Four Years Later

Wow!  We are celebrating four years together as a Forever Family!  God is so good!  He has blessed us beyond measure.

I want to start by talking about all the ways our kids have blessed us!  Dorina is our constant bouncing joy!  She is always full of joy and hugs and laughter and jubilant energy!  She is such a servant and really enjoys helping in any way she can.  Tibi is our sensitive, generous hearted boy!  He enjoys showing love to others, encouraging them, and sharing with them!  We are blessed every day by the beautiful souls of our children.  We are blessed daily by all that God has put inside of them and the ways that he is working in and through them every day!  We know that God has great things for them today, and in the future!

The last year has been full of changes for us, but good changes.  We have been blessed to be able to move closer to my job.  This has been such a wonderful blessing and time saver!  No more 45 minute drives!  Tony was moved to a Church near my school and we have enjoyed becoming part of this wonderful new church family.  The kids enjoy being part of this church and we are working together as a family to serve the Lord!  This church family is such a blessing to us!  We enjoy worshiping together as a family and being part of the services together.  We enjoy the warm and loving fellowship of all the people there.  The are amazing!  We have enjoyed reaching out to the community and connecting with new people.  It is amazing to watch all that God is doing here!

The kids are in 4th grade now!  Wow!  I can’t believe how much they have grown!  Dorina is almost as tall as I am now.  That is not saying much, because I am rather short, but she is growing into a beautiful, tall, young lady.  We are so proud of her!  Tibi is growing too!  I know it won’t be long til he is taller than me!  He is such a cutie and growing into a handsome young man. The children have a creative sense of humor and enjoy spending time with us.  They often tell us that they would rather be with us no matter what we are doing, than to go play.  They are so sweet!  They are making A’s and B’s in school and we are very proud of them.  It is so hard to believe that they didn’t know any English just four years ago!  They have wonderful personalities and enjoy life.

The kids really enjoy our new neighborhood.  They enjoy riding their bikes in the culdesac that we live on.  We enjoy taking family walks and being able to shop!  We are close to everything now that we live in Dothan.  God has blessed us so much!  We are so grateful for God’s love and provision.

Our favorite thing to do as a family is to read and study God’s Word together.  The kids love God so much and it is such a joy to watch them grow in their faith every day.  Tibi’s sensitive heart reaches out to people and prays for them daily.  He is our little preacher.  Dorina brings joy where ever she goes.  They both love to sing and praise Jesus too!  They always have a song ready for any occasion!  Both of the kids find joy in study God’s Word and applying to their lives.  They like to dig in to the scriptures and find out all they can about them and then meditate on what they are learning.  It brings such joy to this Mommy’s heart to see them grow in their faith and love of Jesus!  It is my favorite time of day, when we sit down to study God’s Word together.

Game night is another family tradition that we enjoy.  I remember playing games with my family and relatives growing up and it is so sweet to share that with my kids.  We recently purchased Dutch Blitz.  I remember playing that game with my Aunts and Uncles growing up and then in collage too.  It brings back such fun memories.  Tibi and Dorina really get into play games and it is so fun to spend time together this way.

It has been a fabulous and wonderfully blessed four years.  We have had our ups and downs but God has brought us through each day with His love and joy.  It is not easy to “Become” a family, but it is so worth it!  We can’t even remember what it was like to not be a family anymore.  God has bound our hearts forever!  We are grateful beyond words for what He has done for all of us!  Thank you Jesus for our precious family!  We can’t wait to see what He has for us each day!

So far in 2016

EasterWe look forward to a new year each time.  It is nice that God gives us a chance to start new each day and each year.  We believe this is a year of wonderful things for our family!  Our family scripture for this year is Philippians Chapter 2.  We want to live our lives in harmony and bring joy to others.

This year started out difficult for the kids in school.  They just hadn’t been motivated at this school.  They weren’t trying their best and they were not very happy.  So we decided to move them back to the school where I teach.  They were very excited to come back to my school.  They have done much better since they have moved.  They are working harder and enjoying school more.  Dorina’s grades have improved so much in her new class.  Tibi has been trying harder too.  We are very proud of their progress!
On the way to school each morning, we listen to sermons, study scripture, and pray together.  I enjoy the special time I get to spend in the car with the kids on the drive to school.

This year Tony is taking some classes.  One of his classes has been in Birmingham.  We all went with him to the last class.  While he was in class, we explored the Science Museum there.  It was so much fun!

The kids enjoyed learning about science and most of all they enjoyed all of the hands on experiences!  Dorina wasn’t too sure about the bed of nails!  Tibi was the volunteer to help with the electricity experiential.  I even got to pet a shark!  That was a new experience for me!

