Today we received a phone call we’ve been patiently (or maybe really IMPATIENTLY…ahem) waiting for. We received our confirmed travel dates to bring Leo home. They look like this:
Fly to Bulgaria- January 23rd
Arrive and rest in Sofia- January 24th
Drive to Blagoevgrad, pick up Zoosy, return to Sofia, and go to his Visa Appointment at the US Embassy- January 25th
Pick up his Visa- January 26th
Fly out Early and arrive home- January 27th
This is a WHIRLWIND trip. A few months ago, we asked about a shortened trip. A normal trip is 10 days in country, but sometimes, for children who live in closer driving distance to the capital, it is possible to have some of their appointments (Passport and TB test) done in advance. We didn’t really think it was likely that we would be granted a short trip, but God answered this prayer graciously for our family, and we will be able to get him home and unite our entire family more quickly. This decision has pros and cons. The main con is this short trip means that Leo will only have been with us for a day and a half before we get on a plane for an almost 24 hour trip home. (Bless the people on the plane near us.) He won’t have had time to truly begin trusting us….and putting him on a plane may not help that. We are praying that because he has seen our face at least twice a week since our first trip at least makes us familiar and hopefully somewhat safe to him.
However, the pros are important to us as well. The obvious pro is that we will be reunited as a family more quickly. We made the very difficult decision to take Addy with us on this trip, but leave the other two behind. This, of course, was difficult for everyone, but ultimately Andy and I felt it was the best choice for our family. Cora struggled greatly when we left the last time for the 8 day trip, and while even the youngest in the family are required to make sacrifice for this kind of family addition, it brings peace knowing it will be a little easier for she and Abe too. The greatest “pro” in my mind, however, is that Andy had always planned to take 2 weeks off…..and a full 10 day trip would have left him with only 2-3 days at home while we get settled as a new family. Now, the shortened trip allows us to be together to start figuring this new family dynamic out for 11 days. We felt that it would be better to start the bonding and transition at home in our normal environment more so than in an apartment in Bulgaria with no normalcy.
So, the countdown begins. I am excited and nervous and overjoyed……and scared out of my mind. I know the joy off adding a child (whether by birth or adoption) doesn’t come without struggles. This is completely uncharted territory for our family, so it’s hard not knowing what to expect. Yet, I have full confidence that God always intended for Leo to be grafted into our family as our child, and He has never failed us. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to follow Him on this journey.
Please Continue to Pray:
- For Leo Isus- He’s a happy kiddo, and he has no way (at 2 years old) to understand what is about to happen. Pray that he instantly feels safe and loved with us, and that his nerves are calmed. Pray that his grief is comforted and that we will know how to grieve with him during this loss of the only life he has ever known.
- Pray for Alina, his foster mom and her family- They have lovingly provided a home and a temporary family for him for over a year. I know she feels a great sense of loss, but is comforted by knowing that our families are forever linked through Zoosy. Pray for peace as she continues her life, and pray that as her heart heals she may consider bringing another child into her home to love and nurture.
- Pray for Abe and Cora- For peace, safety, and contentment while we are gone.
- For Andy, Addy and myself- For safe travels, rest, patience, empathy, and health as we travel.
Thank you ALL!