Well apparently the embassy or ICBF changed their documentation requirements quite recently and despite six hours there and lots of hustle by our legal team here no visa.   They need one more document despite having everything I was instructed to bring so we are not leaving tonight.   I cannot express how upsetting this is.  Sometimes the bureaucrats take control of things and the constituents they are supposed to be serving lose out.  I just want the boys home.   I am legally their father but am powerless to advocate for them.  It is maddening.

Pero, tranquillo.   I can’t stop thinking about the poor man I saw praying this morning that I wrote about in my last post.   I have thought about him all day.  His struggles, whatever they are, centered me and calmed me and helped put my worries in perspective.  The boys are okay and I am okay, please send your prayers or good intentions to this man.   He needs them more than we do.

Stay tuned.   If we don’t leave tomorrow I may start looking at real estate.

Que tengais todos una buena noche.

Esperamos…and thinking of a man on the streets 

We have been at the US embassy for a few hours now.   They are asking for documents they have never asked anyone for apparently.   Juan who has helped a lot along the way, works for Raul and Juliana adoptions, has never seen this.  Raul owns and runs Juliana and has done 1760 adoptions has never seen this.  Am I jinxed?   Raul just called me and asked me to remain calm.   He has emailed several things and I am hoping all resolved and they are working on visas but I am not sure.   I am strangely calm, trying to just relax and hope.  Tranquillo.

I saw something on the way over this morning that has profoundly impacted me.   We were stopped at a traffic light and on a small strip of grass between two very busy lanes a man was with his cart and about to start selling drinks.  Lots of stuff sold at red lights down here, like many cities around the world.  His head was down and hands folded and he was praying.  He seemed troubled.   Was he praying for a good day of sales, for his health, for a sick loved one, or someone he has lost?   It was an incredibly intimate moment that just about brought me to tears.   I don’t think I’ll ever forget his face.   One thing is certain, his problems and concerns worse than mine at this moment.   I really hope I get the visas and get to leave tonight.  But I would much prefer that his prayers are answered.  

So if you’re out there praying for us I would simply ask that you prayer for him and his needs instead.  We’re fine, we’ll survive more delays if we have to.   Wherever I am tonight, I am going to prayer for him too.

Spanish Class 

Wendy and I have been taking Spanish at an adult immersion school for 15 months now, Spanish House.   We have both tried to learn Spanish in the past but didn’t get very far but the motivation this time around a whole lot different.  The  boys clearly appreciate our efforts and we have a deal going forward: we’ll help you with your English if you help us with your Spanish!

Many things have prevented me from getting further along with the language including missing I am guessing thirty percent of the classes  secondary to work, issues related to the adoption including the vacation program last year, family emergencies, travel and let’s see, the last six weeks!   I regret not being further along and yet I am joyous about missing the last six weeks for obvious reasons.   It’s funny I have made progress being here for sure  but at least fifty percent of the time now I am speaking English with the boys for obvious reassigns.   I’m not sure my brain is built for second languages but I am at a solid c+ right now (I’m a tough grader!) and I am going to keep trying!

Our class is immersion and it is solamente español since the first night so the following message is for our class (Wendy por favor lee esta clase esta noche): 

Los extraño a todos y la clase mucho y espero estar en casa con los chicos más tarde esta semana y volver a reunir clase la próxima semana. Estoy desesperadamente detrás pero hemos discutido opciones y quiero permanecer en clase y hacer lo mejor que puedo.

Louis gracias por su paciencia, comprensión y amistad. Haré lo mejor que pueda para ponerse al día. Bethsita, Princessa, Stephanie y Obispo nos consideramos amigos para toda la vida y no quiero tomar el español con nadie más. ¡Los seis originales! James y Jorgito que han sido grandes adiciones! Y por supuesto mi novia espectacular wendy que extraño mucho. Ella es la chispa que ilumina nuestra clase!

Estoy volviendo a casa con dos guapos chicos colombianos.

Thank you Ryan and Katie, and Evan and Louisa, and Elias and Andrew and Jacob

I want to thank all of our kids and their friends for opening their hearts to these boys.  The boys’ imminent arrival in Dallas impacts Ryan and Evan and Louisa the most as their home base is Dallas but I anticipate (and have seen) Wendy’s boys will be just as welcoming to David and Alexis. 

Thank you to Ryan and Katie for being so great with the boys when they were here a couple weeks back.   It was wonderful to see and it sounds like half of Boston College is waiting to meet the boys!   The boys will be headed north with us in about a month to attend Ryan’s and Andrew’s graduations (assuming I have left Colombia by then!) and I suspect will be warmly greeted in Boston, and Hoboken.  Ryan has changed his Facebook profile picture to one from Bogotá with the kids welcoming them to the family.  Love it.

Thanks to Louisa who has also welcomed the kids on Facebook and has helped immensely with her Spanish, especially last  summer during the boys’ visit.   The paperwork for this adoption has been mind-boggling but the kids have had work to do as well, especially for the home study.  The following picture is from nearly two years ago after getting yet another set of fingerprints before ryan headed off to Dubai as I recall.  This was at DFW.  Good sports!

A special thanks to Evan as it may  have been harder for him for a variety of reasons to really open his heart but that he did last summer once he met the boys.   So did his friends!   My kids have always been great with younger children and I have thought all along that they would warmly welcome these children.   The first day of the boys time with us last summer below shows David and Alexis in the pool with Evan and a bunch of his friends:

These are lucky chicos to have a bunch or older brothers and sisters to love them as much as Wendy and I do.   Thanks to you all!