Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A few more pictures of Cristian

More pictures of Cristian...

Cristian and Gabi(foster brother)

Cristian with his foster mom, Ani. Having fun in the kitchen.

Cristian and Vali(tata)

Cristian is putting on his new boots. The pullover he has on was Tomas and Daniel's when they were his age. Cute.

A cute picture of Cristian in the car. They drove me to the tram because they didn't want me to have to walk alone in the dark. So sweet!

Another visit with Cristian

I went to see Cristian again this afternoon! I got to spend three hours with him. It was very nice. His foster mom Ani is so sweet. His foster brother Gabi was there too. He showed me some pictures of Cristian on his computer. He sent me one of "Cristy" from this past September. Crisitan was part of the wedding party for Flori's wedding. She is his foster sister.
He is so handsome.

I took a coloring book today with some groovy crayons. They look like a pencil and can be adjusted like a mechanical pencil. Cristian loved them.
He colored a picture of a flower in a pot for me. He started to color the sky brown... which turned into a tree with apples. He was very proud of himself and was happy that I was going to put it on the refrigerator at my house.

Ani, Cristian's foster mom, and I did pretty good talking with each other. We had to be rescued by her son Gabi a few times, but not bad over all. I brought my English/Romanian dictionary which helped.
Ani is so sweet. She loves Cristian so much. She asked about the adoption and when I would have Nicoale and Cristian in my apt. and when we would go to America. I could only guess really, but gave her what information I knew. She shared that maybe in a couple of years she could come to the states to visit Cristian. Not right away, because she wants Cristian to bond with me first, but she would love to come. (Gabi helped us through this conversation) She also reminded me that whenever I come back to Romania...even if it isn't with Cristian, to please visit her and even stay with her. So sweet. Gabi shared how much they love Cristian and that it will be hard, but his mom really wants him to be with me and have a chance to live in America. She is happy and sad at the same time. I so get this. My heart goes out to her for sure.
I know the reason Cristian is so comfortable with me is because of her. She is an amazing person.

Carmen, Nicolae's foster mom is a different story. I called again today to see about spending time with Nicolae and her response was, ...let's wait until Monday when we have meeting with the DPC and Cristian. I guessed that is what she would say. I asked if I could see him before this meeting. Marius said they would call me on Friday to let me know. I am not counting on them actually calling though. It has already been 11 days since I saw him last and now I have to wait 6 more days...grrr. oh well...I need to be thankful for the times she does allow me to see him. "Unofficially".

So anyway....I got a few good pictures of Cristian tonight and will try to send some more in the next couple of days.

I want to thank all of you who have continued to write me, support me, pray for me. I know it has been a long journey and many of you have continued to be there for me through all of this.
Multumesc Foarte mult. Thank you very much.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A slide show of Cristian

Yesterday's visit with Cristian still brings a smile to my face.
I think the pictures show how truly wonderful it was.

Friday, November 23, 2007

My visit with Cristian

My visit with Cristian went very well. Sara went with me to translate. Yay!Cristian is such an adorable little boy. Even though I haven't seen him since January, it was like he didn't even have to have time to "warm up" to me. It was as if we had just seen each other last week. He of course wanted to know why Nicolae wasn't with me. He asked where my son was...cute. He is just a little shorter than Nicolae, but quite a bit thinner. Ani, his foster mom, shared that he is one of the tallest kids in his class and that he does very well in school. She shared some school photos and had him sing a couple of songs to me too. Adorable. Cristian is very cuddly and playful. We had the greatest time getting to know each other better. I got to spend about 2 hrs. with him today . And...I get to see him again this next Tuesday. Yipppeeee! In fact, Ani told me that I can come whenever I want. Just call first and make sure they are home. I asked if she would be ok if I came by myself and she was fine with that. She was sure that we could figure out what each of us was trying to say. So sweet. I am already looking forward to next Tuesday.
I took about 25 pictures today and a couple of videos too. I will try and send some more pictures later.
....smiles...smiling....and more smiling....and still smiling. It was a great afternoon.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I spent the afternoon with Sara and her family. We had a lot of traditional fixins. We had mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad and cranberry sauce chilled and right from the can. (yum)
We had chicken instead of turkey. Way cheaper an it tasted great. The chickens were stuffed and cooked just like a turkey would be. Karen, Sarah's mom, cooked three of them.
Oh and pumpkin pie with whipped cream... my favorite.

The photo: (l to r Back row)
Me, Karen, Sarah, Kentucky Karen, Sarah's Dad Ross

Front row: Luiza, Justin and Dan.

