Friday, January 17, 2014

2013 in Review & Looking Ahead in 2014

Wow! I haven't blogged in a while! Time to update!

2013 Review


 Andrew started his 2nd year of Master's classes. We were both working. Oh and Andrew's car broke down in the middle of a busy intersection in rush hour traffic. Thankfully it was fixed the same weekend and it was something he could do himself with the help of a friend. (Thanks Phil V.!) No picture for January as I lost all my January photo files :-(


February was busy with lots of meetings with the social worker for our homestudy.

Valentine's Date

We celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary, my birthday, and finally got our homestudy back!

Anniversary Roses

 Andrew and I applied to USCIS for immigration approval and went to the Empowered to Connect Foster Adoption Parenting Conference. It was AMAZING! I highly recommend it to all adoptive and foster families!

Enjoying a Day at the Zoo with the Kids I Babysit

Lots of end of the school term stuff for Andrew (read exams and papers). I made a 3 day missions trip to Haiti for a Sunday school training seminar with one of my college teachers, Mrs. F.

The beautiful people of Haiti. I won't forget their warmth, love, and friendliness. How they worship God. They teach me so much. They have so little, yet have such beautiful spirits.

One of June's highlights was the Bulgarian Adoption Reunion. It was wonderful to meet other adoptive families! Andrew also took the few week break before summer classes start to begin remodeling the basement. Dossier mailed to Bulgaria for translation.

Basement Remodel Project


July was filled with summer classes for Andrew. We took a vacation with my sister, brother-in-law, and my darling nephew and niece. It rained everyday that week, but we still had fun in between showers and managed to roast marshmallows over a fire while holding and umbrella. We also got in some hiking trips. Andrew and my brother-in-law even hiked in the rain. Dossier submitted to Bulgarian MOJ for approval.

Andrew holding up a huge boulder. (Did we fool you? Maybe the expression on his face needs to look a little less smiley and more like "this is hard to lift".) Actually, it was a natural rock bridge over a creek/river.

More work on the basement on the few weeks of school before the fall semester starts.

Andrew tries his hand at for the first time at laying tile (in our basement). Forget easy things like straight rows. Why not do your first tile job as complexly as possibly and try a cool herring bone pattern?


Andrew's is in his best friend's wedding and we get to see another best friend and college room mate (who now lives in Northern Ireland at the wedding.)

Reunion of old buddies from college.

This fall was especially beautiful. The colors were so vibrant and I enjoyed it. My sister asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding (in 2014).  We got rained out of our Both Hands Project and had to reschedule. Our dossier was accepted by the Bulgarian government and we are officially on the waiting list to be matched with children!

Bulgarian pumpkin recipe I made called Tikvenik. It was so yummy! I wrote a post and gave the recipe on another blog here.


Thanks to our great team of volunteers, we had a great work day at Mrs. Tucker's home for our Both Hands Project. For Thanksgiving we went "out west" to see Andrew's family. When I say out west, I mean three different states. I met a lot of his relatives for the first time and saw the family ranch where Andrew's dad grew up. We got to visit with Andrew's maternal grandmother, who was battle cancer, and grandfather. His grandmother passed away a few weeks later. We also stayed with his 94 year old paternal grandmother who made us a pancake breakfast.

Andrew sitting on the floor to talk to his 94 yr. old grandmother.


Christmas business. Need I say more? Highlights of our holiday season include
a candle light Christmas Eve Love Feast (the same one we went to the night we got engaged!) and spending a wonderful Christmas with my family! 

Walk thru the snow with my sweet heart to enjoy the Christmas lights up in our neighborhood!

Looking Ahead in 2014 

I can't see into the future, but we do have some exciting plans as we continue our journey through life hand in hand. I am sure life will bring all kinds of joys and challenges. It is nice to know that our Heavenly Father has it all in His control.

Andrew will being doing two internships and be finished with his Master's in Counseling by August! Then he can take state boards to become a licensed counselor.  

We hope to finish the basement remodel project. (We went this week and picked out paint colors, so it is slowly making progress. But I foresee another stall until June since Andrew's first internship starts Monday!) 

I will be working 40-45 hours a week. Andrew will be working part time too, as his schooling allows. (He has an awesome boss who works around his school schedule!)

As far as the adoption goes, we are in the big unknown period right now. The whole timeline is pretty set, except for this period of waiting to be matched with children. We hope to receive a match in 2014, but also realize we could still be waiting for a match next January. Or we could get a match tomorrow and next January we could have children home. We are preparing for the long wait. Our immigration approval while expire in July. Over the next, we are going to be working on update lots of paperwork to update our immigration approval this summer.

My brother is graduating from high school at the end of May and my sister is getting married in August. So we have two road trips planned.

I will try not to go so long in between blog updates! My goal for 2014 is 1 a month.

Have a blessed 2014.


  1. Hello. My name is Becky. I don't remember how I found your blog, maybe through Google? Anyway, my family is also adopting from Bulgaria. You are few steps ahead of us. We are waiting for our home study to be approved by our agency so we can get our NBC application sent in. I was super excited to find your blog. It has not been easy to find families that have adopted from or are adopting from Bulgaria. I would love to "meet" you. If you have a chance you could email me. Thanks.

  2. Loved this update from you dear friends! Seems like all the pieces are finding their place. Can't wait to meet your sweet children!

  3. This post was really encouraging to me! So many answered prayers last year!

  4. Hi Katie, you don't know me but I have been reading your blog because i have been praying for Bulgarian adoptions!!! Checking your blog often and praying for your sweet children to come HOME. God bless you and Andrew in this. I live in Bosnia so we have many dishes in common with Bulgaria (just a 7 hour drive away.)

  5. I enjoyed reading your Blog. May God bless you and prepare you while waiting for your family. Drop in any time

  6. Hi there, I too found your Blog via a Google search. We are barely started, researching international adoption, but Bulgaria interests used greatly! Praying for a quick referral for you! :)