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.