You may have already heard that we got our dates! Anido is going to send the application for Sofie’s passport in on July 18th and should receive it in about a week. They will then send off the application for Citizenship on the 24th-ish… which is when they suggest we come!!! They expect Citizenship and the Facilitation Visa to be approved within a week or two, so they suggested we stay for about 2 weeks.
Our Agency contact suggested we not leave to be there on the 24th but wait a week because she was worried that waiting for the Citizenship to be approved in Bulgaria would be cutting it too close for comfort. We’ve been desperately trying to decide between going for 10-14 days with out Livi or 3 weeks with her. Anido thinks it would be a little too stressful trying to stay in country with two little ones for too long. I’ve already contacted a travel agent and I think we have made the final decision!!!!
We are going to leave for Bulgaria on July 29th and return on August 9th with out Livi! The more we thought about it we really wanted to be as stress free as possible and have some precious alone time getting to know Sofie. Some of you also knew that we were thinking of stopping in Istanbul, Turkey before going to get Sofie as well, but we have decided not to do that either. Although it is Jon’s dream to see the Hagia Sofia and it would only cost us about $1000 to add that on to our trip, he doesn’t think it is the right time. We will be jet lagged and anxious to see Sofie. Hopefully we can make it over there one day with enough time to relax and enjoy it.
It is all but paid for. I have to go in to do that. Our flights are reserved! Jon and I will be heading in to the airport around 5:40pm ready for our flight to depart at 8:40pm on July 29! We have a 9 hour flight to London, a 9 hour lay over, then a 3 hour flight to Sofia, Bulgaria! We will be arriving at 3:45 am Sunday morning in Sofia. I’m assuming that is local Bulgarian time. They are 10 hours ahead of us.
I assume we will be taken directly to Plovdiv, an hour and a half out of Sofia, to where we will be staying for two days. We have been asked to spend time with Sofie in her environment for two days, which I am really happy about. I wasn’t sure if we’d even be able to go see where she slept let alone where she spent her time. It will be hard meeting her then having to leave her in the orphanage for a night and seeing all the other kids, but I really think this will be good for us and help us catch up on our sleep before taking her to the hotel room! I’m hoping we get to meet her on the Sunday and then take her back to Sofia with us on the Monday, although they might prolong this until the Tuesday… I hope not. We will spend the rest of our time with her in Sofia, bonding, sight seeing and finishing up some paperwork. We get on the 3.5 hour plane ride to London on Tuesday August 9th at 2:15pm, only have 1.5 hour layover before the 9.5 hour flight to Vancouver. We’ll be arriving 6:40pm Tuesday, August 9th!
So, that is the latest! Those are our plans so far. I still have a list of 27 things to do yet before we go… I think I’m going to have to prioritize. Thank you for all your prayers and support. One last request is that you pray for the passport and visa to be issued promptly and smoothly. We are booking our travel before it is all actually done which is a little disconcerting. We decided that a little extra anxiety and prayer over paperwork was worth it to get Sofie out of the orphanage sooner. And of course pray for safe and smooth travels 🙂