30 April 2007

exciting day at the Bowersox home

We've had plenty of new and interesting experiences since we came home from Liberia, but nothing has been able to compare to the excitement of the airport... until today. You may be jealous when you hear this, but today the garbage truck came down our street! We saw the big truck through the window and had to go out on the porch to watch. We were SOOO excited to watch this wonderful truck that actually stopped at all the houses on our block. When the driver saw how incredibly enthralled we were, he even waved to us and then honked his really loud horn! We're so sorry you missed this exciting time in the life of our family. If you'd like to come next Monday morning, we can try to recreate it.

In other much more mundane news, we seem to have moved past the need to wail every time we climb into bed. The only bedtime routine we found that works for the 2 older kids means that they sit in their beds with their photo albums and toys and the lights on until they're ready to fall asleep. One of us also stays on the floor in their room with them. If they cry, we take them into the next room and make them sit on a chair until they're ready to come back and be quiet. It takes anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour with the new routine for them to fall asleep. It's unfortunate that the whole process takes so much longer than we would like, but Joshua especially really seems to need to feel safe and be able to see us as he's settling into bed. He falls asleep with his head pressed against the top bunk rails watching us. We're not sure if something in his past scares him, if he's afraid we'll abandon him, or if something else is going on in his little head. Either way, there are definitely some fear issues.

And the most entertaining statement yet from our little Liberians... Their bedroom is decorated with Finding Nemo (the best $15 decorating project ever). The other day Peter caught Joshua commenting that he'd like to catch Nemo and eat him.

27 April 2007

photos at last

We've been having all kinds of trouble over the past 2 days trying to get some photos uploaded for you. We have a few hundred pictures from our trip, but this album has 30 or so from our first meeting with our 3 beautiful (and at the moment incredibly frustrating) kids. Enjoy!

25 April 2007

the good, the bad, & the ugly

I know some of you are hoping we will give you a detailed update on our trip and our kids, but I honestly wouldn't know where to start. So much has happened in the past 2 weeks, and we haven't had a chance to process any of it. I thought that I would instead share some stream of consciousness random bits of information starting with the most recent and ending when Joshua and Patience interrupt me more than 20 times.

The kids and I were just out in the yard playing football (i.e. soccer). Joshua is very respectful of my tulips without my even mentioning it. Today that respect extended to every dandelion in the yard (and there are many). It's pretty tough to play football that way. * A little while ago Joshua and Patience became completely wild as they were running away from Daddy (more frequently known as Pa or Papa or Papa-o) and I while we attempted to tickle them. They were laughing so hard that the heater repairman heard them while he was out at his truck. He also nearly got run over by them when he returned. Peter commented, "Now this is what I signed up for." * Joshua and Patience love scrambled eggs and insisted on watching them cook this morning. Every time I would pick them up to see them, they would laugh. * Both Garty and Joshua have nearly lost their voices from crying (Garty) and wailing (Joshua) for too long in the dry air.* The orphanage staff told us that they had tried to get Garty to eat food, but he was completely disinterested in anything but his bottles. We now realize that he's just insanely lazy. If you put a Cheerio (or in our case, a Trader Joe's O) on his tray, he'll ignore it. However, if you put it in his mouth, he loves to eat them. * This morning Patience woke up at 5am screaming for Mama-o. I got in bed with her and had her back to sleep in a few minutes. Unfortunately, my back was hurting so badly that I couldn't fall back to sleep. I ended up sitting on their floor checking email for the next hour until Garty woke up, followed by Patience and Joshua. It was a precious, happy, quiet moment as each one slowly (and did I mention quietly??) joined me on the floor to sit for a bit in the dark before starting our day. * All 3 kids are fascinated by Baby Einstein's Baby McDonald DVD. I wanted to show them Baby Einstein once or twice a day to get them caught up on learning without overwhelming them with TV. They are completely unfamiliar with US farm animals, so they are learning many words for the first time. The older 2 love the song "Old McDonald," but they don't really know anything but the tune. As a result, Joshua will randomly burst into song, but he makes up the words. * Joshua threw a very loud tantrum for almost 2 hours yesterday when we told him he had to stay in his bed for a while (i.e. take a nap, but we didn't want to say that). All the kids at the orphanage take naps in the afternoon without complaint, and we're not about to give up on such a good routine no matter how old he is or how much he wails. * When Joshua finally fell asleep, he was so exhausted from screaming that we eventually had to go wake him up. In all the chaos surrounding nap time, I had forgotten to put a Pull-Up on him. Peter was holding him and trying to revive him as we discussed how fortunate we were that he didn't wet the bed and force us to change the sheets when our mostly unconscious boy started peeing all over the mattress that we had brought into their room so we could be with them the first few nights. Wouldn't you know, it was the only mattress in the house without a mattress pad.
I need to go figure out what we're going to eat for lunch, but that pretty much sums up yesterday and today.

