We arrived here last Tuesday, which makes today Day 7! We survived an entire week. One week down, approximately six left. Though it seems daunting, we can do this!
We did church as a family in the apartment yesterday after a delicious pancake breakfast. All three kids scarfed them down in a heartbeat. It was my first time making pancakes that I didn't burn a single one. Needless to say, I was quite proud of myself.
Brent brought our Apple TV from home, so he was able to stream videos from the internet onto the television here. Allow me to interject something here - Brent is brilliant if you haven't figured that one out. We watched some of Vaughn Forest's service and listened to Matt Redmon, Chris Tomlin, and Hillsong United. Watching our girls worship and sing brought tears to my eyes, and I pray it won't be long until Samuel joins in. He enjoyed some of the children's songs that we played in Spanish. We ended with a Bible story and prayer. It was such a sweet time having our first church experience as a family of five, although it was quite different than First Baptist. We can't wait until Samuel is able to walk into First Baptist for the first time and see the murals of the different Bible stories in the children's wing, the stained glass that depicts Jesus' life, and all of the precious people who radiate the love of Christ.
After a fairly low-key day, we hiked up our street to an ice cream shop following supper. Man oh man, it was scrumptious! The fresh air was nice as well, so we ate outside. Considering the chill in the air, we all donned our jackets. It continuously feels and smells like fall here, which makes Brent ecstatic about football season and me ecstatic about cooking fall food. Once back at the apartment, we were able to FaceTime with several family members. It is evident when we make these calls that already Samuel is picking up on a lot of English.
We were awakened at 2:00am this morning from the most intense thunderstorm of our lives. I am fairly certain that lightening was only a few millimeters from our windows. It was so close that the lightening and thunder were nearly simultaneous. Add the near vicinity of the storm to the fact that we are really high above sea level and essentially in the clouds, and all of the tall brick buildings reverberate the sound. It was deafening. Samuel slept like a log through it all as he must be accustomed to these storms. I checked on the girls and Alex was snoring, but poor Lilly Grace was hiding under the covers. She told me, "Mommy, I am very brave and I am not scared. But it's okay if you stay in here." I stayed.
Today we started homeschooling. More than ever before I admire all you preschool teachers out there, and all you kick-butt mamas who truly homeschool. Truthfully, it went really well. Lilly Grace's awesome teacher Mrs. Helms sent us her lesson plans and work sheets to last all the way through the beginning of October! The kids were great. Although we were taught over and over again to expect some developmental delays in all adopted children, Samuel is very bright and doesn't seem delayed whatsoever. Praise God!! That said, it is clear that there are things he wasn't exposed to yet in the day-care he attended. Colors, cutting, and letters are all foreign to him. He is picking up on them quickly, and even wrote an upper and lower case I over and over today. He excels at coloring and painting, so I think he will pick up on the other fine motor skills easily. Lilly Grace loves school and learning, and was fantastic. Alex truly is still a baby and lives in her own little chatty land, but she obeyed well and pretended to do what her sister and brother were doing. She even did pretty well using scissors for the first time.
Once the afternoon arrived, the day honestly took a dive. I have a lot to work on when it comes to patience, and often I feel like I am making mistake after mistake as a mother. Alex did not say a single thing without whining. She ran into about 45 doors and 300 counters and cried for hours on end. Lilly Grace had a rotten attitude and snatched and spoke harshly constantly. Poor Samuel has moments when he is grieving the change in his life, and he cried onto Brent's shoulder. Spirits and attitudes lifted finally, and the kids were playing beautifully together until we heard a blood curdling scream. LG had swung one of the wooden doors over her toe and gashed her toe about an inch on the top all the way to the nail. A hunk of bloody skin was flopping on her nail. It looked incredibly painful and deep. Then, Brent threw his back out which he has never done before, and looks pitiful when he tries to walk. He won't complain about it, but watching him it is evident he can't get comfortable or relax the muscles in his back without immense pain.
Finally, it is night time. All the kiddos went down a little early tonight, and hopefully won't be awakened by any storms through the night. Hopefully, tomorrow will go better. Just like today, we will do school (Esquela de Buchanan) in the morning, and Brent and I have to get a Colombian ID card in the afternoon at the immigration office.
Let me close with a cute Samuel story. We were watching the movie "Spirit" as a family, and all of a sudden he belts out one of the songs from the movie in perfect English. Every single word. The entire song. He either has seen the movie a bazillion times, or heard that song a bunch somewhere. Either way, hearing him sing perfect English was pretty hysterical since it came out of nowhere!
Thanks again for your prayers and support!