Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Today's Update

Does today's require an apostrophe? Hum.

This morning I picked up her passport. Yippee for passport success!!

The visa appointment is scheduled - Friday at 1:30. PLEASE pray that we actually receive her visa Friday afternoon. Chances are that we won't... the visa system is so wacky right now. If we do not get it on Friday, I suppose the next chance will be Monday (unless they are working through the weekends to catch up - which they might).

We go for our IDs (so we can leave Colombia without a pretty steep fine) tomorrow morning. We have her TB test check at 1:30, along with two extra vaccines. Thursday we will go to the ICBF for some conformity letter. Not really sure what it is, and I don't really care. They will also have a form for us to fill out reviewing our process... Do they really want to know?


I'm trying to learn how to enjoy the last few days of 'peace' before heading home SOON. It's hard - I yearn for my schedule of laundry, dishes, grocery runs, etc...

Watching my little girl jump to her daddy in the pool after FIGHTING for her for 2 1/2 years is emotional. I'm glad for this time we have had with her. It's very special. I hope I can enjoy these last few days and soak in some great memories without stressing out about what day it will be that we can leave.

Soon... very soon...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What's Next?

Tomorrow the beginning of a race begins.

We will go for Rose's TB test, her passport as well as our cedullas (Colombian ID). I'm very excited. It's a day we will be our doing interesting things and hopefully get everything done on the list. Maybe more.

I have been looking forward to this week for a very long time.

I'm not sure if we will have anything planned for Tuesday - I guess it depends on what we get done tomorrow.

Wednesday we go for the TB test check and I think we also go for her embassy doctor appointment. At least, I hope we do. Once we have the embassy doctor appointment, we can make the embassy visa appointment. I think they do appointments 24 hours in advance - and that's why I really want to have her physical on Wednesday - that makes the potential for going home next weekend MUCH greater. If we can't get the visa appointment Thursday or Friday, we are definitely stuck until next week. That's not terrible, but, well...

Update: We might actually have her embassy physical tomorrow - which means we will hopefully be able to schedule her visa appointment for Thursday... EXCELLENT!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

We are thrilled to announce...

That we are now a family of FIVE!!!

Dana "Rose"
March 30, 2008
officially a member of our family
July 25, 2014

We are so happy! This little one was well worth the fight! She is happy, fun-loving, eager to learn and so pleased to have a Mami and a Papi! We thank each and every one of you that was praying for us and supporting us during the past 2 1/2 years. We can't wait to get her home and begin our lives as a family of FIVE. A family that we have prayed for, worked for and are so grateful to have!

Every child is a gift from God. Please consider answering the call to adopt, if you have ever considered. If you cannot adopt, please research ways that you can help adoptive families and give a child the gift of a family that loves them.

In the past five week of being with us, she has blossomed into such a big girl! She's grown - her feet seem to be a full size larger. Her skin has cleared up and she's almost completely eczema free! Her behavior is SO much better - she no longer spits or hits. She has gained so many tools for good communication - she is signing, talking more and learning so much English... In fact, I rarely have to say things in Spanish and English anymore. It's really amazing what love can do for a child.

Thanks again and please keep up the prayers for our journey. The US visa system is currently running very slow right now, but we have heard that adoptions are getting top priority right now. We are hoping that by later next week, when it's time to start planning out trip home, that it will no longer be an issue.

God Bless You!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back in Bogota

It's great to be back in Bogota - and to know that the next flight will be taking us HOME!

Girlie did GREAT yesterday on the flight. She didn't need to attach herself to Paul and she fell asleep and slept for most of the flight.

We have to get our cedulla, or ID, tomorrow. I thought we would need one and it turns out we do. In order to get out of Colombia with paying a major fine, we will get our ID. It's great to be checking things off the list.

Monday we will take Rose for her TB test and I believe we will also do the embassy doctor appointment. These two things are required to enter to US and get her visa. Wednesday we will take her to have the TB test read.

It's thrilling to be moving in the right direction.

And perhaps... in the next few days, I will have some VERY good information for you. We are waiting now for a very important call that could come any day now.

Pray that the court keeps us going in the right direction!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Do I See A Light??

I am going to try and be very brave and think happy thoughts today.

As of yesterday we have some inspiring news regarding our court process. I am VERY hopeful that we might actually reach the light at the end of this tunnel.