GOOD NEWS!!!! I get to see Cristian tomorrow! Sarah is going to go with me to translate.
Yay. I will try to take some pictures!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

God's way of saying "Have a nice day!"

A friend shared this amazing photo with me and I thought it was worth sharing with all of you.

Have a wonderful day...

A slideshow of Nicolae!

Last night I got to spend about 3 hrs. with Nicolae at Beti's party. Below is a slideshow of the pictures I took of him. The guy in the one photo with Nicolae is Justin. He is Sara's fiance.
It was a fun time!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Beti's party was great!

Beti's party went well. It was wonderful spending time with Nicolae. It was also nice that some of my friends here finally got to meet him. Everyone was so sweet and went out of their way to make Carmen, Marius and Nicolae feel welcome.
Nicolae behaved very well and you could tell he had a nice time. Carmen and Marius enjoyed themselves as well. It was a good evening for sure.

Cute moment: Luiza, Sara's daughter, came up to me at one point, just out of the blue and said, "Debbie, I really like Nicolae. He is a nice boy"...and then off she ran to continue playing. Very sweet.

Another cute moment: When it was time for the cake everyone started singing to Beti. Nicolae was all ready to sing his heart out. However, they began with a different Romanian birthday song. It was a slow song and not what Nicolae and I were expecting. Nicolae looked up at me with that look of ...hey this isn't the right song. When they finished singing that song, everybody sang "Happy Birthday" in English. Again Nicolae looked at me. When we all finished singing "Happy Birthday", Nicolae and I looked at each other and winked. We started clapping and then every one joined in and sang "La Multi Ani". You could tell by Nicoale's face that now the birthday singing was complete. So cute.

Great moments, great pictures and great memories. God is good.

My new dryer

Hi everyone,
I wanted you all to see my new dryer! Having a place to hang my clothes inside does help my clothes dry faster. Yay!
Tonight is Beti's birthday party AND Nicolae, Marius and Carmen are still planning to come. I am going to head over to their apt. in about an hour or so. I am so looking forward to spending some more time with Nicolae. Please pray for our time together. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My 2nd meeting with the DPC

My second meeting with the DPC went well. I just went with the idea that they are on my side and that they have to ask all these questions, not to reject me, but to write a good report so that I can adopt Nicolae and Cristian. It was good to have this frame of mind.

Liana, one of the social workers, was the first to show up. Sylvia was running late due to another meeting she had. One of the first things Liana shared was that she wants our fourth meeting to be with Nicolae and Cristian at my apt. Happy me. I am a bit nervous of course, but very excited too.

Elena the translator and Sylvia showed up shortly after Liana had arrived. We talked about my the picuture I drew of my family. Who they are, how did Dad, Pam and Teri become part of my family. We talked about mom, Bev, Jack. We talked about what happened with my biological dad. We talked about Troy, Steven, and Brian. We talked about Tomas and Daniel too. It took a while to explain everything. It was another 3 hr. meeting. Sheesh. Overall though, I felt really good about the meeting.

We are scheduled to meet again next Monday at 1pm. We are suppose to talk about Nicolae and Cristian then.

Thanks again for all your prayers and I would ask for you to please continue praying as I move forward with adopting Nicolae and Cristian.

Oh and this Friday, Karen is having a birthday party for her daughter Beti. And Carmen, Nicolae's foster mom, actually agreed to come with Nicoale to the party. I am meeting them(Carmen, Nicolae and Marius) at their house, so we can all go together. Happy me.

A cute moment:
It was so cute, when I left Nicolae on Monday night he said"I know, I know, we will see you again next week". To which I responded. No, I will see you this Friday night for a birthday party! (all in Romanian of course) . The look of happy surprise on his face was priceless. He responded with, "I love you very much". (In English) So cute.

FYI...Karen is from Kentucky and is also adopting. She is going through all the same stuff I am and more. Please keep her and Beti in your prayers. It has not been easy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I got to see Nicolae this afternoon!

I got to see Nicolae this afternoon for about 1 1/2 hrs. We went to the park. We(Carmen, Marius, Nicolae and me) walked around a bit and looked at some pictures of Marius' field trip. Then Nicolae and I spent the rest of the time chasing each other, hugging each other and taking some silly pictures. This was one of my favorites.
It was a bit chilly outside and it wasn't a long visit, but it was great seeing Nicolae again. He now knows how to count to 10 in English no problem and he recently learned Mother, Father, boy and girl. He also has figured out the difference between good morning and good bye, which is good. He so wants to be able to speak with me in English. Oh and he sang a couple of songs that he learned at Gradinita...in Romanian of course. I didn't understand all of it ...unfortunately.
It is so disappointing for me. He sings his little heart out, which in itself is adorable, but I so wish I could understand the songs as well. Maybe soon. I am getting better everyday. Unfortunately, I still have a long way to go.
Anyway, it was a great afternoon.
p.s. He only has one glove on because he just got done taking a silly picture of me and he couldn't push the buttons with it on.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New Toys for Nicolae and Cristian

