Yesterday was Gotcha Day! We became a family of five, and Brent and I officially are outnumbered by munchkins. It is glorious. Yesterday could not have possibly been any better or more perfect. It is an unexplainable feeling having two years of prayer come to fruition, but it certainly is incredible!
Surprisingly, all four of us slept great the previous night, and the girls woke up peppy and in great spirits. They were ecstatic about meeting their brother, and truly seemed to understand everything far beyond what we would have expected of a 2 and 4 year old.
Around 1:00, Cristina, our driver, picked us up and drove us to the ICBF office. Kids don't use car seats here, and drivers don't pay much attention to lanes or how close they are to other vehicles. That combination makes me a nervous mommy! We arrived at the office safely, and it is a wonder our paperwork was located and completed! There were thousands and thousands of brown boxes stacked everywhere, construction going on, dust flying, and desks packed into every square foot available. However, every person we encountered was so kind and friendly.
Prior to the "en cuentro" or meeting, we met with a psychologist, nutritionist, our in-country liaison, and legal representative. We learned more about Samuel and his likes and dislikes, his foster family, and important information. I must brag on the girls. During the hour or so of meetings, they played phenomenally well despite the fact they weren't able to take a nap.
Finally, the cutest little boy I've ever seen was walked into the tiny room we were in. He was snacking on raisinets, smiling shyly, and seemed a bit overwhelmed. The girls handed him a gift from us which was a motorcycle and box of dinosaurs, we celebrated with cupcakes, and had a lovely time playing on the floor. There were no tears, and within minutes he was laughing at his new forever family. It was such a beautiful moment, and it was so evident that his foster mother had done an incredible job prepping him for his family.
Speaking of his foster mother, she is truly an amazing woman. She has kept Samuel healthy, independent, and very kind-hearted. Not only that, she sent with him several of his favorite toys, some clothes, extra shoes, his favorite snacks, journals from since he was a baby, and hundreds of photos. One of the most touching things she did was hand-embroider a towel for Samuel that reads "Samuel Buchanan 8-21-2014" and has a firetruck on it. I wish I could hug her in person, and tell her how thankful we are for her.
Once we got back to the apartment, Brent went over a bunch of Samuel's belongings and medical documents with some of the ICBF staff, while the kids and I played with blocks, LeapPads, and bubbles. The bubbles were a huge hit, and within minutes Samuel was calling me Mama! Samuel and Brent are already great buddies, and seem to be bonding very well. It is evident that he feels most comfortable with his daddy, and if Brent leaves the room, he is quick to ask, "Dondé estas Papi?"
He is fitting in perfectly, and acts like a four year old boy. He and Lilly Grace already act like siblings: always want to be near each other, tattle, snatch, giggle. He seems very protective of Alex and makes sure she isn't left behind. If Alex is whining or crying, which being two years old happens A LOT, he will rub her arms and try to console her.
We are head over heels and thankful that so far the transition is going so smoothly. Certainly there will be difficult times and difficult days, but it has been a true blessing from the Almighty that things are going so well thus far.
As I close, let me leave you with this story of the kiddos. They were all painting with water colors, and having a grand old time. Alex was in her own little world, as she so frequently is. Samuel told us he was painting a girl named Lilly and the baby Jesus. To that Lilly Grace replied she was painting Samuel and baby Jesus. Such precious children the Lord has blessed us with!