Monday, November 19, 2012

Where are we at? A process update.

I've had a few questions about the process and where we're at. Let me back track a bit.

We flew into Bogota on Sunday and Mocoa on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon we met JS. This meeting is called Entrega. We talked to quite a few government employees and Js's social worker, signed some paperwork and in her walked! From that point on we've had full physical custody.

This is known as the bonding period and usually lasts 3-10 days, however long until the government (the ICBF) is satisfied it's a good fit for the parents and child. We were told we might have a surprise, drop in visit to see how things were going. And we did, on Friday. His social worker stopped by. It was fine, just a bit awkward. :-) We were told we might have another visit too.

We were very surprised to find out early Saturday morning that our visit with the Defender of Minors (also ICBF) would be Saturday afternoon! I was very surprised it took place on the weekend. It went very well. Now we just needed the formal report of approval from ICBF. We expected that today and met our lawyer at the courthouse to sign some paperwork.

Unfortunately, we discovered the report was not completed. They told him 9am,then 2pm. When we met him at 4, he was hoping to pick it up at 6pm. So, fingers crossed, if complete, he will file our case in the court tomorrow. Hopefully there are no surprises and we are hoping for court approval (known as setencia) by Friday.

Any other family adopting from Colombia would be shaking their heads. This timeline is crazy-fast compared to other courts. This fact is not lost on us and we are thankful. But we are also dealing with a little wrinkle. In most cases, one parent may return home after ICBF approval. But this court requires both parents to appear for setencia. I don't disagree, it just makes our plans a bit tighter. Mark has a Tuesday flight from Bogota to home and we desperately don't want him to miss it. My mom is incredible with the kids, as are my friends who so generously jumped in to help. And they will have time with Mark's family this weekend.

But we miss them so much. And it's so hard for both of us to be away. A few of the kids are under the weather. I hate not being there for them. Please pray for a smooth process.

Once we do pass court, we'll need JS's updated birth certificate. Then he and I can also return to Bogota. There he will undergo a medical exam by the embassy doctor and may need some vaccines. Once everything is in order, we'll receive his visa and we can come home! We are told that we'll need about 5 business days in Bogota.

So, there it is! Whew.

Still loving Colombia, but definitely wanting to go home. :-\

I'll just leave you with a few random photos. :-)

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