Monday, September 3, 2012

LAST CHANCE Child–Time Is Running Out!

Hey everyone, I need your help in getting this young man out there and known asap!  Our team met him in Latvia while interviewing kids for the Winter 2012 hosting program and had great things to say about him.  His younger sibling was adopted a few years ago by a family here in the states and he wants to be adopted too!
Meet Anatoly.  He spoke very good English and needed little translation.  He told the team that he never drinks or smokes as this behavior is not part of his life.  Anatoly would like to complete high school and then go to college to be an engineer.  His best subject is math but he is also very athletic and loves sports too!  He likes cats and dogs and says that any family with any age children would be good for him.  He prefers to live in a city or suburb verses a country life as he is used to the city atmosphere.  He is also very good at computers and would like to learn more about them like programming, etc… 
Anatoly is available for hosting this winter but his dream is to be adopted.  Time is running out for Anatoly as his birthday is September 16th and a family would need to file their i800a by then.  He needs a family that is homestudy approved to step forward asap!  We know there is a family out there that is willing and able to bring Anatoly home.  We just need to connect the two!!!
Please help us advocate for this precious child and find his family before time runs out!
Anyone with questions regarding adopting Anatoly can email me at or any of the other volunteer staff at New Horizons for Children.

Friday, August 10, 2012

We need this to go viral…

I’m going to summarize our story here for those that are just finding out about us to save you the time from having to go back through all of our previous posts.  We have an emergent need for funding and I need your help in donating and sharing our story with everyone you can.  Time is of the essence and we cannot do this without help!

Our family is going through our second adoption in less than 6 months.  Our first one was expensive.  The second one is too.  Why would we do this when we don’t have the cash you ask?  Well because there is a life depending on it and you can’t put a price on that.
We are adopting a boy from Latvia that will be turning 16 in three short months.  Once he turns 16 his hope of finding his forever family will diminish as the law says he will be ineligible for adoption.  The life that awaits him after he “ages out” is not promising.  Most orphan kids in Eastern Europe end up in a life of crime and get involved in drugs or prostitution (yes the boys too) and 15-20% of them will commit suicide by the age of 25 because its just too hard.

We had the pleasure of spending this past summer with this young man and to say that he is a treasure is an understatement.  Our hearts are CRAZY for him and he is meant to be a part of this family!  Aside from the urgency of his age is that our daughters visa expires in two months and we have been told that if we move fast enough we can bring him home when we go to finalize her adoption in October which will save a few thousand dollars in air fair alone not to mention the extra time we would not need to miss from work. 
In order for us to get a court date for him that quick we need to get our dossier in country ASAP so they can get it translated and get things rolling there.  THE DOSSIER IS READY NOW!  There is just one problem.  Money….

We need to send $5110 to our agency before our dossier can leave the country.  This covers our agency fees, translation expenses and a post placement retainer fee.  We just don’t have it.  We don’t.  There is a family leaving one week from today that is more than happy to carry our papers over but we need to overcome this one tiny problem first.

Will you please consider making a donation of $15 in honor of the 15 year old boy we so dearly want as a part of our family?

I have set up a donation button below or if you’d like to make a tax deductible donation please send a check with Butler Family Adoption in the memo line to our agency at
Adoptions Related
Services, Inc.

8 South Main Street
P.O. Box 201
Shrewsbury, PA 17361

GOAL MET!  Thank you to everyone that helped us reach it!

PLEASE HELP US REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS WE CAN!  With this being our 2nd adoption in 6 months there is no way we are going to pull this off without help. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

News from a land far, far away…

We are celebrating great news from Latvia today.  Some of you may know that we had decided to adopt A while he was here this summer with us for hosting.  Well soon after he left to return to Riga at the end of hosting things became not so clear and we had put the adoption process on hold and have been praying fiercely about the situation.  A dear friend of ours that has walked this process with us since last summer is in Riga to finalize her sons adoption and she spent some time at a Christian summer camp where A is at this week.  Well last night he came up to her and asked her to pass a message to us (I'm thinking God put her there for this purpose!).  He said YES and wants us to start the paperwork to bring him home forever!!!  Pray us through this peeps, we aren't out of the woods yet but we are going to move forward in faith that we are showing him love and what its like to have someone stand by you even when things are tough. 
Let the fundraising begin!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Headed Back to Latvia


