Posts Tagged ‘Bogota’


November 27, 2011

November 25th was Nora’s Gotcha Day.  We have had our little Colombian princess for one year now!  Hard to believe!  We celebrated in style…. purple style…. and ate Domino’s pizza… because that is where we ate in Cali the night we received Nora. 

We spent time going through her Colombian box that contains all the items and clothing she brought with her from her homeland.  We gave her a beautiful handmade dress from Cali, as well as a few American gifts… that were purple!

For two years I have been working on my third book…. Nora’s Story… her lifebook.  I was impatiently waiting for all the info during the first year… and then trying to find time to put it in the book this last year.  It tells the story of her life from the day she was born.  I’m once again so thankful that we took a day to go up to LaCumbre, the sleepy little town where she was born.  We were able to get a copy of the hospital report from that precious day… and it had priceless details on it that we would have never been able to give to her! Also included in her lifebook are copies of her birth certificates, her citizenship certificate and pictures of her foster family. 

After reading the lifebook, we watched the videos that were taken in Colombia.  It made us miss our sweet friends that we met in Colombia.  We all cried again as we watched ourselves crying tears of joy when we got her.  Awesomeness, for sure!  It was interesting for her to watch, because she only spoke Spanish then.  She was quite shocked at her behavior, which is a good sign!!!  She said, “I wasn’t a very good example then!” and “I talked a LOT!” and “I wasn’t very nice, was I?”  What do you say to that?!?  No, Honey, you weren’t, but we loved you anyway! 

We ended the evening by lighting sparklers and running around the backyard screaming like little girls.  Great fun!  Nora made us a darling card that said, “Thank you for adopting me!” and lots of other terms of endearment.  She is such a thoughtful little girl!  I told my husband later that night that I didn’t expect to hear her say thank you for adopting her until she was 35.  :o)  It’s been a year of blessing!  Thank God for our little girl!

I’m Finally Making a Colombia Scrapbook

September 15, 2011

Yes, we’ve been home with the Colombian princess for almost nine months…. next Thursday, it’ll be nine months.  I’m finally getting around to making a scrapbook of our trip.  I’ve spent much mental anguish on the Colombia scrapbook topic over the past six months. (The first three months home I just needed a nap.  That’s all.)  I know there are LOTS of photos.  I know there are LOTS of photos that I want to include.  I also know my scrapbooking speed is not what it used to be in the days of old when I got 65 pages completed on a weekend retreat.  I’ve weighed the digital vs. traditional issues too.

This morning my problems were solved when I opened my email and Snapfish had sent me a free digital hard-cover scrapbook.  Well, the first 20 pages are free.  I was all over it…. but the deadline is Sept. 21.  My husband and I are leaving on a jet plane in three days… and not coming home until the 22nd.  So today, instead of teaching my pupils (well I did have Nora do math… and the others are pretty self-motivated at the moment)…. (yes, those were guilt justifying comments)… I uploaded 296 photos and put them in a digital book.  BAM!  Done!  Well, almost.  I only did half of the journaling… and it’s too late in the day to write coherent sentences, much less remember the Spanish names of places and fruits.

Into my closet I went searching for my journal from our trip to South America.  One paragraph smacked me between the eyes and I want to share it with you.  For all those who have adopted, want to adopt, are trying to adopt and are thinking they might adopt…. here’s some cold, hard facts to think on:

“As I drove home the seven hours from the Colombian consulate in Beverly Hills, I had one of those God-moments where I realized that this whole adoption is not about me… or Rick and I… or even Nora.  It’s about God taking care of His children – about His children taking one step at a time, obeying the call on their lives – about God providing everything we need – far before we figured out what we needed.”


This was taken right after we landed in Bogotá!

That was so philosophical of me…. and rare… here’s the next page in the journal for your pure enjoyment.

