Thursday, October 16, 2014
Week 8 in Bogota, the last one!
Even though we are home I wanted to recap our final week in Bogota.
Monday: We all went up to the court with the promise of Sentencia. It is a lot of work to get Brielle ready to leave the house at 7 (she is NOT a morning person), and then drive an hour through traffic. We sat for a few hours, and then were simply told that it wasn't ready, and to come back at 8am the next day. The place where Brielle lived was a special orphanage for children with special needs called the Foundation. It was near the courthouse, so we decided to go visit. It was in Strato 1, which is the poorest area. Everyone was so happy to see Brielle, and everyone wanted to hug and kiss on her. It was nice to see how loved she was there. She was happy to see everyone, but preferred being held by Daddy.
With some of the workers including her caretaker, Margarita.
Her friend Jon was so excited to see her!
Jon, Sarai and Brielle, best buds!
This was her special friend, Juanita, from the older kids room.
She was worn out from her visit.
Tuesday: I went back to the court first thing in the morning by myself to sign the Sentencia. It wasn't done being written, so we were told to come back at 2pm. I opted to wait with my lawyer at La Casa instead of driving all the way home. I talked to the kids there while I waited, and practiced English with them. When we got back the Sentencia was done, but the judge was in court so he never signed. Told to come back, and everything would be ready by 8am sharp.
Wednesday: I go back to the court again (it was a blessing that I got to go alone), and the Sentencia was ready around 9am for me to sign! Then my lawyer signed, but we still had to get the defender of minors to sign. We went up to the office and our defender had been sick for a month. My attorney had a friend in the office, but she refused to sign because of the extra work our lady was causing by being out sick. So then another guy said if my attorney could find his son a job he would sign, and so it was done! After more craziness with months printed incorrectly, and waiting for more people to sign Gabrielle was legally our daughter! So then we raced off to the notary to get the new birth certificate, and then off to the passport office to get her passport. Wednesday night we wanted to go celebrate by eating a nice Italian restaurant called Archies, and we got caught in a torrential downpour. Brielle loved running through the rain, and we ended up eating spaghetti at home.
Our official family photo! (not easy to get a three year old to pose)
Thursday: I went back early to pick up her passport, and then we scanned it to the US Embassy and the the Embassy doctor. Our rep had informed the Embassy earlier in the week that we would need an appointment Friday in order to fly home Saturday, so we were cutting it close. In the afternoon we walked to the doctor's office to get her medical packet, and had dinner at Sopas y Postres. It was delicious!
This girl loves to eat!
Friday: We headed out for the Embassy around 11am, and when we got there they were calling "Familia Hamilton" over the loudspeaker. We rushed in to find the place empty. It turns out that the Embassy was closed for an administration day, but they made a special appointment for us! God is so good! We were interviewed by the same guy who I spoke with on the phone months before, and he said that they are always excited to help complete adoptions. We went to the mall for one last lunch before going back to pick up her official visa. It all went so smoothly! Finally, we were ready to come home!
Our wonderful rep, Martha! She made the process so smooth!
Dinner at Archie's with our friends Sam & Brian.
Saturday: We were up bright and early to get to the airport! Brielle LOVED flying, and behaved so well the whole time. It was wonderful to have so many family and friends meet us at the airport, and finally eat some Chick Fil A! We had a wonderful time in Bogota, but it is so nice to be home!
Breakfast picnic-last time for Juan Valdez (great Colombian coffee!)
Loving the airplane! She laughed and laughed during take off!
Finally back in the US! So blessed to be home as a family of three!
We'll still keep the blog updated with Brielle's progress, and how she is adapting to life at home! We truly cannot thank everyone enough for all the support and prayers that you have provided during this adventure. We are so excited to have our girl home!