We’re now 48 hours from leaving Joe and Isabel behind to finish the adoption process. On Friday, at the absolute crack of dawn, 12 of us will head to the airport and the other two will head a few hours down the road to La Mesa. La Mesa is a smaller town about three hours outside of Bogotá. It’s supposed to be warm, beautiful, and, a retirement community. It’s the Boca Raton of Colombia.
Joe will be there for about a week to go to court and, hopefully, be granted a Sentencia. This is the piece of paper that declares Isabel our daughter. After that, he’ll head back to Bogotá to get her passport, her visa, and then, they’ll come home. We anticipate he’ll be living here in Colombia for 2-3 more weeks. I will be at home, alone, with the other 11 children.
I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t scared. I am totally scared. I’m scared of managing it all at home, and I’m scared of letting go of this process. I feel Joe is ill equipped to handle it. Not the diaper changes, and the parenting without me, he does that all the time. I’m talking about knowing the ins and outs of when to push and when not to, when an ethical line is being crossed, and when what is being asked of you is routine. It will be a steep learning curve for him.
Leaving Pasto today was so hard. Tess cried big giant tears as we left the house on the hill where we had been staying for the past week. The owners became like family to us over the last week. Monica, one of the owners, helped us with the children, acted as a tour guide for us encouraging us to get out and explore Pasto and the surrounding areas, and she made us the best Colombian treats (my children now all love aqua de panela). But, what we cherished the most, was that Monica spent so much time telling us about our daughter’s homeland, and her culture. We know so much about Isabel’s birthplace, because Monica was so willing to share with us.
The guest house she and her husband own is absolutely beautiful. It is attached to their family’s home. Monica checked on us multiple times per day. People thought we were crazy for staying in what we, in the United States, would commonly refer to as a hostel during a time that would be so unpredictable for our family. Adding Isabel to our family wasn’t easy, but the people who surrounded us became part of her story. Even some of the other people staying in the guest house with us became part of Isabel’s story. AJ told Joe he loved having people come in and out and stay in the guest house with us because they came from all over, and he had the opportunity to ask them about their part of the world.
We will miss them terribly. I promised Tess that we would be back someday, to the house on the hill, in the place we first met Isabel.Love has made us brave, and that bravery has blessed us immeasurably.
We will carry it on during the next few weeks as we live apart, and leave behind the country we love.
–FullPlateMom, who isn’t feeling so very brave right now.