Sorry for the long break since our last post, but things have been a little crazy since we were preparing to leave India.  Our last post was before we checked out of our hotel prior to our 38 hour trip to Denver.  We stayed the night in Denver and drove home the following day.  We finally made it home on Sunday evening, the 4th.  It was a very long trek home and Abigail was a trooper.  Despite being a 2 year old and spending 15 hours in two different airports and approximately 19 hours of fly time, she did amazing!!  She slept on the plane, she played on the plane, and we were able to find playgrounds in a couple airports along the way (that was awesome!!).  So, we are home now and adjusting to a new life.  It has been a long time since we had a toddler in the house and it is certainly an adjustment.  Abigail is still working on adjusting to the 12 hour time difference.  Who am I kidding?  Kim and I are still adjusting to the time difference, too.  Each night is a little better and we get a little bit more/better sleep.  Abigail is loving playing with Analee, Alyssa, and Caleb.  And, they are LOVING the time they get with her, too.  It is great to see the four of them laughing and playing together.  Did I just say that... the FOUR of them?  Goodness, we have 4 kids now! :)  Abigail has been such a blessing to our family these past few days.  She has fit right in and seems to be adjusting well.  She has such an expressive face and personality!  She often freezes and looks surprised at things that happen and it's the cutest thing! She still loves to play "peek-a-boo." She doesn't speak much, although she talks more and more each day, but she does know how to communicate what she wants... or doesn't want.  She is learning so much each day and understands lots of things that we say to her.  It is only a matter of time until we look back in wonder on the days that she didn't talk much... I think once she gets going, we won't be able to make her stop.  Our days have simply been filled with time with her, getting back to life, and figuring out what "normal" looks like now.  As Kim and I reflect on the past 3 weeks (or that last 6 years), we are astonished at the love, support, and prayers that we have received.  It is truly humbling to think that so many of you have helped in so many ways along this journey.  We absolutely cannot express our gratitude to each of you!  As this is our last post for this leg of the journey, we simply want to say "Thank you!"  Thank you for your kind thoughts and words.  Thank you for your emotional support.  Thank you for your financial support.  And most importantly, thank you for your constant and continued prayers!

November 1

Well today was a success! We have her Visa in hand as well as all her immigration paperwork! So all we have to do is put her little feet down on U.S. soil and she is an American Citizen! Yay! The rest of the day was spent sitting around.  We did a little shopping and had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe! They are getting ready to celebrate Dewali here, which is a huge festival! So there are special booths set up all over the place. Sweet Abigail has become so much more vocal and we have gotten to spend some time just trying to figure each other out.  Today she learned how to open doors... that makes for a fun game especially when your in the bathroom ;) She also thinks its fun to mimic mommy coughing or blowing her nose (2 things she has done a lot of recently!) She sat with Eric this morning and learned how to color :) it was quite cute! We had hopes this evening of catching a flight tonight instead of tomorrow but the cost difference was too much. So we wait 1 more day to get to come home. We will spend some more time bonding with our girl! However we can not wait to come home and see our other kiddos!

Sidenote: the hotel we have been staying at this week is really quite amazing!  They are so nice to us and are so willing to help with things for the little ones it has been a great blessing! The picture today is our second towel animal from our "Housekeeping Boy," Raj.  He has also done his part in making us feel very welcomed in this hotel!  We have also met quite a few adoptive families here!  As for all of you, we can not thank you all enough for all your prayers and support! Our family and friends that are family are so wonderful! We are truly blessed! 

October 31

We had 2 goals for today: get Abigail's Visa, and get our Exit Permits.  We had an appointment at the U.S. Embassy at 8:30 this morning to apply for her Visa.  We were early.  We went through the line and turned in our paperwork.  We were told that we had to wait for 2 background checks to come back.  Sometimes they come back right away and sometimes it takes over night.  We decided to wait a little while and see what happened.  The lady at the counter finally told us that since it hadn't come back yet, that we should go ahead and leave because it will more than likely be over night. She said they would call us.  So, it was off to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office to get our Exit Permits.  We got there around 9:30 or 10:00 and finally had our Exit Permits in hand at about 3:30.  It was a long day of waiting around and we still don't have Abigail's Visa.  We're praying for a phone call in the morning to let us know it's done. On the positive side, Abigail did very well given the circumstances.  She was happy and didn't really fuss at all for the whole day. But, she crashed pretty early and is already sleeping.  Our freinds, the Finleys, got all their paperwork done yesterday and are currently at the airport on their way home.  They got done a day early and were able to push their flight up a day.  We had hoped for the same thing, but without having Abigail's Visa in hand, we're thinking it isn't a good idea to change our flights.  It would really be bad if we pushed it up and then for some reason we didn't get the Visa tomorrow.  We have had enough things go wrong that we don't need to add that to the list.  After the day we've had, we're all pretty tired, so it's time for some ice cream to end the day on a positive note.

