Let the Summer Fun Begin…

first photo of kidsOne year ago today, we started this blog to chronicle our journey to be “A Forever Family.” God has blessed us beyond our dreams. This is the first photo that we saw of our kids back in the fall of last year. Last year was a flurry of activity to get ready to meet our children and bring them home. What a wonderful journey it has been!

We just talking about it today, how much the children have grown and how much they know since January 14 of this year! They have such amazing vocabulary already and have conversations with adults who would never guess that our the kids’ first language was Hungarian and not English. They have learned so much in such a short time! We are so proud of them! Daddy has been a very good teacher at home school! The children are able to write their numbers to 50 with some help. This week they have been reading rhyming words by sounding them out. I have always been a firm believer in Phonics, but I have seen it proved true in my own children! They read the book “Andy” by Tomi De Paola. I helped them a little, but they read the rhyming words by themselves!!!! They are able to spell words if we make the sounds for them. They are on the verge of spelling.

bikes

This week, we went to church conference in Mobile. While Daddy went to his meetings, the kids and I hung out at the pool. Tibi, by the way, sounded out “pool” all by himself and read his first word that first day. Anyway, back to the pool. Tibi was very timid when he first stepped foot in the pool. We got them both arm floaties, so we let them walk in by themselves. Dorina walked right in but Tibi was still afraid of the water. The first day, they didn’t put their heads under the water, but their confidence grew as they realized they could go all over the pool with their floaties and still be safe. We played with a beach ball, played tag, and swam all around. The second day, they both were much braver. Dorina even put her head under the water and started jumping in to me. Then she asked to take her floaties off. I kept her in the 3 foot area, but she did wonderful! She even jumped in and swam to Daddy and Mommy with her face in the water! Tibi kept his floaties on but he did do some jumping in and he put his face under the water at least once! We had such a wonderful time swimming together and playing! The kids didn’t want to get out of the water! We have water babies now!!!
Our children have learned so much English and we are so proud! It is still cute when they make little errors in their speech. Here are some of our newest sayings…..Tibi was talking about our family and he said, “I like aus.” He meant I like all of us!

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“It’s blinking, but I am ok, ” Tibi said. He meant it was bleeding. He also asked us “Do you have a probbob?” He was playing doctor and wanted to know if we had a problem for him to treat.

One day I was talking about someone lying down and Dorina said, “Number 9, Do not lie!” That is number nine of the ten commandments. I had to explain to them that lying down and telling a lie are not the same.

We are so proud of how much the kids love God and how many scriptures they have learned. Today, the kids wrote special love notes to Jesus and put them in a plastic heart that they have. It was so so sweet! They pray every night for all of the people that they know who are in need and especially for children who are being adopted from Hungary (and their families). They pray for Mommy and Daddy and all of their family too. They thank God for so many things and pray about everything! They are great teachers for their Mommy and Daddy about faith! They are learning the 23rd Psalm, I Cor 13 and they already know the 10 commandments and several other verses. They frequently recite their verses throughout the day. They also know so many “Jesus songs” as they call them. They really enjoy the “Bullfrogs and Butterflies” series and the “Psalty Kid’s Praise” series. I have enjoyed teaching them the songs of my childhood. When we hear the children singing their hearts to Jesus in praise and worship, it brings tears of joy to our eyes and smiles to our faces! God has blessed us so much! So many people have said to us that “the kids are so blessed to have you.” But the truth is, we are the ones who are blessed to have them in our lives! They are so full of love and happiness and joy! They have taught us about God’s love!

new familyThank you Father God for our beautiful family! Thank you for blessing us with these beautiful children! Thank you for giving us so much love and joy in our family! We worship you and praise you for all that you have done, all that you are doing, and all that you have in store for us!!!!

Life in the Rosetta House

turtlesLife in the Rosetta House is full of wonderful surprises, love, and laughter.  The children really like to help out around the house.  They are great helpers in the kitchen.  Tonight, when Mommy came home from work, Daddy was working on dinner.  Dorina and Tibi were cutting up hot dogs to go in the corn dog casserole.   It was yummy!  They help with cleaning the house too and they enjoy helping.  They are great at helping clear the table, wash the table, and put the dishes in the dishwasher.  They enjoy helping.  We are very proud of our little helpers!  They have also helped Daddy plant flowers and work in the yard!

