Friday, September 30, 2005

Jordan McSnordan

I've mentioned a few times that my little brother is here with us for a visit. Although he's not so little anymore! Having him here is making me realize more and more how grown up he has become. He just returned from spending 3 months in Mozambique, Africa, doing a mission school. Talking to him about his experiences there and seeing some of his pictures reaffirm to me that whether he realizes it or not, this has permanently impacted his life (in a good way!).

Now, I was almost 8 years old when Jordan was born. Actually, it was his birth that set me on the path I am now on to become a midwife. He was born at home and I was there to see it. I remember visiting my mom's midwife throughout her pregnancy and then seeing her at the birth and in my heart I knew that's what I wanted to do when I grew up.

Growing up, we had our share of sibling stuff, I'm sure, but mostly I remember him being one of the easiest to get along with. He was always very sensitive (still is) and helpful. Even now I am so grateful for his servant's heart that does without asking. It sure has been nice to have him here these last weeks of my pregnancy to help with Simeon and household stuff. I wish he could stay! He loves God very much and wants to please Him. He is a good example to me of humility too. He has no problems owning up to his mistakes, something I often find difficult!

Anyways, we sure are loving spending time with him one on one. It's fun to rediscover your siblings as you all become adults. And Simeon is going to have to go through family separation yet again when he leaves...which totally sucks. He is having lots of fun with Uncle Jodin (as he calls him). Who knows, maybe we'll be able to convince him to come back again soon and stay even longer! Winnipeg isn't such a bad place to live after all. I'm sure the Guse's would love that since they have also adopted him into their family! :)

Oh, and for all you eligible bachelorettes out there, he is a great catch! See for yourself! :)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Pregnancy Musings

This pregnancy has been challenging. I remember having a tough time with Simeon too, but this one seems much more painful right now. Sleeping is becoming increasingly difficult with a combination of leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, heartburn, and the most intense - pelvic pain. I'm also very short of breath and sometimes during the day I can't stand or I start feeling like I'm going to pass out. My iron is a bit low so hopefully as I take stuff to improve it I will feel a bit better. I only have 5 or 6 weeks to go and I am really looking forward to having a newborn again! I actually love that stage. Maybe it's because I'm so happy not to be pregnant any more! I'm looking forward to this little one's birth too. I know, it sounds crazy, but Simeon's birth was a very positive experience for me. Yes, it hurt and it was exhausting, but I remember feeling so loved and cared for and the excitement of meeting my firstborn son was overwhelming! I hope everything goes just as smoothly this time (ideally it will be a bit quicker too!). We used a blown-up fishy pool last time but this time Birth Roots is going to have a real deal heated birth tub. It's a bit deeper which will be nice. But what will my doulas do without having to boil water all day! :) I will also miss Beckie's presence (my midwife who is in the Philippines right now). Anyways, pray that things get a bit easier over the next few weeks. Deyan is getting really busy with school again and with house maintenance, meals, Simeon, and teaching classes, it's hard to function when I'm this uncomfortable! My brother Jordan is here visiting and he has been a great help. We will definitely miss him when he goes! :(

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Deyan's brother Delyan (12 years) and sister Yoana (11 months) with Simeon
Deyan, Simeon and I in Old Neseber at the Black Sea
Family chilling out at Baba and Dyado's house
The cutest boy!
Baba and Dyado in their backyard with Simeon
Most of our beach pictures aren't on the computer yet, but these are a few to get you started!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Thanks for your patience!

Okay, sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything. It has taken awhile to settle back down into life here in Winnipeg. And there just aren't as many exciting stories to tell from back here! :)

So, for those of you wondering what happened those last days in it is. On August 31st, our expected day of departure, we loaded up our stuff very early in the morning, said an emotional goodbye to Dey's grandparents, and drove with his uncle to the airport in Sofia. He stayed to help us check in our bags and then left us to visit a bit with Deyan's dad who had met us there. So we chatted with him for awhile and then joined the masses (literally) trying to go through security. We finally made it through (we had 2 carry-on bags, a laptop, and Simeon's backpack carrier) and lined up to go through passport control. I started hearing them calling our flight for boarding. Simeon was on my back and starting to get tired since he'd been up so early. Deyan handed the police our 3 Canadian passports. The guy looked at them, smiled, and began a conversation with Deyan in Bulgarian. Now let me backtrack a bit...

When we arrived in the country at the beginning of the month, Deyan also had given the police our 3 Canadian passports. But the police, recognizing he was Bulgarian, asked for his BG passport as well. The problem was, it was expired, but they still wanted it. They gave Deyan heck for awhile about "you can travel anywhere in the world on your Canadian passport but when you come back to your own country you need to travel with your BG passport...blah,blah,blah" and issued him a warning that he needed to renew it while we were there. This was in Deyan's plan anyways so we weren't concerned, considering we had a whole month. What I didn't realize at the time was that they didn't stamp his Canadian passport upon entry, only his invalid BG passport! So, Deyan tried diligently over the course of our month there to renew his passport. It was a beauracratic nightmare! He kept hitting wall after wall and needing to fill out this paperwork and that paperwork and waiting each time. By the time he finally had finished all the prep work and had everything he needed to apply for a new passport, we only had a few days left in the country. We knew we wouldn't get it in time and decided it was best to renew it from Canada. Of course we expected that since the police had issued us a warning at the beginning of the month, we may need to pay a fine, but I (being a Canadian) just assumed that we could talk our way out of this since we really had tried our hardest! So, back to the 31st...

