Thursday, December 14, 2006

An update

Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days, I don’t want to leave Jim for too long by himself because we are trying very hard to entertain ourselves here. The boy is doing extremely well. He’s a very happy, content little man. Here are some more pics to share:

Well, we were excited to have McDonald's for breakfast even if he wasn't.

The Angel Sleeps

Mommy's finger tastes yummy.

So let’s see – got to catch you up on what we’ve been doing. The only interesting things that happened Tuesday was that we 1) Went to lunch at El Corral which is known for their hamburgers. They have every kind you can imagine. I had a curry burger with curry peanut sauce and mango chutney (shut up it was good). Jim some kind of BBQ burger. 2) We went to a place called Maku, which is a 3 story building that sells all kinds of hand made Colombian goods. We were very disappointed, because it was basically 3 floors of knick knack stuff. None of my family is into that crap, so we were worried that the only things we were going to bring back for the family are coffee and the baby.

The maids made paella for lunch that day, and Jim and I don’t eat fish, so we weren’t able to enjoy it. It did look good though. So we went to a very well known place here called Crepes & Waffles. Guess what they serve? Yep, everything you could ever imagine, either on a crepe or a waffle. Lunch was good but the BEST part was the dessert! I had a hot waffle with nutella spread all over it, vanilla ice cream, bananas and whipped cream. Holy cow, to die for. I will be making that sucker at home for sure.

In other news, Jim was christened with spit up, so now he is officially a dad. Oh wait, the boy already christened him in another way last week – My mom was right, you need to cover boys up when you change them (perfect arc off the bed and directly onto the foot). Needless to say I laughed hysterically.

Anyway, that evening we received a phone call inviting us to the home of Mercedes & Arturo. You may remember that these two are the ones who founded FANA many years ago, and Jim and I entertained Arturo in NYC when he visited some months ago. All of the Americans who are here were invited over for the evening, about 10 of us in all (the same people we went to dinner with the other night). Their home is outrageously lovely. I had two of Arturo’s famed Vodka tonics and they were very good. They had delicious food for us, and even gave us a little gift in thanks for showing Arturo a good time in NYC. It was great to meet you Nadine. I don’t think the rest of your group liked us very much but oh well. Maybe some of them got their hands on this blog and didn’t like what they read?

We did get a small bit of good news that day as well. Our orphanage contact called and told us she had spoken to our lawyer. Our case has passed the first and very important step in the process. There are three stages in all, and the first is the most difficult, because it is the first place where your paperwork can be rejected due to errors. We had none, so we can move on to the next step.

Yesterday was our vist to FANA and it was quite an emotional day for us. We started with a tour of the entire facililty. We were surprised that they encouraged us to take alot of pictures as we went along. We saw what seemed like every part of the entire building, including classrooms, playrooms, medical facilities, laboratory, kitchen, dining area, backyard, auditorium...even the finance and human resource offices. It was really an amazing place. Very clean and beautiful. Of course our favorite part was seeing where the babies are. We are not sure what exact room he was in, but we saw a typical baby room (complete with babies!) and saw how the nurses take care of them. All babies are kept on their stomachs in their cribs so that they develop strong neck muscles. We are assured that they can do this only because there is a nurse in the room 24 hours a day, and therefore can be watched. We now have him sleep on his back. The baby room is very sterile and looks kind of like a hospital room. I tried to take one little baby girl home with me, but alas, they wouldn't let me. There was also a physical therapist who comes in and does exercises with the babies, moving their arms and legs and interacting with them. We also loved the toddler rooms and classrooms, where we got to say hello to some more adorable Colombian children. Some are waiting for adoption, and some are still stuck in the system because their parents haven't relinquished them yet, or they have just been taken away from them from the Colombian child protective services. We were very impressed with the entire facility. Not only for the obvious great care they gave the boy and all other children, but for the amount of work they do in their community. They hold all kinds of classes for their community, including job skills and parenting classes. They have a huge presence in the community and work very hard to keep or make families.

After the tour, we met with Flor, the orphanage director to hear all about the boy's social history. I was frantically scribbling down notes, because they do not allow you to take any of the file with you. The file is sealed and is kept at the orphanage until he turns 18. At that time he is welcome to go to Colombia to see his file. We were fortunate in that we got alot of good information about how he came to be available for adoption and about his birth mother and father....much more than alot of people get. I did not get emotional until Flor read a direct quote from the birth mother as to why she gave him up and her wishes for her son. I made sure that I wrote it all down word for word so that we can tell the boy those words as soon as he is able to understand them. We even were allowed to see a photocopy of his birthmother's identification card. It was pretty surreal to look into the face of the woman who's child we now have. She was young and pretty, but did not really look like the boy, or me for that matter. I have tried to figure out exactly why we were so emotional about it. Perhaps because in that moment the birth mother was a real person, not just some name on a copy of a birth certificate we were given. And maybe because her wishes for her son were the exact same ones that we have for him, and for some reason God chose us to see that it happens. It's almost a feeling of unworthiness in a way. I hope that the information we have will be a great comfort to him, and will give him some sense of where he came from before he came to us.