Tomorrow Danny and Grace will board a plane and make the long flight back to Latvia in order to arrive for court on Tuesday to finalize her adoption with us.  It’s been a wonderful three months with her and we are happy to be making her a part of our family “official”.  She’s dreading the trip and is coming up with every excuse she can to avoid going back so I guess that’s a great indication that she wants to stay! LOL

Anyway, we are still raising funds for this trip as well as the final trip that should come in the next 4-6 weeks that will make her an American citizen.  We have a Charity Project page set up if you would like to make a donation towards our adoption expenses.  You can find that page here

Pray for safe travels for them and for me as I take on single parenting for the next five days please!

We are also counting down the days until Arturs arrives to spend the summer with us.  Just 28 days until he will be here!!!  We are wanting to build a bunk bed for him and Sean to share so if anyone has any skills and time they want to share I’ll buy the supplies and cook for you too Smile

Thanks everyone for supporting us in this wild and crazy journey of adoption and hosting that God has put us on!  We feel blessed to be on it.

Friday, April 6, 2012

6 weeks into our new “NORM”


And life is good. Actually life is GREAT.  The kids are all getting along really well.  Baseball is in full swing.  Grace (FYI, Vica has decided to go by her new middle name) is learning English quickly.  She’s made a few good friends and absolutely loves church.  In fact, last week she accepted Christ as her savior after watching a video on facebook of one of her fellow Lat friends that is also now adopted being baptized.  I also turned 34 this week.  I had a wonderful birthday and was so happy with the surprise cupcakes and cards and pampering my kids gave to me as well as a night out with Danny for dinner.  A dear friend spent the day helping the kids with their creations and babysat for us that night.  Too bad we can’t have birthdays twice a year Winking smile

We should have our 2nd court dates soon which will finalize the adoption with Latvia.  Grace and Danny will both be making this trip.  It’s probably going to be between $3800-$4000 in air fare plus another $5000 in court fees.  We do not have any fundraisers planned at the moment since everyone’s lives, not just ours, are so busy.  I do hope to be able to have a yard sale in the next few weeks that will hopefully make some money as well as clear out our garage.  Fundraising takes a whole lot of work and is tiring so we just can’t do it right now but if you would like to contribute to our 2nd court there is a paypal button on the right side of our blog that you can donate with your paypal account or credit card.

I’m also still doing my mongramming/applique business which helps our adoption funding as well so if you have a need for a personalized t-shirt or kids birthday shirt, towel, bride/groom towels, or baby gifts please let me know.  You can view my page on facebook by search Scrapberry Designs or clicking this link

Here are a few photos we’ve snapped over the past few weeks:


My heart is full <3

Monday, March 5, 2012

We are home and adjusting


Once again I am sorry it’s been a while since I’ve updated but as you know, life happens (especially with kids).  We came home a week Saturday with our new daughter and things continue to go amazingly well.  Vica and the boys are doing great together.  She’s really stepped into her role as big sister and is loving every minute of it.  Her only real issues that we have realized at this point are the way that she wants to hug and love EVERYBODY and her being overstimulated with too many people and things going on around her but this is to be expected.

We came home to my mom being in the hospital here for problems with her foot.  She had actually flown here from her home in Florida to help with the boys while we were gone and then ended up hospitalized Sad smile.  She is fortunately okay and came home on Tuesday. We also have had family come in to visit for the past few days so things have been a little busier than normal. I also started back to work last week too so we are all working on adjusting to our new life and schedule as a family.  This week we add homeschooling into the mix.

I read up on the idea of cocooning on another adoption friends blog and I think we are going to be doing a modified version of that with Vica for a while so she can learn the difference of liking other people versus loving and hugging every body she meets and that those feelings are more so for your family and also to help her ease into life in Amercia and to try to avoid some of those over stimulating factors.

