Thursday, Day 8. Last day in country

We ate breakfast early this morning in order to make a 10 AM appointment with Miglena from our in country adoption agency. We had to have some paperwork notarized authorizing a second attorney to continue fighting our case for Emma, go to the bank to payment for our interpreter, and at 11 AM meet with the attorney who is going to court for us for Emma.

We had an early breakfast so we didn’t have to rush Cara, who likes a large variety of foods, and as I said before, eats like a truck driver. This morning was no different. Once again she was greeted by her staff who are now calling her Princess Cara! They wait on her hand and foot, making sure she has a booster seat, a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, a glass of warm water (they think ice water is too cold for her to drink) and tuck her napkin inside her shirt  so she does not to mess up her beautiful clothes! Usually, I can go get her a plate of food and bring it back to her, but her highness insisted in choosing her own foods today. J I have to hold her in one arm, and lift all the lids off the serving dishes so she can look inside. If she wants something from that dish, she will point and say “Dah”. If she doesn’t want anything, she says “Ne”. There are two breakfast bars, one with the hot food, one with the cold. And it goes around both sides. That’s a lot of lifting of serving lids, and a lot of NE’s going with it. She finally picked scrambled eggs, a couple of potato patties, and a croissant. She had her usual fruit too, and she wanted another Activia yogurt. She ate most of her breakfast, giving me back the croissant. She loves the croissants so I was quite surprised.

After breakfast, we took a cab to the courthouse where we met Miglena and began our trek to the notary and bank. We had to get the authorization papers notarized giving the attorney fighting Emma’s case for us permission to represent us in court. We also had to convert some dollars into Euro so we could pay him, and then to the office to meet with him. Cara was good with everything until we got to the bank, and she had a melt down over something. I was waiting in line, when she started howling, and Ron took her outside. The man who was next in line, let us go ahead of him so we could get her moving quicker, which we were all very grateful for.

When we arrived at Miglena’s office, I was thrilled to see Sveti, and Yoana! I had Cara show them she could count to 14 in English with no help, and they were excited to see her doing so well. Yoana was particularly surprised as she was the one who went with us to pick her up and experienced first hand what a train wreck she was.

We were escorted into the private office where the attorney was waiting to meet with us. I could not tell you his name if you offered me a million dollars, but he was young and very nice. He explained each detail to us, what to expect with the next court date in March, and that he was glad we had a woman judge this time. He said if they were mothers, they tended to be far more sympathetic to cases involving children. Nadia, one of the foundation attorneys interjected here and there, but the bottom line was, none of them really think we are going to win. It’s a shame that there is no faith in this country. For more than 20 years there has been no belief in God. They don’t understand my faith, and my honest belief that God told me this was my child, and that I do not believe He would bring me this far to say “no.” They were all very grateful I was willing to fight this case because we are setting precedent and opening doors that were not open in this country in the past. I have no problem with that, but made sure they all knew that the child I was advocating for was Emma, and I wanted them to do their best to win this case. Setting precedent is fine, but without a win, it’s fairly pointless. The Ministry isn’t going to pay much attention to this if they win. I was grateful to meet with the attorney. He is now able to put faces to this case, we are not just a name on a piece of paper. He knows how passionate I am about getting this child home, and opening doors for other older parents that have many years of life left and want to give a child a family.

We walked back to the hotel, and Cara was very excited to be back out in the fresh air. She window shopped all the way down the boulevard, pointing out shoes, and clothes, sweets, and anything else she found interesting. She chattered at us pointing at this and that. The jack hammer didn’t throw her, and she walked calmly through the noise. When we got the long pedestrian bridge going over the street below to the hotel, she dropped daddy’s hand and marched ahead in confidence. She was so cute, holding her baby, walking ahead of us, then turning to look at us occasionally to see if we were still coming.

When we got back to the room, we all napped, as we knew we would be out late at dinner. Cara rocked herself to sleep, sucking her thumb. I look forward to the day she feels safe enough to know she can snuggle with me for comfort instead of rocking herself like that.

Tonight we are having dinner with Barry and JoAnn Wester, who are also in country this week picking up their daughter Anna. Anna is 5 years old and blind, but loves music, and anything that makes noise. They came to our hotel to meet us, and we walked to the restaurant.  Before we left, I bent down by Anna in her stroller to say hello and hold her hand for a moment. She smiled when she felt my hand, and heard my voice. She has an incredible smile, and is a beautiful little girl! We had dinner at a traditional folk restaurant with singing and dancing. We arrived early so we could eat before the show started. When we got to the restaurant, we were told that the table they had reserved for us had been in another location, but since there were two children, they thought it might be easier for us if they put us at the entrance, in a huge hollow barrel! We were almost completely enclosed, and I truly suspect they were afraid the two little girls were going to be disruptive. J We settled around the barrel, and Cara immediately started to cry. I pulled her up into my lap, and that is where she stayed.

I finally found a place with traditional meat balls! Last October, when we had been to visit Cara, I discovered meat balls! They are about the size of sliders, with a mixture of ground beef and pork, minced onion, thyme, parsley, salt and garlic. Each restaurant we ate at had a little different way of seasoning them, and they were wonderful no matter we had them. I think that was about the only thing I ate the week we were there. I hadn’t found any place that served them on this trip, so I was beyond happy when I saw them on the menu. I ordered two for me, two for Cara, and Ron ordered two also. What a surprise we got when our order arrived and we were served these HUGE meat balls!  Cara didn’t eat much of hers, I ate half of one, and Ron ate one. I wasn’t able to get much down Cara with her head resting on my shoulder, but I did manage to interest her in a few bites. It is no easy feeding a child when you can’t see their mouth!

We all enjoyed the singing and dancing, but I think Anna enjoyed it the most! After each song, she clapped her hands, and yelled “BRAVO!” And then she would let out this very deep belly laugh! She is such an enchanting little girl! Cara watched without moving, but she enjoyed it also. Unfortunately, Ron didn’t see much because of the angle of the barrel, but what he saw he enjoyed. It is definitely a place I would eat at again!

It was 11 PM before we got back to our room, and we had to be up by 4:30 AM in order to get to the airport in time for our 8:02 AM flight home. I had packed before we left for dinner, so we were all able to crawl into bed. Cara was asleep before her head hit the pillow, and I wasn’t far behind. All I could think of was home. We are finally going home!