This year we also adopted again – a stray cat.  There was a beautiful blue gray cat that showed up on our porch.  We tried to find a newBalou home for the sweet cat before Christmas.  In January it turned very cold outside – cold for Alabama anyway.  The sweet cat had been attacked by a stray and was not well and I just couldn’t leave him outside in the cold – so Tony let me bring him in.  The kids loved him!  He was so gentle and sweet!  God provided someone that paid for all of his vet bill to get him ready for the family!  The kids have had so much fun with him!  He is an interesting cat!  He entertains himself.  He gets out all of his toys every night and plays.  He throws his toys in the air and chases after them.  We named him Balou after the big Baloo bear from the Jungle Book.  That was a movie that I enjoyed watching with my mom.
porch steaksThe weather has been nice so we enjoyed a steak meal on the porch!  We are enjoying our spring break this week.  We haven’t gone anywhere, but we have enjoyed our time together.  We just enjoy being together!

Update 2015

There is so much to write about since it has been almost a year since I posted.  This week we have been looking at pictures of the kids from 3 years ago and they look so little!  They have grown so much in so many ways over the last three years.

012fd385befb3f48db00aac48b950eb5d163a47df1Last summer was filled with projects.  We started out by researching how to build your very own Barbie house using recycled materials.  The kids had been learning about recycling and Dorina wanted a Barbie house.  The kids and I collected copy paper boxes, fabric scraps, cardboard, and other packing materials that we found and created an adorable Barbie house and furniture.  Most of the Barbies 0161e517eddebd3bdb8fd538fd4097bfa622b383e4and white furniture pieces came from when I was a kid.  Dorina used about $10 to buy a few pieces to add to it and paper and other things to decorate the house.  We had so much fun and she has spent hours playing with it.

hot wheels city 2Our next project was to create a Hot Wheels city for Tibi.  We researched and began collecting materials.  We used felt and pipe cleaners to make movable roads so that he could arrange his city however he wanted to each time.  We used boxes and construction paper to make buildings, signs, bridges, and a parking garage.  Tibi has enjoyed hours of fun in his city!  The kids enjoy playing cars together too.

Dorina sewingOur next project was to learn how to sew.  We began with just Tibi sewingsewing a straight seam.  When they had practiced for a while, I taught them how to make simple Barbie Doll pillows.  They learned how to be persistent and to keep trying but they were very proud of their finished results!  Dorina and I also made her a princess dress to wear for play.  She wanted it to also work as a wedding dress.  We had fun making it together.

space museumDuring the summer, we like to explore.  We took several trips just a short drive away to Columbus, GA.  We explored the Science Museum, outdoor ares, and the War museum there. imax We ate picnics and learned about the world.  Tibi had the most fun riding the fighter plane simulator!  The day we went there were not many people there and he flew the plane over and over!  We enjoyed the IMAX shows too.
Tony made awesome picnic lunches for us each time we went. steak and shake Some days we also enjoyed an inexpensive meal at Steak and Shake!

Tibi bdayTibi celebrated his birthday in July.  I can’t believe he turned 8 years old already!  They have grown so much!  The kids enjoyed going to the library all summer.  They enjoyed reading books and discovering new books in a series.  We practiced math facts and played in the sprinkler too.  It was a wonderful summer together!

We had so much to be thankful for at Thanksgiving.  God has blessed us so much.  Dorinadorina dresss has become so much more responsible.  She is such a wonderful helper and always pitches in to help around the house.  She is so independent!  She enjoyed learning to cook this summer and prides herself on making breakfast for Mommy and brother on Saturdays when Daddy has to go to work.  She has such a sweet and tender spirit.  She is full of joy and lights up every room!  She brings so much love, laughter, and joy to our family!

daddy with kidsTibi has grown too.  He tries to be funny as often as possible.  Sometimes he is funny even when he doesn’t try to be!  He is so tender hearted and wants to do things to make others happy.  He is thoughtful of others and prays for others all of the time.  He is trying so hard to be a little gentleman and honor his 2015

For our Christmas trip we went to Stone Mountain in Georgia.  We had a  wonderful time there.  We spent one day at the Jimmy Carter Museum.  That was so interesting.  As I said, we all enjoy history.  One christmas usrainy day, we spent at the Puppet Museum in Atlanta.  It was so awesome to see the Jim Henson Muppet collection!

seasame street2015 was a growing year.  Tony took on a part time job to help out.  Tony took the kids to school here in town and picked them up and helped them with homework.  The kids have struggled with their behavior at this school.  Dorina did not like school very much and Tibi seemed to think school was just a big play time.  They did not do their best with their grades in 3rd grade and they tried to see how far they could push the boundaries.  Some days it feels like we have two teenagers in the house and other days it seems like we have two toddlers!  These are the challenges of parenthood!  God has given us wisdom in each situation and helped us to guide our children.  We have all grown together.  We are so thankful for God’s love, mercy, and grace for each day!  The kids love to read their Bible, pray, and listen to what God has to tell them.  We know that no matter what we face, as long as we walk with Jesus, everything will work out for God’s glory!  We are thankful for each milestone!  We are thankful for Jesus!

