Here's the schedule of events leading up to Nasko's arrival (he has quite the busy social life!): February 21 - Nasko's passport will be finished and Svet (our Bulgarian adoption representative) will pick it up. He and his girlfriend (Sabina) will already be in Sofia that day, in order to complete their interview to receive their non-imigrant visas. They will need this documentation in order to bring Nasko to Chicago.
February 22 - Assuming the visas and passports have no issues, the final reservations for the flight to Chicago will be made. Currently, there are two different flights being considered. The travel agents will work with Svet to book tickets where all three passengers can sit together and, if possible, for the cheapest price.
February 24 - Svet will pay for the tickets. (Temporarily. Don't you worry - the $4,500 bill will soon be sent to the Newinghams!)
February 27 - Svet will travel to Nasko's orphanage in the morning. At this time, Svet will sign all necessary and last-minute papers that allow Nasko to be removed from there. Svet also intends to throw a "going away" party for Nasko - complete with cake and juice. Svet has promised to take lots of pictures of this event!
On that evening, Nasko and his caregiver (DiDi) will take the bus from Dobrich (a town near his orphanage) to the east coast of the country (where Svet lives). They will gather Svet and together make the trip to the western part of the country, where the capital city (Sofia) is located. This is the same bus trip as Nasko took on February 14th.
February 28 - The bus trip is overnight, so when the group arrives in the morning, they will go to the VITA clinic for Nasko's medical exam. This clinic has been appointed by the American Embassy for completing the final medical tests before adopted children leave the country.
After the medical exam, there will be a few hours to relax before a 1:30 pm appointment at the U.S. Embassy. Svet will bring Nasko's passport, new birth certificate, the final court decree and a signed copy of the I-864W (a paper stating that Nasko is not going to become a burden to society and end up on welfare upon his arrival to the U.S.)
February 29 - Twenty-four hours after the initial meeting at the U.S. Embassy, the final paperwork will be issued. Nasko's passport will then contain a U.S. Visa.
In the evening, Sabina plans to join Svet, Nasko, and DiDi in Sofia.
March 1 - TRAVEL DAY!!!! Depending on which flight is booked, Svet, Sabina, and Nasko will go to the airport two hours before their flight is to depart. At this time, DiDi will travel by bus back to her home. We are forever indebted to this caring woman.
Because of the time difference, it will actually still be March 1 when the group arrives in Chicago. Chance and I are allowing our immediate families to join us at the airport. We're hoping to have a photographer there to take pictures as well.
Depending on the arrival time (right now, it appears the options are 1:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m.) we will either ride home together, or stay the night in a nearby hotel. We are hoping for the earlier arrival so that we can go straight home, but we understand how overwhelming the entire trip will be for Nasko. We're prepared to do what is best for him (for now, and for the rest of his life!)
Continue to keep the next few weeks in your prayers. Today officially marks two weeks before I will be able to hold my boy in my arms again!