A video about our family

Pierce Family Adoption Registry

Friday, June 30, 2017


John is a junk food junkie. He was eating this bag of chips and he had crumbs everywhere as he zoned out playing a game on Tyler's phone. 

John helped us put away food from the store. I later found the pasta and ramen noodles in the fridge. 

Some of the translations make us laugh out loud. I told Michael that the milk tastes better in Bulgaria than in America. He typed this response for me. 

Last night, Tyler took the triplets out for a long walk around the center of Sofia. They had a nice time and arrived home around 11pm. We read scriptures together and prayed, then Tyler and I each sang for them. I hugged each child and told them that I loved them. I am thankful for a bedtime routine. 

I was still feeling pretty low last night. Tyler gave me a priesthood blessing and then we talked about changingy perspective. I had been focused on how Sarah's behaviors made me feel, when what I should be focusing on is what I can do to help Sarah - and the boys - transition smoothly whilst having some fun along the way. If Sarah feels pressured to act a certain way, it won't be genuine. I would prefer to wait until she desires my affection on her own. Until then? I still have that bedtime hug and kiss and I will strive to be happy with that. 


I never posted the previous post, so I will just add on to it what happened today (Thursday). It's amazing what can happen in a day! We got up and had breakfast and Tyler took the kids for a walk. 

Next we went to the Sofia branch to meet with some missionaries there. For about 45 minutes, the elders taught the triplets about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I was amazed at how attentive each child was and they asked questions and answered some, also. 

Next we went to the store and then home for lunch. The kids snapped these photos of Tyler and I dancing in the kitchen. 

The kids wanted to watch the movie transformers, so we went to the mall for that. Sarah ended up sitting next to me and halfway through the movie, she snuggled up to me and fell asleep! It was wonderful seeing her choose to be affectionate. I was on cloud nine, I tell you. 

After the movie, we came home and I made spaghetti with corn on the cob and bread. It was an unanimous hit with everyone! Then Maggie came over to visit and we all huddled into the master bedroom because it has air conditioning and the living room does not. We talked about all sorts of things, including weaknesses and strengths of Tyler and myself, family rules (Do your best. Have a good attitude. Have fun), introducing extended family relations through pictures, explaining how to lift up the toilet seat and not pee all over the seat, emphasizing that there is nothing the children can do that would separate them from our family in any way, etc. The kids began to open up about their biological mothers. Sarah and John said they do not miss their mothers and John shared that his mother used to beat him often. Michael said he misses his mother a little bit, but is happy with his new family. 

John and Sarah wanted to go on another walk, so Tyler went with them and Maggie showed them a nice park nearby. On the drive over to the park, Tyler said that Sarah talked non-stop. She opened up about some horrible things she remembers from her time with her mother when she was little. She was left alone for hours on end with nothing to eat and often without any clothing. Her grandmother and grandfather were very poor and they would ask people for clothing donations so that Sarah could wear something. As a result from this, she is incredibly modest in how she dresses herself. 

Once they arrived at the park, Sarah just continued sharing one sad story after another of how her mother would beat her and her sister. She said she was so scared of getting into trouble with her mom that she rarely spoke to her at all. I believe that Sarah's stutter comes directly from this. 

When Sarah recorded her mother beating her older sister and showed it to her grandparents, her mother was so angry with her that she dropped her off at the orphanage. When Sarah's grandfather died, her mother forbid Sarah to attend the funeral. After all of this, Maggie gently reminded Sarah that I am not her first mother and that I didn't do these things to her. Sarah said she knew that. She said that she doesn't know how to have a good relationship with a mom, because she didn't have one. She doesn't even know what it looks like or anything. She said that she has had some contact with her dad in the past and that he was nice to her. She said that is why she has been more drawn to Tyler - which makes a lot of sense. 

Tyler then asked her why she was so affectionate with me during the first trip. Sarah shared that she didn't want to share all of this sad background about her mom at that time and she was in a home where she felt comfortable to show love and that the orphanage staff had coached on things she could do to make a connection with us - one of which was affection. 

By this point, it was after 10pm, so they headed home. Sarah said she wanted for me to know everything she had shared and Maggie suggested that she could come tell me on Monday (for one of our appointments) but Sarah said she didn't want to wait that long and that she wanted Tyler to tell me tonight. 

When they came home, I was lounging in my bed with Michael playing on some iPad games. Sarah looked at Tyler and made some kind of face that said, "Tell her, Dad!" Then she jumped in the bed and snuggled right up to me. After Tyler told me the whole sad story, we realized that Sarah had fallen asleep in my arms. 

I am so sad for all that this little girl has gone through. I admire her courage to open up her heart to try for a positive mother/daughter relationship after the disfunctional one she has had. And I held this girl for over an hour as she slept away. It was one of the most precious hours of my life.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Passport photos

This morning, everyone slept in except for Tyler - who went for a run. I made oatmeal for breakfast and everyone ate except for Sarah. We left to take the passport photos. Michael wanted to look in the mirror to "make sure I am beautiful," he said. Google translate is a lot of fun! Ha ha. 

The boys were completely asleep after Tyler was up and about for over an hour. 


Michael - how can THAT be comfortable?!


After the photos, we went to the bowling alley. Michael didn't want to bowl, but I think he ended up having the most fun of the three kids. Sarah lost interest halfway through the game. She has a short attention span, I have noticed. After bowling, we played some games in the arcade area. 

