Monday, December 31, 2012


I have 5 free minutes to post....we made it home very late Saturday night...wait....early Sunday morning. Our last flight got delayed so we made it to the airport at 12:30 and home by 3am. I got a short 4 hours of sleep and was up and running! Sofia got sick while we were in country so that is why the lack of posts there....she's on some meds and feeling better and her fever is finally down. Her UTI seems to be going away and she is finally wetting diapers! Praise God! I will write more about our last couple of days in country and about the adjustment period and meeting of the sisters and all that good stuff....when I have more time! I just wanted you all to know we're home safe and so thankful to have our family together! We are celebrating our Christmas Eve tonight and Christmas Day tomorrow together as a family of 5!!! :)

For now, Miss Sofia has been doing a lot of this, trying to get better!: 
It's simply the most amazing feeling to have all of my girls together under one roof!!! Well, I'm flying solo until Shawn gets home from work, so lots to do!!! Will post more when I have time! 

Thank you all for praying us home! We are grateful for you love and support!!!! And the world has ONE LESS orphan :) 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Almost There!

If you read my post below, you've probably figured out that we've taken the train back to the capital :) I had absolutely NO time to update as our TWO days in Sofia's region were jam packed full of baby-loving and paper chasing! Her region is the only region in the entire country that still allows passports to be processed in one day! This is changing, though, so it seems we were probably the last family to receive a one day passport in this country! We are thankful as that shaves 3-5 days off our time in country! Our in-region translator is simply THE best. We had another family there adopting two children and she was able to set a new record by obtaining 3 court decrees, 3 birth certificates (all from different regional offices), changed 3 tax ID numbers, applied and received 3 one-day passports, 3 children's bank accounts cashed for the orphanage, purchase train tickets for both families....and did this all within the working hours of ONLY TWO DAYS! So last night we said a teary goodbye to her (if you haven't figured it out yet, we're in the same region we adopted Mila from ;)). We've grown so close to this friend and will miss her greatly! She has a heart of gold and is amazing at her job!

So far we've had one night in an apartment in Sofia's region, one night on a train, and one night in an apartment in the capital! Sofia has been pretty laid back and just going with the flow for the most part! Tonight she had an upset tummy and was a little fussy. She missed both of her naps but caught about an hour worth of naps in Uncle Niko's car....but it just wasn't enough! All of the craziness of the past few days is starting to catch up with her! She slept well on the train last night, but semi-woke many times fussing and needed some consolation. It's gotta be so tough in this transition period for kids. In the end it's all for the best, but the transition time can be tough...I'm doing my best to make her feel loved and safe while we continue trying to figure one another out!! She really did VERY well in all of our travels so I hope the flight home will be the same.

Today we had our first embassy appointment and medical exam-both went well! Tomorrow morning we can pick up her visa, which is the last thing we need before we can spring her to America! Right now we're scheduled to fly out Saturday afternoon with one very short layover in D.C.....I really don't think it's enough time to go through secondary inspection and do everything else we have to do at the first stateside airport....we're looking into some other options but it's unlikely with Christmas travel paired with the storm that just hit our area at home.

Sofia REALLY enjoyed her first bath. It was the cutest and funniest thing ever! I showed her how to splash and it was all over from there! I'll leave you with some pictures of her first few days outside of the orphanage!

Sofia's first bath! Let me just tell you, I've NEVER seen a child love a bath so much!!!

 She wasn't sure what to think or do at first but I showed her how to splash and she went crazy!!

So fresh and clean! There is something magical about that first bath and washing the orphanage remnants away :)

Uncle Bub is just the best! He is like a baby whisperer ;)  He's rocked Sofia to sleep a couple of times and she was out like a light! He did solo duty the second day in region while I did some paper chasing..even though she napped most of the time, he's still  so brave for stepping up and helping out with his new niece! He fed her, played with her, and rocked her to sleep! I think it's safe to say she loves him already ;) 

Train Thoughts....

The rhythmic  lulling of the train rocks her sweet little body back and forth. It’s almost 1am and we’re about half way through our 15 hour train ride. I drifted in and out of consciousness for a few hours, but sleep isn’t coming easily tonight. The crickety light above my head squeaks on and off as the train suddenly lurches to a stop for what seems like the hundredth time. My new daughter and I are sharing a bench inside our train compartment.  She sleeps at my feet as she tosses and turns, coughing in her sleep.  I’m so thankful for her life.

I keep glancing over at her unable to fully comprehend all that has happened since we met her just about a month ago. She came dancing into our lives full of joy and resiliency. Her frog-footed little jammies covering her sweet baby skin are a reminder that she has been found. A reminder that she is not only wanted and loved, but absolutely adored.  

As I listen to her breathe heavily, I feel a little like I’ve just fled from a war zone with her and left too many innocent lives behind. The guilt of that creeps into my throat and threatens to choke me as tears well up in my eyes. Images of cherub-faced-babies from her groupa flash through my mind each time I look at her. What are their stories? Why were they deemed so unworthy of being loved?

