Friday, February 26, 2010

Bittersweet

Today was my last day with sweet Lily. Our time today was bittersweet. Today was the birthday of a little boy in her group and there was going to be a party to celebrate. She didn't want to miss it and so she came to me this morning crying. She cried for most of our visit (she thought she was missing the party), but the sweet part of our time together was that she came to me and allowed me to hold and comfort her while she cried. Generally I do not like to see my children sad or hurting and Lily is no exception, BUT it was wonderful to be the person she came to for love and comfort. I held her, rocked her and rubbed her back while she cried and, despite her unhappiness, it was a wonderful bonding moment for both of us.

Fortunately, Lily did NOT miss the party! When it was time, her caregiver came and invited us all to join them for the festivities. They sang to the birthday boy, gave him hugs, kisses and some small gifts and then enjoyed sweets from the bakery, music, dancing and even sparklers. The smiles and excitement radiating from these kids was infectious and I had such a wonderful time playing, dancing and laughing with them. How wonderful to see that these children are loved and celebrated on their birthdays (that is not the case in SO many orphanages). And how wonderful to know that, when Lily turns 7 in a few weeks, that she will be celebrated as well (in her current home at the orphanage AND across the ocean in her new home)!

Once the party was over it was time for us to go. I hugged and kissed Lily goodbye and left her with her bear and photo album until I return to bring her home. It was hard to walk away and leave her there, but knowing that she is in a good orphanage where she is well loved and cared for made it easier (while I will miss her everyday at least I will not have to worry as much about her). I can't wait to get started on the next step to bringing her home.

We started on the road to Sofia as soon as we left the orphanage. Bulgaria really is an incredibly beautiful place and I was like a little kid with my nose pressed against the window trying to take everything in as we drove back to the city. We stopped at the half-way point to get something to drink and to put air in the tires. While we were at the gas station we were accosted by Gypsies (Roma) who wanted to tell us our fortunes. It was very interesting and, while Marty was being informed of all that his future would hold, I took the opportunity to ask Toni a little more about the Roma culture (I will share more about that in a later post).

We arrived in Sofia this afternoon and I am now settled in my hotel. The hotel is wonderful and the food, of course, is amazing (you were right Kelly, the chicken soup with lemon was FABULOUS!). Sofia is a fascinating city and I am looking forward to getting out and exploring this weekend. The following pictures were taken from my hotel balcony. The mountains surrounding the city are amazing. I wish I could get a better picture of them, but my camera just cannot do them justice!

Flat Stanislav offers his greetings from Sofia!

8 comments:

Cynthia Rieben said...

I am glad that your week with her was a very positive start in so many ways. I'm glad that you could observe her and get to know some of her traits. She sounds like a fun little person. You may know that the Roma are a significant minority population in the Czech Republic. Their culture is very dissimilar to the Western-oriented European culture of the Czech Republic. However, every now and then a Roma overcomes cultural barriers and prejudice to really shine -- I think a recent "Czech Idol" top performer was a Roma young man. Grandma DD

Jill said...

What beautiful pictures! I am excited to see pictures of your next little lady! :)

Michelle said...

i know that an orphanage is still an orphanage no matter what, but seriously, i have NEVER heard of such a good orphanage. i've been reading & following adoption blogs for years, and not once have i heard of so many wonderful things being done.

i've read blogs where kids come home & don't even know when their birthday is. some kids didn't know what a birthday was AT ALL.

it's only natural to be concerned about Lily while you're gone, but i hope you'll be able to rest assured that she's getting the next-best-thing to be home - a place she is loved & has all of her needs met.

Tiana said...

All I have to say is you are such an amazing woman. No other words can describe it. Amazing!

Shelley said...

OH, I LOVED that chicken soup!Yummy!

I'm glad that Lily is in a place where she is loved and cared for. It does make it easier, I agree. Kullen's institution also celebrates the children's birthdays. I'm glad to know that at least some of the places are making an effort to recognize the chidren's birthdays and holidays.

Enjoy your weekend in Sofia!

Wife to the Rockstar said...

Oh wow! How exciting. I am new here.... looks like you are off in some far away land adopting. I wish I was!

Marc, Julia, and Cole said...

I'll be so happy when she's finally able to go home with you!!

ABIGAIL said...

These are beautiful pictures! My name is Abigail Pogrebin; I'm an identical twin and former 60 Minutes producer who just published a book about twins called "One and the Same." I think any parent of twins or multiples will find much to chew on and maybe some guidance as to how to dodge pitfalls of doubleness. I'd love to speak to you about the possibility of a book review and/or author Q&A. My email is apogrebin@gmail.com, website:www.abigailpogrebin.com.