Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day Four - Out of the Orphanage

I can't believe I skipped yesterday's post! I heard once that if you miss writing in your journal, it's because you are too busy having fun to stop and write. I think that's true for me. Being with this little munchkin is totally captivating.
So yesterday - Day Three out of the orphanage. We walked through the capital city, much like we did the day before, only I took a different street once we walked to down town. We came to something I've only ever seen on tv - that is a public water park. Not the kind we Americans think of, with slides and rapids and inner tubes. This is a place where the locals bring their big water jugs, and in open faucets they fill up their containers for their daily water. There are tile sinks with spigots just every few feet - maybe 20 of them and people were lined up at each one waiting their turn. How many times at home do we automatically turn on the faucet and get hot and cold running water - drinkable water, and not even think about it. We are so blessed, and we don't even realize it - in so many ways.
Every morning there are people wearing yellow vests sweeping the sidewalks and streets. Hand sweeping, kids, like you sweep the kitchen floor after dinner. Same kind of broom. Sweeping - every morning. Many of these sweepers are older people - like Grandma and Grandpa's age. One toothless old lady came up to me to look at my watch to see what time it was. I was guessing she was hot and tired and was wanting to go home.
We concluded the morning back at the same park near the government buildings. Maria demonstrated learning another sign. Dog. She patted her leg and said "woof". So now she knows eat, drink, water, mama, more, out, shoes, and she says "Mama" and "more" in addition to signing them! She also points at the hotel door and tells me "Chow" when she wants to leave.
That's something else that's interesting. They say "Chow' which is Italian for goodbye, and "merci" for thank you, which is French. And when they answer the phone they say, "Hallo" (almost English LOL) and they said Dobre - which means "OK" but they also say, "OK"
Maria still is having a love affair with her stroller. She has now learned how to strap herself in and does it over and over. And always with her shoes on, even if she's in her pajamas...like maybe that Mama person will take me outside if I have my shoes and I'm strapped into the stroller.
Each night I continue to try to get her to take a bath, but she still only stands in the tub, hanging onto the wall. And locks her knees if I try to sit her down. She won't have anything to do with sitting in water. I figure when we get home a time or two in the tub with a sister and she'll trust that it's an ok thing to do.
She's using the toilet! She walks to the bathroom door, pulls down her pants and sticks her hand out to me. She can't get up onto the toilet, and if I didn't hold on, she'd fall in, a situation she's very aware of and hangs on to the point of leaving marks on me, but we're having very few accidents during the day.
This morning, Day Four out of the orphanage, after Skyping with the kids at home we went down to the resturant for breakfast. Tammy and her family were there also at shortly after seven because this was the day for the Doctor visit and Embassy interview.
Our facilitators drove us to the appointments. I wasn't prepared for this medical exam. The first stop was a shock because the doctor only looked in her ears and we were done....literally - done with that doctor. Then we went to a different floor and the next doctor only looked at her eyes....literally - no ophthalmascope - no split lamp exam. The doctor bent over, looked at her eyes and said, "Thank you"...done with the Ophthalmologist. Then the pediatrician was the next stop. This one did paperwork and listened to her heart, pressed on her abdomen and was done! $64, please. Ok, glad I have the best pediatrician on the planet at home! I guess she's fit to travel and enter the US!
Next stop was the United States Embassy. I have to say, that there's somethig about seeing the words THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY and see the beautiful red white and blue flag flying that brings tears to my eyes. It made me proud and homesick at the same time. Tammy's husband kissed the grass on the inside of the gate - much to the startle of the senty! He poked his head out of the guardhouse when he heard us all laughing and saw Mark on his hands and knees kissing the ground. He probably thought we were some American hooligans!
We went through a security post like at the airport, only difference is they let me keep my water bottle, but they made me take a drink out of it before they'd let me take it in with us. I guess they wanted to see if I would blow myself up.
The Embassy interview really wasn't an interview. The consular just told me what to do with the documents when I go through immigration with Maria. Done, "Have a nice flight." Wow - that was easy.
So, by 1:30 we were back at the hotel. Now there is nothing official to do until tomorrow evening when we meet Toni for dinner and she gives us the passports and documents from the Embassy.
Then Saturday we fly home! It will be nice to get home to the other kids and introduce them in person to their sister. And the urgency is now greater to start the second stage documents so I can come back and get Kolina. It will be hard flying out of here without her. The sooner I get those papers done, the sooner I'll be back to bring her home.


Mary said...

Thanks for the update. The bathing thing sounds JUST like Marty...he STILL does not want to sit down and holds to the walls. It must be the way they bathe them there. Hope you can get some pics uploaded. Love Mary

eliz said...

Linda I have not had access to a computer for a while, as we are traveling. So just catching up here. WOW!! Your Maria is so so precious! What a wonderful gift from God! Thank You for sharing!

Mary said...

Linda, Thinking of you right now, as you are a couple of hours away from waking up to leave Bulgaria. thank you for letting us come along. Your Maria and my Marty being "sibs" from the same orphanage will have a life long connection. I will be praying for your return flights all night, when I am up with Marty! LOL Can't wait to hear all about it.
Love ya, sista

Susanna said...

Linda, I am praying for you as you will soon be on the plane traveling home, if you aren't already! I'm eager to hear how Maria does on the trip, and how she adjusts to life in her new family. Thank you so much for writing. It makes me miss the beautiful country of Bulgaria. Joe and I loved it there!

mspahr4805 said...

Luka was petrified when I put him in the tub the first time while we were still in Georgia and screamed because he was so terribly frightened. I don't think in his 3 1/2 years he had ever been introduced to a bathtub. It wasn't long before he was in the tub, in the pool and loving every minute of it. :)
So glad you are headed home (or are home by the time I post this). I know little Maria will be received with open arms from all the beautiful Duncan children and family. God bless you guys-Love you, Martha