The walk to the orphanage was just fine. We did her normal routine, but during that time she got 2 shots.  OW!!  I walked out and told my husband to stand with her.  The nurses held her down..then she was crying out for I came back in and she ran to me when she was done!!  I teared up with her!  If you can believe it!!  Then we went on with the usual neubs and then the pounding. Oh, and of course the swinging!

After she had eaten we said good-bye and went home to figure out the did not work!!  Oh, how I prayed for it to work!!  Stupid thing!!   I felt like my heart was ripped out again!!  Like we were losing touch with mankind!!  (can you tell we don't get out much!) My husband was not as emotional as I was!!  :(  Oh, it was tough...but we said we would do what we could do..then see what would happen.

The trip back to the orphanage was uneventful.  Then we got there, she was still sleeping!!  Yahoo!!  That meant that she was finally sleeping!!  So, maybe she was relaxing into a routine.  She woke up and changed her and then went out to the swings!  Of course!  Then we made her walk around the playground..distracting her...We try to get her off the swings to do other things!!  We want to see what she can do and what she likes.  I do have to say that her balance is soo much better then it was when we first met her.  She likes to go to the swings and pretend that there are babies in them.  So, we played on the playground, not just the swings as a family.  She had her treatments and then Dan played blocks with her...something different.

By then it was time to give her a bath, which she loves to peices!!  I can't wait to see her in a big tub!  Right now the tub she is in looks like a minature claw foot tub like a doll would sit in.  Probably 3' long, by 2' wide and deep.  She is so cute!!   After her bath she had supper and we went home.

We tried the such luck...but a little later I found out if you hold it a certain have power.  We used my curling iron as a sacrifice, as it is cheaper then a laptop!  hee hee  I hurried with what power we had left in the computer to email my mom to call us!  We were so needing to visit with my mom!!  I thought I had the correct numbers, I didn't!!  So we went to bed very disappointed!!!

I am close to my mom, and missed her like crazy!  We talked several times...and that was before I knew how GREAT Skype is!!

So, one year ago we landed in Serbia to adopt number three and five years ago we spent the day with our daughter...kinda cool!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Catching up...

 The swing!!  That was the important activity!!!

 The sandbox was also something she liked to do!  Very sweaty that day!

 Kicking the ball around one day was so exciting!!

 Oh, after being all sweaty she had to put on lipstick to look good!

 Playing with mommy down the slide and not being afraid anymore!

My favorite picture..or one of them!  This was right after I had given her a bath in her room!

Let's see for the last several days what you all have missed...well I should say back five years ago.  I will edit  and shorten what I put in a journal back then!

We got to the orphanage and she was still sleeping.  She is so precious!!  To wake her up we kissed her and whispered her name.  She reached up to me and said mama.  Then she reached over to Dan.  She sometimes calls him mama instead of tata.  She is learning.  She had her snack...then we dressed her and took her outside.  (They dress them in pj's for their naps.)

Then we went to the swing of course!!  We brought her a 'Sippy Cup") that has a straw in it.  She loved it!!  We refilled it and she was thrilled.  We walked around then we went over to the sand box.  Then we went for her pounding (that is what I called it before I knew the name)  and her neubulizer treatment.  I tried to do it again..but this guy said I was not doing it right, so he finished.

The trip back outside was uneventful...went swinging and played in the sandbox.  She rummaged thru my purse and found lipstick...she will be a girlie girl and a rough and tumble one with attitude!  :)

Well, the next day which was quite eventful!  I started out my journal post with this:
Lived through Taxi strike
Taxi driver survived being shot
Police in riot gear on every corner
Daughter eats sand
Daughter discovers Visa card
Stadium mob invade streets
Military arrives in force

Well, we found out late yesterday that the strike was due to a driver being shot by some stupid teenagers.  UGH!!

We walked though the door and nearly got ran over by a crying little child with her arms outstretched to both of us.  She went straight out to the sandbox, instead of the swing!!  YEAH!!!  We have been trying to get her to do other things then to swing!  She was having a blast!  Then it was time for her afternoon treatment and I was able to do it!  Score for mama!  Then outside to swing and in to eat lunch and nap with her pj's on.  We laid her down and she cried.  Heartbreaking!

After getting home, we ate lunch.  I had bread with strawberry marmalade, and a little tiny peach.  Dan had a lunch meat sandwich.  I slept for an hour, trying to feel better.  And I felt much better after I woke up.

The walk back to the orphanage was?  There were riot police standing on every corner.  Now, we are from a small city that has between 8-12 thousand people.  (I think, maybe more)  Anyway, I was I told Dan that I wanted to ask them what was going on.  There were really not many people on the I walked up to them...trying not to show fear, and asked if any of them spoke English.  Oh, please was going on in my head.  And we found a nice looking young! man to answer our questions.  I asked him what was going on and did we need to be nervous.  He said no, and I said we come from a small city and don't see this.  He said it was because of a football game.  So, we continued our walk.  We made it without anymore problems.

