Today we got a phone call at 7:20 am (yawn!) to start our day. It was our representative Edith calling to let us know that while there was a couple hiccups in getting the birth certificates for Juancho & Laura, the new amended copies with our last names were on their way to Bogota - so we should be prepared to leave later in the morning to get passports. She said her assistant Mario would likely call us later since she had workshops all day.
Side Note: On Tuesday, the paperwork was sent to the ICBF (Colombian Child Welfare) office in the town of Villavicienco, which is the office representing the Meta region - where Juancho & Laura were born. Their original birth certificates should have been there, since they were under the care of ICBF prior to our adoption. However, their original birth certificates were not there! So a driver was hired in Villavicienco to drive to Cumaral (the town where the children were born) to obtain the originals. I'm not sure if they were at the hospital or a records office or what, but the driver was able to find them and get two certified amended copies with our last names...YEAH! The only problem with that is that we need EIGHT amended certified copies...not just two. But the woman who did this for the driver insisted that she would only give him two. It seems that she was not familiar with the needs of the adoption process. However Mario figured out how to solve that problem...yeah Mario!
In the meantime, we had enough copies to get the passports done, so Mario picked us up around 11:00 am to take us down to the passport office. The children will travel to the USA under Colombian passports. We will change these to US passports once we are home because the children technically are not American citizens until they set foot on US soil. So we got the passport and visa photos done, and then waited for about a half hour in a crowded passport office. Those pursuing adoptions seems to get put at the front of the line, so it went faster than we expected...though I must say with 3 children in a crowded room with limited entertainment (just the couple books and Magna Doodle I brought) the children were all contemplating a meltdown by the time we left...I could tell! Didn't help that we were all starving! But we got passports!!!! Well...two of them...
See, those darn birth certificates that there was trouble hunting down, on the amended copies, the clerk wrote the same identification number for Laura and Juancho. However, the number was truly Laura's identification number. So the birth certificates for Juancho were unusable! They had an incorrect identification number, and that is a big deal to the passport people! So phone calls were made and we HOPE that the corrected birth certificate arrives tomorrow. If it does, Robert and Juancho will return to the passport office with Mario to get his taken care of. If it doesn't get here tomorrow, but instead over the weekend or on Monday, it may push our timeline back by one day. We will see what transpires and will keep you updated!
Meanwhile, one French family went home last night and another was supposed to tonight BUT they also had some incorrect information on their paperwork that wasn't caught earlier. It was rejected by the visa application, and so they could NOT leave tonight. It was very sad for them - as only the mother (Corinne), grandmother (Micheline) and baby (Alexanne) are still here and they miss their husbands and Corinne's older son Killian. Good news is that they only have to be here one more day...they will leave tomorrow night.
We are planning on taking the older children to DiverCity tomorrow - it is a pretend city for children - where they go and choose a profession and earn 'pretend' money. The profession they choose allows them to truly practice the profession. For example - if they choose to be a veterinarian, they get to check out and groom a real dog! Or if they chose to be a newscaster, they get to sit behind a real news desk and be videotaped by real videocameras doing a newscast! Then they earn 'money' that they can spend in various ways in the city. We'll bring the cameras and update you tomorrow about the afternoon.
Here are a couple pics of Angie & Laura with their brand new passports (complete with their brand new last names!)! A funny thing about their passports is that they have BOTH of our last names on it! It is Colombian tradition to give children both their mother's and their father's last name...so their passports say 'Dressel Meadows' for their last names! Funny!
One more day closer to home! Love the Dressel Familia!