Posts Tagged ‘gotchya day’

My Heart is STILL in Colombia!

November 24, 2012

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

“Watch and Learn”

October 1, 2012

This is the new one liner our little Colombian princess is repeating… and repeating … and repeating.  “Watch and learn!”  We’re not sure where it came from? (Austin?)

Just another few factoids of folly from her today as well:  We have friends who are Anglo-Saxon (do they still call us white folk Anglo-Saxon?), with 2 bio kids and four adopted kids, one of whom is from Korea.  Nora asked me today if their family does “Gotchya Day”.  “I’m not sure if they do, but they would have a lot if they did!” and I named the four adopted kids.  Nora was astonished that the 13-year-old from Korea (in the family of 7 other white people) was adopted.  She amazes me sometimes.

Later this afternoon, I witnessed her parade to and from the bathroom and her bedroom…. a few too many times for normal wear and tear.  The following conversation followed.

Me:  “Nora, what are you doing?”

N:  “Playing”

Me: “What are you playing?”

N:  “I made some food for my dolls.”  Carrying a little sauce pan to the bathroom again.

Me:  “What did you make for them?”

N:  “Soup.”

Me:  “What is in the soup?”

N:  “Water.”

I looked into the pot…. it was a milky white substance with chunks.

Me:  “What else did you put in the soup?”

N:  “Paper and glue.”

Me:  “Where in the world did you get that idea?”

N:  “From George.”

Me:  “Who is George?”

N:  “That little monkey.”

(Curious George!!!!)

Me:  “Don’t EVER do anything that George does!”



We all need Girlfriends!

May 18, 2011

We have almost been home with Nora for five month now.  Time has FLOWN by!  Most of that time she has spent playing with us or her cousin, Luke, who lives across the street.  She has gone once to another friend’s house for the day.  But today she had girlfriends over to play for the first time.  Two sisters, one is 1.5 years older than Nora and one is 1.5 years younger.  When we picked them up, they were all timid and shy with one another as they were almost strangers.  They have met on two or three occasions, but never played together… hard!  As soon as we arrived home, they all went out to the trampoline and the laughter and squealing began.  It continued for hours.  Sweet music to my ears!

I packed snacks and juice in Nora’s little picnic basket and they had tea on the little yellow picnic table in the backyard as the wind blew their hair all wild.  And they talked non-stop.  Like girlfriends do.  At one point, the dog was bugging them, so Nora came and put her in the house.  She poked her head inside the back door, and upon seeing me looking at her, Nora said excitedly, “This is SO fun!”   “I know!” I responded, because I DO know!  Why didn’t I get her with girlfriends sooner????

(Disclaimer: Nora dressed herself:)

Half way through the play time, I packed the three little girls into the back seat of the van so I could pick up Larisa from work. (Yes, she works now… but that’s another blog.) On the drive home, Larisa and I just sat and smiled as we listened to Nora tell the entire story of the day she got a family.  It was so sweet.  She didn’t miss a thing!  “Mommy way crying.  Daddy was crying.  Larisa was really hard crying.  Keeve was crying.  They crying because they so happy.  Austin no did crying. And I run to Mommy and kiss her and give her stuffs I make. She hug me. Daddy hug me.  I was so happy, but I did no crying.”  Melts my heart!  It’s the first time I heard her tell the story!  She was so proud!

Again I say, we ALL need girlfriends!  They simply bring out the best in us!

Sorry for the Delay….. I’ve been BUSY!

November 27, 2010

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!