Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A fun week!

We had a great week with lots of outings! No news on the legal side of the process. We're still waiting for the judge to accept our case in court 13. Please pray we hear something this week!

Tuesday-We spent the day packing up to move to our new apartment. We enjoyed staying at Zuetana, but our new place has a kids play room and pool! We went to Jeno's pizza for lunch with the Sanjines family, Elizabeth and her kids, and Wendy and Karen. It was our last time to see Wendy and Karen since they were able to go home a few days after. She had been here 12 weeks!

Wednesday-We moved into our new apartment, got unpacked, and played upstairs in the play room. Brielle now has her own room, which is allowing her to sleep much better. Normally 10-12 hours a night! She loves having more space to move around too.

Thursday-We decided to meet Nick & Jen & kids at El Rodeo for lunch. We ended up walking a ways to get there, after taking the bus, and then walking all the way home. I'll never trust Google maps for a correct walking distance again...But El Rodeo was really fun! They had a trampoline and a merry-go-round that Brielle loved! I'm thinking we might get her a small one for a jumping handle for at home.

Friday-We just spent the day at home. She slept in until 9! We played in the apartment in the morning, I did some grocery shopping while she napped, and then we went to the pool for the first time! It was quite an experience! Everyone has to wear swim caps, and you have to shower before and after swimming. There is a pool attendant checking the whole time. She SCREAMED about being in a bathing suit (she doesn't like her arms showing), and SCREAMED about being put in the shower. But then she loved swimming, and she is a natural at it. She loves to put her whole face in the water. She kicks her legs well, and is starting to paddle her arms. She may be swimming before we know it! They also have a baby pool where she can play independently.

Saturday-We got up early and went to the Museo del Ninos with the Sanjines family (Nick & Jen). It was really neat. They take you on a guided tour. We played in the clubhouse, did some chocolate painting, learned about teeth, and toured the airplane. Then we walked over to Simon Bolivar park for lunch and playing. Lots of fun! Brielle went swimming for a bit when we got home, and we had some fun with spaghetti for dinner. Then she was asleep by 8:00 after a fun day with no nap!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Integration and more

We had a good, but busy weekend!

Saturday-We had lunch with our friends Nick & Jen, and their three kiddos. Their girls are 4 and 6 and were so sweet to Brielle. They wanted to feed her crackers, and I warned them about her sharp teeth, but they found out the hard way! Then we went to a beautiful park near their place.

Sunday-We went to Vida Bogota again. It was amazing to see how much better Brielle was able to do this Sunday than the last Sunday. She was very content to sit with us through most of the long service. Scott took her to play room near the end to burn off a little energy. Then we came home for lunch, naps, and watched some of a movie. She is not too interested in any type of technology though, so her attention span for movies or tv isn't very long.

Monday-Today was our integration meeting. It went very well (minus the hour and a half of traffic to get there), and we also got to tour La Casa. Brielle was only in La Casa when she was a baby, and was transferred to the Foundation at 5 months for better care for her special needs. Then we went to the park again, and went to Unicentro mall to eat. Our girly takes great naps, but is staying up later and later. She is currently still giggling in her bed at 9:20!

We decided today to move to a new apartment on Wednesday. We like the place we're at, but the new one is more modern. We will be able to walk to our friends' apartment, the mall, and the nice park. The new place even has an indoor pool!

We also got news this afternoon that we have court 13. Our attorney said this court is neither slow nor fast, but we might be able to talk to the judge. We're just praying that he finds everything favorable, and does not take the maximum allowed time with each step of the process.

Friday, August 22, 2014

My first post as a mommy :)

I had great intentions of updating our blog all the time, but being a parent is super time consuming! Here is a recap of all that has happened now that we have been in Bogota over a week...

Tuesday-Arrived very late at 11:40, and settled into our hotel

Wednesday-Met with Brielle's caretakers and went over all their information about Brielle.

Thursday-Spent the whole morning getting our 'cedulas' (Colombian ID card), and then went at 3:00 to get our girl! I don't think we told many people, but they actually had a professional film crew in the room with us. We will be part of a French documentary showing the importance of special needs adoption.

Friday-Spent our first full day with our girl! It was wonderful, and really hard. Lots of tantrums, but a few giggles too. She mostly just wants to be held, and carried around. We strolled around the mall, and learned that she loves riding in elevators.

Saturday-Spent the day at home just relaxing and playing. She is getting more relaxed each day, with less tantrums and meltdowns.

Sunday-Went to Vida Bogota church, and met our friends Nick and Jennifer. They've adopted 3 kids from Bogota! Went to lunch at the mall with some new people from church. It was so nice to be out with friends, even if missing nap caused a bit of a meltdown.

Monday-Our first Monday holiday in Colombia, and there are a lot of them! Seeing more progress each day with Brielle, and she is bonding more and more with us. This girl loves her bath! Sometimes she gets two a day because she gets out so much energy with all her splashing.

Tuesday-Her first doctor's visit. Not fun, with a TB test included. Plus the traffic in Bogota is horrible, so it takes forever to get around. Another afternoon with no nap, but she is sleeping 10-12 hours at night. Hooray!

