Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gotcha Day- January 31st!!

We arrived in Bulgaria on January 30th! We stayed at the Budapest Hotel.

I woke up at 4am (thanks jetlag) and at 6:45 we started getting ready. We had breakfast and then brought all the donations down to the lobby to wait for Ginka and Vladimir.

We left at just after 8:00am for Yambol. We arrived around 11.

Thank you to everyone who gave so that we could bring gifts to each of the children at the centres. We were also able to donate over $2000 to start the fund for a van/bus for the centres.
They had Wyatt all dressed and ready to see us! I do not think he recognized us but he was very excited to have attention and lots of hugs. He melted my heart once again.

Mama is back!!!

Wyatt's special Gotcha Day outfit picked by the staff at the centre!

Meeting Nana through Skype!

I'm A Keeper!!

Jammies from his cousins!

We went back to the hotel and "met" Nana and Auntie Krista! Then we went out to Jumbo and the mall for supper.

At bedtime we had some tears from Wyatt but we were able to settle him down and that was the only night he cried. He slept like a champ!

Wyatt has grown at least 1-2 sizes since July! He has grown in height and in his frame as well. He looks so great! No more size 12 months capri's! He just fits size 3 and will be in size 4 any day!!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Budapest Hotel

If adopt from Bulgaria again I will be staying at the Budapest. They were amazing! Very welcoming of adoptive families and spoke English.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Trip to Bulgaria!!!

Katie drove us  from the ferry to airport!!
Let the adventure begin!!
We had an overnight layover in London and we spent a few hours walking around

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Prayer Requests

  • safety as we travel
  • wisdom to know how to meet Wyatt's needs
  • that Wyatt would have peace throughout the coming transitions
  • good health
  • that we would adjust to the time change 
  • that Wyatt would do well on the flights home

Letter to my Son

Dear Wyatt,
In 4 sleeps I will be on my way to the centre to pick you up. You have no idea what the days ahead will hold and how much you are loved already by so many in Canada. You are now a son, nephew and grandson. You are a Keno now and we will forever be your family. You are loved, chosen, wanted and cherished. You are no longer an orphan and Lord willing you will never know another day without a Mom or family. You are my son. The son that i have prayed for and wished for for so many years.

My prayer for you is that you will love and be loved. That you will feel safe and grow strong. That you will come to know personally that Jesus loves you. That we as your family will have wisdom to know how to support you in every area of your life. Lastly, that through the coming weeks and months that you would know a peace that passes all understanding.

I promise to:

  • love you
  • tell you about Jesus 
  • make you laugh
  • teach you 
  • provide for you
  • show you the world
  • advocate for you 
  • make sure you have the best services and care
  • be your voice until you find yours 

Next week I get to introduce you to your Papa, Nana, Aunties, Uncles and cousins. You are part of an amazing, fun, never-boring, unique family who have already love you. I am bursting with pride and excitement and i cannot wait to introduce you to them in person. I hope that as you grow you will have a special relationship with each of them.

Uncle Brent will show you that smiling and being joyful is a great way to spend your days.

Uncle Aiden is excited to teach you English and he will educate you on all his favourite Disney characters. He is very excited to bring you to DisneyLand.

Uncle David will show you how much fun it is to get be a monkey. He will show you how much fun it is to jump on the trampoline and to go swimming at the local beaches. He will teach you that its not hard to run faster than your Mom.

You will come to know that there is a village of people who have made your adoption possible. They have sacrificed and given generously. They have prayed for you and the process and are very excited to meet you.

Always remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were created to be you. You have a purpose on this earth and God has a special journey just for you.

I can't wait to watch you grow and learn my soon. I love you to the moon and back. I'll see you January 31st.

Love Always,
Your New Mommy

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wyatt's Room

A year ago I had decided that we would go with a hunting/wilderness or a cowboy room. We went to JoAnn's in California and we found cowboy fabric that we loved and so the theme was decided. We also added a few items from our "quick" afternoon (turned into evening) trip to Tijuana.  Andrea got some amazing deals at Hobby Lobby's and Cabela's in May.

Sign  and curtains made by me. One hat is from Mexico and the other from the SOS 

Papa is making Wyatt a special bed! Latern's Andrea got from Cabela's

All the way from Mexico

Wyatt's red dresser painted by Bea's Nest

Shelves were a team effort which Papa headed up

Saloon doors were also a team effort (a purchase from the SOS)

My Mom found a matching teddy bear to the one I received as a baby

Woody from our friends and Mickey from Auntie Andrea
I am so grateful to my Dad for all his help; we could not have done it without him. As well Andrea is my interior designer. I gave her some ideas and she ran with it and I am thrilled how it turned out.
Thank you so much for your help Andrea and Dad. In 8 sleeps Wyatt will be home to enjoy it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Overview of my journey to Wyatt

When I was praying about adopting I asked God to affirm my decision with a financial sign. Within 24 hours I found out that I had a raise at work and a back pay cheque. I guess He answered (and in a way I did not expect).

So over the summer of 2013 I saved up $3000 for my application fee for my home study. I continued to pray and seek if I was walking in the right way. He affirmed each step through financial provision and the change of close friends and families views towards me adopting.

I am not sure if I ever showed the true feelings I had at times throughout my adoption. I was scared that I would not be able to pay for my adoption and that I would fail along the way. I had to put my pride aside and ask people to come along side of me as I could not do it alone. This was hard-very hard.  I had no choice I had to let people journey with me. I had to have faith and trust that God knew what he was doing even when people around me questioned my intentions to adopt and were concerned that I was jumping too deep in the waters of faith.  I knew it was the path I was to take and I have no doubt of that. I think this has been the greatest journeys I have ever been on and one of the hardest as well.

