Our Family

Our Family

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 6 in Bogota

It has been a good week, but a week that felt long. We thought we would have good news by Friday, but still nothing. Please continue to pray that we hear tomorrow (Monday), and the judge will also sign the Sentencia quickly after accepting. The Sentencia makes Brielle legally our daughter, and we will finally be able to post her pretty face!

Last Sunday we went to the market with my mom, and then had lunch at Andres Carne de Res. It is a very well known restaurant in Bogota because of its fun atmosphere, and kids activities. The food was great too! It was Dia del Amor y Amistad, which is like Valentine's Day, so there were fun activities because of the holiday too.

Monday: Gramma caught a flight home, and we had a quiet afternoon. I do a yearly photo book, so I've been putting together our final marriage book before it turns to a family book!

Tuesday-Friday: This week we do not have any appointments of activities, so we are trying to fall into a routine more similar to home. We go to the park and walk/run in the mornings after breakfast, have some lunch, have an hour of rest time (sometimes she naps, sometimes she plays), cook dinner, have a bath, and get ready for bed.
Walking practice at the park
Snuggles with Daddy in the morning

Thursday: Some people from the states came to look at the apartment, and it was so nice just to chat with people in English! We are missing our friends from the states, so it was very nice to make a new connection for the rest of our time here.

Saturday: Everything is an adventure in Bogota! We decided to go visit the Multiparque on Saturday. It is a huge kids park with inflatables, a little kid area, a huge playground area, and a petting zoo. We decided to take the bus, but got on the wrong one. Luckily it put off us near McDonalds, so we had lunch there! We don't eat MickyD's a lot, but I still love a double cheeseburger. While we waited for another bus a lady stopped us and told us it was too cold for Brielle to be out today. It was probably around 57 degrees. We finally caught the bus, and rode for about an hour until we were north of the city. The park was lots of fun, but Bri was a little scared of some of the rides and animals. Also, they didn't let adults go on any of the kids stuff, so we couldn't help her climb. Her favorite park was of course the huge slide! And we got to have some grown-up fun on the big swings. Overall it was a great day!
 Watching the water in the kids slide
Feeding carrots to the horse

 Coconut and raspberry brownie popsicles!
Grown-up fun on the swing! 
(We went one at a time while Brielle watched.)

Sunday: We had a normal day attending church, and eating lunch at Palatino mall. We had quite an adventure getting to church though. We got on the bus, but our card ran out when Scott tried to get on. Then the bus went the wrong direction, so we had to get off. We walked to the Exito (Walmart) to recharge our card, but they don't charge on Sundays. So we had to catch a cab instead, all just to get to church! I will be very grateful for our car! But I will miss all the walking we do here. We walked about two miles home from the mall after lunch. 

Well we are really hoping to report good news with next weeks post! Brielle continues to bond, and grow all the time. She is pulling up a lot more, and we can't wait to get her fitted for a walker at home so she'll have more mobility. Thank you for your prayers and support! 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Bogota, Week 5

We were assigned a new court last week, 15. It is supposed to be a better court, and our attorney is predicting that we get Sentencia by Friday. Please pray that this is true! Once we get Sentencia we should be home in about a week. Here's a recap of our last week:

Saturday: This was my favorite tour thus far! We went hiking at the Guatavita Lagoon with the Sanjines family. The hike took about an hour, and it rained almost the whole time. We still had so much fun, and the kids did awesome. Brielle LOVED being out in nature. She just giggled and giggled. I wish I could put up our better group picture, but can't show her face yet. Then we toured the historical town of Guatavita. It is all white stucco with the traditional hispanic tiles. It turned into a beautiful day, and we had lots of fun walking around. We even toured the bull fighting arena!

Sunday: We had a normal Sunday going to church, and then Jen and I got to shop at the market without any kids! Thanks Scott & Nick! Then they came over to our apartment for some last minute swimming. Great way to end our weekend!

Monday: We had a quiet morning, and I started getting things ready to move to a new apartment (again). We ate lunch at the Sanjines apartment. Nick made awesome empanadas! Brielle loves playing with their girls, and they are so sweet to entertain her. We are getting her to say 'mamama' more consistently, so now she just needs to understand that momma is me!

