Trip One Day One

August 13th, 2011

My eyelids just won’t stay open–no, I was not able to sleep on the airplane, and believe me, I tried!–so this will just be the highlights of the day!  I am fairly sure that Sofia isn’t experiencing recurring small earthquakes tonight.  The ground just seems to shift under me when I am this tired.  Please pray that I will wake up at the right time tomorrow morning, because my cell phone has no signal and that’s what I brought to use as an alarm clock!  And right now I feel as if I could sleep for two days straight!


Auf wiedersehen!  Until we meet again!  Joe was able to come home from work to say it, too!

Verity’s face is saying, “Hey!  You’re squishing me!”




There were many smiles, but no tears until we drove away, and I was so occupied with tissues that I didn’t get a picture of all the children standing together at the very edge of our property, waving goodbye.

It seems so lame to only post these pictures, because I have so many more good ones!  But when I tried to post them, they did strange and not-wonderful things which Joseph will have to tell me how to fix.  Tomorrow.

The travel, yes, even the security, was painless, thanks to the mercy of God and all the advice others gave me!  Two of the female security guards even called me “Sweetie.”  I floated in a bubble from Philly to London and from London to Sofia.




I didn’t end up pumping on the airplane during either flight.  For the first flight, both flight attendants were proper English men, and…well…I just couldn’t bring myself to ask.  And during the second flight, we were on a small Airbus Industries plane that hardly seemed bigger than a bus on the inside, and there was a constant line of people waiting for the restrooms.  I could see that there was no other room to use.  But there was plenty of wait time in both the Philly and Heathrow airports, so it worked well.  I brought three packages of dairy-free Milkmakers cookies (a friend shared), and my nursing herbs, so between those things and some more rest, maybe my supply will bounce back soon.

It was past 6 o’clock in the morning when we got to London, although of course it felt to me like the middle of the night.  So to help my body adjust faster, I bought the most caffeine-loaded drink I could find from a shop in the airport.  They accepted any currency as payment, but gave only British money back in change.  So I’ll have a little to show the children.  During the first half of each day, I am drinking regular tea, also for the caffeine.

During the flights, I took a whole bunch of short videos with our regular camera, to be able to show the children what the view looks like from an airplane.  Only to realize later on that I took every one of them sideways, hee hee!

Of course, I had to fight back the tears as we commenced to land in the country where Toni, Katerina, and Katerina’s baba live!

While we passengers all stood about for a long period of time in the Sofia airport waiting for our luggage, I realized that everyone about me was scowling.  So I smiled!  But there is something heavy about the atmosphere here.

Is it really, truly, finally our family’s turn?

Tears!  Hugs!  Kisses!  Toni is far more dear in real life than she is over the internet!  She told me this week would be special because we are the first of her families to adopt from this orphanage!!  She herself has never been there before!  We had not known that!!

I am concerned for her, because she is obviously not well, and is pushing herself hard.  I didn’t have to be here in her environment for long before I was more amazed than ever at this woman.  Please pray that God will provide for her to receive medical care in the States.

One thing to say right now about what I saw on the drive from the airport to the hotel through gypsy slums–none of the people I know, including our family, should ever see themselves as poor.

Here’s the view from my current hotel room.  Toni said she and her brother Marty will pick me up at 11 am tomorrow, to drive to Katerina’s region, so this is my only night here in Sofia.  Nearly all the buildings I saw from the air have these red tile roofs.

The drivers here are certifiable (or maybe another word for “get out of my way”), and the roads weren’t designed for that.  Well, maybe they were about fifty years ago, haha!

At this hotel, we must insert our room key card into a little box on the wall in order to turn on the electricity.

There are no washcloths here, so I used one of the small hand towels.  Crazy American lady who will bring her own washcloth on the next trip.

I only forgot to pack two things.  One is the little box of Lactaid pills I take to make dairy foods slightly more digestible for me.  Bulgarian food is dairy-rich food.  Oops.

Very good dairy-rich food.

Behold, O family.  I eat:

Bulgaria is rightfully famous for its scrumptious salads.

This was called Risotto with Chicken, and I wish I had the recipe.  No ordinary chicken and rice!

“Here is delicious bread for you,” said the extraordinarily well-mannered young waiter to the one dinner guest the hotel restaurant served tonight.

The bed, which is two twin-size mattresses side by side, is made up as two separate beds.  Each side is covered with a top sheet used at the bottom sheet, then a twin-sized duvet cover laid on the top, with its sides folded under to make it fit the top of the bed.  There is a piece of what looks like drapery fabric laid across the end of the whole bed.

