Oct 31, 2011

adoption update

^ Gergana's passport photo.
Look how grown up she is getting!!  Can I just brag on my sister for a minute and mention how stunning her eyes are?  Girl will never need to tan, even with our Canadian winters, PLUS she has curly hair.  Something we have always loved.  And really, her eye brows are perfect.  Just saying.

It has been over a year since we committed to 'Georgia' on Reece's Rainbow.  I can't believe it has been that long.  In some ways it feels shorter then that (it helps that I was in Uganda for 3 of those 13 months.) but in other ways it seems like forever.  I remember when we were hoping to have her home by her birthday.  Yeah that didn't really work out.  June has come and is now long gone.  BUT, after many delays things have moved forward again.  We are waiting on her visa now.  To get it she needs a medical check which has been scheduled for Wednesday - finally!  After that it can be anywhere in between 3 weeks and 6 months before we can go and pick her up.  I really don't think it is going to be that long though.  We have important people interceding on our behalf and we got an encouraging email from our in country facilitator today.  Middle of November is very doable.

Can I be honest and say I'm a little freaked out about that?  Yes, I believe in adoption. Yes, I got my family into this.  Yes, this is a dream come true. Yes, I love Gergana. Yes, I know this is what God wants.  Yes, yes, yes.  But when you are staring at the fact that your whole family is about to be dumped upside down by a tiny, strong willed  9 year old girl, it is a little freaky.  I have read enough about adoption to know that we could be one of the horror stories.  We could end up dealing with attachment issues and other problems that come with being in hospitals/orphanages for 9 years.  Adoption isn't some far away dream anymore.  It's going to happen, and it's going to happen soon.  The reality is that this journey is hard and uncomfortable, and I don't like hard and uncomfortable things.  Plain and simple.  The next few months are going to be wild.  
And that's the truth.

Let the fun begin. 

Oct 28, 2011

Just because

I'm a tiny bit proud of my new baby niece.
Cute much?

Abby (my 5 year old sister) wont touch the baby.  Everyone else on the other hand, can't get enough of her.  That is one drawback of having a big family, you have to elbow your way through the crowd to get a turn with babies.  Girly will never have to be put down when she is at our house.
Just saying.

Oct 26, 2011

Baby Niece

Welcome to the world Ava Gracelin!!

Born October 24, 2011.

This Auntie could not be happier!

Oct 25, 2011


You have a week full of so many exciting events that you just can't sleep.
So in the middle of said sleepless night you grab your laptop to check on a webpage you have stalked for weeks.  And all of a sudden you are looking into the eyes of an angel.  Seriously.

My baby girl.

Do you recognize her? She doesn't look so much like a baby anymore!!

I am so excited for these pictures for so many reasons.

1. Her hair is LONG!  The last pictures I have of her where taken in May, these where taken this month.  Go back and look at the difference in the length of her hair.  You will be blown away.  Her hair means that her orphanage cares enough to actually take care of it  It also is a pretty good sign that she has NOT been transferred to the institute yet, even though she turned 5 last month.

2. She is smiling and just has a general light to her eyes.  Attitude much??

3.  I just love seeing that she is doing OK.  She isn't malnourished and someone gave her enough attention to do her hair and take these pictures.

Shannon lives in a region that is harder to adopt from then others.  And because of that it is going to take a special family (or single mom!) to step out and adopt this babe, but that's OK because she is extra special herself so it will be a perfect match!

Region 14 – General Information

  • 4 trips :(
  • 1st trip, Both parents for 5-7 days
  • Wait 2-3 months for court
  • 2nd trip, both parents for 5 days for court, both go home
  • 3rd and 4th trip are short, only one parent has to travel
  • No more than 5 children at home, experience with Down syndrome preferred
  • Both parents must be younger than 60 years
  • Total program fees approx $40k (travel and hotel varies depending on
    accommodations requested and time of year.)
  • Fee includes a $1000 orphanage donation
  • Married couples and single mothers may apply

Is my baby precious or what??
Check her out HERE.

Oct 24, 2011

Dear Julia

Dear Julia,
October 22, 2011.  This day is a big one in your life.  It's the day you arrived home, forever. It is a day I will always remember.  A day spent at the airport welcoming you home.

The day seemed so long.  I'm sure it felt the same way to you, it will be the longest Saturday of your life!  After cleaning the house and doing some shopping it was finally time to head to the airport to meet you.  A few minutes before you made your big arrival, your family and friends gathered around at the airport.  Some had balloons, and others had presents...just for you (and some for your little sister, Lily!).  We were all so excited to meet you and were busy talking and taking pictures, when out of no where you came walking out, safely between your mom and dad!

The first person to run up and greet you was non other then your sister Lily.

She was actually more excited to see your mom, But don't worry, that soon changed and you got all the attention from her you could ever want!

What I wouldn't give to know what your were thinking!  There were so many people looking at you but you handled it all wonderfully. I don't think I would of reacted the same way!  You soaked it all in and hugged all your awaiting relatives.  Even though you were so very tired, you didn't cry.

You were home.  With your family.  No more orphanages for you!!

After tons of boring talk between the adults your sister convinced everyone to walk over and get the luggage.  You followed your papa over, all the while hanging on to your very own bag of goodies.

Seeing you in person, safe and sound, was a miracle.  You took my breath away.

