Monday, July 26, 2010

Introducing. . . .

Alexis Rayna Rieben

It has been an incredible, incredible day and that doesn't even begin to describe the joy and gratitude we feel! We started the day by officially meeting Ladybug #3, to be known from this time forth as Alexis. I had the opportunity to meet her earlier this year while visiting with Lily, but didn't get to spend much one-on-one time with her then. Let me just say, this girl is NUTS and we absolutely adore her. Our Heavenly Father could not have picked a more perfect child for our family! She is so full of personality and she kept us laughing all day long. She and her daddy had an especially good time together today and I think that they are going to be two peas in a pod! She is loving, outgoing and bossy (watch out Maren) and she is SO excited to have a mommy and daddy. We heard the words "Mamo" and "Tate" (tah-te) (mommy and daddy) no less than 500 times today. I can only imagine how good it must have felt to finally be able to have a mommy and daddy to call her own! How grateful I am that we followed the promptings that there was a third child waiting for us because there is no doubt in my mind that this amazing little person was meant to be a part of our family.

Mamo and Alexis

LOVE this picture of Richard and Alexis! She is a daddy's girls already!

She loves to laugh and be silly! And did I mention that she is BOSSY!?

Our morning visit was just with Alexis. We wanted to be able to give her our undivided attention so that she could get to know us and feel safe and comfortable with us. We also wanted to be able to explain to her that we were Lily's mommy and daddy as well and that Lily would be coming home with us this time and that we would be back for her soon. She took the news well and we were relieved.

The afternoon visit was spent with Lily and Alexis together. Oh, how I have missed my beautiful Lily! It was so good to see her again and to be able to introduce her to her daddy. She has grown and changed SO much since I saw her last. When we arrived this morning, the orphanage psychologist told us that Lily was so excited that her mommy had finally returned to bring her home. I was excited to hear that she remembered me! The head doctor also told us that, after I visited, Lily had really come out of her shell and that she had made significant progress in her development.

When she came into the room this afternoon and we saw each other for the first time in 5 months, her face lit up and she walked right to me for hugs and kisses! It felt so good to hold her and kiss her again.


We had such a good time visiting with the girls together and watching them interact. They have been together for a very long time and you can tell that they love each other very much. They are also already very much like sisters and I am so glad that they will have the opportunity to continue to grow up together. I have a feeling that the coming separation will be difficult for Alexis.

Lily and Alexis together

Bonding with my girls! Lily is my hairstylist and Alexis is making me talk on the "phone" (my iPod) while she sings along with some Bulgarian Children's songs.

We could not have asked for a more amazing day and we are looking forward to spending the rest of the week with this wonderful duo! The thought of leaving Alexis behind on Friday is already breaking my heart, but I know that it won't be long before we are blessed to see her smile and hear her laughter every day!

Just to put in perspective how much Lily has changed since my last visit, prior to today I had exactly one picture of her smiling (that was 5 days worth of pictures). Now I have MANY (in just 2 hours of visiting). That smile rarely left her face and it really made my heart soar to see her so happy and to know the reason why!

We are SO blessed!

In other news, we continue to enjoy the Bulgarian cuisine. Here is Flat Stanislav enjoying some find dining at the hotel restaurant:

Grilled Pork Ears (believe it or not, they were actually quite good)

The "Big Meatball." Pork stuffed with cheese, pickles and. . more pork (ham).


Jill said...

Alexis is beautiful! Congratulations! :D

Anonymous said...

i've been going nuts!!!
WOW! I'm soo happy for you about Alexis!!! so great you had such a wonderful first day ;)

Missy said...

Wow, congratulations!! I'll show your pictures to Nikolai - he'll be so happy for you!

Renae said...

Beautiful girls!:) Congrats!

Manda said...

LOVE it! Congrats you guys!

Anna said...

What beautiful Bulgarian girls you have. Lily looks so incredibly happy to be with you again and Alexis is a sweety. Pryaing for a blesssed journey :)

Charity Brown said...

Awwwww! I seriously welled up to that picture of Alexis and Richard! Sooooooooo sweet!!! This is so incredible! I'm so happy for you all!! Congrats on your 3 beautiful girls!!!

Amanda said...

Is it ok if I just sit and cry!! I just can't get get over the change in Lily. It is amazing how you gave her the desire to live. I rather liked the Lily stink face but Lily with a smile is just amazing!!

Barry, Donna, and Tam said...

Your girls our beautiful! The smiles on their faces is priceless!!!

Charissa said...

What a blessing for you all to be together. Congratulations Rieben family!

Ross said...

They are both beautiful!

Mom 2 six said...

I am so glad that things are going well ! The girls smiles melt my heart.

Arizona mom to eight said...

Happy tears for you all, all the girls are beautiful, what a wonderful blessing. Alexis looks like a sweetheart! Congratulations o your newest sweetheart.