I wanted to show all of you the new toy area in my apartment. Pastor Shane and Randie donated most of the toys you see here.They are Brennan's toys that they don't have room to take back to the states.
I love having the a place to organize all of them. I know that Nicolae and Cristian will enjoy playing with all the "new" toys. There is a play hut, leap frog interactive toys, cars, trucks, puzzles, legos...etc.
I feel so blessed! Thank you Shane, Randie and Brennan!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sara is officially Luiza's mom!

Sara just called. She is now officially Luiza's mom. Praise God!
Great news for her!
Now she needs to work on getting Luiza's visa and then finally heading to the states.
Thanks to all of you who have been praying.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A happy computer moment !

I got to skype with my sister and see her too. My camera is working once again. I am so looking forward to talking with my mom and dad tonight. We will actually get to see each other. I am looking forward to talking with my brother Jack as well. :D A happy computer moment!

My computer working again!!!

Wahoo! Shane brought the computer part for me and my computer is working again! Sunt fericita! I am happy! And...after watching Diane replace this for me once before, I was able to replace it myself. Oh, how wonderful it is to have my computer up and running again...especially being so far from home. Yay!

Monday, November 5, 2007

My meeting today with DPC

Hi all...My meeting today went well, good...ok. . It was very official like. Difficult actually. Both Liana and Sylvia came though...which was nice. They are the same two ladies who met with me when I saw Nicolae and Cristian in Januray. I was very glad it wasn't just Liana.
I like my interpreter. She is young and very nice.
We met for 2 1/2 hrs. today. I am exhausted mentally.

Here is some specifics:

First they started with how the procedure works. Up to 2 months for this process, then a court date, then the boys for 3 months and possibly longer, then lots of paperwork, then another court date, then more paperwork...Then the judges decision...who knows how long this will take? They did all they could to make it sound difficult, hard and crappy. Of course they shared about the whole adoption expereince, the government in Romania, everything...expessed in the worst case scenario possible. It was hard.

I just kept praying to myself that God is in control and that I can only take each day as He gives it to me. They went on with "It could take three years....blah, blah, blah,..and I just listened. They asked what I would do etc. I simply shared that I hope it doesn't take that long and that I would have to make that decision when the time comes.

They asked me about my family, why I wanted to adopt, why didn't I have children the regular way? I did my best to explain. The whole I am not married. I have already gone through menopause...etc. Medically, I am not able to have children etc.
They asked why I chose to come to Romania in the first place. Why did I choose here to adopt? I am wondering that myself.:D
It is more like Romania chose me.

Then they asked about my religion. They were afraid since the boys are Orthodox that they wouldn't be accepted in my "church community". They even asked if I had planned to raise them in an Orthodox church because they have both been baptized Orthodox. "Ah no...no I don't ." I didn't answer them like this, but it was certainly what I was thinking. The problem is that here in Romania being Orthodox is who you are....whether you really have a relationship with God or not.

Of course I am not planning to raise the boys in an Orthodox church, so it took a while to work through this. However, once they realized that being a Christian wasn't about what church you belonged to, but rather your relationship with God, they seemed better. When they also realized that my whole family or every friend I have, didn't attend my same church (Still focused on either you are Orthodox or you are not) and that we still all get along well...they were very understanding then.It was a tough issue for sure.
For them...
It would be like a Protestant marrying into an Orthodox family. Not something that is easily accepted. So it was a long conversation for them to figure out the Nicolae and Cristian wouldn't be "outsted" because of "their religion".

We also talked about my job as a teacher and if would I be willing to give it up...depending on how looooong things took. I tell you they made it hard from the very start of the meeting.

I know you all know this... Nothing about this adoption has been easy and I can only take one day at a time. Bigger chunks are too overwhelming. I will know whether or not I actually adopt Nicoale and Cristian when it happens.

Anyway, we moved on and things lightened up a bit. I just kept saying "breath prayers" throughout the whole meeting. "God give me the words" "God give me the strength". etc.

Then they had me draw some pictures. First, I had to draw a tree. Then a picture of a person.I drew a girl. Then another person, but the opposite sex of the person I drew before. So, I drew a boy. I drew lots of details. I learned from Darci, our psychologist at school, that the more details you drew the better. It was a sign of intelligence. I did my best to be "intelligent".
Actually, they really liked my pictures and commented on the details of them. Thanks Darci.

