Saturday, March 29, 2014

There Once Was A Girl....Who Had a Little Curl...RIGHT in the Middle of Her Forehead...

"Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

There was a little girl

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There was a little girl,
            Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
            When she was good,
            She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was...
well...still our little Rosie and still loved by us! We thank you Lord this day for our precious Rosie...a gift right from you! Thank you!

This photo shoot totally describes a day in the life of Rosie...our VERY energetic and expressive littlest 2 year old blessing! We LOVE you Rosie!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Would You Be One of the 85 Needed to be a Blessing and completely fund our adoption?

“Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do no know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows we know and holds us responsible to act.” Proverbs 24:12

Our pick up trip of our 2 blessings, Jeremiah and JoyAnna is quickly approaching. 

We are on a fast track, and will soon be contacted to go and get them. God has provided ALL that we need for every expense and adoption cost so far and that has been a HUGE blessing.  Since we were required to take another trip to meet JoyAnna, our expenses needed have gone up. We have calculated now that we will need about $8,500.00 to pay for the pick up trip. This includes airfare, hotel and meals, and medical and other expenses in country.

We'd like to know if you'd be willing to partner with us in this way, and if there would be 85 of you who would be willing to give $100.00 toward bringing home our blessings from the Lord??  Would you prayerfully consider being part of our 100 club? What a joy it would be to us! In the past almost 18 months we have been on this journey, we ourselves have given many gifts of $100.00 or more to other adoptions. This has been an amazing encouragement to us. This is because as the scriptures say, "our eyes are opened and we CANNOT pretend we do not know what to do!
It would be a blessing to us if you all would consider donating $100.00  to our Reece's Rainbow page which can be found:HERE. This means that our Reece's Rainbow page needs to show a total of $25,522.00 Rejoice with us as we watch God provide and the number go up! Stand Amazed with us, too!

*If you so desire to do the work of more than one person, well, we pray that God will bless you greatly! We'd like to thank you in advance for your love, your prayers, and your generous support! Please, please, feel free to share this with ALL of your friends and family! To GOD be the GLORY, for GREAT things HE hath done! May the Lord bless you for what you have done this day! We sure do love you bunches!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Praising God this Day!!!

t's 8:30 a.m. in Bulgaria and we are PRAISING THE LORD!!! We went down stairs to meet Yavor for breakfast and he said..."Good news Mary and Glenn, just got word from the orphanage that we can come and pick up the nurse and go to the hospital and visit JoyAnna through the glass!" No photos, no touching her!

Oh dear Lord, thank you soooo much! This is what happens when God's people pray! ONLY God could have done this! To God be the glory, GREAT things He has done. Truly so that NO man can take credit for it! HE MOVED THE MOUNTAINS THIS DAY! He changed the hearts of the king!!! Amen! Promise to keep you posted!! Thank you ALL and LOVE you! 

Now a bit after our visit with JoyAnna:

" And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. " 1st John 5: 14-15

We asked and God gave in a BIG way this morning in His PERFECT timing! We got to see JoyAnna again through the glass. We were met by the director of the hospital and she was VERY gracious. We also got to meet the ICU nurse that cares for JoyAnna and oh what a blessing it was to us. What a lovely woman she is. And oh how she LOVES our JoyAnna. When we first got there, the social worker from the orphanage went in and woke JoyAnna up. When she saw who it was, she cried and cried. Oh how I wanted to hold her and hold her and hug her and kiss her and sing to her and whisper in her ear, but I couldn't. But you know what? It was actually a blessing to hear her cry. Why? Because many, many children who spend their lives in cribs stop crying. Not JoyAnna. Then, as soon as the social worker came back out with us, and the ICU nurse came to her and tickled her and got her to wave to us and look at us, she laughed and laughed and smiled BIG smiles. It was such an encouragement to us to see how well loved she is there at the hospital. So you see...this is EXACTLY where God wants her to be right now for the next 7 days or more. You were right, Lauren Horton! Thank you for that insight. God showed it clearly to us this day. We were excited to see that the little bear that our Nicole gave to her on Monday was right in her bed with her. That was really neat. Once the ICU nurse started to make her smile, I pleaded that I might be able to please, please, please take a photo...just cling to and take back to America with me, but this request was NOT granted. But you know what? That's okay...I've asked God to etch these moments with her in my mind and Glenn's mind until such a time as we can rescue her from this place! We are trusting God that it won't be long...everything is already in place, and so we just need to do our new immigration and our officer is just waiting for it, and promised to approve it same day. Please pray for speed and God's perfect timing! Our 5 minute visit ended up being 30 minutes and we are so thankful for that, too! We are now back in Sofia and will fly home at 6:30 am tomorrow from Sofia and be home in NH at 10:00 tomorrow night. Our kiddos at home are doing really well! Thank you for your prayers! They are what has sustained us, and kept us going! We love you all bunches! Included this photo of JoyAnna. Her hair is much longer now and we are told she LOVES to sing and laughs a lot! Such a blessing from the Lord!
feeling blessed.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Rejoice ever more and pray without ceasing---in EVERYTHING give EVERYTHING!

