We ended up flying to Cali, Colombia on Wednesday, Nov. 24th because there were no more seats on Thanksgiving Day! But then we received our darling Nora ON Thanksgiving Day… four-years to the DAY that we started this adoption process. We were on the waitlist with ICBF for 34 months all together… waiting. But oh so worth the wait!
Because we accepted the referral so late in Nov. (the 19th) we had to make a mad scramble to get to Cali right away so that we could finalize the adoption before the courts close on Dec. 16th. WOW! On the Monday after we accepted our referral, I left at 3:00 am with my Dad for the Colombian consulate in Beverly Hills, California. ….. a seven hour drive one way…. My time spent at the consulate was highly stressful…and that’s putting it mildly. To make a long story short, I cried in front of 45 Colombians, but we did get our Visas in 3 hours!
Our three flights from Phoenix, connecting in Houston and Panama, to Cali were almost uneventful. We had a luggage mishap, but after much prayer and supplication and even fasting (well, only because I slept through the sandwich on the last flight) our bags all arrived safely. We were met at the airport by Magnolia, the most magnificent guide EVER, and taken to a nice hotel/apartment in Cali. She picked it out and it was perfect for us for the first few days. We received Nora at the ICBF building the next morning at 10:30 and she is a charmer from the get go! We all cried, but she was all smiles. She ran past two of my kids straight for me and kissed me and called me mama. Oh, melt my heart in a nano second!
We watched the video of the whole thing last night and we all cried again. Then we rewound it a few times and laughed hysterically at the sobbing and snorting noises we made involuntarily. Such a sweet moment!
No, Nora doesn’t speak any English at all. But she thinks we understand her when she talks a mile-a-minute, probably because Larisa and I have a minimal amount of Espanola under our belts. I have enough to order breakfast and request plates and paper towels. Larisa is pretty efficient at translating some of what Nora says. Larisa asked Nora if she wants to learn to speak English and she said, “Probably not.” Oh, little muchacha, you’ll be fluent in three-four months!
Nora fits into this family in so many ways, it’s truly amazing! She loves to sleep in, and loves do crafts, and loves to change her clothes several times a day, and loves to try new foods, and loves to wear lots of jewelry! She fell in love with several pieces of clothing that we brought, including some bling-bling sandals that have been sitting under my computer screen for four years (and they fit her perfectly!) and a smart little double-breasted jacket that is too warm to wear right now, but too cool not to wear! (In the first picture.)
We moved today out to a single story house in the country that is roomy, clean and beautiful. It is in a gated community with a swimming pool, play ground and ball court. There is a grocery store and some convenience stores. Ice cream is very convenient! We will be here for two weeks and we already love it!
Monday morning we have our bonding meeting (to see how our time with Nora went!) at 8:00 am and then our papers go to court. I’ll do better keeping up on the blog now that we’re here at this relaxing place. Ciao!