She was in her room playing and was very happy to see us.  The nurse told us that she had been waiting for us.  She did not sleep we were told.  We went straight to the sandbox and bypassed the swings again!!   Kristina was having a blast digging rocks and shells out of the sandbox.  Then she did it...she ate some.  Oh, boy!  What a face..I got out a wet wipe and wiped her face!!  She continued to play.  Then a nurse came out with her snack.  Tea and 2 chocolate bars.  I said no to the chocolate and told her we had crackers.  We were also told that she does not chew...she was chewing her tiny ritz and goldfish type crackers just fine.  

After that was done we went out to swing and play in the box again.  She was soo dirty, that I gave her a bath and got her in her jammies.  The nurse was so nice, I asked her if it was first bath that I gave my daughter.  Do you think we got a picture?  Naw, not us..we were so into her bath that we didn't get one.  I changed her and we were hanging out in her room waiting for her supper.  That is when she went rummaging thru my purse.  Anything to keep her busy, because she wanted to go back out a swing.  Mama said no...and crabby girl came out.  She went to her tata and my purse.  The first thing she pulled out was my Visa card and said MAMA!  And handed me the card.  She went thru everything in my wallet.  Kept her busy...YEAH!!  Then she ate more slop..unrecognizable by our tastebuds or tummies!!  We said goodnight and hugged and kissed her and the confused look on her face was so sad!!

We found our way back to the main road and decided to try out this new grocery type place.  Jackpot!!  It was bigger then the Pekabeta by our apt.  We found little tissue's like I have from the states.  We found boil-able foods..., this amazing chocolate like almost a kit-kat bar!!  Oh, my goodness!!  I wanted to give up sweets, but oh, my goodness!!  We found canned ham, and SALT!!!  No pepper, but SALT!!  Crackers for Kristina,bread and kobasica...spelled in US a little different, but you get it.  Couldn't work the scale, so no onions or potatoes.  Bummer  We paid and left.

Walked out of the door to chanting.  Wow we thought scary and looked behind us and a mob of people were following  us.  The pace that we were walking was NOT fast enough so we sped up a big bit!!  The police were walking in and out of the crowd.  The biggest mob, I'd have ever seen!  Chanting something in Serbian...didn't understand a word and it was getting louder as we were walking!!!!!  Okay, I was freaked out!!  And then if that wasn't enough, as we got to the last busy street, the military showed up in several I mean several jeep trucks.  We turned down our street and looked back and the mob had stopped and there were a ton of poeple standing in a HUGE crowd!!  We looked back and sped up our pace again!!  Then we made it home...glad to be safe!!!!!

We got up and readied ourselves then we walked down to the bank of Greece.  Kinda cool!  Then got more Dinar to take taxi's and buy stuff.  Then we went to the orphanage...after a long taxi ride..stuck in traffic.

Kristina was excited to see us as normal,  :)  We went outside and all the swings were taken.  So we wandered around..she was kinda sleepy..Then a swing opened up and she was happy.  We just kinda hung out.  I put her meds in her nebulizer..but they didn't let me do her pounding..  UGH!!!  We played a little bit more and watched her eat lunch and left to go back to the apartment.

Dan stayed in the apt because we were told that the high speed internet would be installed.  So, I walked to the Pekabeta by myself!  Walking the streeats of Belgrade by myself!!  Scary!!  But I got the groceries to fix for us.  And I bought pork chops!!  Wahooo!!  Then I had a mortadella sandwich!!  :)

The taxi ride to see Kristina was good...then we saw our baby girl.  She was still in her jammies, so we started to change her..she had a dirty diaper.  The first one we had...thought about framing it...but we decided aganist it. Then we went outside and she went to the swings.  She was tired as she really doesn't nap any more since we have been coming.  It's hard on her as well!!  UGH!!!  She was swinging for awhile, she played with a little baby..she was so gentle.  We did her neubs and went a wandered outside.  She went down some slides..and played with some toys. The tiredness had really set in. We went in to give her a bath and get ready for supper.

She absolutely LOVES her bath guys should see her, she is so neat and tidy..So cute!!  I got her ready in her jammies and helped her eat her dinner.  We then left to go home.  A thunderstorm started up while she was eating.  We walked down to the guard house to get our passports.  They call taxi's for us...well because it was raining, there were NO taxi's.  So we had to walk home.  It had lightened up a bit...but it was still wet...Boy, we were beauties!!  We stopped at this cheesest toy store...but we needed something to occupy her if it rained tomorrow.

Made it back to the apartment and cooked dinner.  And surfed the net on a faster speed!  YAH!!
Sounds exciting doesn't it?  Well, let's just say it was!

So that was the extent of the last couple of days (five years ago) the next several are going to be tricky, you just have to wait and see!  I'll give you a tiny is five years and one is one year.  Got it?  Good for those who catch on fast, the rest will have wait one more day!