About Me

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We have lived in Romania for 16 years now. We have 6 kids.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Our weekend visit and my visit.

I am usually on top of updating our visits on the blog but I have been a bit overwhelmed with trying to stay on top of laundry, house cleaning, church, and having our family in 2 places!
First off, the twins weekend visit here went well. They slept each night for 12 hours for which we were VERY thankful! The visit in our home helped prepare us for exactly lies ahead...a lot of love and correction and constant supervision! It was quite exhausting. I admire all the volunteers who work at casa alba, it is exhausting to keep up with the energy of all those kids! We are working on getting Gina her own room so we have room to spread out 6 kids instead of them all being crammed into one space.
They left Sunday afternoon and then I took the train to spend some time with them. I left Wednesday morning and got back at 11 pm Thursday night. I didn't care for riding the train that late at night and waiting in the train station for the train to come (it was late) but I didn't ever feel unsafe...just didn't like it.
It was good for me to have some alone time with the twins. I could really focus on explaining to them why they had to come when I called their names the first time and why they can't just pick up food or candy that they find and pop it in their mouths and why they just can't walk up to things that aren't theirs and start touching them...they didn't understand why so we just started off with "because mommy said and mommy is boss." I enjoyed having time to love on them and hold them. I was really surprise how much time Gheorghe spent sitting on my lap, quite and still letting me rock him. I love how they ask me "what is my name" and I reply "Gheorghe Joseph" and then Gina says "and mine" and I reply "Gina Grace" and they both smile real big and repeat their name. Then I love how they discuss with one another "their family" and try to list everyone's names. They are excited because they have their own closet at our house with clothes in it and they have already staked claims on which brother is theirs and the cat is Gina's. They kept asking me "are you taking us home on the train?" I missed my 4 boys at home and couldn't wait to get back to them but then I hated to leave my twins behind...very hard. I still have no idea when they will actually be in our home. We have 2 more visits until our 6 visits are fulfilled. The paper work has been turned into the court for Lidia (the director of Casa Alba) to be granted a court date so she can be granted legal guardian since their mother passed away there has to be someon to sign for them. After she is granted legal guardianship we will ask her to sign them over to us as power of attorney...that is our only chance of getting them any earlier then this summer before the adoption court date.
My parents come in two weeks. I am trying to work out child care so I can go with Baron to pick them up in Budpest. I really want to go to IKEA in Budapest and get some things for Gina's room...if I can't go I will have to trust Baron to pick out some girly stuff :).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Great time with our twins!

We had another whirlwind trip to see our twins. This time we had a little more time with just them. We took them for the night to stay with us. We were made aware of the challenge it will be adding 2 almost 4 year olds to our household. We were able to tell them that we want to be their family and I am sure these two who have never had a family could not really comprehend what that meant yet. Although they didn't have any trouble calling us mama and tata right away.

Kari video taped us telling them so when we get that we will post it. We were faced more with the challenge that lies ahead with 2 children raised in an institution...no matter how good an institution is it is still just that. They are well cared for but with all the different people that work there, there isn't consistant discipline. Bed time was the biggest challenge. To make a long story short...Gheorghe slept from midnight until 5:30!

The next day we spent a couple hours at the house in the big play room before we had to leave. It was a nice day so many of the kids were outside so it wasn't so chaotic. The kids would play and every now and then one of the twins would sit in my lap or Baron's lap. They would ask when they are coming home with us. They wanted to know why they couldn't come right now. We tried to explain as best we could that we just were not allowed to take them to live with us yet but very soon we hope.

I was able to talk with the director of the home and tell her we want them in placement without waiting for the adoption placement. She said sure that is fine. We will have to call her to get her to do the twins paper work and our social worker must do ours. We will cal our social worker first thing Monday morning and hopefully she can give us a time frame.
When it was time to clean up toys for lunch they immediately ran up to me and said "you aren't leaving are you?" It was very hard to leave them this time. Gina clung to my neck and I kept promising her we would be back to get her very soon. Lord willing they will be coming to visit us next weekend. I hope to have more information on Monday as far as how long it takes to get simple placement. We realize how important it is to get them in our family now and not wait any longer. They need a family. Their names will be Gheorghe Joseph and Gina Grace. We will eventually call Gheorghe Joe in honor of Baron's Papaw Joe who is really his great great uncle. Papaw Joe raised Baron's dad and quite a few other orphans. He had a heart for orphans so we wanted to share his name with our little boy!
I feel like I left so much out. It is hard to put into words everything I am feeling.
Please pray for placement to happen in record time and for us to have patience with the twins. Pray that the twins will learn quickly how to live in a structured environment and learn that mom and dad are boss! Thank you all so much for your prayers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Church News

