One of these days I'll post an actual update because we have an update and not just because I feel like it's time to say, once again, "We're still waiting."
At this point in our adoption, we're just waiting for a call from our agency to tell us that they have a referral for us. The other day, I looked at my phone and saw that I had one missed call - from our agency. Since there's really no other reason for them to call at this point, you can imagine what I felt. I'm pretty sure my heart skipped a beat or two and then sped up trying to recover for it! My excitement didn't last long, though, when I realized that they hadn't left a message. Come to find out, they were just letting us know about a change with our program coordinator. One of these days that call will come - and it will be real! It could be today, next week, in 3 months, or next year - it's really that much up in the air. I tell you, by the time this adoption is over, if I don't have faith and patience mastered, I never will!
I decided one more step I could do to be ready was to go ahead and get the girls their passports. Feels good to check something off the list (even though it was a frustrating let's spend 4 hours doing something that should only take 15 minutes kind of thing)!
Ready to be world travelers. Check.
Speaking of the girls going with us to Bulgaria, there's been a little adjustment in our plans. We (or I should probably say "I" because Andy has always been the more practical we'll-see-if-they-can-go-when-it-comes-time-to-pay-money-for-the-trip one while I've been the it's-a-once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity-that-you-can't-put-a-price-tag-on one) have always planned on the girls going with us on one of the two trips that we have to make. In the beginning, after reading books and talking it over with case workers and adoption educators, we made the decision that the first trip would be the best one for them to go on. It would involve daily visits with our little boy, finalizing some paperwork, and not much else. We were continually told that the second trip, when we would be bringing him home with us, would be an important time for us to bond with him and have one-on-one time without other "distracting" parenting responsibilities during the in-country waiting time and the travel home. Made sense to us, so we went along with it. Recently, though, through having conversations with a family who just returned from their first trip to Bulgaria and reading about the accounts of others who have just returned, we've changed our minds. We will be going alone on the first trip and take the girls along with us on the second trip. From listening to some first-hand experiences, we've discovered that the first trip is actually much more involved than we thought. There's also the huge "unknown" aspect of not knowing what to expect concerning the city, the accommodations available in that city, the orphanage, the flexibility of those in charge (some let you leave with the child, some only offer supervised visits within one room, some could even have a problem with the girls coming to the orphanage and not allow it at all). It's an emotionally draining time (having our first interactions with him and also having to leave the country without him) and physically tiring (jet lag and following visiting schedules that are not very flexible). On the other hand, the second visit is much more relaxed and on our own than we first thought. We will basically spend as little as 30 minutes picking him up from the orphanage on the first day, and then we're on our own and he's ours; we'll just have to stay in country for about a week while the paperwork is finalized. Our time will be spent in the capital, so we'll know what to expect and be prepared for. Our days will be flexible, and we'll set our own agendas. We can spend plenty of time just hanging out in the hotel, throw in some sightseeing and shopping, and spend the time bonding together as a family of 5. It can be a scary time involving a lot of new things, especially the traveling part, for our little boy, and I just think that two silly, sweet girls who are excited about their new brother will be a big help, especially because it offers our little boy the chance to imitate and follow his new siblings into new situations.
Well, consider yourself updated! Of course, I'm hoping for a real update to give you sooner rather than later! Please keep praying for us and for our little boy!