We are so excited to share our Ethiopian adoption adventure, and our CRAZY lives with all of you! Our hope is that it will encourage you to step out in faith to do what God has called you to do! There are FIELDS of fatherless children waiting for someone to care for them, to love them, to tell them of JESUS' love for them...will YOU be the one??

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Updates, etc.

We left Sofia at 7:30am on Saturday, July 10th, with me dizzy, nauseas, and light-headed...it was awful:(!! Not sure what happened... BUT...Ava did amazingly well and never cried once the whole trip home...she just sat on my lap and ate pretzel sticks and sucked her thumb..she didn't seem scared at all, just content..

Once home, she did just as well and went off with the kids to play...very happy and contented!:) She's probably thinking, "Hmmm, new orphanage, new kids, permanent caregiver...this is GREAT!"

She has attached to me very well, just as she did in January, and is slowly opening up to Daddy..more and more for sure. She does NOT like our dog, but as long as Bella is "contained", she goes about her business playing, etc.

She is eating better...moving up to string cheese and today, hot dog..okay, not necessarily healthy, but hey!

Last night was the first night she didn't wake up crying 3-4 times... We tried co-sleeping, but she is all over the place and still cries, so we opted for the crib next to our bed. That way, she knows we're there when/if she wakes us crying, but I don't get her out..I rub her back and talk in Bulgarian to her, and she's usually back down in a few minutes. To put her to sleep, I rock for about 15 minutes with her and put her down awake in her crib..she screams..for only 3-4 minutes(it's a mad, stubborn cry too), but I lay there and rub her back, again talking in Bulgarian till she falls asleep. I don't want to hold her till she falls asleep, because then she doesn't wake up in my arms...which may be more frightening than just going ahead and letting her cry for a couple of minutes at the beginning. We're being consistent with this, because it IS working! If I thought she was afraid at all of the crib or anything like that, we'd do it differently.

She really has been a breeze so far...fits right in, and just is having FUN! She's a very easygoing little girl. Although that stubborn streak is there...she gives me the dirtiest look when I tell her "NE" or reprimand her... I don't she's been told "Ne" much;)!


For the gut wrenching honesty you're all looking for, RIGHT???? You may want to skip this part, if you prefer...

First of all, we have fought tooth and nail for this little girl to be in our family, prayed without ceasing for her, etc.... So, I can't tell you how shocked I was when, on that first night in the hotel..when she screamed for two hours...I realized...this is NOT my biological child! Duh, I know....but I never in a million years thought I would feel any differently toward her, not after what we went through to get her! I was totally "empty" as far as feeling all "lovey" toward her! What cold-hearted person would not love this child???????? I kept longing to feel that take-your-breath away love you feel when holding your bio child for the first time...it just wasn't there! I knew this COULD happen...have read about it....but KNEW it would not happen to ME!!!!! I KNEW not to fall in love with the referral photo....and I just trusted the love would be there... It's very overwhelming to say the least.... Could I really LOVE this child?????????? My heart was breaking for her and I just wanted to hop on a plane home!

I think I've realized this is probably a last ditch effort by the enemy to undermine what we've done in adopting Ava....I'm praying...without ceasing...for the love to grow stronger each day....for more patience with myself... I've just been SO SHOCKED by all this, that I want to run, and I can't! This little girl is OURS now...forever my daughter....stubbornness and all! All this to say....if this happens to you, don't beat yourself up! Get on your knees and ask to be filled with more of HIM and less of YOU! That's what I'm doing. This is probably more common than anyone realizes and is linked to Post-Adoption Depression, so don't be surprised like I was...be prepared! For all those following my adoption from the beginning, please don't judge me....it's hard to admit any of this, and I want to be of help to all of you still waiting...so I felt like I had to talk about it..especially since most of you already have bio kids...

I'm learning that this is like falling in love..It's a process..it takes time and getting to know them first..so that's what we're doing... If you have specific questions, please email me, I'll be honest, I promise:)!

Believe me when I say, Ava is doing excellent! She is happy and content and LOVES her siblings(and they her)! She loves being in my arms and is truly a joyful child! My husband loves her to pieces, even though she "shuns" him most of the time;)!

Would you pray with me that my heart is filled with "ooey-gooey" LOVE for our little Ava? I want her to have everything she deserves and so much more!