Soon, you and your parents were so exhausted we needed to head home.  Your mommy carried you out to the car and you calmly excepted your car seat.  That was a real surprise since you have a deep 'unlike' for the stroller!  Your little sister chatted your ear off next to you on the drive home.  You didn't make a sound.  Finally we arrived back at the house.  And then you walked in the door.
 Sweet girl, you made it.  Your home.

10 months ago you were just a picture.  A picture of a little girl waiting for a family.
I think it will take a while for the events of the last 10 months to sink in.

Your wait is over.  Your family found you.

Dear Julia, on October 22, I got to finally hold you in my arms.  Something I didn't ever imagine I would be able to do.  I held you, kissed your cheek, and then passed you off to your mom.  You are perfect and so very loved.  Don't ever forget that.  I can't wait to see where you go in life, and believe me, you will go far.  Julia, thank you for changing my life.

I love you forever,

Welcome home Julia!

'I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him.'
1 Samuel 1:27

Oct 21, 2011


Because Lily's mom, dad and sister are coming home tomorrow!!

Lily is thrilled.

I am thrilled.

And by Sunday night everyone (including me!) will be safely home in our own beds.
It's been an amazing 3 weeks!

Oct 17, 2011


Today was another warm day.  So thankful for the warm weather after the snow we experienced the first day I was here.  We took advantage of the sun and went out to water the flowers.  One thing you need to know about Lily is that she is happiest when she is being a stinker.
(as shown HERE)

So not surprisingly, the water quickly turned from the flowers to me. 
(and the grass, drive way and anything else she could get the hose too.)

The laughs made it all worth it!  Girly got wetter then me!

This kid is precious, and her laugh is adorable.

After getting mighty wet and chilly we made a quick stop at the trampoline before heading inside for food and a nap.

So thankful for this girl and for today.

Oct 16, 2011

The Farm

This afternoon me and Lily joined a bunch of her family for dinner and a trip to the farm.  Lily had a blast and it was nice to get out and do something.  The farm was really neat.  It had a bunch of slides, a corn maze, some animals, pumpkins and other neat fall-ish things.  It was just a really neat place that I know my family would of loved.

This little girl is related to Lily some how (don't ask me how, I have no idea).  She was super sweet and is probably the most social 8 year old that I have ever met.  She was such a help with Lily too.  Changing diapers, giving Lily her food (through her feeding tub no less!) shoving her shoes back on her feet, you name it, P wanted to help with it!

P also convinced Lily to go down the big slide, which really surprised me as Lily hasn't wanted anything to do with the slide at the playgrounds we have visited!

Now we are back home.  Lily fell asleep on the way home and woke up kind of grumpy.  So adorable how the world is such a cruel place for a 3 year old to wake up too.  Some french fries, water, and Mario fixed that though!

It was a good day.  Now we are hanging out and tomorrow is the start of a new week!  Exciting!

Oct 15, 2011

Oct 14, 2011


For everyone who hasn't been fallowing the Call's adventures over seas, I would like to introduce you to the reason I am in Utah.

Meet Julia (my Melissa on RR).

Head on over to read about Julia's first few days with her Mom and Dad.  Pure Joy.

Oct 12, 2011

Happy day

-Melissa met her mom and dad today.  She is perfect and oh so cute.

-It was sunny and warm today.  We went on a walk looking at Halloween decorations and played outside all morning.

-At home we are working on the next steps of getting our Gergana home.

-Lily had a 2 hour nap and grandma came over this evening which made Lily very happy.

And sometimes you have to turn a blind eye (after breaking out the camera) to 3 year old antics...for the sake of happiness.

Now, I'm ready for bed.

Oct 9, 2011

Psalm 40:5

"Many, O Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us no one can recount to  you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare."
Psalm 40:5

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!!

Oct 8, 2011


-left: Jumping on the trampoline.  -middle: Carli, do you like the socks I put on your kid today??  -right: "Thank you Joanna, Thank you for my surprise!!"  all.day.long.  Lily is so very thankful. 

-left: sorting beads by color.  Because I'm creative like that.  -middle: "I found one, I found one! Joanna I found a pear!!"  You know, because there are so few pears laying on the ground and they are so hard to find.  -right: enjoying the only 2 minutes of sunshine we have gotten all week.

Oct 6, 2011

Oh Utah

I am here.  And the Call parents are on their way to Eastern Europe.  Today is mine and Lily's first day together alone.  It went just fine.  Lily is beyond precious.  So much personality in such a tiny person.  Plus she is adorable.  It even snowed earlier today.  I was oddly excited about it.  We ran out and played in it for a little while until we were wet and cold.

Actually Lily did more playing in the sandbox then she did playing in the snow.

And eating the snow was pretty popular in her books too.

Jumping in the puddles was also pretty fun.  Actually, come to think of it we didn't really do much playing in the snow.  

It's odd to be blogging about snow already.

Roughly one week until Melissa meets her parents!  After six years of waiting it is finally her turn.  I'll be honest and say that I am dying for next week to come.  Melissa is going to fit right in with this family.  She even looks a lot like her new little sister, Lily!  God knows what he is doing when He brings families together through adoption.

It's been a good day.

Oct 3, 2011


so very soon.  I am heading to bed and in a few hours will be back up and starting this next adventure!

Next stop, Utah!
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