All day Friday we were packing and getting everything set to travel the next morning. We visited the park one last time and joined our new friends for dinner. We arrived back at the apartment around 9:30pm, put Andrew down to bed and finished putting the last minute items in the bags. We crashed at 11:00 pm.
Our first flight from Sofia to Frankfurt was at 6am, so we needed to leave the apartment by 4:15am, which meant we would have to wake up at 3am. We woke Andrew up at 3:30am, fed him a light breakfast and we were out the door. He was only fearful stepping on to the plane but was fine with flying otherwise. In fact, he fell back asleep before we even took off from Sofia.
Andrew napped again for about a half hour during our 3 hour layover in Frankfurt. He napped twice during the 10 hour flight from Frankfurt to Atlanta. The only problems we had were when we told him "no" a couple of times and he would throw a fit. Unfortunately on a plane there is nowhere to take him when he behaves like this so we had to deal with him in our seats. All things considered, he really did alright. If you wake a 4 yr old child at 3:30 in the morning and stick him on a plane for 10 hours, you are most likely going to have some moments.
We landed in Atlanta and were greeted by family and friends. Andrew was a little stunned until he noticed his brother and sisters. Then we got a smile and some giggles. We seat belted him into our van with no problems and began the 1-1/2 hour drive home. We stopped along the way for a light dinner with the crowd from the airport. Tobin and Andrew had so much fun together.
All the kids fell asleep on the way home from dinner only to wake up as soon as we pulled into the garage at 11:30 pm. Andrew got a quick tour of the house and then it was time for pajamas and bed. We made Tobin wear matching pajamas so Andrew would want to wear some as well. We tucked all the older sibling in bed first, and then brought Tobin and Andrew into their room. We showed Andrew his bed but he said he didn't want to sleep there and immediately hopped into Tobin's bed and curled up next to him.
Our kids had us up at 8am, so we decided to head to church. Andrew was a bit shy but as the worship started he was clapping and bouncing to the music with a big smile on his face.
Here are some facts we haven't been able to share until now:
At the orphanage they called our son, Sashko, which is short for Aleksandar. His full name is Andrew-Aleksandar Thomas Santo, but for now we're just calling him Sashko.
He turned four this summer!
Sashko's special need is Hydrocephalus, better known as "water on the brain", which he had surgery for at 3months old. He has a shunt from his skull with a drainage tube into his stomach. Its all under the skin and doesn't seem to bother him. We may have to do replacement surgery in a couple of years as he out grows the current shunt.
He lived in St. Sofia orphanage in the capital city of Sofia, so both our trips were spent there.
Golden Rule Travel http://www.goldenruletravel.com/default.asp for booking our flights both trips over to Bulgaria.
Also, our agency is An Open Door Adoption Agency, Inc. http://www.opendooradoption.org/