Sunday, November 9, 2014

Meeting M.

We have been gone to Bulgaria for 2 weeks! Now that we are home, I will be blogging all about our trip. Click theses links if you would like to first read about our trip to Bulgaria. We first spent 5 days meeting our daughter E, then 5 meeting our son M.

From October 24:

When I first woke up, the sun was starting to peek out. But the day turn out to be overcast and cold. This was exactly my mood. I wanted to be excited and happy, but the like the sunshine covered by the clouds, my mood was overcast by leaving E. the day before combined with a cold I had caught, the jet lag that was probably catching up to me and the dreary weather. Andrew and I both felt the sadness of leaving our daughter the day before. At the same time we felt nervous excitement to meet our son. 

When we went out to the car, our driver Dimo discovered that the car had a flat tire - more of a slow leak. Dimo drove us to the Social Welfare Office and then went to get the tire fixed.

Andrew and I went into the Social Welfare Office with our translator, Ivan. I assumed it would be the same as with E. We would meet somebody official, then we would go to meet our son. 
We walked down a hall. When we stepped into the office, I was surprised to see M. sitting on a chair in front of one of the desks. As soon as I saw M., I knew it was him. I recognized him from the pictures we had received of him. He looked nervous, fiddling with the wrapper of a roll of bread. (He told us later he remembers watching us get out of the car in the parking lot - that he could see us out of the office window.) I went immediately to him and said his name and knelt down by him. It is all a little fuzzy now in my memory as it all happened so fast. I sat on the left of M. and Andrew on the right. We pulled our chairs right up next to his. I asked him "Gladen Lisee?" (Are you hungry, pointing to the bread roll.) M. said no. After a few moments. He looked at me and said "momma" and at Andrew and said "daddy." He took turns snuggling up to Andrew and me, going back and forth. He looked pleased and happy! Here was the son I had been waiting 6 months to meet. I just wanted to finally touch him. I stroked his silky black hair, and rubbed his back. 

After a few minutes, M. pointed to Ivan our translator and said what sounded to our ears like teacher (something like che-cha). Andrew said "da, yes, teacher." M. was actually saying the Bulgarian word for uncle. It stuck. For the next 5 days, M. called our translator uncle. (Later when he met our driver, he called him "my man!") 

After our Ivan got everything settled with the people at the social welfare office, Ivan, M.'s Social Worker, Andrew, M. and I walked to a park together. Well, the social worker and Ivan walked. Maybe walked isn't exactly the right word for how Andrew, M., and I got to the park. Andrew and I each held one of M.'s hand. As we went down the side walk, M. wanted to jump. So we said, "One, two, three, jump!" And M. said, "edno, dve , tri..." M. had a beautiful joyful laugh!

On the way to the park, M. showed us the school he attends. Then M. told "uncle" about a toy store. M. explained that it had more stuff besides toys, like perfume, if we wanted to buy something. Not a toy for him - something for us. But the store did have this toy...

M.'s School
At the park, we discovered M. like to swing too. We are definitely going to have to put a swing in our back yard! He didn't need pushed like E. did. He could pump his legs himself. I gave him an underduck anyway, just for fun! He laughed. M. wanted me to sit on the swing next to him.

After swinging, M. announced that he needed to go to the restroom. We walked to a restroom. Next door to the building with the restroom, a chicken was being killed. As we left, M. said "Mom, check this out!" I didn't look. (I want to continue to enjoy eating chicken!) 

We walked to the toy store. Sure enough, M. went right to the gun with a red and a blue laser site on it. He must have wanted it for a long time. it cost 4 Lev or about $2.50. I am wondering, "Is it culturally acceptably for us to by the gun for M.?" It must have been because our translator offered to buy it for him. No, we could buy it for him.

Next, we walked to a pharmacy and got some over the counter cold medicine. As we walked together, M. had a blast pretending to shoot things. He also like to pretend to be a policeman. M. would have us put our hands up and pretend to frisk us. Then he would laugh!

M.'s social worker decided we were fine together. She said we could take M. to our hotel since it was cold. We walked her back to the Social Welfare Office, then walked to our hotel with M. and our translator.  

In the hotel, Andrew and Ivan had coffee. M. and I had herbal tea. I took my cold medicine - a powder that dissolved in a cup of hot water. It was lemon flavored with a yucky after taste. 

We all went up to our hotel room. We were about to see how a boy with lots of energy did in hotel room for several hours. M. is full of energy, but he also has the ability to self-regulate and calm himself. First, we played with a balloon, batting it around and trying to keep it from touching the ground. Again, we got to here M.'s beautiful laughter! After we played with the balloon, I got out the picture album I had made for M. to show him our family, our home and his new sister and grandparents.

When it was time for lunch, we all walked down to a restaurant for lunch. The restaurant had a Foosball table that cost about a quarter to play. M. wanted to play, so we did when we had finished eating. M would laugh and cheer, saying "goal, goal" no matter which side the ball went in.

After lunch, we check back in with the social worker and then returned to the hotel room and played with Playdough, and played Go Fish and Old Maid.

At 4pm. we went back to the Social Welfare Office and signed some papers about our first day visiting with M. Then the social worker rode with us to the village where M. lives with his foster family. I like seeing where M. has been living the past few years. A quaint village with houses with little gardens and grape harbors. His road is a dirt road and he directed us to his home. M.'s foster mother greeted us and invited us into the home. We got to meet M.'s foster father, foster mother, foster sister (the biological child of his foster parents) and foster grandmother. We sat down at their table and M.'s foster mother served us cookies and coffee and tea. It was nice to get to know everyone and a nice way to end the day.

Side note: M.'s foster parents are not related to M. in anyway. Just like foster parents here in the U.S., they have received training and had M. placed in their home. M. does not call them mother and father though. In Bulgaria, foster parents are trained not to become too affectionate to the foster children, and not to let the children placed in their home call them mother or father. M. calls his foster parents by their given name.

Read about our 2nd day with M. here.

I know you all want to see pictures of our handsome son. However, I won't be sharing any pictures publicly on the internet. In order to be allowed to take pictures with M., we had to sign papers saying we wouldn't publish his name or photos online.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for all the details. we can hardly wait to meet your children