On another note: Friends, I need you to be patient with me right now.  My life was busy before and it’s a little busier now and my kids are my first priority.  If I don’t answer your phone calls it’s because I’m corralling four children into the car or getting kids to baseball practice or doing homework or talking to someone that has knocked on the front door or trying to run a business while potty training a toddler while translating for a teenager that is brand new to our life.  I love my life and all of it’s craziness and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world but sometimes it’s hard for others to not take it personal that I just don’t have the extra time.  Just please be understanding that I am really limited right now and DO NOT take it personal.  IT’S NOT YOU.   If you send me an email I will do my best to get back to you in a reasonable time.  I know some of my friends are feeling neglected so I just wanted to explain this to everyone.  We just need some time right now.

Here are a few more photos Smile




Paldies friends and for now, ata!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day 20 in Riga

Yes, that is how long we have been here now. It's been a long journey to get here and now a long time spent here. The good news is that we only have 8 more days until we can come home so we are trying to put aside the homesickness and enjoy what is left.

Yesterday we went with another family that is here adopting to St Peters Cathedral and rode the elevator up to the top of the tower where you can step out and see all around Riga. It was beautiful.

Then on our walk back to catch the bus we noticed something going on at the Freedom Monument. There were soldiers standing at attention and their military band was ready to play too so we asked and found out that yesterday was the anniversary of Latvia and Estonia's freedom and both presidents were coming. So we stayed and watched as the cavalcade pulled in and the soldiers marched up to the presidents and gave them both a beautiful wreath which they layed at the freedom monument. It was really a neat thing to witness. I mean I've never even seen our president in person and here I saw the president of two different countries. It was cool. Danny even took a little video clip of it which I'm posting below.

We then invited the other family back to the apartment to have dinner with us and let the kids watch Rio. It was nice to spend time with someone else over here that we can talk to and relate to what we are going through.

As for Vica, truly I have nothing but wonderful things to say. She is mild mannered, she likes helping out, she has been great with the 4 year old twins we've been hanging out with, she jokes with us and has a great sense of humor and she likes to give hugs and tell us she loves us. And she is your typical teen who is attached to her phone and can go through some credits from texting in no time flat :) But, when we tell her it's time to put the phone up she is so good at listening and not giving attitude. I realize that things may change some when we get home but all in all I think we are going to have it pretty easy with her.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Good Saturday morning friends!

Things are going wonderful here with Vica. We are really enjoying getting to know each other and at the same time doing lots of sight seeing here in Riga so we are staying pretty busy. In the past few days we have been to Old Riga twice. Thursday we walked around just taking it all in. We also visited the Occupational Museum of Latvia which Danny really enjoyed since he is into history. Then we went to a mall called Galleria Center and walked around learning what things Vica likes though we don't think she understands the shopping concept so mom is going to have to work on that bit ;)

Friday the social worker from orphan court came for a home visit. Vica told them that this is her dream come true. She really is such an easy going and pleasant child. She doesn't ask for much and always wants to help. She told me yesterday that if Matthew and Chase do not know how to make their beds then she will teach them :) Danny and I are taking bets on whether she will get them to start picking up, making beds, etc or if they will sway her to stop doing it lol. She plays a really cool instrument called the Korkle, it's like a harp that lays on your lap. But she also wants to learn the piano. We also went back to Old Riga yesterday morning before the social worker came. A fellow adoptive Latvian momma, friend, and now co-worker with New Horizons was here interviewing kids for summer hosting so we met up with her for a little chatting time. It was great to meet Stephanie in person. Then last night we took a cab to Lido's to have dinner with the Walker family. They are adopting adorable 4 year old twins. Lido's is a really nice buffet style restaurant and the food is just delicious. There are lots of recreation things to do outside too but most of that is shut down right now since it's so cold out.

This is Vica, Stephanie, and Me. Horrible picture of me but the only one I got so whatever :)

Vica at Lido's

My daughter is a texting queen too :)

So today we are doing laundry and then I think going to see a movie later this afternoon. They show the movies here in English with Latvian subtitles.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, February 6, 2012

He has turned our mourning into dancing

I haven't blogged in a few days because there has been a lot of stuff going on with us. The girls were told by their one of their teachers on Friday that if they did not come home with us to America that she would be their guardian. Of course this is one of the only people to ever show them attention so it was a dream come true to them. They became very difficult with us at that point because we were fighting for them. Being defiant, and rude and saying very bad things and just refusing to listen because they felt threatened by our desire to fight for them tooth and nail. This weekend was a nightmare and heartbreaking all at the same time. We were very sad to see these things happening but know it was their defenses coming out. It's tragic for these children really.  They live in a broken system where too much power is given to young children that are incapable of making life long decisions.  Today our attorney came and picked them with us up and took them back to the orphanage where they didn't give us a second glance or even say good bye. It was heart wrenching but it we know that God has gone before us and this was all a part of His plan. In that we are finding a little peace.