And if you already KNEW all this could happen...? WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME!!!????:)JK


  1. Because if we told you ahead of time, you wouldn't believe it. AND if we did convince you, you might think you would be the exception of love not coming and decide to throw in the towel before bringing her home. AND if we had told you, then we would have also had to admit it could and most likely would happen to us too!!! :)

  2. Thanks for your honesty! This has been a big concern for my husband, and I used the same analogy on him. It will be like 'dating' your future spouse. You get to know them and then you love them. So happy that she is adjusting well, hope you are feeling better. keep us posted on her eating and relationship with your husband.

  3. I'm glad that Ava is adjusting well to her new home and family.
    and ummmmm....did you read my blog???? Fake it until you make it, sister. One day, you will wake up and you won't have to remind yourself anymore that she's yours. I have to remind myself that I DIDN'T give birth to Xander and Grifyn...and it's be that way one day with Kullen too. Until then, I, like you, pray my way through it. You'll get there....and acknowledging it and praying through it is the BEST way to get there :)

  4. Super happy that Ava is doing well. I love that all the kids fight over spening time with her.
    Adoption is not a fairy tale, but real life!!! Your emotions are just that....Yours!!!! This expereince is very personal. We were "in love" with Tam from the moment we saw him. When they put him in my arms I remember thinking that I had this child that I love so much and was so happy to have in my life. The moment that I saw Nikolas come in the room I felt it again. LOVE! I realize that with Nikolas we are going to have some bonding issues since he is older.
    My point is that you have to work through your own emotions. It sounds like you are doing a great job by posting your feelings:)
    Hugs to you and your family! Extra prayers for Ava! I hope that she continues to bless your home with her light.

  5. After two adoptions I've definitely learned that there is only so much you can do to prepare any one person for the reality of adoption. We take off on this emotional roller coaster ride of adoption and when we finally get off the ride with our child in our arms we are thrown into another realm with no time to decompress from the ride we just took, yet we need to decompress so we can tackle the new journey in our life.

    You are going through some very normal feelings right now. Until that lovey dovey feeling takes you over, 'fake it til you feel it.' It will come.

    Congratulations and I'm glad to hear that Ava is doing so well.

  6. I would have warned you but I think I am still in shock that I have gone through the same and that I have a daughter... ;)

    Elina has adjusted beautifully NOW... BUT I am going to give you fair warning... just as you think this life at home is so adjusted so well prepare for the testing phase. The phase of I am going to be a bad as I can be to make sure that if you are going to take me back you do it NOW!! We are getting through that phase now. From what I understand Elina hit that stage more quickly than most... and probably getting through it quicker too.

    Don't feel alone... I stood in Bulgaria and asked myself "What did you just do to your life? Was it so bad before?" Now, I wouldn't have it any other way!! :) I think that is why there were such big gaps in my communications to the outside world and everyone in process... it is because we were going through a couple rough patches and there were only so many "good" days where mommy didn't feel like I had run a mental and physical marathon. :) On those days I tried to post our updates!! :) LOL! To be perfectly honest as a single mom I didn't want anyone to do the "I told you so" routine... not that anyone here would, but people who have never adopted.

    Keep your head up... the warm and fuzzies do come and they feel natural when they arrive.

    Like Elina says, "Mommy you love me this much (her hands about 4 inches apart) and you love Connor this much (arms wide)!"
    When I ask her "Why do you say that?" wondering if I have EVER given her that impression. Because I attempt to be give them everything evenly... love, hugs, kisses, attention, etc...
    She says, "Because Connor has been here more time so you have more time to love Connor."
    To which I respond, "But Elina... you have always been in my heart and I loved you even when you were in Bulgaria."

    Out of the mouth of babes... love will be equal before you know it. My advice is to start noting the similarities to your other children or family members... watch as she attempts to mimic or if she smiles the same... it helps me... I look at pictures of Elina and I and I see that our eyes are the same... or that her eyes get mischievious just like Connor's... and it serves to reaffirm my decision.


  7. I am kicking myself for not coming out of the post travel adoption haze sooner!!!! I was so glad you commented today because I have been thinking of you daily! I know this has got to be so hard, but PLEASE know this is so normal too. I know it doesn't help much, but I know many parents that have gone through this. They have just chose to love and the emotion did come, the joy and attachment did come. One of my friends said it was like meeting your spouse for the first time for her...it just took time to fall in love. God planned her for your family (as you TOTALLY know) and will see you through this trial to an amazing place. We are praying for you!!!!

  8. Reading your blog via Lisa's- Thank you for your candor, here and in your question!