More from Bogota
I’m sitting in Bogota, in a tiny little apartment on the sixth floor. The coffee is dripping in the pot and arepas are warming on the stove. The ground is still dripping wet from the rainstorm, and puddles are gathered in small pools in the parking lot.
We are close to going home, I HOPE. Chris and the kids left Tuesday while Maria Fernanda and I finish out the last leg of the race. I will honestly tell you that this has been the most stressful thing that we have ever done. Those first few weeks were something else. Everyone’s world had been rocked and turned upside down, and everyone was dealing with it a little differently. You know that scene in Captain America, where he is holding onto the helicopter with one hand, and gripping the railing with the other to prevent the copter from taking off? That’s how I felt. And some days, I just had to go to the bathroom and cry for about 30 seconds, wash my face, and come out to be present again.
We had a meeting with the Colombian agency, ICBF, after a week of “bonding”. It was supposed to be a quick and easy check up. But it wasn’t. Mafe was so anxious about the arrival of the social workers that she wouldn’t eat breakfast, and sat and sat waiting in the chair, because they were a couple of hours late. When these two young psychologists walked in and started asking uncomfortable, intrusive questions, Mafe shut down. She refused to answer or talk. Then things went from bad to worse when ICBF decided we were not bonded enough. I tried to argue, explaining that our very shy girl was intimidated by their arrival, that they should know from her papers how she responded when she was afraid, and having a room full of people staring at her was beyond uncomfortable. I begged them to have one of the ladies take her in private and ask their questions, which they did and she opened up.
Still, we were given a probation. They ordered us to stay in Bogota for another week, and visited us two more times. (The last time to make sure that we had followed orders and not left the city). Our family joke was that we had come to Colombia and gotten held hostage after all.
We had co rented a house in the country with another family. A house with a pool and hammocks and a Colombia cook, but we couldn’t go. We had to stay in the crowded city with smog and traffic and horns and barking dogs. AND pay for both places, now with the added stress that if we didn’t do it right, ICBF could deny the adoption. And, this added an extra week to our timeline.
Thank you for your prayers and to the Grace of God, because every time that it was almost too much, there was grace when we needed it. But I will come home skinnier and more gray than ever!
Before we left, I was contacted by Dan from The Roost (restaurant in Longmont). These beautiful people, that I have never met, offered to help cover the remaining costs for our airfare and lodging in Colombia! I cannot describe what a huge weight off of our shoulders that was. Especially since we ended up having to double pay for lodging for one week. We are eternally grateful. And it saved me from staying with the strange lady in Usequen who was renting a room for $10 a night!
We are closer to the finish line now, ICBF is in our rear view mirror. Mafe was, however, not going to take any chances and stayed in the car when we had to go to their offices to pick up the confirmation letter.
This week, we are supposed to have our visa appointments at the US embassy, and then HOME.