Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Some of you may know that I (Holly) am a bit prone to spill on myself from time to time. It is not rare for me to have a spot on my shirt or pants from a little lunch or coffee gone astray. However, I think being a Mom has gotten me 'off the hook' when it comes to spills on my clothes! I changed my clothes 3 times today...and not one of the times was it due to a spill I caused myself! The first time was due to the rain, the second was when Angie accidentally dumped an entire glass of juice in my lap at dinner, and the third was when I got thrown up on by my middle daughter (after a collision between she and Angie...she got bumped pretty hard on one of her new two front teeth (sensitive!) and because she cried so hard and has a cough, she ended up throwing up...these are special times of parenthood!). So next time you see me with a spot on my shirt or pants...think twice before teasing me about how I always spill! :)
We didn't do anything towards our case today. We thought we might be called to go take care of Angie's birth certificate, but we didn't hear from our in-country associate. We'll call her tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow we will take care of Angie's birth certificate and get the kids passport pics taken. We are hopeful that Laura & Juancho's birth certificates were amended today with their new last names and are on a FedEx truck back to Bogota! If so, then our timeline will continue as previously mentioned.
Thanks to Laura for her comment and suggestions on our post yesterday regarding getting all the final steps taken care of. That was very helpful! It's always great to get insight from others who have 'been there, done that'. That will be us pretty soon!
No pics today...the battery had run out on the camera and Mami forgot to charge them. More tomorrow. In the meantime I'm going to try to upload a couple videos to post here for you to watch!
Love from Bogota!
The Dressel Familia
PS - Click on the link to the right to see Juancho & Laura swinging and Papi practicing his Spanish (note: this video was taken about 2 weeks ago...Papi has learned a lot of Spanish since then!) VIDEO: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4053113335093138848
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Angie's birth certificate changed to reflect our last name (Angie was born in Bogota) but it turned out that the one individual that does that step was sick today - so it couldn't be done. Not a big deal, because we will go back tomorrow to get it done. But then we had to walk back the several blocks to where the car was. We enjoyed the walk, but my feet did not...I had chosen to wear my 'fancy shoes' which is code for 'shoes I shouldn't walk more than one block in'. :) Thankfully Robert was there to be my stabilizer!
Mario, one of our drivers, is taking us on a city tour...that should be interesting!
Juancho - aka Superman with his cape (aka - Daddy's suit coat!)
Monday, November 26, 2007
Well, I think we may have broke some sort of record! After our papers being officially in the courts just 6 days, we received Sentencia! Sentencia is the final notice bringing us in to sign before the judge that makes us official parents to our three children! It also starts the ball rolling for us to be able to come HOME!!!
It will be great to come home! Great for the kids to be in their new home, great to get a routine established, great to have the process completed and the children officially ours, officially Americans, officially 'forever'! There are also some tangible things that are difficult in our current situation...bedtime being one of them! It is hard to put 3 kids to bed in the same room! It is hard to enforce our rules when other families living in the same house have very different rules for their children. It is hard to get a routine going when every day has different stuff going on in the house (new families coming, old families leaving, outings, parties, etc.). Most of all we miss home, friends, families, everyone...WE CAN'T WAIT! Thanks for your prayers - we cannot attribute our quick process to anything but those!
So what happens now? Tomorrow AM bright and early we go to court to sign the Sentencia documents. Immediately after we FedEx the Sentencia documents to the Records Department of the Region where Laura & Juancho were born (Meta Region, Cumaral) which is about a 4.5 hour drive from here on unsafe roads. We have to FedEx the documents to request new official birth certificates that display their new last name - Dressel! Once those are received (probably Thursday) we will be able to apply for their passports on Friday, along with have their US Embassy doctors appointments. Monday we will apply for the visas for the children, and those will be ready on Tuesday to pick up. Pending no delays to the plan laid out above, we will be flying home on Wednesday, December 5th. A day late for my birthday - but a GREAT present nonetheless!!!
This morning, before Archie's, Robert and I went to an emerald dealer in the city. He is very official and top notch - he doesn't even have a retail store - he sells by appointment only! We felt very upper crust when he sent his driver to pick us and another family up. Did you know that emeralds and rubies are amongst the rarest precious stones? Did you also know that Colombia provides 70% to 80% of all the emeralds in the world? Did you also know that these facts make emeralds (good quality emeralds, like the ones this dealer had) pretty expensive?! There were BEAUTIFUL stones in his collection - he had loose stones and stones set in rings, necklace pendants and earrings...they were all gorgeous. Gorgeous color, clarity & brillance. But all with price tags to make you gulp! There was a ring priced at $22,000! One of the loose stones itself was over $12,000! A little out of our league, don't ya think?!? But fun to look at!
But what a great note our day ended on...with SENTENCIA! Hip Hip Hooray! The kids are very excited to come home to Minnesota! We are going to make a paper chain to count down the days!
Good Night! With LOVE from Bogota!
PS - the pictures below are from making pizza's at Archie's earlier today!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Angie & Laura in the tub enjoying bath time!
Angie dancing on the table to 'Shake Your Booty'
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Angie & Papi taking a nap this afternoon...so cute!
