So as I posted about last week, we have received the referral for our son! We did a “gender reveal beard” over the weekend which was pretty fun. I think I have a career as a beard colourist in my future. For someone who tried very hard to get out of it, Jason actually enjoys his pop of colour now 😉
So about our son… he is 5.5 years old. He lives in a group home in Topoli, Bulgaria. He has a dx of partial deafness and he has developmental delays.
We leave to meet him on September 7th! Because of how the layovers work, we actually leave in the evening and don’t arrive in Varna until the 9th. We need to be there on September 10th to meet up with our translator, but the first visit will be on the 11th. We are so pleased that we get the same translator that we met in February when we tagged along on our friend’s trip 1! She was so nice and awesome with the kids.
Every day we will drive from Varna to Topoli for our visits. Typically there is a morning and afternoon visit of about 1.5 to 2 hours each for the five weekdays that we are there. Sometimes there is only the morning visit on the last day. Usually around the third day we will sign the official acceptance papers if all goes well. We do not get to bring him home on this trip. Bulgaria is a two trip country, so we meet him, come home, and wait to pick him up after we pass court. Families are not present for court.
We will stay for the weekend after the visits because flights are so much cheaper on weekdays! Monday afternoon we will start the trip home. With the time change being in our favor, I think we get home on Tuesday night?
We hope to use the weekend to go to Burgas and say hi to Siobhan’s hometown, but we will see how tired we are!
For anybody who is interested for travel purposes we are flying from Calgary (YYC) to London (LHR), layover in London for about five hours, then London to Vienna (VIE), and a layover for 11 hours in Vienna (during which we have a hotel because its overnight thank goodness!) Then we fly directly from Vienna to Varna in the morning.
On the return trip we reverse the whole thing but with a 16 hour layover in Vienna and only 3 hours in London. These are actually pretty good flights! I don’t know why the Bulgarian connections all seem to be pretty bad from here. Another option is for the 23 hour layover in London, which we have done before, but we are going to try this one with Vienna in the hope that its a little less expensive. I’m sure it will be comparable, but hotels, cabs, and food in London are all pretty pricey. Even one night really adds up! We will also have a layover in Dallas on the way home for 3 hours.
The big flight we booked through American Airlines but it is operated by British Airways (my fave!!) and it is $2675 total. Not bad! The next one is through Austrian (pay attention because they charge for bags!) and it is $1200 total. Airfare for our whole trip is $3875, or about $1291 each. I was surprised that flights hadn’t changed much in price from August to September, but that’s still pretty reasonable. Its very reasonable for what a great airline BA is, I feel like we scored!
We booked an airbnb apartment for our stay in Varna so that we can save some money by cooking our own meals. I love to grocery shop in Bulgaria anyways and I love to cook, so it works out. Here is the apartment and I will let you all know if its any good! We picked something that Google maps said would be relatively quick to drive to the village. There is nowhere to stay in his actual town!
I’ll be back on in a couple of days because I have some new OT/Feeding resources to share!