(This was the night before we were leaving Cali to fly to Bogotá.) “As late as it was after packing, 12:30 a.m., I simply could not fall asleep.  The thought that Nora was leaving behind her life as she knows it – kept me awake.  One reassuring thought was that we LOVED Cali SO much – we will return someday.  I also wondered at 2:30, 3:15, 4:12 and from 4:35 on…. would Nora have motion sickness? Would the airplane terrify her?  Did we check under all the beds? And finally – I was awake at 5:00… “ready” for our adventure to Bogotá.”  No wonder I needed three months of naps!

Houston, We Have a Problem!

January 1, 2011

The most hair-raising part of our adoption tale has not been shared, I just realized.  Here you go.  May you learn from our mistakes if you are embarking on an international adoption journey.

No one told us that we would need more than two hours on our Houston layover to make it through customs, immigration and security on our trip home from Colombia.  We discovered this information as we were checking in for our flight from Bogota to Houston…. too late to make flight changes.  Plus, we knew there would be a disappointed crowd at the Phoenix airport if we didn’t show up at 4:30 when scheduled.  We had exactly 95 minutes between flights.

The plan was to hurry through our pit stops… not imagining that we would be reenacting the Joe Namath airport running commercial of old!  We rushed past people to make it to the customs line.  Thankfully the line for US citizens was considerably shorter than the line for visitors!  The agent was thorough, but not entirely slow.  She advised us that after clearing her booth we would have to wait for an immigration officer to take us to a secret room for clearance of Nora’s visa and her entry into America as its newest citizen.  We divided to conquer at that point.  I took Nora.  Rick took the rest of the kids to gather luggage. 

Seated in the immigration room, while three officers worked at their computers, Nora asked why we couldn’t go up to the counter.  I told her that we were waiting for one of them to call her name.  After ten agonizingly long minutes, one of the fine officers asked, “Nora, How old are you?”  To which she replied, “Nora, How old are you?”  I explained in Spanish that she needed to say her age.  Thankfully the officer then asked her the same question in Spanish.  To which she answered, “Catorce!” (14!!!)  With a hushed voice I told her that this was highly importante and that she needed to obey the officer.  Under her breath, she counted in English on her fingers until she got to seven, then she announced in a loud voice, “Tengo SEVEN.”  Spanglish would have to do.  Brother!  She was fingerprinted and signed her name “Noro Crosby” on her form and we were on our way. (BTW, her passport application was signed Nora Crosdy.  Her Passport was signed Nora Croby.)  Thankfully we know who she is!

We scrambled downstairs to find the family waiting with two carts full of our luggage.  After pushing each bag onto the re-check-in belt, I thought we were sitting pretty with 30 minutes to spare.  I almost started crying when we reached the next floor and witnessed one of the longest security lines I’ve ever seen!  We got in line and I started praying…. hard.  Rick analyzed the situation and took matters into his own hands.  He found a security-line guard and asked if we could be moved up.  I was still praying hard.  We wove our way around the maze until we came to the spot where Rick was standing by our guardian angel, and she opened the ropes to let us through, skipping about 60 or 70 people.  I whispered “thank you” to her and to God.  She then directed us to the shortest of six lines for the x-ray machines.  Before she put the ropes back, she hollered, “Any more Elite Members in line?”  We are not Elite members and I almost burst out laughing… but I restrained my hilarity at that moment.

At this point I told my boys to remove their belts and put them into their backpacks so we wouldn’t have to wait for them to re-dress.  This was brilliant on my part for timing, but not so comfortable for my sons who had to hold their pants as they ran through the airport.  After x-raying our bags, Rick took off with our boarding passes to run to the gate.  Seriously, it was a 1/4 mile run.  Larisa and Nora didn’t get their shoes put back on… we carried them and cleaned the airport floor with their socks.