24 April 2007

hey everyone!

Just a quick note to say hi and let you know how much we appreciate all your prayers and support over the past few weeks. I (Becky) finally had a few minutes this morning to read Katie's posts and all your comments and emails. Thanks so much for being a part of our adventures. Our time in Liberia was tough, but we learned a lot. Several people at Acres of Hope commented that the kids seemed to be bonding well with us, which is an huge blessing. The happy moments are really happy, and the unhappy ones are horrific. We have numerous temper tantrums from the older 2 kids each day, but they have definitely become shorter and slightly let intense over the past 2 weeks. These tantrums are exhausting and frustrating, but they are a typical part of adoption. The kids are confused and mourning the changes in their life as well as testing us to see what they can and can't get away with. We definitely have a lot of jealousy going on. When one child is getting too much attention, someone else usually finds an excuse (though they don't always need an excuse) to throw a tantrum. So far we haven't had any major tantrums today, but Garty did cry on and off (mostly on) for almost 2 hours this morning because he wanted to be held constantly. We had almost broken him of this habit at the end of last week, but then we traveled for over 20 hours. He evidently decided he liked being held nonstop. I'll try to write more when they all nap this afternoon. However, any time we have to go to sleep, we have at least one major tantrum... sometimes 2... so Daddy and Mommy might end up sleeping during nap time as well!

Oh, and for those of you who have spent the past 2 weeks wondering why we have a creepy felt painting of ET in the kids' room, that photo was for the benefit of my college girlfriends. ET was a white elephant gift during our Grove City days. He has since been passed around whenever we can find an excuse to decorate him and send him away to someone else. We acquired him at the beginning of April as a welcome home gift for the kids. I thought they'd be scared of him, but they didn't even comment when they saw the picture. They were just excited about the fact that their clothes were in the drawers below ET. Unfortunately, ET's other owners have all had major life events in the past few months, but I don't know if there are any coming up that will allow me to get rid of him any time soon.

23 April 2007


I am happy to relate that the entire Bowersox family made it home healthy and happy today! Becky wanted to post herself but they just got the kids to bed at 9:00 (the kids really don't like going to bed!) and had just enough energy to ask me to post before they were going to crawl into bed themselves. I was able to snag their pictures of all their adventures so I will share a few with you. Hopefully this will hold you over until Becky can get them all on the Internet later this week.
This is very first time they were all together as a family!

Spending time in the pool helped everyone stay cool and happy while they waited to come home.
The kids dressed in their "fine fine" clothes on the way to the Embassy.

It was a long trip home. (Who looks like they're having fun here?)

Finally- they made it to America in style!

By the way, Auntie Katie thinks she has the world's cutest niece and nephews!

20 April 2007

They're really coming!

Peter and Becky called tonight to let us know that they finally got the Visas and they really are flying home on Sunday! Today they took the kids to the orphanage to say goodbye to their friends and nannies. Tomorrow they are going to visit the beach and then get packed up to leave early on Sunday morning. We expect them to arrive in New York on Monday afternoon. Becky said that she will post pictures next week as soon as she possibly can. At the moment everyone appears to healthy. Pray that this continues. Also pray for safe and peaceful travels for the whole family. It will be a challenge to take 3 preschoolers on two rather long flights with no rest in the middle. We do not expect to hear from them again this weekend so I will let you know on Monday that they have arrived safely!

17 April 2007

Travel Dates

Peter and Becky finally have travel dates! Assuming the last of the paperwork gets processed by the weekend they will fly out of Liberia on Sunday, April 22 and arrive in New York on Monday, April 23. We pray that all goes well with paperwork and travel. Otherwise there isn't anything new to report (which is probably a good thing!).