Mother’s Day

It seems like the year 2015 just started and yet it seems as though it has been a long year.

kids with momFirst of all, I am so blessed to be a Mom!  I have two beautiful and sweet children and a wonderful husband!  God has blessed me in so many ways!  I remember only a few years ago, how this day would make me sad as I longed to be a mother.  So today, I pray for all of those who are still longing to be a mother.  I have been praying today also for those children who long to have a mother.  There are so many orphans out there still waiting to know a mother’s love.  I also pray for those who have lost a child.  I know those feelings too.  I pray that God comforts all those whose arms long for a child.  I am also now one who misses my mother.  My beautiful mother went on to Heaven last year.  I pray for those who are missing the arms of their own mother.  Father God, bless all of the women of the world today!  Bless those who are waiting to be mothers and all of those who will someday grow up to be mothers!  Father, bless those who are grieving – those who long to be or who have lost.  Father, wrap your arms around all of those who are longing to be held by a loving mother’s arms!  Father, send your special love to all of the orphans – Father, unite mothers with children all over the world.

Next, I want to take time to pray for the mother’s who have or are adopting.  It is a wonderful blessing and joy!  It can also be difficult.  I pray for those who are trying to reach into the hearts of children that have been hurt.  When our children are hurt in some way, we don’t always know how to reach them.  I am so thankful to Father God who gives us wisdom and grace.  He is the one who can reach them and to see into the dark places in their hearts.

This has been a long year for our family.  There have been so many struggles and trials this year, but one thing remains the same.  God is good and He loves us and He brings us through.  Our two precious kiddos have had many struggles over the last two years, but God shines through them and I am so thankful.

kids with papaOur sweet Dorina started off behind in school when we first brought her home.  She had not had any formal education before she became part of our family.  We have worked long and hard and we have seen her blossom!  She has such a sweet and cheery personality!  She brings such joy to our lives and to the world!  She bounces into the room like Tigger and gives love and smiles everyone she goes!  This year, we have seen her also develop a love for reading!  She has worked hard and has accomplished so much!  We are so proud of our Tigger!  She is such a wonderful helper too!  She has learned to be very responsible and to take on several responsibilities in the house!  She is quick to lend a hand and has a heart to serve.  She blesses our hearts every time she prays!  She loves God and she loves to worship Him in song and in dance.  She pours out her heart in such sweet prayers for others!  Over the past two years, she has told us things about her life before we became a family.  Sometimes, we cry together as she shares her stories.  We are so proud of her and how she has been able to share these things, process them with us, and move on.  She leaves those things behind her and blossoms and grows each time!  She is such a beautiful young lady inside and out!  She has matured and grown in every way this year!  We love our sweet Dorina!

Tibi has had a rough year this year.  When he transitioned to a new school, a school where Mommy did not work, it seemed to have a very deep effect on him.  He struggled all year.  He had trouble processing this change and he never really accepted it.  He acted out in ways that we did not understand, but we kept asking God to help us to help him.  He even seemed to go backwards in his maturity throughout the year.  We kept loving him, kept praying for him, kept working with him, and kept trying new ways to reach him.  Then one day, after much prayer and not knowing what to do, I sat down with him and we made a chart of things that were happening and why he thought they were happening that way.  He kept repeating that he wanted to go back to the school where Mommy worked.  After many questions, he finally shared his heart with me.  His fears and actions were linked to his birth dad leaving him.  Somehow, he thought that one day I would not come back to him either.  I held him and he cried and I reassured him of my love.  Then God gave me the idea to make a special necklace for Tibi to put on the special bear that Daddy and I had made for him.  I put charms on the necklace from my childhood, ones that were very special to me – keepsakes.  I took a locket and put a piece of Tibi’s hair and my hair in it and put it on his bear.  I told him that just as I would never leave him, I would not leave without taking these special keepsakes with me.  I told him that I had always taken them with me whenever I moved, and just as I would take them with me, I would always take him with me.  It reassured his sweet little heart!  He began to change that day!

