Category

mercyadoniyah

mercy’s dorina

By bucuresti, mercyadoniyah, romania No Comments

we have been blessed by an amazing relationship – – last year when mercy started grupa mijlocie (aka k4), she had a teacher (educatoare) and two rotating class aids (ingrijitoare). she bonded from day one with “doamna dorina.” fast forward to this year (grupa mare or k5) and dorina (and her daughter denisa) are now family friends. we love these two! in september, mercy spent the entire day with dorina and denisa at their house. it was such a beautiful thing for christian and i – – it was proof that our little girl is healing and moving forward after losing her brother last may. i took the first four pictures and then dorina and denisa sent me all the other picutres!

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toamna

By addysengrace, bucuresti, christian, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, ministry, romania, school No Comments

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disclaimer: way.too.many.photos. {sorry not sorry!}
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this is where we live: Processed with MOLDIV

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alex started at mercy’s school! Processed with MOLDIV

chocolate eyes and a tear on her cheek…Processed with MOLDIV

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and then we got new colleagues! Processed with MOLDIV

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that time we bought a bag of mixed veggies boasting broccoli and found one entire piece of broccoli, haha! Processed with MOLDIV

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freshly washed and braided hair: Processed with MOLDIV

she makes me food…Processed with MOLDIV

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and auntie deedee! img_6509Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

the rest of summer

By addysengrace, bucuresti, christian, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, romania No Comments

the last few pictures on my phone of summer…

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sticky and sweaty naps: Processed with MOLDIV

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meeting new babies: Processed with MOLDIV

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he has his own bed(s) and his own toy(s) and yet he thinks he is one of the kids: Processed with MOLDIV

so blessed to have (re)connected with tim and wendy: Processed with MOLDIV Processed with MOLDIV

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“it’s a shoe-tomato!” Processed with MOLDIV

our new best friend, orla…can’t wait until we hang out again either in Romania or Ireland! Processed with MOLDIV Processed with MOLDIV

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just random metal things she wanted her picture with: Processed with MOLDIV

she thinks my bed is her bed…she’s basically right: Processed with MOLDIV Processed with MOLDIV

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lego science from emmy and katie: Processed with MOLDIV

snow science from sarah: Processed with MOLDIV img_0959

if the truth be told, i have probably talked to my sister (almost) every 24 hour period since moving overseas almost five years ago…minus travel days and maybe her honeymoon. Processed with MOLDIV

watching the olympics and cheering for way too many countries (my children are very loyal to every country, haha! Processed with MOLDIV

summer means impulsive…we love summer! Processed with MOLDIV

trying to convince my kids that summer movie nights don’t usually include their robes is impossible: Processed with MOLDIV

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coloring pages from aveline: Processed with MOLDIV

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if you put pink (bath approved) dye in the bathtub, your child will probably think that means it is okay to splatter blue (permanent) ink on the walls: Processed with MOLDIV Processed with MOLDIV

when ninja turtles fight my little ponies: Processed with MOLDIV

beautiful care package from my irish twinsie: img_3245 Processed with MOLDIV Processed with MOLDIV

when rough days come, give your kids five lei and take them to the store: Processed with MOLDIV Processed with MOLDIV

care packages from orla! Processed with MOLDIV Processed with MOLDIV

roadtrip{4}

By addysengrace, christian, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, romania, travel No Comments

Day Thirteen
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Processed with MOLDIV Sure enough, after a really rough night, Marie woke up hurting all over and with a fever. We had been promising Mercy the entire trip that we would go to the dino park, so of course daddy did just that. They had a blast and Christian even remembered to take a few pictures! He actually remembers to take selfies better than Marie does. 😀

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Processed with MOLDIV When they got home, we decided to try walking to the park since Marie had slept the day away. It was only about an hour long excursion but she made it! It was nice to get some fresh air. Brasov is a lovely town with lots of friendly kids that speak English as well as our kids do (side note, our kids’ English needs some work, ha!).

Day Fourteen
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img_2962This was another day we had planned long ago – – to meet up with our community group for a really cool hike so it isn’t shocking that Marie was 100% disappointed to be feeling icky (sick enough to stay home – – ask her mom, Bonnie, that is RARE). Christian and Addy ended up going and Marie and Mercy ended up doing a lot of snuggling and sleeping but also some mama+Mercy time which ended up being a sweet time.

Day Fifteen
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*H*O*M*E*

roadtrip{3}

By addysengrace, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, romania, travel No Comments

Day Eight
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Processed with MOLDIV Day eight, we explored Sighișoara. We enjoyed our day there although we discovered it was more expensive than all the other places we visited and Addy was under the weather. We took it slow and easy and were a little worried about her by the end of the day.

Day Nine
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Processed with MOLDIV Day nine was NOT the day we planned. After a rough night realizing something was off with Addy, we made texted and called friends in Bucharest until we decided where to take Addy – – we ended up at the Children’s Hospital in Sibiu. Come to find out, Addy was at the end of a bacterial infection thanks to some (quite traumatic) bloodwork. She ended up getting IV fluids and meds and spending the afternoon in the hospital before we headed on to Petroșani. Always an adventure with these kids, haha!