16 April 2007

Embassy Appointment

Becky called home to fill us in on the exciting events of the day! They received an unexpected phone call around 11:30 that their Embassy appointment had been moved up and they would be getting picked up shortly. When they told the kids they got REALLY excited and started running around laughing like crazy (the kids- not P&B)! Everyone got all dressed up (Patience loved her green dress and shiny white shoes) and went out to the Embassy. All the paperwork went through except for a background check that needs to be done on the kids. Someone has to contact existing relatives and make sure the kids are able to leave the country. They thought this had already been done but (not surprisingly) it had not. It is scheduled to happen on Thursday but MIGHT happen earlier. Depending on when this final check comes through there is a small chance that Peter and Becky can get a flight out on Friday. Please pray that the final check happens sooner than expected and that they can get a flight on Friday.
Other than these very exciting events everyone seems to be doing fairly well. They are still dealing with the heat, various illnesses, and temper tantrums. Earlier today all the kids got together to watch Cars (thanks to their host family who offered to let them watch it in their home). The kids LOVE watching cars on the street, riding in cars, and now watching a movie all about cars. Joshua really likes the pictures of Papa and Mama's cars in America. He's also happy that cars go fast in America. They are also very excited about the prospect of going to America on a big plane. Hopefully that wish will come true soon!

15 April 2007

A Reprieve!

The Bowersox family called today to check in and let us know how things are going in Liberia. We told them of all your prayers and good wishes and they want to send a big "Thank you" for your support. It has been a long week and they are expecting another long one coming up- but they are managing and looking forward to getting home again! Thankfully this weekend saw some reprieve from a few of their most pressing problems. They were able to get out and purchase the supplies they most needed (formula and diapers!). They also got a drum for Joshua. He loves it and spent most of day playing it. Apparently he is a very, very good drummer! (I am sure their neighbors will love that!) They took a picture of Patience dancing while Joshua played the drum. Today John (their Liberian missionary friend) came to take them all to church where Peter spoke and Becky completely freaked out a little Liberian boy who apparently had never seen a white person before!

Garty appears to be doing better with his illness but they think Joshua has an ear infection.

Please pray for them all this week- particularly for the Embassy appointment on Tuesday and for everyone's health.

Blessings to you all.

13 April 2007


Hello everyone,
We finally have an update from the Bowersox family. It has been a trying couple of days for all three families picking up children at the orphanage this week. Garty has a respiratory infection and the orphanage has provided an antibotic which hopefully will solve the problem. Becky also had to give Joshua medicine for a swollen gland and slight fever. One of the Acres of Hope staff told them that it is not unusual for the children to pick up sicknesses at this time of year so she doesn't see any major cause for concern. Becky says that it is hard because if one of their three kids acts up and they give them too much attention then another one starts to act up because they are jealous. On the up side the kids are giving them hugs and kisses and other signs of affection. All the children, not just theirs had a cranky day so the parents are calling it an early night and praying for a better day tomorrow.
One big problem they are having is they are running out of supplies. Peter and Becky took what they needed for a one week trip, not two. They need to get out and shop because they are running out of diapers, formula and other necessities. Unfortunately, they are at the mercy of the orphanage staff to take them out.

One of the three families had their embassy appointment today but was not able to get their Visas completed and cannot leave on Sunday as planned. The story is that the computer in Washington, D.C. is down so that NO Visa worldwide can be approved. (?!) Hopefully it will be back on line by Tuesday when Becky and Peter have an appointment at the embassy. Their fingerprints will be approved on Tuesday and the other paperwork done even if the computer isn't up but they cannot finish processing the Visas for the children until the computer is working. At this point it sounds as though they will not leave Liberia until Sunday, April 22. Although they are still exploring some other possibilities, nothing else looks good.
Peter and Becky asked that you continue to pray for them as they deal with this frustrating and uncomfortable (in many ways) situation. Please pray that the computers get fixed quickly so the three families can have their Visas processed next week and they can all leave next weekend. Also pray for the health (mental, physical, and spiritual) of everyone staying at the house.