Our favorite time of day is after showers when we sit down together to read the Bible and pray.  The children have been learning scripture verses.  They know 5 of them now.  We have also been learning about the 10 Commandments.  One day we were studying the story of Moses and the 10 commandments.  We read about how Moses went up on the mountain to be alone with God and how God wrote on the tablets, Dorina said, “how sweet.”  They know almost all of the commandments by memory now and they also apply them to other Bible stories and every day life.  We were reading about Elijah and how King Ahab wanted the people to worship Baal and Tibi said “Number one – God is the only God and Number two – Worship only God!”  It is so amazing to watch God work in their hearts.  It is so awesome how Dorina and Tibi are hungry for God’s Word and how they love Him so much!

Each night after Bible time, we spend time praying.  When we were praying and talking about loving God one night, Tibi said, “Jesus,  God, I love you both!”  Each night, they say, “I’m sorry God for what I did wrong,” and “I love you God.”  The children enjoy praying for others in the church and for family members.  They pray for each other and they pray that God will help them too.  One night, Dorina asked God to help her make the “Z” sound that she was having trouble with.  (We work on Saxon Phonics)  She then tried to make the sound and made it perfectly!  She has made it every since!  She was so excited that God had answered her prayer so quickly!  After we pray, we also pause and listen for what God has to say to us.  It is so awesome to watch them get quiet and see them get huge smiles on their faces.  When we ask them what they are smiling about, they say things like, “God told me He loves me.  I feel God loving me.  God told me He forgives me for what I did wrong today.  God told me to obey Mommy and Daddy.”  They are teaching Mommy and Daddy more about God every day!

bikesTonight was a beautiful evening so we went for a bike ride.  The children enjoy riding their new bikes.  Tibi has some weakness in his legs and bike riding is a great exercise for him.  He is already making improvement.  His feet turned out and his legs were very weak when we first met him.  He has been practicing keeping his feet pointed forward and walking.  He is also practicing his endurance on his bike and he is making great progress.  We have quite a few hills around our place and at first he needed a lot of help to get up those hills, but he is doing wonderful now!  There is a pond, not too far from our house.  We like to ride the bikes to the pond and feed the turtles!  We have found that the turtles like popcorn and bread crumbs.  The kids really enjoy watching the turtles come right up to us and get the bread.  Even the fish enjoyed it that last time!  We enjoyed seeing the baby turtles the last time!

Recently, Papa and Nonnie sent us the Barbies that Mommy used to play with as a child.  It brought back some wonderful memories for Mommy!  But it was so amazing how God sent them at just the right time!  We set them up and each took some of the Barbies and set up the store/hospital/house and started playing.  I had no idea what great role play we would have that day!  We talked about behaviors in social settings and other issues that the children have been working on.  It was amazing how God led our play time and helped the children understand some of the rules that Mommy and Daddy have been teaching them!  God always lead us if we will only listen and follow!  I hadn’t thought of Barbie doll role play – but it was perfect!

We are thankful for each day that we get to spend together!  The children are so happy and full of life.  They are speaking in full sentences and beginning to use pronouns correctly.  They know all of the sounds to the alphabet and are working on spelling short words and rhyming words.  They are learning their address and so much more.  We are so proud of them!  They work very hard and learn and grow each day!  Each day we lean on God for guidance and direction and He is so faithful to provide!  We are all growing closer to the Lord every day!

Beautiful Days

tibi cleaningDSCN3362Friday morning was cleaning day. Mommy cleans the upstairs and Daddy cleans the downstairs. Today, Mommy had two little helpers. Dorina and Tibi wanted to help clean. They really enjoyed helping clean their room and their bathroom! Then they wanted to help Mommy clean her room and bathroom. They were great! Tibi is very miticulous. He watches when Mommy shows him what to do and then he is very careful to follow the example. Dorina likes to help too, but she gets in a hurry and wants to move on to the next job. They worked very hard helping Mommy and each got a star and a reward!

