Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The boys seem to be very happy in their new home. The first few days they just "pinged" from one thing to the next to the next. It has been so fun to watch them explore and discover and get acquainted with the place.

Some of their favorite things are...
*Moses (the dog)
*trampoline (though they give me gray hairs and heart attacks when I watch them)
*board games (especially Looney Tunes Monopoly)
*Kinex, Legos
*gathering eggs (which is a good thing, because eggs are their favorite food)

We got home in the wee hours of the morning Thursday (June 24th) and on Friday (the 25th) around 5pm we left for Des Moines. Darin and I had signed up to compete in the Hy-Vee triathlon and used it as a fund raiser for the Brittany's Hope Foundation who gave us a generous grant to help with some of the expense of the adoption. The race was really fun. I even finished a minute faster than last year. And family and friends generously donated almost $1000! Awesome!

The boys really didn't want to leave their new house after only one day, but we let them watch movies all the way over so they were really quiet:) I hate to use the TV as a babysitter, but there are times when it is a "sanity-saver". This was one of those times. It was a very quiet trip. They really enjoy meeting family. They warmed up quickly even though they tend to be quite shy around new people. Whenever we introduced them to a family member they beamed. They seem to love being a part of a big family and feel immediately accepted and included. That's cool. We got back home Monday morning and I've been trying to catch up and settle into a routine ever since.

We all went to church together for the first time this Sunday (July 5). I cried during worship as I sang praises to my AWESOME God thanking Him for who He is and for the PRECIOUS gifts He's given me in each one of my family members. I cried during the sermon as I looked around at our large family sitting together in church. And I cried at the end when pastor gave the invitation as I thought about the day my sons may walk forward and give their hearts to God. I am so BLESSED!

We took the boys to see fireworks on Sat. and Sun. nights. They enjoyed them for the most part, except for the really loud ones that hurt your ears and thump in your chest. By the end of the weekend Mauricio said, "No mas amigos." No more friends. They were a bit overwhelmed:)

Saying Good-bye to Colombia

We are actually back home now, but I didn't want to leave this blog just hanging. It is now quite difficult to find a few quiet moments to think. I thought I had journalled (apparently that's not a word because it's not in my spell check) the last day there and the first days home, but I didn't. So I'll try to recall them the best I can.

Of course nothing is easy. After I shut down and packed up the computer ready to leave, we had a little "incident" in the hotel. After dinner that last night in the hotel the boys didn't want to go upstairs right away. They were playing a game and having fun. All of the other families were milling about, so I went upstairs to send Darin a quick email confirming my flight time the following day. My middle daughter Miranda popped up online to chat. So we sent a few comments back and forth. I told her that the boys were downstairs playing and she said, "That's cool that you don't have to supervise them 24/7." I said that I probably should be down there but wanted to pack up the last few things. Not 45 seconds later I hear a CRASH...breaking glass. Parents come running out of all the rooms and down the stairs. There stands Miguel beside a riding toy which had crashed into a glass door. He had no blood, no cuts, not even a scratch. He didn't even seem particularly shaken up. Great! I'm leaving tomorrow and now I have to pay for a glass patio door. That just sent my bill a bit higher. So I take the boys upstairs and send them straight to bed. Miguel is still acting rather chipper, but Mauricio is being very quiet and compliant. As I was talking to Miguel about the incident he said, "But Mauricio...." Mauricio's face fell and he started to cry. I don't know how long he was going to let his brother take the rap, but he did confess. God is GOOD...the door only cost about $75, Mauricio apologized to the owner the next morning, and we were off!

The boys thoroughly enjoyed the plane rides, the headphones for the movies, the food and drinks, the lavatories, the air vents, the reclining chairs,...they watched intently as the pieces on the wings moved as we took off and landed. Mauricio even checked under the seat cushion to make sure that it was indeed a flotation device. From the time we left the hotel to the time we got home was a 16 hour day of travel. The boys were wonderful. They helped with the luggage, they were fairly patient as we waited in customs and again in immigration and again because our flight to Chicago was delayed.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 6 in Bogota

Today has been uneventful and VERY LONG. Why do the hours seem to crawl when you are anxiously awaiting something?

The morning was spent packing. The afternoon we tried to walk to the park but got rained on, so now we are in the room watching some silly movie.

