Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Join us and watch the transformation!!

On Friday of last week, the 25th, when we picked up JoyAnna from the orphanage, she was in pitiful shape. This was my first time seeing her face to face, holding her, touching her, loving her. It was hard and very awkward. She was totally unresponsive and starying into space and not engaged at all. it was really, really, hard.

We put her in the van and headed back to Sofia. It was a challenging ride to say the least. 

Then...we were united with Glenn and Jerry and Grace. That was wonderful! Each day, we've watched JoyAnna engage with us, smile, laugh, and grow! Her appetite is sooooo big now, that I have to go and get more food for her today! They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and well...I believe that to be true!!

Let me know what you think! This is before and after only 5 days!! Just imagine!!!

p.s....i know that this will go on facebook again, too. just had to share it on my blog for all of my non facebook friends!



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This is the day....That The Lord hath made...Let us rejoice...and Be glad in it!!



Today (Tuesday) is a free day for us while we wait. It's been wonderful so far. We slept in and had a late breakfast. We LOVE the breakfast buffet at the Budapest hotel!!

Glenn and Jerry are doing laundry this morning to hang up to dry. We have been gone for one week, and so it's time to do some laundry! And so..equipped with a plunger, the bathtub and some laundry soap, they go to work! 

Grace and I are studying her lines for the play auditions which are the day after we return from this trip!! 

JoyAnna a.k.a. "Vicki" is hanging out on the bed enjoying some time with me and Grace! She's is doing soooooo well! What a blessing!

Our dear, dear friend Sylvia is going to watch JoyAnna and Jerry this afternoon (yes, she's storing up her treasures in heaven!!) while Glenn and Grace and I go exploring for a bit! Then  tonight...we will eat at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant down the road!!

It's a good day....a very good day! And we rejoice and are sooooo very glad in it!!




Sunday, July 27, 2014

We are in Bulgaria picking up our children!!

Howdy...I'm sooooo sorry not to have posted to my blog sooner. When I logged on, it was all in Bulgarian and I could NOT for the life of me figure out how to get it back to English! I've been praying as I'd much rather be blogging. So...here I am! I figured it out with God's help! Yay!

We arrived here late July 23rd, after being stuck in Frankfurt Germany for many hours and much expense!! UGH....Glenn and Grace went with our beloved Yavor and picked up Jerry, and Sylvia (our nurse0 and I went with Marty and Dani to pick up JoyAnna. We've all been back together in Sofia since Friday evening! It's now Sunday night and what a blessing we have had with each other!

Jerry is doing awesome! He is HIGH energy, but easily channeled and soooooo sweet and loving! I truly wish you all could have been here when he met his sister for the first time. He LOVED her and LOVED her and is still showing her unconditional love! He lovingly nick named her Vicki! This has stuck! It's short for victorious, and that she is!

JoyAnna has made HUGE progress in the few days with us! Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers:

1.  Jerry is 10 and the size of a 5 or 6 year old, but super smart, and NO health problems!
2.  JoyAnna is 7 and spent most of her life in a crib (bald spot on the back of her beautiful head to prove it!) She eats by mouth, and has movement of her arms and legs, but can not yet walk at all, or even crawl. She can roll over, though. She has the biggest eyes I've ever seen and long eye lashes and she loves to take everything in! She laughs and cries, but does not talk at all. She is in for a long haul with many therapies in her future! Her diagnosis is hemolytic anemia. She has had her spleen removed. Her feet are very mis shapen and deformed. It appears she has had some sort of surgery on her ankles at some point. Not sure why. Praying it wasn't to encourage immobility. She truly is a big JOY!! She is very amiable, and loves being in the sun light! I promise to keep you posted!! 

Now to figure out how to post photos in my bog from my i-pad?? i truly am challenged!! 

Saturday, July 05, 2014

WE HAVE TRAVEL DATES TO PICK UP OUR CHILDREN!!!!!!!

