Monday, June 27, 2011


This is the post that I have been waiting 1 year, 4 months, and 3 weeks to write...

Livi (and Mommy and Daddy) has a VERY big announcement to make....

That's right... Jon and I are legally the parents to Sofie Adina Diyana B****l!

I just happened to check my email from my phone up here camping in Summerland and found that the order has been miraculously granted!!!!!

 This was the first picture we got of her. 

The rest of these photos were take by our Bulgarian agency when they went to get information for us.
They were terrible with focusing the camera but there is a good video on our Facebook pages you can see!

Sofie is a version of the Greek name Sofia. It means Wisdom. 
We chose this name because we liked it and it seemed to fit. We preferred the "f" spelling instead of the "ph" because it is the European way to spell it (English and French spell it with a 'ph'). Since she is Eastern European we thought that was appropriate. The fact that Sofia also happens to be the capital city of Bulgaria is just an added bonus!

Adina is a combination of our Grandmothers names.
My Grandma is named Agnes and Jon's Grandma is Dina. 
After we chose it, we realized it was a real name of Hebrew origin meaning Delicate, Noble or Gentle.
Pronounced ah-DEE-nah.

Diyana is Sofie's Bulgarian birth name. 
From what I can figure, it is a Indo-European variant of Diana which means Divine. 
Pronounced dee-YAH-nah (we think).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

2011 Vacation Pt. 1

This week we are on vacation. Jon has the week off and we are doing some fun and hopefully relaxing things as a family. We just want to enjoy some new experiences and love on each other! Having Livi really understand what we are doing and being able to voice what she thinks is really fun this year! She is so excited to leave for camping tomorrow! I'm excited to see how she does :)

We already enjoyed part one of our time off! Saturday we took Livi to Build-A-Bear to make herself and Sofie a special stuffed animal. She chose matching bunnies for both. We had to get some ear bows and flowers in order to tell them apart. We also sprung for the beating hearts. The idea of both my girls having matching toys with a heart that really beat across the world from each other kind of choked me up :) Build-a-Bear was such a fun place. The staff were amazing! Livi was a little overwhelmed but she enjoyed herself! 

She chose two matching bunnies for herself and Sofie :)

Then she took them to be stuffed with "cookies and ice cream".

She gave each bunny a special beating heart that she had to rub on her ears so they would listen, rub on her nose so they wouldn't snore, and kiss to fill them with love!

Next we took the bunnies to the bath to scrub any extra fluff off them!

All done! Sofie's bunny got flowers on her ears and Livi's got bows :)

She insisted on carrying them all by herself!

After a failed nap attempt at our friends house, we went off to the Jazz Festival in Gastown! It was quite busy and Livi was running on minimal sleep but she did pretty good until dinner time at 6pm. Her bed time is usually about 7:30pm so we were expecting a meltdown of some sort to come earlier than that. We listened to some sweet music, made a flip book for Livi, and enjoyed a delicious meal at Six Acres in view of one of the stages so we could still hear some great world jazz!

Enjoying a jazz trio.

Family shot!

Silly faces at dinner.

Enjoying? a lime?

We slept over at our friends house and when I woke up 5:30am I found her like this!

Sunday morning we went to see all the fish at the Vancouver Aquarium! Livi was so excited! 

She got to touch sea stars!

Peering in at the dolphins!

The Beluga whales were pretty neat to see too!

We had a pretty fabulous and sleep deprived weekend. We came home after the aquarium and had a 3.5 hour nap! We all needed it. After supper we finished packing and loading up the car for camping tomorrow! Part two of our vacation will come when we get back!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I feel like some one has taken a big brick and popped/squished/scratched/stomped on my balloon. I'm feeling defeated and depressed. Up until this morning I was feeling so much hope and excitement for this week. Court which was going to make Sofie ours was happening this week! I was making plans for traveling, starting to think about packing, and really excited to announce that Sofie is ours!

