It's been a long and bumpy road but I just got news that the judge in Bulgaria approved the adoption and we passed court!
On Wednesday, February 19 I finally got to see my daughter's photo for the first time and learn all about her. I'm so insanely excited but I also can't believe it's actually happening! I will leave on March 6 to go to meet her on March 9. We will spend a few days together before I officially sign saying I will accept her. All my travel is booked and I'm starting to work on the second part of my dossier. There are a few documents that I need to update and hope to have most, if not all, ready before I even leave for trip one. Things are going to start happening fast now and it's going to be a wild ride. I can't believe I have a DAUGHTER!!!
It's been a VERY long time since I updated and the wait has been full of ups and downs. I am not patient without having something to do and without information. Finally on February 13, 19 weeks and 2 days after being registered, I got the call that I have a proposal! Because of the way the process goes here I have no information about her yet. I need my homestudy agency to officially present the proposal. Right now all I know is that I have a daughter, with Down syndrome, who is under two year old. I'm so happy and relieved that my wait is finally over but I need more details and to see a picture before it will begin to feel real.
I just got news that I'm officially registered with Bulgaria and I'm now just waiting for a referral. Since I was registered October 1st I could technically have a match right this very second. Crazy! I'm so excited but also a bit nervous. I'm further than India and now I'm at the same point I was with private adoption. I know that I'm much more likely to get a referral this time than with private but it's still hard to be patient and just wait it out.
My coordinating agency informed me, almost two weeks ago now, that my dossier had been legalized, translated, and submitted to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice for registration! Things are happening much faster than I anticipated. At first I was a bit worried because I don't feel like I'm ready, but now that I've had time to process things I'm so excited. I should be registered this week (if I'm not already!) but it will be a bit before I know since they have to translate the confirmation letter. After that I could receive a referral at any time. I could even have a referral before I even get the confirmation letter! Again, I won't know I have a referral for a bit since the documents have to be translated, sent to my coordinating agency, then sent to the provincial government, then sent to my homestudy agency to present to me. Things take such a long time, but I'm almost certain I will have a referral before Christmas! So many years of waiting for this moment and I can't believe it's almost here! I'm hoping I'm not jinxing myself by getting excited since I've been down this road before, but Bulgaria is very smooth and everyone I follow in the process with Bulgaria is having an easy time. Hopefully I will as well.
Just got back from sending off my dossier paperwork. The past few days have been a bit crazy. Running around getting paperwork redo, printing, signing, organizing, talking with my coordinating agency. I was going to wait to submit my dossier but my agency convinced me that it would be okay to submit now. They said that given how long it will take to legalize, translate, register me, then we still have to wait for a referral to be made, all those files translated, then finally have it presented to me, I will have enough time to come up with the next fee. It scares me to not have the money but I'm trying to trust that everything is happening just as it's meant to and that it will all be ok in the end. I can't believe I actually submitted my dossier! Hopefully this one will have a happier ending than when I submitted for India.
After FIVE months my homestudy has finally been approved by the province. I have almost all my dossier paperwork ready to go but I will have to wait until I save up some more money first. I have enough to submit but I don't have enough yet to accept a referral. I don't want to have to turn down the referral just because I rushed to submit. I know that there will be time between me sending my paperwork and me actually getting a referral, since the paperwork has to be translated, mailed, and registered with the Ministry of Justice first, but Bulgaria is very efficient and I don't want to risk it. So I sit here, on the paperwork, for another 11 weeks. I can't wait for this to be over with and I really hope I finally get a happy ending.
I finally was able to get all my paperwork submitted and things moving along again. Since there was so much to update I have to sign a new copy of my homestudy. My agency sent off everything electronically and they are just waiting to hear back from the government that we are good to go. After that they will mail me it to sign, I will mail it back to them, they will mail it to the government, they will then (hopefully) approve it right away and send me my approval. All the postage costs are adding up fast lol.
For the first time in a long time I'm actually feeling hopeful. This homestudy has just so draining when it shouldn't have been. I was just approved and nothing changed except the country. It shouldn't have been this hard. Mind you part was due to the fact that my agency failed to inform me about the documents that I had to redo and that wasted two months of time but still. The questions that the government was asking were things that were irrelevant when there is a child in an orphanage that needs a home. I know they are just doing their jobs but being on this end it's frustrating.
Anyway, time to stop ranting and time to start celebrating. This part is almost done and then I can get started on my dossier. Almost all of it is complete, there are just a few things I'll need to print/do. At this point I'm hoping to submit my dossier by the end of September. Financially I will get good because I will have time to save the next fee and my brother offered to lend me some if things happen too fast and I need it. Others that I'm following that are in the process of adopting from Bulgaria seem to be having a smooth experience. It is a country that really has it's ducks in a row and that makes all the difference. There doesn't seem to be extremes in their timelines and the process is pretty streamlined. I know exactly what to expect as things move along. So deep breath, this should be the end of the huge paper chase. A few things will need to be updated before court but beyond that I should be good to go!
I'm a bit frustrated right now. First the social worker forgot to submit the paperwork to the government and to call my references. Now I'm being told that document I was originally told I didn't need are needed. This really sucks because right now it's the busiest time of the year at work. I have no way to find time to get my medical done. Thankfully other paperwork I already had because I was getting it ready for my dossier but my medical I was waiting. I told my agency they I wasn't going to get their medical form done just to turn around and need the one for Bulgaria done, therefore I'm just doing the one I need for my dossier and they can use that for my homestudy as well. I am very busy until the end of the school year and then I'm away for the first week right after. Now everything is going to be delayed because mid-July is the earliest I will have the form completed. If my agency had told me about this sooner (like they should have) I easily could have had it completed when I was off on break in February or April. I even could have found time after work one day to do it. Unfortunately now, with how busy I am, it's just not possible. Hopefully in the meantime everything else with my homestudy will be approved so as soon as they receive the medical they can just approve the homestudy and we can move on. I also found out about some fees that I thought were included in another fee but aren't. So now I have to come up with that money as well. I'm so frustrated and tired, I just want this to be finally over with.
My social worker contacted me last week. My homestudy is being reviewed and they had some more questions. Hopefully I will have approval by the end of the month. I'm aiming to submit my dossier sometime in October or November. Until then I'm trying to work on updating the blog and YouTube to my new focus.
I am 31, single, and been on my journey to becoming a single mother since 2013. I have struggled with infertility and I am now on the path to international adoption of a little girl with Down syndrome. Come join me on my journey to becoming a mother!