Love Hope Adoption Blog

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One Year Home December 18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — trinagoodenow @ 10:22 pm

On December 17, 2012, we were traveling up a snowy, foggy mountain to a small Bulgarian orphanage where we would take our two new children by the hands and become a forever family of five.  What a start to the journey!  As we celebrated “Gotcha Day” yesterday, we had so much fun reminiscing about our week-long stay in Bulgaria with the kids.  From flooding the kitchen with the washing machine, to cracking the glass door in the apartment, to eating at Pizza Roma several times that week; we have rich memories of our first week with the kids.  We remember Grandma (aka Baba) Sue teaching them several songs and how quickly they began communicating and learning English.  They were so obedient and excellent sleepers!  We somehow managed to travel 26 hours home on what we call the longest day of our lives.  We must have gone 3 days with no sleep leading up to the trip (due to the time change) and it began to show.  Fani spent most of the trip home puking from a combination of air sickness and anxiety, while Pesho screamed for 6 of the 10 hours on the international flight.  Grandma and Nadia slept in the back of the plane while we “handled” these situations.  🙂

I took 8 weeks off of work to stay home with the kids.  They were very sweet and fairly easy children, initially.  We definitely had a “honeymoon” period with them.  Oh, those were the days!  Well, all good things come to an end eventually, and our lives turned a bit chaotic, to put it mildly, and we often ran on survival mode for the majority of their waking hours.  Much of this past year is a blur.  Some days, it still feels like we aren’t making any progress.  However, when we look back a year ago and where we started, we really have come a long way.  Raising adopted children has been so much harder than we ever could have imagined or prepared for, but we don’t doubt that Fani and Pesho are supposed to be part of our family.  Going from one child to three was half the battle and a huge adjustment.  They are so close in age, it often feels like we are raising twins!

Pre-school has been really good for both of the kids.  They are really coming along and catching up on all that they missed out on in their first two and three years.  English is coming along so well that I have to ask them to stop talking sometimes!  They are little chatterboxes!  While we still have some challenges we are working through, they are very happy children, full of smiles and full of life.  We speak to them often of Bulgaria and try to help them remember their roots.  We still say “Obichum Te” and “Leka Nosht” every night (I love you and Good night).  We’ve had a lot of support from family and friends over the past year and it means more than you know!  Fani & Pesho have been immersed in love by a pool of extended family, church family, teachers, and friends.  They truly are at home.

December 2012

December 2012

December 2013 One Year Home!

December 2013
One Year Home!



June 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — trinagoodenow @ 10:15 pm

Happy 3rd Birthday, Pesho!  We had fun celebrating with our little boy today!  All the kids at daycare kept wishing him a happy birthday all day, so he felt special all day long.  They also enjoyed cupcakes!

Fun fact #1: My son was born in the car on the way to the hospital!!! 🙂

Fun fact #2: My children are now ages 3, 4, and 5!  We are BUSY! 100_1763





The Closing of a Life Chapter May 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — trinagoodenow @ 9:50 pm

Last Friday was a bittersweet day; a day that I said farewell to the organization that I’ve known for six and a half years, to the coworkers who have become my friends, to my HR department that has become an important part of my everyday life.  At the end of April, an opportunity presented itself, a door opened.  I’m making a career move to another organization here in town – one that I’m looking forward to.  However, it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to what I’ve known, to relationships that I’ve built, to people who have played a significant role in my personal and professional growth.  I know I’m a better person today because of the people at Preferred Family Healthcare.  Words can’t really express my gratitude for what I’ve been given and what I will take with me for a lifetime.

Reflecting on my years at PFH, I’ve had 4 different positions within the company.  I started out as an Administrative Secretary where I was introduced to the Sr. Team and learned the ins and outs of the organization.  8 months later, Nadia came into this world.  Soon thereafter, I started flying on a part-time basis for the company and quickly became known as the “flying secretary”.  J  I transferred into the HR department as the Employee Services Coordinator and the title was eventually changed to Employee Relations.  Two years ago, I moved into the Benefits Administrator’s role and learned a LOT!  I was so fortunate on all those occasions that the right people believed in me enough to give me a chance, even though I had little experience at the time.  

Although I know in my head I’m making the right decision, my heart is torn.  It’s so much harder to leave than I thought it would be.  Thank you, my friends, for standing in the trenches with me during my three and a half year adoption journey.  You always had encouraging words or a listening ear when the wait was long and hard.  You celebrated with me when we got word that we were going to Bulgaria to bring home our children. The surprise baby shower was much more fun that my going away party!  I’ve grown my family while I’ve been at PFH and it feels like all of you are part of my extended family.  

I received the nicest emails, words of best wishes for my future, and people thanking me for being a part of PFH.  Somehow, it seems like I should be thanking all of you instead.  I have been so fortunate to have had an amazing boss who has always challenged me to grow and always made me feel appreciated.  A chapter of my life is closing and a new one begins.  So Friday, I wore my PFH t-shirt to work one last time.  I wore it loud and proud as a symbol of my gratitude and appreciation.  PFH, you will be missed!  


Happy Birthday, Fani! May 9, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — trinagoodenow @ 9:20 am

Happy 4th Birthday, Fani!  🙂

Birthday Girl!

Birthday Girl!

I know I need to post another update on the kids, but where do I begin?  🙂  Things have definitely settled down but still challenging, none the less.  I’ll save that for another time!

I just wanted to share that we are celebrating Fani today!  We were matched with the kids at the end of April 2012; so glad we are able to give her a proper birthday celebration this year and also celebrate that she is HOME!  Fani was so excited to bring cupcakes & play-dough for her friends at school today.  She was also thrilled about wearing the birthday crown & getting a birthday sticker!  We’re so glad her teacher & class are helping her celebrate this awesome day!  She’s excited to be 4 and says she’s a big girl now!  Happy Birthday, sweet girl!


