Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Wheels turning

Article 5 interview is scheduled for Thursday, please pray it goes smoothly!

Also, please keep us (and especially Mama) in prayer for peace - we know we can't ever be fully prepared for an adoption, but "Owen" is in a much different place physically than Ana, so we are just somewhat afraid. But perfect love casts out fear, and we know our Savior is greater than all (especially us), and has trampled down death by death.

In Christ,
Papa

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Provisional Approval

Glory to God, we have our USCIS provisional approval! I'm not sure what order all the dominoes are in, but presumably things can move (further?) ahead in-country now.

Thank you for your prayers for "Owen" and for us.
In Christ,
Papa

Friday, January 20, 2017

Лека нощ от София

Thank you for all your prayers. The paperwork will proceed, and we will hope to have at least semi-regular Skype calls with "Owen". It was a good visit. I am looking forward to heading home, but had a good afternoon visiting some old friends and a new one.

S. Georgi, built by Constantine. My favorite church in town. I am sorry that I have never coincided with liturgy here.

 Sv. Sofia, built several times, but basically by Justinian I, about 550AD. Also sorry to have never coincided with a regular service, though I've seen parts of a wedding...


Cathedral Alexander Nevsky, the seat of the Patriarch of Bulgaria, built 1912. Truly magnificent, but very much of a different era than her older sisters. I failed to catch the golden dome in the above picture, so see below (photo by Harfang, courtesy Wikipedia, CC). I had not visited this one before, but was pleased to make it today in time for daily vespers. It takes a while to cense such a big church...



Thank you again for your prayers, God is very gracious.

For travelers by land, by sea, and by air,
for the sick and the suffering,
for captives and their salvation
let us pray to the Lord.

Господи, помилуй

In Christ,
Papa

Final visit of Trip 1

Today's visit was a pretty average-good one. "Owen" enjoyed some Clif bar, we listened to Brandenburg 1 and Italian Concerto in Fa maggiore, we looked at photos, we swung on the swing, and he sloshed some water when my guard was down.

One of the more kind nurses was with us today, and when "Owen" fed me back a bite of Clif bar, she noted that he never gives anybody his food. That was probably a good sign.

He didn't take to his monkey pack quite as much as I hoped - it wasn't the translator's satchel, after all. But he has it, it has his car, his album, his O-ball, and two Clif bars. I hope he isn't too sad when I don't come back this afternoon. And I hope he remembers me when I do come back in 4-6 months.

Now to go walk, pray to God at the cathedral, have dinner, and prepare to fly home tomorrow.

Thank you for your prayers, our God is good and glorious.
Papa

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Day 4, Visit 2

This afternoon's visit was just pleasant. "Owen" and I spent about 20 minutes just munching a Clif bar (chocolate chip again, I grabbed the bar blindly). Then we spent much time drinking out of my water bottle. In all this I have been trying to model and prompt signs, just "molya" ("please"), and "merci". He was mixing them up a bit, but he was trying to use them. Clif bars are good motivators, I guess.

After snacking, we played rolling the water bottle. He really wanted to play this with the nurse, and only grudgingly included me in the game. But we played in a triangle for a while, Him -> Nurse -> Me -> Him...

Then he wanted the translator and nurse to help him with drinks (they don't wave your hands around all weird, or something). That's when he managed to slosh. That's when sloshing became registered in his mind as "new best game", and that's when I put away the bottle. That prompted a bit of frustration and a walk to the door, but then we made up and played swinging for the rest of the time. Today was Bach. I understand. Bach is orderly. Order is good.

We actually played to the end of the visit! One more tomorrow, then ciao for now...

Thank you for your prayers,
Tatko

Day 4, Visit 1, Photo 2

The visa photo came out much better today. He is a handsome fellow, when he wants to stay in one place.

The Clif bar was a hit (chocolate chip, of course). It made waiting 20 minutes in the car for the photos to print a fun time, not misery. The play visit was good: we stuffed the photos in his album (and he worked on tearing out a page), we tried peek-a-boo (not much traction), we walked around a bit, we played with the translator's satchel (I will have to get "Owen" one for the trip home - I think it's a being-big badge - I will give him his monkey backpack with all the keepsakes tomorrow, perhaps that will suffice). We'll try a peanut-butter Clif bar this afternoon, and work on finding good games. Truly, though, I get the feeling that "Owen" just wants to be out and doing stuff. We'll need to spend a lot of time working on the back yard before he comes home...

Another highlight of the visit was poop! I had observed some effort-face and a bit of smell, and very soon "Owen" clearly directed my hand to the appropriate "diaper-check" position on the back of his waistband. Yep, sure enough. The nurse took him for a change (yeah, I know, I could have pushed to do the change, but we'll get there when we get there), and on the way back, he saw lunch carts. That was the end of the visit. I'll see him again in an hour or so, and am praying for another good (though sadly, penultimate) visit. But the nurse today was very sweat, and she showed me a photo of her daughter in what looked like traditional dancing costume. She was very glad to see our family picture and the Good Shepherd that Aunt Cathy sent.

I just looked it up, and his name day is 27 December, which was my parents' anniversary, so we'll have more good things to celebrate in Christmastide.

Thank you for your prayers,
Tatko

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Day 3, Visit 2

The laundry came out fine. The visa photo didn't. So we get to have another trip tomorrow.

The afternoon visit was not stupendous. I am always happy to see "Owen", but I don't have quite the knack for sustaining his attention (perhaps impossible), and my bag of tricks is now pretty played out. But tomorrow I will bring a Clif bar. I realize that I have a play-skills gap, and have a hard time being silly with kids - probably an aspect of pride that needs to be mortified - but I don't know many games that don't involve some kind of skill AND are appropriate​ for an 18kg, 1.1m child (because they are mostly aimed at our baby).

That's all for now, thanks for praying, good night.

In Christ,
Tatko