I have asked people to be praying for several specific things, but I'll list more here now. These have been things that I've been praying for quite awhile now. And, God has already started answering them! I've been praying that -- if it's God's plan, that we'd be able to visit Teodor's school and get a better idea of how he spends his days and exactly what his class is studying. I've also asked that we might could arrange for an English tutor for him during the time between our first trip now and the final trip in which he'll come home with us. I mentioned these things to Toni (our Bulgarian attorney and translator) in an email and she wrote back with great news! Hopefully both of those prayers will be answered at once. She called the orphanage director earlier this week, and they talked of plans for our visit. The director said that, because their village is rural, there really aren't that many professionals in the area that speak English. But, she actually suggested that we visit the school and meet the English teacher there to ask if she would be willing to tutor Teodor!! So, hopefully if this works out, we'll be able to see the school, and arrange for a tutor at the same time! I was smiling for the rest of the morning thinking how great it is to see an obvious example of how God is going before us to work out the details!
This actually brings up another request. I'm now praying that we can very clearly communicate to the English teacher that we want his lessons to be fun!! We're not asking for lots of grammar usage here!! Our main idea is to give him exposure to some good, basic phrases that will be helpful in transitioning to our home... helpful vocabulary taught through games or activities that he looks forward to. I certainly don't want him dreading coming to America because we speak that awful foreign language that has been his worst enemy for the past summer months!! :)
Naturally, meeting with the orphanage director, the teacher(s) at the school, and other caretakers will bring conversations that Toni (who is a believer) will translate. I'm praying that we will have opportunities to express Christ's love in lots of different ways.
Also, as I've mentioned before, I'm praying that Teodor will feel comfortable enough around us to relax and let us see the REAL him!! I really want to see his true personality, as well as any limitations or warning signs of "orphanage behaviors" that we'd like to be aware of. He is listed as a "special needs child," and while we already know of several of those special needs, we want to be able to discern any other things that will help us prepare more fully for having him home with us.
Last -- and this is a big one --- I've been praying that I won't be an emotional wreck when it comes time to leave him and head home. I just can't imagine being with him, bonding with him, and then walking away for possibly six months! I have closely followed other blogs of families that have gone before us to Bulgaria over the past 5 months. When they get to the pictures and descriptions of the last day, I'm in tears over these kids and parents that I have never met before!!! How will I manage when it's MY turn? Only by God's grace. I remember crying on Dan's shoulder one night after we watched the video of a little girl in an orphanage in Bulgaria that I knew we would not adopt. I just couldn't stand the thought of that precious child without a family to love her. I laughed in my tears and asked him if I was falling apart over this sweet little girl that I had never met.... how would I EVER walk out of an orphanage after meeting lots of similar kids without taking them all home with me? I'm starting to pray NOW for next Thursday around noon when we will drive away from Teodor's orphanage.