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 me...it 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 sentimental...like 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 suffering...me 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 deal...like 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 stairs..to 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 him..as 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 on..it'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 up..as 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 him...like 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

Adoption...

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 while...so 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 walk...you 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 close..so 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 mama..so 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 adapter...it 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 adapter...no such luck...but a little later I found out if you hold it a certain way..you 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:
Headlines:
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 scared...so I told Dan that I wanted to ask them what was going on.  There were really not many people on the street...so 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 okay...my 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 time...you 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)...now the next several are going to be tricky, you just have to wait and see!  I'll give you a tiny hint...one 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!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Confession...

I need to confess something that has been bothering me for awhile.  We have a situation (won't go into it) and it is really terrifying me!!  For me to talk about faith on this blog and not have it, is making me a hypocrite!!  And I don't want to be that way.  It took faith and perseverance to adopt our three miracles!  So why am I having trouble with this situation...there are so many variables that are floating around in my mind and I am NOT giving God any of the control.

There was a reason that this situation came about and I believe God orchestrated that, but now I just can't see how it is going to work out in the end.  There are so many verses I can quote from the Bible.  Like the first chapter of James...it talks a lot about perseverance and faith.  Verse 6 says "But when he asks, he must believe and NOT doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."  Verse 7 "That man should NOT think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

Yep, that is me right now...trying to give it up to God, but just can't let go.  Some days I am really able to and then I take it right back again.  I take things little by little and try really hard to find the little mercies God gives me, because God is a merciful and gracious God and HE will NOT fail me!  Wow, we won't drop off the edge and God will provide all our needs!  Needs not wants!!  And let me tell you that I know the difference!  That is why God says to live only for today as for tomorrow has enough of it's own trouble.  (Paraphrased that last part)  The version that is true and not paraphrased is actually found in Matthew 6 verse 34!

So, I have confessed and I feel better!  Trust me I am going to take my own advice!  And today so far I am!  I have supper slow cooking and two more dinners started...three loads of laundry done!  Praise God I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Our Meeting...

On Tuesday morning we got ready for our meeting with the adoption unit in Belgrade to find out more about Kristina.  I cried during most of it...actually tears just streamed down my face at a very fast pace.  I heard them tell us all about her and the reason that she was in the orphanage.  The whole time I was thinking about her mother and the choice she made to give Kristina up.  My heart just hurt thinking how hard that must of been, and to know she would never see her again.  I still have a pain in my heart...well not quite a pain but more like a passing sadness when Kristina passes a milestone or something like that.

Anyway after the information was shared, they asked us if we wanted to continue with the adoption.  And you all know that we said YES!!  But, a tiny part of me during that meeting thought that they would say no...like if they got a bad vibe from us or because I keep crying!  So I was so thankful that they seemed like we would be a good fit for Kristina.  Praise God actually!  And we had a lot of help before and during her adoption from someone in Belgrade that really loved Kristina.

THEN, we all piled into a small taxi and drove the less then ten minutes away to meet her!

Yes, indeed we met her!!  She had just woken up from a nap so she was a little groggy.  She came to me and I showed her toys that were in her bag...she loved the magna-doodle!  Her most prized possession that day was her tata (Serbian for daddy)!!!  The joy and excitement was so vivid on her little tiny face!  He was wrapped around her fingers so fast and my hubby was soaking it all in with joy!




The first picture of us as a family!  She looks scared but she wasn't...she was just wanting to be on the move!  We were one happy couple...let me tell you!  And the story continues...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Finding Food...

Okay, five years ago today was finding food and other essentials to survive day.  Hubby and I walked out of our apartment through the courtyard to the sidewalk.  We stopped dead in our tracks and didn't know which way to turn...we were a wee bit chicken.  Probably not my hubby, but I had enough sheer terror for the both of us.  All I could think about was getting lost!!  We went back into the safe refuge of our apartment and looked for maps of the city!  Success!!  A map would be our guide...and then we weren't thinking, we could just walk up and down our street and see what there was.  Yeah, that's what we did!!  Up two blocks was a little tiny store called a Pekabetta.  Then up the block we found another and the greatest find was a big market!!  The market was huge and had EVERYTHING you could think of needing!  Which would come in handy later that week!

