Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A wonderful kind of exhausted!

Today was absolutely exhausting. . . .a wonderful kind of exhausting. . .but exhausting nonetheless! Our day started a little earlier today because Toni's van has been having some trouble and needed to be seen by a mechanic. This van has carried her through many adoption trips, but it is nearing its end and has been having problems for quite some time. She is in the process of purchasing a new, more reliable van, but she is still waiting for the loan to be approved (our fingers are crossed for tomorrow) and so the old van is carrying us through this trip and it has been letting us know that it is not happy about that.

Marty (Toni's brother) dropped us off at the orphanage at 9 am this morning for our visit with Lily and then left to take the van to the mechanic. Unfortunately the van had not been repaired by the time our visit was over and so Toni and I sat on the porch of the orphanage and enjoyed each others company as well as the BEAUTIFUL weather. When it became apparent that the van would not be fixed prior to our next meeting with Lily, Toni's mom brought us some pizza and we sat on the porch of the orphanage enjoying our fine cuisine! As we sat on the porch we joked that we must look like orphanage guards and thought of requesting a days wages for filling the post all afternoon!

Toni (my attorney/facilitator) and I, enjoying pizza on the front porch of the orphanage!

We met with Lily again at 4 pm. Our visits today were wonderful! She is such a funny little girl and she keeps us laughing all the time. I having been bringing along a bag of cinnamon goldfish during each visit, but she has never been interested in eating them. Today she grabbed the bag, dumped them all out on the table and proceeded to feed them to ME (including the ones that fell on the floor. . .YUM)! Later she noticed that her lips were dry and were starting to bother her (she doesn't do much talking, but she was rubbing the dry skin on her lips over and over again). I grabbed my chapstick from my bag and put some on her lips. She immediately broke out into a HUGE grin, grabbed the chapstick and continued applying it to her lips, her cheeks and her fingernails and then walked up to the mirror and gave her reflection a big, approving smile! This girl LOVES her pretties! Speaking of fingernails, mine are now a lovely shade of green thanks to Lily, who "painted" them with a green marker this morning!

"Eat this cookie mama!"

"No really! EAT IT!!"

Lily playing with Toni's brother, Marty


Pretty girl!

I have had several requests to share more about Bulgaria itself. I promise that is on my "To do" list! Truthfully, I have spent most of my time at the orphanage in Stara Zagora, but we will be heading back to Sofia on Friday afternoon and will be there for the weekend, so hopefully I will have a chance to do some exploring and to take lots of good pictures. Until then, the following pictures were taken from the "top of the city" where the orphanage is located. I am fascinated by this scene every time we drive by it. According to the orphanage social worker, most of the people that live in this neighborhood are Roma (also commonly referred to as Gypsy).

It is really hard to capture just how incredible this looks with all of these houses going up the side of the hill, but I am always riveted on this when we drive up to the orphanage each day.

People enjoying the GORGEOUS day!

To the left of this picture was a school and the kids were out enjoying the day as well.

More houses on the hill. What you can't really see in the picture is that many of these are run down or abandoned.

I think Toni would have rather I not posted this picture, but I assured her that we ALL have our trash piles, no matter where we live! According to the social worker, the Roma people in the neighborhood come and dump the trash from their carts in this area. Whether or not that is true, I am not sure, but this is what we were told.

Flat Stanislav at the "top of the city!"


soontobemomof9 said...

LOL, That's all we get? :) I remember that feeling!

Valerie said...

Haha! Oops! I definitely hit the post button before there was any post!! It has now been remedied!!

soontobemomof9 said...

LOL... We have got to have Miss Lily grown into those gorgeous eyes! :)

Personally, I LOVE Bulgaria. It is a fascinating country and so beautiful!

Valerie said...

I love it too Kelly! It really is wonderful and I have so enjoyed my time here! I can't wait to get out and do more exploring this weekend!

Milena said...

Valerie, such an amazing little daughter you're getting! She's stunningly pretty, and from what you tell she seems to be really clever too! What a combination! You are truly blessed to become her parents! Congratulations!

- I'm blogging for Nadya; to help her find a family -

Charity Brown said...

Awwww! I love the smily chapstick picture!!!!

Barry, Donna, and Tam said...

I love it...the smile, eyes, and chapstick! So cute. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

Cynthia Rieben said...

Thank you for views of the city, Valerie. I chuckled aboaut the chapstick -- like Maren, another little girl who likes to have her lip gloss handy :-) Love, Grandma DD

Difference2This1 said...

We're a new RR family...loving following along with your trip and all the photos. How wonderful to see all the smiles from that sweet little one! Jennifer

Rachel said...

hi. one of our little girls who we adopted from disruption at age 6 1/2 was wearing size two when we picked her up. two years later she is wearing size 5 and has grown 9 inches and gained 10 lbs. if you would like to talk when you get home feel free to email me at

Stacey Kirchner said...

Absolutely LOVE the picture of her smiling! She must know what a lucky girl she is!

adoptedthree said...

She is a cutie!