I feel like our days are just repeating the same thing over and over this week! I feel so thankful for how well things are going this week. I am just in awe that so early in this process we are having such success!
After breakfast, Brent walked to the grocery store with Grant, Jake and Jonathan. It was Jonathan's first time in a grocery store (as we know it)- EVER. Brent said he did pretty well, considering he had to be told no to a lot of things he asked for. I know Brent was glad he had all his helpers because it was a bunch of bags to carry back- UPHILL! You know, at home when I think of uphill, it is nothing like what uphill is here! It is so steep! The city is literally built into the side of the mountain so there is not one single level road in the whole place. I can't imagine how often people need to replace their brakes here!
They brought home some mangos to try and Luisa was super excited. We had never had one, so she showed us how she just slices it like a tomato and eats it. I think she almost ate the whole thing herself! Can't believe she didn't get a stomachache afterward! It turns out it is her all time favorite fruit.
While Brent was at the store, the little girls dressed up in their pretty dresses complete with tights, dress shoes, and hair bows. They were so cute even though they didn't fully match! I had brought some cloth play food, so I got that out along with some kitchen dishes I had bought for the pool. They had a blast playing with the food and dishes and lots of water at the coffee table.
After lunch, we headed to the pool. It was on the cool side so Quinn and Jonathan decided to go bug catching in the bushes behind the pool. They found some big bugs/beetles in the leaves (not leaves like at home! Big waxy Amazonish-type leaves!) and made them their pets! They fed them bits of chips and made a little home for them in the play dishes! I love watching little boys play with bugs! I can't explain it, but it just makes me happy- like all is right with the world! Boys enjoying the creation God made, not needing to be entertained by worldly distractions....so precious!
After an hour or so it started thundering so we packed up and headed back to the apartment. I decided that the US kids needed to do some schoolwork. The chicos were sorely disappointed that I had not brought them school books, though the older kids would have gladly given them theirs! I tried to pass off coloring books as sufficient but they saw through my lame attempt. LOL! So they decided to play school on their own back in the bedroom. They packed up books and paper in their backpacks and pretended to go to sleep in the beds and then wake up and do school! They were really using their imagination! So often, children who watch a lot of tv lose the ability to do imaginary play for long periods of time. We had been told that they watched hours and hours of tv each day. So when their play lasted almost 2 hours, I was amazed! No one asked for a movie or food or anything. They were completely engrossed! At one point, they asked Quinn to play too and even though he didn't understand what they were playing, he got along fine. I found him and Luisa doing math problems together! Though, Luisa is more advanced than Quinn! It is funny to watch her do addition. She writes the plus sign on the opposite side and forms her letters and numbers different than we do. I'm enjoying watching her! As a teacher I find it interesting to see and interpret how she has learned.
We played a few games- checkers and Blink. By that time, it was dinnertime- tacos! After dinner the kids played more games and cut and colored! Every day the coffee table and carpet look like a paper factory exploded! They are getting pretty creative, though! Luisa had made probably hundreds of paper coins and bills! Jonathan copies anything Quinn does. Today Quinn made himself a paper policeman costume and Jonathan had to have an exact replica too! Oh, when Brent explained to Cindy that he was a policman, she didn't like that idea! She said, "NO!" HA! I guess she doesn't have a good association with police!
Somehow all our older kids ended up on our bed to watch a Dora movie and Luisa and Jonathan ended up in the living room to watch Princess Bride again. It is their favorite movie!
After dinner, Brent and Luisa made brownies. In Colombia there is this thick liquid cream that they put on desserts or ice cream. Brent had bought some to put on top of the brownies and you'd have thought the kids had died and gone to heaven! I didn't think it had much flavor but they loved it!
The rest of the evening was very quiet, even though we had a short issue with Jonathan getting upset. The tantrums aren't even what I would consider a tantrum anymore. Honestly, I probably had to scold our bio kids more today than the Colombian kids! Brent and I keep saying how we are totally amazed at how well this week is going. We are so thankful to the Lord for allowing the kids to progress so quickly. Last week we were not so hopeful, so this week we are just in awe.
Yesterday we did get some difficult news from our agency. We learned that our program manager, his wife who is also employed by Gladney, our attorneys Nora and Blanca have all lost their jobs. Gladney is cutting expenses and as of yesterday, their jobs are terminated. We are so, so sad for them. It was a total shock for them so they are hurt and still reeling from the news. We have been reassured by both Gladney and each of them personally that they will finish our case to the end, for which we are extremely thankful. I don't know what we would do if we were suddenly left on our own at this point! We are praying that they find work quickly and can continue to do what they do best- find families for children! In our experience they have each been phenomenal to work with and we are sad to know that we are their last family. Our hearts go out to them, especially for Raul because I am sure this affects his visa situation since he is a Colombian living in the US because of his job.
Ok, heading off to bed now. The bird in the apartment balcony above us starts screaming early in the morning and I don't want to miss it! (said with much sarcasm!)