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!