Monday, January 20, 2014

Meeting Ivelina Day One

Well, it has been an exciting day here in Bulgaria. We left Sofia at around 7:30 and drove to our hotel in Shumen.  It was almost 5.5 hours of driving on the road to Varna, but we enjoyed talking with our translator.  She is cheerful and funny.  Also, Bulgaria has the most dramatic changing landscapes.  It seemed like every few miles we were in a totally different looking region.

We arrive at her orphanage at around 2:00pm.  She had been in school until 1:00 pm and then had lunch before we arrived. We did not get to see much of the facility, and I don't know if they will allow us to tour any other part this week.  They took us straight to the special play room where all her photos have been taken before.  It looked familiar to us. 

I know the thing everyone wants to see is photos of all three of us together, but they would only allow us to take photos if we promised not to post them online.  Sorry...but trust me, we got some good ones!

A worker brought Ivelina into the room.  She ran into immediately looking for a certain doll that she loves.  Once she found it, she was super focused on the doll and really didn't notice us at first.She likes to take care of the doll and play "doctor" with it.

We were only there for 2.5 hours, but eventually she warmed up to us quite a bit, especially Jeremy!  She was sad when we had to leave, but she is excited that we are bringing her book bag back tomorrow and it will have toys in it. She walked us outside the orphanage and blew kisses at us as we got in the car. 

We are very lucky that our hotel, The Contessa, is located right next door to a very nice toy store.  We went there this evening and bought her a doctor kit and a baby with a bathtub kit.  Our translator thinks the doctor kit is going to be a home run!  We are taking it to her in her book bag tomorrow. 

It was so pretty and warm here today.  If it is like this tomorrow, we will be able to play outside on the small playground they have.  We will be there from 9:30am until the kids have lunch.  Then we will leave for lunch and come back for a couple more hours in the afternoon. Ivie is staying out of school tomorrow so that she can spend extra time with us. Yay!

Ivelina is neither shy nor quiet nor calm.  Some funny things she/did said today:
  • She is glad I have all my teeth.  lol
  • When I was standing in her way:  "Make room for me!" Then, to a worker, "Why is her butt here?"  Apparently, my butt was in her way!
  • She kept rubbing the gel that was in Jeremy's hair.
  • She would bite a goldfish cracker in half and give me a tiny crumb and Jeremy a tiny crumb.  That's her way of sharing I guess.
  • She did a Bulgarian dance for that she performed with her school group. She was so proud and it was adorable. We may have a little dancer on our hands.
  • For everything we gave her, she was very concerned that "Kenna" not get it. Apparently this is an older girl who is aggressive and Ivelina does not like her at all!  But, she does have a friend here whom she said she would share with, "Nessa."
One great thing:  I didn't cry today! I think the fact that Ivie ran into the room with such a burst of energy helped. She kinda surprised me and it was hard to have time to get emotional.  I am still anxious about the end-of-week goodbye though.  She was upset when we left her today after just a couple of hours, so I know the end of this week will be hard on us all. 

Tomorrow will include a much longer time with Ivie.  We are very tired and heading to bed now.  Stay tuned for more updates!


  1. So happy for you! Great first day and it sounds like you have a fantastic interpreter!

  2. Yeah for a great first day. Keep the good news coming.

    Why didn't you fly into Varna? It's so much faster. This is what we did to get closer to our daughter's home town, 30 minutes or so north of Varna.

  3. I'm so happy for you! You don't know me but I have been looking at your blog for about a month now. I'm praying for Bulgarian Adoptions so I wanted to find some people to follow and pray for. I was so excited to see that you met your girl today! We serve as "m's" in Bosnia and are familiar with similar culture to Bulgaria. Blessings!

  4. Yay! Shelly, this is an awesome post! I am so happy for you and Jeremy! You met your daughter! That's so amazing! Prayers for a great day tomorrow! I'm betting the doctor kit goes over well.

  5. Thanks for the updates. What an answered prayer that you didn't cry today!!!


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