Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Let the Good Times Roll!

Well, today as a whole wasn't so much good times...but there were definitely the good times moments!

We fully anticipated that the transition for us and our kids wouldn't always be a bed of roses and there would be "those days". But we hadn't had one yet (okay, yes, we've only had them for 7 days so far) and were starting to settle in the the easy life.

Then came today.

Let me tell you the story through a series of pictures taken today:
This picture was taken (by Laura) around 7:30 AM. Angie was not happy about something as you can tell. You can also note that she is wearing a completely different outfit in this picture than in later pictures. This outfit only lasted until breakfast. She was a bit angry that Mami cut up her egg for her and decided to slam her fork down on the table, which caused her juice class to spill all over her (and the table and floor and everything else)...ahh the joys of parenting two-year-olds! (seriously, we really do love it...most of the time!) :)


We went to the park a couple times today - the weather was awesome (we think around 75 degrees or so, with completely blue skies). The park is a great diversion...and it gave Papi some downtime this afternoon while Mami took the kids to the park and Angie slept. Tomorrow is Papi's turn!
(Side Note: There are some great things for kids here in Bogota that we look forward to doing in future weeks. But during this first week (called 'Bonding & Integration') it is recommended we don't do a bunch of big outings and instead focus on really connecting with the kids - which has been great!)


More swinging...and if you look at Juancho you'll see that Juancho's Big Fall was caught on tape! He loves to swing as high as he possibly can and twist his body back and forth AND not hold on. At the park this morning Papi warned him that was a bit dangerous...but what does Papi know? :) After this afternoon we're pretty sure Juan will hold on better! (PS - Juancho was a bit surprised and a little shaken by this fall - but otherwise unhurt...no blood, no bruises!) Our kids love to play hard AND we've found they are a bit accident prone like their Mami...what a combination!


The flowers here in Bogota are beautiful...and HUGE! We passed a pots of calla lilies that were seriously the size of Laura or Juancho's head! Isn't this a sweet picture of Laura with these pretty flowers? This picture also tells a story of how quickly the mood can change for a child. Moments before she was angry with her brother for pushing the Merry-go-Round too fast and moments afterwards she had a little 'accident' because suddenly she urgently had to use the bathroom and we were about 7 blocks from the nearest bathroom to use! (so Laura had a completely new outfit by dinnertime too!)


There is a huge vent we walk by on the way to and from the parks that the kids love because it shoots out cool air pretty forcefully. Juancho thought it was pretty hilarious that his pants puffed up the way they did, and Laura liked to pretend she was getting blown away!

Yes, she is so darn cute! She melts my heart every time she smiles...especially after she's been thrashing and crying in my lap during a "time-in" (sitting with Mami for a few minutes if she misbehaves) and suddenly stops crying and turns and holds my face in her hands and looks at me with her big brown eyes and says 'Siento Mami, Siento' (that's 2 year old Spanish for 'I'm Sorry Mami') with that great smile of hers. No wonder she was described as the 'spoiled one' in the foster home! :)

The pictures we DIDN'T get today but should have were:

Juancho pouting because Mami said 'No computer games today'. Laura pouting because Papi said 'no popcorn 5 minutes before supper is served'. Angie thrashing and crying during one of her 'time-ins'. Juancho pushing his sister because she took his headphones off during the movie. Laura yelling at Juancho because he turned the light off on her while she was in the bathroom. Mami & Papi falling asleep during the Spanish version of 'Madagascar'.

Don't get us wrong...our children are awesome, amazing and wonderful - that hasn't changed! But reality has set in for us all. Robert and I know have to stand firm to the guidelines we've already started to lay out for them, and the children are probably going through a time of testing the limits and our love to see how serious we are about them. And boy are we serious about them...we love them so much!

One thing I appreciated as I prepared to adopt our 3 children was the 'realness' of other families that have been down a similar road. So today, we're just 'keeping it real'!

On another note: tomorrow the Spanish/English tutor Mario comes. He'll probably be doing lessons with the children Mon-Fri instead of Mami and Papi. He comes highly recommended and we'll be splitting his cost (which is really inexpensive anyway) with another family who just arrived tonight and will be receiving their 2 older children tomorrow - two girls ages 10 and 12.

Friday is our Integration appointment. That means our week of Bonding & Integration is complete and starts the clock ticking on our legal paperwork. How fast that clock ticks (and what local court we are assigned to) really determines how fast we will be coming home. I'm really hoping for a homecoming day as a PERFECT birthday present!

More tomorrow night! Time for this exhausted Mami to hit the hay!

8 comments:

Dan & Karen said...

It all sounds so familiar! We hae been home now 2 months with our three, but I remember those first few weeks. The change in them will be amazing in another month or two after you've been home and they begin to understand your expectations, know that no means no and you learn more about them. I can't believe where we are now compared to then. Enjoy your time there and all those park visits.
Karen

Howard Meadows said...

Holly and Robert,

NOW you're really becoming a family! Those are great pictures and stories. You guys are wonderful and I'm certain the kids can feel the real love coming from both of you.

I think homecoming could be a perfect birthday present for you, but maybe also a perfect anniversary present for both of you.

Love,

-Dad

Kimberly said...

Thanks for the updates. They are so fun to read and a fun way to get to know your familia. I laughed at the part where you and Robert fell asleep while watching Madagascar in Spanish after your glimpse of a "not so perfect" day! How classic! I am so glad the weather has been exceptionally nice while you have been there. Well your children are absolutely lovely and yes it seems you are all a perfect match. Your story warms my heart. God bless you all. -Kimberly H

Kimberly said...

Thanks for the updates. They are so fun to read and a fun way to get to know your familia. I laughed at the part where you and Robert fell asleep while watching Madagascar in Spanish after your glimpse of a "not so perfect" day! How classic! I am so glad the weather has been exceptionally nice while you have been there. Well your children are absolutely lovely and yes it seems you are all a perfect match. Your story warms my heart. God bless you all. -Kimberly Haugaard

Kimberly said...

Ooops. Sorry about the double comment-I didn't think it worked the first try!

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

Robert And Holly-
This has been so great to look at everyday, I can't wait for you guys to get home, Trust me at times it'll seem hard raising three kids, but I know everything will be ok, and that you guys will make the best parents ever, I love you and miss you very much and hurry up bringing my nieces and nephew home so we can show them lots of love!!

love you guys your sister,Em

P.S. I can't stop watching that video of angie she's such a cutie (she looks a lot like Isabel) Post video's of the other kids please!!

Sheri said...

It's pretty interesting how your experiences are paralleling what ours were when we were there in Bogota adopting our three. Reality started to sink in at about the same point in our first week, and we started to have to discipline the kids more. The sibling dynamics were really starting to emerge at that point as well. Our kids tend to play pretty rough and hard too. It was just a few days before our integracion that Myller fell off the ladder of the slide at the park and hit his face on the concrete. We were afraid they would think we had hit him because he had a big bruise on his cheek. Although Angie's a little younger than our Linda, we have had the same experience with her wanting to do things (such as push the shopping cart) "solita" even when she really is not capable of it and then wanting help with things that we know she is perfectly capable of doing on her own. I just have to keep reminding myself (still - because it hasn't gotten much easier for us yet) of all the great things about the kids and how much worse things could be and that these are all pretty normal kid behaviors. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

Sheri & Miguel Montano