Angie brushing her teeth with nothing on but underwear, and shoes & socks, of course! She does like to brush though (that 's good news for Dr. Perry's office!)
Friday, November 23, 2007
One such incident was tonight at dinner. We've learned that our two older children have a dislike for basically any vegetable except cucumbers! So we have decided that it is reasonable to have them try every vegetable that crosses their plate. To try at least one. Tonight's vegetable was cooked cauliflower. Now Mami isn't even a big fan of that vegetable either...but I sure wasn't going to avoid the vegetable if I was telling my children to try it! Before the plates were brought to the children they were telling the cooks 'No cauliflower for me!'. But we overruled that and said 'One cauliflower for each please!'. Now these cauliflowers had been breaded and fried...so they really weren't that bad.
So here's how the conversation & situation went...it had Robert and I so entertained because it was almost like watching ourselves when we were that age balking at a vegetable Mom or Dad was making us try. I distinctly remember sitting at the table well past dinnertime with cold broccoli or brussel sprouts on my plate! (sorry Mom!)
Mami: Juancho & Laura, I recommend that you eat your cauliflower while it is still warm - it is better that way.
Juancho & Laura make a face and move their cauliflower away.
Juancho: Papi, I don't want to eat this cauliflower - it smells bad
Papi: You just have to eat that one Juancho, to try it
Laura: Mami, can I just eat this bit (aka - eensy-weensy barely visible speck) of cauliflower insted of the whole thing?
Mami: No Laura, you have to eat one whole piece
Mami: If you swirl the cauliflower around in the gravy from your meat it will taste more like meat.
Juancho & Laura make a face and move their cauliflower away.
Laura: Mami, now my cauliflower is cold
Mami: Yes, remember how I told you it would be better to eat it while it was warm?
Juancho and Laura spear the piece of cauliflower with their fork and bring it up to their mouth. Laura smells it and contorts her face in disgust. Juancho barely licks it and acts as if he is gagging. (Mami and Papi secretly giggle...they remember doing this very thing to their parents).
Meanwhile...the rest of the table is served ice cream for dessert...
Juancho: Mami & Papi, I'm full, I don't want any more dinner.
Papi: That's fine - you can be excused after you eat your piece of cauliflower
Juancho sees this unfold and thinks he may want to go for it too. He puts the cauliflower up to his mouth and smells it. He contorts his face again and pretends he is going to throw up. Mami & Papi don't pay any attention. He takes a teeny tiny bite and makes the worst face possible. He gags. (Oh Mom & Dad - I remember being this dramatic at the dining room table at times!)
The cooks comes out and says to Juancho: Your ice cream is melting...you better pop that cauliflower in quick. I'll hold your juice ready for you.
Juancho gets a bout of courage himself...pops in the cauliflower and chews rapidly and then swallows - chasing the cauliflower with juice. He happily grabbed his pot of half melted ice cream and smiled at Papi.
We told the kids we were proud of them for trying a vegetable that they didn't want to. We may not have won the 'Our Kids Love Cauliflower' contest with this event...but it did reinforce to our children that vegetables are important and that while they don't have to like everything they try - they should at least try it! (Meanwhile Robert and I plan to introduce the kids to 'Mashed "Potato" Surprise' after we get home...which is really mashed cauliflower with milk and chives/garlic...you can hardly tell the difference...then they may discover they like cauliflower!) We'll keep you posted!
Mami spent the day at the spa with all the other Mami's. Papi held down the fort here with our 3 (and looked after the older 2 girls of another family much of the time too!). Sounds like he did a great job - not that I was worried - he is a great Papi! (PS - the spa I went to was part of a 'club' that the owner of our residence belongs to. The prices for the services were unbelievable. Can you believe that I got a 1 hour full body massage with a full body exfoliation for only $35? Or a French Manicure for only $5? It was ridiculously cheap...and the first time EVER in my life I've had a professional massage...it was awesome!).
Laura & Juancho learned about animals in school today. Laura continues to struggle with motivation...she is a smart girl, but I don't think she believes she is capable of learning...she resists learning English. Juancho meanwhile is a quick study and loves learning new things in English. Papi is learning Spanish more each day too - taking an online Rosetta Stone Spanish course that has been helping him immensely! It is also great for the kids to see that Papi is working on learning Spanish while they are working on learning English.
That's about it for tonight...I'm going to post a couple pics from previous days that didn't make it on the blog before...no pics were taken today!
With love from the Dressel's!
This picture reminds me of my older sister Jenni. As a little girl, Jenni somehow managed to get her face into the corner of every picture...just as little Angie did here!
On the fourth night we were here, we had a band come to play/sing traditional Colombian music at a farewell party for a family that was going home.
This is our friend Corinne. She is from France & is here adopting her second child, baby girl Alexanne. Her 5 year old son Killian was adopted from Colombia too!
A family photo taken in the living room at Betty's Place after the musical performance a couple weeks ago!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
We've talked about Thanksgiving with the kids over the last few days and I think they started to understand it a bit more today. They did great trying the new foods...but by far their favorite (not a new food) was the turkey...we have three major carnivores on our hands! :)
Not quite a family photo - where is Laura?!