Saturday, May 28, 2011


Yesterday was quite the experience.  I should begin by saying it would have been impossible with out the loving help of Audrey.  I cannot even imagine doing any of that with a baby by myself.  The day started a little before 4:00am - wake up, shower, last minute packing of the crib etc. and we were driving away from the apartment by 5:30.  Thank God for Reynel at the airport....everything was confusing and everyone told us soemthing different but he stuck with us and brokered on our behalf all the way to security (which took about 2 hours),  After bidding farewell we went through security (the first kind) only to discover we could not yet get to our gate.  At around 8:00 we passed through into a small waiting area (the gate) but first had to have our bags inspected by hand and our bodies frisked (and if you were Audrey- you had your gingerale confiscated).  Once on the plane, I began to actually breathe again (ok a little) and I am very thankful for the boarding early with small children because people are ruthless and they will run you and your 6 month old over.  Sebastian really is an all-star - he fussed a bit on the ascending and descending and when he got sleepy or hungry(totally usual) but he napped, ate dinner despite some turbulence and won the hearts of everyone he met.  (We've discovered he's a big flirt)
Landing in Orlando we rushed to customs- knowing that we only had 2 hours before our flight left for Boston and we NEEDED to be on that.   Immigration - and the process of Tano becoming a legal resident was an adventure.  First- what line : According to the travel packet (thank you Sabeth) provided by our agency we were to go to the residents line and inform them that we had an adoption immigration packet (all the paperwork). 
Well the lady guarding that line said we needed to go to the visitors line and not residents.  Sensing she did not know what she was talking about...we walked toward the visitors line and spotted a  sign saying "special assistance".  We walked up and explained the situation to another, nicer woman and then went to see an immigration officer.  After they stamped our passports they took all Sebastian's paperwork into a back room with a small waiting area.  It felt a little like detention...and the officers were all walking in and out of the offices but never called anyone from the waiting room in...It felt like forever and at around 3:15 we started feeling like their was no way we could make our 4:00 flight - after all we still needed to get our luggage, recheck it and go through security again (i mean we weren't even out of customs yet...)  Thank the Lord someone came and took Sebastian's paperwork and a little later came out with his stamped passport- He could now enter the country!  We ran out of there literally piled all 5 of the suitcases on a cart and went to security checkpoint #1(I wish there was documentation of this process- the suitcases were piled so high that I couldn't see the other side and might have, sort of ran into a man on the way to the belt.  With our luggage rechecked we ran to security, removing shoes, laptops, taking Sebastian out of the stroller- having the thermos of water in the diaper bag tested ....then we ran (again literally) to the gate.  They even though it was 3:50 they hadn't started boarding- Just enough time to call Greg and let him know we were going to make the flight.
The rest of the night seems a blur - we made it to Boston.  Sebastian got to meet his Tia Allison and Mimi and definitely remembered his Daddy.  Tano had his first ride in a car seat and after a rough patch finally slept in his crib.  He woke up scared and a little confused by his new surroundings but has been doing pretty good today - all things considered.  He loves his exersaucer and went for a nice walk around the neighborhood.  We know it will take him some time to get adjusted and comfortable in his new home but with his upbeat and loving personality we are hoping that you all get to meet him really soon!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Countdown

Now that all the documents are ready, we are all getting excited as the travel day is tomorrow...We've started packing and it actually feels real...

Things I am going to miss:
1. The sound of horse hooves on the street
2. Walking to the grocery store
3. The park around the corner
4. Helena, of course
5. Someone cleaning my bathroom (the only part of having a maid I got used to)
6. Having a bathroom IN the bedroom
7. The corner drugeria where the pharmacist knew what formula Sebastian uses
8. Using my Spanish and getting better
9. The coffee
10. The mountains - I never get sick of looking at them

Things I am NOT going to miss:
1. The construction across the street
2. The garbage truck that rolls down the street at 1:00, 4:00 or 6:00 am
3. The water heater
4. The stiff and incredibly uncomfortable bed
5. Never knowing what phone is ringing and if it is even in our apartment
6. The nightly ritual of boiling the bottles
7. TV- specifically watching Two and a Half men - just so Sebastian can hear the song (He loves it!)
8. The bottled water dispenser - its impossible to maneuver
9. The bare white walls
10. The glass furniture- they really hurt when you bump into them, which I do a lot

Helena came over for lunch today and to say safe travels.  It was really difficult to say goodbye- she has been such a dear friend and loving guide throughout this process.  Sebastian won the hearts of everyone he met here and they are all going to miss him.  Poor Marisol (the maid) cried when having to say goodbye.  Grammie said it best "its a happy-sad day" and of  course in true Bogota style it rained all day.