DSCN3371kids at lake goodAfter cleaning, we went to the lake to have a picnic. Daddy packed a lunch of BLTs, juice, orange slices, celery and peanut butter.  It was so pretty by the water.  Daddy did an excellent job with lunch!  Dorina loves orange slices.  Tibi tried celery and peanut butter – he seemed to like it, but it took too long to eat so he ate an orange slice instead.  The kids enjoyed walking along the water and looking at ducks, boats, and geese.  Dorina and Daddy found some baby pine cones and some big pine cones and enjoyed looking at them.  Tibi and Mommy found a crane and some birds to watch.

Saturday, Mommy woke up with a headache.  Tibi looked at Mommy and said, “Are you ok Mommy?”  When I told him I had a headache, he went downstairs, fixed Mommy a glass of ice water, and brought it up to my room.  He is so sweet!  Then he prayed for Mommy!  Tibi and Dorina rubbed Mommy’s head and helped her feel better.

sweet w giraffefirst shotsWe checked the weather for the day, and realized it was going to be a beautiful day!  We have been reading the Bible with the kids every night and our story Friday night was about Noah’s Ark.  Daddy has a lot of Noah’s ark things around the house and the kids have been singing about Noah’s Ark – so we decided to go to the Montgomery Zoo!  Daddy packed up another wonderful lunch and we headed to the zoo.

kids at zooWhen we got there, the weather was beautiful!  We sat down and had our little wonderful picnic that Daddy had made.  Then we started off to see the orange birds!  At first the children were scared that the animals would hurt them or get them, but they soon realized they were safe and enjoyed looking at the animals.

tibi navigatorTibi really liked the snakes and asked to go through the snake house “again please.”  He was fascinated with the bear and he looked forward to seeing the tiger or “tigger” as he called it.  They also wanted to see the lions, giraffe, and elephants that we had talked about on Noah’s Ark.  Dorina enjoyed watching the monkeys!  She is a big monkey fan and we saw tiny monkeys, medium monkeys, and big monkeys.

feeding birds togetherWe enjoyed feeding the parakeets too!

Tibi was our navigator.  He enjoyed looking at the Zoo map.  He would find the animal that we were at and show us where we needed to go next.  He did a good job of finding where we were and the path to the next animal!

going to churchhaleburgSunday we went to church and heard Daddy preach.  Tibi listened carefully to Daddy and made whisper comments – “Stop Daddy, ” he said when Daddy talked about Tibi.  “Nutella Daddy” when Daddy talked about Tesco in Hungary.  Tibi also pretended to take notes.  Dorina giggled when Daddy sang at the end.  Dorina also told Mommy, “Quiet Mommy,” when Mommy said amen to what Daddy was preaching about.  The rest of the day the kids said, “Thank you God for Daddy’s church.”

looking through fenceWe have such fun as a family.  The kids English is so wonderful – we are amazed.  They are doing so well at adjusting and feel very comfortable at home.  We are able to joke and laugh and play and just have a grand time together as a family.  We are comfortable together and the children listen and obey very well.  The kids are so loving and sweet and we share lots of hugs and kisses and “I love you.”  We feel God’s love and blessing upon our family daily!  We thank God for each treasured moment and memory that we are making!  We have waited so long to be a family and we value every day together!  It was like a dream for Daddy and Mommy to take their son and daughter to the zoo!  Each first is a treasure!  We love to read the Bible together and see how they are learning about and loving God!  We are so grateful for all God has done, is doing, and will do!  We are so blessed!  Many people tell us that the kids are blessed to have us, but it is really the other way around.  Daddy and Mommy are the ones who are blessed to call Tibi our son, and Dorina our daughter!

daddy's pic of kids

First days home

 

mommys car

DSCN3156We love being home!  Our home feels like a mansion after the days in the apartment in Hungary!  The kids love playing in their room.  They have been given some sweet gifts and enjoy exploring!  We hear the phrase “Oh Wow!” often in our house!  It is a beautiful sound to hear their voices and their little feet in the house!  It has been a dream to spend time as a family and enjoy love and laughter!

mommys car dorina coloringThe children were excited to take their first ride in Daddy’s car or “Daddy’s Chevy” as Tibi says.  We had to make a quick trip to Walmart but they enjoyed it.  The next day it was time to take a trip in Mommy’s car.  They were very excited about this also.  They loved being up high and seeing all of the sights in America!  We had to make a trip to Dothan so Mommy helped them pack a little bag with some things to do.  They love to color and draw and write – so we put some crayons, color books, their special notebook, and a pen in bag.  We made a stop at Kmart to look for some clothes, we only have a few that we brought back with us.  They enjoyed looking at things but it took us a little bit to figure out their sizes.  Once we had that down, we were able to find them a couple of things.  The next day we went to Dollar General and were able to find them some shoes.  After we got home from DG, we had a little fashion show.  They tried on their new clothes and shoes and modeled for Daddy!  It was fun!

