It’s true. We have been home from Cali, Colombia for 23 months with our little Colombian princess. The adoption journey has had bumps and twists that we didn’t expect, but it has been so wonderful and rewarding.
Tomorrow is GOTCHA DAY number two!
TWO YEARS!!! Hard to believe it has gone by so fast. Sometimes our month in Colombia seems like forever ago… and sometimes it seems like last week. I miss the lush greenness of Cali, the vast array of mystery fruits that were scrumptiously yummy, the glimpses of the Andes when the fog lifted, the bamboo forest we drove by to our villa, the coconut ice cream bars, the afternoon rain showers, the neighborhood boys who would come and ask, “Is Austin Rick’s son?”, the sweet smell of the flowers, arepas filled white cheese, the stickiness of the night air and the pee-po pee-po LOUD evening serenade of the coqui frogs.
People often ask “Why Colombia?” Quite a few factors lead us to the beautiful and tropical South American country.
1.) My husband, Rick, went to Valledupar, Colombia for a summer to build a church when he was 17-years-old. He grew to love the warm-hearted people and the countryside teeming with unknown vegetation, never imagining that he would return to meet his daughter twenty-something years later.
2.) We have three bio kids who do not look like Rick AT ALL. Ok, one does a little, but I was expecting little chubby, black-haired Indian babies when I married a Cree Indian. Didn’t happen. The Irish and Finnish genes dominated and we got two blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids and another slightly darker. So, when we had chosen an adoption agency, I looked through the pages for the countries they worked in…. I held up the two pages and announced to Rick, “El Salvador and Colombia are where the kids look like you.” “Colombia,” he replied. And it was a done deal.
3.) Not that I was anywhere near proficient, but I thoroughly enjoyed taking Spanish… back in the day. Larisa also had Spanish courses and was mastering her second language quite nicely. So a country in South America seemed familiar… somehow. (Not distant in my mind, like, say, Kazakhstan… or China.) I related to Ellie from the movie UP…. her dream was to visit South America. She tore pictures right out of a library book of the fascinating country.
I am as American as you could get. I LOVE my country… the anthem brings me to tears. Studying and teaching the history of our great land is a deep passion of mine. But I have to say that my heart beats in thirds… a third for the USA, a third for Canada, where I spent my college years and the first 10 years of marriage, and now a third for Colombia where I fell in love with my daughter’s people and homeland. My heart is still in Colombia. <3