We met Maggie for breakfast in the lobby. We had some sliced sausage, toast with butter and Bulgarian cheese, milk, and some oatmeal that I had brought along on the trip. It was delicious! Side note: the bread doesn't make me sick. I guess I am only allergic to American gluten?
The orphanage director joined us and we talked about Temenujka's history. It was very informative and also easy to see how much Naina loves Temenujka. I could tell that she is living in a good place, and she was emotional in her excitement for us to be coming to adopt Temenujka. She said that she was also awake at 3am in anticipation for today!
Life is made up of moments, and the moment that I met Temenujka will forever be one of those cherished moments.
The front of her orphanage, which is actually called a family house, where there are only five children living there with caretakers.
Some fun Christmas decorations! I have seen that Christmas decorations are up many places here in Bulgaria.
Okay, back to meeting Temenujka. When I saw her, I introduced myself (in Bulgarian!) and Tyler did the same. She smiled and then started to cry. We went off to a room on the side to give her some space and take off our coats and gloves. The next thing I know, she is running up to me and giving me the biggest and tightest hug. I held her tight and lifted her off the ground. It was a beautiful moment that I have replayed in my mind many times since this morning.
After we hugged, she hugged Tyler. The facilitator translated her words that she had been waiting for so long for us to finally come and she couldn't contain her emotions once we were here at last. Tyler and I have been nervous, also. We want for her to like us and to want to be a part of our family. It was very emotional for us all.
After our initial meeting and hugging, we were taken to the kitchen where Temenujka brought out a special bundt cake - which was delicious! - that she made especially for us. And here is a photo of our sweet girl.
Isn't she beautiful?? We think she is such a gem of a girl. She fixed up her hair all pretty and even wore the red turtleneck shirt underneath her pink jacket. The caretakers said that she keeps all the gifts that we sent in the package (that we mailed to her in December) in a special box in her room. She was able to show us her room, also.
She has framed some pictures of our family on her wall. She also said that the day that our package arrived was the best day of her life to date, until today.
Look at her adorable hair! She said she wants to be a hairdresser when she grows up. She can fix my hair anytime. She is so short! I expected her to be taller. But she will fit right in with my short kids at home. Ha ha.
The social worker came over and we had a long conversation about an array of topics with Temenujka. I felt bad for her. At one point she had three separate people talking with her. I could sense how overwhelmed she was with it all. I tried very hard to look at various things when she looked over at me. I know that she is trying to learn my face. She was so pleased that we were there. I love each smile she gave me.
Tyler juggled for everyone and I also sang in Russian (the closest song to Bulgarian that I have). Temenujka wanted to know more about her siblings in America and wanted to know our daily schedule. We gave her some drawings from her siblings that are for her birthday - which we will miss being with her - and then she wanted to know more about our birthday traditions and other holidays. She had drawn some pictures for us, also. She is so thoughtful. Her favorite subject is art.
She is especially excited about sharing a room with Anna and getting to know her. I asked her what colors she wanted in a quilt and she said red, yellow, and blue, in light colors. I told her that I would make her quilt before she gets home.
She said that when she saw the first name that we had chosen for her - Sarah - that she loved it right away. She is excited to have this American name.
We walked down to a cafeteria for lunch. Temenujka held my hand as we went. My heart melted each time she looked up at me. More precious moments with MY precious girl.
She ordered some chicken soup and meatballs with French fries and some apple juice. She ate maybe half of it all. All of the ladies from the orphanage that came with us ordered soup and bread, and none of them finished their food, either. Do people just not eat much here? I don't know.
By this time, Temenujka was checking out due to all of the stimulation of the day. We went back to the family house and gave her the MP3 player with English music, some candy, and a notebook to journal her feelings from today - and the rest of our time with her - until we pick her up. We are hopeful that the good feelings from today will sustain her during our separation until she is home with us at last.
We couldn't be more excited about getting to know Temenujka over the new few days. And we are already wishing that she could just come home with us.