I share these things because I know that there are others who long to find the key to helping their children.  You never know what it will be that opens the door to your child’s heart.  Just keep swimming!  That is what my sister always says to me (from the movie Nemo).  Just keep asking and seeking God to help.  Just keep loving your child.  Just keep trying and searching.  One day, the door will open.  One day, the beauty will come!

kids in tractorTibi is such a good organizer!  He told us that he is now the Library helper and we are so proud!  He has a love of reading just like his Mommy!  We are so proud of our little boy!  He comes home and uses what he has learned in school in the cutest ways.  One day at dinner, he told us that he would write an opinion piece on why he appreciated his Mommy the teacher.  He gave us an opening statement, three detailed statements and a closing!  It was so cute and smart of him!  He is such a little smartie!  He is also a hugger!  He loves to give hugs and kisses!  He is so tender and affectionate!  He likes to wait on Mommy too and make me feel so special!  He has started to do his chores now too!  He has such a beautiful soul and is so full of love!  He is our handsome little man!

I am looking forward to the summer time to spend time with my precious family!  I have all kinds of great family activities planned for us – nothing big, just good quality fun time!  I am so blessed to be Dorina and Tibi’s Mom!  God has given me so much joy and love in my children!  I am so blessed to have a husband who takes time to take them to and from school and help them with their homework!  I have the most amazing Chef for a husband!  He loves our children so much!  He gives them lots of hugs and kisses and tickles and spends quality time with them!  Just last night, he and Tibi played a game together while Dorina and I enjoyed dancing to music.  Our home is filled with love because of these two amazing kids!  I am always in awe of God and how our precious kids are so much like us!  Sometimes that is good and sometimes that is not so good!  🙂 LOL!  Every day is an adventure, but it is an amazing adventure!  My heart is full as I celebrate Mother’s Day!  My kids and husband have treated me so special this weekend!  Most importantly, I am just so glad that they are mine!  God had such a special plan for our family and it has only just begun!

Our life almost two years later

fallSo much has happened since my last post.  But one things remains true – God has blessed us abundantly and there is so much love in our family!

The kids are in 2nd grade this year and are excelling.  It amazes me each day how much they have learned and how much they have grown over the last 22 months.  As I type that number, I am amazed that it has only been that long!  We feel like we have been together forever!  That is what a forever family feels like!  I am smiling as I think about God’s goodness to us!  God also adopts us and puts us in His forever family!  We have an awesome God!

We closed the restaurant in the fall.  We love our family and our family time too much!  Tony hardly had any time to spend with the children and we were always so busy!  We decided that it was the best thing for our family.  We have started a new venture though.  The kids have had serious allergy issues since we brought them home.  So do Tony and I.  Some dear friends of ours, introduced us to a company called Genesis Pure.  Genesis Pure is pure, natural, vitamins, minerals, and superfruits to help your body cleanse, balance, and build your way to health.  We decided to try it.  Genesis Pure has made such an amazing difference in our lives!  Our family is free from allergies!  We also have more energy (not that the kids needed more energy – but the parents sure did!).  We feel so much better all around!  We have even been able to quit taking our medications!  We feel so much healthier!  We created our own website to share with others because we believe that God gave us the things on the earth for us to be healthy – we believe in all natural remedies instead of medications with side affects.

Since we started feeling so healthy and Tony is home more, he has started making things from scratch!  We have enjoyed fresh homemade bread, butter, and peanut butter!  The meals we eat at home are exquisite!  He makes most things from scratch and the flavors are wonderful!  We are so proud of our chef at home!

We enjoy our family time!  The kids really enjoy games!  We have played twister, Clue, Battleship, Phase Ten, Chicken Foot, Monopoly, etc.  We are not a techy family or a TV family – we enjoy spending time together!  We do enjoy playing games together on the Wii.  The kids and I played basketball on the Wii one day for hours.  I found out that there are some muscles in my legs that I hadn’t used much!  Ouch!  But it was worth it!

Tibi is still our writer.  He enjoys reading and writing over most activities!  Recently at church, Tibi took notes on everything that was said.  He wrote an entire page front and back!  He likes to write notes to family too!  His notes are so sweet!  His favorite book to read is his Bible.  He reads it each night and enjoys telling us about what he read.  He excels in reading and writing at school too.  Tibi is also a singer – he makes up his own songs all day long!

