Today was a good day! It started out with Maggie, Tyler, and I eating breakfast at our hotel and then picking up Naina to head over to see Temenuzhka. We then picked up Temenuzhka and turned back around and headed to Pazardzhik. We first started with getting photos of Temenuzhka for her visa and we also took a photo of all three of us. I plan to get it framed to give her tomorrow.
Next we walked over to a bowling alley, which, unfortunately, was closed. We chose to eat some lunch at a cute little kids cafe and then we played some games. Temenuzhka seemed a bit uncomfortable when we were out and about. Playing a game helped her to relax a bit.
Tyler bought a pot of red flowers for Temenuzhka to have, since she is our flower. "Temenuzhka" means a flower, called a "Poppy." Naina sang a song today about blue poppies, which Temenuzhka knows. It was really a sweet moment.
We went up to our hotel room to get some measurements for clothing and shoes for Temenuzhka.
Ducky-Mo-Mo wanted in on the photo, too.
We stopped by Temenuzhka's school on our drive back to Lesichovo. She was SO thrilled to take us to meet her teachers. She was practically giddy! It was so wonderful to meet these teachers, some of whom were crying tears of joy that Temenuzhka finally found a family after so many years of not having her own. We are so thankful for all of the love that she has received from many people over the years. We are eager to bring her home and to give her a forever family.
Naina and Temenuzhka outside the school.
One of her teachers.
This is where our flower sits!
Old school heating options.
Some art in the school hallway. I was surprised by how much English we saw.
We drove back to the orphanage, and then we looked over some decorations that Temenuzhka made for Baba Marta Day on March 1st. She had one for each member of our family, including Georgi and Miroslav.
I held Temenuzhka on my lap for a few minutes. Then I told her how much I enjoyed snuggling with her. We have been affectionate some up to this point, but it was mostly hugs and me rubbing her back. Well, I think my telling her how much I enjoyed her snuggles changed her, somehow, because for the rest of the evening, she was grabbing my hand to hold it, snuggling up to me, and giving me lots of hugs. It was so sweet and it felt natural.
These are the colors that she wants for her quilt.
While we were playing some pick-up sticks with Temenuzhka, a boy from the orphanage came inside and informed Temenuzhka that her boyfriend was outside. We learned on day 1 that she had a boyfriend and I just had to get a look at him! His name is Georgi and he is 15 years old. Both of his parents have died, so he is a true orphan, and of Roma descent. They have been boyfriend/girlfriend for two years. When he decided to pass by the house again, I invited him to join us for some games. I figured that Temenuzhka really likes Georgi, so it would only help things if I got to know him, also.
We played Spot It and Georgi did really well. I noticed the scars on his hands and we were told how there are non-orphan boys who attend Georgi's school and that they want to pick fights with all of the orphans. So sad. I tried to encourage Georgi to use his brain and intellect for a career. I told him that we would be happy to have Temenuzhka Skype with him after we bring her home. Then I gave him some candy, too. I think it meant a lot to Temenuzhka that I was so kind to Georgi. She seemed very happy and was very affectionate with me while he was there. I can't get enough of this girl's smiles!!
Would I prefer that she have a boyfriend? No, not really. But the bottom line is that she has her agency and there's not much I can do to prevent anything from happening. We did have a thorough conversation about our family's values and appropriate boundaries in dating relationships. For now I can just pray that she will make good decisions.
Maggie, Tyler, and I went to dinner at the restaurant across the street from our hotel tonight. It is the only place we have eaten dinner since we got here. It has nice food and even an English menu! Tonight there was a musical group present and they played some nice music. It sounded more Greek than Bulgarian to me, but I can't really identify Bulgarian music, anyhow. Ha ha.
Tyler and I each wrote a letter to Temenuzhka and Maggie translated them for us. We plan to give them to her just before we leave tomorrow afternoon. It will be so hard to say goodbye. And she will have those letters to comfort her when we are gone for four months.
Cappy сок (juice) with dinner.
I am guessing that the orange was to add some nutritional benefit to my chicken Geneva with mashed potatoes?
Some yummy garlic butter naan bread. Seriously, it was so good! I am loving the bread here.