making dinnermaking cookiesWe have had so many wonderful firsts!  Dorina enjoyed helping Daddy make dinner!  She is a great helper.  She also helped Daddy make cookies.  We have enjoyed eating at our table together as a family.  Prayer time before meals is so sweet and special!  The kids love to thank God for everything.  The first morning at breakfast, they thanked God for their rooms, their beds, their sheets and their pillows!  They are so sweet and we have so much to be thankful for!

They have enjoyed playing playdough at our big table.  Tibi has played with his cars on the floor in his room.  This Seasame Street mat is a gift that Mommy got from her Grandma Carter years ago.  Mommy was very close to her Grandma and Grandma always gave her special gifts.  Mommy saved this mat for her children one day……it is so special to be able to use it!  Very special!

The first night, the children were so excited to crawl into their special beds.  They love them!  They snuggled in with some of their stuffed animals.  Mommy read them a story after their “real Shlower” in their own bathroom.  They like having their own bathroom with all of their own things!  After story time, we tucked them in and they fell right to sleep!  We have enjoyed snuggle and story time!  It is Mommy’s favorite time of the day.

DSCN3152Last night we started reading the Bible together.  They know enough English and can understand it better now.  While we were in Hungary  the children started saying “I love you Jesus” all of the time.  Going to church in Debrecen and praying as a family and singing  “Jesus songs” helped them to understand so much already.  One day while we waited for Daddy to get their Visa paper work, the children were asking Mommy about Jesus.  I explained about how Jesus sees us and loves us and takes care of us.  I also explained that we have to tell Jesus we are sorry when we do something wrong.  Tibi said “I am sorry Jesus” right then and so did Dorina.  So Mommy explained about how Jesus forgives us and he wants to live in our heart.  They asked Jesus to live in their heart.  It was so sweet and brought tears to Mommy’s eyes!  Now they tell Jesus they love Him all of the time and talk about how He lives in their hearts.  They ask God to help them with everything and they thank Him all of the time!  It is so precious to watch their sweet faith!  Mommy and Daddy are learning from them!  Last night’s Genesis 1 story was sweet!  We talked about how God said, “Let there be light” and how He created.  Daddy and Mommy turned off the lights and said “God said, Let there be light” and then switched on the lights for the kids.  They said, “Again please.”  That is their famous phrase!  We did it several times.  They loved it!  They were amazed how God did that!  It was so precious!

tibi parkThe day we went to Dothan, Daddy packed a picnic.  We went to Westgate park and had our first picnic!  The kids loved it!  We also played in the park for the first time in America!  We enjoy celebrating all of our firsts in America as a family!  We had longed and dreamed for these days and it is even better than we had imagined!  We have such a wonderful family and enjoy such love and laughter!  Every day, we strive to make a memory!  It feels like we are living in a dream!  We are so proud of the kids.  They are adjusting very well and their English improves daily.  We are enjoying using the things that MCES gave us to help the children learn and prepare for school.  The children have matured and learned so much since we met them that first week.  We remember those first things the children colored and drew for us – Dorina only used one color and only scribbled.  Tibi drew a person with just a circle and some sticks for arms.  Now they are writing letters, coloring very neatly, drawing realistic pictures, reading familiar names, naming letters, counting to 40, and singing English songs all of the time!  They have learned how to sit and eat at the table, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, play together nicely, say sorry when they do something wrong, trust us and follow directions.  God has done a marvelous work!  We give God all of the glory!  We know that this is a family made in heaven and we are forever grateful!  God has blessed us all beyond measure and we strive to make every day a day full of love, laughter, and thanksgiving and praise to God!

park in America

park Westgate

 

More Adventures

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The picture above is from the day Dorina used the Playdough scissors to give Daddy a haircut!

