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!