A happenin’ place…

September 9th, 2015


Hello again, friends!  If you’d like to catch up with the news about the addition to our home, you may want to head over to our YouCaring page and read the newest update.  Things are beginning to buzz.





Adoption Day feast!

September 8th, 2015

Last Saturday evening, our family had the privilege of participating in a small annual Adoption Day celebration.  Six countries of origin were represented by ten adopted children.

It was a delectable feast!  Katie enjoyed everything she was able to eat!



Kate was the only child present from Bulgaria, and our contribution to the meal was our favorite Bulgarian dish, Shepherd’s Salad.  Our children like it because it doesn’t contain any greens.  Bulgarians have a true gift for blending fresh salad flavors and their salads are the best I have ever eaten!  If you make this salad, be sure to use delectable English cucumbers, which are always tender and never bitter.  I was spoiled by my visits to Bulgaria, and can’t eat common cucumbers any more, as they are inedible in comparison.

It’s even better the second day.  Yum!  This photo doesn’t do it justice, but it still makes my mouth water~



Katie’s favorite part of the evening was waving her Bulgarian flag!

There are many reasons to love Bulgaria, and by our last visit there, we felt surprisingly at home.  But most of all, we love Bulgaria because it’s where this beautiful girl came from!












I’m a big girl…

September 8th, 2015

I’m a big girl,
I’m a big girl,
I stay dry,
I stay dry,
I can use the toilet,
I can use the toilet,
By myself,
By myself!

Okay, so Verity’s been singing this little ditty on her rocking horse even though she’s not actually all the way there yet!

But she surely has made impressive progress this past week!




For years, Verity has understood what the potty is for, as she routinely sat for a period of time on her small potty chair after sleeping and after eating.

By this summer, she was predictably waking up dry, only rarely had messy accidents, and quickly mastered the toileting routine.  However, she never self-initiated, with the exception of one single instance back in the winter when she was right next to her potty, about to step into the bath.




The goal for Verity is that she is internally rather than externally prompted to use the toilet and that she then moves independently through the entire toileting and handwashing process with the most minimal verbal prompts necessary.  During this intensive toilet training time, which begins when she wakes in the morning and continues for a minimum of eight hours, or until her bedtime if I can manage it, she has multiple opportunities to practice the entire drill correctly.  This involves as many as twenty-seven steps, which I have listed below in groupings.   So far, she needs only minor verbal reminders, such as an occasional expectant, “Next…” and minor physical prompts to keep her on track.

Closing the bathroom door.
[If necessary:  Opening the toilet lid, placing her potty ring on the seat, and moving her stepstool to the front of the toilet.]
Climbing up, turning around, pants down, sitting down.
Purposefully and readily doing what she’s sitting there to do.
Unrolling the correct length of toilet tissue, using two hands to tear it off, crumpling it in her hands, wiping correctly (obviously needs help wiping after #2).
Standing up, pants up, climbing down, flushing.
Moving stepstool to the sink, climbing up.
Soap into hands, turning water on, washing fronts and backs of hands, rinsing fronts and backs of hands, turning water off, drying fronts and backs of hands.
Climbing down, moving stepstool back to toilet.




We briefly considered starting Verity out with the self-initiation training, but ultimately decided to begin at the beginning, with the first three phases of the Rapid Toilet Training method, for the sake of giving her plenty of opportunities to solidify new skills into automatic habits.  Because of how ready she seemed to be, we expected her to move quickly through those phases before beginning self-initiation training.  And this is exactly what she did during her first week.

Day 1 (Tuesday):  Went from phase one to phase two

Day 2 (Wednesday):  Went from phase two to phase three

Day 3 (Thursday):  Went from phase three to self-initiation training; self-initiated one time

Day 4 (Friday):  Self-initiated six times

Day 5 (Saturday):  Two accidents with none left for toilet; self-initiated nine times; chair moved to 2′ from the toilet

Day 6 (Sunday):  One accident with none left for toilet; two minor accidents; self-initiated nine times; chair moved from 4′ from the toilet to 10′ from the toilet

Day 7 (Monday):  One minor accident; self-initiated fourteen times; chair moved from 10′ from the toilet to 16′ from the toilet




Nearly everyone in the family is having to sacrifice or help in some way to make this temporarily intense schedule possible, which means we are nearly all investing something into her toileting success.  We are all very pleased with her cooperation and proud of her progress!!