I am so glad to be going home with my son but a part of me is sad knowing that this once in a lifetime experience is coming to a close- we've made so many memories that will last our entire lives.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Visa, check!

This afternoon Reynel picked me up at around 2:00 and we went to the US Embassy.  By 4:30 I was back at the apartment visa in hand - not too bad.   It all went pretty smoothly.  Some of your prayers must of also helped Helena she was having a small crisis with another family and their visa application. We met the other adoptive mother at the Embassy...and long story short their visa will be ready tomorrow.  So with all the papers in our possession...we are a go for Friday morning.  Reynel will pick us up at 5:30 am and take us to the airport.  There are a number of steps and different paperwork for each level of security and immigration- I hope I can keep them all straight.  All the "officialness" of everything makes me a tad nervous.  (as does flying with Sebastian for the first time)  So keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wheels in motion


Today we left early and went to ICBF,  filled out some paperwork and picked up the conformity agreement!  Then we were off to the US Embassy.  We applied for Sebastian's visa and although it took a few hours it went much more quickly than we expected.  (Again thank God for Helena)  There were a few different steps starting by dropping off his passport and our application...then  you wait to be called. Next you go over paperwork etc and pay...and wait to be called.  Then you are called to a different for the interview which in this instance went quickly seeing as Sebastian is not yet speaking.  If all goes well we should be able to pick up the visa at 4:00pm tomorrow.  That leaves us Thursday to pack and get organized and Friday we will be off to the airport!  I can hardly believe it- even though at immigration at the Bogota airport we have a lot of added steps and interviews and then again when we land in Orlando...this visa is the last document we need to procure. 
The only unfortunate thing is that last night I threw out my neck last night and am moving a little bit like a zombie.  I am hoping it gets better before I need to hold a baby on my lap from Bogota to Boston.!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good Day

After a morning of waiting this afternoon proved very productive.  Around 2:00pm we arrived at the passport office and Sebastian's passport was ready!  (He does look incredibly miserable in the photo - just as I knew he would- unfortunate that Colombian passports last 10 years).  After obtaining the passport we went to get Sebastian's visa medical exam.  The doctor says he looks very healthy, up to date with his vaccinations weighs 14 3/4lbs and 25 3/4 inches tall.  The only flaw is the two big bug bites he received from the giant buzzing bug that resides in our bedroom (but cannot be caught)- but thankfully the doctor gave us some topical cream to help the irritation.
The Plan:
Tomorrow morning at 9:15 Luis Alberto will pick us up and take us to ICBF where the conformity document should be ready and waiting.  After that we will go to the US Embassy to apply for Sebastian's visa - this can be a very long process and if one paper is missing, one i not dotted the whole thing falls apart.  We are praying that this goes smoothly - nobody wants to wait a week and have to reapply.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Its like I live in Colombia

Today was a low key kind of day. The longer I am here the more it seems like I live here and the more difficult it is to imagine myself at home.  I am accustomed to the city sounds, our accordion playing neighbor, and the oddities of the stove here in the apartment.  Last night Sebastian had a  choppy night's sleep - so Mommy did as well.  But Grammie let me sleep in this morning and catch up a little. (Sooo nice of her)
This afternoon we went back to the Usaquen area and Artisan Market - now that we have the lay of the land and  know what we are doing.  We had a lovely time and a light lunch and  then returned to the apartment.  Tomorrow is another chill day of course until late afternoon when Lord willing we will hear about the passport and maybe even the conformity agreement....It is hard to imagine that in less than a week we could be on plane heading to the states.  Sebastian is getting bigger everyday- most of his 3-6month clothes do not fit him anymore.  Its amazing just how fast it happens.  He is such a dear little soul- his personality and general disposition make it impossible not to love him.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Such a big Boy

This morning Tano woke up smiling and looking more like himself.  His leg looked better and the effects of the vaccinations seem to be going away.  Today Sebastian ate banana for the first time - and liked it!  It even seemed to make his rice cereal taste better.  He still takes breaks to chew on the bowl but has been eating so much better.

Sebastian also got his first bump today when he head butted the wooden bed frame.  I think it upset Mommy more than him. (who should probably try to get used to it with an energetic mischievous little boy) With a little ice the bump shrunk, Sebastian was playing and giggling again and you could barely see anything.

We had a busy day walking around la Candelaria (the historic district of Bogota) with Grammie and Luis Alberto (our driver and friend)  We went to a few different styles of churches that were quite beautiful and checked out some artisan's shops.  Sebastian was so well behaved - although he did keep trying to take his socks off and leave them in the street, a church and a coffee shop.