I know that we have no idea about anything until it actually happens. However, sometimes it is much healthier to think happy thoughts about things and hope that it comes true.

Let's just say that there is a chance... I might be home with my boys just in time for school to start. I would be so THRILLED to be able to send my baby to his first day of Kindergarten. I know to some that might sound weird... But, I need to be able to kiss his face and tell him how much I love him on that day. He's my baby...

So let's all think great big positive happy thoughts that God can and will make this happen. He knows a mother's heart! He can change the hearts of others! We have HUNDREDS of people viewing this blog and our FB page. He is hearing our prayers! He can straighten this very crooked path! For two and a half years he has held us and darling, sweet "Rose".

Please Pray! Have Faith!

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I ended up being pretty sick yesterday. I still felt pretty nasty today, but started my Cipro last night and after 4 doses I am getting back to normal. Unfortunately, Paul is feeling pretty rotten. It's just the worst feeling in the world - stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. We have one bathroom to share and it's not really private. The food here doesn't help. Most everything safe or good is fried. That doesn't bode well for sick stomachs. We have had to order Gatorade from room service.
Little girl is being SO good. I think she understands that we aren't well. It's the first time this whole trip we have stayed in our room all day. She's been stuck to the iPad or computer the past 48 hours. The manager here is wonderful. He has been doing all he can to help - even told us about their baby-sitting service. We managed to get through it without one, but I had my moments.
Paul has been SO strong these past (near) 5 weeks. Today he shed one tear while in the midst of some nausea and I know he's miserable. We are both so ready to go home. It's tearing us up.
We will have to reschedule our flight and hotel (again).

This just all kinda sucks, you guys.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I admit. I'm struggling.

I don't feel good. My stomach hurts off and on all of the time. I am sad. I miss my boys, my home, our family. I don't understand this ridiculous process. I can't put together in my head why the court process hasn't started yet... when the court has had our case for two weeks. I don't understand while after a full MONTH of sitting around and waiting for jobs to be done, we still haven't even started the court process. WHY!?!?! Then, when he feels like it - the judge gets to say our ten days starts. WHY TEN DAYS AFTER LOOKING OVER PAPERWORK FOR TWO WEEKS??? I really don't get it. Why have time restrictions at all if you aren't going to even be required to use them? I keep hearing the words "unless there are delays" and it makes my mind SPIN.

I feel like a prisoner. I am terrified we will be here another month - or more.

My sweet Christopher starts Kindergarten on August 11th and I fear I will miss it. It's killing me.

Please pray for us. We need to know there is a light at the end... at this point, we have no idea when we will be going home.

Friday, July 18, 2014

More Thanks

The other day we got some not-so-good court news and we were feeling pretty ill about it. More paperwork delays. I was feeling those feelings of "we may never go home" and trying to find God's plan in this waiting. Paul and I talked through the struggle of the moment and got our minds back on the mission.

The following day, we were in the midst of another day of swimming in the pool and trying to find some joy in the current moment.

A couple was sitting near the pool, enjoying their vacation. They got up to enter the pool and asked for "Rose's" name. And then God walks right in...

After a few minutes of introduction, we came to learn that they were relatives of a "famous" owner of an adoption house that used to be in Bogota. It was actually a house that Paul and I discussed staying in, back when we started this process. However, sometime between now and then, the house closed. With adoptions slowing down, many of these type of hotels have had to close.

Meeting this couple was certainly a gift. Since meeting them, we have come into contact with some people who might be very helpful in the next few weeks. I was dreading heading back to Bogota without any end in sight. Now with this new contact, we might be able to actually have an enjoyable time.

So thank you, Natalia and Phil. We were so thrilled to meet you and talk to someone with such a rich background in the adoption community here! You are a gift to us - as was the yummy treat and the magazines you sent.

Thank you! God Bless!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thank you, Kristi

God puts people in your life some times. You know? He just plops down people in your path and you might not be completely sure why or how, but you get that feeling that He has a plan.

When Paul and I were in the midst of infertility hell (sorry, it is what it is) we became friends with a family at the beach. We probably had known them longer, since we had vacation spots in the same building - but we didn't really KNOW them until after our marriage. They had just brought home a little darling child from China. Immediately I was drawn to them - adoption was our light at the end of a tunnel. We knew that God would provide children one way or another. We didn't know His timing, but we knew it would happen. And so, here they were... put in our lives to give us insight into the adventure of adoption and to see what a gift it could be.