Dorina really enjoys her music!  She sings almost all of the time.  She has been singing Christmas music for weeks already!!!  She is also our big helper!  She really enjoys helping around the house!  She is such a big help!  She is making so much progress at reading!  She enjoys it now too!  She reads her Bible every night also.  She really enjoys math too!  She loves to help Daddy in the kitchen and wants to learn to make everything Daddy does!

Our children are such a joy to us!  They have given us so much love and laughter and joy!  They are the happiest children we know!  We are very proud of them and we thank God for them daily!

A Prayer for my children

Family handsFather, I thank you for blessing our lives with Dorina and Tibi.  Father, I thank you, that before time began, you had planned for us to be a family.  Thank you for all of the little things that you did throughout our lives to prepare us for the moment that we would be a family.  Your timing is so beautiful and so perfect and I thank you!

Father, I thank you for our dear, sweet, precious Dorina!  Thank you for her love of life!  Thank you for the way she bounces into a room and sings with all of her heart to You!  Thank you for the way that she goes full force when she is happy!  Thank you for her joy.  Thank you for the way that she fills a room with joy!  Thank you for her sweet and precious hugs and the way she is such a wonderful helper.  Father thank you for her servant attitude and her joy in serving.  Father, thank you for her leadership and even for her stubbornness.  Thank you that you will use that stubbornness to Your glory!  Father, I ask that you would take her stubbornness and turn it into a beautiful thing.  Help her to be stubborn to follow after you and not be led astray.  Father, help her to always follow hard after you and not be tempted to follow those around her.  Father, ignite a fire in her to always serve You and sing Your praise all of her days.  Father, prepare her to be the leader that you want her to be.  Father, nurture her joy and servants heart.  Father, help us, as her parents to nurture all of the gifts and talents that you have placed within her.  Father give us daily guidance and wisdom to lead and guide her.  Father, give her a pure heart.  Father, keep her eyes and heart fixed on you.  Father, give her peace when things are difficult.  Give her grace to face each situation that comes into her life.  Help us to be patient and lead her in grace and truth.  Father, help us all to always cherish one another and our time together.  Father, surround her with your presence and your love to guide her and guard her all the days of her life.  Father, prepare her for each path that you have for her.  Prepare her to be a teenager – and prepare us for that too!  Prepare her to be a wife and mother someday if that is your will for her.  Father, prepare her for the career that you have for her to follow.  Father, close all the doors that you do not want her to cross and throw open wide, all the doors that you have for her to walk through.  Prepare the path in front of her and guide her to it and along it.  Father, protect her.  Father put in her path the people she needs to be her encouragers and cheer her on.  Help her to always turn to you and to know that she can turn to us.  Father, help her to always know your great love for her.

Father, thank you for our dear, sweet, precious boy, Tibi!  Thank you for his great mind.  Father thank you for the joy that is evident in his life.  Thank you for the way he is grateful for everything.  Father thank you for the way he sacrifices for others and gives of himself and his possessions.  Father, thank you for the way he always has a song in his heart!  Father, thank you for his clever mind and the way he is able to figure things out.  Thank you for his sweet notes and how he cares about how others feel.  Thank you for his sweet hugs and kisses and affection.  Father, prepare him for each step along the path that you have for him.  Father help him to always love you and follow you.  Father, thank you for the way that He adores you now!  Father, teach him to follow only You and to be a light in the darkness.  Help him to seek you and to share your love with the world.  Father, teach him to focus on You no matter what is going on around him.  Father, give him a pure heart.  Prepare him for the career that you have for him and keep his foot on the path that you have for him.  Swing open wide the doors that you have him to walk through and close the doors that he is not to pass through.  Give him wisdom to know the difference.  Father, prepare him to be a teenager and to make pure and holy choices as he seek You – and prepare us to lead and guide him through his teenage years and all of his years.  Father, prepare him to be a husband and a father, if that is your will.  Father, teach him to be a faithful friend, but one who seeks to follow you.  Father, give him discernment and help him to desire to make right choices.  Father, help him to always be full of love and joy and give him peace and comfort for the hard times.  Father, give him all the love and affection he needs from You and surround him with faithful friends.  Father, protect him.  Give him the encouragement and love that he needs each day.  Father, give us wisdom and discernment to lead and to guide him along the way each day.

Father, thank you for all the wonderful and amazing things that you are doing and that you will do through our precious children.  Father, give us wisdom each day as we guide and mold our children to be like You.  Father – father us all.  Help us to lean all of ourselves on You and trust You to make us into the people that you have for us to be.  Father, help us to come to You daily to fill us and help us to be Your light in this world!  We love you Lord!

