Today was gladly uneventful. We did our best to sleep in but that plan was foiled when I forgot to turn off my ringer and my phone received a number of messages from a family group text. I woke up at 0400 and talked to Valerie and checked email for a while before Maren got up at 0500. We putzed around the room a bit and got ready for the day and at 0600 we went back to bed for two hours. At 0800 Maren told me it was time to get up so we got rolling for the day. We had the traditional breakfast at da ‘Pest and met another family from Texas who had picked up their son and was waiting to go home. After breakfast we were planning to talk to the park and people watch before church but we quickly discovered that Maren’s jacket was not going to be warm enough to get her through the cold days here so we went to the Market and she bought herself a jacket for 55 lev. Once we did that we had burned up our free time so I ordered a cab using Taxi.Me and a few minutes later we were headed to church.
Unbeknownst to us, it was branch conference (I think) today so the meeting was two hours long – a bit longer than Maren could handle given the jet lag but she was a trooper. After the meeting I said hi to the American missionaries and got their number so we could get together next weekend for dinner. After church we took another taxi back to the hotel where our professional driver and all-around awesome guy Marti picked us up and drove us out to Toni Vladamirova’s house where we spent several hours chatting with Toni about adoption, our children and the plans for the next two weeks. Toni has become a member of our family over the years and we are eternally grateful to her for her hard work and dedication to the children of Bulgaria whom she has helped serve throughout the years – she said she’s placed maybe 250 children over the years – quite an impact for one woman and a supporting cast of wonderful family members. I could not imagine working with any other agency in Bulgaria and I’m glad that fate brought us together years ago.
Marti drove us back to the ‘Pest and we cashed out our bill from the ‘Pest which was 70 Euro/137 Lev a night then ran a few errands to Billa and a drugstore to pick up some medicine and other odds and ends for the upcoming trips as well as presents for home. We ran across another family from Virginia who is picking up a child tomorrow and talked with them a bit about the clinic experience and their history of adoption as well as ours. While we were out, we also picked up some hot chocolate mix and got some steamed milk from the hotel bar, so during our nightly journal time we’re enjoying a chocolaty treat.
The game plan for tonight is to stay up until at least 2100 and then get up at 0600 to hopefully get over jet lag. Our facilitator, Maria is due to pick us up at the ‘Pest at 0800 and we will drive directly to Panagyurishte and meet with the girls by lunchtime before heading to the hotel. I am beyond excited about the visit as I was able to get more details from Toni’s mother about their visit when the girls advised that they did in fact want to be adopted by us. I will take lots of photos and some video during the visit – look for updates tomorrow afternoon… g’night y’all.
Note to self, need to bring a multi-tool on the pickup trip. Stupid plastic packaging.