Dec 8, 2011

And then we came HOME

Wednesday.  It was a long, long day for us.  Even longer for dear Gergana I'm sure.
We woke up and left the hotel about 3:30am.  Driving through Sofia at night was neat.  There is just something about cities at night.   When we got to the airport there wasn't even anyone at the check in desk, so we waited.  We were only there about 20 minutes before people showed up and Gergana got her first taste of standing in lines!  Gergana was so tired.  Poor baby.  We didn't fully adjust to the time change so getting up was not so bad.  For her though it was flat out the middle of the night.  You can see it in her face.

She was a trooper going through security.  It was not an issue at all.  One we got to our gate we bought some food/drinks.  G wanted some ice cream, so we bought it for her.  She never ate it and it got thrown out.  She was just way to tired for ice cream!

About 45 minutes later we boarded the plane to leave Bulgaria.  Again she was an angel.  I was so proud of how well she reacted to the airports.  It's like she has done it before.  And I'll admit, I was joking with mom that this most not be her first adoption.  ahem.

{above} Her 'Leaving Bulgaria and first time on an airplane' picture.  You'll thank me one day Gergana!

But believe me, it won't be today!

This first flight was the hardest.  Again I believe it was partly due to it being early.  The beginning of the flight she started her quiet crying.  Which is heart breaking.  We also got the first glimpses of her very own institutional behavior-rocking.  We knew it would be coming.  She spent much of her time in her last orphanage (a very poor one) rocking and head banging.  She was transferred at age 7 and that behavior has decreased a lot since then.  BUT our Peace Corp friend had mentioned a few days earlier that G would still do it if pressed far enough.  This plane ride was her 'far enough'.  We were able to distract her with some games on the iPod and then she slept the rest of the way to Frankfurt.

In Frankfurt our girl came back to us.  The spunky, teasing precious girl we had seen the afternoon before at the hotel.  It was so good.  She was perfect through security again and we had no real problems.  G has a teddy bear that has batteries in it and they needed to do a special check on that before we could head on.  I'm just glad they didn't take it away! We stopped for some water and a sandwich before heading to our gate.

While girly was busy with her sandwich I quickly grabbed a picture with her. ;)




The plane that would take us to Canada!

Did I mention she is a teaser?  Because she is.  We started playing a game of catch and she was SO bad.  She would pretend to throw it to one person and then throw it to another.  She would call your name and then throw it the other direction.  Dude!  And she thought it was funny, which it was.  How is it she is so perfect in our family?  She's a Rist!

I love you mucho Gergana!

Why yes I will board this plane, thank you very much.  No need to call me twice!

The flight went very well.  She did as well as any other 9 year old would do on a flight this long.  And she didn't even sleep!!  We started with a little picture taking of cartoons.  That didn't last long as cartoons are boring to her.  The rest of the flight consisted of lots and lots of The Smurfs (she watched it about 3 times and made me watch it along with her 1.5 times), many bathroom breaks, eating,  playing on the iPod and listening to music.  The sister was so funny using the bathroom.  The first time I flushed the toilet for her (after she had exited the bathroom) she freaked.  When she is scared she moves so fast.  We all got a good laugh about that.  Girl has a GREAT sense of humor and can laugh so hard at herself.  Love it. 

Another funny moment was when mom fed her a bite of pudding.  It wasn't a sweet pudding and I guess it did not match her taste buds very well.  Her face was priceless and she dove for her water so fast.  That wasn't enough and she proceeded to drink my apple juice.  Oh baby, your precious.

Gergana was so good with her boundaries too.  I told her once what she could touch (da) and what she could not touch (ne) and she remembered the whole flight.  So proud of her.  Those 9 hours were long.  But she was amazing.  And I actually got to watch 2 movies around The Smurfs.  All is good in the world.
Then, what we all were waiting for.  We arrived in Canada.  She was so happy, I think she understood.  We had to go through immigration.  It took a bit of waiting but we had a nice officer who gave us some pointers.  He does about 1 adoption a month he said which was cool.  Most people we ran into were very excited for our adoption.

We picked up our bags and then we were FREE!

Sadly no family could be at the airport to greet us.  Which actually worked out OK for Gergana's sake.  Dad ran off to pick up our car from the parking lot and we waited in the cold.  Gergana was freezing.  Bulgaria does have a winter but it is much milder then here.  Me and G ended up going back inside to wait.



From the airport we still have about a 2 hour drive back home.  Gergana was DONE and fell asleep almost right away.  I wasn't far behind her.  The drive went quickly! 

And then we were home.  Together.  With my other babies.

Favorite part of the night?

Joshua (age 10. 11 months older then G): "She is so awesome!  She is old enough to play with!  Not like Abby (age 5), because if I shot Abby she would cry.  But Gergana knows how to play!  She is better then my friends..because she is my SISTER!"

And later.

Mom: "Did you know Gergana likes to cook?  we should bake cookies sometime!"
Josh (yelled from his bed down the hall): "AWESOMEEEE!!!!!!"
-Seriously haven't seen him that excited for a long time!

Love him.  Love her.  Love this crazy hard adventure we are on.

Bring it on.


  1. My favorite part of this whole post is seeing you with your sister. Precious :) Long awaited :) Love it!!

  2. SO happy for you and your family!!

    Welcome to Canada Gergana!!!

  3. I have really enjoyed reading your posts!!! I love G too!!! I am praying for you all!!

  4. This is SO awesome how you are documenting everything! What amazing memories to look back on.


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