The attorney that works for us here in Latvia has been amazing to say the least. She works her tail off for these families. I am sure the woman must not sleep. As soon as I spoke to her yesterday that this wasn't going to work out she said "I know the perfect child for you. I have spoke with this girl and she very much wants a family". Danny and I were open to meeting her because God set us on this journey to care for orphans and that is what we are going to do. This girl is in foster home and the foster mom says she is a very sweet, kind girl that likes to help with cooking and cleaning and help with the small children. Our boys don't even want to do that :) Could this be real?

So we left the orphanage and went to meet Viktoria (Vika). All I can say is WOW! In the first five second this sweet child showed us more love and affection that we saw all summer long. She calls out "MOM! DAD!" and gives us big, strong hugs. The foster mom served us a wonderful spread of fruits, crackers, and tea and Vika wanted to fix everything for us. She was very inquisitive about our life at home and what it will be like for her and asked about the boys and if they will like her. Danny and I are just shocked at the difference in behavior and honestly feel relieved. This child gave us another big hug when we left and looked us both in the eye and said I LOVE YOU! It was so sweet :) Vika is 13 years old and was tickled to know that she will be the only daughter in the house. LOL. Oh, and she likes pink! Yeah!!!

The courts worked super fast to get us a referral on her and court dates set. Ordinarily they require you to spend three weeks in country with the child for a bonding period but they have agreed to shorten it to just two weeks since we've been through such a fiasco and need to get back to work. So we are going to be here a little longer than originally planned but it's all working out for the better.

Back to court tomorrow morning but in the mean time let us introduce Vika to you.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Missing PostsI

If you are reading through our blog and it seems to skip here that is because there are some posts regarding our failed adoption that I felt the need to remove to protect both our family and the girls.  Perhaps someday I'll feel okay with reposting them but for now those posts will remain private.  Thanks for understanding.

Day 2

We've been in Riga for a little over 24 hours now and are starting to get acclimated to our surroundings and the way things work.

We slept until noon this morning so I guess we had some pretty serious jet lag :) After we got up we walked to the center of Riga to a place called Marika to exchange some currency. We did a little at the airport yesterday but the exchange rate is better at this place. Here's a photo of some Latvian money (lats)

The architecture here is really cool too. I'm going to take some more pictures later but here are a few I snapped on our walk to Old Riga this morning.

This was breakfast at a little bakery we found. Danny had a chocolate croissant with a toffee type spread inside and I had a cherry danish and a coffee. Both were very yummy.

Frozen statue in the park

Snow and more snow. Did I say there was snow?

Daina is coming shortly and will be taking us to the orphanage to meet the girls so I will do another post on that later.

We are considering a vacation home here :) Maybe for families coming to adopt? LOL. Wouldn't that be cool!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 1

We are here. We made it to Latvia finally! It was a pretty uneventful travel experience although the long flight from DC to Frankfurt was hot at hades. We feel off on our sleep pattern and have been napping here and there trying to figure out when exactly we should sleep.

We ventured out to Rimi today to pick up a few things to eat. That's the grocery store chain here. Daina is coming tomorrow and we get to go to the orphanage to see the girls.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Four days…


So I finally began the packing process last night. I am a major procrastinator when it comes to this because I have no idea how to pack! I decided to start with a few things for the girls, some activities and stuff to do for entertainment, gifts for a few people that have helped us along the way, and a few things that I’m taking over for some other families and I’ve already filled one suitcase! LOL. So I’m going to try and get clothes for Danny and I into the other suitcase and our two carry ons. I think I can, I think I can.… My mom flies in from Orlando tomorrow. She and my mother in law will be holding down the fort at Camp Butler while we are away. I’ll need a few of you to pop over from time to time and make sure they aren’t tied to chairs or locked in the attic please as you never know what these three sweet little angels are capable of Angel.