After we ate some bread and lunch meat we walked for hours!  Up one street and turn back and go up another...and being brave to cross the sidewalk even with the traffic ZOOMING by us!!  We did enjoy our day, and a little apprehensive about our meeting to hear about Kristina and then to meet our daughter!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

An Explanation...

I found this great video to explain Cystic Fibrosis.  It explains it very well!  And right now Kristina is trying hard to get well.  She has been sick for awhile now.  It's hard for her to shake it...but she goes in for her third re-check in a week or so!  Praying all is well as we really don't want another hospital stay!  We had one in 2008 and praying we NEVER have one again!!  In Serbia she was in and out of the hospital ALL the time!!  She has so many tiny little scar marks on her hands from all the needle pokes!  That made me sad when I first saw that!!

Thank God for your "healthy" children and please pray for a cure...they (the scientists) are really close in doing so!  And I will kiss my daughter tonight and thank God for her life!!
Guess What?...

Five years ago we landed on Serbian soil for the first time to adopt our daughter!!


That's hubby in our hotel room waiting for our ride to the apartment we rented.  We were VERY tired!!!  And hungry...airplane food is not anything like home cooking.  When you are hungry enough you will eat it though...except for the sandwich on the flight from Amsterdam to Belgrade!!!  No way!!!  (On the way back to the US we went through London and we ate it because we were then used to food like that!)  Funny how that works!

We would not have had to rent the room in the hotel if I would have told our pick up person the right flight info in the first place...oops!!  And my important papers got left at home and one thing on that paper was the guy's number!  Thank goodness my hubby still loves me!

I may have mentioned this story somewhere else on my blog and for that I apologize!!  Anyway, we got to the Belgrade airport and went through customs...not very stressful!  Then we walked into where everyone meets you and you catch a ride or drive yourself away.  (Like our driver would have been there)  Our driver was not there, and we were starting to get worried!!  Well VERY anxious!!!  So I prayed VERY hard and with great great peace I knew that God would not abandon us...even in a foreign country!!  It is a hard feeling to describe...I had a peace like an understanding that God wanted us to totally depend on him...and not do things our way.

In the Amsterdam airport we met a couple who were going back to Belgrade for vacation.  They lived abroad and went back to visit family for a few months of the year.  We talked for a long while waiting to board our plane.  I bring that up because they had friends that met them at the airport to say hi!  After waiting until the crowd was really thin and trying not to looked freaked out of our minds, the friends walked over to us and asked us if we needed help.  So we told him what had happened and he asked us if he could give us a lift somewhere.  Fear weld up inside as I asked God if this was his answer...yep it was!  Then he loaded us up in his car...piled our four suitcases, us, his wife and son in the car.  Now mind you the cars in Serbia are NOT big!  He dropped of his family and took us to the nearest hotel...without charge!!

The room had to rented for the day even though we were going to stay a few hours to find out how to get to where we needed to be.  Got that situated but it was going to take awhile, so we ventured out to look for food.  It was Sunday and nothing appeared to be open...we walked around a few blocks and said to each other that not a soul knows where we were except God!  Kinda a weird feeling...

While we were waiting we went back to the hotel and ordered a pizza and two cokes.  When the pizza came so did our ride...so we couldn't even eat.  The apartment was lovely.  We just looked a pictures and they have remodeled in the last five years.  Here is where you can check it out.  They built a wall between the dining and living rooms.  And the kitchen has been remolded...added an oven.  We had three burners...and very little cookware!!  We survived our three week stay without too many issues.  It came with internet as well!!  Stay tuned for the continuing story of our adventure to our daughter!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Than and Now...

We went to Srecko's last day of school program.  Srecko went to a school just for kids with Cerebral Palsy  (CP) while in Serbia. The program was created by a young man who had CP as well.  It was so special to be able to go and see his program!!  Before we left to adopt Srecko we went to Jovan's and Kristina's end of school year plays too!  So for me as a mom it was the best!

Srecko looks so young in this video!  My sweet little boy is growing up faster then I can stand!  It was almost one year between videos.  The first one is in May of 2011.
   
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video

This year...one year later May 2012 he is talking in English and can retain most of his poem...which to me is quite long compared to some of the other kids!  We do not and may never know the extent of his brain injury so we have been taking school one day at a time.  He can spell words, loves math...can do simple problems in his head.  He is now wanting me to spell everything I say to him!  This summer we will continue to work on school related things!  