I couldn't understand the conversation Dey was having with the police, but I could tell we were going to have trouble. By now I was hearing "final boarding call, all passengers should now be on board" over the loud speaker for our flight to Vienna. I was just coming down with the flu and feeling pretty miserable physically. After several minutes of intensity, (I had previously told Deyan to bring out the drama if anyone gave us a hard time about his passport) I noticed the guy separate our passports and tickets. Deyan, exasperated, said to me,"you and Simeon fly today I guess and I don't until we get this figured out." My eyes filled up with tears immediately and I just kept saying, "No, I can't! It's impossible!" I knew that being 7 months pregnant and sick to boot, I couldn't handle Simeon and all our luggage by myself on 3 flights with layovers and everything. Dey knew it too, but we were stuck. We were now hearing our names being called over the loudspeaker to board the plane! They called the airline rep over and she told us she would postpone all our flights. So they removed our checked luggage from the plane and that was that! I still didn't realize all that was happening still and was feeling pretty emotional. I just sat down with Simeon and tried to keep him happy. Thankfully, Deyan's dad hadn't left the airport yet and had seen all the commotion. So we got a couple of taxis and headed back to his place. The airline told us that the earliest they could fly us out was the 3rd. They reserved our seats from TO to Wpg, and encouraged us that seats would open up for our other 2 flights. Deyan and his dad spent that day figuring out his BG passport. We had to spend some extra money, but we were able to get it done within 2 days. Oh, ya, so the deal was that because he had entered the country on a BG passport, he couldn't leave on a CDN one. Period. Deyan had tried hard to get the guy to sympathize with him considering his pregnant wife and toddler, but the guy said his hands were tied.

Anyways, we spent the next several days at his dad's house. I got very sick and by that first night ended up in the hospital with some respiratory difficulties. But that's another story for another day! Let's just say that for someone who doesn't like going to hospitals in my own country, it was a big step for me to decide I need to go to one there! And alot of my fears about it came true! But whatever, it's all good now. I did end up on a bunch of meds and in retrospect I was really thankful that I wasn't on the plane flying over the ocean by myself and unable to breathe!

So, the 3rd came and went with no flights available. We were then told that they probably couldn't fly us out until the 13th! They said that every day the flights were overbooked by at least 30 seats! It was very frustrating, but we totally appreciated all the prayers! We phoned again on the 4th at noon, and they told us they could get us as far as Vienna. By then, I was ready to just go and sit in the airport until a seat opened up! Dey of course was nervous about this because Vienna is expensive and if we didn't get on a flight, what would we do? The flight was leaving Sofia at 3:30pm so we decided to at least go to the airport here and see if anything opened up last minute. Sure enough, just before we left at 1pm, we phoned again and they had found us seats all the way home! Yay! I was so relieved! We actually ended up with the same police officer at passport control and he smiled as he checked everything over. I didn't care anymore, I just wanted out! And God's favour must have been with us because we not only got seats together, but we even got the bulkhead on the long flight! This was crucial for my comfort with a big belly and all! It also meant they gave us a bed for Simeon to sleep in on this flight which was great.

Well, there you have it. I wish I could say the flights were uneventful, but the adventure continued as our layovers were extremely short and we were constantly running to catch the next flight in time. I was exhausted by the time we got home and hoping all the stress wouldn't put me into premature labour! Anyways, we made it and we're all recovered! I can't remember how to post pictures, but I will figure it out and post some soon...I promise! :)

Monday, September 05, 2005

We're Home!!!

Exhausted, but in one piece. We will rest and catch up as soon as possible. Thank you so much for all the prayers. It has been a long but miraculous day and we are so grateful and relieved to be home.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Please Pray!!!!

This will have to be a quick update, sorry for the delay. We are still in Bulgaria! We were supposed to fly out on Wednesday but had difficulties with Deyan's passport. It's a complicated story which I will have to share later. They wanted me, 7 months pregnant and sick, to fly home alone with Simeon, a busy 20 month old toddler, while Dey sorted out his passport. We told them this was impossible so they postponed all of our flights. Deyan's passport issue is now resolved, but they have no flights out of the country! At first they told us we could fly today (the 3rd), but there are no seats available. They said that they can get us as far as Vienna tomorrow, but that's it. The earliest they forsee getting us home is the 13th!!!! Of course this is completely unreasonable and we are working hard to get things sorted out. But we REALLY need some prayer coverage. We're okay, so don't worry. We are currently staying with Deyan's father in Sofia. They are doing everything possible to make us comfortable and we really appreciate it.

On a different note, I have been very ill with the flu and haven't been able to get out of bed for a couple of days (hence the lack of updates). I am on a bunch of meds and slowly recovering, but please pray for health for me and the baby and that no one else gets sick.

One thing I have to mention is how grateful I am for Deyan. He is an incredible husband and has been such a great shepherd of our family through this situation. Under the circumstances, I know that he has alot of stress to deal with. But he has remained peaceful and comforting to us at all times and is not allowing his stress to overcome him. We had our 4th anniversary on September1st, and I spent it sick in bed while he cared for Simeon. But I just wanted to honor him for all that he is doing right now.

Anyways, that's all I can write for now. This sure will make for some great stories to tell...if we ever get home! :) It has been a great month and I hate that the end is turning so sour. The bureaucracy here makes me never want to come back!

To summarize the prayer requests:
We need seats to open up so we can fly home as soon as possible.
Health for all of us.
As of today, we have been here for 30 days. Staying any longer in this country requires a visa which we do not have. We're not sure how this is going to play out so pray that things go smoothly with that.
Peace for us and for our worrying families back home!

Thank you all! I will try to update you again as soon as possible.