Successfully Completed 1st Grade!

t d zooWe are proud to announce that Dorina and Tibi Rosetta successfully completed their first year in School!!  They both completed 1st grade with all As and Bs for the entire school year!  They both made the A/B Honor Roll for the year.  Dorina also received a certificate for the Most Improved Student!  We are so proud of our precious ones!

This has been an exciting and amazing year!  We have watched the children grow in so many ways!  We thank God daily for the wonderful and amazing things He has done in our children and in our family.  They have improved in all of their education skills as well as their social skills.  They write amazing sentences and have vocabulary that is amazing!  No one can believe that they have only been speaking English for about a year and a half.  They are so creative and they still love life and are so full of happiness and joy!  They have always been such happy and grateful children!  They love Jesus and worship Him, talk to Him, and walk with Him every day!  Our hearts are full as we begin a wonderful summer together!

d awardDorina started the year with many fears and she struggled with reading – but she has worked hard and grown so much.  At the beginning of the year, someone had to hold the door for her quick escape from the bathroom as she was afraid of the toilet sound.  She was afraid of all things that fly or crawl on the ground (spiders, bugs, etc).  She didn’t want to do her homework or try her best or sit and listen.  Now – I write this with tears of joy and pride – she toddles off to the bathroom all by herself without a care.  She kills her own spiders and bugs!  She is so independant!  She reads 1st grade books all by herself and writes sentences to express her thoughts about the book.  She is amazing!  She had a wonderful teacher who encouraged her progress, guided her, and helped her express her creativity.  Her teacher came to me with tears in her eyes to tell me how proud she was of the progress that Dorina made this year!  Dorina’s reading level started at a 0.3 and she progressed two grade levels by the end of the year.

t honorsTibi started the year with a love of reading and a love of being a follower of others.  His teacher helped guide him in his eagerness to learn.  We talked to him and guided him in being a leader and following Jesus and no one else.  Tibi struggled more in Math and we worked with real life objects and examples in the car on the way home each day to help him understand and excel in Math.  He worked on learning to think before he acted and to be an example for others to follow.  Last night, Tibi sat on the bed and read a 2nd grade level Arthur book to us with great expression!  He also wrote a paragraph about the problem, solution, and his favorite part of the book!  I write this with tears of joy in my eyes as I think of his progress this year!  We are so proud!

We are planning a summer full of activities!  We already went to the library and checked out books to read and write about.  We are planning to play store to help practice our counting money skills.  We are practicing our math facts daily.  We each plan to put together a scrapbook of our favorite memories from the last year and write about our experiences.  Yesterday, we played in the water in the yard and Dorina rode her bike without training wheels!  We are so thankful for each moment that God has given us as a Forever Family!

This year has been full of fun and adventure.  Daddy is still working hard at our wonderful restaurant, Tib-A-Dor’s Station.  You can check out our website tibador’s or our facebook page or our Google+ page.  The kids have been helping Daddy at Tib-A-Dor’s Station and will be helping some this summer.  They love to go with Daddy and work!  We are so blessed!  We thank God for the wonderful things that he keeps doing every day in our lives!  Thank you Jesus!


Life as a Family

We have been busy being Restaurant owners this year!  Tib-A-Dor’s Station is doing great!  We are so proud of Daddy and the great job he is doing!  We enjoy going there to eat the great food!  We were blessed with a wonderful article done by the Dothan Eagle that gave us a rave review of Tib-A-Dor’s (check out the review) !!!  Thank you God!  We have a great staff and we are very thankful for all God has done for us.

The kids continue to work hard at school.  They have great teachers and they really enjoy school.  They are learning to make good choices and how to seek God in making choices.  We are so proud of their progress!  Tibi really enjoys reading!  Dorina has finally learned that reading is fun!  They are both wonderful helpers at school and at home.  They take care of their own rooms and help out around the house.  Dorina is learning to cook from Mommy!!  Oh My!  Yes, I said from Mommy!  Daddy is busy at the restaurant so Mommy is teaching Dorina how to help in the kitchen.  Hopefully this summer Daddy can really teach Dorina how to cook.  You’d be surprised how much Mommy has learned about cooking since she married Daddy!!!  🙂

We were able to get away for a few days in March and see the sights of Atlanta.  We had a great time!  Tibi was our official packer as we prepared for our trip!  He is an excellent packer!  He remembered to pack all of the important items and he folds everything very neatly!  Tibi loves to help out whenever he can.

