Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Operation "Spring Alexis from the Orphanage" is complete

We hit the road for Stara Zagora yesterday at 6:30am. I'm not sure what time we arrived at the orphanage, but it was obviously late enough in the morning that Alexis was starting to worry that we might not make it :-) We were greeted at the door by one of the caregivers who animatedly explained to us how excited Alexis had been all morning that Mama was coming and that she was going to fly on an airplane.

We walked down the hall and the caregiver called to Alexis and told her that Mama was here. Almost immediately, my little Bulgarian firecracker rounded the corner, running as fast as her little legs could carry her, arms outstretched, yelling "Mamo! Mamo!" When we reached each other she jumped right into my arms and gave me the biggest hug and kiss I think I've ever received. What a reception! And yes, tears were shed!

While Alexis was changing her clothes, I shared pictures of Lily with the caretakers. It was the first time I had ever had the opportunity to return to one of my children's orphanages once they were home and it was wonderful to be able to share pictures and give an update on how well she is doing.

Once Alexis was ready to go we said our final goodbyes and climbed into the car. She did wonderfully on the drive back to Sofia. Once in Sofia we made a quick stop into the passport office to apply for her passport and then made our way back to the hotel.

Our first item of business was to call home. Alexis wanted two things. . .to know where her daddy was and to talk to Lily! The look on her face when she saw Lily staring back at her from the computer screen was priceless. She cannot wait to get home to see her sister and has spent a good part of the past two days talking about Lily. She is also VERY excited to see her daddy and asks me often where he is, what he is doing and when we will see him.

When we had completed our call home, we bundled up and braved the cold and snow to walk to the grocery store. Ever heard the phrase, "Like a kid in a candy store"? That was Alexis, quite literally, as we walked through the grocery store!

Alexis proudly displaying her bag of candy!

With our errands complete, we went back to the hotel where Alexis took her first bath, complete with bubble. She was in heaven. When she was done, we went downstairs and ordered a BIG pizza (at her request). We will be working on that pizza for the rest of the week :-) After dinner, Alexis asked to take another bath and, of course, I obliged. And as I watched her splashing around, laughing and playing in the water, I chuckled to myself thinking about how the water bill for the hotel must rise when post institutionalized children are in house!

Alexis and the BIG pizza! Seriously, this thing is as big as she is!

By 8:00, I FINALLY convinced her that it was time for bed. Both of us were exhausted, but Alexis wasn't quite ready to close her eyes and rest her head. It took about an hour and a half, but she finally conceded to sleep around 9:3o and, needless to say, so did I. I woke around 4 am to find myself teetering on the edge of the bed with a sweet little Bulgarian laying across the bed, her head resting against my back. To prevent myself from falling out of bed, I decided to move her back to the other side. . . .a decision I quickly regretted! Initially I thought that I had moved her successfully without waking her, but just as I was about to drift back to sleep, I heard a very wide-awake voice say, "Mamo?" And so began the 2 hour battle to get her back to sleep. Fortunately, she finally gave in to sleep again around 6 am and both of us were able to get a bit more rest.

Splish, splash she LOVED taking a bath!

Overall, it was a wonderful first day! She is adjusting well and so happy to finally be going home. I am grateful for this time that I have to spend with her one-on-one and I am excited to get her home and watch her blossom and grow in our family!

My Bulgarian bed hog :-)


fiona said...

Oh my goodness, she is just a beautiful little one! Look how happy she is! And, yeah, that's one big pizza... I'm so excited for you and your whole family -- honestly her grin is contagious, I can't NOT smile looking at her!

mommajeane said...

So happy to see her smiling face with you. She is beautiful.. prayers for a smooth transition.

Renae said...

She is beautiful! Love that long hair;)! Congratulations Valerie!

Heather said...

What a beautiful little girl who will make your family so happy. Congratulations!
(another LDS, soon-to-be Reece's Rainbow Momma. :))

MoonDog said...

I just realised something! all your babies are dark haired! and all mine are blondes/fair! funny how that worked out!!! I am so happy to see you finally have your girl with you! I bet her sisters are beside themselves waiting for her to come home!

CeAnne said...

CONGRATS! How fun! Anticipating that being us in a couple of months :) WHERE did you get the big pizza? You must share! I would LOVE a list of the good restaurants and other places around Sophia for when we go.

erinannie said...

She is so stinking cute! I can't stand it! Congrats Mamo on another beautiful kiddo!

Tiana said...

Love it! Love her and Love you!

Jill said...

SO glad she is finally with YOU! Can't wait to hear more about Alexis! (((HUGS)))

lookingforgeorge said...

LOL! That pizza is as big as she is! So happy for you, and for her, and for the rest of your family!

Amy said...

Love it!!!! Her day is MY kind of day too!