Wednesday, August 13, 2014


When I asked people to pray for Tony, that God would prepare his heart, that he would be ready...

I confess I wasn't sure it would happen.

I just knew, after almost 15 years in that place, without a family, without love or home, family, security, or anything that was his, without any of the comforts we're accustomed to that give us strength to go out and face the world each day...

That he may be afraid. That he might be hesitant leaving his familiar and entering the unknown.

But praise be to God, I was wrong. He was ready.

This boy of mine jumped into my arms and held on for dear life. He was uninterested in saying too many goodbyes, quite literally pulling me by the hand to the front door. Let's get out of here, mom!

It's been six long months since I've seen this kid, and I promise you he remembered. He absolutely knew his mama was coming back for him.

Isn't this photo awesome? I should caption it, "Thank you God! You never forgot about me!"

He loved loved loved his new clothes. He tugged at his shirt throughout the day, kind of waving it around as if to say, "Look at my new shirt!" He was so proud. And guess what?! His new shoes fit just right.

We walked down the stairs...

Said one last goodbye to the new director of the orphanage...

And quite literally did not look back.

He was such a big boy, sitting in his booster car seat.

He was nervous when we started driving. His body went a little stiff and he was shaking, but he got the hang of it pretty quickly.

Especially once the snacks came out. He ate some squeezy fruits off of mommy's finger.

And then relaxed all the way to the hotel. For most of the ride he was holding my hand on one side and Michaela's on the other.

When we finally arrived at the hotel, he had another snack and then we settled in for some quiet time.

Oh does this boy love to cuddle!

He showed mommy and Michaela how he can stack rings! Well a few anyway, and then he decided he'd rather throw the rings and cuddle some more.

I also asked y'all to pray that Tony would be able to get out of the hotel and enjoy the city without fear. Well we got out a bit on that first day and he enjoyed taking it all in. Here's his first trip to the grocery store!

He's had many other firsts since then that I can't wait to share. But here's one more I can't resist.

He met his sister for the first time!

They both loved visiting with one another! Sam kept giggling, and Tony wanted closer and closer to the screen, even laying his head on the table to be closer yet.

Here we are all together for the first time!

Thank you all so very much for your love and prayers. God is answering every one of them and then some. All is most certainly well here in Bulgaria.

And for any of you back home, if you see my Sammer girl today, wish her a Happy Gotcha Day! Its been two incredible, life-changing years with her. My best years yet. She made me a mommy for the first time, and I couldn't love that title any more. Can't wait to squish her in just a few more days. Love you so much, Samantha Love!

Here's my princess yesterday on her first day of first grade!!
Lots of love to all of you.


  1. oh! tears of joy in my eyes! Congrats on this life-changing day for you and sweet Tony!! Cannot wait to see him blossom and how life unfolds for him! xxx

  2. Thinking about you and praying for continued good news from your trip, Grace! The photos tell the story beautifully, and what a BEAUTIFUL story it is to tell! Congratulations! Samantha and Tony are two very BLESSED kids! May God's peace, strength, wisdom, and joy continue to guide and support you! --Margaret S.

  3. I love, love, love this family!!!

  4. Absolutely beautiful!

  5. Praising God for answered prayers!

  6. Praying for you today, Grace! Blessings of strength and hope!

  7. Know you are probably busy, but would like a small update. Are Tony and you back in the States ? Sam, you and Tony are always in my prayers.