DSCN2689DSCN2646Yesterday we used shaving cream to write letters, shapes, and make pictures.  The kids loved it – even the big kids!  They sat at the table and played in the shaving cream for over an hour!  It was so fun to watch their creativity.  We even discovered that Tibi draws with both hands at the same time to make a mirror image!  Amazing!  Dorina liked writing her name and copying the things that Daddy drew.  We worked on numbers, letters, and our names.  Of course, we also had to draw Mickey Mouse!  It was fun!

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DSCN2730Today we had our last visit from the Social Worker.  They asked how things were going and we showed them the work the kids have done and pictures we have taken.  They asked how things were going and seemed impressed that the children answered them in English and that they use short sentences.  They were impressed that we have taken them to church and connected with another family that has adopted.  They said everything was in order and that on the 21st we would get our final paperwork and the new birth certificates.  Yay!  Only a short time and we will be going home with our new family of four!  God is so great!  We thank Him for making this family complete!  We thank Him for the wonderful moments of love and bonding that we have had here.  And we thank Him that we are going home to America!  We celebrated today by going to our favorite little spot for Pizza and French Fries!  When we ordered, Daddy ordered ice for him and Mommy and Dorina and Tibi piped and said ice for us too!  So cute! Ice is a rare find here!

DSCN2715Today was a nice day, so we spent the afternoon in the park.  They had a blast.  We get tickled at the English phrases that they know.  “Really?!”  “Ta da”  When they see an airplane now they say “Going to America”  They enjoyed drawing in the sand.  Tibi spelled out Rosetta for memory today!  They also like to draw a church.  They got to wear their new sunglasses to the park today too.  They thought they were styling!  We are amazed at how much they have learned since those first days when we met them.  The first time we went to the park they didn’t know how to climb or use the equipment and needed our help on everything.  Today, they climbed and swung, and used all of the equipment without help.  They have learned so much!  We love watching them learn new things and make new experiences!  Their world has grown by leaps and bounds.  Thank you God for all of their new experiences and all of the joy!

Oh – and Daddy has given Mommy two days off from doing laundry in the bathtub – Daddy and Dorina did for Mommy!  Thank you!!!!  A nice rest!

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Church

Cute tibiWhen we were preparing to travel to Hungary, we were able to connect with some families that had already been to Hungary and had adopted.  One of these families, the Hnizdil’s, stayed in the same place that we are staying.  While they were here, they met the Chun’s.  The Chun’s are missionaries here.  Darlena Hnizdil, connected us with Trudy Chun.  Trudy called us and helped us figure out the bus schedule.  Then she and her husband Russel, invited us to church!  Russel and 2 of his children drove here to pick us up and take us with them to church!  It was such a wonderful blessing!!!!

We went to Calvary Chapel.  They had a class for the children.  Tibi and Dorina went right in.  The lady in their class said she would come get us if the children needed us.  Most people there spoke English – it was so good to hear English!  Now we know how the children will feel when they come to America.  They will miss hearing Hungarian.  The people at the church were so nice!

church

We met a couple from Arizona who had just moved here.  We visited until the service started.  Then the service started with worship.  Most of the songs were written on the screen in English and Hungarian.  They sang the songs in both Hungarian and English.  There was a mix of contemporary songs and hymns.   It was beautiful and so refreshing!  God’s presence was there!  We are so thankful!!!

preacher

The sermon was in Hungarian but was translated into English by a translator.  We had communion and then broke up into small groups to pray.  It was such a wonderful experience.

After church, the Chun’s took us to their house for lunch!  Trudy made a Hungarian dish that we all loved!  It was so nice to sit and visit and fellowship.  The children enjoyed playing with the Chun’s children.  They had a blast!  It was nice for all of us to get out and meet people.  The children did a great job of playing nicely.

We thank God for this connection and for the love of the Chun’s and their church!  God revived us and refreshed us through this wonderful experience.  We met some wonderful people and enjoyed fellowship!

zipline dorinaEducation update – The children have learned to recognize several letters.  They are able to sing almost all of the ABC song without help.  They have learned a few colors.  With a little help, they can count to 30.  They are good at saying “Excuse me”  “I’m sorry” “I love you” “Help please” “I’m Hungry” “Thank you” and they love to thank God for things.  Tibi loves to thank God for “Tibi Choci”  There is a chocolate bar here called the Tibi bar – I think it is a company name.  We all like Tibi Choci!

