Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Go Big AND Go Home!

To be perfectly honest, our time here in Bogota has gone without a hitch.  Every single appointment at every agency has been easy, and every person we have dealt with has been incredibly kind.  We have yet to encounter any disgruntled people in Colombia.  They never make fun of our Spanish, and are always inquisitive of our family.  Countless have thanked us for helping a child from their country. 

All of that to say, something had to go awry.  Today held out last item on our to-do list: obtain Samuel's Visa from the US Embassy.  We originally had an appointment at 11:30, but found out last night it was changed to 1:00 - smack dab when the kids start turning in for naps.  That made for three days in a row that Samuel wouldn't get his full nap in, which was making him really sleepy and grouchy. 

We originally planned for the entire family to go to the Embassy, because it isn't a common occurance to be able to visit a US Embassy. Sadly, whatever is ailing Brent did not pass through the night.  He woke up several times during the night running a fever, and when the fever broke he would have intense chills and shivering.  His stomach has been hurting him really badly, and he has a great deal of gastrointestinal upset.  We have tried Motrin, Zofran, and Pepto, and he has had very little relief.  Therefore, we decided I would take Samuel and Lilly Grace to the Embassy, and Alex would stay back with Brent.

Before our Embassy appointment, the kids and I went to the grocery store a couple of blocks away.  This may not seem like a big deal, but keep in mind I know barely any Spanish, rarely leave the apartment without Brent or our translator, and grocery shopping with three young kids in any location isn't exactly a cake-walk.  However, we survived!  Nobody was run over as we crossed several streets, and we purchased toilet paper and food for lunch.  Maybe some of you ran a marathon, or lifted ten thousand pounds over your head, or cured some heinous illness, but I took three children down several blocks grocery shopping and returned in the rain unscathed.  We got back, cooked, ate, and cleaned up to get ready for Marieta to pick the three of us up for the Embassy. 

The Embassy is a far cry from what I expected.  I assumed we would be ushered inside, and the building would have comfortable seats and an RSA building-like atmosphere.  Wrong!  Everything we did was handled outside.  There was a medium sized crowd of Colombians awaiting Visas to travel to America, but we were sent to a ticket-booth like window ahead of the crowd.  I turned in gobs of paperwork and Samuel's passport and was told to sit and wait for it to be processed.  Samuel and Lilly Grace were not on their a-game.  They couldn't keep their hands to themselves and kept whining and tattling.  Maybe I have less patience than most mothers, but whining absolutely drives me ballistic. 

Fortunately, we didn't have to wait for long.  The young guy that handled our case was actually headed to Birmingham in a couple of weeks where all of his family lives.  Small world.  I was fingerprinted, and we went over some more information.  He also had a small interview about our stay in Colombia.  Then he told me it would be roughly two hours for the visa to be ready.  Yikes!  Two hours outside in a drizzly rain with two kids who needed naps did not sound like fun.  Marieta recommended the kids running around in a little field on the Embassy grounds.  It was muddy, but I didn't even care.  The kids needed to run and play.  They picked tons of dandelions, until they realized their hands were covered in bugs.  After some mega freaking out, we relocated to a concrete area.

The kids ran and played, and all was going well until Samuel pitched fit after fit because Lilly Grace was winning all of the races.  (He proudly informed Brent a few days ago that when he runs by himself he always wins.  Haha!)  I told him it didn't matter who won, just to have fun, but the fits persisted.  He actually is pretty fast, but Lilly Grace has legs several inches longer and therefore is somewhat faster. I had him sit down on a bench beside me for five minutes without whining, and when he got back up to run and play was in great spirits.  The kids took turns running, so they both won every sprint.

I looked down at my phone for a couple minutes to let Brent know we had a long wait ahead, then I heard a loud thud and saw Samuel sprawled on the cement.  Evidently he tripped and caught himself with his face.  I don't mean he put his hands down and then his face, he actually landed on his face.  He bit hit tongue, knocked a couple of teeth, bruised his forehead, scratched the bridge of his nose, and busted his nose.  His mouth was full of blood and dirt, and there was blood gushing from his nose.  The child looked awful.  It was so sad!  We rushed to the bathroom, and he was crying minimally until he saw the blood in the mirror.  He was then crying hysterically for a while, but calmed down way faster than most kids.  When he gets hurt badly, he doesn't cry and carry on for long.  The bleeding eventually stopped.  No teeth were broken or loose. His battle wounds include a bruised forehead and nose, and swollen, scratched up nose.  The good news is immediately after the accident, our name was called WAY before the two hour mark.  We had only waited for about 45 minutes!

We now have Samuel's passport and visa, and every single thing is finished!  We have no more tasks to do except to fly home.  Brent really needs to get better so he can enjoy the end of our stay in Bogota and not be miserable when we fly.  Keep praying for this precious man!  Tomorrow is our last full day in Colombia!  Woohoo!  See you soon America!

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