"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

The Burckhard Family

The Burckhard Family

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy 2015!

Well, Simon is tucked away in his bed at the orphanage as I type this.  It's 2015 in his country.  We can't wait to have him join in our New Year's eve party next year.

Tonight, we had lasagna and hot fudge pudding cake.

We posed for picture ops.....





We waited patiently for the countdown to start......




And then we went nuts blowing our noisemakers, jumping on bubble wrap, and shouting, "Happy New Year!"



From our family to yours.....May the 2015 be a year filled with God's blessings as He guides you with his sovereign hand.



And, Simon.....let me just say, that by next year we will ALL know that this has all been worth the wait!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas, Simon!


As I type this, it's a little after 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve in your country.


AND, we are missing you even though we haven't even met!

Back in 2010, when we were in the process of adopting your big brother Nole',
 this song spoke to my heart:





Now, in 2014...All I want for Christmas is you--Simon!

Next year, you will be home celebrating Jesus' birth with a family that loves you.

Merry Christmas, Simon!  

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Christmas Jar

Oh My! Kevin and I would like to share an amazing thing that just happened! Today, Nole' came home carrying a jar of change with a big red ribbon on top. On the jar was written, "Christmas Jar". After some investigating, we found out that the generous individuals were none other than the Melissa Wedar family. We gingerly opened the jar and found this note:

"What is a Christmas Jar? It's based on a book by Jason Wright. A Christmas Jar is a pickle jar, peanut butter jar, Mason jar or whatever else you have around to collect spare change.

All coins are dedicated to the jar and during the week before Christmas you carefully select someone to give it to. Was a neighbor laid off? Is a coworker struggling with health problems? Has a friend lost a loved one? Or, in our case, a special family decided to adopt a sweet boy named Simon and give him a forever home. We gathered our change and a few dollars here and there. Each of us giving a different amount. It was so special watching the kids decided how must to give. We heard things like "I wish we could bring all the kids over here and help them." "I don't know how much to give. I wish I could give more." It was fun to watch them get excited about helping someone. This will be one of our favorite Christmas memories this year."

Thank you....Lyn, Melissa, Sam, Sophie, Eil & Emma you are true angels! We are going to "adopt" this beautiful act of love next year and pay it forward! God bless you this Christmas and always!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday, Simon!

Happy Birthday, dear little Simon!

This will be your last birthday as an orphan!

This year.....cake in your honor.

Next year....you will be the guest of honor.

Happy Birthday, sweet Simon!

Friday, December 5, 2014

"Pick Me" Continued.....

We were blessed this last week by another family who is in Simon’s country adopting their little boy with Down syndrome. This new adoptive mama was able to take a few photos to share with us. However due to security reasons, I can’t show them to you just yet--but he is certainly a little treasure!

As a follow-up to Kevin's previous blog post entitled "Pick me, Pick me", we also received this wonderful description of him from the adoption attorney there in his country:

“May be you could share with Simon “mama and daddy to be” some info.
Simon really all the time comes with his hands up – “pick me up”, very jealous if someone gets extra attention and this is not him. Smart – can do everything what would be asked. I saw him today taken to speech therapist. He has to wash his hands, but first to open water, to take soap and then only wash – did all as was asked.
When new family arrived first time to orphanage to meet their new son, all kids got so loud that we went to the bedroom and caretaker locked the door. She also carried to us chairs. We turn our faces and saw Simon with his own little chair near the door sitting and waiting to let in.  All guys get always much more attention. Looks like that Simon craves for men.
Simon eats very nicely by himself. Finishes all food and would be able to eat all kids food – but he is under control not to act so.”

Oh my heart! Won't he fit in nicely with Kevin and Nole' as they reenact WWE in our play room?

Also, we are overwhelmed by the gifts of love that so many of you have given through Reece's Rainbow to help us bring him home. The total cost of this adoption will be $30,0000 and we have received a little over $6,000 from friends, family, and a donation from our church. We are eternally grateful for them and acknowledge God's hand in it all... He is using us all in different ways to be able to answer Simon's plea to not only "pick me" but to also "pick me up" and into a forever family--OURS!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Pick Me! Pick me!"

