As I mentioned previously, our U.S. contact (Martin) travelled from Pennsylvania to Bulgaria last week. While he was there, he spent some time in the Minister of Justice's office and in N.'s orphanage. After Martin and Svet (our Bulgarian contact) visited N., Svet sent us an updated report.
He mentioned that N. was as active as ever. (Shocker, I know!) Some of the more interesting news though, was that N. appeared to recognize Svet and his son Tony when they entered the orphanage. He instantly went to the men and indicated that he wanted them to hold him and hug him. He was nervous and shy around Martin (whom he'd never met before), but he was comfortable with Svet and Tony. We continue to pray that N. will remember his Mama and Taty, and not be overly shy around us when we are finally reunited.
Svet also said that N. was still using sign language! The orphanage workers were encouraging him to use the sign for "please." We were very excited to hear that they are still using some of the communication techniques that we introduced.
A few weeks ago, when we heard that Martin was headed to Bulgaria, we purchased a toy CAT truck to be sent over as a gift for N. Svet and Martin both reported that N. loved the truck. He enjoyed playing with it, and even shared it with another boy at one point (that's my boy!!)
While Martin was in BG, some details about the finalization of our adoption were also ironed out. We received the approval necessary in order to have an escort (Svet and probably his girlfriend) bring N. from Bulgaria to the U.S. We had originally been told that the escort would meet us in New York, but now we have been told that Chicago will be a possibility. YAY! We really enjoyed our time in Bulgaria, learning about the country and the culture that has defined N. for the past five years, but once he comes home, we believe that we need to be prepared, rested, and ready to take on all his challenges. For some reason, jet-lag doesn't seem like a great way to be prepared... :—)
When Martin arrived home yesterday, I told him that our most recent paperwork had been approved (for those who speak adoption, it's the I-800!). This document was sent straight to the Visa Center in order to have a Visa issued in N.'s name. We should receive an email of this approval in the next few weeks. (Praying for this week!) When we receive an email, the US Consulate in Bulgaria will also receive notification, and they will call Svet into their office for an interview. That part of the process may take another week or two. After the interview is complete, a court date can be scheduled. To get a scheduled court date is a relatively quick process - maybe another week or two. The court will finalize the adoption, stating that N. is now a Newingham (poor child... if he only knew what that entailed...) After the court session, there is a mandatory two-week (ten business day) appeal period. At that time, biological family members of N. could appeal the adoption decision. Then, there are a few days of doctor's appointments, and document finalizations before N. can leave the country.
Did you hear that?! Then N. can leave the country and come here!!!
That's the moment that we are not-so-patiently awaiting.
Martin said that when he and Svet went to the Minister of Justice's office, the employees were asking about our case. They knew us and N. by name. As I've explained before, this is Svet and Martin's first adoption since many of the new adoption laws (for those who speak adoption - Hague) have been put in place. Everyone is pulling for this adoption and they are working hard to get it finalized.
We've been told that N. probably won't be home until January, but we are still asking the God of the fatherless to move our paperwork in a quick manner. We're hoping to give our boy the Christmas present of a new family!
Please join us in praying for this as well! Thanks for all your love, support, and prayers thus far.
The next blog post will be password protected, but it will contain pictures that Svet took while in the orphanage. Martin has additional photos as well, and he plans to email them to me soon.
In case you've slept some or thought about something other than N. since the last time you looked at one of our password-protected blogs, email me. I'll send you the password.
Hope you enjoy! His hair has gotten longer. I love it!