Oh how hard this scripture is to put into practice this day. So very hard. Why?? you ask...well...let me tell you. 

We went with GREAT anticipation to the orphanage. We walked up the many, many steps eagerly. We checked in with the familiar security gate. We waited in the familiar lobby as Yavor set out to let the social worker know we were there. We held the quilts and the gift for Nina and a little bear Nicole gave to her new sister JoyAnna. 

We were invited to come in and talk with the woman who was filling in for the director who wasn't there to "talk" for a few minutes. Here in this room we learned that JoyAnna was in the hospital. She had gone for a blood transfusion on Saturday and contracted pneumonia while she was there, and so they kept her. We learned she may be there for a week to 10 days. "Oh precious Jesus, why? Why is this happening to us?"

"What"?? we were thinking. But God we have come ALL of this way to see and love on our precious little girl, and now she's in the hospital and we learned that we may not even be allowed to visit her?? "What"? This isn't what we expected, God, this isn't what we wanted for our time here, Lord!

Tears sprang to my eyes as they explained the situation. Reminiscent tears about Zoey, and tears of discouraged and frustration about JoyAnna.  I wondered why this place where we were, a medical orphanage with a well known hospital within it, could not treat her for the pneumonia?? Hmmm...The woman agreed to call the hospital and ask if we could come by and visit her, or if she was too sick for a visit. "Oh please, Lord, " I prayed..."Please let us at least see her!", "Please!!". They called her back to tell her that we could come today, but we'd have to just visit her through the glass for now, and then they would see how things go.

"What, Lord?".."through the glass?"..."but Lord, you know how I love to hug and love on our children, you know that, right?"..."through the glass, Lord, really??"....

*Disclaimer note:  this is NOT the hospital we were at. Not in the least! But anyway....

Then God reminded me of this very verse:  "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy NO man taketh from you!" John 16:22

"Don't let these men rob you of your joy, Mary, my beloved, " God whispered to me! "Don't let them!", "remember you are to rejoice and pray without ceasing and give thanks in ALL things!"

And so I did just that, as hard as it was! We had a representative from the orphanage ride along with us in Yavor's car and we drove the short distance there.  We got out and had to be let into the locked door of the hospital. This was like NO other place that we have ever been to. NONE. That's ALL I'll say about it!  We were met by a Dr. and a Nurse (no lady with an alligator purse...:) :) :)--truly..I MUST find humor where I can this day! I MUST!) We had to put on hospital gown, booties, and masks in order to even enter the secured area where JoyAnna was. 
So we entered, and I saw her. Let me do my best to describe her to you. First let me say...she is absolutely beautiful! Breathtaking! The photos of her do NOT do her justice at ALL! There she was lying in a crib. The only one in this little room. Thankfully her crib was right next to the window. When we first saw her, her eyes were closed and she was sleeping. Then, she opened her eyes and looked right at me. Oh her eyes...they are HUGE and brown. Her eye lashes are super long. She looked at me, and I pressed my hand against the glass and I waived at her and when I took my mask down for a few seconds (my back was to the authorities in the room) and I smiled at her, she gave me the HUGEST smile back! It was awesome! What a gift from the Lord! Her whole face lit up like a beacon! 

