Monday, March 21, 2011

our homeward bound journey....

Lucy and sweet staff member (forgot his name) outside of Hotel Paris

All ready to go at 5:30 am!

Reynal was our driver the whole time in Bogota.
We left the hotel at 5:30, picked up Helena {our agency rep. here in Colombia} and headed to the airport.  We got to the airport by around 6am and Helena came in to make sure we had everything all set.  OH. MY. WORD.  I had no idea how important she would be.  I made it up to the ticket counter successfully but then the Delta lady said something to the effect of..."you need to have today's date on the permission document, this won't work."  Um, Helena???  I quickly went and had her come to my side, she was standing back with all of the kids.  So started a long conversation in Spanish, that I could tell was not going in my favor.  We were directed to go upstairs to the immigration office.  Once there, things went about the same way, except the lady at the ticket counter was nice.  This man was not.  They all spoke only Spanish,(I would have been in big trouble if Helena was not there!) he said we needed to have Ryan hand write a letter stating that Luisa could leave the country this day and scan it and send it to 4 email addresses.  I knew right away, this could be a problem since I have the only computer that works with our scanner, and we live in...let's just say a very small town with no office max or kinkos available to run to.  So, I asked it it could be faxed.  No.  Okay, so I call Ryan, no answer.
Tried again, and again, and again, leaving extremely frantic messages at this point.
We went to a place and paid to use a computer to send him an email so that he knew what to write in the letter, and the addresses to send them to.
I sat down with the boys and prayed.  I called again, this time he answered his phone.  I explained the situation and he hung up and tried to find someone here with a scanner he could use.
I called him back 10 minutes later.  He had called 12 people, with no success.
At this point it was about 8am.  Flight leaves at 9:30, and we had not gone through security yet.  We went and got the kids some doughnuts and I got a coffee.  Helena went back to the immigration office and I waited with Reynal and the kids.  We waited and waited and waited.  I didn't have the phone to call Ryan so I had no idea if he had found a scanner or what, I just stood there and prayed.  I knew it wasn't the end of the world, but at that point, I just wanted to go home!
Finally around 9am Reynal said "listo"  so we went to the immigration office and Helena gave me the thumbs up!  She handed me her phone so I could tell Ryan we were all set.
We quickly headed out and they waited while we went thorough security, and once on the other side, we waved goodbye!
Then we still had to clear immigration, and for whatever reason the lady who knew we were in the office earlier, read EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. of  EVERY. SINGLE. PAPER.  We could see from the monitor that they were boarding the plane, and there we stood, waiting!  Finally she stamped all of our passports and we headed for our gate.  There were Delta people standing there and they called ahead to tell them we were coming.  We had to then go through the next security check and finally boarded the plane with about 2 minutes to spare.  Then we were off, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and a big prayer of thanks to God!  The kids were great through all of this and did a wonderful job on the plane as well.

*Apparently a new 'law' came into effect on the 15th of March stating that the permission paperwork that is required in order for one parent to leave the country with kids without the other parent, must include the date they are leaving.  Well, with adoptions, you don't know the date when the other parent leaves.  With the old law, we just needed permission from Ryan to leave, which we had.  But now the date must be included, which wouldn't be a problem if you are aware of that before hand, and they could get the document ready.  So apparently there is a meeting going on this week with ICBF and Colombia Immigration to try to figure out this 'issue.'  Which wouldn't had been an issue, if they would let the agencies know this ahead of time!  So goes dealing with the government!!*
Luisa found perros!  (Dogs.  She seems to really like animals)

They were happy campers to be heading home.

Do you see the lady next to Lucy?  She had on a black mask and Lucy sat there and stared at her forever!  Luckily she couldn't see her...but I was cracking up!  Here she was watching a movie with the headphones, she kept pointing and saying "Mommy, mommy..." to show me everything that was going on.  So cute!
We made it through immigration with out any issues.  Only waited a little bit and the guy was extremely nice!  Whew, blessed relief!
Our first stop after immigration and rechecking our bags in Atlanta was of course CHILIS!!!  Welcome to America honey!

We were so hungry, the food on the plane was nasty so none of us had eaten lunch and it was now around 5:30pm.

Luisa has the worst ever dirty diapers, and I am sure it is from the awful meds she is on, so I packed another pair of pants in the bag.  I did not however, plan on having to change her shirt!  We had to give her a bath in the sink of the family restroom we found!  I contemplated dumping the outfit she was wearing, and would have, except I made the shirt, so I decided to try to salvage it {yes it was that bad!} so we double bagged the dirty outfit and stopped at a store in the airport and bought a new one for her, a souvenir to remember the massive mess there.  It even says USA on it!  She was not thrilled about the whole ordeal.

After all of that, I needed a Starbucks!  I used up my last gift card from Christmas.  bummer.

We found a quiet corner to give Lucy her meds around 8pm.

I even shared my coffee with the kids.  And then we were off...

Crazy kids

Sweet girl slept the entire flight from Atlanta to Grand Rapids.
 Arriving in Grand Rapids to a group of waiting friends and family...


Everyone checking her out, and vice versa!

What is going on here?

So thankful for dear friends that came out to welcome us home late at night!

Together at last!

All strapped in the vehicle ready to go!
She did really good on the ride home, we wondered how it would go being strapped into a car seat.  She sat and watched a movie and had to show me everything..."Mommy, Mommy..."  Then started getting sick of it about 10 minutes from home, but never cried, she just kept arching her back, like...get me out of here!!!
Home sweet home!


Anonymous said...

Thank you god and thank you for telling your story

Bethany said...

Yeah!! She's home. Sooooo adorable. So happy I found your blog. Congrats on your new little one.