Daddy-O (Kevin) is our guest blogger today; he shared his heart on Facebook today and made me cry. I hope it touches you as well....

"Pick me, pick me, please pick me" says the boy at the baseball field where captains are picking teams. Soon, recess will be over, and he knows he'll be back in his desk. "Pick me, pick me, please pick me" says the boy at the orphanage who, for almost 5 years, has watched couples come to visit the only home he's ever known. After weeks or months of daily visits, the couples leave with one of the "other" children, to be a "forever family." The first boy in this story is me, as a 5th grader, being passed over and often picked last, due to my athletic inability. The second boy is our soon-to-be son, Simon, who's biological parents left him at the hospital due to his physical disability. So he's spent nearly 5 years at an orphanage, hoping a mama and a papa will come to pick him, someday! What Simon, does not know, is that his "recess" at the orphanage was about to end if God had not led us to him and allowed us to commit, emotionally and financially, to be his forever family, sometime in the middle of 2015.
There are many more hurdles to clear in the weeks and months ahead, but thanks to your prayers, kind words of encouragement, and financial support, we are undeterred in this rescue mission! Simon's future roommate, our 7yr old Nole' has started setting aside toys for his new "brudder" and insisted we put a picture on the wall on Simon's side of their room.
"Pick me, pick me, please pick me" Simon says to himself, when he goes to bed at night. We already have, our son. "We're coming Simon, your days without a forever family, will soon be done!"

Friday, November 21, 2014

Extra, Extra...Read All About It!

What is extra? you may ask.

Well, we are gaining an extra son!!



So, in 2015 we will gain TWO sons: one through adoption and another through marriage!

Last Sunday, Sissy's boyfriend Shane asked us for our blessing--to ask Liz for her hand in marriage. Last night.....it happened!

We are excited! The littles are excited! Sissy always said that she would use the three littles as a "filter" to determine "the one". If the littles didn't like him or if potential beau didn't show any interest in them, she would say "Next!" :)

Needless to say, Shane is great with the littles and even wrestles with Nole'! That right there shows true love and devotion!

The date is set for August 1, 2015--which happens to be Kevin & my 28th anniversary and Grandma & Papa's 56th anniversary. So, we will all be 28 years apart....Isn't that just AMAZING!

Liz asked all her siblings to be attendants in the wedding. She and Shane have decided to have a small, private family wedding and reception. But, rest assured, I WILL share pictures!

We only hope and pray that Simon will be home by that time so he, too, could be a ring bearer. It's a long-shot, but not out of God's control. So, we will do our end and work as hard and fast as we can!

Oh, and on the adoption front....we received a draft of our home study last night as well!

Too much excitement in the Burckhard household! :)

We are thrilled to be gaining an EXTRA son....well, not just one, but two!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

While We Wait.....

Thank goodness we are so busy--it makes the waiting game a bit easier. But in the mean time, Nole' asks every morning for his "little brudder?" We've cleared out the other side of Nole's room to be able to shift Nole's toddler bed over for Simon....and then make way for a big boy twin-sized bed for Nole'.

I was so excited when another adoptive Mommy posted a link on Facebook for this adorable shirt. I just had to order it for Simon to wear on his Gotcha Day....whenever that may be.... (it was on clearance from Gymboree)

We are scheduled for our first home study meeting with our new social worker next Monday afternoon. The second meeting will take place in our home the very next day. The second meeting is for the social worker to meet and visit with our children. So excited, although nervous! You would think that after the third home study, we would be old hats at this...but nope....still nerve wracking!

Please pray that as we meet inevitable obstacles, that we would be gracious, strong, and have a sense of peace. The adoption process is NOT for the faint of heart, that is for sure!

But, we have the best network of support--So thank you for your prayers and continued encouragement. It truly does make a world of difference!

Blessings, Paula

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Adoption Update.....

Hello!

The adoption process for Simon is coming along nicely!