All day we've been saying "This is our last lunch in Colombia. Tonight is our last dinner in Colombia. Tonight is our last sleep in Colombia. Tomorrow is our last breakfast in Colombia." Can you tell we're all a little excited?

This will be my last post from Colombia. Tonight I'm going to Skype with family and friends then pack up the computer and be out the door tomorrow morning at 10:30am. I'm sure none of us will sleep tonight:)

Day 5 in Bogota

Today is Monday and we will be home on Wednesday!!!

This morning I took the boys for haircuts. They were looking pretty shaggy and knowing that it's 95 degrees at home I thought they might appreciate it. Miguel went first (because Mauricio was too chicken:). The guy put the #2 blade on and went to work. Miguel wanted some left in front so he could spike it up and I could tell he was pleased with the finished product by the huge smile as he admired himself in the mirror:) Mauricio was next and, being the more conservative of the two, asked the guy to buzz it all. He was pleased as well and I think they look extremely handsome!!! Then we went to the mall to buy a new suitcase since the zipper on one of mine broke on the way to Bogota and I know customs is none too gentle when they go through your bags.

When we got back to the hotel Maria Consuelo picked us up for a wonderfully delicious lunch at her home with her son Santiago. We had a great time and then went to the US Embassy to pick up the boys Visas. That was the last piece to the seemingly endless puzzle. They can come home now!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 4 in Bogota

Today is Father's Day and the boys are very disappointed that their Papa is not here and we can't even get our internet to connect to call him.

After breakfast this morning we walked to the mall (Unicentro) and found Mauricio a new pair of shoes. He had brand new shoes when we picked him up at the orphanage, but in 5 weeks he had already worn a hole through the toe. Then we headed to Jeno's Pizza for lunch. They have a huge play area and game room. The boys were enthralled with the video games (no surprise). They asked how long we could stay and I received the biggest smiles when I told them we could stay as long as they wanted. It beats sitting at the hotel for more endless hours of board games! We ended up staying for 4 hours!! I think I learned my lesson about setting time limits:)

Only 3 more days and we will be home!! They are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The first thing Mauricio does when his eyes open in the morning is check his calendar. Every morning since Darin and the girls left his face fell when he saw how many more days it would be until we would be together again. But this morning he had a huge smile on his face!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 3 in Bogota

Today is Saturday. It was more of the same. Meals together in the dining room, board games, puzzles, Foosball, and a short walk to the park.

Mauricio and I had an "incident" today. The boys were tussling in the bathroom, supposedly brushing teeth or washing hands or something and Miguel starts crying. A real "I'm hurt" cry, not the "I'm not getting my way" kind of cry. I go in to see what happened and he has big alligator tears and is holding his ear. Now in the past few weeks we have witnessed countless times of Mauricio pinching and twisting Miguel's ear to get him to do what he says. It's obvious that he is used to being the boss. So I assumed that is what happened and sent Mauricio to his bed for a 12 minute time out. He started to cry and say something that I could not understand and after 12 mins I went over to enforce my point and let him up. He refused to get up and come down for lunch so Miguel and I went on down. After 30 mins I went back up to try again. He still refused to come down. An hour later I went back up. He was off he bed playing with the Rubix cube (actually taking off the stickers). I asked him if he wanted to go to the park and he said yes. So off we went and he seemed to be just fine. I have been told that boys don't hold a grudge like girls do, so I didn't give it a second thought. When we got back they went up to wash their hands for dinner and he successfully explained to me that the incident wasn't his fault. Miguel confirmed the story. He had fallen and bumped his ear on the towel rack and Mauricio didn't do it. I felt TERRIBLE! I took Mauricio's face between my hands and sincerely apologized. He forgave me instantly. I still feel bad though. I hate this language barrier. I hope he doesn't want to take back what he said last night:) I am so thankful for a loving son!

Day 2 in Bogota

Today we took a nice long walk in the afternoon. We ventured pretty far and found three different playgrounds to play on. Other than that we played board games all day until my eyes began to cross.

Before bedtime tonight Mauricio wanted to send an email to the orphanage. I got him logged onto gmail and switched the keyboard to Spanish and let him go. He composed such a sweet letter. The best I could interpret it he said, "Thank you for helping me to get my family. I am very happy. We are in Bogota. It is cold here." There was more but I'm not sure what it said. I will decipher the rest later when I'm not looking over his shoulder.