As if traveling to Latvia and being reunited with Dajana and Adelina wasn’t enough excitement I do have some other news. I have been praying for God to show me a way that I can serve that would enable me to continue helping and advocating for orphans once our adoption is complete. This has been very heavy on my heart and many of you have heard me talk about it (a lot). I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to serve as Assistant Regional Coordinator for Florida which means I will get to help answer calls and inquiries from families that are interested in hosting, find out info on and advocate for the children and help with questions that the families may have while the kids are stateside as well as questions they may have regarding adoption. And to make this opportunity even sweeter, a few ladies from the NHFC team are going to be in Riga the same time we are and it looks like I may get to spend a day with them visiting the orphanages and talking to the kids about summer hosting. I’m totally seeing God’s timing in this plan. If we had traveled sooner I would not have been able to join the team and help minister to these sweet kiddos while we are there. I’ve never been on a mission trip (though I’ve wanted to go on one for a while now) and miraculously I possibly get to do some mission work while we are in Latvia. So say a prayer for me as I step into this new role. I feel strongly that it’s what I’m supposed to do so pray that it will fit in well alongside our new family members adjusting and what not.

Okay, well I’m off to cram some more stuff into the other suitcase. My friend Ann who is a fellow Nashvillian and Latvian momma wants me to stuff her in there too but unfortunately I have got to get my clothes into this one and they take up a little more room than Vicki’s stuff (inside joke which you may get if you have read Ann's blog). Sorry Ann!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

9 days


We are getting close!  I got the approval from our facilitator yesterday on our Embassy Paperwork so that is good to go.  I guess it’s time to start checking off the list and tossing some things in the suitcase.

I was able to chat for a minute on Draugiem this morning with Dajana.  I told her that mom and dad leave on an airplane in 9 days and then it occurred to me that they only have 11 more days of their lives to spend in an orphanage.  I wonder if they really realize that they are leaving?  I mean do they believe it is happening or will they not truly know until we arrive there to get them?  I wonder what they are feeling right now.  Lots of different emotions I would think.  While living in an orphanage is not the best situation, it’s been their home for the last four years.  They have friendships there and connections that they will be leaving behind.  Actually it takes great courage for these kids to make such a life changing decision.  I pray that they are able to process it all without too much struggle.

On a different note, the boys are really looking forward to the girls coming back home.  We’ve prayed for them several times a days since before the summer and it is just such a natural thing to include them as we would anyone else that is close to us.  A friend of mine shared something with me that Matthew did at church on Sunday that just melted my heart.

I copied this from her fb post “have to tell you I had Matthew in Jungle journey. They were playing "hot potato" and were supposed to tell what/who they prayed for if the music stopped while they were holding the "potato". Most of the kids said things like "I pray for toys, Ipad, etc....but when Matthew got the 'potato' he said "i pray for my sisters".....brought a tear to my eye:)”

Isn’t he just the sweetest?  Love that boy.  My biggest boy is having a birthday this weekend.  I can’t believe I’m about to become the parent of a teenager.  Where did the time go?  And I remember myself all to vividly in my teen years.  Lord I’m really going to need your grace and mercy on this one!  LOL.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

10 days


That’s all that’s left to get ready for our trip to Latvia!  I am nervous about what to take with us, the weather, being to cold to get around, and mostly wondering how my girls will react to seeing us again.  We told them this summer when they were here that we were going to visit them in Latvia.  I just don’t think they believed us.  Lucky for us we knew a secret we couldn’t share with them Winking smile

So I’ve been told a few times lately what a horrible blogger I am lol.  I’m sorry peeps!  I promise to try and do better.  At least while in country anyway.  Can you forgive me?

Lots going on in the past few days.  As far as fundraising goes we still have our Charity Project going and have raised half of our goal so far which we are beyond thankful for! 

