Yesterday, the kids were cranky and whiny, so this morning after breakfast and getting ready, Brent and I decided they all needed some alone time. They weren't being punished, we were just preventing possible incidents from occurring. Each kid got to pick two toys and a book and were placed in separate rooms throughout the apartment. They played so wonderfully. It was fun overhearing how differently they play. Lilly Grace played like everything was a princess, Samuel was loud and all of his animals were fighting, and Alex was in her own little two year old land until she threw all of her toys out of the door.
The older two then played together while they watched part of a Muppet movie, and Alex and I had some one-on-one time. Eventually, everybody started getting antsy and the sun was sort of peeping out of the chilly skies, so the kids and I headed outside to the park. It is remarkable how fresh air, running, and climbing completely fix anything going on with children.
After a lunch of sandwiches, fruit, and crackers, the kids turned in for early naps since I had to get Samuel up for his medical appointment. His appointment was at 4, but the doctor's office requested we get there at 3:30. Traffic can be horrific, so we had to leave by 2:30 to be safe. Traffic ended up being light per Bogota standards, and we were checked into the office before 3. They didn't call us back until 4:20, which is a long wait for a 4 year old boy. I brought toys and snacks, and he really did very well while we waited.
The pediatrician was wonderful. He was bilingual, so the translator did not accompany Samuel and me to his office. It was not a very thorough physical, simply what the US Embassy required. However, he answered any questions that I had, was patient, and one of the kindest physicians I have encountered. Not only was he a pediatrician, he also was a neonatoligist, and had tons of photos in his office of tiny babies, twins, and triplets. It was precious.
He listened closely to Samuel's heart, and said he didn't hear a murmur at all. This is remarkable considering the extent of Sam's cardiac condition and his surgeries. After he asked me my occupation and found out I was an ER nurse, he asked me if I would like to listen as well. He was very impressed with how well our little boy is doing. Samuel has gained a pound since we have come to Colombia and grown 2 centimeters! He is quite healthy.
We went over Samuel's vaccination history, and he only lacked one vaccine. He was given a Hepatitis A vaccine, and though he didn't like it, he didn't cry one bit. We saw several older children coming out of the vaccination room crying and carrying on, but not our trooper! I was so proud.
The doctor told me that the paperwork that had to be taken to the US Embassy would be ready in roughly an hour, which was nice because that meant we wouldn't have to return early in the morning. Marieta, Samuel, and I strolled around the area, walked around another Colonial Spanish neighborhood, and wound up at a park. Samuel had a grand time playing and swinging, and is working on the concept of pumping his legs while he swings. I gave him a snack, then we walked to a nearby mall for him to go to the bathroom.
While he snacked, I called Brent. He sounded horrible, and either caught a stomach bug or was the recipient of horrendous altitude sickness. I can attest that it is incredibly difficult feeling poorly when you have to take care of children, and Lilly Grace and Alex were stuck in the apartment with him. Going out to dinner was definitely out of the question, which is a problem because we have no dinner food at the apartment.
We both racked out brains, while Marieta, Samuel, and I walked back to the doctor's office to collect the paperwork for the embassy. We came back to the apartment and made sure we had everything needed for the appointment to obtain Samuel's visa tomorrow. I then checked on Brent, and he truly looked pitiful. He can handle tummy issues really well, so when he is in bed complaining of belly pain and other symptoms, I know it is for-real! His eyes were glassy and overall just heartbreaking! That meant it was time for my to step up my game. I have been extremely anxious about venturing out by myself, and have been fine this week with our translator, but I had to go alone tonight to bring dinner home. Alex came with me so that Brent could have some peace and quiet, and we walked to a Dominos Pizza around the corner. I ordered in Spanish!!! Alex and I brought it home; it was incredible!
Brent was able to get some pizza down, then went back to rest in bed. As each kid was bathed and put in pajamas, they would hop in bed with Brent. They got to watch the rest of their movie instead of a book tonight, then went to bed. Brent is exhausted from not feeling well, and I am tired from a 4 hour doctor ordeal, but thankful it all went smoothly.
As we are coming to the end of our stay in Colombia, I have been thinking about the past 7 1/2 weeks. I don't even know the words to describe it all, but it is surreal to think it is almost over. Brent and I are thankful for all of the encouragement and prayer, and I do not say this lightly. We could not have survived without our friends and family. Our parents being here for a total of two weeks provided a great deal of sanity, as did the opportunities we had to FaceTime family and friends.
There are several worship songs we have listened to and sung frequently here, and one of them is "Oceans" by Hillsong United. It starts, "You call me out upon the water/ the great unknown, where feet may fail/ and there I find You in the mystery/ In ocean's deep, my faith will stand." The Lord called us way out of our comfort zone. 8 weeks away from work, family, America, home, etc! It truly was a mystery all along, except that we knew we were called to do this. He protected us from drowning in the water, and when it seemed like all was falling apart, He would provide some miraculous good news. The bridge of the song begins, "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders." Every time I hear this I choke up. I don't think Hillsong literally meant borders of countries when they wrote this, but that is what this part means to us. This entire adoption journey has been about trust, even when it has been rocky we had to trust the Lord. Of course we were not perfect in our trust, but we had so many wonderful encouraging people reminding us every time we were discouraged to trust in the Lord! Here is a link to the song with lyrics for those of you who aren't familiar. I recommend taking the time to listen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy9nwe9_xzw
I also want to brag on my wonderful, loving, patient husband. I can honestly say that we haven't gotten sick of each other, despite being together nearly nonstop. He has been such a solid rock for our family not only in Colombia, but since our family began. I am prone to motion sickness, and he has sat in the back of almost every taxi with three rambunctious children, so I could sit in the front with the window down. On the days at the beginning of our stay when I felt poorly, he would take all of the kids out so I could rest in quiet. He has helped cook and clean dishes. He swept and mopped countless times. He has handled the logistics of everything we have done, from hailing taxis, finding places to stay, and handling the finances of every aspect of the adoption. He also has handled his work from thousands of miles away. He hasn't complained about a single thing, even when I griped that I was so ready to come home. He has been incredibly patient with our children. On days that he was in the bedroom working while I was homeschooling and tending the children, he would march out of his room and demand the children obey and respect Mommy. Despite all the craziness and busyness, he has made me feel loved beyond belief. He has brought home sweet treats, sent roses, given me breaks, and purchased some memorable gifts for me while we have been here. Above all, he continually points our family toward Christ. He would lead our home-church every Sunday, and ensures we remember to pray, and tries to bring Christ into the equation any chance he gets. We could not have survived this long road without Brent, and I hope he knows how awesome the kiddos think he is, and how much I will always love and respect him.
Let's hope and pray Brent feels better tomorrow so he can enjoy the last few days in Bogota. We head to the Embassy at 10:15 for our appointment at 11:30. This should be our final step, except for heading home. Three more sleeps here, one in an airplane, and then HOME!