I got the call this morning that the judge had looked at our file. My heart jumped! I was thinking that this was the call to tell me I "had" a toddler last night :) Unfortunately, the judge wants more papers. She wants an updated proof of income and a statement showing what property we own. My heart sank. It is not a "no" to adopting Sofie. Apparently, she had been happy with our application, but she wants more. I had been warned that Bulgaria was a paper intensive country but this seems so unnecessary.

You may think that two extra documents is not such a big deal, but it is. These two little documents need to be legalized and  authenticated in Ottawa. That takes at least 4 weeks. These documents won't be in the judges hands for another month. She won't make a ruling on whether Sofie can be ours or not for another month. Sofie will be stuck in the orphanage, unaware of how much I love her for another month. The judge had our application in her hands! She could have just said yes! We could be parents of two children right now. Why didn't she just say yes? This is so frustrating. I had a good cry about it earlier... I suspect those were not the only tears that will be shed this month.

I got the documents sent off to our agency today. I couriered them so they get there tomorrow and they should be in Ottawa by the end of the week. We are now looking at getting Sofie in September at the earliest. I feel heartbroken. I just want her home.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

We were hoping to have a court date to announce to you but unfortunately, still no word. So I will tell you about my amazing husband and my wonderful Grandfather.

I don't think I could have made a better choice in a father for my children. Jon is wonderful. He dotes on his daughter, reads and plays with her, teaches her, has patience with her and loves her fully and unconditionally. I read a quote today that reads "A daughter needs a dad to be the standard against which she will judge all men." I think Jon holds that standard quite high for any future suitors.

I am so blessed to have Jon co-parent with me. Because of my understanding of what a father was, I never thought I would have a partner for that. I'm so glad he has proved me wrong. He has redeemed the example I had from my own birth father and showed me what a real Dad is. I am also constantly amazed at how perfectly we agree on nearly all parenting issues. Our styles, priorities and hopes for our children are nearly identical. Our hopes for our family have been completely in tune also. Adoption was not just something I wanted and he consented too. He wanted it and is just as passionate as I am. He is just as eager to have Sofie  in our arms as I am, although he may keep those emotions in check a little better than me!

Today we also got to celebrate my Grandfather's 89th birthday. It was pretty special to celebrate such a momentous occasion with a man who was so important in my life. He assisted my mom through leaving my birth father, helped raise us kids and was always there for us with his insight and support. I am so thankful for him. As this is likely his last Father's Day, since his health is worsening every day, I'm thankful I got to see him smile today and look around the room to all the family that he has loved and helped guide.

I'll leave you with some pictures of our trip to the water slides a few weeks ago. Just another example of what a wonderful father Jon is...

 We brought the Bum along :) She always does this with her 
hair when she isn't swimming... It makes me laugh :)

They were having far too much fun :)
 On the big kid, really fast slide!

 Down they go! Good thing Livi isn't afraid of going under :)

 Hot Tubbin' it!

Such a good Daddy:)
 Group Shots
 Pretty Girls!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Little Ballerina

Livi has been in ballet for a few months now and LOVES it! She practices all by herself, loves mastering new moves like the plie, and has really developed her balance, dancing, and even confidence... not that she was lacking that too much! She even got to have real dance photo's taken and take part in her very first recital!

For the pictures parents weren't allowed in to the room. I was so surprised but I understood how some parents could hinder the pictures a lot more than help. It was my first experience of Livi being "grown-up" enough to not need me! I think it was much harder on me than on Livi. As you can see they turned out great!

For Livi's dress rehearsal I decided it would be okay for her to have a little make-up on for the stage. She just ate it up. Thankfully, I had explained that it was only for the stage and she hasn't asked for it at home. 

Miss Coral putting some make-up on Livi before going on stage.

Waiting to go on stage...

There are four little girls in Livi's class and they all did so good for both performances. No crying and they worked the audience! When Livi came off from dancing for an audience the first time she got upset and cried to me "I want more!" She was "so proud" and kept talking about how everyone clapped for her. Uh Oh... What have we introduced her too?!

