The Adoption Journey of Chris and Lydia Bischoff
Monthly Archives: June 2013

Our First Week

by Lydia

Just one week ago we met these amazing girls. They were so shy and reserved. That first day we were out and about and A was too shy even to tell me she needed the restroom. Now, just a week later, they ask, even beg, for things (ok, more like intense requesting than begging… “Can we have popcorn, please, please, please?!”). A is quick to point out every ice cream truck in sight during our daily walks. N is also voicing her opinion, and both girls are opening up little by little.

We were all talking the other day about how we’ve only been together for one week. Even the girls were surprised by the short amount of time, declaring, “it feels like at least 3 weeks, or maybe a month!”

We go walking each day to get out of the apartment. Recently, we’ve started buying cheap bread and going to the park to feed the birds & ducks. We’ve done a bit of shopping, and also found a park with a swing set. A could swing for hours. This is a great find. “Finding Nemo” and speaking “whale” have become common occurrences in our home and through this we’ve found that the girls are hilarious! They make jokes in English and their English is growing each day. They even speak to each other in English. We all 4 are speaking both languages (sometimes in the same sentence) and I think that has helped a lot.

Skip Bo, Uno, Up Words, and Monopoly have all found their place in our living room. We have also finished a beautiful puzzle of Riga. (Ok, we all helped N do the puzzle. She’s so fast! All 1000 pieces were done in 4 days!)

Stories. Lots of stories. They’ve begun to open up and tell us more about their background and we have done the same. I’m so thankful they brought some photo albums with them. Their foster mom was great about taking pictures and keeping albums for each girl, so we get to see pictures of them when they were very little. Very rare thing in most cases.

Both girls have started to pray at meals and/or at bedtime. Hugs and whispers of “I love you” are plentiful. Last night A told us she will tell the court “yes”, that she wants to live with us in America. She said, “It’s time. It’s time for us to be a family.” Melt my heart. N said she still has time to think & decide, which is true, but her excitement over A’s declaration was a pretty good clue as to which way she’s leaning.

Two more weeks until court and 16 days til we get to start our trek home. We’ve started a countdown, and showed the girls their plane tickets. I think we’re all almost ready to come home and start our new life together.

A New Thing

by Lydia

There is no way to summarize this day. There is so much that I could say but a book would not cover this day.

The girls are here. In fact, they are sleeping in the next room. We met them barely 12 hours ago, life before them is like a foggy dream.

Some highlights:
*Meeting their foster family of 6 foster kids and 2 foster parents who love all of these children dearly.
*Foster Mom crying when we gave her a gift to thank her for raising the girls.
*Lunch at a restaurant and trying to discover what they like to eat.
*Court- I never imagined that I would cry telling the judge how badly I wanted the girls to stay with us
*Holding A’s hand walking through the streets of Riga.
*N speaks English very well, but A has been shy… but once they got going, there is no stopping them, in either language.
*Playing Latvian Monopoly together.
*Looking at pictures together while sharing the stories behind them.
*N telling us that her foster sister said that she and A were so lucky to have a Mom & Dad.
*Praying with the girls before bed and not only getting a hug from each of thern, but a kiss from A.
* A million looks and smiles that mean so much.

Our hearts our full and we are so blessed. Thank you for being part of this journey.

On the Verge of Something Great

by Lydia

Our time in Latvia has been wondedful so far. Honestly, at times it has been easy to forget why we are here. It’s just so normal for us to be in Latvia! We have had the privilege to see a number of our friends here, and do some touristy things, including eating some amazing food! But today was a good reminder as to why we are really here.

This morning we went to an interview with the girls’ social worker. We thought we were going to be interviewed but, in fact, they were expecting to answer our questions! So, we sat in a tiny office, with no windows, on an 85° day, and thought of everything we wanted to know about the girls that noone had told us yet. We learned so much today, the most exciting being that the girls know that we are coming and they have said that they are ready to be adopted!

This evening we also moved out of our friend’s house that we were staying in, and have moved to an apartment in Old Town Riga. We’re in a great location and are enjoying our time here already.

Tomorrow morning we will meet our lawyer and we will travel about 2 hours east to the girls’
foster home to meet them and then bring them back to Riga with us. We are so very excited, and nervous, but we can’t wait. We should be meeting them around 10:00am ( 2:00 am Texas time ).

Thank you to everyone for your prayers & support. We couldn’t do this without you.

Also, please understand that we will not be sharing details about the girls’ past in our blog. We want to honor them & protect their privacy.

( We’ll try to post more pictures tomorrow. :-)  )

Up, Up, and, Away!

by Lydia

What a whirlwind the last hours, days, have been. I believe today is Saturday. So, let’s backtrack. Chris worked on Wednesday while I worked more on preparing the house and getting us packed. A few quick visits with friends and last minute shopping and suddenly it was 4pm and Chris was on his way home. More last minute work, packing, and, oh, we should get some dinner! Anyway, 10pm rolled around and we called it quits and went to bed.

Bells, whistles, and guitars woke us at 3:00am. I couldn’t figure out who had let these people in my house, but a quick slap of the alarms and they went away. 45 minutes later a friend arrived to take us to the airport.

I am forever in love with the Tyler airport. This time it was actually cheaper to fly out of Tyler than Dallas, but even if it were more, the fact that it’s 20 minutes from our door to theirs, there are no lines and arriving an hour before your flight is more than enough time, AND no DFW traffic… worth every penny. Where else will the same lady check you in, tag your bags, be the gate attendant, and then guide the plane out with the big orange flashlights! :-)

I am proud to announce that our trip was, for the most part, uneventful. I do hate Frankfurt airport. I had quite the pat down, and the airport has a funky smell. It is old and yucky, though they are trying to remodel some of it. It was also the only flight that was late leaving. All other flights were on time, if not early. And the entertainment system on our overseas flight was awesome. (Paying a bit extra for an upgrade to Economy Plus was more than worth it as well.)

We met up with another family in Frankfurt who is also adopting from Latvia. We knew we would be on the same flight, but this was our first meeting in person. Later this afternoon I will go help them purchase some things they need.

We arrived in Riga with all of our luggage and a strange feeling… it all felt so normal. Seriously. We were amazed it felt so normal. Our friend Cheryl picked us up from the airport and we stopped to pick up some food things at a store we’d been to many times before. It was odd… I felt like it should have been more “mysterious”. But, it’s Latvia. Sure, things have changed, but it smells the same. It tastes the same. It feels the same. We’ve already seen some of our old friends who stopped by, and it was just so normal.

After a good 8 hours of sleep and a nice hot shower, I sit here in my friend’s sunroom watching her cats chase birds in the backyard while drinking strong black tea, and it almost feels like we never left.

Almost. I catch a glimpse of my phone that has the picture of 2 girls on it that I’ve never met but am hoping to make a part of our family. Then I remember all our friends who have helped us, and our church who have walked this journey with us, and all the work we’ve been doing for the past year to get to this place.

And then I realize the biggest difference in Latvia now, compared to 4 years ago… is me.

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