The afternoon was busy. The kids took short naps, and Cristina picked us up. All six of us piled in with Cristina in a small Hyundai-like car. Per American standards, we looked ridiculous; per Colombian standards - normal. We headed to a Barefoot Park. According to the internet, there was sand, a bamboo garden, several wading pools, a water fall, and a splash pad-like area. We really got the kids pumped up and stoked about the Colombian splash pad.
We arrived, and fortunately it was free. What used to be geared toward children had recently been transformed into a park for tranquility. They were only allowed to sit on the edge of the wading pools, and not stand on them. The waterfalls were intended to be calming to the ears and eyes. Needless to say, Samuel, Lilly Grace, and Alex really don't care about tranquility. They are kids! They want to splash, play, and get drenched. There was one tiny pool a couple inches deep that kids were allowed in. It was nothing more than a concrete baby pool, yet the kids had a blast. They played for over an hour!
We then ventured up a mountain that had a lookout to view the entire city and a traditional Spanish home with some traditional Spanish buildings. It truly was fascinating being able to see the entire city. The south side of the city is where all of the wealth is and is where the high rises are. The north side is more poor that you can fathom. It is what you typically imagine when you envision Colombia. There aren't high rises, there are one and two level flats that look like they are about to topple at any minute. There is no personal space, and the flats are all crammed right next to each other. By the time the kids ran around on top of the mountain, had popsicles, and watched a man attempt unsuccessfully to fly a kite with no wind, it was time to head back to the house to eat supper and turn in for the night.
This morning, in lieu of school and doing letters and numbers, we did a lot of coloring with crayons and markers, cutting, gluing, and reading. We also had a dance party to Hansen, Beetles, and Fleetwood Mac. Mmm Bop and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds were the biggest hits. My parents went for another long walk, and came back with supper for tonight: black beans, papaya, rice and chicken gravy, and cheese-filled arepas. They had a great time on their walk today. They went into an advertising agency and walked to the mall where the grocery store is. They even hailed a taxi and made it home!
The kids took super long naps today, meaning my parents and I also rested, napped, and read. My parents then had the idea to walk and grab ice cream. Who could turn down that brilliant plan? I stressed over and over to the kids, "Don't get ice cream on your clothes!" I was the only person to get ice cream on my clothes. Samuel grabbed by back, and embarrassingly said, "Mommeeee" and advised me "Lean over!" I guess he is learning the table manners we are trying to teach far better than I am.
Just like always, Samuel decided he had to go potty. He had gone right before we left the house, so it was obvious he just wanted to climb the cool stairs to potty somewhere he perceived as neat. I told him in Spanish, "No, Samuel. Espera. Chi chi a la mesa" He looked at me like I was insane and disgustedly told me no. I don't particularly like being told no by my children, so I sternly repeated myself. He looked at me again, repulsed, and shook his head. Finally, my mother stepped in and asked why I was telling him to teetee on the table. UGH! Why is my Spanish so poor? I thought I was improving, but clearly I am not. I intended to tell him to wait and go to the bathroom at the casa (house) not the mesa (table).
We walked back home and beat a thunderstorm by mere minutes. The kids are all terrified when thunderstorms occur, and the reverberations of the thunder on the buildings and mountains intensifies the booms. We turned on The Land Before Time while Mom, Alex, and me (really just my mom) prepared supper. It was scrumptious!
After dinner, the kids all put on their bathing suites. Samuel assumed since he had on swimsuit, we must be headed to the beach. He and the girls were all excited when they discovered the plan. They got to play in the big tub upstairs that was filled with water and bubbles. We pretended it was a pool. Not only did they get to play, but they got clean at the same time. It was a lovely end to a great day.
Our attorney called us today to give a brief update. Basically the update was that there was no update, but she did enlighten me a little. A judge does have Samuel's case, and is currently reviewing all of the paperwork. She was at the courts a few days ago, and was told to return in a few days as there may be an update then. She told me she will go back to check Friday or Monday to see if there has been any progress. To my understanding, there are three possibilities on the update. 1- the judge will still be reviewing paperwork. 2- the judge will have reviewed it all, and respond with further questions. That is what happened before we changed jurisdictioons. 3 - the case will be admitted by the judge.
Once the case is admitted, the judge has 1-10 days to finalize it. We assume it will be the entire ten days. After that time period is over and we officially have the adoption decree (will be a major yay!), we will head to Bogota for 1-2 weeks. Our biggest prayer right now is that by Monday we will find out Samuel's case has been admitted. That would be incredible!
Although being here in Medellin is tough since it isn't home, we are overjoyed at how well things are going. As of today, Samuel has been a part of our family for four weeks! He was practicing his full name today - Samuel Timothy Buchanan. So precious! The children are still learning how to get along, but they have made huge strides. There is still a lot of yelling and bossing, but they can't stand to be away from each other.
Brent flew from Washington D.C. to Montgomery today. Being in Texas and DC was one thing, but being at home in Montgomery without his family has been a little rough on him. He will be home the rest of today and all of tomorrow, and will leave the house around 5am Saturday to head back to Medellin. We are so ready to have him back, and even more ready to all be home as a family of five!
Playing at the Barefoot Park