Air hockey with Daddy and Sarah. 

Michael playing a car game. 

John is riding a jet ski. 

Basketball with Sarah and Daddy. 

Initially, Sarah would sit in the row and the boys were in the back row. After one day, they are all on the same row, cracking jokes and laughing. It's amazing how well they are getting along. 

John isn't accustomed to sitting at a table for meals, but he is enjoying it. He reminds us to pray before eating. 

We went to the grocery store this evening. It was quite enjoyable. They are all eager to help and run and get the cart, helping me choose items to buy, etc. 

Michael is blending into our family flawlessly. He is quick to help, eager to translate things, thinks ahead, is organized, and thoughtful. And he is a huge teddy bear. Up until today, he would poke my side and I would do the same to him. This afternoon, he laid his head on my shoulder - which he initiated - and then he laid his head next to me and I stroked his hair. He was in heaven. He closed his eyes and laid there for ten minutes. I think he has missed a mother's affection.  Michael is definitely giving his all to our family and our relationships. It's amazing that we were worried about him wanting to join our family. He was made for it. 

Sarah is struggling the most of the three. She was in her orphanage for 11 years and she misses those important people in her life. She has commented to Maggie that she is wondering what they are doing at the orphanage and talking about a camping trip they have coming up. She is interacting more and more with her siblings and laughing at John's dry humor. She is quite affectionate with her Daddy and loves to be with him. The main issue that I am experiencing is that she doesn't seem to want to be around me. This is a huge change from our first trip to see her in January. She was equally affectionate with Tyler and I during those four days. I will not lie that it is almost more than I can bear that she doesn't want to snuggle with me or sit near me often. She will do so, but it doesn't feel like she enjoys it. I might be overthinking this, but it has been a hard 24 hours on this topic. Maggie and Tyler talked with Sarah about it this morning - because I didn't want to do it and bawl my eyes out. So at least she has an idea of how I feel. When Tyler and Maggie brought up that she might be transferring her feelings about her birthmother on to me, she started to cry. Sarah's birthmother rejected her and I know she has major pain associated with that. Perhaps she is worried I will cause her similar pain and so she avoids me. I have had a couple of good cries today. I am trying to just put my hurt feelings aside and move forward, trusting that things will improve in time. 

John is doing well. He and Michael have such a fun relationship already. They laugh, they sing, they rap, they clean, they do almost everything together. I love seeing it. John hasn't had much affection in his fourteen years, so I am going slow with him. I know that he enjoys my hugs by his expressions, but he doesn't initiate anything just yet. It will come, I am sure of it. He showed me all of the emails and letters and pictures that I have sent him over the past five months. He kept them all. He loves being with us and we love having him. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A red letter day for the Pierce Family

Today is the day! We picked up both John and Sarah! 

The church by John's orphanage. There's a stork on top!

Whilst waiting for paperwork to be filled out, Michael shared his phone with John. There is a speed racing game on it. 

Some friends of John's. the little boy on the left is available for adoption. His name is Rusko and he has some mental delay. He is the sweetest little guy. 11 years old and just adorable! During our first trip, John reserved some cookies especially for Rusko. If anyone is interested in learning more about Rusko, let me know. 


Staff from the orphanage. 


Our Bulgarian boys! John was thrilled to leave with us today. In fact, he didn't sleep all night in anticipation. His bag was all packed and he was ready to go. He was waiting for us in the courtyard. We passed out all of the fidget spinners and the children were so excited. 

Driving to Lesichovo. 




We were greeted by the children from the orphanage who had bread and honey waiting for us, whilst wearing traditional Bulgarian clothing. 



The children loved the fidget spinners! 


Our Bulgarian kids, together with us at last!!

Tradition to throw water in front of your car before you leave. So neat!

As we predicted, Sarah broke down crying on the drive to Sofia. She has lived in her orphanage for 11 years. She is very attached to her village and the staff and the other children there. We had some time to cry together later on this evening. I think a good night of rest will help a lot. 

I see many flowers hanging in windows all over Bulgaria. 

Playing Quirkle. 

Look at that smile!


Beach time

Thoughts of our time at the orphanage when picking up Michael. He was very excited to see us. He had been busy sweeping up his room and packing. Unfortunately, he left his photo album in his room. We are hopeful we can get it somehow before we leave for America. 

His orphanage director was very gracious and kind. I could sense that she truly has cared for him. 

Michael was thrilled to go to the Black Sea with Tyler. 


This is Michael climbing onto Tyler's shoulders and jumping off. 

After swimming, Michael was tired and took a couple of naps in the car. 

We found a neat place to stop for lunch by a lake. We ate fish - which was tasty! The restroom cost 50 cents to use. We joked that perhaps the toilet was made of fancy materials...but it wasn't. Ha ha. 

We dropped of Maggie with her family and experienced some time communicating with Michael without a translator. It went surprisingly well! My Bulgarian lessons have certainly paid off in helping to bridge the language gap and google translate has been useful, also. 


This boy is such a good boy. He is kind and helpful and understanding. We recognize that this is the honeymoon period and at some point we will see him behave more naturally, but for now? It has been a pleasure having this kid with us. What a diamond in the rough!

Next up: going to pick up John and then Sarah!