November 30th was our Siobhan day!
I didn’t sleep a wink the night before because I was too nervous/anxious/excited. I sterilized a bottle for her for the third time and made up some toddler formula. We woke up early (Jason did anyways, I was already awake obvs) had a nice breakfast (Jason did anyways, I was too sick to go downstairs for it) and we were off!
We met our translator outside the orphanage at 9am. Actually she was late, but what’s the hurry?! There’s only a baby waiting inside for us! We had to sit in the “lobby” where we were told that the director was out, but we could wait in the little toy room we had been in on first trip. We waited in the toy room and signed in to the guest book and waited some more. Finally the director’s assistant asked if we would like to meet with them at 11:30 instead, and just go up to her room. Yes please!!
We took the slow elevator up to her floor where they made us put on gowns, masks, and booties. (That would never scare a child!) They brought her out in the hallway and tried handing her to our translator, calling her “mama.” I guess I didn’t look maternal in the getup! Confusion sorted, we got to go sit in her room and play while they explained her feeding and medications to us, all the while pulling their masks down to talk. Ha ha! They took her new clothes and changed her for us.
At the end of the visit all the caretakers came to say goodbye. They asked us to send pictures and let us take some of them with her. A quick stop in the director’s office, we kissed her ring, and we busted out! Did you know if you do enough paperwork, people will just give you a kid?!?
We drove directly from Burgas to Sofia while Siobhan screamed most of the way. Turns out she liked neither formula or my over sterilized bottle. We stopped for snacks, diaper changes, and walkabouts, but getting back into the car was a scene regardless. Poor baby hated her Soviet rental carseat.
Our first night was in a hotel because it was the day before we got the apartment. She screamed when we held her, when we didn’t, and in her bumbo! Unsure of what to do we put her in the pack and play and she went to sleep in about 10 minutes. Now that I know you can indeed force snuggles on your child, I would have done things differently! However, life is about learning, and we probably all needed some space!
This ends my factual account of our gotcha day! I honestly didn’t even have a minute to really think about the emotions so I’ll just put it down how it happened. I think the full gravity of becoming a parent comes in the weeks after, not in the flurry of the process!