Day 7, Wednesday February 13
Cara woke up feeling much better this morning. I gave her children’s Advil through the night and she woke up without a fever. She was in a much better mood too. I was happy to see this as we had our final embassy appointment this afternoon, and we were going to have to take her out in the cold. She ate a good breakfast, was charming and pleasant to the ever indulgent staff, and happily carried her two bananas back upstairs with us as we finished.
We didn’t have a lot of time to spend in the room before leaving for our appointment, but she wanted to do some puzzles, and make every attempt she could to mess with the radio, phone, lights, and anything else she could get into. The puzzles and games weren’t half as fascinating as opening drawers, turning lights off and on, getting a reaction for picking up the phone, or turning the radio up as loud as it would go. Suddenly, my calm little girl became a mini octopus with hands grabbing everything!
We left at 12:20 PM for the US Embassy. We were to meet Miglena outside the front entrance at 12:40, but we got there early. We were stopped by a guard in the front asking what we wanted. I explained we had an appointment for Cara’s final adoption interview and we were waiting for an employee of our foundation to meet us. I asked if we could get Cara out of the wind, and he took us to the front window where there was another layer of security to get through before going inside. This man took our passports and then asked for Cara’s, which I had to explain we wouldn’t get until after the embassy interview. It took at least 10 minutes of waiting and phone calls to get this poor kid out of the wind and inside where it was warm.
I waited for Miglena to arrive, and when she did, she got the two of us inside much quicker. We had to go through the same security as you do at the airport, taking off our shoes and belts and leaving all electronics behind. I noticed Cara’s baby doll sitting in a bin, having been confiscated because it was battery operated. My heart squeezed a bit, knowing how attached she is and the security it holds for her, and hoped she didn’t get upset over having to leave it.
We walked through another courtyard to a back building where the embassy staff offices were. Miglena has to talk with one of the people hidden behind what I assume was bullet proof glass, not being allowed to walk forward to the window until invited. She spent a long time talking with the woman there, and then told us we would be called by another woman who would ask us questions, and then tell us what the final procedure would be.
We were called in and met by a young American woman who was very friendly and nice. She asked us which foundation we were working with here, how we’d been treated, did we like them, what Cara’s orphanage was like, and what did we think of the medical facility Cara was taken to for her final medical appointment. She said she was asking because she’d heard they were not very good. We agreed, but told her we were very impressed with the foundation we were working with, loved everything they’d done for us, and were just anxious to go home. She then explained that we did not have to wait for any further documentation when we got home, nor did we have to readopt because Cara would be a US citizen as soon as she touched ground at Dulles Airport in Washington DC. We could apply for her SS card immediately, and would not need her American citizenship certificate. We’ve heard several different stories regarding this, so I guess we’ll find out when we get home. The final embassy papers will be ready on Thursday, including Cara’s visa, and her Bulgarian Passport, which Miglena will pick up at 4 PM tomorrow afternoon and bring to us at the hotel. We also have a stack of papers we are to carry with us at all times until we get her home in order to prove we are legally her parents, and are not walking off with some random Bulgarian child! We will be given a sealed manila envelope that is to remain sealed until we arrive in the US, and give those papers to customs. They are the legal papers immigration papers we need to get Cara into the US. I think they get sent to USCIS from there, and her citizenship certificate is issued. I’m not sure of this, just things I have gathered from the information others have spoken of. I’ll know more when it arrives, and where it came from.
Our evening was uneventful, although we celebrated with a dinner of ice cream and cheese cake! Enjoy, little one! This is not the typical dinner you will enjoy when we get home.