I have a story that I think is really neat to share. We have a family in our church who is very poor. The lady comes to church, she has 3 grown children who have some degree of mental slowness. One of the sons is married to a mentally handicapped young lady and they have 2 children. So, in one apartment you have a couple, their 3 grown children, one daughter in law and 2 grandchildren...none of them working. They only bring in the alloted amount from the state because of their mental conditions. We have in the past tried to give them odd jobs when we have them but we just couldn't keep them busy with a steady income. Well, we have a man in our church who is opening his own construction firm. He is doing some work at our house and needed helpers so we asked him to please at least on our job consider using these 2 young men. He willingly did so and has taken them under his wing. He is offering them a steady job with him, he is going to get them a work card (something that no one has ever offered them before and is very important to have here so you can receive retirment). He has given them uniforms and encourages them to "clean themselves up" so they look presentable when going into someone's house to work. What a blessing to see other Christians fulfilling God's command to love your brothers and help those who are less fortunate. The man starting the firm and helping them knows what it is like to be less fortunate. He was an orphan raised in a state institution.
It is good to see God at work!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Casa Alba

I have been thinking about the other 17 orphans at Casa Alba where our twins are and thinking of how some of the older ones feel when someone gets adopted and they don't. First of all many of them aren't adoptable and it is hard for them to understand that. Not being adoptable means, your parents can't or won't care for you AND they won't sign off their rights as parents so you can be adopted. I know this transition will be hard for the other orphans there too.
We would love to give each child a Bible story coloring book and their own box of crayons. If anyone especially in the Greenville, SC area is interested in purchasing a book and crayons for a child you could get them to my parents by the first week of April before they come here. If you want to do this let me know and I can tell you how to get in touch with my parents. Crayons here are quite expensive for a little pback of 12, that is why we don't buth them here and coloring books are hard to find here too.
Please add to your prayer list the plight of the orphans here in Romania. Pray first of all that the leaders will change the adoption laws, that the people in office will understand how important a family is for a child, and that more teaching can be done to offer families help when they need it instead of them abandoning their children.

Silly

They are telling us their names

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Our Twins!





Let me start out by saying it was a long drive but well worth it! I honestly went with no expectations. I didn't want to have this white picket fence picture in my mind and then come away with a dump experience so I was prepared for anything. I really didn't have time to let questions go through my mind such as, what if they don't want to come near us or what if they don't connect with the boys we already have etc. So, I actually slept quite well all the way up until the night we met them, that night my mind was just replaying all that had happened. I will try not to drag this out and bore you but there is just so much to tell.
They live in a home with 19 kids total. When we first got there we had a few minutes with them before all the older kids came home from school, then it was chaos!! Kids everywhere, wanting there picture taken, wanting attention, wanting to touch the baby, etc. It was actually good for me to mostly be able to watch them and see what they were like. The interesting thing was we were sitting in the middle of a big play room, really not paying more attention to them then to any other kid in the room when Gheorghe came up to me and asked if we were taking he and Gina home with us. I asked him if that was what he wanted and he said ,"YES!" Two other little girls made comments, one said: "how nice for Gina and Gheorghe that they are getting parents." Another little girl asked me if Gina was going to be mine.
Gheorghe warmed up right away to Baron and Gina warmed up quickly to Zach. When it was time for us to leave for the evening Gina asked me to not leave with "the boy" referring to Zach. We told them over and over we would see them again tomorrow. The next day all the kids were at school except for 5 kids so we had a lot of alone time with them. They were all smiles and playful. We gave them their twin teddy bears, some candy, and a picture book of our family. On this day, Spencer also warmed up and became friends with Gheorghe. They were running around holding hands and playing.
We met with the director of Casa Alba and with the twins social worker. The adoption process itself won't take long compared to normal but the process of getting them placed with us may take several months...please pray for a miracle! We will go back and visit them next weekend and then they will come to us. We have to have 6 visits with them which isn't a problem except it is a 5 hour drive there and we have to cancel some church things in order to make the trip. I guess from what I understand, everything depends on the court date we get. The first one is they have to be declared adoptable by the director of Casa Alba which won't be a problem...just depends on when she gets before the judge. Then 30 days later I believe that they can request to be put in our home on the second court date. Compared to what other Americans have gone through to adopt our case seems pretty cut and dry and "painless". We will call our social worker tomorrow to see if there is anything she can possibly do to speed up the process.
Back to the visit. Gina just latched on to Zach and he loved it. Both G's love babies and so they wanted to dote on Nate but he was exhaused from no nap and from the long trip and was overwhelmed by all the attention. I was thrilled that G & G seemed to have fun with our family and questioned us about coming home with us. We were told that on our next visit we can tell them we want to be their family. I am so excited for that. We will go next Friday and Saturday. Pray that God continues to give us peace with all the traveling and red tape we must go through. Pray also for this transition phase and that they can learn quickly how a family works. Pray also that after we tell them we will be their parents that they can accept and understand why we can't just up and take them home with us and pray for a miracle as far as getting them into our home quickly.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Tomorrow!!

Tomorrow is the big day...we finally get to meet the twins. We will spend Tues evening and Wed morning with them and hopefully we will be able to submit our request for placement at this time too. We also pray that we will be able to tell them that we want to be their family so they can begin to prepare for the huge transition that is about to take place in their lives. I will take lots of pictures and post them as soon as I get back! The big prayer request at this time is quick placement. We really need to start bonding with these kids as soon as possible and in Romanian NOTHING happens quick so it will take the hand of God to make this possible. We serve a mighty God and have faith that He will move mountains! I can't wait to meet them!!!