Things are a-moving over in Bulgaria as we are now entering the final two weeks that Nasko will live in the orphanage. Here's the most up-to-date report on the few things that have already happened: February 14 -
While we were busy celebrating Valentine's Day (can you say "In bed by 8:00 p.m. because Chance was sick"?), Nasko was boarding a bus for a trip across Bulgaria. It is a requirement for him to be in Sofia (the capital), in person, to have his passport issued.
Svet (our adoption rep in BG) was able to get a JUST-retired orphanage worker (DiDi) to make this trip with him and Nasko. She is familiar with Nasko and his "ways." :-)
According to Svet, the bus ride went well. The trip began at 11:00 pm, but Nasko was well-behaved and calm. The ride was eight hours with a 30 minute stop in the middle. Svet was very detailed in his report - in fact, including info on Nasko's use of the restroom! I'll spare you those details but here's one of the sentences from Svet's report: "During the trip Nasko was sleeping or looking in the dark - obviously was exited and impressed from the journey."
In the morning (around 7:00) the bus arrived in Sofia. Nasko ate a banica and drank some water. I wasn't sure what a banica was, but I learned that it is pronounced "ba-ni-tsa." Check out this link to see a picture and even find a recipe.
After he was finished with breakfast, according to Svet, Nasko played with "toy animal figures." He sent two pictures from this part of the trip, and in the pictures, I was able to see that Nasko was actually playing with the toy dinosaurs that we brought him in August! They were even still in the snack-sized baggie that I packed. Love to see that he's being allowed to play with the things his Mama and Taty gave him!
Also noteworthy, they haven't cut his hair lately. I love his hair when it is longer, and I keep worrying that they will buzz it all off for his trip overseas! So far, so good!
Following breakfast at the bus station, DiDi, Svet, and Nasko took a taxi to the office where the birth certificate was ready to be claimed. (This is the birth certificate which contains Chance and I's names.)
After that stop, another taxi took them to the passport office. They spent some time filling out forms, and then getting an official photo of Mr. Nasko. Svet had this to say about the woman working at the passport office: "It was an young lady, who make the picture and she was playing with him with a toy trying to focus Nasko on the camera - it was a big fun! :)"
Following the passport application, they took another taxi back to the bus station. For lunch, Nasko ate french fries (typical kid!) and meatballs.
Didi and Nasko then boarded the next available bus at 10:30 am. Svet remained in Sofia for a few hours to finish working on a few other documents. He did call to check on Nasko later:
"I called later and understand that everything went fine again in this buss and Nasko was busy to look through the window, to play with his toys or sleep for a while. They made a stop in Veliko Tarnovo again and eat something.
From Varna they took a mini van and traveled to Dobrich. The minivan has no light in side and when the evening came and became darker Nasko was worried for a while but the caregiver calm him down."
(Aren't you glad I am recounting most of this report? Sometimes I have to have family members help me translate these reports from Svet. He does a great job speaking and writing in English, but sometimes it's still a bit tricky!)
I asked Svet if Nasko stayed close to DiDi, or if he was trying to run all over and explore. Svet replied in this way:
"What I mentioned was that he was busy to explore the world around him. Nasko is very clever guy and as a little child when it is dark and cold and strange for him he is graping your hand and go no where. But what Didi told me was in he buss station where we were waiting to become the right time for the institutions. She said that until he is not sure about the things around him he is very quite but when he is used to the the place, he would like then to enlarge his knowledge about the the other things around him and then he could run around."
I have a feeling that we will get to witness Nasko "enlarging his knowledge" quite a bit once he becomes comfortable here at home.
Svet said that DiDi was constantly keeping Nasko busy - feeding him, having him "paint" (color?), playing with the toy dinosaurs. She also had Nasko sing for Svet and try to participate in telling a poem.
Overall, Svet reported good behavior from Nasko. He mentioned that Nasko was curious to explore, but the new surroundings caused him to stay close.
I was so glad to hear that Nasko did well on this trip! He will have to cross the country one more time by bus before boarding the plane to come to the U.S. (more on that timeline in another blog post... hold on to your hats, it's coming soon!)