On December 17, 2012, we were traveling up a snowy, foggy mountain to a small Bulgarian orphanage where we would take our two new children by the hands and become a forever family of five. What a start to the journey! As we celebrated “Gotcha Day” yesterday, we had so much fun reminiscing about our week-long stay in Bulgaria with the kids. From flooding the kitchen with the washing machine, to cracking the glass door in the apartment, to eating at Pizza Roma several times that week; we have rich memories of our first week with the kids. We remember Grandma (aka Baba) Sue teaching them several songs and how quickly they began communicating and learning English. They were so obedient and excellent sleepers! We somehow managed to travel 26 hours home on what we call the longest day of our lives. We must have gone 3 days with no sleep leading up to the trip (due to the time change) and it began to show. Fani spent most of the trip home puking from a combination of air sickness and anxiety, while Pesho screamed for 6 of the 10 hours on the international flight. Grandma and Nadia slept in the back of the plane while we “handled” these situations. :)
I took 8 weeks off of work to stay home with the kids. They were very sweet and fairly easy children, initially. We definitely had a “honeymoon” period with them. Oh, those were the days! Well, all good things come to an end eventually, and our lives turned a bit chaotic, to put it mildly, and we often ran on survival mode for the majority of their waking hours. Much of this past year is a blur. Some days, it still feels like we aren’t making any progress. However, when we look back a year ago and where we started, we really have come a long way. Raising adopted children has been so much harder than we ever could have imagined or prepared for, but we don’t doubt that Fani and Pesho are supposed to be part of our family. Going from one child to three was half the battle and a huge adjustment. They are so close in age, it often feels like we are raising twins!
Pre-school has been really good for both of the kids. They are really coming along and catching up on all that they missed out on in their first two and three years. English is coming along so well that I have to ask them to stop talking sometimes! They are little chatterboxes! While we still have some challenges we are working through, they are very happy children, full of smiles and full of life. We speak to them often of Bulgaria and try to help them remember their roots. We still say “Obichum Te” and “Leka Nosht” every night (I love you and Good night). We’ve had a lot of support from family and friends over the past year and it means more than you know! Fani & Pesho have been immersed in love by a pool of extended family, church family, teachers, and friends. They truly are at home.