The other item I didn’t think to pack is an adapter that magically makes three prongs (like the computer cord has on the end of its plug) into two prongs.  I called down to the front desk to ask if they had such an adapter, and tried several times to describe it to him over the phone.  I think he said that he would come up to see.  Quick as a wink, there were two harried and concerned-looking gentleman knocking at my door, asking what the problem was.  I showed them what I needed, and they seemed confused and kept glancing around the room, but said that they would locate one for me to use.  Before they went out the door, one of them asked, “So you do not need a doctor?”  Haha!  I was saying, “Adapter,” over and over, and he thought the middle-aged American lady was asking for a doctor!

Tech Support Joseph is almost solely responsible for my ability to blog this week.  It’s taken most of the time since I arrived to try to solve various computer issues with the help of Joseph, and they would not have been solved without him.  And there are more issues to tell him about tomorrow!

We all got to Skype one-sided, though, and that was fun!  They could see me, and unfortunately that is also what I had to look at, heh heh.  But I got to hear all their voices, and that was wonderful!

And with that, I am signing over and out, before I fall over and out!  I hope to post the rest of the pictures tomorrow night!


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18 Responses to “Trip One Day One”

  1. Felicity says:

    I’m glad you’re there safe and sound!  Thank the Lord!  I hope you sleep well, and feel bright-eyed tomorrow.  (You’re now more or less in the same time-zone as us.)

  2. Gail says:

    Hi Susanna! I’m so glad that your flights went well and that you’ve arrived safely! I’m praying, praying, praying!!!!! 

    Your attorney looks so kind!!!!!!


  3. Deanna Rabe says:

    So glad that your flights were good and all your travel was fine.  Your attorney reminds me of Katie’s Baba…

  4. Denise says:

    I don’t know how I missed that you are already traveling!!!!  WOW!!  That is so exciting Susanna!!

    I will be in prayer for you, and will share with our church family as well.

    I am so excited to check back in here and see more updates!!!!

    God Bless and Protect you as you travel to see your sweet babe!!

  5. Becky K. says:

    Yay!  You have arrived.  SO good to hear from you.  Hope you have a wonderful sleep and wake refreshed.  Love you!

  6. sabrina says:

    How surreal it is that you are actually in [Katie’s country]!  I am so excited for you, am looking so forward to following along, and promise to keep praying!

  7. Susie, I have tears streaming down my face knowing that you are SO close to meeting your baby girl. Praying abundant blessings over you, your attorney, Katerina and her Baba!!!!  I have no doubts you will be salt and light in a dark country. Keep smilin’!

  8. Marilyn Osborn says:

    So EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Praying for you!!!!!!!  (((((((hug)))))))))

  9. Jillian says:

    I’m holding back tears as I read this! I am so excited for you!!! Praying for your attorney and you and your family, etc. Thank you SO much for updating! :D

  10. Kim Yeatts says:

    This is so very exciting!!! Thanks for the update. Praying sweet sleep and sweeter dreams for you tonight.

  11. Thought of you today and I’m so happy you arrived safe and sound!  May the Lord Jesus continue to be with you and I look forward to reading your updates.  ((hugs))

  12. Kimberly Zimmerman says:

    So grateful for the news that you have arrived safely and with no traveling issues!  Lots and lots of prayers were being prayed.  We will def. continue to pray for your strength, health, energy, stamina and most importantly that Satan would be BOUND and Jesus would be glorified!  Carry on “Mother Susanna!” And a very special THANK YOU to Joseph for all the tech. support – we all love and appreciate you for it!!

  13. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    Praying for you……

  14. Joy says:

    Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!!! Look at you go, Little Susanna from the country!!! : )

    So glad to hear that you’re there safely. I canNOT wait to hear about your meeting with Katie!! (and see pics!!!)

    Those pics of you saying goodbye to your children are SO precious!!! Oh, you can FEEL your emotion just seeing the hugs!!! I am praying for your heart to be okay during this time away from Verity. She is in GREAT hands!

    I loved the pics from the airplane! And you’re so present-minded to have gotten that pic of your attorney as you were coming down the ramp!

    And LOL that they thought you were saying “doctor” !!! I could see how that could be. Too funny!

  15. Lara Font says:

    So glad you are there safely!!!!  So excited for you my friend! 

  16. I’m SOOO thankful that you are there!  I can’t wait to hear how it all goes.  We are very glad to be home safe and sound.  I looked at the “view” in your pictures and thought, “I JUST saw that, too!!”  :)  Lots of prayers for you this week — Christy

  17. Tami Swaim says:

    Love you dear sister! 

  18. Anna T says:

    YEA!!  You’re in [Katie’s country]!!  I am catching up tonight on your blog : ) !!  My mom talked of feeling “darkness” when she visited Russia a few years ago.  I’m very impressed that you are able to blog from afar, yea Joseph!!  I’m praying for you and looking forward to welcoming your children tomorrow!!

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