Day Ten
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Processed with MOLDIV We made it to Petroșani. Way long ago (ok fine just 2005), I went with Petroșani to serve with Kelle (Gammie) Andrieș. Since since we have both lived in the USA at some point, both gotten married, had kids and returned to Romania to live/serve full-time. What a fun afternoon letting our kids meet and play. They hit it off beautifully!

Day Eleven
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Processed with MOLDIV This was our only repeat from last summer – – Hunadoara! We really enjoy the pension we have found here (Casa lui Craciun if you google it). We went to the Castle Corvin again (a must!) and ended with some swimming because he (pension owner) has his own little private swimming pool so even Mercy could go swimming!

Day Twelve
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Processed with MOLDIV Also a random day – – the day we woke up feeling great, drove a beautiful drive to Brasov and by the time we got there, Marie was feeling pretty yucky. But hey, the girls looked cute, ha!

…to be continued!

roadtrip{2}

By addysengrace, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, romania, travel No Comments

Day Five
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Processed with MOLDIV Day five was full and fun! We started at the Târgu Mureș zoo which we visited last year. It is such a fun zoo and you can get so close to the animals. Then we played at the most amazing play place next to the zoo. It has a free adventure rope course, mini ziplines, a train, etc. (Videos in a later post!) We also made sure to scrap-journal almost every evening.

Day Six
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Processed with MOLDIV Day six was also a blast – – we really like Târgu Mureș! We walked through the Cetate and then toured the Culture house which is awesome. Absolutely beautiful. There were rooms we couldn’t take pictures in, including a room of all stained glass murals. Amazing! We ended at the theater, because the new Pete’s Dragon was playing, duh!

Day Seven
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Processed with MOLDIV Day seven started in Târgu Mureș and ended in Sighisoara. We walked through the center of Târgu Mureș one more time just because we really liked it and Marie wanted to take more pictures. Then we drove to Sighisoara which was super nice but super expensive! The really fun part of Sighisoara was that we ended up being there the weekend of a dance/music. We also chose our souvenir – – a wooden carved bowl because we could watch the man carve it and he took a picture with us! Plus we found a teal “DohDoh door” (aka Marie’s sister’s favorite color) and we ended with sorbet!

That is all for now! Have no fear – – we have SIX more posts still. 🙂

roadtrip{1}

By addysengrace, christian, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, romania, travel No Comments

Day One
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Processed with MOLDIV Longest driving day by far! We drove 600 kilometers from Bucuresti all the way to Baie Sprie, with a couple breaks including ice cream in Alba Iulia. Christian has completely mastered driving a clutch, which is nice for Marie. Honestly, she prefers to read out loud to the girls, and snap twenty million photos of the passing by country. He drove 90% of the trip this time (last year it was about 50-50).

Day Two
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Processed with MOLDIV Day two we also drove…up to Săpânță where we visited the Merry Cemetary…which was weird! There were foreigners taking pictures, but not understanding the tombstones. There were non-religious Romanians reading the tombstones and laughing. AND there were orthodox Romanians, lighting candles, being very somber because it is also a church with places to light candles and pray. Such a unique experience for sure! We weren’t exactly sure how to tell the girls to behave!

Day Three
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Processed with MOLDIV By day three, we needed a driving break…so we explored Baie Mare. It was a lot of fun! We found a planetarium for Addy, our future astronaut and she was in heaven. We also found a play place at the mall. We walked around the center square but got there right at 4pm when the clock tower was closing. So instead we walked around and learned a little about Baie Mare’s Hungarian history (it is really interesting).

Day Four
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Processed with MOLDIV Day four we went straight back to the center of Baie Mare before driving to Târgu Mureș because we really wanted to climb Steven’s Tower. Mercy loved every step of the way, “using” her map and even walking circles outside on the (open) balcony with Marie. She is very fearless, that is for sure. Addy stayed inside and kept Christian company. We were going to do more, but around lunch time Addy was acting really off and fussy almost to the point of being “difficult” (which is very unlike her, but we are used to all the emotions these days ever since losing Noelan). Looking back now – – it was her bacterial infection getting the best of her! What a trooper she ended up being. We can’t believe she stayed smiling!

…to be continued because we took a lot of photos. And these aren’t even Marie or the girls’ camera photos!

what does grief look like?

By Holidays, mercyadoniyah, noelantruth One Comment

What is grief?

I don’t know. 

What does grief look like?

I don’t know. 

Does it really fit into neat little stages?

I don’t think so.

Can death and loss affect some of us more than others?

Probably.

Can we decide what is worth grieving, what level of grief we deserve, how long we get to be sad or mad for?

I don’t think so.

Will we be whole and pain-free once in heaven?

I think I am resting in that promise most these past few months.

On Thursday, traveling through Baia Mare (because we are on a road trip), grief hid it’s ugly face. Mercy woke up happy and silly. She climbed to the top of a clock tower, she marched around outside, a map stretched out in front of her, “interpreting” it for me. She fell asleep easily, happily, calmly.

