Mi Hijos

Mi Hijos

Thursday, October 30, 2014

4 year Celebration!

This weekend we celebrate our four year family anniversary of adopting our 4 younger children.  We reflect on the blessings we receive and how God orchestrated the seven of us to become one family.  We are so thankful to all our family and friends who have supported us along the way: whether through prayer, attending fundraisers for our family, the occasional and always appreciated gift, food and gift card, or a coffee date to chat.  We left 4 years ago on Halloween and arrived in Cali, Colombia.  Jim, my mother, and I left at 4:00a and landed in Cali in the early evening.  I will never forget the excitement I felt as we anxiously awaited the plane to land.  I remember looking out the window thinking we are so close to our kids, it was palpable.  When we landed we were the only Caucasians in the airport and the only ones speaking English.  The city was loud and busy.  The cheering crowd of Latinos awaiting their loved ones got a little quieter as we exited the terminal.  We frantically searched the hundreds faces for our hotel owner, a wonderful man named Enrique, whom we had only seen his picture.  As we entered the street we felt as if all eyes were on us.  Then we spotted Enrique, a kind looking gentleman with a heart of gold.  We arrived at our hotel, guarded with an armed guard 24/7 and large 6in shards of glass on top of the perimeter walls for protection.  We were only 2 days from meeting our children and our lives would change in an instant and forever.   November 2, 2010:  After hardly sleeping the night before because of excitement and anticipation to one the biggest days of our lives, we hardly touched our breakfast.  We crammed into a small taxi (think 5 adults in a geo metro) on the way to meet our kids.  We learned our four kids were making a 2hr journey themselves the same day.  Our motion ill child, Estefania, got sick several times on the car ride from Sevilla to Cali.  (poor child as she still battles car sickness).  We were taken into a small room with a round table.  We were surrounded by several Colombians who would spend the next 20min talking to us about our children, showing us pictures and drawings they had made.  We could literally hear our kids playing and laughing in the very next room during our meeting.  The officials asked if we had any questions, my mind went blank.  The only thing I could think was "Let us meet our kids!!!!".  We were then taken just down a small, narrow hallway where our 4 kids (ages 7,5,4,1) were sitting in small chairs awaiting our arrival.  Their scared and excited faces were beautiful.  They were finally our children, a journey of 5+ years in the making of becoming a forever family.  We spent the next 20min playing and starting bonding as a new family.  After our quick meeting, our family of 6, plus Abuela, piled into the same taxi, no seat belts, back to our hotel and home for the next month.   Their older brother joined our family 1.5 years later when we learned about him.  We celebrate both anniversaries and I love this time of year!   Below is a link to a video of some of our favorite memories:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmYZgreIIks&list=UUxDuQeyvL5bpGgb4FmNaCVQ

 Estefania, aka Elsa
 Pirate Ryan
 Derly Soccer Star
 Prospero Tigger
 Lifeguard Jhon

 We now have 2 turtles!  Jhon's new pets (to add to the dog, cat, and guinea pig)
 Estefania now has glasses!


 Just hanging around

Even the girls showing off their skills