Saturday, August 30, 2014

Update from Medellin

We are still here in Medellin, and though we are trying to make memories and enjoy it, we truly do miss home.  Our apartment, though quite nice, is right next to a main road and gets really loud very early in the morning.  We don't have a single casserole dish or baking sheet in the kitchen, which severely limits our meal options.  The sofa has some springs that have sprung, making it extremely uncomfortable.

However, should I really gripe?  Things are going amazingly well, and we are extraordinarily thankful!  There are of course the typical issues with the kiddos considering there are two four year olds and a two year old, but we believe once we are home and they have more freedom, space, and ability to play outside many of these issues will be resolved.

Samuel is adjusting quite well, and still clings mainly on to Brent.  Brent and Samuel clearly both have the love language of touch, and Brent is good about being a jungle gym for him, hugging him, and snuggling him often.  Samuel thrives on this!  I am learning.  It is not my nature to be touchy, but I am trying to learn since clearly this is what Samuel craves.  One of the issues we are trying to overcome is every time Samuel either doesn't get his way or is asked to share, he crosses his arms, pokes out his lip, pouts, and cries.  He is so accustomed to being an only child, and we were told was quite spoiled.  Once again, how amazing is it that this really is the only issue we have?!

We have tried to get out of the apartment more this week.  Up until yesterday it rained everyday, so getting out meant going somewhere inside.  We went to a mall called El Tosauro Wednesday.  There was a small theme park in the middle, tons of ritzy stores, and a kids play area on the top floor.  We really built it up for the kids, and Sam clearly had been there before.  We made sure to get there as soon as it opened so we would have tons of time to play before nap times.  We also had to buy some new clothes for our son.  He is tiny.  Most of his 4t and a lot of his 3t stuff falls right off.  Thank goodness for elastic banded clothes.  Clearly Brent and I should have checked to see when all of the kid stuff opened before we made such a huge ordeal about going to this place.  It all opened at 1 or 1:30, and our taxi was picking us up at 1:15.  Needless to say, we had three sad kiddos.  At least they got to play on the Burger King Play Place for a bit.

Thursday afternoon we went to another mall to purchase a thank you gift for Samuel's foster family.  I mean really, how do you thank someone who took amazing care of your son for nearly four years?  They gave him so much unconditional love and devotion, and prepped him beautifully for his adoption.  We bought a frame and enclosed a photo of Samuel with his forever family.  There were several kids play areas in this mall, and the kids played so hard.  They burned tons of energy.  Samuel has so much energy, and has phenomenal endurance.  He has yet to get winded, nor have his lips or nail beds ever shown the slightest hint of turning blue.  (The nurse in me continuously checks these things).  We tell him he has a very special heart, and loves showing off his scars on his chest.

We then went to a restaurant that Brent said was fantastic!  I can't understand nor read Spanish, and I ordered what I thought was something akin to chicken pot pie.  WRONG!  Oh my goodness, I get queasy even writing about this.  It smelled good, even looked good.  I took a bite.  Friends, the texture convinced me I was eating larva and soggy vegetable soup. It was repulsive.  Thanks for Google - which now we know to utilize before  ordering, we learned I had cow stomach soup.  Gross!

We closed out the evening by running through the grocery store that is located at the mall.  Of course that should have been uneventful, except all three kids were whining, fussing, and pouting.  Alex had brought the rest of her hamburger with her and choked on it.  We have given that child more back blows in her short 2 1/2 years than most likely anybody on earth.  After her burger came flying out of her "goozle," she grabbed it, rechewed it, and swallowed it back down the correct pipe. Aren't kids gross?

Friday, we had our integration meeting.  This is a bonding meeting to see how well bonding and attachment are going. It included our family of five, Cristina our interpreter and driver, Blanca our attorney, and Samuel's super sweet social worker Adriana.  The meeting went beautifully well!  We were relieved. Poor Samuel was so apprehensive to be returning to the ICBF office, and kept tearing up and not wanting to play.  Adriana frequently told him this was his last time ever being there, and he would always be a part of our family.  His fears were heartbreaking, but he was so brave!  Luckily, the meeting which is estimated to take 1-2 hours only took 25 minutes!  The Lord is so good.

Today has been such a wonderful Saturday.  We started out simply with cereal, and Samuel ate the fastest and most of any of the three kids!  Maybe we can put some meat on his perfect, tiny little body.  Brent then introduced him to futbol americano.  He was hooked immediately and loved to scream, "Tackle!"  Lilly Grace has loved watching football with her daddy since she was a tiny tot, so Brent was in heaven with his two oldest.

We took a break from football and playing to walk down to the apartment of some friends we recently met.  They were so kind!  The couple's names were Will and Vickie, and along with them was her mother and their daughter, Catalina.  The grandmother spoke not a stitch of English, and yet talked nonstop to all of us.  She would randomly plant big wet kisses on the kids.  She was so adorable.  Grandmothers are the same in every culture and language!  Catalina is our age, and was really pleasant to be around.  I think if she lived in the states, we would be friends.  Will and Vickie were so gracious, kind, and welcoming.  Their condo was decorated beautifully, and they cooked us a scrumptious Colombian meal.  We all ate an exorbitant amount of scrumptious food.  The menu included grilled steak, chichuronis (fried pork rinds), beans, sweet plaintains, mashed fried plaintains, rice, and Colombian salad.  For dessert, Will made a from-scratch orange cake with sweetened condensed milk icing.  It was perfect and delicious.  He sent leftovers home with us!

Will drove us back to our apartment, and we all five passed out with full, happy bellies.  Samuel woke up with a belly ache because he ate so much at lunch, but somehow milk and football fixed that.  The kids and Brent had a great time watching the Auburn game.  Although I am an Alabama fan, it was pretty cute watching him cheer Auburn on.  As I close, Brent is going to add the video on here and I am going to go eat another piece of the orange cake.  =)

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