It was a quiet day today (well as quiet as it can be with 12 kids under age 13) at Hotel Paris. Everyone played together fairly well. No major tantrums. Yay!
In the morning we were finally able to get in touch with a Pastor of a church here in Bogota. Brent had been emailing him and we had hoped to attend church with them, but it never worked out. Thankfully he was available to visit for an hour or so this morning. He was super friendly (everyone is!) and was a huge blessing for us to meet.
At 2:30 Sylvia picked me up to go to the Embassy to pick up the visas. I needed the receipt I had been given (fyi) in order to get in the embassy. It was a quick and painless visit and the man was super friendly. I received 3 fat manilla envelopes that are taped shut with a special signature over it. These are the super important papers that everyone says DON'T OPEN! Otherwise it voids the entire adoption- or so I'm told.
Then we drove to the translation office. We had the sentencia and new birth certificates translated in Colombia since it is cheaper to do it here. These are needed for the readoption in the state of Maryland. That was a little crazy. First they didn't have the documents ready and we had to wait half an hour. Then I found mistakes on 4 different documents. Names were spelled wrong and Brent's passport number was wrong twice. Thankfully, they were able to fix them on the spot. It was supposed to be a 10 minute trip and it took almost 2 hours!
Back at the hotel, I finished packing the bulk of the suitcases. Cindy has been on a "Papi Only" strike so he ended up entertaining her most of the time so I could get stuff done! We said our goodbyes to the staff who have been so sweet. The main cook is hysterical and jokes around with us (mostly Brent) a lot. We left them all some salt water taffy from Ocean City. Then we took photos with them and the other family. Our kids are going to miss their new friends so much. I can't explain how much of a blessing it has been to be with the other families both in Medellin and here in Bogota. It forges a bond that is irreplaceable- especially as we commiserate and help each other through the daily tantrums and parenting issues! LOL!
Tomorrow we leave the hotel around 5:30am and arrive at the airport at 6:30, but our flight doesn't leave until 9:30ish. So hopefully we will be able to entertain everyone for that long of a time! I am so excited that this day is finally here! I'm counting down the hours! So are the kids! I can't tell you how many times I answered Jonathan's question about how many more hours until we leave! LOL!
Even though the title says Day 26, that is only how many days we've had our chicos. We've been in country 28 days....
Tonight is the end of the beginning and tomorrow is the beginning of the end!
As I sit here thinking about our past month in Colombia, I am so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support of our family and friends. We truly couldn't have survived this time without all your emails and FB comments filled with encouragement. Sometimes they were words of excitement, empathy, scriptures to uplift, stories from home to distract- everything! And each one was sent at the perfect moment. Just in the minute it was needed. I love it when God does that!
And for all the family and friends who have blessed us so much by driving us to and from the airport, shopping for us, cleaning our house, fixing us meals, watching our dog, donating money, giving us hand-me-down clothes or furniture- you are the hands and feet of Christ. You have shown the love of Christ to us and to our family in bountiful ways. It has brought us so much joy to watch the body of Christ in action. Each of your deeds have been in obedience to the prompting of the Spirit and it has brought glory to Him.
This whole adoption has been all about Him from the beginning. He has set the example of a tender loving Father who rescues us- sinners who are lost and in despair. He has been our guide as we set out on this journey. At times it has been difficult to be patient and I'm sure the future will hold MANY more times where we are on our knees praying for help. But it is a comfort to know He IS and HAS BEEN and ALWAYS WILL BE in control of it all.
I hope that keeping up with the posting while in country has been helpful not only for our close family and friends, but also for the adoption community at large. I am so grateful for the other families who have chronicled their time in country. I feel like it made our time here more predictable. And I've gotten a ton of ideas and help. If anyone reading this is going through the Colombia adoption process and has questions, please email me. I'd be happy to help as much as I am able! firstname.lastname@example.org
***Even though the title says Day 26, that is only how many days we've had our chicos. We've been in country 28 days....Adoptive families are always searching the timelines of other people so I wanted to clarify!