October 30

Today has been another good day! We got around this morning and went to the medical office.  We were there about 10 minutes and they gave us the sealed envelope that contained her report.  Then away we went! Since we didn't have anything to do we decided to go to the Zoo.  :) It was a good choice.  We walked around and saw lots of animals.  It was a lot of fun and Abigail liked it also!!! Until she fell asleep ;) A short nap and some snacks on the car ride back to the hotel and she is full of smiles and orneriness this afternoon! It feels like she is saying so much more in just the few days we have had her! Today she is pretty clearly calling Eric "Papa" :) 

It is so hard to go from having all older children back to having a toddler ;) We had forgotten how busy they are and how much attention they require! However, it is worth every bit! All six years of waiting for this is worth it when she looks at us and smiles, or runs up to us and wraps her arms around our neck, and even when she gets that ornery grin on her face and shakes her head no! It is everything we had hoped for! 

October 29

It has been a fairly quiet day around here.  We finished getting things put together for our Embassy appointment and Exit Permit this morning.  We have taken a couple walks through the mall and played in our room.  Little Abigail is really a character.  She love playing peek-a-boo, packing and unpacking the suit case, folding the blanket, and getting into everything she can possibly find.  She loves to play and smile and laugh.  She has stolen our hearts and steals them again every time she randomly looks at us a smiles or laughs when we look at her.  She holds our hand when we walk around and comes to us to get picked up when we hold out our arms.  She doesn't really like to be laid down to sleep, she likes to be held.  She likes being near us.  But, when she's done... she's done.  She has her own opinion and doesn't mind letting us know when she doesn't want something.   She isn't a brat about it, she just shakes her hands and sometimes shakes her head "no."  We wanted to go see some sights around Delhi while we were in between appointments.  We thought about going to the Taj Mahal, even though it's 3 hours away, but decided against it.  We thought we might like  to get out of the hotel and see some of the things from the area where our little girl is from.  We wanted to take in her culture.  We wanted to know where she came from and how her part of the world operates.   But that isn't what has happened.  What happened was us staying in and around our hotel and getting to know this sweet girl.  It has allowed us time to laugh with her and play, to snuggle and at times cry.   Spending time with her and nobody else has been great on so many levels! We are learning the things she likes to do... and not do.  It has been a great blessing to get to know her these past few days.   We are truly blessed to get this time with her!!  Here are a few pictures from the last few days...

October 28

Greetings from Dehli! 

After a long night we had a pretty slow moving morning.  Luckily there wasn't really anything we needed to do! :) So the day was spent relaxing at the hotel and preparing paperwork for our embassy appointment and exit permits.  We did venture out to get Visa pictures printed....and as always it was an adventure! After getting directed to 4 different places, we finally found ourselves in a little hallway where they print stuff and make copies. 

It is very intimidating to take Abigail out in public.  The looks we get, especially if she starts fussing, make it quite uncomfortable.  So after about an hour of trying to get them printed we finally were able to head back to the hotel for dinner.

Abigail is proving to be quite the curious little thing! She gets into EVERYTHING :) Today she spent a good 30 minutes packing and unpacking my bathroom bag :) When we get together with our friends her and their daughter sit and jabber at each other in their own language.  It is the cutest thing! They definitely love being together!

So far one of our biggest obstacles has been finding things that she will actually eat.  We are learning what her moods and attitudes are as the day goes on and what makes her tick.  It's been a learning adventure and she definitely has an ornery side... she is quite the character.

