waking up in Holland

Monday, March 16, 2015

It’s been almost four years since Joey, Ace, and I traveled to Bulgaria to meet Archie. That trip turned my world upside down. It changed me. It shook me.

I could never unsee. I could never unhear. I would never be the same. Joey and I met our son. Ace met her brother. Her best friend. And while it was beautiful and glorious and amazing. The reality was devastating.

We bonded with our son and we bonded with his friends. And then we left them.

When Joey went back to pick Archie up, he met another little boy. A little boy who had just been moved to Archie’s orphanage. He took tons of pictures of him and told me all about him. He was precious. Exactly one year younger than Archie, but just a tiny little thing. Joey loved on him. And fell in love with him. 

Once Archie was home and we finally fell into our new normal, I started looking through all of the pictures Joey had taken on that trip. It was very surreal. And every time I came upon a picture of Little Guy, my heart sank. Somebody needed to go and get him. I knew it couldn’t be us, so I sent out some emails in an attempt to find out more about him and his situation so that I could advocate for him. I found out that he was not listed as available for adoption within the registry.

I wrote a couple more emails, and nothing was seeming to ever come of it. He was stuck. But my life kept moving. I didn’t forget about him, but I felt helpless. I thought about him every single day.

So this past summer when I got a message from one of my best adoptive mama friends that just said, “I think your boy is finally listed,” my heart sank into my stomach. I knew exactly what that meant. Mandy had also met Little Guy and knew how in love with him we were.

I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty of the conversation Joey and I had upon hearing this news. I will just skip to the end…the good part. The part where we said, “well, let’s go get him!”

So the paper chase began.

I could not believe we were back in the process. We had decided that it would be several years before we even thought about adding another one to our crew. But there I was, back to the days of spending most of my time with my notary and staring at the email icon on my phone waiting for the red circle to pop up. {Whether I was expecting anything or not}

I reconnected with some other adoptive moms and joined my old Bulgaria Adoption Facebook group. Which is where I saw the face of a little girl waiting for a family. She was perfect and beautiful. And if I didn't know any better I would have actually believed she was Archie’s long lost twin. She couldn’t become one of the forgotten ones. Left behind forever. She needed a family fast. And I tried to come up with reasons as to why that family couldn't be ours, but I came up with nothing. So yada, yada, yada, another long conversation with Joey, which this time ended with him asking me, “are we crazy?” And me confidently answering, “absolutely.”

It has been a complicated road. There were days when we did not think it was going to work out. But all in a time that was not our own, things fell into place. And we suddenly found ourselves needing to be in Bulgaria very quickly.

So Ace, Radko, and I boarded a plane yesterday. And this morning we woke up in Holland. Not the metaphorical Holland that my fellow special needs moms know. Actual Holland. What a perfect place for a little stop on this journey.

The kids were both total rockstars on that nine hour flight. And the second flight to Sofia was a breeze. And now we are here. Back at the same hotel we stayed in almost four years ago. Tomorrow morning we will wake up and head to meet our sweet girl. I wish I could bottle up Ace’s energy and excitement. It's just awesome.

I will leave it at that for now. Between crazy jet lag, a rambunctious six year old, and the most destructive, giant baby there has ever been, I am running on straight fumes. 

Oh, and I will leave you with some pictures of our newest loves.

Here is Archie with our Gus on the day Joey picked Archie up from the orphanage

And some pictures a friend sent to us of Gus from after Archie was home:

And finally our sweet Sevy

Okay, well here we go!

Lots of Love!


Tracy said...

Oh my goodness. I am so excited for all of you. I love your heart for orphans and leaving none behind. I commit to pray for all of you through this journey and transition. So wonderful. <3

juliebugsmama said...

You don't know me, but I want to express to you how much of an impact your family's story has had on my life. On 3/21/11 (World Down syndrome Day) I received confirmation that the baby boy I was carrying had Ds. The next day, in my frantic search for comfort and answers, I came upon Ace's video about Archie. For the next several months I watched that video every day, as did my family. It helped us in ways that are hard to put into words. Thank you for sharing your story, and I am so happy to hear of the newest additions to your beautiful family. My little guy, Jonathan, is amazing, by the way. Best thing that ever happened to us! Thanks again!

juliebugsmama said...

Sorry I meant 3/21/12. :)

Michael and Maggie said...

Yay!!! This makes my heart so happy! My husband and I love following your adoption journeys!

mex said...

That is awesome!!! I am so looking forward to "travelling"'with you all in this journey...how exciting!!

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