Today we sat down with the kids and planned the remainder of our stay in the Cauca Valley. There were requests for paintball, the gold museum, an architectural tour, the zoo, handmade crafts shopping and a trip up into the mountains. We are sort of on an every-other-day schedule, as the cleaning lady/cook comes on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and someone should be here at the villa. The smaller trips of interest to only a few of us cultured family members can take place on cleaning days too. We have another 11-12 days here in Cali and we want to see as much as possible without spending an arm and a leg… or wearing out the little muchacha. Ok, enough logistics.
Tonight as my kids all hugged and kissed each other before Nora’s bedtime, I witnessed unconditional love that melted my heart. Our two Canadian and one American kids have wholeheartedly accepted their little Colombian sister without as much as a hiccup. My 17-year-old daughter is sharing a room and a bed with her new little sister and is loving it all! So am I! Nora picked first in the room… which meant all the shelves in the closet, the only nightstand and the best side of the bed. Larisa hasn’t really been told what to do by a 7-year-old before, and she handled it beautifully. I’ve heard her say several times, “Where is my favorite little Colombian?” Awwww.
Adoption is such an amazing, heart-transforming adventure. We have seen God’s hand in the orchestration of our family every day as more and more tidbits of Nora’s personality and talents surface. It is remarkable that a little girl can grow up on a different continent and mesh so well with a family of five who barely even speak her language! Her sense of humor is the best part of it all! One day, like every other day, we were looking through the photo album I made for Nora of her new family, our house and relatives. She looked at the picture of our piano and asked who played it. We told her that we all did, except Dad. She said, very matter-of-factly, “Así que la mamá es más inteligente que papá?” (Oh, so mommy is more intelligent than daddy?) Made me laugh.
We are also totally enjoying the fact that Larisa and I speak and understand the most Spanish among our family (which isn’t saying a whole lot!) but everyone talks to Rick because he looks like he belongs here! Rick can’t understand a lick of Spanish! He has been in the swimming pool every day for a week and is darkening up to a golden bronze color. :o) A group of neighborhood boys have been playing soccer every day with Rick and our sons, Austin and Keeve. One of the boys asked me in Rick’s absence, “Is Rick the father of Austin?” and I overheard one boy ask Keeve, “Are you and Austin brothers?” It makes me laugh. I realized today, after EVERYONE in the mall stared at us with our blonde children, that they must assume that Rick married me with these three teenagers in tow… and then we had this cute little dark girl that looks like her Daddy! One of the clowns at the petting zoo told Rick that he appears to be Colombian!
The first morning we were in this villa, I was up early making scrambled eggs and toast (and arepa, of course!) and I set the kitchen table before anyone was awake. Later, my husband walked in and asked if I wasn’t eating with the family. I ONLY SET FIVE PLACES! Thank the good Lord Nora didn’t witness her mother forgetting her already!!!! Aye, yi yi! This is life changing in every way. Thankfully there is enough love to take care of everyone!