Well she is sleeping so we better follow suit.  Have a great Sunday!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

October 27

Today has been another small victory.  The only thing that we were required to do was take Abigail to a medical exam for her Visa.  It was relatively painless.  They even took some blood from her, she's so tough... she only cried for a minute or two and then was back to smiling.  After we got back to our hotel, she was looking a bit tired... and I was feeling a little tired.  So, it was a daddy/daughter nap. :)  There is just something about a baby sleeping on your chest to make all things well with the world.  All in all, little Abigail is doing very well.  She lets us feed her, although she doesn't eat much.  She comes to us when we hold our arms out and she looks for comfort from us when she's tired.  Sometimes she comes to me, sometimes she comes to Kim.  But when she's tired and wants held, she comes to us.  Big victories!  Her friend, little Miss Finley, is also doing well.  They hadn't seen each other today until lunch because our medical appointments didn't line up.  But we had lunch together and those two girls chattered with each other for a good 10 minutes.  It was the most Abigail had spoken this whole week.  It was pretty cool to see and they had fun together.  Our hotel is attached to a mall so we walked around looking for shoes for the girls.  We're pretty sure that neither of them have ever had shoes on before.  It was pretty funny to watch them look at their feet and try to walk in shoes.  I'm pretty sure the salesmen thought we were all crazy for laughing at them so much, but who cares... it was funny.  I think the girls are on sensory overload.  After lunch a walk through the mall, they were ready for another nap.  Kim and I worked on getting documents in order for our next couple steps: Embassy appointment and Exit permit.  We had a small dinner and got to talk to our kids at home.  That was good, but it sure made us miss them.  It seems like we've been gone for so long and we are ready to be home.  But, we are only half way there.   We did have a pretty good day, but tonight was a little tougher.  Abigail hit a point where she wanted nothing to do with us and stood by the door to the hotel room until she finally just laid down and went to sleep on the floor.  She looked so sad and it broke our heart but it is totally understandable.   We can't imagine what is going through her little mind as she is now in a world where everything is new.

Even with all the struggles over the last week we are currently on track to begin the journey home on the originally scheduled day, which is Nov. 3rd.  Tomorrow we have nothing scheduled.  I think the plan is to try and sleep in then check out some sights around Delhi.  We'd like to go to the Taj Mahal, but not sure if we're up to the three and a half hour drive it would take to get there. I guess we'll see what time we get out of bed and how we're feeling in the morning.  But for now, it's time for bed.  Have a great Saturday and thanks again for your continued support and prayers!

October 25-26

This has been a trying process, but after being at the passport office for over 10 hours over the course of 2 days, we have Abigail's Passport!!  Yesterday started out with us having a plan.  The problem is that that plan was centered around assurances of other people.  We went to the Regional Passport Office at 12:30 to start the process of getting Abigail's passport.  We sat there and watched a few people bustle about in a couple different offices.  There was nothing we could do except watch... and spend time with Abigail. :)  As the day went on, the offices started clearing out.  We even sat in one waiting room while they turned the lights off which caused us to move to another location.  At about 7:00 or so, it was decided that we (they) had all the paperwork in order and we could call it a day.  However, the person who is in charge of finalizing the passports went home at 4:00 when the offices technically closed.  We had a stressful search for paperwork under flashlights in the street in front of the passport office.  Then had to write out a list of documents, sign, and prepare to part ways.  We had finally been given permission to take custody of Abigail and were trying to get her back to the hotel.  It was not a pleasant evening when we finally got to leave with girls, and they obviously were missing the people who they were comfortable with.  The girls whaled for almost an hour as we worked our way through traffic to our hotel.  They were so exhausted! It was one of the most unpleasant things I have been a part off.   Abigail got a bath when got to our room, which she seemed to enjoy.  Then it was a little comfort and laid down in bed and I'm sure she was asleep when her head hit the mattress.  Aside from wiggling most the night, she slept all night and we had to wake her up in the morning.  Why wake her up?  Because we had to go back to the passport office for a "5-10 minute" meeting with the Passport Officer.  3 hours later we are sweating bullets thinking we were going to miss yet another flight.  So, we finally got our girl's passport and sped off to the hotel to check out and run, literally, to the airport.  The hotel's airport person took us under ropes, through closed gates, through security, and on a bus that was waiting for us at the door to take us to the plane.  The gate attendant said they only waited for us "because of the baby."  Well, we are doing all of this "because of the baby," so his comment was fitting.  Anywho, we finally got on the plane and took off heading to Delhi.  Abigail didn't care to have the seat belt on... we're pretty sure she has never had any sort of restraint on her so the seat belt was not a big hit.  Other than that, she did pretty good on the flight for the most part.  Although, the long flights home may be another story.  Either way, it is quite a relief it was to have the passport process behind us.  Now, we are washing hair and trying to get ride of lice.  Awesome!!  Abigail seemed to like the head massage. :)  We are certainly hoping that is done. Tomorrow is our Visa medical appointment.  After that, we get to catch our breath for the rest of the weekend.  For now, we have a clean, beautiful sleeping baby and it's time to join her.  Thank you all again for your continued prayers!! 