On Friday, she played on her iPad while her big sister (shockingly!) slept in. But just ten minutes into it, she slammed it shut and announced it “dumb.” Not completely out of the ordinary for a strongly opinionated child, we laughed and said she could do something else.

Five minutes later she started griping about her foot. We had long forgotten the iPad truthfully. Then she was upset about breakfast. Then upset about the tv. Then she threw a tantrum about her clothing. And her hair. And her feet. Pretty soon she was worked up, angry, yelling, throwing. An hour later, after going over her boundaries a little, she had stopped “doing hurts” but was crying, borderline wailing, that mix of upset and whine. 

We thought she was hungry. Nope. We thought she was tired. Nope. Somewhere in the midst of it all, that point where you start to pull your hair out, piece by piece, she reached both hands out for me to hold her, her sign she is ready to be comforted. I wrapped both arms around her, cuddled her, started to rock her. 

And then she whispered in my ear, “I miss my brother.” 

I stopped. “Right now?” I asked her. “All day,” she responded. She stopped, took a gulp of air and continued, “I started to play a game on the iPad that I used to play with Noelan. It was a game that I taught him how to play. And I felt very mad and sad when I saw that game.” 

And that was it. She wrapped her arms and legs around me and I tight hugged her for a while. No tears. No words. Just a wiped out little girl, with no energy left and a hole in her heart. 

That is grief. It really is an ocean, waves that ebb and flow. And there isn’t a magical formula out there. No one has written a book called “how to help your children grieve the adoption loss of their brother fifteen months after the death of their cousin.” Last time I checked, I can’t find “how to assure your children that no one can snatch them away the way their brother was taken from them” or “how to comfort your children that their other ‘best friends’ won’t completely betray them.” 

So tonight I’m just laying next to my sweet five year old as she recounts her day and tells me which parts Noelan would have loved. I’m simply staring into her dark brown eyes as she wonders, “do you think bro-bro remembers me, mama? Do you think he misses me?” And I kiss her forehead softly and whisper into her ear, “he loves you. He remembers you. He misses you.”

And as her breathing slows and she starts to drift off to sleep, I find myself wondering…will tomorrow ebb or flow?

 

oh august

By addysengrace, america, christian, mercyadoniyah, noelantruth, romania No Comments

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Oh August.

Last fall we started planning our summer furlough. We would go in August, immediately after camp. We would spend the next five weeks soaking up the California sun (while enjoying the California air conditioning). We would swim in Grandma and Grandpa Ducky’s swimming and go boating on the lake with Grammie and Pops. We would have BBQs and picnics and sleepovers with aunties and uncles and cousins.

Then came Valentine’s day. Would we come to California and adopt Noelan? We knew if we went in February that we wouldn’t go in August. But can you really compare the two – – summer vacation or a child?

And so we went. “I can’t attach to him. I don’t love him. Will you attach to him? Will you be his mom and dad?” The mama in me, the daddy in Christian – – we had to respond. And I attached, we attached. We were asked to and so we did. Every ounce of me became Noelan’s mama and every ounce of him became my son. We know the difference between fostering and adopting. We were asked to adopt Noelan, not foster him. And because of that, we became a family and completely attached to him.

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Which is why I feel like a piece of my heart is missing.

Which is why two and a half months after loosing Noelan, I am still rocking my almost eight year old when she goes into an infantile grief. And it is why I still wake up in the middle of the night, panicked because I hear Noelan crying for me. And it is why Christian and I sit and stare at each other and have no words sometimes. And it is why my five year old tantrums and throws and hits until she finally voices “I want my brother back.”

Oh grief. Oh August.

The Lord brought me a new, unexpected friendship this summer. And she has already been an ear and a shoulder for me. She sent me this article and as Christian and I read it, we suddenly felt so much more “normal” during this process. I would encourage you to read it and remember it if the Lord brings someone into your life going through adoption loss. Just reading it has ministered to me, because it has reassured me that we are not alone in this process.

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mercy meets sepsis

By addysengrace, bucuresti, family, mercyadoniyah, romania No Comments

these are just a bunch of snap shots from my phone…but we have been so blessed by the love, prayer, encouragement, notes, etc. we have received and we wanted to let you guys see what our past three weeks have looked like. one more week and hopefully mercy will get the green light to leave this house and venture to more exciting places!

friday morning, when i decided we were hospital bound…
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first two days in the hospital. it was basically this for forty-eight hours…
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the next couple days…
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the first signs of her ‘tude coming back…
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sleepless nights…
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boredom…
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moments of addy…
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our four walls and view for eight days…
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trying to escape…
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going home…
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the first few days home…
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last treatment (out-patient) and IV port removed…
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sepsis recovery is slow…
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two weeks down of complete sequester – – now we are going into a week of camp, where mercy, addy and i are going to sleep in a pensiune (think bed and breakfast minus the breakfast) in the town near camp (called buzau) and christian and i will trade of staying with mercy because she isn’t allowed to be locations like camp just yet. she is very disappointed about missing camp but in good, her puppy is coming with her!