We had so much fun in Atlanta.  We bought the city pass, which is well worth its value!  The kids really enjoy learning and seeing new things.  We spent one day at the zoo and had a blast!  Tibi enjoyed learning about habitats and carnivores!  Dorina enjoyed watching the baby panda bears!  We went to the Natural History Museum and the kids really enjoyed all of the hands on activities there!  We also watched an IMAX movie which was great!  At the Aquarium, the children were in awe.  Their favorite part of the day was the Dolphin show.  That was included in our city pass too.  It was awesome!   Dolphins are one of our favorite animals!  It was so much fun to learn and explore for a few days in Atlanta.  The kids loved every minute of it!  It was a blessing to get away for a few days and spend some family time together.

We enjoy just being a family.  Everything is more fun and enjoyable when we do it together!  Thank you Father God for our wonderful family!

One Year Ago

I began writing these thoughts the first part of 2014.  We have been so busy this year with the restaurant, that I have not had time to finish this post until now.  So, it may be a little late, but here are our thoughts from January and February of this year.

haj mapThe beginning of this year was filled with memories.  One year ago on January 10th, we left America for Hungary.  On January 14, 2013, we met the kids for the first time!  On January 21, 2013, we went to court and received custody of the kids.  Then we brought them back to our hotel to stay with us for the very first time.  That was the first day that we didn’t have to say goodbye to our children.  It was so wonderful.  February 21, 2013, we went to finalize the adoption!  February 25, 2013, the children asked Jesus into their hearts outside the American Consulate.  That was also the day we picked up their Passports and Visas so that we could fly home!!!!!

We spent the first part of this year reminiscing about what we were doing last year at this time.  It is so amazing what has happened in just one year.  The first week that we met the children, they did not know any English.  They could barely write their name.  They did not know how to act in stores and at restaurants.  They were impulsive and did not understand rules.  They did not have healthy eating habits.  It was like they were 2 and 3 year olds.  Since that first day that we met them, we have introduced them to a whole new world!  Today they are making A’s and B’s in school.  They have a wonderful vocabulary and no one would ever know that English is not their native language.  They are very well behaved and they are so happy!  They write sentences and read at an average level for their age.  We are so thankful for every day we have had together and for everything that they have accomplished in just one year!  These kids are amazing!

bells in hajWe remember the days at the mall on that first week of visitation with the children.  We got to go see a movie – “Rise of the Guardians” and go bowling with the children that first week.  We spent too many hours in a small play place in the middle of the mall.  We tried to figure out what the children would eat.  We spent too many hours in a van with Adam.  We didn’t like saying goodbye to the children each day.  Dorina was so excited to see us each day!  She

We have been remembering those first days as a family.  We used bath toys to get them to take a bath and to get them to let us wash their hair.  It worked too!  We started teaching them to write.  Dorina used to say “Nem Rosetta” when she would write her name those first few weeks.  Tibi loved writing and he still does!  We started watching Micky Mouse Clubhouse to help them calm down and get ready for bed at night.  We started praying before meals and we used one short phrase that we repeated over and over until they could say it in English.  Then as they learned a sentence, we added another sentence to our prayer.  We still use that simple prayer at meal times and have added phrases over the year.  “Thank you God for Daddy, and Tibi, and Mommy, and Dorina.  Thank you God for loving us.”  The children have such wonderful and beautiful prayers each day.  They have developed a wonderful prayer life and we are so proud of them!  The children love God, worship God, seek to please God, and listen to God!  We are so thankful for their relationship with God!

haj tescoWe remember those 30 days in the apartment.  We still repeat the phrase we heard on the bus that we would ride to Tesco, “Hajdúszoboszló Tesco”  That is how we learned to say the name of the town that we lived in during that time.  We remember how the kids acted the first time we took them to eat pizza!  They tried to run around and crawl under the table and jump up and down.  They tried to climb on everything!  They still climb all over us – but we like that 🙂  We had to work on teaching them how to sit quietly and how to wait patiently.  We had to teach them how to try new foods!  Dorina used to take every thing off of her pizza.  She would eat the crust and then eat the cheese last.  She loved to put mayonnaise on her french fries.  Tibi was a runner.  He liked to run around and he thought it was funny to try to run away.  Dorina didn’t want to hold our hand or follow rules.  The first time we took the kids to Tesco, Tibi put grabbed things off the shelf and didn’t want to let them go.  Now the children are so sweet and they try hard to do the right thing.  We have fun eating out and shopping together and the children are patient and kind when waiting.

szilfa-etteremWe remember how clever Tibi was in figuring things out – and he is even more clever now!  You have to watch that boy!  We are so proud of how smart he is and he is a great problem solver.  Dorina used to sing all the time (in Hungarian) and now she sings all the time in English.  The kids both love their “Jesus music.”  They love to worship God!  At the apartment in Hungary, Dorina used to line up water bottles and talk to them for long periods of time.  Now, she lines up her dolls and teaches them and bosses them around for hours!  Maybe that is what she was doing in Hungary!  The kids enjoyed the art projects we did in Hungary to pass the winter days.

