Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Of Frogs, Playing Cards, and Ponytails

Day three with our Lilly is coming to a close and we continue to fall more in love with her by the minute! She loves both to laugh and make us laugh. She has shown us so many endearing behaviors that are evidence of how seamlessly she will fit in to our crazy family!

For months before the trip I spent so much time trying to figure out what type of toys to bring for her to play with. I really had no idea what she liked so I just tried to hit the major play groups. I knew we would spend most of the week in the hotel room and I wanted her to have things to do. So, three days in we have a winner...........

Yes, it is a pack of playing cards and a green frog bath toy! She carries the cards with her everywhere -- even sleeps with them near her. We have had to put a Strawberry Shortcake bandaid on them to keep them closed because she doesn't want the cards to fall out, she just wants to hold the box. We have developed a game we play regularly. She sits at one end of the bed and I sit at the other and she uses the deck of cards as a paddle and hits the frog to me. I catch it (most of the time) and then he hops and ribbits back to her. Over and over and over........ :) The rest of the toys sit in the suitcase. I believe this falls under the universal, "Why did we buy her Christmas presents when all she wants to play with is the box?" parental reality. It is wonderful to be discovering her and what she likes and doesn't like.

There is one phenomenon that I am experiencing with her that is new to my parenting experience. She actually likes to have her hair washed! She asked me to wash it for her today in the bath -- twice! Amazing! She LOVES to wear jewelry, have her nails painted and her hair in a ponytail. It is so cute -- she knows how to use her hands to tighten her ponytail. She is a real beauty, but at the same time she is also rough and tumble. She loves to climb, jump, and get on the floor and play.

She also is a great eater and we have enjoyed our time in the hotel restaurant. The food here is really delicious and Delaney and I are having fun trying new things.

Tomorrow is a big day for us -- a medical appointment for Lilly, which is a requirement for us before we leave, and our visit to the US Embassy to do some paperwork. Friday we get our passport and immigration paperwork delivered and then Saturday we head home EARLY in the morning. We are so excited to get her home to meet the rest of her family!

Monday, July 18, 2011

We Have Our Girl!

Greetings from Sofia, Bulgaria!!

We are grateful to report that sleeping on our couch tonight is one Lilly Caroline Williams! Before I get into the joy that has been today I want to back up a bit. We are SO grateful to God that we easily made every one of our connections! We had great seat mates each leg of the trip, and short of a bit of turbulence landing in Sofia, the trip was as smooth as could be!

Can you tell which one of these pictures was taken at the beginning of our journey and which one was taken close to the end?? Just look at the "older" woman who apparently doesn't travel as well as the young chick! Boy, I felt about as good as I looked! On our first trip to Bulgaria my sleep suffered. I am SO grateful that God blessed me with fantastic sleep last night! I got a full 8+ hours and it made a world of difference!!

We headed out at 7:00am and were at the orphanage by about 8:45. We visited with the director for a bit and it was so clear that they love her very much. She said several times how much they will miss her, but they are so glad she has a forever family. Then the moment we have been longing for -- in she walked! They had dressed her up and fixed her hair and it was adorable!

It was clear as we made our way to the car that many had a hard time saying goodbye to her. One sweet little boy was sobbing! They did an excellent job of preparing her for this change, and she had her brave face on. She did so well! She clung to my arm and there was a real storm of emotion moving across her face. All of the things she was seeing were new to her on this car ride. She has ridden in a car maybe once or twice in her life. She did so well! I had prepared myself for the worst and was, once again, blown away and my expectations superseded!

We came back to the hotel, and after lunch we got right down to business! I was holding her and she pointed to my painted toenails and then to her toes and the fun began! She is certainly a girly girl! She changed her clothes three times today -- picking out her own outfits! So far language has not been a barrier. She very easily communicates with us and is very gentle and sweet. She had what seemed to be her first bath. It was a real treat to be able to share that with her and watch her wonder at the bubbles and sitting in the water. It was wonderful! We have had a fantastic first day together. We have been blessed beyond measure and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!!

So grateful for your prayers, love, and support!!!!!