We arrived at Gate E9 to discover that our flight had been moved to C33.  If you have been to the Houston airport, you understand that all things are BIGGER in Texas.  Good grief.  The kind counter lady called the C33 desk to tell them we were on our way.   To say that I’m not exactly fit for a 1/2 mile run would be an understatement.  The family took off and I followed not quite as rapidly.  Finally I flagged down a man driving a golf cart and requested immediate delivery to C33.  Upon arrival, I jumped out of the cart to find my four children… but not my husband.  The kids said, “He went back to look for YOU!” 

At this point it was five minutes passed the scheduled take-off time and the ticket-taking lady regretfully replied, “We cannot hold the plane any longer.”  Lacking grace and poise, I screamed down the terminal, “RIIIICCCCKKKK!” in my loudest voice…. twice.  Half way between Rick and gate C33 there was a group of airport employees who also yelled, “RIIICCCKKK!”  Thankfully, he turned around and started another 300 yard dash.  As he passed the workers, they were chanting, “Run, Rick, Run!”  I turned to the ticket-taking lady and informed her that we were ready to board and my husband would be arriving by the time she scanned his ticket.  WHEW!

We rushed on the plane, the doors were closed and it started to taxi out before we were all seated in row 32.  I have never been more relieved in my life.

In Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix were over 60 of our crazy friends waiting with signs and cheers.  They had NO IDEA how close they were to greeting a Crosby-less plane!  Again, God showed up in the details, for the 127th time.

C R I S I S!

December 3, 2010

The computer is such a marvelous device when combined with the internet (thank you, Al Gore) and Skype.  We have been able to see our family back in the USofA and in Canada.  We’ve introduced them to their new Colombian family member and Nora has seen her Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins.  It makes South America not seem so far from home.  It has made this stressful-happy time not so stressful and more happy.

Then two nights ago our computer charging cord gave up the ghost.  Died.  Kaput.  Do not resuscitate.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.  I had a bit of fear and misgivings about three more weeks without contact with home.  How would we know how much weight our dog has gained at our friend’s house? And how would our family know if we were alive or dead?  Yesterday our guide took my teenage daughter and myself way across town to the north side of Cali.  There is a mall there that is solely filled with electronics stores.  EVERY single store had computers for sale…. and cords.  Thank God!  We were able to find the one we needed… and it wasn’t even a fake brand made in Taiwan!  It was an original Compaq brand made in China!  We were only without contact for 24 hours, and our family didn’t even know there was a crisis.  They thought we were ignoring them.  :o)

We also took the Colombian princess to buy some tennis shoes.  The shoes we brought are all too small, with the exception of the sandals that I bought for her four years ago when we started the adoption process.  We were at Payless Shoesource in 2006 and it was B1G1 50% off.  Larisa picked out a pair of shoes and I couldn’t find any for myself…. so I wandered over to the little girls section and found these gems:

They have been sitting on the computer desk all this time…. collecting dust… waiting for the princess.  Her little brown toes look adorable in them!

Back to the story, we were buying shoes and explained that she needed warm shoes for when we go to Bogota in a couple of weeks.  It is cold and rainy there and the elevation is 8,355 ft.  COLD especially after being in balmy Cauca Valley her whole life.  After we picked out the shoes, she asked, “What clothes are we going to buy for me to wear in Bogota?”  HAHAHA!  A true shopper!  But, sorry, sweetheart, mommy brought warm clothes for you!

We are enjoying the swimming pool every day for the few hours the sun is shining.  We are relishing the Colombian food!  We are taking naps almost every day!  We could get used to this!  Nora is doing so well with us and the kids.  She SOOOOO was ready for a family!

November 3rd has Come and Gone {sigh}

November 3, 2009

If you have followed our eternal adoption saga, you know that I’m a tad sad today.  November 3rd is the last day of the year 2009 that a referral call can be received from Bogota… and your child can be home by Christmas.  Our call did not come today.  This will be Christmas #3 without our baby girl looking wide-eyed at her first glistening Christmas tree, or having a family to gather with and sing carols in a strange language, or making Sugar cookies in the shapes of stars, candy canes and snowmen with sprinkles.  I don’t know if I can stand to put the baby ornaments on the tree this year.

