"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, February 28, 2011

Day 12...

After a lazy Sunday morning, we were brave and ventured out, grabbed a taxi and went to a large shopping mall called "USCE." It was a very upscale mall with lots of worldwide brands. We walked the mall and ended up on the third floor where lo, and behold, there was a McDonalds!
We introduced Nole to McD's fries and KETCHUP! Grace, guess what? you will have to share....because he loved it!


We thought that the mall concept was great in that all like stores were grouped together....sports stores, children's stores, etc.

We had a fun little outing with Nole!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Days 10 & 11....

The past two days have been been good. Day 10 was more of a stay-at-home day. I was happy to be a "Becky Home-ecky" and was able to wash a couple loads of clothes. There are no dryers here, so I had clothes hanging on a rack and scattered throughout the apartment on the radiators. Kevin went to the American Embassy to pick up paperwork and schedule an appointment for Monday to get Nole's Visa.

This is the view from our apartment window...
In the afternoon, we ventured out and went to Chickenita--a fast food retaurant--and a nice Serbian worker there who spoke English helped us order and then directed us to a place to get "minutes" for our cell phone.

We returned to the apartment and took a long nap. Yesterday's Adoption Day was filled with lots of emotion and we felt spent! After our rest, we went across the street to our local little market to get some groceries. Got quite a bit for $2200 dinar or about $30 in US. The currency in Serbia is the dinar.

With a few groceries stocking our little kitchen, I was able to make some sauce for a spaghetti dinner. Nole loved the noodles! Also, boiled some brown eggs for breakfast.
Day 11 was a very fun sightseeing day! Jasmina, our facilitator, met us at our apartment, and after going to the Photo Mart across the street to have Nole's Visa pics taken, we walked the narrow city streets down to the The Cathedral of Saint Sava--an Orthodox church in Belgrade.It is currently under renovation, but was still very beautiful and awe-inspiring inside.

Next, we loaded into a taxi and were dropped off at Knez Mihailova Street--the main walking street in Belgrade.

It is a pedestrian zone and shopping center, protected by law as one of the oldest and most valuable landmarks of the city. It has a large number of impressive buildings and mansions built at the end of the 1870s.


The city lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers,
Next we walked the grounds around the Kalemegdan Fortress--also note the statue of Pobednik (Winner), one of the symbols of Belgrade....
On the grounds, we were also able to tour St. Petka's Church which has an interior made completely mosaics, and the Rose Church which had unusual chandeliers made out of bullet shells.


To end our day, we experienced one of Serbia's best restaurant's located in the fortress. Not exactly sure what the name is, but someone called it the Castle Restaurant. We had a wonderful dinner...and they had a high chair for Nole too, which made it even more pleasant for everyone!

And to top off the day for me, Jasmina and her nephew Bane took me out to the National Theatre to experience the opera the Barber of Seville. The Theatre was breathtakingly beautiful and we had awesome balcony seats...I did not take this picture, but wanted to show just a bit of its beauty.... The opera was done in Serbian, but through the superb singing and acting (along with reading the program synopsis in English) I was able to follow the story line. Even so, the opera was so well done, it wouldn't have mattered what language was used.

This is a day we will treasure so that we can impart a taste of Serbia, especially Belgrade, to Nole one day.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 9.....Our New Addition.....

We would like to introduce the newest addition to the Burckhard Family!

He weighs 30 lbs is 32 inches long, and he has lots of dark silky hair......
NOVAK BURCKHARD


His nickname is Nole (pronounced Nolay) which he prefers. But we love what Novak means: The name is derived from the Slavic word for "new" (e.g. Czech: novĂ˝), meaning something similar to "new man", "newcomer" or "stranger" in English. The name was often given to someone who came to a new city, or a convert to Christianity.

The Adoption Ceremony was so beautiful and touching. At the end, the Ministry Director gave me a bouquet of flowers and congratulated us. The whole group stood and clapped.
Here is the wonderful team of people who helped make it possible here in Serbia.....

Thank you for your continued love and support. We are so grateful to have you praying for our family! May God bless each and everyone of you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 8....Great News!