Easter April 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — trinagoodenow @ 8:46 pm

We had a wonderful Easter weekend!  We took three days and traveled to Iowa for a long weekend.  It was the first overnight trip we’ve done with the kids and they did great!  It was nice to get away and relax.  I didn’t know what to expect over the weekend, but the kids entertained themselves and played with their cousins the whole time.  It really did feel like a vacation!  Refreshing for all of us.  It’s always fun getting together with Marshall’s family – all 4 of his siblings and their families met at Marshall’s parents’ house.   We had 10 adults and 8 kids staying there – good thing it’s a big house!  🙂  Super fun.  We had an Easter egg hunt and my little kids were practiced up!  Nadia had been hiding their snacks in eggs all over the house the week before, so they were trained to go find those eggs!

We were also blessed by the Easter service at church in Aurthur, IA.  The congregation is like an extended church family to us – many of them have been praying for us and our adoption over the years and they continue to pray for us while we transition.  It was awesome celebrating our Risen King with them!

The Fani Cam has been interesting.  We see that she tends to bicycle her legs while she’s trying to go to sleep, most likely a self-soothing technique for her.  Pesho likes to lay down in her toddler bed during the day and pretend that he’s going to sleep.  Today, he laid down and started bicycling his legs!  He watches her do that every night from the view in his crib!  It was pretty comical…I guess that’s just what you do when you have a toddler bed!

We are so excited for Spring!!!  Weather permitting, I’m taking the kids to my grandparents’ house tomorrow to “help” plant their garden.  Not sure how much we’ll get done, but I thought it would be a great new experience and a chance to get outside.  Marshall and I both grew up on farms in Iowa.  We love visiting when we get the chance.  Baby calves were being born right and left over Easter!  Nadia always jumps at the chance to get a tractor ride with one of her grandpa’s, too!  Enjoy this beautiful weekend!

The Goodenow Family

The Goodenow Family




Real Life & The Fani Cam March 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — trinagoodenow @ 2:12 pm

Raising three children challenges us every single day.  We had three and a half years where we prayed for patience as we waited for Fani & Pesho to join our family.  Now that they are here, it takes a whole new kind of patience to raise them!  Marshall filled in for Pastor Bob last Sunday and shared a little bit about the day to day challenges we encounter.  I had really been struggling with the kids for about the past month; dealing with the same behaviors over and over, dealing with way too many bodily fluids, etc!  I really appreciate his transparency that he was able to share with our church family and give everyone a little more insight into our lives.  As a result, it has really taken the pressure off of me to put on a happy face and act like everything is perfect.  Parenting in general is difficult; add adoption to the mix and it does bring a new set of challenges to the table.  Challenges that we really couldn’t have known or totally prepared for before the kids came home.  However, we are still definitely adoption advocates and we love our children SO much.  We desire to be transparent not only to our friends & family, but those who are in the processes of adopting or considering adoption as well.

Marshall shared a couple of pictures of our family…here’s one that describes a typical day for us – there’s usually a crisis and more than one going on at the same time.  🙂


Yes, this was supposed to be a happy picture to give to my mom for her birthday (my niece, Addy, is included).  This was the best we could do at the photo session, so she received a framed 10X13 of this photo!  🙂  Thankfully, my mom shares the same sense of humor as my brother and me, so she thought it was hysterical.  (The photo session was cut short because another little girl from the previous session ran into the back of our photographer and they had a collision.  The photographer somehow fell backwards and landed on the little girl; thus the look of pure terror on my children’s faces of “this is what happens after the session!”)  Nadia knew she was supposed to smile despite the added action!  Ha!

Part of our challenge with Fani is that we don’t really know what goes on after we tuck her in for nap or bedtime and close her bedroom door.  We finally broke down and bought a baby monitor with video capability.  We call it the Fani Cam.  We should have done that three months ago!  We now can put her to bed and watch the “Fani Channel” on our t.v.  It’s given us some insight and gives us some peace of mind that we can intervene if necessary!  It’s also quite entertaining!

Oh, kids!  They are still doing well in school & at the sitter’s.  They are getting better at playing together at home and interacting with one another.  We still just take one day at a time and we appreciate everyone lifting us up in prayer.  Thank you!


Snow! March 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — trinagoodenow @ 10:48 pm

We have a LOT of snow here in the Midwest!  We’ve been trying to take advantage of it and get the kids out in it.  Sledding was a new activity for them; Fani loved it (as long as she didn’t have to touch the snow) but Pesho pretty much sat at the top of the hill and cried!  Not his favorite thing at this point.

Daycare & preschool are still going well for the kids.  Fani gives me a hug each morning and says, “Bye bye Mama, I love you!”  So sweet.  She’s gaining a lot of great skills everyday!  Her teacher’s name is Miss Laura, but Fani insists on calling her Dora!  Her English is really coming along.  Marshall drops Pesho off in the mornings, and he’s been saying goodbye without so many tears as well.  He loves his Miss Lisa!

It feels like we are nonstop busy when we are home.  Going from 1 child to 3 is much harder than I imagined!  On top of chasing kids around, we have triple the laundry, meals, dishes, baths, etc.  Whew! We’ve had the kids for just over two months.  Some days, it doesn’t feel like we are getting anywhere, but when we look back at where we were two months ago, their progress is amazing.  They literally are transforming right before our eyes; something I don’t want to lose sight of or overlook.   Here are a few recent pictures of the kiddos!

Nadia & Fani

Nadia & Fani

We love accessories!

We love accessories!


ORNERY!!!  :)


Kiss Kiss!

Kiss Kiss!