We got Gabriel’s official written referral today. The documents are in the process of being translated from Bulgarian to English (this process took over the weekend with Jude). We are working on setting up travel dates to go and meet her.
Tonight I am going to sit down and get most of her I-800 done. The remainder I can complete when these documents have been translated. It will be submitted by our adoption caseworker the first day we meet her.
So, some information on Gabriel? She is a girl. She is 1 year younger than Jude, making her 2.5 years old right now. From the start, we have been working towards pickup before she turns 3. Although her needs differ in some ways, we guess that she will have approximately the same level of special needs that Jude functions with. Unlike Jude’s adoption from Bulgaria’s relatively new foster care system; Gabriel is in a traditional orphanage at this time. So we are still venturing into new waters.
I have been answering several questions about our whole (working on 3 years) Bulgarian adoption process. Yes, Gabriel’s adoption will be the last adoption. For several reasons. Yes, Jude and Gabriel will be my only children. And I feel exceptionally lucky that the universe put us in each others lives. The process however doesn’t end when Gabriel comes home. If the timing works out Jude’s final postplacement visit will coincide with Gabriel’s first, about 6 months after she comes home. Additional post placements are done at 12, 18, and 24 months which means that we won’t be completely done until around the end of 2017. We also have no intentions of backing out of advocating for other Bulgarian orphans and hope to assist one of several organizations working with Bulgaria in their goal to close down their orphanages and find a more appropriate solution to the issues facing Bulgarian children and families.
Although Jude and I face them everyday, I also look forward to a time in our family’s life where the biggest problem is ORDINARY DRAMA. Examples being I burnt the fish or we are out of postage stamps. 3 years of waiting for children living 5,000 miles away and rushing to meet government deadlines is incredibly stressful. To have everyone home and reclaim this one but very important thing is what I daily look forward to.