Saturday, December 22, 2012

Long Overdue Update

Okay, I get it.  I completely understand why people quit blogging after they bring their child home.  This post started out as a 1-month update.  In a couple of days, it will be a 2-month update.  Life has been very messy.  Most of the things I read leading up to our adoption seems to have glossed this time over by referring to it as a time of "transition" or "adjustment".  And that's all they say!  I think that is a little misleading.  Now, don't get me wrong.  We have had some good moments, but we have had some downright horrible moments.  Since this blog is public, I won't go into great detail.  But let's just say I have had quite the workout -- lots of soreness, bruises, ice packs, headaches, sleep deprivation, tears, frustration, anger, and being cussed  at, yelled at, and flipped off.  There are times when you actually appreciate the language barrier.  It helps you stay calmer if you don't really know what they are yelling at you.  But we have noticed in the last 2 or 3 weeks that the problems are further apart and less in intensity.

Common problems include
*refusing to follow directions (what kid likes that?), but these directions can even be simple things like put on your shoes so we can go.
*wanting to go back to Bulgaria (mainly Milcho...Tim told him he has to learn English first and get an education here.  Then he can go back and help "his people".)
*hitting and just being really rough
*getting into everything (I realize they are curious and exploring, but sometimes it's like having two really large toddlers in the house.)  If they touch it, there's a good chance it will be broken.
*and so on.............

If we had not truly believed God had His hand on this entire journey, we might be tempted to think we had really messed up.  But I also still have faith that this will eventually be just fine.

One of the most common questions lately is about how their English is coming.  It's really coming along.  We don't have conversations yet, but we can get by pretty well with Milcho.  Vanessa is a little behind him.  I think this is partly due to her younger age and the fact that she relies on Milcho to interpret for her.  We have been very grateful on more than one occasion to have a translator on the iPad, though.

I'm way behind on pictures, so let me just jump straight to that.

Here are a few from our first trip back in May.

When we returned, I made this picture to show friends...

Next, we spent the summer preparing their rooms.  Here is a small room for 3 boys.

The bed over the futon is Colton's.  The one over the TV is Eli's.  The other is Milcho's.

 The curtain at the end conceals Colton's rather large walk-in closet under Milcho's bed.

Colton's closet...

A view FROM Colton's closet.

Top half is Milcho's closet.  Bottom half is Eli's.

Shoe storage for Milcho and Eli.  Colton has one in his closet.

Hooks behind the door.  We are using even possible square inch.

And now onto her room...

And a look behind the curtain (before hanging it).  I just had to create some storage somewhere.  Her entire room used to be our storage.  We have actually added a 5-drawer chest on the right-hand end since I took this picture.

2nd trip:  October 27, 2012
Left mid-70's in Charlotte.  Expected mid-70's in Bulgaria.  Layover in Germany had SNOW!

Love this picture from Germany to Bulgaria.  I do believe it is part of the Alps.

First Day

First our favorite pizza place, of course.

The picture I tried to use as a teaser...

Tea Party with Dad

After medical check-ups today, they played doctor with the doll that was in our apartment.

Vanessa read the doll a bedtime story from a magazine.  Then she put her down to sleep and told us to be quiet.


Dr. Milcho in Daddy's glasses.

Dr. Vanessa

Vanessa did NOT like Daddy's scratchy beard.  I posted earlier that she "shaved" him and then made him pay her.

Vitosha -- the pedestrian-only street where we spent most of our time.  This is the newly "remodeled" section.  It was under construction during our first trip.

Here, you'll see where the new an old sections meet.

This is all old section.  Notice the tracks for the trolley system.

This is our 4-hour layover in Germany on the way home.

This picture is from our first full day home. 

Thanksgiving at Granny Peggy's house.  Notice Milcho has an awesome new haircut.

Vanessa enjoyed all the snacking.

My favorite part:  The quiet trip home.

I think Vanessa may be dreaming of shopping trips to come.  I'm in trouble!

Now, backing up a bit before our Bulgaria trip, I completely missed blogging Colton's big milestone.  Just before we left, Colton earned his black belt in taekwondo.  Here he is working out just a couple of days before testing.

None of my pictures of testing turned out good enough to post, but here he is the day he received his belt.  His instructor is Master Jack Stevens, Jr.  This was in late October, and he is still beaming.  Isn't he cute??

As of a couple of weeks ago, Eli has rejoined the class (he was a yellow belt when he quit before), and Milcho and Vanessa have started the class as well.  I've been hoping to post a picture of all 4 of them dressed out, but I can't seem to get the picture taken!  Maybe soon...