Coming off stage from the dress rehearsal! 

After the last performance they all got a ribbon. Livi was so proud!

Daddy got her flowers fitting for any Diva in the making :)

I was very proud of my little ballerina and so glad she had so much fun. We will have to see how the schedule fits and how things go with Sofie home, but Livi is hoping to be in Ballet again next season!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Finally... an Update!

In case you don't check our Adoption page regularly or missed it on Facebook, we finally got an update on the Adoption!

It turns out that the MOJ gave her approval for us to proceed with adopting Sofie on June 7th. All the papers should be at the court house by June 14th at the latest and our agency is expecting our court date to be some where between June 20-26. THAT IS TWO WEEKS PEOPLE! I really hope that my next blog post is announcing our court date.

I told my Grandma about this update today and she told me that yesterday morning she woke up from a dream where she could almost see Sofie. She said she felt sure that Sofie was coming soon and then today I showed up with the update! I know I'm not one who fully buys in to all the mystic spirituality stuff, mostly because there are so many crazies out there, but surprisingly, I do fully believe in dreams sometimes being communication from God... and I believe in anything spiritual my Grandma says. She has a direct line to God in an amazing-chills-miracles-happen-around-her kind of way. Hopefully, Oma's dream means that Sofie will be home even sooner than we are thinking :)

Opa had a really bad day today. He is aging, his health is deteriorating and he is ready to go to Heaven. He was quite out of it and sleepy for our visit today, but likes seeing the energy Livi has... as long as she isn't screeching :) Even on his worse days he always asks about Sofie. He may not always remember her name, or the details of our adoption, but it is so special to me that he always asks about Sofie specifically. I sometimes feel like maybe he is holding on just to meet her. Maybe that is a little egocentric but he has been a very big part of my life and I've heard lots of stories like that. I think we might be stopping in to Oma and Opa's house on the way home from the airport :)

So, what's next you ask? Court will legally make us parents to Sofie! Assuming the judge grants the adoption, it will take about a week to prepare the Adoption Order (paper work). Once our Bulgarian agency has the Adoption order they can apply for Sofie's new birth certificate with her new name on it and us as parents. It should take about a week to ten days. With the birth certificate, they will then apply for her passport...About another week to ten days. With her birth certificate they can also finish applying for her Canadian citizenship. Citizenship is the unpredictable beast. For our friends who adopted from Bulgaria before us, Citizenship took just over a month. They got the okay to pick their son up exactly 2 months after court. If we experience the same time line as them (and it has been pretty close so far), we will be able to pick Sofie up at the end of August.

The end of August is too late in my books... so please send up all your prayers, wishes and hopes that we get the okay to go get her sooner than that!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I love my daughter more than I can put in to words. Livi is unbelievably wonderful. I am so happy being her mom and I am so ready to be a mom again. I feel like I have so much love to give to my second daughter but I can't let it all out yet. I have to reign it in because I don't have her and I fear something is going to keep her from me.

The weekends are the worst because I know that there is no chance of hearing anything from the agency about our court date. I ache to get word. I'm angry with the process. Why does it have to take so long? Sofie is just sitting there, hungry and unaware of what love feels like.

I'm tired of people asking about the adoption or telling me stories of people they know who have either had a wonderful successful adoption or had a terrible wait. I get just as annoyed if people don't ask about Sofie or talk about what we are going through. I understand it is my issues and no one can win on this point with me. Even though it all bugs me, it is always better to ask me about it and acknowledge my second child. Silence and avoidance is unbearable to me.

We obviously still haven't heard anything. I'm trying to hold off until Wednesday before emailing the agency again. 3 weeks ago they told us we should hear any day when our court date is and that court should be in June. Well, that was three weeks ago and mid June is a week and a half away. I don't know how to feel any more. I wish my will and love could just bring Sofie home but I am so guarded and afraid of over attaching myself in case something goes wrong in court.