With last Wednesday's news that we are approved to travel and visit our sweet-faced Bulgarian boy, many questions have been posed. For this reason, I am bringing back one of my more popular blog posts:
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) Frequently Given Answers (F.G.A.)
If you missed F.G.A. (v. 1.0) check out this link: F.G.A.
Rather than share the questions, I'm only going to share the answers! Read the following and then use your imaginations to determine what the questions might have been!
1. For sure!
2. We've been approved to travel to Bulgaria and visit N. for one week. We're required to spend five days with him in the orphanage. We're not sure yet if they will allow us to only see him on weekdays, or if we will spend part of the weekend with him as well.
3. The orphanage director might let us take him to get his photo for his passport/visa, but otherwise, we will spend our time in the orphanage.
4. Bulgaria is in Europe. Not South America. It's ok! When we were first presented with N.'s file, I had to google it too...
5. Almost like he's Guatemalan. He has darker skin than most Bulgarians. His hair appears to be dark brown/black. It looks rather thick and coarse. But dang, is he cute... Takin' after his mama already...
6. He's four-and-a-half. He'll be five on September 4.
7. Despite his age, he is probably not functioning like a child who is four-and-a-half. He has been institutionalized in an orphanage since he was ten days old. He has a speech delay, vision issues, and a relatively small build. We can almost guarantee he is not developmentally at the level of your typical four-year-old.
8. Chance is also very excited, yes. I'm surprised he hasn't attempted to start swimming to Europe actually.
9. Why wouldn't we?! There are over 200,000 orphans in Eastern Europe alone. "Older children" are not typically desired for adoption. If an orphan reaches the age of five, he or she only has a 5% chance of being adopted. Between the ages of 15 and 18, orphans in Europe are required to leave the orphanage - potentially the only "home" or "family" they have ever known. 10% of those children will commit suicide by their 18th birthday. 60% of the girls will end up in prostitution. 70% of the boys will enter a life of crime. Again I say, why wouldn't we?! And why aren't you?
10. We plan to leave on July 31 or August 1. Chance is preaching on the morning of July 31, then I'm hoping to book the next flight outta-here...
11. We are only allowed to visit N. on this trip. Bulgaria requires two visits to their country. Our time will be spent playing with N., building a relationship, learning about Bulgarian culture, and signing the official paperwork stating that we want to bring him home!
12. Three months. However, when we receive estimates from building contractors, I double the price. In the case of adoption, I double the timeframe. We're praying that the three months is accurate though. We'd love to return to Bulgaria in November so that N. can be home by Thanksgiving and/or Christmas!
13. I fully intend to update my blog/facebook daily while we are in Bulgaria. Our hotel should have free WiFi. (Yesterday, a man in church said "There's facebook in Bulgaria and there's not even facebook at my house in Illinois?! Hmph... Amazing." God bless the older people from my church...)
14. You can pray for us in the following ways: Pray for bonding and attachment. Pray that N. is not too overwhelmed. Pray for safe travels. Pray for rested bodies and spirits as we interact with our little boy. Pray for my parents, as they are traveling with us and will have to put up with Chance for a whole week. :-)
15. Finally, pray for our finances. We are trusting God with this endeavor and we've literally felt Him speak N. into our family. Pray that we would be able to make wise choices and follow His path to bringing N. home.