I would sit in my room looking over the expenses to come trying to plan new fundraisers and praying God would provide. Every time a payment was due I had the money to pay it in full. I never had to defer a payment. God is faithful to supply when He leads. He showed me that He uses people who you never expect and that He moves and nudges people to give even when you haven't asked them.

When I knew God was nudging me to start the journey of adoption. I did not know what it would look like and what country I would adopt from. I knew I wanted to adopt a child with Down Syndrome and decided a boy would be a great fit with my brothers and respite children. I needed to find a country that allowed singles under 30 and that didn't cost $60,000. I started emailing agencies and soon I decided on an agency and I started crossing countries off as I found out some would not be able to facilitate the adoption of a child with DS. Some were unstable and some were not excited to assist me. Bulgaria was the country that kept coming up. So Bulgaria it was!

My agency had a struggle finding a local social worker in the mid-Island area who was able to do my home study and so I had a social worker from Victoria who completed it. This meant that I had to drive to Victoria and then pay for her to come to our house once. I am thankful that she was able to walk through the process with me as she was very pro special needs adoption and was in support of single's adopting as well.

In September, I shared with the world that I was adopting from Bulgaria. I asked people to come alongside of me and to attend my first fundraiser. I had a wonderful turn out for my supper and silent auction. I was able to share my heart with people and tell them the whys behind what I was doing. God provided the money for the next fee through the generous gifts of people. My sister baked up a storm and sold it, people bought Purdy's from me and magazines. This brings me to Christmas where my home study was complete and next step was my agency pulling a file for me.

In January, there were 3 files that met my criteria except the fact that they were all older then I requested. I talked with the director and she must have gave the okay to my Bulgarian agency to pull the file ( I wasn't expecting this to happen). On January 13th, I got a surprise call from my social worker in BC to say that she received photos of a child that my agency had pulled for me.... it was surreal.....she was going to send me pictures of a child who could become my son. He was born in 2007 and had a summer birthday. If I decided that he was a good fit my agency would have to make increase the age of the child I was requesting.

I called my Mom and sister to tell them right away and sent the email to them. My Mom came to work and saw the video of him marching/walking and dancing.

Since I had his birthday and his MOJ number from the pictures I set out to see if I could find more information. I shared with a fellow adoptive Mom and she knew 2 adoptive Mothers who had seen Wyatt that very week and had updated pictures and could tell me their observations. I was also able to look up his information on the MOJ website and then use google translation to translate it. As well a lady who works for another agency was able to send me his file that Reeces Rainbow had. I knew he was my son. So I had to wait for the official documents to come and then I was able to officially commit to him. 

I had a list of names I was considering and I knew as soon as I saw him that he was a Wyatt. Wyatt Timothy had a nice ring to it. Around this time I a family friends business decide to bless me with a generous donation and it was very fitting that I had decided on Timothy as a middle name as it was Pastor Tim's family who blessed me.

The time between receiving his pictures and when I got to met him was 6 months 1 day. That time was busy with lots of waiting and some paperwork. Then finally in June I got the news that I could go and meet my son.

Meeting my son for the first time in July I can not describe the feelings that were whirling around in my heart and mind. Fear of will he scream and not want to be loved, will Andrea think we are not a good fit for each other. will the director be strict, mean and unwelcoming? My experience was perfect minus the barfing part. They welcomed us and Wyatt embraced me from the first moment he could and I knew prayers had been answered. We hit it off and I knew that he was my son. The one that God had picked just for me. The director is so kind and loves the children. She wants the best for them and understands the value of them having a family. Wyatt loved attention and having people there to visit just him. Saying goodbye on day 5 was hard- I cried but I also cried tears of joy when I held him for the first time (no surprise as I am a Keno).

I brought size 5 clothing for him and when I showed up he was wearing a size 12 months pants as capri's....I guess I was a bit off! Good thing my nephew is growing into size 5 so he can enjoy the clothes as Wyatt will not fit them for awhile. He is skinny but not sick looking- he will need some good nutrients and possibly some medications but we won't know until Dr. N sees him and runs some tests.

While we were in Bulgaria we made 3 friends. A lady who was adopting her son and her Mom was along for support. We hit it off and became good friends. They helped pass the time from when we were back in Sofia to when we could fly out on the Monday. We went on adventures and enjoyed each others stories and share a faith as well. We are planning on meeting them at Disney Land in the coming months.

Since coming home there has been more paperwork and then waiting for the last approval from the MOJ and then a court date. I found out at the end of October that my court date would be November 18th. That day came and went with great news- I have a son!!

Then was the wait for his birth certificate and court decree.  Once those were received my agency brought Wyatt on his first road trip to get his passport. This means that I will only have to be in Bulgaria to pick him up and that we do not have to wait 2 weeks for paperwork to be processed.

On December 13th my adoption was fully funded with a generous donation from a couple at my church. God faithfully provides!

Immigration received Wyatt's application on December 23rd. January 12th I received an email saying that they needed more documents. Monday this week (January 19th) my agency got the document and now it is translated and his Wyatt's passport and documents are on their way to Romania for his visa to be stamped.

I have travel dates!!!! Andrea and I will fly out January 28th. Gotcha Day is January 31st and then we fly home February 3rd. I paid for our plane tickets this morning and booked our hotel for our layover in London.

Wyatt your Mom is coming for you!