As I said, we weren't aware of God's plan at that time... and we were given the precious gifts of our two sons. Time passed by, we enjoyed each other's company by the sea while on vacation.

Back in 2012, when we had the eye-opening experience of seeing "Rose" for the first time, Kristi and I were already pretty good beach friends and I couldn't wait to discuss the news of our commitment to her. Kristi and I happened to have something in common at the very same time. They had also began the process of bringing home another little girl from China! They were feeling some discomfort with timing, just as we were feeling uneasy with ours. Kristi and I were able to discuss our fears and doubts - as well as our faith and trust in God.

Sometime in this crazy 2 year journey, Kristi told me to purchase a book. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She wrote the name of the book on a scrap piece of paper, along with her name and phone number, incase I ever wanted to talk. I tucked it away and made a mental note to add it to my Amazon list.

A few months down the road I purchased the book. A few months after that, I opened it.

I'm a firm believer in waiting for God's moment to pick up a book... you know? Wait until it's like He's saying, "NOW!" So when it was time, I picked it up. I started reading and realized that I was going to have to spoon-feed myself the words. It is powerful stuff. So, here I am in this place, living these days... and this is JUST what He wanted me to be reading. Right now. In this moment. It's really incredible. I'm in the midst of chapter 10, incase you want to know. Chapters 8 and 9 were written for this moment. So awesome. I'll probably finish today or tomorrow.

I want to thank Kristi. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for sharing your good times and bad times, your laughter and tears - especially throughout the past two years. This book has been a true gift while here in this place, just as your prayers have been! Thank you!

Friday, July 11, 2014


Last night, Paul and I were having a case of "let's stay up way past normal and review the past 3 weeks in photos". So at midnight we enjoyed looking back and seeing how much our little treasure has changed. In three weeks, she has gone from a little animal (sorry, it's true) to a GORGEOUS little girl!

I really cannot explain how much she has changed.

Our first 24 hours together were filled with growling, spitting, hitting, etc... I knew she had great potential, even in those first few days of struggle. We quickly let her know that we were not llamas and we don't spit. Hands are used for soft/gentle touch. If we had something to say, we use our 'palabras' or we use a sign - no growling! It only took a few days to tackle those few things and GUESS WHAT... she no longer does ANY of those things. It's pretty much miraculous.

Now we have a beautiful little girl that it picking up English like a champ and is using signs as much as she can! It's really amazing. When I can finally show her face, you will see how much she has changed in a very short time. I believe she has gained 5 pounds and her little face is filled out and her cheeks are nice and round, as is her belly ;)

Her eczema has cleared up well and she only has the occasional spot here and there. We took out her earrings about 2 weeks ago, since her little holes were looking pretty rough and appeared to be torn where the earrings went. We can worry about pierced ears later on in life. Her hair is fuller and shinier. She pretty much giggles 95% of the day. Seriously, she VERY happy.

Her little pouting sessions have dramatically decreased. She never has really pitched a fit, but she does this 'statue' move where she stops in her tracks and refuses to move. She sometimes shouts some little 'profanities' of sorts (her own little language, but we can tell it's not pleasant LOL). We tell her no and redirect with tickles and hugs and kisses and usually it passes within a few moments.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

More on our sweet thing

Ok, so now that I have been here 3 weeks and my homesick days are getting a little less extreme, I'll tell you more about our incredible little person...

This kid is SMART! She really is very eager to learn English. She plays "peekaboo barn" on the iPad and can mimic each animal name fairly well. We have a "Priddy Book" with English and Spanish first words and it's excellent with helping her learn the basics. We still have a lot to learn, but I am so pleased with her effort.

We continue with a little Baby Signing Time and Baby Einstein here and there. She loves it.

She has learned that the pool is nice and it gets less scary each day. She is finally trusting that we won't let her drown and that there aren't big scary monsters in the water. She no longer has to wrap herself around daddy's neck while in the water, even if she really wants to...

She is now ultra afraid of bugs and creepy crawlies. We are working very hard to try and play it off like they won't hurt her and that they are no big deal. She doesn't believe it. She wouldn't go near the room door the other day, due to the 1 inch long baby lizard that crawled down the hallway. It was very difficult to convince her that I had put it outside in the plant. The gnats are ultra frightening. They are everywhere and the might, at any moment, cause extreme distress. Tears, screaming and the works.