Oh my.....oh my....oh my.....oh wow!!! We thought this day may NEVER come, but it FINALLY has, in GOD'S perfect timing, too!!! Thank you Jesus! Thank you!!!

Here is the note that we just got from our U.S. contact:

Hi Mary,
   Toni is ready to schedule your travel dates. The court decree has been picked up, so these are scheduled far enough out to allow the birth certificate to be completed.
Toni is requesting that at least 2 adults travel on your trip and one of them really needs to be a doctor or a nurse for JoyAnna. Toni is making sure that after the birth certificate is obtained, JoyAnna's new civil ID number is entered into the system so that she is covered under Bulgarian health insurance, since it is highly likely that she will need to be hospitalized during your pick up trip. So, I need to know if you have found a doctor or nurse to travel with you. If not, we know of a nurse who has said that she could likely travel with you if needed. Just let me know. 
Here are the trip details:
Leave the US on July 22nd to arrive in Sofia on July 23rd.
On July 24th, one adult will travel to Ruse while the 2nd adult (or 2 adults, if both parents and a doctor/nurse comes) will travel to Stara Zagora. Both children will be picked up on the 25th and brought back to Sofia. You will have the weekend in Sofia. On Monday, the 28th, passports will be applied for. Wednesday, the 30th will be picking up the passports and having the medical exams. The visa interview at the embassy will be Monday, August 4th and the visas can be picked up late afternoon on the 5th. You will fly home with the children on August 6th. 

Please make sure that when you book your tickets, you get flights with the best option for changing dates, just in case there is a medical complication with JoyAnna. We are all praying that things go smoothly during your pick up trip and you can get her home without a hospital stay in Sofia. But, since we know that it is possible, we need to ensure that you are prepared for that possibility. 

Let me know if you have any questions. Please also let me know as soon as possible if these dates are OK and who will be traveling. 

Okay...so we are trying hard here at Grace Abounding Farm to take a deep breath, and to pray, and to trust God!!

What does this mean for us? It means that we will be needing to pay for an extra adult's travels as well as lodging and food. Our already VERY tight budget has now been exceeded greatly! We have also seen that air travel has increased from our budgeted amount, too!!  We know that God knows ALL of this. We trust Him!!!! Would you join us in praying for God's will with ALL of these details?? We know that our heavenly father who owns the cattle on 1,000 hills will provide for ALL of this!!! We know that God has prepared us and everyone for such a time as this! We are filled with HOPE and JOY that can only come from the Lord!!!

So......just wanted you all to know, and also to pray! Do you feel called to give?? Please see our family support page on Reece's rainbow. Here is the link:  http://reecesrainbow.org/51244/sponsorwinslow.   We have figured out that we are going to need another $3,000.00 to pay for our nurse's expenses.  We think that we will need another $2,000.00 for our added travel expenses as well. We would need our family support page to read:  $27,830.00 to be fully funded!  Let's stand back and watch our Heavenly Father provide!!!!

By the way...since getting this earth shaking email about travel dates this morning, God has already provided contact with a nurse who is a sister in law of dear folks at our church! Truly, truly, truly, God is good!! ALL the time!! ALL the time...GOD IS GOOD!!!  We PROMISE to keep you ALL posted!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pssssst.....Did you know?? WE PASSED COURT!!!! Can I hear an AMEN???

Just a quick note for all of you who don't have Facebook! On Monday, June 23rd, our adoption became official in Bulgaria!!! Praise God!!!

Official already in our hearts....it became legally official!

Jeremiah Albert Erol Winslow

and 

JoyAnna Yanka Deneva Winslow


Zoey is smiling in heaven!!

Rejoice with us!!!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Blessings Abound This Spring!

The girls and I were sooooo blessed to spend a day at Great Island Common at NewCastle Beach, while our boys and Glenn were serving with Alert Cadet at Cape Cod for their annual trip. Check it out!! 
































































































Our boys at Cape Cod.....sooooo proud of them, their accomplishments and their servant's hearts!