Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another Day in Bulgaria

 Yesterday was a productive day, though it did not feel like it.  We took all of 10 minutes to go and apply for Natalie's passport... and we got diapers.  I had mentioned to our driver (part of our in-country team) that I had had a hard time finding size 2 diapers and so he went and got them for us while we were inside the police station taking care of passport stuff.
We came back to our hotel room to feed Natalie lunch and get her to nap.  She drank about 3 ounces of the milk drink I have been mixing and a few bites of pureed fruit.  She didn't fall asleep until late and I had to open the blinds and stir her a few times to get her up so she wouldn't be up all night.
It was around 3pm or so that we headed out for a nice long walk with Shelley and Colleen.  Colleen is another Mom here on her pick-up trip and Shelley is here travel buddy to help Colleen with her two newly adopted children Milena and Elijah.
 Down the street behind me is where the police station is.
 These trams go all over the city.  My Mom wants to ride one sometime during our trip.  We can hop on and take one for a few miles and then have it loop around back to our hotel for 1 leva which is equivalent to about $.60.  Sounds like a cheap tour of the city. :)
 Went back to the farmer's market and it was not quite as crowded as it was midday on the weekend.  It was an easy stroll.  My Mom could not believe how tall the green onions grow to be over here.  She is standing next to some.
 Shelley pushed Milena, Colleen pushed Elijah, and I pushed Natalie.  Natalie was still content to be out at this point.

 Right about here is when Natalie began to cry.  I took her out of her stroller and held her, but soon she was screaming.  It didn't take her long before she was crying at the top of her lungs.  Nothing I did could console her.  She. was. done.  Can you say overstimulation?
 We started walking back to the hotel but it was at least a 1/2 mile.  We passed this beautiful bakery chock full of goodies and my Mom got this picture.
 As soon as we got back to our room and I plopped Natalie down on the bed, she stopped crying.  She was happy to be back in her familiar place.  I let her unwind for an hour and we skyped with the kids back home.  The little boys were happy to see her, but Nolan was the one who asked about her at least a dozen times.  It was very cute.
 We ate dinner down in the hotel restaurant.  After trying 3-4 different shopka salads, I think they make the best.  I also had a lemon cream chicken soup.  You can see it in the picture below.
 My Mom ordered a Caesar salad that came with a delicious yogurt dressing.  She also ordered a cold, yogurt, and cucumber soup.

 At first Natalie would hardly eat when we were in the restaurant.  I brought food back to our room where she relaxed enough to eat.  The hotel staff purees whatever I ask and so she has enjoyed peaches with kiwi, with creamy rice, and with scrambled eggs.  I mix in rice cereal, and I just started adding hard biscuits that resemble graham crackers.  I crumble them and add milk so they get soggy.  Over the last few days she has gotten better at eating in the restaurant.   Thankfully, she is consuming more too.
Slowly but surely she is getting used to her new life.
 For dessert, we shared a cherry pie.  I think they mean blueberries, and it would be better suited to be called a cheesecake-- but what's in a name anyway. ;)
It was very good, but doesn't top the chocolate soufflé we had the night before.
It feels kind of like Groundhog Day around here.  Our pace of life is very slow, but it is exactly the pace that Natalie needs to transition into our family-- and life outside the orphanage walls. 
She took her second bath, and cried a little less.
I brushed her teeth for the 3rd time last night and her gums hardly bled.
Her hands are healing from her chewing on them.
She can make eye contact with me for longer than 15 seconds.
She seemed genuinely interested in a short video of babies laughing.
She is drinking juice now!
Thank you Lord for blessings big and small.
This journey has been one of many ups and downs.
The moments of doubt that I have had here.. the moments when I feel discouraged...
I am strengthened by our Heavenly Father.
He is continually faithful.
And patient with me.
I'm praising Him in this moment.


  1. Thank you for the update !
    I follow Collen 's blog. I am glad to see she is not alone.

    You are courageous mums !

  2. My goodness....how lovely...peaceful days together that help you and Natalie bond.

    It appears that the weather is perfect.

    I wish I could have an hour or two in that "Ladies' Bazaar".

    The food....oh, heavens! It all looks so amazing. I loved the food in Russia so much, even in our little hotel... perhaps it is the fresh ingredients. Somehow the soups and salads are just sooooo much better than we get here.

  3. I'm sure she's very confused about the changes in her life. It's good that you have the time together to let her get used to you before she meets all of her siblings.

  4. I really love you already updated your profile and the photos of your kids putting Natalie there! :D

  5. I just love you already updated your profile and the band side of your kids, putting Natalie there! :D

  6. I cried when I noticed her picture on the side with all your other children just now!

  7. So happy to see you with Natty! Im sorry but i can't remember if you said she was older than Oliver or not?

  8. OOOP there we go!! Natalie's picture has joined the bunch!! She's exactly where she belongs!! :) Congrats Christine, she's such a cutie!

  9. Praying for Natalie's continued adjustment and bonding. So hard to want to show them everything and yet know it's too much!
    Great photos. Glad you have friends with you to share this journey.

  10. Not to be a downer in any way, but I was wondering what exactly Natalie's medical condition is, I feel like you have addressed this at one point perhaps wayyyyy in the beginning when you first were considering adopting her.


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