I am so utterly thankful that I could be there for both programs.  And especially thankful to God for allowing me to be a mom to a very special child!  I am so blessed!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day...

Oops, I forgot to wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day here in the US.  And everywhere else for that matter!  :)  And I am taking this opportunity to wish my mother in law a belated Happy Mother's Day!!!!  I actually kept forgetting what day it was!  My kids came home on Friday with gifts that they had made, so it felt like Mother's Day for me.  So mom in law I apologize for forgetting!!

We went to church, made a rice hot dish, and I napped with a cool breeze on me!  That was the best part of the day.  On Saturday I worked outside ALL day and my hubby worked at my parent's house ALL day!  Then I grilled steak!!  Supper was started even before hubby got home, so when he walked in the door everything was ready!!  It was great!

I will post pictures soon!  Nothing much is going on here, for the first time in about six years we do not have any adoption plans!  Still VERY open to more children and God knows that, so we leave it in his hands!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Birth and Marriage...

I am a little slow with this post!  It should have been done a week (actually ten days) ago.  I will start with the birth part.  On May 3rd somewhere in the middle of Serbia our daughter was born.  I know nothing else...don't know how much she weighed or how long she was.  We are pretty sure that her mother loved her...we met her mother and she had lots of love in her eyes!

This story has been told somewhere in this blog before...but it is worth repeating.  A little background on how we found our daughter.  Hubby and I were talking about adoption to grow our family.  We went through the training and home study to adopt through our state.  Got that done and it did NOT feel right.  So we looked around and decided to adopt from Ukraine.  Well we found a facilitator to help us and we were on our way to completing the steps to adopt.  I wanted a little girl about two or three and name her after my mother and grandmother.  That is what I thought I wanted more then anything!  Then we found out that Ukraine was not excepting any more dossier (paperwork to adopt) from the US.  Great...now what?

Now comes the God part...as I was removing some websites and such about Ukraine I came across a website I had never seen.  It was a photo listing of kids with special needs.  And can you guess?  Yep, that is where I found a picture of Kristina.  Not a very good picture, she looked sad and worn out.  I looked up her need (Cystic Fibrosis) and did research on it.  Well, the hospital I was working in was one that was accredited with the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  They have very high standards working with the CF (Cystic Fibrosis) children.  I believe that was from God.

We then inquired about her.  She was three (yep, just what I wanted) and not quite legally free for adoption.    There was an issue with parental rights and no one knew how long that would take.  Break my heart, but I was trusting God and we continued with our paperwork to get her no matter how long it took.  Then came the moment we were ready with our paperwork.  Well, on her end there was still a mess...so we committed to adopting a sibling set.  Wow, I thought God this is not what I thought we were doing.  We were ONE piece of paper away from getting a travel date, then we got an email telling us that Kristina was now available for international adoption.  Did we still want her?  Um, YES!  Okay God, now what?  So we keep on going forward for Kristina...and her whole adoption process took nine months!

Our trip was uneventful and being in Belgrade was surreal!!  All the way across the ocean in a strange place.  In a way we were freaked out!  Well, if I would have had paperwork that I left at home with my favorite shoes we would have been okay.  Another God story for another time! Anyway, we were in the country where I would become a mother and hubby would become a father for the very first time!  Like a birth...

This story will continue in a few weeks when we celebrate her gotcha day.  A gotcha day is when you take your child out of the orphanage/foster family for the last time.  When you become the parent in the child's countries eyes.  It's a great story...

Well, the marriage part is the fact that hubby and I have been married twenty-two years!  (Actually today it is twenty-two years and eight days)  My hubby is the best!!!  God created him just for me!  I prayed for a husband...didn't know if I would ever get married.  I gave God three requests, please.  1)  He had to be tall as I am short  2) He had to have a long last name...don't ask me why!  3)  He had to be able to walk along side on the beach with me...again don't ask me why because we live in the middle of the country and the ocean's are far away!  Two weeks after I prayed for a husband or for God to take away the desire for me to be married.  I met my husband...of course not knowing he was my husband until two months later.  Actually two months and two days after meeting him we were engaged.  Yippee!  Then seven months later we were married!  And yes, God provided each request I had!  Thank you God for the wonderful and godly man you have given me!