11 April 2007

Another Delay

Peter and Becky called home this evening to let us know that unfortunately they are going to have to stay in Liberia for a few extra days. The situation as I understand it is this: Before the families travel to Liberia to pick up their children Acres of Hope has a meeting with the Embassy regarding the adoption. Then when the families arrive in Liberia they take the children to the Embassy for another appointment for an interview and to complete final paperwork. Apparently the American Embassy in Liberia has recently made a new rule that there must be a two week period between these two meetings. The problem is that no one really knew about this new rule so the three families there right now picking up their children are the first ones to run into this problem (their first meetings were less than two weeks ago). Unfortunately, the one man at the Embassy who has been helpful to Acres of Hope in the past is on vacation this week and the woman in charge in his absence is not disposed to make any exceptions to the new rule. The earliest appointment Peter and Becky were able to get is for next Tuesday. Tomorrow they will call the travel agency and hopefully be able to switch their flights to Wednesday and arrive back home on Thursday. At the moment three extra days in Liberia is not sounding good. It is extremely hot and there isn't much to do other than sit around and try to keep the kids happy. Please pray for Peter and Becky as they wait out yet another delay to getting their children home and pray that this is the last. We will let you know when we hear their new travel plans. - Katie

Liberian News

Hi everyone!
I'm going to try to sum up a whole lot in a few sentences because getting on the internet has been a big ordeal. We still don't have a phone card to call home because we've barely gotten out of the mission compound where we're staying. Hopefully tomorrow...
The big prayer request is that we still don't know if and when we have embassy appointments. They were having trouble scheduling them. Please pray that all 3 families can get out as scheduled on Sunday.
Every day here seems like several days. Days are long and hot, especially when we're just sitting around at someone else's house trying to get to know the kids and not having much to do. 80% of our experience with the kids has been great, but the other 20% has been really rough. Joshua is doing really well, although today he had an hour long crying spell. We're not sure if he was sad or upset because I made him share a car with his friend who is also staying here. Patience giggles like you wouldn't believe and is so cute until she gets upset and throws a serious tantrum. We had 2 of them today. She's really testing us. Garty is having a tough time adjusting and really misses his nanny, Grace. When he's happy, he's really happy. When he's not, he fusses alot. Oh, and he weighs about 70 lbs (although they tell us it's only 23).
Today our friend John came and took us out for a short trip to their office to introduce us to the staff. They also plan to take us to a local church on Sunday where Peter will probably speak. We're excited for a definite chance to get out and experience Liberian culture. The Acres of Hope staff is really busy, so we got out a bit on Monday before meeting the kids, but we've been pretty secluded since.
The kids have discovered the swimming pool. They were scared to death to get in yesterday, but once we convinced them, they loved it. Today they wore Peter and I out playing and laughing their hearts out.
We got our first kisses from Joshua and Patience today.
More when we can. Love to you all.


09 April 2007

The big day!

Hello friends and family! This is Katie reporting for duty to relay the latest news from Liberia. Becky and Peter called this evening to fill us in on their exciting day. They arrived safely in Liberia last night. Today they spent most of the day with Patti getting a tour of the area. Around 4:30 they finally were able to meet their children! These are some of the highlights of their first day together as a family:
Joshua and Patience loved their bubbles and managed to blow through half of their bottles by the end of the day. They also both loved wearing Peter's sunglasses! Becky and Peter gave Patience a pair of white sandals that, unfortunately, are too big for her. She obviously doesn't mind this since she refused to take them off even when it was time for bed!
The kids were all pretty quiet during the day. Garty said "mama" which surprised (and excited) Becky and Peter. They were also very pleased to hear that Garty has been off of antibiotics for almost six weeks and is doing very well! Garty is big for his age and Joshua is small- even smaller than they had expected. Becky and Peter called after they had managed to get all three children asleep (Patience didn't fall asleep right away). They wanted to fill everyone in before heading off to bed themselves.
Right now there are three families at the orphanage picking up children and they are having a hard time getting embassy appointments for all of them this week. Please pray that all three families can get appointments this week in order to finish paperwork and fly home this weekend.
I will keep you updated on any more news we receive this week!

07 April 2007

bonjour from Belgium

We made it halfway to Africa and took a long nap this morning when the hotel let us check in early. Now we're exploring Brussels a bit. For us, that primarily means eating our way down the street. We love Europe, but Becky's favorite part of the trip so far was when she turned around in the airport and saw Peter riding along the moving walkway filming everything (to help the kids understand about airports, but he looked like a serious tourist). Oh, and he got yelled at over the intercom on the plane for filming out the window when we were taking off. Peter's favorite part was when we were waiting to take off and we heard loud banging behind us. Becky's first thought was, "I hope that's not a kid who is going to be noisy the whole trip!" (temporarily forgetting what's about to happen to our lives as we currently know them). We're off to scope out dinner. Next update will be after we're with our kids!!