To date this has happened:

  • Committed to Simon
  • Approved by Reece's Rainbow, Catholic Charities, and An Open Door Adoption Agency *Reece's Rainbow is the grant funding agency. Catholic Charities is the home study agency. An Open Door Adoption Agency is the child placing agency that coordinates with Simon's home country.
  • Catholic Charities found a social worker to complete our home study update.  The oil boom in North Dakota has affected the job market drastically.  It's hard to find employees--even a social worker! :)
  • In two weeks, our grant fund went to $679!  Thank you, dear people, for your generous gifts to help bring little Simon home.
  • Several adoption requirements completed:  my TB test -done.  Local background checks- done.  Taylor-Johnson personality tests-done.  Medical appointments made.  Biography updates completed.  
  • Whew.... :)
Just so you know, Simon is not his real name.  It's a listing name that will be used until he is officially ours.  But, because of the song that influenced our adoption (Kings & Queens by Audio Adreniline), we are going to have NOBLE be his middle name.

The other children are so happy and ask almost daily when their little "brudder" will be coming home.  Grandma is also excited to have the 11th grandchild, but really wants him home now..."Why do you have to wait so long to bring him home?," she asked.

Good question, Grandma!  But, we are working as best and fast as we can so that Little Brudder can be with his forever family sooner than later! :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wild West Rodeo

Bella and Nole' got to participate in the Wild West Rodeo for children with disabilities. If you scroll down just a bit on the blog, you can actually see the kids TWO YEARS ago (which was my last post before starting to blog again) at the same rodeo. At that time, Nole' wanted nothing to do with it....but as you can see in the photos he is doing so much better with the noise and over-stimulating environments. The rodeo is a hit not only with the kids but also with the rodeo queens and the Y's Men's group. It really was a fun time! And, thank you, Anita Nettleton, for taking the photos!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Little Brudder

When we told Nole' about Simon, and that he would be his little brother, he said, "Guys, Woody?"

Big sister Liz asked him, "What about your guys (WWE figures) and Woody?"

Nole replied, "Give, little brudder!

Oh, my heart!

But when you see how many "guys" he has, maybe it's not such a sacrifice? :) Can't you see Simon, the little Brudder, fitting right in this royal rumble?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Simon, We Are Coming!

Yep, it's true! We are adopting again! This time it's a little man from an orphanage in a Eastern European country.

Here he is. His online name is Simon:


He reminds me a little of our Grace because he looks "fluffy" like her!

He is four and will be five this December. But because this adoption will take longer than the previous ones from Ukraine & Serbia, he will most likely be close to six by the time he joins our family.

As is the case in other Eastern European countries, orphans are generally transferred to an institution when they reach an age of four or five. He was due to be transferred to a institution at the end of the year. Because we committed to adopting him, the orphanage will hold him for us, knowing that we are coming to bring him home.

Can you tell we are happy?


Adoption is not done in isolation. All of us can play a part in the process: Some adopt, some pray, some provide financial assistance, and so on. If you would like to partner with us through a gift, we would be thrilled--there is a Reece's Rainbow button on the right that you can click for your convenience. This adoption will be approximately $30,000. Even so, we are happy to announce:

"Simon, we are coming!"

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Kings and Queens"

This song pierces our hearts.

Each and every time.

Please, Please take the time to watch the video below!

It's our family's theme song!

"Kings & Queens"

Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent too brief
On their own, on the run when their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved

[Chorus:]
Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout your name in victory
When we love when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these

Break our hearts once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend
Won’t you look around these are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open

[Chorus]

If not us who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free shout your name in victory
We will love we will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these


Friday, October 3, 2014

Bringing Back Blogdana.....

Hello Friends!

Okay, this blog probably holds the record of longest time between posts. Last blog entry...October 2012?

Can time really go by that fast?

So much has happened in those two years, so I "Blogdana" (as Kevin calls me) am going to blog on some of the bigger events that have happened during that time period.

Just not today.

But, I will be back with some big news to report when the time is right.

In the mean time, Here is a photo of the Trisomy Trio on their first day of school:

Be back soon!

Happy Friday!