Tuesday: It was half price at Jeno's pizza, so we went there for lunch. This time we went down the slide with Brielle. She loved it! I can't wait to take her on kiddy rides at home.
Wednesday: Today was moving day, so we finished packing up our apartment. Someone had already leased it starting the 19th, so we found a new place to finish the rest of our time. We move in our bags, and then went to the airport to get Gramma! After a long time waiting on her bag we headed back to the apartment to unpack and grocery shop.

Thursday: This was our 4th wedding anniversary, and I honestly am so happy to be spending it with our daughter! I made crepes for breakfast because we did that on our first wedding anniversary. We had a final lunch with Nick & Jen, and some other friends from church. Then we hung out at their apartment for a bit. It was so hard to say goodbye, but we are already making plans to do some hiking together this fall! Our time spent in Bogota was so much better because of the awesome friends God placed in our path. Then we cooked steak and shrimp for dinner, and ended with a quiet night at home. We're planning to go see the Maze Runner this weekend since Gramma is here to babysit!
Gonna miss these cuties! 
(I can finally put up their picture, since their adoption is finalized)

Friday: We spent the morning at our new place playing with Gramma. Then we had lunch at Crepes and Waffles again. It is definitely one of our favorites here! We played at a nearby park in the afternoon until the rain came.
Saturday: We woke up to more rain, so we called our favorite tour guide, Rene, to see if he had any suggestions for the day. We ended up touring the historical part of Bogota called La Candelaria, and the Simon Bolivar plaza. The rain let up and the clouds cleared, so we took the cable car up to Monserrate. It was a beautiful view, and the sun decided to come out. We walked the stations of the cross and went in the cathedral. It is amazing to see the sprawling city of Bogota, but even more beautiful were the mountains on the other side of Monserrate. Then we took the train called the Funicular down the mountain.

Update on Brielle: She is continuing to do well, and showing more improvement every day! I had not idea how much a three year old can eat; she gets close to the same portions as Scott. She has gained weight over the last five weeks, and developed the typical 'toddler tummy'. I love it! She loves to be tickled, ride in the Ergo, play crazy games with Daddy, read books with Mommy. She is pulling up more and more, and walking around using the rolling suitcase. She is making more babbling noises. The people who have seen her over the past couple weeks comment how much she's changed and how well she is doing, which is so encouraging to us.

Again, please pray for Sentencia this week! We cannot wait to get home and settle into our regular lives. We have scheduled her first appointment with the adoption doctor at the end of October, so we'd love some time to settle in before we begin any medical treatments. Thanks for all the continued support!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Week 4

Saturday-Today we took our first all day tour to Tequendama waterfall and Hacienda Colonia. The drive (once we were out of the city traffic) was beautiful! It was so nice to drive through the mountains. Our first stop was the stinky waterfall. The nearby factories dump waste into the river above, but the waterfall was still beautiful to see. We got some traditional Colombian food at a vendor while we observed. Then we went onto Hacienda Colonia, which is a coffee plantation. It was a wonderful break from the fast paced city life. The setting was very serene with beautiful flowers and birds. We learned all about how the coffee is grown, picked, dried, and roasted. We smelled some wonderful and terrible coffees, and were educated on how to buy good coffee at the store. Then we got to sample some of the coffee grown on the Hacienda. It was a lot of fun! Our tour guide Rene was very informative, and he and Emily kept all entertained with their lively conversation. Brielle did wonderful being out all day, and we made it home with only one meltdown!

Sunday: After beautiful weather on Saturday, we woke up to rain. We waited until afternoon to head to the outdoor market, and had a late lunch in the mall. Brielle is loving playing with Grammy and Grandpap. She is getting bigger and bigger and wearing us out with all her high energy play!

Monday: We all slept in, and then Emily and I went to the park. We walked for a while, and played with Brielle on the playground. Jennifer and her kids got to come for a bit too. We had a relaxing afternoon, and then I tried my hand at making arepas for dinner. They turned out great! We had them topped with ground beef and cheese.

Tuesday: Emily and Kevin were so kind to babysit, so Scott and I could have our first real date as parents!! We went to eat at Crepes and Waffles, and saw the movie Chef. It was a lot of fun and refreshing to have some time to ourselves. Then Jen & Nick and the kids came over to swim. It was their first time, and we had so much fun. They were fearless!