If you don’t follow us on facebook you wouldn’t know this but Adeye Salem, of No Greater Joy Mom Blog is trying to help some families that are adopting raise some last minute funds and we are one of the families that are featured on her linky.   She is giving away TWO $250 WALMART GIFT CARDS to a random person.  Everyone that makes at least a $10 donation to one of the families and then comments on her post that they made the donation. will be entered into the drawing.  This went live on the 16th and from then to now we have received $427.44 in donations.    We are just humbled and amazed at the generosity of others, even people that do not know our family, that are pouring out their love on us and giving to help get Dajana and Adelina home.  God is so good!

Danny’s highlight of today was pulling up the 10 day weather forecast for Riga and realizing that we are in range of knowing the forecast when we travel lol.  I’m happy to know that it will at least be back up in the 30’s by then.

I also got to talk with an old friend from high school for a good bit on the phone today that is adopting a child hosted in the US this winter.   A friend of theirs hosted little Yarik from Ukraine and Jenn and Paul are moving forward to adopt the little cutie.  I’m very excited for them and think it’s cool how similar our journeys will be.   They are doing lots of neat fundraising stuff.  I’m even going to be offering some personalized wristlet key chains for them to sell that will benefit both of our adoptions, hence bringing three little kiddos home.  You can read about Jenn and Paul and little Yarik here.

Until next time (maybe tomorrow, maybe not Winking smile),

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

18 days


18 days but whose counting?  Well we are!!  That’s all we have left until our plane leaves Nashville and we begin a journey that will bring us into the next chapter of our lives.

Lucky for us Latvia allows the children to return home with us on a student visa while we finish up the rest of the adoption so we are are able to spend that time bonding with our children.   We will still have two more trips to make there that will happen sometime later this year but none the less we will be finalized sometime in 2012.

I am looking forward to being done with the paperwork and the fundraising.  It’s been a lot of extra work to fit in with working full time and running our own businesses.  I know having Dajana and Adelina here will make it all worth it though.

I’m also excited because as this chapter of our journey is coming to a close I am seeing opportunities to fill my need to advocate for orphans coming about.   Yes we are adopting and giving two children a home but our work is not finished there.  Until there are no more children in orphanages and foster families we will continue to share and advocate for them.  But I’ll save all of that for another post Smile

Right now we have 18 days to get together tax returns, copies of our copy of our dossier made,  government forms completed and notarized, and to plan how to pack 4 people into 3 suitcase for 11 days.

We we come Latvia!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hijacking Blog

Hi Everyone,

My name is Shannon and I'm a friend of Tabby's. I've known her for geez...3 years? Is that right Tab? Maybe 4? Anyway, I hijacked her blog today because she is busy packing. Packing your asking? Oh my friends, that's right. The time has finally arrived! Tabby and Danny are now able to travel to Latvia to pick up their DAUGHTERS! The Butler household will have a lot more pink in it (Tabby, speaking of pink can you PLEASE update this blog to show that you are now a mom of girls? Boys are wonderful and all, but a person can only have so much blue).

Are you all jumping up and down right now with excitement? I know I was when Tabby told me. 20 long months later and the girls get to come home! This is why I'm here. They need some help bringing the girls home. As you know airline tickets are real expensive, and now having to fly 4 people home...the costs adds up. Tab has put together a fundraiser to help. All they are asking for is for each of you to donate $1 per person for a ticket. That's it! $4 from each of you they can get their babies home!! They only have a few days left to get $6200 - so any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

Congratulations Tabitha and Danny!!!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

We have a court date!!!

We received the much awaited email this morning that we finally have a court date!!! We will be leaving Nashville on the 29th and have court in Riga the 31 of this month!! So happy to finally be seeing our girls again. We will be in country 11 days and will arrive back home to Nashville with our girls on February 12th.

I tried to call and share the news with the girls this morning but the person who answered the phone and I cannot understand each other. Bummed because I don't know how to say, when may I call again to speak with them? Ugh!!

A friend here in Nashville that also adopted from Latvia tried to three way wall with us so her daughter could translate but we had technical difficulties so that didn't work out either. It was stressfully funny actually. Oh well. We will try again tomorrow!

We also have a new fundraiser that just went live to help raise some last minute travel fund. Please check it out and share with everyone you can! $4 for 4!!!!!!

Thanks friends!