When those thoughts get close, really really close to the surface of my being, I stuff them back down inside because it’s too much for this human mind to comprehend and entirely too much for this heart of mine to endure. It’s too much and too raw and too terrifying to allow it to fully wash over me.  I can’t yet allow myself to be bathed in this sorrow. So I only allow myself to stick my baby toe into the icy waters of what we experienced in our journey to our girls over the past three years. As my toe hits those icy waters, shivers climb up my spine and it’s just too cold to allow myself to enter the waters any further. I expect the season to change and maybe in a new season the waters will become warmer allowing me to explore them with more of myself. But right now, it’s just too cold.

I choose, instead (because it’s so much easier) to focus on Sofia’s beautiful life. She has been redeemed. She is just one, but it’s not fair for her life to ever be referred to as “just” anything.  She is so much more than “just one.” She is Sofia, our beloved daughter who has a place in this world now. No longer will she be overlooked, locked away, and deemed unworthy. We see the worth in her life. I see it in her eyes when I look all the way into her soul. I hear it in her raspy baby giggle as I tickle her legs. Most importantly I feel it in my heart.  I was born for this. She was born for this. She has so much to offer this great big world. In time her gifts will be revealed and maybe one day those that deemed her unworthy will see what we see. Maybe they’ll see her the way God sees her-perfectly created. One thing is for certain, there was no mistake made when she was created. There was no mistake made when the Lord sent us 5,000 miles away to be rescued once again by our sweet daughter, Sofia.

Sofia, my beautiful daughter, I am so thankful you are laying next to me. I’m so thankful your little froggy toes are touching my leg. I’m thankful for each breath I hear you breathe. Gratitude for your life is what I will allow myself to feel right now. And as for all that you and I have just left behind…that’s for another day, another time. Tonight we’re celebrating! Right now I’m swimming in the warm waters of your life and enjoying the beauty of it all. You are so worthy, so loved, so adored my sweet girl! We’re so close to home I can taste it! You’re going to be so happy there, our lives are already enriched because of you! I hope one day you truly understand just how blessed I feel to be your mama in this earthly life! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Gotcha Day Details!

Today surely did not disappoint! It was, without doubt, the most amazing Christmas I've celebrated in my 30 years! It is amazing that we were able to begin Sofia's new life with her on the anniversary of Jesus' birthday! We ran around collecting paperwork this morning (court decree and new birth certificate), stopped at the store to buy some more diapers and a few essential items, came back to the apartment for lunch and then took a taxi to spring Sofia from the orphanage. We gave more diapers from the money that was donated and gifts of clothes, pacifiers, and bibs. 

We spent just about two hours was the longest gotcha day in history, but I'm so thankful for that extra long time to spend in Sofia's groupa! She was very sleepy as it was nap time, but I could tell she definitely remembered me! Looking at some of those babies for the last time was really tough, but looking at Sofia was so incredible at the same time. 

Putting on the new clothes never gets old. That act is such a symbol of the new life ahead of her! The time went by in slow motion and I truly feel I was able to breathe in each and every moment of the time we spent there. I don't ever want to forget today. I don't want to forget how amazing it felt walking out with my new daughter and what this opportunity means to her and us, but I don't want to forget those faces we left behind, either. It is very bittersweet! 

As we rode home in the taxi, it all just felt so surreal! I looked at my brother and said, "this is the part that never seems real!" I looked back imagining in my head all the hurdles we jumped over to get to where we were in that moment. I squeezed my eyes closed tight and thanked the Lord for this day and this most amazing gift!
Gotcha Day Ensemble! 

Getting dressed in her new clothes! 

This picture breaks my heart....that little guy has a very special place in my heart! 

She's waving "paka paka" (bye bye)

Some of the nannies that work in Sofia's groupa

The nanny set up all the Christmas items they had for a photo op! LOL 

Little stinker kept pulling the hat off and laughing :) 

They asked if I would feed her there one last time...

She cried when it was gone and I told her there's plenty more waiting for her once we got home! 

The nanny then said we should let her belly settle before leaving (I think she just didn't want to see her go <3)

So we sat on the couch and played and got to love on a few of the other babies. 

Just like Mila, she loves Uncle Bub's beard! 

Getting ready to leave FOREVER! 

Love this picture! 
So tough...I went to take a picture of Sofia's crib and realized hers was the only empty crib :( All the others are filled and hers will likely be filled within a week. 

Out like a light while we waited for the taxi! 


She stayed asleep the whole taxi ride and then kept sleeping for about another 15 minutes! 
I will blog more when I'm not so tired...but a certain angel has been asleep for a couple of hours already and I'm not sure if she'll sleep through the night so I better try to get some rest! If we are able to finish all the paperwork here in region tomorrow then tomorrow at 5pm we will board the (15 hour!!! yuck) train back to the capital to complete embassy paperwork there before coming home (hopefully this weekend!). I want to share more about our journey to Sofia and about her first evening with her mama...and I will....soon!

Goodnight and Merry Christmas!!!