Wednesday-We had a meeting with her psychologist and some people from La Casa (her orphanage). They said her progress in six days was amazing. They almost cried at our video of her crawling and feeding herself. Those were skills they have been working on for months, but she had never done either. They just kept saying 'love makes all the difference'! Very encouraging.

Thursday-We went to the park and lunch with Nick and Jennifer. Their kids are super cute, and it is so nice to be with people who have the same experiences with adoption. Then we had to go back to the doctor to read her TB test (she was negative), and get papers notarized for the US Embassy. What could have been a quick trip took three hours because of traffic. I am just glad to get these errands done now instead of when we're trying to get home.

Friday-Today we got brave and took the bus across town. We have passes and an app that tells us our route. It took almost 30 minutes to catch the right bus, but Brielle was a trooper. The trip was about 45 minutes each way, but we went to a huge park in the middle of Bogota. They compare it to Central Park. We had a picnic lunch, played on the playground, went to 'la playa' by the lake, and walked around for a while. It was nice to get out on our own, and now we know we can do it again! Next we want to visit the Botanical Gardens.
Sleepy girl in the Ergo! We love all the mountains around Bogota!

It has been truly wonderful having so much time to just bond with our girl. I cannot even list all the ways that she has become a new person in our short week of having her. The Lord is truly healing her, and seeing progress is so encouraging. My favorite time with her is putting her in bed with us when she wakes up because she just snuggles and stretches, and plays. It is so sweet to have that time with her, when I know her last three years she was kept to a strict schedule. Thank you for all your prayers and support, and we'll try to keep updating more!

PS. We cannot put up any 'identifying' pictures (of her face) of her until she is legally ours, which is the very end of the process.
She loves when Daddy plays the guitar!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Godly wisdom

Yesterday was our last day at our church for two months, a very bittersweet day for us. We love Momentum so much, and the people there are truly a second family for us. A small group of friends pulled aside after service, and prayed over us-what a blessing! We do have connections with two churches in Bogota, and we would like to attend one Catholic mass since that is Brielle's heritage.

I love when I see God's timing in things, and part of that was the sermon we heard yesterday. It was the perfect sermon for this week. It was over Matthew 11:25-30, where Jesus is offering rest to the weary. Bart talked about the yoke of Jesus, and it was such affirmation and reassurance for me. He talked about how the yoke of Jesus isn't necessary always easy, but it is 'well-fitting'. I know that God has called us specifically to the adoption of our girl, but I know that doesn't guarantee things will be easy. I love knowing that this is His yoke for us, and it is well-fitted to us. He has designed Scott and I to be the best parents we can be for our sweet girl. This week my goal is to rest in the knowledge that this is the yoke that God designed for us.

We are almost packed, and ready to go tomorrow. Please just say a prayer that all will go smoothly at the airport, since we have a total of 6 checked items! We do get some discounts because we are adopting, so I'm hoping the people at the check out counter will understand that. I'm not sure we'll get to update on here tomorrow because we won't get to Bogota until 10pm (11pm EST). Our hotel does have Wi-Fi so we will be able to check in periodically.

Here are two shots (from their website) of the place we are staying: Hotel Zuetana. It specifically caters to adoptive parents, and the owner has already offered to stock our fridge with breakfast food before we come in!

Friday, August 8, 2014

This is it...

I have been waiting for almost two years to write this post...

We are meeting our girl in one week!!!!!

Sometimes I can't believe it is actually happening. We got our phone call today that our encuentro (meeting) is set for next Friday. Our plan is to leave Monday, so we have a few days to adjust before we pick her up. Friday we will go to her orphanage, La Casa, and talk with her care takers before officially meeting her. Then she is ours! She will stay with us the whole trip. 

It has been a day of a lot of emotions for sure. We are so excited that the time has finally come, but it still seems surreal. After a year of seeing pictures we finally get to meet our girl in person, we finally get to be parents. Ahh, that is kind of scary too! But I know this is what God has called us to, and He will equip us for it. 

We are staying at the Hotel Zuetana in Bogota, and the owner is super sweet. She is even going to get some groceries for us before we get in! Our plan for communication is Skype (allyson.hamilton88), or an app called WhatsApp. If you download it we can text and send pictures through it. We will not be able to post pictures to the blog until our adoption is official at the end of our stay, but we will post updates. 

We also got our visas today, so there is nothing else we need to do (except finish packing). 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Quick Update

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update!

We are now working with a new agency, Adoptions by Shepherd Care. I don't need to go into the details, but I think that things are all smoothed out now. We heard today from Martha, a lady who works for ASC, and lives in Colombia. Our Article 5 letter should be almost complete, and we should get confirmation tomorrow. Once Martha has the letter she can go to La Casa and set our date to meet our girl!

We are planning to fly out up to a week before meeting her, so we have some time to adjust and prepare the apartment. I am still praying that we can book our flights this week, and possibly fly out in the next week or so.

We are still working out the details between the two agencies, so please pray that all of the details get finalized. ASC has said that their priority is getting us in country, so that is great! We will have some fees associated with the switch, so we are trying to save up some more funds for that. Also, continue to pray for our girl and that our attachment will go well. We are so ready to meet her!!

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