Back to water talk. She had her first real bubble bath the other day. I'm glad we moved to bubbles after giving her a few days worth of baths to get used to first. She really enjoyed it. I taught her how to pick them up and blow them. Awesome fun.

Food - man she loves food. ALL types of food. If you can dip it into some sauce, then she REALLY likes it. And yes, we double dip.. and maybe triple dip. If you mix multiple dips together, that makes it taste even better. (Think ketchup, mayo and mustard.) Spicy? Even better! Get ready, Nana, cause this kid loves pasta - EVEN ravioli!

Really enjoying getting to know her! Have a great day! Pray for us!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dear Judge

Please accept our case ASAP. Tomorrow it will be a week since you received our paperwork.

Our Family

We are waiting as patiently as possible to hear news that the judge has accepted our case. Until this happens, we are kind of stuck in a holding period. Seems to be our trend, doesn't it?!

As soon as the case is accepted, then things have a "timeline" of sorts. Until then, it's just wait and wait and wait. I feel confident that it will be soon. Hoping by Friday, but at the latest next Thursday. I have heard up to ten days for this step. We are on 5 working days as of today. Many of my friends have been through this step in a matter of 2-3 days, so we definitely have them beat. Ha.

We will be extending our time here by the ocean. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but Paul and I both agree that this is a much better location for us. We are looking at 2 more weeks here... then back to Bogota, for the end of the stay. Deep breath, momma.

Please continue to pray.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Plans? Ha.

We left our hotel yesterday. We arrived without too much trouble at the apartment. However, that wasn't where we needed to be. The neighborhood was rough and we would have needed a taxi to get anywhere. Let's just say we aren't really comfortable with that idea. So... we ended up back at our hotel. And I will just say it's a VERY LONG STORY made short. Ha.

We are fine here, for as long as we need to stay. It's really wild, but it is as if God sent some angels our way yesterday. We were feeling LOW. Out of the blue, we were met by person after person who was compassionate about our situation here. It was a true blessing. I am so grateful for those people who helped us in our struggle.

Thank you God!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Third Sunday

It's my third Sunday away from home and away from my boys.

To think we might be about half way through makes me both happy and sad. I can see that everything will be ok... but it is still very difficult to imagine 3-4 more weeks away from my babies.

I try to keep a running list of happy thoughts. If I can keep giving thanks to God for my gifts, it is hard to also be sad.

Happy Thoughts:

We are in a VERY nice hotel. I feel extremely safe here. The food is good. Too good.

Sweet girl is happy 95% of the time. We all have our moments and she does too, but rarely.

We move from the hotel to an apartment on Monday. It will be nice to have a bit more room to stretch out. I am typing on my computer while Paul sleeps right next to me. It's 10:26 am.

My boys have been at the lake this week. I am glad that they have had plenty of distractions, but I feel VERY guilty for not being there for them. I feel like I abandoned them. My sweet C barely looks at the camera when we facetime. I know it's his personality to be shy... but it kills me to not be able to kiss his sweet face and tell him how much I love him.

Oh my heart.

Friday, July 4, 2014


We got our court yesterday morning! I was so thrilled and knowing that we were no longer in a holding period made me feel a lot better. I was so depressed with the week of no progress - it's hard to be away from the boys and the lack of movement was super upsetting to me.

Hoping that the judge with our case is moved to work quickly and that we can be home in a few weeks.

Please continue to pray!

Thank you.

Simply Beautiful

It's amazing what a change of scenery can do! I had a feeling it would help... boy does it! This actually feels like a vacation. Cartagena is gorgeous. The weather is perfect. We have been enjoying the sights - churches, street vendors, shops and food. It's an entirely different kind of place. If you happen to be following this blog and are planning on adopting in C*lombia... go to Cartagena. Plan two weeks and make sure part of that time is spent in the Old Town, in the walled city. Super awesome. Happen to be Catholic?? Super SUPER awesome.

We have seen two beautiful churches - the Cathedral and the church of St. Peter Claver. Both awesome. Happened to walk in at about the same time mass was starting. Completely random and completely awesome. You can read up on the churches by doing a simple google search.

The hotel we are staying in has a pool on the roof. We have spent the majority of our time there. They serve excellent food, so there really isn't any reason to go anywhere. The views of the ocean and the city are spectacular. It's a pretty hot location and very near the equator, but the breeze off the ocean makes it very pleasant in the shade.

Here are a few fun pics.