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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.



Julia said...

I'M SO SORRY!! Please join the After the RAinbow RR group. You will find that there are others who have walked your road and could give you support and advice!!

Wife of Keith said...

Oh my! I have no advice but I'm praying for you guys relentlessly!

Sarah said...

Just came here to tell to join the RR after the rainbow group, but i see Julia already did, so Ill second her suggestion. Praying for you!!

Stephanie said...

You can feel free to write me privately if you'd like. I've experienced many behavioral and mental health issues. Including PTSD, RAD, FAS, ODD, etc. The first month home is Hell. Sorry but no other way to put it. It really is. My 3 came home a few months ago. ONe of them also from Kardzhali! Anyhow, my daughter used to cringe, cover her face, scream, etc. 8 months later, we're fine. I have 2 kids from Russia w/ RAD. Rages are the worst. Our goal is always to keep the kids safe and the people around them safe. Have you tried any type of regression therapy with her? We always regress our kids when they come home. It does help. Holding time will most likely have to be implemented it sounds like. Have the rages lessened in intensity or length since being home? You are not alone for sure. You are doing the right thing by reaching out for advice. Stay strong. It is a long road to healing. We're still healing years later. 8 years later in fact. If you pursue professional help, make sure you have someone who understands international adoption. IT's critical. My email address is boydbunch@gmail.com. I may have some other resources that you can check out. Best wishes. Stephanie

Yvonne said...

You are in my prayers, all of you! Thankfully we've not expirenced any of this with our adopted kids but was aware it could happen. Our first adoption from China, with our son, Shad (who has no mental delays-is only blind in one eye) was a bit harder than the girls because he was 2 1/2 yrs old and very defiant (but just as a regular toddler would be) I remember telling our SW worker about his behavior as it was dfferent then our other sons, who are more laid back, and she said that the first 90 days home are the hardest & then things get easier as the child understands you and you understand the child better. I realize your girls have gone through so much more than he did but hopefully time will help them.

I expected alot of problems with our new girls, being older and coming from a mental instituion wih all their delays. I'm surprised they aren't having more difficulties but your girls will come around. Best to you!!!!!

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Award said...

@ Suzee...This is an UPDATE from two of the most Godly people you would ever meet! I know this as they are my sister and brother in law. There is not ONE word about giving up in this update! You do not sound like a very hopeful or positive person. Prayers for you and these wonderful people that I love to make it through these stormy waters.

Rona said...

Im so so sorry you are going through this! Its hard .. really hard sometimes.its normal to ask "why did I do this"..and you may even want to run..fast in the other direction too.Take it one day at a time..know you are NOT alone..many of us have also experianced this as well..ask for help and talk to others who understand..been there,done that.God chose her for your family..call on Him and lay it all down..He will give you everything youneed my dear !!

Ron and Trish said...

Hey all, no need to worry about Suzee. I have seen lots better trolls than that. Let's focus on the girls and not the haters, especially the cowards who hide in anonymity.

rosedel said...

Suzee is just one of those girls who gets around. :) I would take her comments off my blog and not give her any space to vent.
I know that the behavior that Allie is showing is shocking. We just don't see that sort of rage too often. Listen to all the good advice of those who have been there and done that. Make sure that Jamie has enough time away from the "noise" and try to rest yourselves whenever you can.

dubbya said...

Ron, I know this will work out. I do not know anyone else who is so trusted by small children. I am praying God will you give the knowledge, patience and wisdom you need. I know that he gave those girls to you guys because you are who they need.


Anonymous said...
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rosedel said...

I've been thinking about you and hoping things are getting easier. I'm keeping all of you in my prayers.

DandG said...

How are things going? Hoping that the girls are settling down some.

Mel said...

I have also been praying for you all!! How are things going??

LT511 said...

I admire you & your family for what you are doing but also for very honestly sharing your experience. I really feel for you all & those girls. I can only imagine the overwhelming stress & fear they must be feeling with this massive change in their lives ... & the same for you & your family too! Hang in there. It does sound like from others with experience that it will get better. Please continue to reach out to others for support. I hope a few nasty people do not hold you back from sharing this experience. It is so valuable to others & it's got to be good for you as well. Keeping your family in my prayers! Hang in there.

Good Thanks said...

I thought about you all night after coming across your blog, and could it be possible if your little girl was being drugged, that she is suffering from the effects of not having the drugs anymore?

Britt said...

Hugs to you! It is not easy being the parent of a special needs child. It is even harder to the parent of an adopted special needs child! I'm a foster parent and I've had case workers lie to me about placements. I remember my first placement of 3 children (ages 3, 2, and 10 months). We called them (lovely) the "feral children." They had behaviors I have never seen before. It was hell for awhile but evenually things settled down. It was still crazy but we started to feel like a family (unfortuanlly they were moved on to a relative--system sucks!) but we learned a lot from that experience. You need support system and to surround yourself with others who understand what you are going through. Know any foster parents?--We deal with similar issues. Our children are hurt and scared. The first few months are going to be hell. But it will get easier with time and love. You are your child's best advocate. I'm not sure what issues you're child has but once you get services in place that will make a world of a difference. Our adopted daugther (from foster care) has sensory issues and an auto processing disorder. Therapy has helped alot and having the therapist to talk to helps me a lot! could your daughter have a sensory issue? Taht would explain her behavior with the shoes. Prayers for you and hang in then. This experience will be good for your daughter as well. It teach her to be loving and understanding. Keep us updated!

eliz said...

Sending ((HUGS)) and prayers. We raised one son, now 36 (adopted) from age 7 who was feral. He was placed in a psych hospital for 8 weeks before we adopted him. It was the hardest thing we ever did. And no, he still does not think like those who've never suffered such abuse. He gets by, by copying and imitating others. He moved into a group home at 22 years old. The County (bad County) literally took him back and got him a Guardian etc. So we were never considered his parents, just "caretakers". Anyhow, we will pray for you. Please let us know how you are doing. Support is so important. It's a hard road.

Our Adoption Journey to Eastern Europe said...

Just wanted to let you know that we are praying!

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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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