Day 8 was a great day! In most part, because we got word from our favorite facilitator Jasmina that the Ministry Office signed off on our reports! Praise God! We will have the Adoption Ceremony tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. here (3:00 a.m. Central Time...while you sleep).

This morning started with breakfast in our room. The staff are so kind and considerate; they even bring Nathan an apple juice even when we don't ask. Here is our daily bread.....
We then ventured off by ourselves to the Kragujevac City Center and walked around. It was like a slushy winter wonderland. Very pretty.
After a bit, we took a taxi to the Roda Center to play and walk around in out of the snow and rain.

After we returned and had a short rest, we got word that everything was signed. So, we headed off to the Pink Panther (or as the sign says "Pink Panter") for a celebratory dinner.
Here are Mama & Nathan in front our our hotel called Hotel Zeneva:


We are now back at the room and getting packed up to head from his birth city and then on to Belgrade to finish up the rest of the paperwork.

I would like to end this post with a picture especially for Sissy. Here is Nathan in the hat you made him (just like his big sestras):
Can't wait until tomorrow when we can officially announce our new son to you!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 7.....

Day 7 can be named "Lazy Day" in our little hotel room.

Here is basically what we did all day....
This is why...(this is the sight outside our room).....

A dear friend, Dawn, reminded me to savor the simplicity of this time--of being able to focus on one child--our time here will soon be a memory!

So here is Kevin playing cars with our litle man....

I will leave you with a clue to Nathan's real name.... :)

Thanks for leaving comments for us...we love to read them. Caio for now!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day Six.....

Day Six started with a flurry of activity to get ready for some very special visitors...the Social Worker and Center Psychologist came by at 9:00 a.m. for an official visit.

They brought Nathan some pretzel sticks and chocolate. After visiting a bit, the pyschologist (a pretty young woman)asked where is "Mama" and he pointed to me!!! And where is "Tata"? And he pointed to Kevin. As usual, Kevin was being his funny self and then suddenly stood up and said, "Well, thanks for stopping by...." They caught the joke, but only stayed for a few more minutes anyways. And, they said things were going so well that they are done with the official visits to our hotel.

Later, we heard from our facilitator's nephew Dushan, who is staying here at the hotel with us, that they got great news that the reports are all done and they are now just waiting for the Minister's signature. Once we get that signature, then we can proceed with the Adoption Ceremony and final paperwork... Yay!
Will you pray that the Minister signs soon? This will allow Jasmina our facilitator and our SW ample time to get everything in order to finalize the adoption.

The rest of the day was very lazy. After the meeting this morning, we had brunch up in our room (what a great plus this is as it is included in the room cost) and then we bundled up Nathan and went for a little walk around the neighborhood. Kevin just loves the old buildings and quaint neighborhood shops; he says it reminds him of a set from his high school theater days.

Nathan was tuckered out after the walk. So he and Kevin took a long afternoon nap. It was a good day to take a nap as it was raining and then snowing all day.

After nap time, we headed off to nice mall so that Nathan could play and walk again.This is the name of the play place....not sure what it means other than it is describing what Kevin and I will look like if we keep eating all this great Serbian food! :) Oh, and they have wonderful coffee drinks and ice cream at the Lumpi....
When we got back, I tried to wash clothes in the tub, but Nathan insisted on having a bath. We are in a very nice room which has a jacuzzi bathtub...I once again added too many bubbles.....
While Nathan and I stayed back in the hotel room, Kevin and Dushan went out to a favorite local food joint and then brought us some yummy food. Not sure what it was....a hamburger with cheese and ham inside wrapped in a pita-like bread. And, this wonderful salad I have had three days in a row....I can't remember the name but it has tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and is topped with white shredded cheese.

Nathan had french fries :)

As I type this, Nathan is sound asleep.Kevin and Dushan went down to the hotel restaurant to visit...continuing a long, very interesting conversation about the war in the Balkans.

All in all, a very good day! Chow! (meaning goodbye, not eat... HA HA)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day Five....All About Nathan!

Today's post is all about our little man! Daddy and I would like to share some random thoughts, facts, & tidbits.....
His name is not going to be "Nathan" but his given Serbian name....To be announced at a later date..... :) We love it, though, and it fits him so well, especially the nickname. In Serbia they don't use middle names, so he will be "N..... Burckhard."