October 24

Today was relaxing.  It is a holiday and that is why we had to wait until tomorrow for our Passport appointment.  We spent the day as tourists.  We had a slow morning and breakfast.  Then we climbed in a rickshaw to find some baby formula... the kind our Abigail is used to.  The driver said he could take us to some tourist spots.  We were feeling adventurous, so why not?  After finding the formula, we went to the Bangalore Palace.  It was pretty cool.  We went on a 45 minuted self guided audio tour and took lots of pictures.  After that we drove by the Parliament and High Courts buildings. Then it was off to the market for a little shopping.  After all that, it was time to rest for a bit before dinner.  The restaurant at our hotel doesn't open until 7:00, so that gave us some time to just lay down and rest.  We had dinner with our friends, the Finleys, like most everything we do.  It is still great to have another family to navigate this adventure with.  All in all, it was a quiet restful day and we are prepared to tackle whatever may come tomorrow.  The plan is to check out of our hotel, go to the passport office, get our girls and paperwork, go to a hotel right next to the airport, and be ready to fly to New Delhi on Friday.  We'll see if everyone's promises hold true.  Thank you all for your continued prayers!!

October 22 - 23

Well... I think it is safe to say things have been an adventure these past 2 days.  Yesterday (Monday), we got to meet Abigail and that was fantastic.  It took her a little bit to warm up, before long she was letting Kim and I hold her and play with her.  We got a few great pictures and she even laughed... it was a great time.  Then we left with the orphanage manager and went to talk with her doctor.  It was during this meeting that we learned that her passport was not as far along as it should have been.  We were told that they would pick up the needed paperwork on Tuesday (today) and request a passport appointment for Wednesday.  Then we would have to wait 10-12 days for the passport to come back.  This is when we asked for prayers.  I know we didn't give much information yesterday when we asked for prayer, but we knew we didn't need to... God is listening and He knows what we need before we ask for it.

We got word from many of you who lifted us up in prayer and we cannot thank you all enough for that!!  Kim and I were completely out of energy by the time we got back to our hotel last night after a couple other meetings.  We couldn't think.  We had plane tickets and hotel reservations that looked like they were going out the window.  We had no idea how long we might stay in Belgaum.  We called our agent in the states and her contact person in India. We told them what was going on and we were at a loss on what to do about it.  Our adoption agent made some phone calls.  She was going to call CARA and The Ministry: both of which have big parts to play in the adoption process.

When we got to the orphanage this morning, the manager was on one phone call after another.  Before the day was over, we had met with the advocate for Child Protective Services, the director from Child Protective Services, a handful of Trustees from the orphanage, and a representative from The Ministry.  It seemed like people kept showing up and they kept getting more important as the day went on.  When the dust settled, and I think the manger of the orphanage was sweating bullets the whole time, we had answers... good answers.  

We still could not take Abigail until the passport paperwork is in order, however, we were assured by The Ministry, and down the chain, that the manger would take our girl to the passport appointment that is set for Thursday (because there is holiday on Wednesday).  We will meet him at the Passport office for the appointment and we believe we will get to keep her after that.  Some strings have been pulled by the group we met with today, and the passport that was supposed to take 10-12 days, is now supposed to take 1-2 days.  We should have the passport that same day or the next.  Do you think God showed up in a big way today?  We do!!  We could still use continued prayer as we still have some unknowns in the next couple days.  For now, we are in Bangalore (where the passport office is) because we had plane tickets for today.  We were told by Child Protective Services that even though we have had these delays and problems from these past two days, we should still be able to go home on the day we planned: November 3rd.  What a blessing to think we won't need to stay in country for another week or two.  But, until we have the passport and can make our other appointments with the Embassy, we still have to stay flexible.  That's where the continued prayer support comes in.  

As another blessing, we have been traveling this road at the exact same pace and place as another family from Louisiana.  I has been another blessing being able to walk an talk through this whole thing with another couple.  Please remember to pray for them as they walk through this with us.  So, for now, Kim and I are exhausted.  We have tomorrow to rest and gather our whits... maybe do a little shopping in Bangalore.  Then we are prepared to meet with the manager at the Passport office on Thursday, and keep moving down the road to completion and bringing our sweet little girl home.  It has been hard not having her with us.  We were told we would have her from day 1, but some things didn't get done and we are left with quiet nights in the hotel without her.  But, we keep our eyes on the big picture and keep remembering her laugh.  Thank you all again for your prayers up to this point and for your continued prayers through the rest of it!!

