By the way, I'm home!! I DID return home very early on Friday 6/28 and I left Bogota on Thursday evening the 27th, which was my day 57.
*** Also, you must know that at this moment, I am sitting guard in the hallway of my home.. dangerously close to my two older sons who seem to be unable to keep from touching each other. Who, also happen to be about 2 feet away from my peacefully sleeping Samuel. Who, by the way, if you happen to wake up with your mayhem and foolishness, I may possibly "end you" (but obviously not in a way that would prevent me from adopting more beautiful children). So I sit here. Watching. Listening. You already lost your night light. Try me. I even got my spa music going for good measure of my peace of mind in this moment.*****
So yeah.. I'll attempt to catch you up to what I was doing around a month ago. For perspective, I finally got Ben's adoption travel blog updated about 5 months after he got home, so I am making progress. I can get this uploaded, and then it will be done and I can proceed further with this interesting transition phase we adoption minded folk know as the "after the airport".
First, MTP DID get me those pictures of Sam's birth neighborhood!
Also, this will be my official plug for Carbonite online computer back up. Except for a few small glitches with having to reinstall a bunch of stuff, all of my files for adoption and Worthy to Shine and our family were intact.. which is why I get to share all of that with you now!! I didn't get my computer back until next week, but someone forgot the chord so I couldn't update it finally when we were in MN ;-)
Okay, back to Sam's birth neighborhood! These first two are of the office where I went to get his new birth certificate completed.
And here is Hospital Tunal, where little Sammy was born back in September 2011 and his journey to us started. From our area, it seemed to be similar to the way Hospital Engativa ran when I went there with Lucas.
*** So in the process it took this, one of the perpetrators has been removed from his room to the boring and lifeless exile that is my room. There is no joy there.. as well as no space ship night light. There IS still a mother in the hallway that can see you and all of your foolishness.. so why don't you just quietly deal with yourself and we will consider this again in 10 minutes.***
After the birth certificate, we were on our way the following day to get his Colombian passport, complete with his new Sibley name. Everything at the passport office went rather quickly. The interview was very general, I mostly just had to make sure that all of the documentation was correct. When it came to do the photo (of him sitting by himself in a chair without me) the world did not see the usual automatic Sammy smile when he gets his picture taken. Sam was not a fan. I think he thought he was going to get another shot (which is what happened the last time I put him down and a Colombian he didn't know started touchin' him). The picture isn't horrible, but he certainly doesn't look pleased with his lot in life. We returned the next day to pick up his little passport. Since we now had everything in hand, we were able to make our appointment at the US Embassy for what I think was the next day June 20th.
So you may be thinking.. if she had Embassy on June 20th, why didn't she fly until the 27th??
WELL friends, when I had to make my judgement call on our flights, I had to do it back when I had Sentencia, but the Defendor of Minors wouldn't renounce his post, so I knew at best I wasn't going to have those copies in hand until June 15th at the earliest. What if I assumed all was well and he STILL didn't provide my stuff? Then I would have been up an even more expensive creek (to the tune of $3k probably). So Ted and I went conservative and decided it was better to pay a few extra days in hotel cost and KNOW I can fly on what I booked. I didn't know I'd get Embassy on the 20th, it could have taken a few days more if things hadn't have lined up just perfectly.
I wish I could show you pictures of our time at the Embassy, but the US Embassies all of over the world don't allow such things.. it's a lovely place and they've made even more changes. The people have a crepes and waffles!! They don't have the trafficking concerns as much here as Ethiopia, so it is more of a formality. The interview gal was very sweet, and told me how lucky I was given adoptions are now closed for 0-6yr old "normal healthy" kids. She also said she would shoot to have me out of there in an hour.
Sammy was not for sleeping, so he and I rode laps around the common area in his stroller and I had a ridiculous calorie and icecream and caramel situation from Crepes and Waffles and it was fantastic.
We left Embassy envelops in hand on June 20th.
So what did I do that past week? Kill time, and try to kill that time in amusing ways. Below, some examples.
Sammy and Julieth took turns "boop"ing each other on the head, and then took a friendly walk in search of attention from the maids to coo over them.
I went to a lot of play places.
Yes that middle one is a selfie of me with Sammy up in the net.
I went back to the market some more. This was a day I got really lost.
I went to the Botanical Gardens on an unfortunate hair day.
I'm really not a fan of giving little kids candy, but all that judgement flies out the window when stuck in a hot taxi for an unknown period of time, unarmed with 2 toddler boys. So, I learned that suckers buy peace.
The last two days, I went to Saltre Magico. Yes. I went there twice. I needed something FUN and COLOMBIAN to keep my mind off of the fact that I could have been at home with my husband but wasn't. So Ben was the king of toddler rides, and Sammy was the other king on his Maclaren stroller throne who spectated the amusements.
No, we did not go to the "Britney Spears Experience" musical, but I just had to take a picture of it for proof that such a thing exists.
Nearing the end of our time, I had to make sure that we caught a photo moment with miss Alecia. Without her help, I would have gone crazy town.
So Thursday 6/27 I packed up our room (with Alecia's help with the boys) and we took off for the airport at 9:30p for our 12:15a flight. I could give you every horrible and blissful detail. I will sort into some highs and lows.
Lows first, I need to leave you with positives:
*It was 12:15a and my kids were FREAKED about what was going on.
* there was no water to be had, only the fizzy kind that makes sippy cups explode. which I learned.
* I got to load first, but I had to sit there a long time in a very hot cabin with two terrified children. One of the children is potty trained and not emotionally stable due to tiredness to go in his pull up. This child screamed like I was severing a limb for 20 minutes. everyone hated me. I cried.
*Sammy could have flown "lap baby" but didn't so I could have the space (worth it on the overnight), but the very newbie stewardess wouldn't let me hold him AT ALL on the 2nd flight since he had a seat.. so he screamed like a terrified baby reaching for me for about 2 hours. They also wouldn't let Ben potty because they didn't turn off the seatbelt sign the entire flight (no turbulence.. not going up or down..). I even asked permission. Nope. Turns out the old guys in the back just went, so eventually I did to. Rebel without a cause.
*After the initial wait on the hot tarmack, once the plane took off Ben was out cold. Not a peep. Sammy was on my lap andjust fussed here and there to be repositioned. I watched 3 movies while doped up on espresso.
*I did get stuck in the holding tank for immigration which made things really tight, but they were easy once they got to me. I had to run like mad, but all was well.
*We got all our luggage. Ben will demonstrate how I got him, the luggage, and the baby through the re-check. People laughed.
Once on that final flight I was in survival mode, but we were almost there!! I didn't have a minivan yet, so my husband had to time dropping off Lucas with picking me up to make space for the luggage. Daddy arrived a few minutes after I did, and all was well. We lived... and then I went home and crawled into my bed and went super sleepy time.
**The child has still lost the priviledge of his spaceship night light, but he has not given up and all are asleep. Parenting success. Maybe now I can get up off the floor of my hallway and actually have a cup of tea or something crazy like that.
Thus began our new life of "after the airport" adjustment. Our story doesn't end here :-)