His attention span is pretty long, but his hair is long & pretty!

He is a consummate flirt! Loves to wave "Chow" and blow kisses to pretty young women. Example: Kevin took him into a store to get ONE bottle of Coke Zero and came out instead with two (2 liter) bottles of Pepsi Light because Nathan blew kisses at the "Pepsi Promotion Girl." Kevin later regretted this decision as he walked a mile back to the hotel carrying twice as much soda.

He sleeps between us at night--sleeps like a baby...a full contact, fighting, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) baby.He lands more kicks and punches during the night than most fighters do during a whole match.

In case you hadn't read in a previous post, Nathan is goo-goo for GaGa...Lady GaGa, that is! And now that we have watched one of her videos, he will be goo-goo for something Disney...maybe Demi Lovato? His first words out of his mouth every morning are "Ga Ga?" And then he giggles! He stands at our laptop and says "GaGa" over and over. And we say "Nay, Nay, Gaga!" "GaGa, it's me, Nathan. Can you score me some tickets the next time you are in North Dakota?"


He is very good at picking up his lego blocks. In two and 1/2 days he's picked them up 64 times! Unfortunately, he's dumped them on the floor 123 times! So we are getting good at picking up legos as well.... :)

He likes eating everything especially if it's chocolate or pretzels. He and Elizabeth are really going to hit it off because her favorite snack is chocolate-covered pretzels. Elizabeth, start stocking up now!!!!

Nathan is showing many of the natural gifts that will immediately identify him as a Burckhard child: How many three year olds do you know that can operate a digital camera, a video Flip camera, and a Blackberry cell phone....SIMULTANEOUSLY????? Note to Sam...If you think you have trouble finding your cell phone now, you better watch out! His foster sisters said that he would always take their cell phones and hide them....They would have to call their own number to find that the little boy beside them with the vibrating pants was the culprit!!!

Everywhere that Nathan is can be considered a remote location, because wherever he goes, there are lots of remotes.NOTE to Sam again: Take all the batteries out of the remotes. And, maybe a future gift idea for friends, relatives, and blog followers....don't throw away your old and unusable remotes....just send them to Nathan!

These facts are the "tooth, and nothing but the tooth!" We brushed his teeth for the first time, and he loved it...the toothpaste, that is!

On a more serious note, Kevin was reflecting yesterday that while he is not the only 47 year old man who tries to keep up with a three year old boy, the one thing THEY all have in common is the name "Grandpa!" Better take a multi-vitamin, Papa! If you look very closely, you can see a big blob to the right of Nathan. That's not any blob, that's his Grandpa, I mean, Daddy!....

It makes sense that we had to go the other side of the planet to get him, because we think he is OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day Three and Four, I Think.....

I think it is Day 3 & 4, but honestly, I don't know--it is one big blur! A good one, but a blur!

Nathan is a great little boy and not as active as we thought he would be. Over the last two days, we have had breakfast in the hotel (included) and then went to a shopping mall to go to a large play area.

We picked up a stroller and walked yesterday, but because it is raining today, we took a taxi.

In honor of Kevin's birthday, our wonderful facilitator Jasmina and very tender-hearted Social Worker Ivanka joined us for dinner at a excellent Serbian restaurant. Yum-O! Can you tell we are just loving the food?
Then we came back for cake and the ladies sang a Serbian birthday song for Kevin ("Srecan Rodendan") and he blew out a big candle the hotel scrounged up for the occasion.

We had a wonderful "Skype" session with the girls back home. Grace kept trying to play peek-a-boo with Nathan and he would blow kisses and say "Chow".

Well, after we looked on-line at an actual Lady Gaga video, we both declared "Nay, Gaga, for you, little man!!!!"
We showed him some high school musical videos on You Tube instead. When we told this to Grace (you know, it's her very favorite), she exclaimed "Awesome!" and gave us the thumbs up. Now Grace will have a very willing HS Musical Wii partner.

It's the end of the day...and my boys are tuckered.
So I best be saying, "laku noć!"