We left FANA with a very good feeling, and can't wait to go back again in a year or so for a sibling for the boy. The staff are truly amazing, and encourage us to stay in touch with them as part of the "FANA family".

Today we went to a huge Craft Fair that was awesome. Artisans from Colombia selling their hand made items – everything from pottery, knitted garments, woven linens, macramé, jewelry, woodworking, kids toys, everything you can imagine (much better than that stuff in Maku). We got some really good items to bring home for our family. I bought myself a filigree silver ring which will be a great reminder of our trip.

So now you’re caught up. Are you asleep yet?

Is it me, or can you kind of see a hint of the man he's going to be in this picture?


Anonymous said...

Hi again. Congratulations on your beautiful son. Just a small tip that you may or may not be aware of but when you have your interview with ICBF (not sure that you've done that yet) but if you haven't make sure to ask (plead/beg) for a copy of the photo of Sebastion's birth mother. We were able to do this for both our children (FANA) and it has transpired to be one of the best things we ever did for them.

Beagle said...

He's going to have LINES of girls following him around. He is SO cute!

julianna said...

He does look like a little man! SO PRECIOUS!!!

Anonymous said...

Good news on no errors in the first step.
FANA sounds like a very well run place. How neat that you got the grand tour.
How special to have those words from Sebastian's BM. That will be a treasure for him in years to come. And how wonderful of you to keep it for him.
A craft show! You must have had a blast. Glad you found some better gifts there.

It's his eyes. They are so beautiful and big and they just say so much in the picture. You have a wonderful son.
I didn't realize you were going back for #2. Super!

Thanks for catching us up. I enjoy hearing what all you are doing. Still praying for your sentencia to happen soon.

Anonymous said...

Yay on passing the first step with no errors. That's a big thing!

Bezzie said...

I was going to say, hon you'll need to keep the doors locked with that boy--the girls are going to be pounding down the door to get to him! Such a cutie!! Oh!!! Those cheeks!

Tricia said...

He's gorgeous. Sounds like everything is going well. Not sure how much longer you have over there. Will be thinking of you tonight - one hour episode of The Office - it's the holiday party tonight. I hope you are recording it at home. The previews look great!

Anonymous said...

Those eyes! Those lashes!! Those chins! He's just toooooo cute.

And the dessert? I am drooling just thinking about it. YUMMMMMMY!

Congrats on making it through the first hurdle! And I thought of you tonight- The Office was pretty darned funny.

MORE pictures, please :)

Jenny and Matt said...

What a beautiful, handsome, wonderful boy!!!! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

he's such a little man!
Thanks for the updates. I'm checking in all the time to see if there is more news.

Jenni said...

Wow. That is amazing that you got a quote from Sebastian's birthmother and were able to see her picture. What a gift! I think that info will be so important to Sebastian later on, and it was wonderful that FANA shared it with you.

As for bringing home your family gifts, trust me, Sebastian will more than cover your obligation in that area! :)

OHN said...

This little guy makes me want to adopt all over again! If I weren't so darn old, I probably would ;)

He looks like such a happy, sweet baby!!!

Sharon G. said...

That's amazing that they give you so much info on Sebastian's birth parents. Your notes will be an amazing gift to him someday.

He's really just too stinking cute, you know. I bet your family is dying to meet him!

del said...

I'm sure if you only bring back Sebastian, your family won't care about all the other crap, LOL! Shoot, you guys can probably stay, just send him.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful details about the adoption makes me feel so much better about the state of the world in general to know that these children are cared for so well. (As opposed to many of the children I see in my job.) Anyway, it's funny... I think one of the oddest things about parenthood is how how the earth moves and the heaven's shake and the universe is endlessly entertaining...but only to the people watching the baby, and the baby who knows that it's his due. You didn't bore me at all... I eat that stuff up with a spoon:-)

Ani said...

He is such a BOY. What a cutie pie. Congrats on getting thru stage 1 of the process - any idea how much longer the other 2 are going to take?
Hoping and praying for a smooth, speedy process.
Take care.

MMrussianadoption said...

I love the picture of him eating your finger. It is priceless. Glad to hear you passed the first hurddle.

Dawn and Joe De Lorenzo said...

God he is so precious! Congrats on your little miracle!!!


wavybrains said...

He's so beautiful! Stick a bow on him--he's all the present any one needs :)

Miss Scarlett said...

Oh he is too, too precious! Everyone is right - he is more than gift enough this year.

Lauri said...

amazing story, amazing baby boy...

Sig said...

Oh, what eyes!! He is absolutely adorable!!!!

Anonymous said...

wow - he is seriously such a gorgeous child. Those eyelashes are ridiculous!

So glad to hear things are going well for your there - especially passing that first legal hurdle. Good for you!

Karena said...

He is so you beautiful! And I'm so glad you're having a good experience with the process there. You are one very important step closer to being able to bring Sebastian home.

Ruth said...

He's beautiful - those eyelashes are just gorgeous. Glad it's all going well for you and that you are getting some great food. The craft fair sounds like a blast.