When I think of the life Zaza is most likely living right now… down in Colombia… it makes my heart sad.  We pray for her every single day to be cared for, warm, fed and loved.  I know it will be the shock of her life to leave all that is familiar to her… food, weather, friends, home, caretakers, clothes, smells, Spanish, songs and games.  I’m glad that we stay in Colombia for a month to get used to each other in her surroundings.  But I honestly cannot wait to shower her in love and kisses.  To bring her to her own home and show Zaza her darling yellow room with the purple bed.  Her very own room!  With butterflies, dragonflies, flowers and the sun painted in bright colors and glitter dancing around the tops of her walls.  Her own curvy mirror to look in, comb her black hair that is just like her daddy’s and admire her beautiful clothes.  I can’t wait to hear squealing in our home again, high-pitched laughter and giggling.  We haven’t had princess tea parties in many years around here.  And dancing.  Yes, we will dance with Zaza.

We started a unit with the boys today on patience and plant growth.  As I read the definition “patience is waiting without complaining” I realized why God planned for us to start the unit today… Nov. 3rd.   I plan my homeschool year in early June, when I wasn’t aware of the Nov. 3rd cut off date.  And of course it would be patience out of all the character traits that it could be.  HE knew!  So we planted grass and flowers and herbs and vegetables today.  Of course I thought of doing all this with Zaza by my side making a mess next year.  I pray she loves gardening even half as much as I do.  We’ll have great fun together with the dirt, water, seeds and rocks.  I’ve been eyeing the little gardening gloves, rubber boots and color coordinated kid-sized garden tools at JoAnns.  I LOVE those!  A must have.

The courts in Bogota are closed from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15th, so there will be no action at all until after that. {sigh} The good news of Nov. 3rd being over is that the holidays are spent focussing on the family that is here, the few years we have left together, and making memories that will last. 

Seed Is a Promise

I read the book A Seed is a Promise today…. and it is, whether it is an actual plant seed, or the seed of a child born in your heart.  It is a promise.  A promise that will come true… if we have patience (and wait without complaining!)

No News is NOT Good News

September 2, 2009

School is underway and I am treading water with my head just sticking out of the water.  It’s hard to keep my mind from wandering off to Colombia and a sweet, little black-haired girl that is waiting for us to come and get her.  I keep thinking, Spelling and grammar are important but if the referral call comes, spelling and grammar are history, baby!  At least for a little while.  I made the most strictly structured schedule that has ever been in existence at L.A.K.E. Academy (our homeschool.)  L-arisa, A-ustin, K-eeve, and E…….  (Wouldn’t it be just like God to have Zaza’s name start with an E!?! )  The schedule is the only thing keeping school on track.  The boys check it regularly throughout the day and keep us on course.

We were supposed to have adoption news last week.  It didn’t materialize.  The next scheduled news about our case should be available next week… Sept. 10th, so we’re told.  Is it too much, after almost three years of waiting, to ask that our little girl is home before Christmas????  I had a hard time last year putting the kids’ birth ornaments on the tree without Zaza’s in the mix.  Another year with three stockings when we know there should be four.  Another year without Barbies under the tree.  {sigh}

I have this underlying anxiety currently.  I’m not sure what it means or where it comes from.  I hope it’s my maternal instincts kicking in to prepare for a new child.  We’ve cleaned, painted, scrubbed and wiped pretty much everything now.  If the call came tomorrow, I’m ready.  I try not to dwell on the time that we have been on the adoptive parent wait list in Bogota (19 months), but it does come to mind on nights like tonight.  The house is quiet.  There probably are three million things I could be doing, but I can’t concentrate on any one thing.  It’s like something or someone is missing…. because she is.

Come on, GOD!