October 22nd

Kirsten here...  Eric and Kim are having some Wi-Fi issues so I am briefly updating you until they can get on and clarify with details.

They got to meet Abigail today!  In Kim's words, "She is Amazing!"  I have seen glimpses of pictures of Eric and Kim with her and it looks like she warmed up quickly.

The day, however, has not been all fun and games.  Abigail's passport is not ready to go as it should be.  This puts a huge dent in plans and expectations.  

We need to be praying for her passport application to be expedited quickly.

Eric and Kim have not been able to take custody of Abigail yet, so they had to leave her at the orphanage.  I guarantee you this was difficult.  They are in the middle of their night right now and in need of some sleep.

They will get to visit Abigail on Tuesday morning.  

What to pray for:

*Passport application to go through in a timely manor

*Visits with Abigail


*God's protection on all 3 of them as well as the 3 kids at home

Speaking from experience.  Prayer Warriors are so important, especially during this time.  The language barrier leaves you in the dark and Satan is all about hopelessness.  Please stand in the gap for the Duncan Family at this time!  - Kirsten

October 21 - Belgaum, India

Good evening! (morning for you :)) We arrived in Belgaum last night! We are finally in the same town as her!   In fact according to Google to find the orphanage is only 7 minutes from our hotel! So close yet so far away!

Let me tell you jet lag is real! Falling asleep early and then waking up at 1:30 AM is really not much fun! We had breakfast at the hotel with our friends from Louisiana that we met up with in Bengalore.  Becky and Heath are adopting a little girl from the same orphanage. God has given us a great blessing in letting us walk through this with them.  It is a great comfort to have someone else dealing with the exact same things you are.  After breakfast we ventured out to the open air market! It was fun to walk the streets and see things.  I don't think they get many American tourists in this area.  And I am pretty sure they laughed at us more than once! After doing some shopping we decided to be adventurous and ride in a rickshaw back to the hotel instead of walking! It was a lot of fun!

As adventurous as the day has been it has also been hard... We are so close to her.  Waiting and wondering and thinking of all the unknowns has been hard.  Being the only Americans in the area leaves you feeling very much like an outsider and here we are going to walk in there tomorrow and walk out with a child... It feels a little wrong, even though we know that she is ours and that this is what God had planned for us long before we ever thought if it for ourselves.  We are so excited for what tomorrow holds!

Oct 19/20 - Frankfurt, Germany to Belgaum, India

As you can imagine, there were many Indian Nationals on this flight.  Kim stated that it is feeling more real the closer we get to our little girl and the amount of Indian people on this flight drives that point.  This process has taken so long it is hard to believe we are actually going.  To think we are taking this long journey to pick up a child that we have waited for so long to get is really quite surreal.  Many have used that word and it is the only one that seems to fit.  It just doesn't seem like this process has an end date.

We saw two small Indian children on this flight that were probably in the 1-2 year old range.  They were very cute, but not all that happy about being on the plane.  Kim and I wonder how Abigail will do on the flight home.  We also wonder what the Indian Nationals will think of us taking an Indian child on the plane as two white Americans.  Will they look on us as though we are taking one of there own?  Or will they have the same view that our new friend on the plane had?  He asked if we were going on vacation in India.  I hesitantly told him we were adopting a child.  I wasn't sure what he would say or think... then he started to tear up.  He doesn't understand how parents can just leave their children.  He was so happy we were giving her a loving home.  Will others on our trip home have that same view as 2 white Americans bring a crying Indian child on the plane?  Time will tell.

Oh, and breakfast and coffee at our hotel was awesome!

October 18th-19th  Traveling Days

Here is the view from the window preparing to leave Colorado.  When Duncan's land, they will be 11 1/2 hours ahead of us.  Please be praying for continued travel plans.  We hope to hear from them by Saturday morning.

October 16th

Eric and Kim are packing and waiting to begin their travel to India this Thursday morning.  This is the place to come to get their updates, prayer requests and pictures!  Thank you in advance for your support, prayers and encouragement as they complete this final leg of their adoption of Abigail.