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:
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!