Sissy’s 17th Birthday…..

Sissy turned 17 on January 29th!

She requested going to Big Apple Bagels for a birthday breakfast….
Here is Sissy with her gifts….can you spot Bella too? 🙂
After doing stats for the ORCS Boys Basketall team, she had her buds over to watch ice-skating and eat birthday pie. Here she is with her best buds….
Hope you had a great day, Sissy!

Sissy is a Character!

Character Counts, that is! Last night at the Character Counts banquet, Elizabeth received a 2011 American Youth Character Award from the Character Counts Program. She and five other students were recognized for demonstrating the six pillars of Character.

Here are the six winners:

They were selected from a large pool of students nominated by their teachers and administrators. The students also had to answer questions regarding how they demonstrate strong character. Elizabeth’s name will also be submitted with the other five winners to the National Character Count’s archives. What an honor!

In addition, two other students from Our Redeemer’s, Gabbi & Alyssa, were recognized as honorable mentions:

Here are the three Our Redeemer Students with Mr. Strand, Principal, and Mrs. Carlson, Development Director:

It was a wonderful night! Elizabeth’s choir, “coincidentally”, was this year’s musical group. They did a great job singing a “Joseph” medley and “the Rhythm of Life”:

What a moving event! These students were so awe-inspiring and humble. How refreshing to see these students recognized for showing depth of character and remaining that way–even when no one is watching! Congratulations, Sissy!

In Our Local Newspaper…..

Our local newspaper the Minot Daily News featured our family’s adoption journey today:

I think the writer, James Falcon, did a wonderful job writing the article. And, did you notice he used “people first” language? I was so excited that he did that!

Oh, and if you don’t get the Minot Daily, this article is on the top of the FRONT PAGE right above an article about the State of the Union address. Talk about humbling……

Kevin and I want to say that we couldn’t have done either adoption without the love and support of our friends, family, and community! So thank you to all of you!


We got our approval “golden ticket” or the I-171H today! This is the official document we need to adopt internationally.

Now, I must say that this came in record time. The actual document says it was filed on December 22, 2010 and that the completion date was January 20, 2010. We just had our fingerprints on January 18, 2010! This is amazing!

So we are praising God for this miracle! We are also so thankful for the prayers of many….our Pastor Andy, our Elders, and our friends.

We ask that you continue to pray for us–especially for a smooth journey to bring home our newest family member!

We’re Coming, Nathan……

We are so excited that we received a travel date from Nathan’s country…..February 17th (which happens to be Bella’s 6th birthday).

Kevin was able to talk with immigration services today and was told that our fingerprints came back clear (whew!) and that they would try and get our approval done as quickly as possible. We need to get that I-171H by at least February 11th so we can get it notarized and sent it off to Bismarck for an apostille.

Then, we are ready to go…… Yay!

Fun & Fingerprinting…..

Fun & Fingerprinting in Fargo!

We had our biometric fingerprinting appointment today for the adoption. Because it had to be done in Fargo, we made a “Family Fun” trip out of it and left on Sunday–stayed two nights in a hotel.

We usually stay at the Holiday Inn (you know, the one with the “ship”) but they were full, so they gave us a room at the Holiday Inn Express with a hot tub.

Grace & Bella LOVED it! Oops…..I didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to add bubbles to it! Too fun!

We had such a good time as a family of SIX and look forward to the next “Family Fun” trip to Fargo as a family of SEVEN!!!!

Adoption Update….

We are getting closer to Nathan with each baby step! We have our biometric fingerprinting appointment this coming Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. AND THEN, after that, we wait for the “golden ticket” aka I-171H approval from the US government that says we can adopt internationally. We are hopeful to get this approval soon so that we can travel mid-February to bring Nathan home!

Every now and then, we get additional tidbits about Nathan from the facilitator in his country, such as……..

He eats very well

adores sweets.

He does not like toy cars,

likes soft toys.

He does not like noise,

and is afraid of

the toys with high volumes.

Doesn’t he sound so cute and smooshy? AND, He will fit in just fine with the Burckhard clan if he adores sweets!

Here’s another shot of this precious child:

We can’t wait to travel! We are trusting God that He will provide the funds necessary to bring him home. We have been humbled and are so grateful to those of you who have given to Nathan’s fund. We have been moved to tears! We estimate that we still need to save about $10,000 to fully fund the adoption. We know that God will pave the way….one way or another.

Love, Paula