102 days worth of waiting to meet her
We awoke early. It was a gloomy, cool and rainy Monday morning. Anthony picked us up at 7 A.M. Both mom and I had nervous feelings and we didn’t eat much for breakfast. Anthony opened the van door and all I said to mom was, “There’s a car seat in the van.”
My heart skipped a beat and the butterflies took off in my belly.
It’s starting to feel real. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Is this really happening? Will I finally meet our daughter? I watched out the van windows as the city of Sofia went by and started to wake up. I’ll be honest, I was excited, but reserved. There has been so much hurt already on this journey that I felt the need to guard myself still.
We stopped at a gas station about an hour into our two to three hour trip. I checked in with Adam to let him know where we were at. He told me to tell our daughter that he loves her and that he’s sorry he couldn’t make the trip. We continued on our drive. Mom and I made small talk with Anthony. We asked about the country, the agency, what to expect when we arrive and what the schedule was for the day. Mom loved talking and learning about the country. I truly appreciated her ability to make the trip go by faster. I really had a wonderful time taking in the countryside. There are mountains, valleys, pines, maples, streams, and farm lakes. It felt a lot like driving “out west”.
When we arrived at the edge of the city, Anthony had to stop and set his GPS for the social worker’s office, because he couldn’t remember how to get to it for sure. While driving through the city I wasn’t sure which way to look or how much further we had to go.
We finally arrived, parked and got out to stretch our legs. Yep, we stretched them alright. The social workers office is located on the top floor of a three story building. As we walked into the building and walked up the steps, I made sure to take in every sight and sound.
I wanted to remember it all!
When we entered the social workers office we were met by more white walls and a full wall of windows letting the the morning light in. Then the Bulgarian started to fly around us. I was trying to figure out what they were saying, you know body language. Nope, didn’t catch anything. We were told that the foster mom and our daughter were on their way and should be there shortly. Really!
While we waited I took the time to ask the social worker as many questions as I could about our daughter. I asked if I could call Adam and I was able to get a hold of him through video chat. He was able to ask his questions as well. We found out that our daughter had just started walking about a month ago. Our 4 year old can walk! We also found out some of her past and what circumstances lead to her being placed in foster care.
Then it happened. Adam was still on video chat and we were both able to see our daughter walk into the social workers office! I was so happy that he could see that moment with me. I left on this trip thinking that I was going to have to explain that moment, but instead we shared it. She was wearing a pink winter jacket with roses along the bottom and a bright red winter hat. Her eyes were full of wonder and she was chatting away. They told her that I was mommy and she looked at me and smiled. “Am I still dreaming?” This moment was happening and Adam go to be apart of it. I didn’t know it, but he took our first family photo while we were video chatting. Before he signed off, our daughter blew him a kiss and his eyes were full of happy tears.
We both fell in love with our daughter all over again.
Then it was time to go. I followed our daughter and her foster mom down the many flights of stairs. Once we reached the bottom Anthony said, “You take her now. You are mom.” Just like that? Then I thought, “What if she screams?” I didn’t need to worry. She came to me and her foster mom was told to go. I had such mixed emotions in that moment. I felt bad for the foster mom. I felt nervous. I felt deliriously happy. Is this right?
We all got into the van. The social worker joined us as well. I held our daughter on my lap because, “The place we are going isn’t to far.” Seriously?!?!? I felt so unsafe holding her on my lap traveling through the city, but it wasn’t a long trip to the play place we went to. There was a variety of toys to play with and an area for parents to sit and enjoy a bite to eat or something to drink while their child played. While playing, she would look for me to help her with things she couldn’t do by herself. Her giggle was music to my ears. I was able to record it so Adam could hear it. We played for about two hours before they told me to come with our daughter and feed her some lunch. “What will I feed her?” I thought, because they told us she only ate pureed foods and there is only a piece of toasted bread with some ham and cheese on it. Needless to say, she only wanted to eat the crunchy crust and drink her milk out of her bottle. She twirled her fingers in my hair as she laid back on me while drinking her bottle…HEAVEN…or so I thought.
We left the play place shortly after eating and prepared for the drive to her foster mom’s house. Adam had not only written cards to my mom and I, but he also wrote some for our daughter that I was instructed to read to her each day. This trip was hard enough without him, plus reading the cards from him to me…now her cards too. Well, yes, I did tear up and she loved being read to. She also loved holding onto that card. Even after she fell asleep on the drive and I tried to take it away, but she grabbed it harder.
As we entered the small village that was our daughter’s home I couldn’t help but feel like I was on the set of Band of Brothers. This area looked liked World War II just happened last week. Then we near the top of the hill…she is back home with her foster mom.