God reminded me right then of this very verse:  "But Godliness with contentment is GREAT gain!"  1 Timothy 6:6

And you see, because Glenn and I were content with just being able to go and see her, God rewarded us and gave us the GREAT gain of seeing her smile. What a gift! Thank you Jesus! 
So of course I asked right then if I could take a photo of her, and was told "NO WAY!"..."there are NO photos allowed in the hospital! NONE!" "Okay...God...Okay...contentment...contentment...I will be please burn these images of her in my mind so that I don't forget any details. NONE!  

I must admit when I got the most recent photo of her in a stroller, she looked so very sad, and I wondered if she would be able to smile and interact with us, and now I know that she can! Then she promptly stuck her left thumb into her mouth and sucked it and closed her eyes, still with a slight smile on her face! Someone was visiting her! Someone smiled at her and showed her love, and she knew it! She has the sweetest little nose. She plays with it with her finger when she is sucking her thumb. Her hair is a beautiful brown and she has a LOT of it.  It's got a slight curl to it. Her body is physically in good shape really. She weighs about 18 kilograms which is about 40 lbs. For age 6 that's okay. Manageable...way beefier than Zoey for sure!  She has full use of her arms and upper body. This was so wonderful to witness. They told us that she LOVES music and musical toys! Oh how she'll fit right in to our family, won't she??

One thing that was hard to see was that she was too big for her metal crib, and her little feet in booties hung out the ends of the crib. That must be very uncomfortable for her.

So we were able to stay in there for about 20 minutes. No one kicked us out or asked us to leave which was amazing, but we were sensitive to not wanting to over stay our welcome on this first visit. She seemed so very tired. She did keep opening her eyes and seeing if we were still there.  She LOVED looking at Glenn. She stared at him. It was so sweet! So we got ready to go and they told us we could come back again tomorrow (Tuesday) at at the same time and see how she was doing. They thought that we'd have to visit through the glass again, but they would see. They thought MAYBE by Wednesday she may be able for us to go in and visit her. 

Would you PLEASE join us in praying, without ceasing for us to be able to do this. Maybe even tomorrow?? Please pray for God's will with all of that! Thank you so much!

So we took the nurse back to the orphanage. She said that maybe if we got a notarized letter that we might be able to take pictures at the hospital. She said that she would ask the hospital director before tomorrow! Please pray about that, too! She also said that if JoyAnna wasn't so sick, that we would have been able to take her outside. It's 71 degrees and sunny here today! She loves to be outside! Oh..that would have been so wonderful, but I must remember...contentment with what God has given me! Right??

As I write this, it is 3:27 pm Bulgaria time. Glenn is asleep on the bed next to me taking nap. He didn't sleep good at all last night. You see we were supposed to have a visit in the morning and a visit in the afternoon today, tomorrow and Wednesday. But it wasn't to be that way....contentment. So now our afternoons are free and we are just hanging out and waiting to meet Yavor in the hotel restaurant at 6:00 tonight, and so I'm writing to all of you.

So our agency wanted me to give them a call after our first visit with JoyAnna. So I called Toni who is also here in Bulgaria to tell her about it. She did NOT know that JoyAnna was in the hospital. Oh how upset she was. She apologized up and down. I told her it wasn't her fault, and that God must have other plans. She told me, though, that it truly was a MIRACLE that we got to visit JoyAnna at all in the hospital. Usually in Bulgaria, it is NOT like that! She wanted me to know how amazed she was that they allowed it. She told me that she would pray fervently for us to be able to go in and visit her and hold her as soon as tomorrow. She also told us she'd be trying to make sure we could at the very least take photos of her by tomorrow's visit.

 And so we ask you all to pray, as we know you will. Thank you all so much for joining us in the journey we are on. It's really neat how God works all of this out. When we return from this trip, Glenn is speaking at our church meeting next Sunday. His topic:  realizing that your time, money, resources, schedule, etc, are NOT your own, but they belong to God! Wow!! Oh how he'll have so much to share just based on this trip alone! Thank you Lord!

We love you all and will leave you with this final verse:

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Psalm 126:  5-6

This Day We Have Hope that can only come from Him!

"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." 

Today, in just 2 hours, we will meet our precious new gift from the Lord, JoyAnna. It is with great hope and anticipation we will walk up those many flights of stairs to meet her. To travel where we have already traveled once before. To meet up with the same social worker, and same director that Zoey had. 