06 April 2007


We're headed to NJ to meet our friends who are taking us to NY. We're still feeling under the weather, but we did get some sleep last night (at the expense of crossing things off our to do list). As a result, the house isn't quite the way we want and we still have a LOOOONG list of thank you notes to write on the plane, but we decided our health had to come first at this point.

While we're away, Katie (Becky's sister) will be updating the blog as often as she can, so stay tuned for news about our adventures. If we're really lucky we'll be able to get on a computer to send a few pictures. If not, we'll have lots to share when we come home.

Thanks so much for all your encouragement and prayers. We need them and appreciate them more than you'll ever know. We can't wait to introduce you to our kids really soon! Here are a few pictures of the bedroom that's waiting for them when they come home.

05 April 2007

amendment #2

Now the prayer request is "Please pray for Garty who has a cough and his mommy who has a sore throat and sniffles and his daddy who has bad congestion and sneezing."

We would also appreciate prayer concerning the next 27 hours until we leave. So far today our ride to the airport cancelled because his mother-in-law apparently had a heart attack, and he really needs to be with his family. We think we have solved that crisis now. We just received the mail and found a citation that says we need to remove the graffiti from our house and garage within 10 days or we will be issued a citation. They didn't give any information about how to contact their office, so I can't talk with them unless I track it down myself. The graffiti has been there since we bought the house, but they decided now was a good time to do something about it. At this point, we're just hoping we can make it on that plane one way or another.

We'll post a final stateside update tonight or tomorrow morning.

04 April 2007

prayer request amendment

The first prayer request listed below (on 4/2) should now be amended to say "Please pray for Garty who has a cough and his mommy who has a sore throat and sniffles." What wonderful timing!

03 April 2007

10 months?!?

Out itty bitty baby boy turns 10 months old today. Though it seems like yesterday, itty bitty is long gone. Here's one of the first pictures we saw of Garty next to one of the most recent bunch.

02 April 2007

prayer requests for this week

We've been praying the "please send passports" prayer for so long. Now that we are finally free of that hurdle, we thought we'd share a few new prayer requests if you would like to pray specifically this week for our family.

1. Please pray for Garty who has a cough. Pray that it would not turn into anything major and that it would clear up before we travel home, as plane trips often aggrevate respiratory issues.

2. Praise God with us that last night we found a hotel for our night in Belgium. It's not in the town where we planned to stay, but it is convenient and looks nice. A huge weight has been lifted.

3. Pray that we would rest well despite the stress of last minute preparations. Becky has been having trouble sleeping since we heard the news a week ago, but she just had her second good night in a row.

4. Pray that the God would prepare our kids' little hearts to meet us next Monday morning and that we would be prepared to love them fully no matter how difficult the transition may be.

01 April 2007

labor pains

Last week Jerry (an adoptive dad) said, "Congratulations! You're in labor!" At the time, I (Becky) blew it off, but I've spent quite a bit of time the past few days reminding myself to breathe... breathe... breathe. Though our labor is different than most, I think I could have learned some helpful relaxation techniques in those birthing classes!

It's been a crazy week emotionally. Now that I really should be excited, most of my enthusiasm has been temporarily misplaced. Peter, on the other hand, is very excited. We're both keeping extremely busy with the many last minute tasks. We discovered the other day that being in Belgium overnight on Easter weekend means that every room is booked in the town where we expected to stay (even the really expensive ones). After spending 6 hours hunting for options and sending emails, one of the bed and breakfast owners suggested that I give up hope. Now I need to spend this evening trying to find something in Brussels, which is a big city and should offer some kind of option.

We did take a little time to relax this weekend. I scrapbooked Friday night, and Saturday evening our friends took us to Bistro St. Tropez in Philly (definitely worth a visit) to celebrate. Today was a bittersweet day at church as I taught the preschoolers for the last time (I absolutely LOVE them), and our congregation closed the service by praying for us as we head out. We've now hit the point where we're doing a lot of "last" things... our last trip to NJ without 3 kids in the back seat, our last trip to a classy restaurant before we need a babysitter, the last time my sister will stop by when the house is quiet. It's pretty strange.