After 2 1/2 hrs. of answering questions and things, the meeting was finally over. After the meeting was over, they reminded me that these meetings are a chance for them to get to know me better and that I don't need to worry. They also shared again how impressed they were over our meeting last time with the boys. It is a process and they are wanting it to work out too. It is still hard though. It is hard not to feel judged when you know they are the ones who ultimately say yes or no.
Anyway, if I had to give today's meeting a grade, I guess I'd give it a B. I am glad the first meeting is over. Hopefully, we won't have to have a total of 6 of them. We shall see.

We meet again next Tuesday at 2:30 so feel free to start praying now.

Thanks again for all of you have been praying throughout this whole adventure. It has certainly been a long haul.


Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Livermore Team!

What a blessing it was to meet Gail, Sandi... aka... "Disneyland Family's Mom" and Tricia. In the picture, from left to right, it is
Gail, me, Sandi and Tricia.
It was so great to finally have a chance to spend some time with Sandi and getting to know her a bit more. The 10 minutes of shock while chatting with her, her son Troy and Melinda at Disneyland, while still trying to figure out how they knew I wanted to adopt Nicolae, while great, didn't give us much of a chance to get to know each other.
Luckily I got to spend a couple of evenings with Gail, Sandi and Tricia during their time here.. They are all amazing people and have such a heart for Romania. They have all been here several times, but this was the first time I have actually got to meet them.
Thanks Gail for the cookie dough. I have already used both packages. In fact, I just got done baking. I am planning on serving cookies tomorrow during my first DPC meeting at my house. Hey, whatever it takes!My second batch turned out better than the first. :D Figuring out just the right setting for burning, I mean baking , is tricky.
Anyway, thanks!
Tricia...The newly cleaned clothes look great on the line...I look forward to being able to wear them someday soon. "The sun will come out tomorrow...." hopefully....:D Thanks again!
And Sandi, thank you soooo much for your wonderful gift as well. Thanks doesn't seem enough.
I will let you know how tomorrow goes with Liana, the social worker from the DPC and the interpreter. I am not sure if I have her name right. It is either Alina or Eleana.
Gail, Sandi and Tricia...Thanks again to all three of you. It was a blessing getting to know you. I look forward to the day when we(Nicolae, Cristian and I) can come visit you all in Livermore. Or...the three of you can come visit us, well since Gail is now living somewhere else!
I hope your little vacation in Amsterdam went well and that you all arrive home safely.
Please keep in touch!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I have a washing machine!

Yay, I have a washing machine! I did my first load of laundry tonight. The washer is 40 cm x 60 cm x 85 cm. For all your who just felt your brain flatline, it is about 1.5 ft x 2 ft x 3ft. FYI...I looked it up on the internet!
Pastor Shane and his family have decided to stay in the states, so they are selling their furniture and things here in Romania. I was lucky enough to be able to get the washer. It was a great deal 125ron which is about 55 usd. The cheapest I have seen in the stores here is about 300 usd. So I feel very fortnuate.
Actually I was more than fortunate... thanks Tricia! I owe all my clean clothes to you! It is amazing how something as simple as washing my clothes in a washing machine and not the tub, can be so wonderful. I feel so blessed!
Now in about 3 days, after they finally dry, I will actually be able to wear them.:D
Anyway, I just wanted to share my wonderful new washing machine with all of you.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Monday's Meeting with the DPC!

Monday at 1:30 is my first meeting with Liana, the social work, from the DPC. This is the first of six meetings that I have scheduled with her. We will be meeting at my apartment and I'd have to say that I am a bit nervous.

Liana will be the one, basically, who deteremines if I am fit to be a foster mom and if I will be able to eventually adopt. I don't really have a "read" on her yet. Everyone else at the DPC, I feel, is supportive of me. I have no idea with Liana. God fill her with compassion.

I have a translator coming on Monday too. Please pray that she would be somebody I feel comfortable with and that she can convey not only my words to Liana, but my passion as well.

Please pray too that I would, "say the right things" and that Liana would see my heart. That she would see the love I have for Nicolae and Cristian and see all that I have to offer them.(Unconditional love, a family, stability, consistency, self-esteem, education, a home(figuratively and literally speaking)...all the things that come with being a mom.

Thanks for your prayers!
I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Getting to see Nicolae last night was definitely a treat! I only got to spend about 5 -10 minutes with him and we spent all of our time right there on the steps. But, it was worth every minute! Praise God for this blessing. It is not always easy being here, but seeing Nicolae last night certainly helped. "il iubesc pe Nicole foarte mult"...I love him so much.