Hello from Bulgaria! It's been a take-it-easy type of day today. We were able to sleep in and recover from our travels, which was a wonderful gift. And after getting plenty of sleep, there was still time for breakfast and some time in God's Word.
|My friend Bethany lovingly wrote out a theme and Bible verse for me to focus on each day of my trip. Today our word was PEACE.|
Our guide Mitko arrived to pick us up from our hotel around 1:00. One other adoptive father joined us for the three hour trip to Pleven. A clear blue sky and bright green grass helped to make for a lovely trip through the countryside. And of course, the mountain range in the backdrop didn't hurt anything either. I enjoyed people watching as we made our way slowly through several small towns. There were men hand-tilling their gardens, lots of laundry hung out on the line to dry, children jumping rope, lots of people riding bicycles, grown people holding hands, and merchants selling their wares on the side of the street. I kept my eyes open and watched each face carefully as I am eager to learn more about the Roma (Gypsy) population here in Bulgaria. Samantha's biological family is Roma, and I've found myself daydreaming about what they might be like, and whether I've passed any of them on the street.
|In the background you'll see some apartment buildings that date back to the Soviet Era.|
|I don't honestly know what this particular building is used for, but it is a great example of some of the beautiful, old architecture we have been seeing.|
|I know this is terribly fuzzy, but you get the idea. We've seen many fields today painted yellow by these beautiful flowers.|
We checked in to our hotel here in Pleven, rested for a bit, and then went exploring for a couple of hours. It occurred to me as we were walking that although this is Samantha's country of origin, her people would not receive her. Her Down Syndrome and her Roma heritage both make her an outsider here. I look forward to bringing her home where she can walk (soon, I know she will walk!) proudly down the street and be greeted by many loving neighbors who anticipate her home-coming.
I received a welcome gift today from my lawyer Toni, by way of Mitko. It was some completed paperwork, written mostly in Bulgarian, but the last page had this little jewel on it:
Not only is this a photo I have never seen, with stamped approval by the powers that be...but it shows Sam standing all by herself!!! (Possibly leaning against the crib, but standing just the same!). What a pretty little girl she is, folding her hands and looking right at the camera. This little girl will be walking in no time. Just wait and see!
I'm sure most of you know tomorrow will be our long-awaitedSi first meeting. Oh my goodness I am beside myself with excitement and anticipation. I had a song by Matt Maher playing on my computer this morning that I though would be a most appropriate theme song for tomorrow. The lyrics say, "This is the first day of the rest of your life". Indeed it will be! And I am ready to begin.
Anna and I really do appreciate your continued prayers. I was just saying today that I can feel you all lifting us up. Thank you so much for being so faithful in that way. We are certainly blessed by you.
I look forward to sharing pictures of SAMANTHA tomorrow! Until then, Love to you all. Good night!