Saturday, June 3, 2017

Drew Sibley: Closing up in Bogota

Last day in Bogota.

Mixed feels for sure.

On one hand, are we excited to be going home after only 4 weeks in country? Yes.

Does my heart break for the reality of adoption for this little person? YEP. He doesn't even know what he is about to lose. I'm pretty sure he has thought he was on vacation from Fana this entire time, and I've been a fab tour guide. I choose to keep the majority of his grief and trauma quiet, but it is there and it is real. This isn't all rainbows for this little soul. But lucky for me, he is letting me into his space to help him along the journey, for which I am grateful for his resilient spirit.


Silly first world things Sam and I miss include: My Keurig, Annabelle the cat, flushing toilet paper, having a minivan with 5 point car seat containment, not relying on wifi for all communication, the English language, and microwaves, frozen waffles, milk that doesn't taste "like the cow was in a lake" (according to Sam). I feel like I do a pretty good job putting all of the comforts of our home in perspective and appreciating what we have been blessed with, but it's funny the things that you miss about your normal life over time (::: cought cough::: MY KEURIG). I have faithful made melted cheese sandwiches every night since I've been here with my little hot plate and a fork for dinner. I am culinary greatness. Who is a spoiled little princess apparently? Me. Girl can't even wait the 5 minutes for normal coffee pot to brew.


So since my last update on the 30th, everything went to plan in terms of adoption processing. We reported to the Embassy promptly on Wednesday morning and everything was approved. I wasn't able to take any pictures of that process, because the American Embassy's are not a fan of cameras or anything that can record.

The Embassy was happy to let us pick up the Visa same day, but we had already dealt with 3 hours in the car, we couldn't use any of the boys electronics in the waiting area, and Drew was.... ahem... "DONE" with that process. Since I had plenty of time before my original flight today, we returned on Thursday morning to pick it up and all was well.

I'd take a picture of the glorious Embassy envelope, but I prefer nobody touch it. That thing was 9 months of work for me and 3.5 years of waiting for Drew. Let's let it sit safely behind many locked things.

So this week, the weather has taken a turn towards ending the raining season and things are much closer to what I remember Bogota being last time around. We have clouds, and it still rains, but not all day and straight to your face.

I made a point of taking a few pictures of where we have been killing time lately.

Crepes and Waffles (again) after our Visa was approved!

Here we must insert an honorable mention for the play area at Pan Pa Ya. We usually looked horrible while there, bombed everything with bread junks and strawberry juice, and Drew spent most of his time taking off his pants in the ball pit. You're not missing much in the photo department of these outings.

Things inside our little apartment at Plenitud de La Fontana Hotel Estellar were not always happy and pleasant and pretty.. but sometimes they were.

Behold, the park behind our hotel. Great for letting Drew run free, petting other peoples spoiled dogs, and blowing bubbles. Sammy is modeling for you.

There are many lovely parks in our area, which we frequented whenever it wasn't raining on us. Our two favorites were one next to our old guest house El Refugio, that was a haven for lots of other peoples fancy spoiled dogs. The other was the Parque El Campo which is a huge green complex a few blocks from the apartment. Home to lots of soccer leagues, birds Drew liked to chase, a play ground, and some really interesting outdoor work out equipment if you want to watch some Colombians get their fitness on.

Now here are some random pictures of us on the street, and our favorite drainage basin. Sammy liked to guess what it would smell like on any given day and what weird stuff we would see.

And last, here is the beautiful complex where we have been living. Despite the items listed at the top of this blog, this place has been a great time to really dig deep in myself and process some stuff that has been stuffed down in there since our move. I have loved the sunshine when I could get it, the cobblestone, the flowers, and the friendly staff that always flirted with my little men. I really will miss this place. The picture that has the 2nd floor "window-ed in balcony" is our apartment. I loved the spot.

So at this moment, the bags are 95% packed. I only have enough pesos left to pay our driver. Drew is finishing his rest. Sammy is having a chill. The toys are packed so we will play outside for a bit when he is up, walk ourselves the mile or so to the big Crefes and Waffles for one last ice cream, then get our butts back here to shower this little men and get the ready for the big ride.

Jorge comes to load us into the van at 8:30p to head for El Dorado airport and back to you all.

p.s. Blog back up when I can come up for air, hopefully sooner than 2 years later like last time :-)


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Week 3: We got a bit stuck

So Ted left us very early a week ago Saturday. I spent that weekend settling back into the neighborhood I was used to near Unicentro Mall/La Fontana hotel and our apartment there.

One of the favorite items of the weekend, once again, Cyclovia!! At that time, our adoption was moving forward ahead of schedule, and I was feeling the hope that I could leave early, so I got any shopping done necessary at the Usaquen market.

On Monday, we were able to get Drew's Colombian passport applied for without difficulty and picked it up on time on Tuesday morning. Next we went straight over to Bienstar, Colombian child welfare, in hopes that the one guy, the head of Colombian adoptions, had signed our would be able to sign our "Conformity" letter. Basically, this is just his signature saying "Yep, Colombian complied with the Hague and so did the Sibley's and the case is closed".

BUT, this guy has a tendency to get sent out of Bogota on business elsewhere in the country, and he had left on Monday previous and would not be returning until Tuesday 5/30 (today). I had been warned this could happen.. and just like that me and every other adoption in the country was stuck until he came back. That was a bummer. I was pretty pumped to get to go home early and now I was here with absolutely nothing to do for a full 7 days.

So we killed time.We killed so much time.. in the rain.. in the apartment.. walking in the rain.. running outside when it wasn't raining.. all of that.

Though I was in the midst of a very challenging day personally, some joy shone down on Thursday when Maria Teresa took us to the Multi-Parque and Sammy was able to get his go-cart on as well as visiting a bunch of animals.

And back up in Minnesota, Ben turned 7, and I'm not totally okay with that just yet.

Even though I had planned to be home, we headed to Cyclovia once again!

So we handled that and bonded, and I'm pretty sure my parenting quality control went to an all time low?

But this morning, SUCCESS! Conformity letter obtained, amongst the stack of letters that were sitting on the guys desk for everyone else.

So we came home triumphant, and decided going out to lunch at Crepes and Waffles was very necessary for this day of days.

We got an email from the embassy later in the afternoon that we are to show up tomorrow morning for our appointment, out the door at 7:30am!! I've always had positive experiences during my Embassy interviews, so we will hope that tomorrow is good for round #5.

Personally, my favorite part of the American Embassy compound in both Colombia and Ethiopia is the pristine, clean power flush toilets. They are amazing when you have gotten used to life without it.