We truly had high hopes for this summer and our adoption plans. In May when we received those finalized home studies, we felt so relieved, like a weight had been lifted off our shoulders. We felt like the bulk of our paperwork was behind us!
We knew our next step was to submit our fees and application to the National Benefits Center, and we expected this to be the summer of immigration. We applied in early June. It took about a week to get our letter of receipt. Yay, we thought! They're moving quickly. Our case worker even told us that NBC was moving quickly. Then it took two weeks to receive our fingerprint appointment, which was another two weeks out on July 9th. Well, we were successfully printed on the 9th, and now we continue to wait on that approval letter. NBC has slowed down their speed in granting these approval letters, so all we can do is wait and check the mail expectantly each day. When we receive it, it has to be appostilled in the capital. We have to mail ours off, so getting an appostille for us takes about a week or so. These little one and two and three week waits are adding up! First emotion: frustration and impatience. We really thought this whole NBC thing would be a done deal by now!
Now, we are approaching the end of July and the start of summer holiday in Bulgaria. Our case worker tells us that we will most likely get all of our NBC documents to Bulgaria while the government officials are off for holiday. We should expect no adoption news in the month of August. Our paperwork will be waiting for them when they return in September. Second emotion: disappointment at yet another month delay.
BUT, our case worker also tells us that the Minister of Justice should get right on our case as soon as they return to office in early September. I hate to even type this for fear that it might now come true, but .... "it is reasonable to expect our official match in early September, and it is reasonable to expect to travel in mid to late September. Third emotion: surprise, shock, excitement, disbelief, fear, worry.
WHAAA?? That's like two months away! Are you kidding me? We could need to travel in like 2-3 months!! We could meet Ivelina in September? This is all a BIG IF, but if paperwork and government stuff continues to progress at this same rate, that is our timeline. There are then 3 months between our two trips, which would put us traveling for our pick up trip in mid-to-late December.
It's funny. During this entire adoption process, we knew this was the goal: to have that little one home. But, y'all it's so long, and so stressful, and so complicated, and so expensive that when we're in the thick of it, we actually forgot that when this is all completed, we will have a little Bulgarian beauty running around our house. It's getting real now. I suddenly feel intense curiosity about her. We suddenly talk about her like every hour. EVERY conversation between me and Jeremy lately includes talk of Ivelina. I also suddenly feel intense worry. We have like $0 for plane tickets. We're just not to that point yet. How in the world will we be able to travel half way around the world in like two months? We will be in the middle of our fall semester at seminary at that time, and I also worry and wonder how missing a week or two of class is going to affect us.
All that being said, this is good. Yes, NBC is taking a bit longer than we thought, but God knows the perfect timing, and His timing is good. He sees ahead better than we can, and it is comforting to trust in His plan for us. It is good to finally be talking about travel, to finally give ourselves permission to imagine that first day meeting her. It's good to finally have a loose timeline to work with.
Other exciting Ivelina news: her bedroom furniture is on order thanks to my dad who wanted to provide that for us. The bed is beautiful and practical. My mom has finished the curtains and bedspread, and I just can't wait to see it all put together in her freshly painted bedroom. Don't worry, I will fill a post with photos once it is all set up!
Thanks for reading!