Today was my birthday. I am 29 years old. One more year left and I’m 30! Saying it out loud sounds old but I still feel like I’m in my early 20’s and don’t know what I’m doing half the time.
The day started out by Jon letting me sleep in a little bit… until it was his turn. When I got up I fed Sofie and gave her a bath because she still had food in her hair from the day before. I finally got Jon up to go shopping for gifts for everyone back home. It’s been a little difficult to shop here. There are so many stores but nothing that seems very quality and they are all kind of the same. Maybe I’m just being to picky. We went to the flea market in front of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. There is some hand made arts and crafts there but mostly WWII memorabilia. Do you want a compass with a swastika on it? That’s where to get it! Lots of communist stuff too. We found a few little gems in the market. Sofie napped in the sling most of this time, which was fine with us! Two days in a row! Hooray!
Daddy’s turn with his sling!
We made our way to the Anido office to take them out to lunch as a thank you for everything. Lunch was a lot of fun. Neli, the President of the Anido, Alex, our contact for Anido, and Nasko, our translator came with us. We learned a lot! Apparently, when Alex had gone to the orphanage to get video of Sofie for us, he had to wear a mask because of apparent germs from the outside. Poor Sofie must have been scared of this weird masked man with a video camera! Also, on our first visit to the orphanage, we were not supposed to be allowed to take pictures of Sofie. Nasko kept this from us though and just handled it. He told the staff that since Sofie is our legal child we most certainly we allowed! Thank-you Nasko! Those first pictures of meeting Sofie are so special to us and to our family and friends! Apparently there was some problems with the previous director of the orphanage too, but Alex didn’t go in to detail about it, so I don’t know what that all meant.
We loved getting to know the three of them and really felt their genuine joy for what they do. It isn’t just their job. They really believe in the well-being of these orphans. Alex, especially, is so caring towards kids and Sofie. He is always wanting to play with her and hold her. His wife and him had some fertility problems and even did IVF a few times. IVF finally worked and they got there little girl they were hoping for! Although he hasn’t adopted I think he has a real appreciation for these kids and understands what a lot of the adoptive parents have been through. Neli is also a lawyer and is on the board of people who are revamping the Bulgarian child protection laws. She seems to really have a passion for plight of the under privileged children in Bulgaria. She was quite interested in learning what kind of supports and services we will be utilizing once we were back in Canada. Nasko is just a really kind and humble man. He has one son, about the same age as my girls, so he related and played well with Sofie.
Our goodbye lunch!
Left to Right – Neli, Me, Sofie, Jon, Alex, Nasko
Sofie did so well with our big morning out so we decided to take it easy in the hotel room for the afternoon. We played, cuddled and Skyped with Livi! We found a bottle of wine on our bar too with a birthday card from the hotel! Fancy Schmancy! After we took notice of how much money we had left Jon said I could get a massage for my birthday in the spa downstairs! Since the massages are so cheap here ($35 Canadian for a full body massage in a 5 star hotel!), he threw in a facial! Right after Skyping with Livi, I got to enjoy an hour and a half of pampering! It felt so nice. I love how open Europeans are with their bodies too. They don’t think it is a big deal. The girl did leave while I was undressing but then just took off the towel that was draped on me and left half my butt showing for most of it. Then when I was dressing to change rooms for the facial the new girl walked in, she did apologize, but then just stood there waiting with the door open 🙂 That would never happen in Canada! I could do with out some of the sexual art in the coffee stops over here, but a little nudity never hurt anyone! Lets face it, we all like to be naked!
My birthday present from the hotel!
I returned from my massage to find my baby sleeping! Jon had a really easy time putting her to bed with out me! I was so thankful for that. I love this co-parenting thing 🙂 We opened the wine and lay down to watch a few episodes of Hell’s Kitchen we’ve been missing while we’ve been here. We got to bed a little late but all in all, a really fabulous birthday!