Today we made a trip to Tesco and were able to find a place to buy swimsuits for them.  We will have a pool at the last hotel that we stay at in Budapest.  We have been looking but since it is winter had not found any yet.  They were so excited!  It is an experience to try to figure out sizes in a foreign country, but the sales lady was very helpful and we found two suits successfully   The kids modeled them when we got home.

Bowling!

Daddy bowling w kidsToday we took the children bowling! They have never been bowling before. It was amazing to watch Daddy teaching them to bowl and then watching them run into his arms and give him big hugs today! It was a beautiful picture! We had so much fun! Tibor tried to imitate everything that Daddy did. After Daddy bowled, Tibor put his leg up in the air like Daddy did…..it was soooo cute! After Daddy would help Tibor, he would put his hand gently on Daddy’s face….so sweet. There is a picture below of this. We also found out that Tibor is very competitive.

After bowling we had pizza and coke! Tibor was very hungry after all of that work at bowling! Tibor does everything in high speed! He is so cute!

After pizza, we played for a while at the play place and then went to their house. They were very tired. Today was another day filled with sweet kisses and lots of hugs! At their house, Daddy and Mommy and Dorina played balloons. Her smile and her giggle just warmed our heart! She had so much fun!

We thank God for this very special time of bonding! We thank God for the sweetness we feel when we are with the children. We feel His love and protection as He bonds our family together!

Tibor touches daddys face

Meeting Day

January 14, 2013 will be a day we will remember forever.  Today we went to meet our precious children!!!!  We spent many months praying for this day and praying for our sweet children.  God is faithful and gave us the most blessed day!

We arrived to the joyous sounds of children excited.  Dorina reached for my hand immediately   She squeezed it tightly and would not let go.  She took me directly up to her room.  Tibor and Daddy came up shortly.  We sat on Dorina’s bed and took out the Butterfly dolls that we had brought for the children.  They loved them!  We then went into Tibor’s room.  We played with cars and began to read books.  The children would point to a picture and we would make a gesture and/or  a sound to go with the picture (things like ducks, cars, cats, hats, etc).  The children thought it was funny and soon began to try to pronounce a few words and to imitate us.  It was so special.  We spent a few hours playing and then we went outside to see the puppy and play in the snow!  It was amazing!

Dorina took a pic of Anya Dorina takes apa picDorina called us Anya and Apa which means Mom and Dad.  She sat in my lap and took pictures with my camera. The pictures of us above are the pictures that Dorina took today.   Tibor took pictures with Tony’s camera and put his doll on Tony’s shoulder and head.  This mother and father have hearts that are full today!  The children are beautiful and are very smart!  We can’t wait to see them again tomorrow!!!!  God is sooooo good!

Hungary

attilaWe enjoyed exploring the city of Budapest yesterday.  Our favorite spot was Cafe Orchidea – just next to our Mariott Apartments Hotel Room.  We met a wonderful Host there named Attila!  He was so kind and served us great food!  We ate all 3 meals there yesterday and breakfast today!  He gave us valuable information about Hungarian life.  We had such a good time there and thank God that we met Attila.

Today we traveled to the city of Miskolc.  We had lunch and took a brisk walk in the snow to tour the main street.  Most things are closed because it is Sunday.

Tomorrow we go to meet our children!  George says they are looking forward to meeting us!

cafe orch cafe orcha

God watched over our travels

English: Hungarian Parliament At Night (Budape...

English: Hungarian Parliament At Night (Budapest) Magyar: Parlament-Budapest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We arrived in Hungary yesterday!  God protected us and gave us a very good day.  We were very tired after a 24 hour day of traveling but it was good.  We were able to rest and then eat and go to bed.

Today we enjoyed the city of Budapest.  It was a fresh, cold day and we enjoyed it!  It even snowed today.  We walked along the Danube River and visited different shops.  We have found a great little Cafe that we enjoy eating at right next to the hotel!  We have had a wonderful day.  God has blessed us in so many ways!  We are tired this evening and will go to bed early.  Tomorrow we will travel to a city closer to the children.

Monday, we will travel to meet the children!  Our facilitator has told us that they are excited to meet us.  God is so wonderful!  We thank You Father God for all of your wonderful protection, provision, grace, and blessings!