Today we will shed tears in remembrance of Zoey, and what could have been, but also tears of rejoicing to know she is now with Jesus. Tears of excitement and joy as we meet JoyAnna, and are reunited with Zoey's caregiver Nina and give her a special gift from us.

Today we will give 5 quilts stitched with love by myself and the ladies young and old from our church. A gift that crosses many boundaries, both geographical and spiritual! A gift from the heart!  A gift that will transcend all barriers and show Christ's love!

We won't be able to take pictures at this first visit, as we have to go through a notary and that can't be until lunch time. We must sign a paper stating we won't use the photos for commercial purposes or purposes not related to our adoption. Sigh...that's okay, though, because we can just love on her and not have to worry about "capturing the moment" behind the camera! So we promise lots of photos from our afternoon visit and other visits, too!

Thank you all for praying! We love you bunches! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blessings abounding in Bulgaria!

We are so blessed to be back in Bulgaria awaiting our trip to SZ to meet JoyAnna. We'll leave this afternoon at 2:00 to make the 3.5 hour journey there! Kids back home are doing awesome! That's such a blessing, too! Please take a moment to listen to our new song on our blog. The words are amazing, and really speak volumes to what we've been through in the last 2 months in having God take Zoey to heaven, and then being matched with JoyAnna! Our blessings have truly come through pain and rain drops and tears!, just like the lyrics say! Thank you all for journeying along with us! Here are the lyrics to the song:

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise 

In the meantime, we rejoice in God's beautiful creation! Trying to stay awake yesterday afternoon, we walked and walked in Sofia. It was just wonderful! The temperature was 79 degrees! Totally the shot in the arm we needed! Thank you Lord!  Here are a few shots!

Just had to post this photo of green grass that needs to be cut already! WOW! Beautiful and sooooo green, and it's still winter here!

People were eating outside!

The beauty of the mountains in the distance was just amazing! Clear skies and you could see for miles!

Just had to post this! Michael Winslow playing next week in Sofia! He's known s the man of over 10,000 voices! He did all of the sound effects and voices for the police academy movies from long ago. And yes, he may be a relative our our Jon....seriously...they have a LOT in common! :) :) :)

Just had to share the beauty of the mountain tops from our hotel room this morning!

Such a blessing!

 Thank you God for bringing us here again for such a time as this! The blessings continue to abound and we remain forever grateful!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Praise the Lord with us!

So on Sunday at church, it was mentioned that Edward was only $366.00 from meeting his goal for Quest. There is a thermometer on the side of our blog for this.  What arrived in the mail today?? Guess???

Yup...a check for that EXACT amount! God is sooooo good! Thank you Uncle Paul and Aunt Nancy! We love you bunches!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Stitched with Love Part Two!

And here they are...the first 5 quilts, machine quilted and binded and ready to go on our trip with us on Friday! Here is what Loree had to say when she sent me the photo of the finished quilts:

"Here are the first 5 completed quilts.  They will go with the Winslows onFriday.  The next 5 should be done by this weekend, then we have close to 8
more tops started.  When the Winslows go back we will send them- next trip!
These look GREAT!!  We are grateful to Jean B. who quilted the tops with the
long arm machine at Sanford Sewing.  Just thought you'd all like to see
these before they go out!  Ladies anyway... Blessings!  Loree"Would you like me to send you that pic bigger to put on your blog?  I’m hoping this will inspire some future quilters or sewers in our fellowship! "

So we got together again, the ladies young and old, and had a wonderful day of stitching and fellowship to piece together more quilts for the orphans in Bulgaria! What a blessing!

Our dear friend Vicki was able to join us this time! Great to have you Vicki!

As you can see, there were things to do for everyone!

Great to have you join us Sharon and Celina!

Dayna and Maddie had a great time!

 was really cool, because even Brian got involved by doing some seam ripping! Yay!

And when we were done, we enjoyed a wonderful pot luck supper of chili and cornbread! Thank you Christine for your amazing hospitality!
Just like last time, our littlest quilter got plum tuckered out!

We came upstairs from cleaning up to find Brian reading to the kids! Wow!
Sweet fellowship with mother and daughter!