Well, you have already seen the pics we have from picking the children up, but I wanted to sketch out the events of the day for their lifebooks.
Dear Little Ones,
When daddy and I woke up on the morning of 5 August 2008 we knew that our lives and yours would change forever, and we were very excited. Daddy was really nervous. I was surprisingly calm. In fact, I haven’t been nervous or anxious since we arrived safely in Bogota. Grandma Penning said that this was the first time she had ever seen your daddy visibly nervous. It’s true–we don’t see that very often because he’s so steady and even. I kept teasing him that if he had been emotional and anxious over the past year like I had been that he wouldn’t be nervous at all. I had already worked it all out. 🙂 We were at the Radisson Hotel. Everyone there was so nice and supportive. The girls at the front desk thought that we were crazy and amazing at the same time. But like all of the Colombians we have met, they thought that you deserved a home, and they were glad that we were in their country to provide that for you.
We quickly rushed our baggage to Zuetana where we thought we would be staying the remainder of our time in country. We had just enough time to check our bags in and head to CRAN to go over paperwork and wait anxiously for you. CRAN’s head facility (which is at a different location than Club Michin)is in Sabu which is West Bogota against the mountains. You were hiding in one room while we signed papers for 45 minutes or so. Ximena, the founder and director of CRAN, is wonderful. She was so concerned about your well-being, and she was very grateful that you were going to daddy and me.
Once we were ready to receive you, Ximena and Maria Cristina took grandma out of the room so she could get video of you waiting (which didn’t actually turn out) so she was the first person you actually saw. We could hear you on the stairs yelling, “abuelita, abuelita!” You knew exactly who she was. It took a room of workers to hold you back. Grandma said you were like a heard of elephants as you stampeded down the hall. We have video that shows the rest of the visit, but just so you know, you were excited and beaming. You couldn’t wait to show us your schoolwork and your photo albums that we made you. You hugged and kissed both daddy and me. Daniela wanted to sit on my lap. Juan Pablo wanted to show dad every single piece of paper he owned. Esmeralda wanted to talk to both of us and looked so gorgeous in turquoise. Daniel was standing back, just as excited, letting his brothers and sisters get in the action first. He eventually brought his photo album over to me, still wrapped in bubble wrap, with the biggest toothless smile I’ve ever seen.
After about 15 minutes with all of you, the psychologists and social worker came back in the room to say their goodbyes and take pictures. When you realized you were leaving for good only Princess Daniela melted down. You curled up in a little ball and wouldn’t let go of your beloved psychologist. We eventually were able to pick you up and carry you out. By the time we got outside you were holding daddy’s hand and walking. Daniela, you are so our little drama queen. At least I can honestly say you didn’t get it from me!!! 🙂
We loaded you all in the van and we were off, as a family!!!