Monday, October 25, 2010

While we wait

As the end of this month draws closer without any news from Bulgaria, Rob and I have begun to realize that there is a very real possibility that we may not get to see our son before the end of the year. The holidays are quickly approaching in Bulgaria as they are here in the U.S., which means that the approval of our paperwork could potentially get delayed with the MOJ because of government offices being closed for the holidays.

While this realization has made us sad, we cannot dwell on it. Doing so does not help us or our son. Instead, Rob and I have chosen to fill our days with reading more books on adoption, praying for our son and making preparation for our first trip to Bulgaria. On when we will see our son, I know that God's plan is perfect, and He has directed us through this entire journey. He will see us through the next few months, and we will meet our child when the time is right. That being said, I also need to heed my own advice that I frequently give to my husband, which is that God would not have brought us this far to then see us fail. This verse come to mind:

"When I was waiting quietly for the Lord, His heart was turned to me, and He gave ear to my cry." Psalms 40:1
Rob and I have also decided that we should spend our time while we are waiting to hear from Bulgaria by cherishing every moment with our sweet daughter. Julia has been an only child for over seven years, and while she wants her little brother home as soon as possible, Rob and I realize that this will be a huge adjustment for our little girl who is not accustomed to sharing her mommy and daddy with anyone. So, we have begun planning some extra special adventures with mom and dad.

For our latest adventure with Julia, we decided to take her for her first ever session of painting pottery this past weekend. Julia loves to write stories and "illustrate" her stories with wonderful drawings so Rob and I decided that her love for art might be extended to painting pottery.

The studio that we decided to take Julia to for the pottery painting session is next door to the dojo where Julia takes karate two or three times a week so every visit to the dojo last week made her more excited about our impending visit to the pottery studio. Finally, the time had arrived. Julia looked over all pottery in the studio several times to pick out her perfect piece. She decided on a dog which looks very much like a labrador retriever puppy (Julia adores her cousin's lab), and then Rob and I helped her pick out paint colors for her dog. She decided to make him a chocolate lab with green eyes and a blue collar.

At the pottery studio, we learned that our pottery piece needed to have a least three coats of paint in order to have the dark, rich colors show up after the glazing and firing process. In order to get three coats of brown paint on our little pup, Rob and I quickly realized that we would need to get in on the painting action as well. I have to say that a good time was had by all, and we are all looking forward to picking up Brownie (yes, she named him!) on Friday. Rob even painted a "B" on our pup's tag so that no one would forget Brownie's name. Julia then told Rob and I that even though we all helped to paint Brownie that Brownie was going to stay in her room! That's my girl.

We have also decided to make a second trip to the pottery place. This visit will be for Julia to pick out a piece that we can all paint for her little brother's room. Something tells me it is going to be that ceramic airplane I saw her checking out!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Puzzle Fundraiser

As many of you already know, we are in the process of adopting a precious little three year old boy from Bulgaria. Our son will turn four in March, which means that he and Julia are four years apart in age. Julia has been asking for a baby brother for over three years, and now she is going to get her wish. We know that they will be best friends!

We are desperately trying to bring our son home from Bulgaria before his fourth birthday. In order to do this, we need your help. As you can imagine, international adoptions are very expensive, and all of our fees, both US and Bulgarian, must be paid prior to our first trip to Bulgaria (Bulgaria requires two trips). It looks like our first trip to meet our precious little boy will be in December of this year. In order to help pay our fees, we have had yard sales, worked extra jobs, held a Chick-fil-A fundraiser, and we have applied for several adoption grants. To date, we have paid over $15,000 in fees, but we will need another $9,000 before our first trip to Bulgaria.

So, we are "selling puzzle piece." Yes, puzzle pieces! Rob and I have selected a 3,000 piece puzzle that reminds us of the mountain region in Bulgaria where our little boy lives, and a donation of $3.00 is the cost to sponsor one piece of the puzzle. Of course, you can sponsor as many pieces as you would like!

On the back of each puzzle piece that you sponsor, we will write your name and the date the puzzle piece was purchased. When the puzzle is completed, we will frame the puzzle and hang it in our home so that our son can see the names of all the people who loved him and who helped to bring him home. Julia is very excited about putting the puzzle together!

In the future, I will give regular updates on our puzzle fundraiser here on the blog so please check back to see how we are doing.

To sponsor a piece or pieces of the puzzle, please send your donation to:

Robert or Angela Pachciarz
3801 Masters Dr
Smyrna, TN 37167

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Additional paperwork needed

On Sunday night of this week, we received an e-mail from our caseworker in regard to our dossier. The coordinating agency in Bulgaria, VESTA, had contacted our agency to request that Rob and I resubmit our initial application to the MOJ containing language specific to our son. Apparently, the new application to the MOJ which we sent with our dossier did not contain this specific language and that three paragraph little section hidden in the four page application would help the MOJ quickly match us with our son. VESTA was a also requesting a quick turn around on the application to the MOJ. The e-mail had been marked "high priority." The resubmitted application would also have to be notarized, certified and apostilled.

As I said, the e-mail came on Sunday night...about 10:30 p.m. to be exact. My loving husband chose not to wake me from a restful night's sleep to tell me about the e-mail. This was a very wise move on his part. We have been married for over 14 years, and he knows me well. I would not have been able to go to sleep that night because I would have stressed about getting the application done quickly, and there was not much that could be done on a Sunday night when all local government agencies are closed. So, Rob let me sleep and then told me about the e-mail on Monday morning.

Luckily, I had Monday and Tuesday off from work as I had intended on taking Julia to visit my mother in West Tennessee. Instead of packing, I found myself feverishly looking for the application to the MOJ with the correct language. After tearing up several rooms downstairs in my search, I realized that I might have saved a copy on our computer. I rushed upstairs to our office and opened My Documents to find the needed document, and then I filled out the document for what felt like the tenth time. International adoption documents must be perfect in regards to the information being filled out on the form, and no abbreviations can be used...not even for a street address. If you make a mistake in filling out one of the forms, you must start all over again. In other words, there was a real likelihood that I had filled out this form numerous times.

After finishing the application to the MOJ, Rob and I agreed to meet at the county clerk's office at 1:00 p.m. Rob and I signed the application in front of a county employee who then notarized the document. We then walked down the hall to another office where someone else certified that our notary was a true notary, and after that we were off to the Secretary of State's office for the apostille. While en route to that office, I contacted our caseworker to see what else we needed to do with the application.

Our caseworker requested that we send the completed application by FedEx to the agency's corporate office in Michigan. It would need to be in the hands of the International Services Coordinator by 10:00 a.m Tuesday morning in order to be sent to Bulgaria the same day. After leaving the Secretary of State's office, Rob, Julia and I headed to the closest FedEx location where we paid $26.00 to have six pieces of paper delivered to Michigan by the next morning, and we were grateful. I have to say that I think FedEx does a great job! The package arrived exactly when it was supposed to on Tuesday morning, and by noon the application had been sent from the Michigan corporate office to Bulgaria.

The rush of adrenalin that pushed us get everything done quickly had subsided. Rob headed back to work, and Julia and I headed to West Tennessee to spend time with my mom. Afterall, the only thing we could do now was wait to hear once again from VESTA or the MOJ, and pray that our referral and travel dates would come quickly.