Friday, November 30, 2012

Good News, Bad News


November has pretty much been a whirlwind.  Preparing to travel, actually leaving, meeting Jhon, all the other meetings and court and such... It's been crazy. :)  Most of that has been wonderful. 

This last week has been a whole 'nuther kind of crazy.

I admit, I've been avoiding the blog. The stuff that's been occupying my mind was not stuff I wanted to post about.  Ever heard of "Facebook official?"  It felt like if I posted our issues on the blog, they would become "blog official" and 'real' and I was trying to pretend they weren't. ;)

Yes, very adult of me, I know.

I don't even want to go into it now, other than to say that we had some unexpected news with our medical. There was an unexpected basis for the doctors to be concerned about TB, so they did further testing and Jhon's chest xray came back "abnormal." (He has had a mild chest cold, which could have caused some "shadows")  There was some talk of us needing to stay in Colombia 21 more days... or even more if the doctors determined he had TB and needed treatment.  I was terrified.  Treatment of active TB is a year long process.  It was a scary thought.

I never really believed he had TB. It's hard to imagine a heartier kid. He's a rock and seems healthy as a horse. (And he's not coughing...)  Fortunately, his sputum test came back clear today (meaning he does NOT have TB)! So, from a medical perspective we're finally ready for our visa and to COME HOME!  We totally thought we were in the clear to fly to the US on Tuesday.


We're not. :( 

So, yesterday, Jhon and I went with our in-country rep's assistant (who does not speak English...) to pick up a paper from ICBF. This is pretty much a formality. You get your "consent" form ICBF (the child welfare division in Colombia) and you fill out a survey and you add that to your pile of stuff for the US Embassy. Easy peasy.

But when I looked at the consent, it listed Jhon's last name as two - our last name and my maiden name.  But... that's not Jhon's last name. Our documents list our last name only.  So, I cheerfully pointed this out (along with another error) and waited for the correction. I had no idea what a can of worms I opened. : /

Long story short, it's an actual LAW in Colombia that the child be given two last names - his father's and his mother's maiden name. This is true of adoption as well. So, he should have always had the 2 names. But when our lawyer prepared our court case, it was submitted under one only. And the judge signed off with one only. And the birth certificate has one only. And his passport has one only.  And all is well and good. 

Except with ICBF. Which is withholding consent until we fix this.  :(   And all this was explained to me in rapid Spanish. I caught on to the problem quick enough, but was not following the solution, other than they kept saying things were fine and it would be quick. We have different definitions of quick.

They talked to our lawyer yesterday, who immediately put in a request with the Judge.  But the Judge is out of town until Monday. So, now we have to hope that he will sign the amendment Monday morning, which can then be overnighted to Bogota on Tuesday. We hope to get the ICBF consent by Wednesday, so we can get the embassy approval Thursday. And then, hopefully, I can return on Friday. So, while all this is quick (all things considered) the total delay could be a week - or more.  

A week of waiting and stressing. A weekend of more money spent. And, most importantly, another week away from home.

I am scared typing this - scared to put it out there. Scared that I won't really be able to go home Friday because there is so little wiggle room in the above plan.  But, I need to. I need to acknowledge this is what's going on. It's just the reality of international adoption. Things happen, mistakes are made, things don't go as planned. 

But I would appreciate your prayers.

Because the truth is, I really, really miss my family.  And I really really want to be with them.  Returning Friday night puts me away from my kids for a solid 4 weeks and away from my husband for two. We're never apart like this.  I know, lots of people stay in Colombia for a lot longer.  But it doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, I just want to get down to the business of being a family.  At home. 

So, if you care to throw a prayer or two our way, we would certainly appreciate it.  In the meantime, I'm trying to look at this extra week as a gift, a time to enjoy Bogota and Colombia a bit more, get to know these other incredible families further, and to bond with my son.  And, hopefully, we'll both be on a plane to Michigan Friday.  :) 

And, since a blog post is no fun without pictures, here are a few! 

Today after the medical appointment, we popped into a Christmas store for five minutes. Not sure of the purpose of the bear (un oso) other than to model an apron, but it was a cute photo op and I can't pass those up.

While waiting for the medical news today, I was determined to keep busy. So, we and the other families headed to lunch at Crepes and Waffles. Oh my yum. This is a must do in Bogota people. Must. Every kind of crepe you can imagine and many you can't. I hate a Mexican chicken one. Incredibly yummy. And the desserts - unreal.  Here is Jhon with his "kid" dessert. Mine was utterly fantastic. I think I had a sugar high for 2 hours.  Will definitely find a way back there next week!

(Every photo is better with mountains in the background)

Last night we took the kids to a nearby park and stayed until it started to get dark.  The Christmas lights are mostly up and many were already on. It was like a Christmas wonderland, minus the cold/snow. :) The lights were just beautiful. Tonight was supposed to be the grand unveiling of all the lights and we'd planned to go, but it was raining cats and dogs. So we'll try and get back out this weekend.  

As much as I want to be home, I must say, getting a taste of Christmas in Bogota is pretty wonderful. I am thankful to have had this opportunity to see these wonderful aspects of the city where my son has spent the last two years. 

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