Wednesday: We caught a cab downtown, and had lunch in a little sandwich shop. I have loved being adventurous and trying new places to eat. We cook a lot of our meals at the apartment, but it is fun to just find a little tienda (shop) and stop for lunch. Then we went to look at emeralds. Colombia is known for their emeralds, so I wanted to see them. Then Emily and Kevin toured the Gold Museum while the rest of us rent home to rest. They said it was a great museum!

Thursday: We headed back downtown to Simon Bolivar park. It is such a fun park that we have visited it three times. We played and walked around, and then got some lunch at the park restaurant. Their food is really interesting. My 'perrito Americano' (American hot dog) came with cheese, ketchup and chips crushed on top. Not one of my top meals in Bogota. Then we headed to the Botanical Gardens, which was beautiful! My favorite parts were the waterfall and the rose garden. We also enjoyed picking herbs from the herb garden, and getting Brielle to sniff them. She has been doing really well imitating us lately! I have been working on the "mmm" sound with her, and also "ma". Tonight I got her to imitate 'mamama' pretty well! I'm hoping she'll connect those sounds with me soon!
 Another first in Bogota! Our bus got hit by a car. The driving is crazy, but this is the first accident we've been in. Luckily everyone involved was ok, and we got on another bus right away. 
Friday: So today was supposed to be a relaxing day at home, but things quickly changed in the morning. We had to go sign a new power of attorney, so our case could be switched to a new judge. We are now in a new court, and hoping our case gets accepted and signed quickly! Please pray hard for this! Then we went to eat at Palatino, and Kevin and Emily had one last traditional Colombian meal. Brielle and I went swimming for a bit after everyone took naps, and we had steak fajitas for dinner. Then Kevin and Emily were off for the airport. We will miss them! One great discovery that Kevin made right before leaving was the Brielle will walk around with the aid of a rolling suitcase! A great makeshift walker while we're here.

Brielle thought the clothes going round and round were fascinating. 

Hopefully we'll have good news to post next week!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our third week in Bogota

We've been having lots of fun, and making lots of memories while we are here. However, we are getting more homesick, and ready to come home. Please be praying that we hear an update from our judge soon. We were told last Friday to 'consider our case accepted', but never heard that is was formally accepted. The way this stage works is that the judge has to accept the case, and then has 10 days to review and sign it. The signing is called Sentencia, and makes the adoption legal. After Sentencia we will only have one more week or so in country!

So if our case was accepted last week, then we should hear news about Sentencia next week sometime! Please pray that this happens, and that we can possibly go meet the judge to show him that Brielle needs to come home for medical care.

So picking up where our last blog left off:

Sunday (08/31): We went to church, and then went to the market in Usaquen. It is a traditional outdoor market with lots of handmade goods. Our goal is to get Brielle some cultural gifts that we can give to her as she gets older.

Monday: I made some potato soup for lunch, and Jen, Nick and the kids came over. Then we went and played at the park for a bit. Brielle is doing well, but is getting a bit of a runny nose. She was more cranky this morning, and just wanted to be held all day. I can't say I mind that though.

Tuesday: We had a chill day at home, which seemed to help Brielle feel better. Then we went to Jen & Nick's apartment for breakfast for dinner. It was really fun, and Emory & Trish (missionary friends) came too. We had homemade biscuits, cinnamon rolls, and egg casserole! It was like being at home!
Wednesday: Jen, Ashley (their friend from home), and I took this kids on a walk up the mountain to get fresh bread in the morning. The bread is amazing, and cheap! But the walk up the mountain pushing Brielle in the stroller was tough. Then we went to the mall for lunch, and Sipote. It is exactly like Chipotle in the states. Emily and Kevin got in safely around 10pm, and we tried to keep Brielle up, but she was asleep on my shoulder when then came. :)

Thursday: We are seeing some exciting breakthroughs with Brielle! She signed 'more' to us this week instead of screaming for more food. It is not always consistent, but I love giving her the ability to communicate. We are also working a little on potty training because she shows the initiative. We have gotten used to her potty routine, so now we just put her over the potty around those times. She has gone three times!! Otherwise we had a quiet day and did some grocery shopping.

Friday: We had to go to a meeting at La Casa to check on Brielle's progress. Emily went with me, and the meeting was pretty quick (30 minutes), but drive took over an hour with traffic! Then we met up with Kevin & Scott for lunch at Crepes and Waffles. It was delicious!! It is a chain that started in Colombia, and they employ single moms to help them raise their children.

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