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Needing to re-enter Norway without processed visa

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Hello, I am American and I have been waiting on my Norwegian (humanitarian/volunteer) work visa to be renewed for about 5 months now. I live in Ålesund, and my current visa expired November 1. I have been waiting here in Norway for the renewal since last fall since I am allowed to live and work here while I wait.

We called the UDI and they say it's just "still in process" but the problem is, I have to leave the country this Saturday for 10 days for a trip to (non-schengen) Bulgaria. The UDI told me that if I come back into Norway directly-- aka, not re-entering via another Schengen country, I should be ok, but it still feels like a risk to me. Does anyone know if there is a chance I won't be let back in at all, or should is be no problem?

I also have another 10 trip soon after that to the states, but I re-enter in Copenhagen. Not sure if I need to change my tickets to land in Oslo first, but all these changes add up, and become ridiculously expensive, especially since I am already volunteering for a non-profit (unpaid) in one of the most expensive countries in the world.

Thanks for any help!

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