"To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Isaiah 61:3

Monday, December 27, 2010

Little Nathan....

We were blessed with an extra gift this Christmas--some information on our little Nathan. We received a very special email with a few choice tidbits such as....

* He wears a size 4T in clothing and a size 8 shoe.

* He started sleeping in a regular bed one month ago and it's reported that he’s sleeping much better now that he’s not in a crib.

* He has also started using the potty! He’s asking to go and everything!

* He’s beginning to talk in 2-3 word sentences such as “give me that”.

I can't tell you how excited we were to get this information! We can't wait to meet this little man....hopefully in February!!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Burckhards!


Grandma & Grandpa with Bella Bogdana....
Grace's new rockstar hair....
Elizabeth with an Icelandic Doll in handmade authentic outfit.....
Sam is ready to learn "Deutsch"....
The girls in the annual matching Christmas nightgowns....
We pray that all of our family and friends had a very Merry Christmas celebrating Jesus' birth!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Visit to Santa.....



We visited Santa tonight. Grace snuggled up to him and laid her head on his shoulder beaming up to him while gently patting his shoulder. Bella took a bit of coercing for her first visit, but finally cautiously sat on his lap.

Grace wants a necklace and Bella wants a doll for Christmas...They were two VERY excited little elves!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Excited to Share.....

that we have mailed off the I-600A application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, aka USCIS, to obtain approval to adopt Nathan!

We had to wait to send the application in until we had our Home Study done and approved by the ND Department of Human Services--that letter came yesterday!

Thanks to Lisa from Catholic Charities at being so efficient and effective at writing an excellent Home Study and to Shelley from About A Child at so patiently and expertly answering my many questions. It is truly a team effort!

Now we wait for a fingerprinting appointment in Fargo and then the approval letter to follow.

Soooooooooooooo.......Merry Christmas, Kevin! (We decided that this app and the $890 fees are our Christmas gifts to each other this year.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Just the Way I Am"

Yesterday, Grace and Bella received a very precious early Christmas gift. Our dear, tender-hearted Pastor Andy gave the girls this book....


Oh My! What a wonderful book! The book description says:

Just the Way I Am
God's Good Design in Disability

Through photographs, Bible passages, and her own story, Krista Horning’s book tells of a wise and sovereign God who turns all things for good, including disability.

Born with Apert syndrome that has required more than 60 surgeries and countless hours of therapy, Krista and her family understand the severe pain and suffering associated with disability. Yet they also experience God’s grace and are able to live with hope in God because they are anchored in God’s word.
From the Foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada

To order this book, or any other excellent God-centered materials, you can go to Desiring God Ministry's book store by following this link:

http://www.desiringgod.org/Store/Books/890

We are SO thankful for our Pastor and the way he demonstrates Christ's love to our girls and others with disabilities in our church family. Just as Christ does, he welcomes us "Just the Way I am".....

Love, Paula

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Many Blessings....

We are so thankful for unexpected blessings that have been given to us lately. When we first began this journey, a dear friend gave us a generous gift to help us bring Nathan home. (Thank you, M.K.) It was just what was needed to begin our updated home study!

Then, on Saturday night, Kevin and I went to the ORCS boys basketball game in Velva and wouldn't you know....Kevin won a 40" flat screen TV. He dropped in $10 for Dollars for Scholars and his name was drawn! So, we were able to sell the TV for way under cost and applied those $$$$'s to our ever-growing adoption fund.

So, along with my new job at Family Voices, a gift from a friend, and the sale of the TV....we have been able to pay for each expense as they have come up.

We are so thankful for these blessings from God! He provides abundantly in so many ways--and through so many people--taking care of not only our daily bread, but also over and above what we could ever dream of to help bring this precious boy home!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cookies at Grandma's...

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go......for our annual Christmas Cookie decorating!

Sam loves to cut out the cookies....

Bella loves to "decorate" the cookies....

Here's Grandma with her "ONLY" Grandson FOR THE TIME BEING.......

Ok, I finally allowed Papa to take a picture of me and then even blog about it.....

The finished products! But don't let Grace fool you--she only decorated ONE COOKIE and then took it and ate it and she was done for the day!

So looking forward to having another little helper for next year's cookie tradition!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Adoption Update.....

Things are moving right along in our process to adopt "Nathan"!

We received our homestudy draft today and it looks great!

Also today, we went to our friendly neighborhood notary Jean (doesn't everyone have one?) and got notaries on most of our dossier documents.

In North Dakota, you have to get your home study approved by the Department of Human Services. Our home study will be sent there next week for approval.

We will then send our dossier over to Nathan's country (along with 650 Euros) to start the translation process. We don't have to wait for our government's approval to send it over.

In the mean time, we will get a fingerprinting date and then will be in the "waiting" game to get the "golden ticket" aka I-171-H.

Once we get that, we go over to his country and begin the in-country process!

So far, this is faster and a bit more laid back than Ukraine. But time will tell..... :)

Does anyone know how long it is taking to get the I-171-H after sending in your application? Just wondering.....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Little Cuddle Time......


This little scene made me smile this morning. A triple-layer cuddle.....priceless!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bella the Penguin

Guess this speaks for itself! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Decorating....

We decorated the tree this past weekend. I can't help thinking about another little someone who will be here next Christmas to help put the ornaments on the tree. What a whirwind that will be! Bella loves decorating....but doesn't understand that one branch can only support so many ornaments.




Elizabeth hanging her Reece's Rainbow Christmas Angel ornament "Bridget"...

The finished product.....


I love this time of year being together and celebrating Jesus' birthday!