We would spend time in the park on the days that got warm enough.  Dorina was scared of heights and pretty much everything in those days.  She would cry just to think of going in a bathroom by herself.  He teacher commented recently that she knew Dorina had come along way when she raised her hand to say she needed to use the bathroom and then toddled right to the bathroom by herself.  We remember the days she needed to hold a hand, open the door before flushing, and when she used to run out of the bathroom because she was afraid of the flushing sound!

The kids used to wake up very early every morning – they still do!  They seem to be morning people.  They would stand beside our bed thingy and whisper until we would make up.  Then they would jump on us and into the bed thingy and we would snuggle.  They still like to snuggle!  We so enjoy our time together as a family!

haj parkDuring those days at the apartment, Dorina would whisper to Tibi in Hungarian until she would make him cry and then she would start to cry.  We never knew what they were whispering about until recently.  She said they used to cry to get what they wanted in the foster home.  They found out that it didn’t work with us.  One reason is because we didn’t know exactly what they wanted.  She also said she would remind Tibi of the things that they missed about their house.  I asked her recently if she still missed her house and her foster family.  She said that she remembers them but that she doesn’t miss any of it.  Then she held my face in her hands and said, “I have had 3 different mommies.  You are my favorite Mommy and I love you very much!  You are the best Mommy and Daddy!”  The kids tell us frequently how much they love us and how they love their life in America.  We are a very happy family.  It is hard to believe that we started out as a family just over a year ago.  We are a forever family and we feel like we have been a family forever!!!



Our First Christmas

christmas cardwhisperingWe had the best Christmas ever this year!  The kids started asking about Christmas just after Thanksgiving.  We started our celebration off by decorating the Christmas tree and the house for Christmas.  The kids were wonderful helpers and enjoyed every minute of it!  Daddy helped with as much as he could before he was off to work on Tibador’s Station.  The kids and I had fun getting everything ready before Daddy came home that day and surprising him!

lightsWe put up our wonderful 7 foot tree and decorated it with the ornaments that we collected over the years.  We had some beautiful new ornaments to add from our time in Hungary and from our first family vacation in Georgia.  Then we put up small trees in each of the kids rooms.


Tibi chose blue and green and gold to decorate his tree.  Dorina chose pink and purple and silver.  Before we left for Hungary, we had cleaned out a storage unit of Daddy’s old things and had found some wonderful ornaments and tree skirts to put on the kids trees.  We listened to Christmas music and decorated!  Then we got pizza and watched a Christmas movie!  I had so much fun watching my favorite Christmas movies with the kids!  Daddy joined us for as many as he could.  The Santa Clause 1,2,3 and Santa Clause is Coming to Town were the kids favorites!

reading night before christmas

We read Christmas stories and of course spent most of the time talking about Baby Jesus and his mother Mary and his adopted father Joseph.  The kids love that story.  On December 6th, we celebrated the Hungarian Mikulas Day – it is the Hungarian version of St Nickolas or Santa Clause.  The children put their boots by the window and the boots are filled with candy.  We didn’t put boots out by the window, but Mikulas found the kids and left them a little bag of treats and a note.  The kids were so excited and still talk about their Mikulas gift.

tibis cookie

We have tried to incorporate all of our heritages into our family.  Tony is Italian, Cary is German, and the kids  are Hungarian.  We made waffles and white sauce over the holidays – a German breakfast treat.  We also made peppernuts or Pfeffernusse, a German Christmas cookie.  We made American Christmas sugar cookies too.  Then for New Years, we made Hungarian Honey Cookies!  The kids had so much fun baking and working with Mommy in the kitchen.  Daddy was at Tibador’s during most of the baking – but he was home to enjoy eating the treats with us 🙂

tibi mater

We had so much fun shopping for the kids for Christmas.  We kept it simple but wonderful!  The kids each made a list of three things that they wanted for Christmas and we chose one of those items to give them as their big gift.  We also picked up some wonderful small things and some things to fill their stockings.

sugar cookies

Dorina got a beautiful pink star necklace and Tibi got a Tow Mater remote control truck.  They also got books and their very own readable Bibles!  They loved every minute of it and so did we!

dorina reading bibleEach day was a special moment and memory.  God gave us three wonderful gifts – His son Jesus and our precious children – to celebrate this Christmas of 2013!  This has been the best year ever!