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Our Journey So Far

May 28 Waiting for court date
May 21 Waiting for court date
May 17 Dossier signed by MOJ and forwarded to court
May 14 Waiting for court date
May 7 Waiting for court date
April 30 Waiting for court date
April 23 Waiting for court date
April 16 Waiting for court date
April 11 Article 5 paperwork out for translation and authentication
April 10 Article 5 meeting
April 9 Waiting for Article 5 meeting
April 2 Waiting for Article 5 meeting
March 26 Waiting for Article 5 meeting
March 19 Waiting for Article 5 meeting
March 12 Waiting for Article 5 meeting
March 12 Legal name change document sent to agency
March 5 I-800 submitted
March 3 Home again
February 27-March 2 With sweet Allie
February 20-24 With sassy Vessy
February 17 Off to meet our girls
February 10 Airline tickets purchased
February 10 Written referral signed and OK to travel given
January 31 Notified of verbal referral from MOJ
January 30 Waiting.....
January 23 Waiting.....
January 18 Dossier submitted and accepted by MOJ
January 16 Waiting.....
January 9 Waiting.....
January 2 Waiting.....
December 27 Dossier received in adoption country
December 23 Dossier mailed
December 22 Received apostilled documents
December 16 13 documents notarized and sent for apostille
December 15 I-800A approval received
December 12 Waiting.....
December 5 Waiting.....
November 28 Waiting.....
November 21 Waiting.....
November 17 Apostilled FBI clearance received
November 14 Biometric fingerprints done
November 3 FBI clearance sent for apostille
November 2 FBI clearance received
October 20 Fingerprint appt received for November 14
September 28 I-800A submitted
September 28 Home study received
September 27 Commitment documents for Allie sent to agency in adoption country.
September 25 All required adoption training complete
September 24 Ron completes Hague training
September 22 Apostilled marriage license received
September 21 Sent commitment papers for Allie to be apostilled
September 21 Notified home study is complete
September 20 Received new picture of Allie
September 18 Trish completes Hague training
September 17 Completed 6 hour training with Bethany
September 15 Applied for WI approval to adopt Allie
September 14 Received local police clearances for dossier
September 14 Allie joins Ella on RR family page
September 14 Registered for 8 hour Hague training with NCFA
September 6 Registered for 6 hour training with Bethany
September 5 Applied for WI approval to adopt Ella
September 5 Marriage license to MO for apostille
September 2 Trish medical complete
August 30 Final homestudy session
August 23 Ron medical complete
August 18 Ron passport received
August 17 Paperwork and fingerprints sent to FBI
August 16 2nd home study meeting
August 16 Fingerprints taken
August 16 Trish physical
August 12 Appt set for fingerprinting for FBI background check
August 12 Ron employment verification received for dossier
August 11 Ron physical
August 10 FSP established on RR
August 9 Commitment documents and disclosure sent to Reece’s Rainbow
August 8 Apostilled commitment documents sent to adoption country
August 5 Background check paperwork sent to homestudy agency
August 4 Background check forms to SC
August 4 Background check forms to MN
August 3 Introduced to Allie
August 3 Sent multiple documents to home study agency
August 2 Emailed Reece’s Rainbow application
August 1 Sent contract to home study agency
July 28 Sent commitment documents to be apostilled
July 28 Meeting for home study
July 25 Passport applied for
July 22 Ron passport photo taken
July 22 Service agreement sent to adoption agency
July 22 Ella moved to My Family Found Me page
July 21 application approved by adoption agency
July 14 sent application to home study agency
July 13 phone interview with adoption agency
July 12 phone interview with adoption agency
July 11 initiated home study
July 9 sent initial application to adoption agency
July 8 "introduced" to Ella
July 7 first contact with Reece’s Rainbow
Sunday, July 29, 2012


I hoped to be writing about fairy tale endings, rainbows and unicorns but you won't find that here today.
We got our Gotcha travel dates on June 26 and traveled on July 4. Those 8 days were filled with so much joy and anticipation at the thought of going to get our girls. Trish and Jamie could not stop smiling. I have not seen much of those smiles since 2 days after we picked the girls up on July 6.
We arrived in Sofia on Thursday the 5th and got right in the car to head to Kardzhali to pick up Vessy on Friday morning and then head right to Vasil Drumev to get Allie Friday afternoon, spend the night in Shumen, then head back to Sofia. We were very excited because we thought we weren't getting Allie until Monday morning so the change in plans got us to our girls sooner. All this went without a hitch, the girls traveled well and we were all together and back in Sofia Saturday afternoon. All was right with the world despite the heat and fatigue.
It was on Sunday that things started going south. Vessy would not eat but we knew going in she was a picky eater and she was taking liquids and staying hydrated so not a major concern yet.
Allie started displaying behaviors that we had not seen to this point either in our first visit or since we had picked her up. The rages began at first after feeding because she did not want to be done even after large portions. They continued with various triggers but mostly centered on feeding and being set down. She wanted to be held continuously facing the person holding her in a bear hug with the person walking around the room. We understood this need from what she had been through but just not physically possible.
These rages continued throughout the week although we did find ways to calm her down as we went through the week. She loved going for walks in the stroller and accepted sitting by me in the chair rather than being carried around. But we were just never sure when she would act out and how bad it would be. It was a very long week and it will take me awhile to forgive myself for putting Jamie through that.
It may have went better if we were prepared for the behavior but there was just no indication. I am convinced Allie's institution had her drugged, either constantly or for our first visit because there would have been no way to hide this for the 15-20 hours we spent with her. I also believe she was abused, either by other kids there or the workers. If you approach her too quickly she throws her hands in front of her face and cringes backwards as if expecting to be hit. We knew this was one set of behaviors we could not handle, both at our age and with the other kids in the house so we were very specific in asking questions about self harming or aggressive behaviors and were assured there were none. I cannot honestly say what we would have done had we known about this prior to committing to Allie at the end of our first trip but I know for sure we would not have brought Jamie on the second trip and put her though that week of hell.
I thought things would improve once we got home and into a routine and they have to a certain degree but the rages continue and Vessy is in the middle of an about 10 day hospital stay and is headed for a G-tube next week. That is one stubborn little girl.
Allie seems happy most of the times but when the rages come on her it is like a different person.
Some behaviors include:
Angry, feral facial expression
Hitting herself (hard) on the legs and head
Pinching her ears, inside her wrists and inner thighs
Pulling her hair
Violently pushing chairs and other furniture
Trying to pull down the drapes
Knocking over or throwing whatever she get her hands on

Triggers are mostly centered now on feeding, attention and shoes, yes shoes. She wants to wear shoes but not ones that fit her. She want to wear Vessy's shoes (way too small) or our shoes (way too big) and she really rages about it.

I will stop for now but if anyone has any ideas, please share.


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Ron and Trish
In July 2011, we started our adoption story. We are waiting to bring our newest daughter home, and we hope you'll join us in following along on our blog!
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