Zero to Three: Third Update from Colombia

Whew! It's Saturday. That means we've made it here and survived 18 days of parenting these crazy 3 kiddos. We have been tired on days, busy on days, lazy some days, and we've ran and played a lot! God is continuing to show us improvements in their attitudes, behaviors, and love for us.

While reading a blog this week we came across this statement about Bogota that we think fits perfectly!

At first glance Bogota might appear like that perilous glass edge to a coffee table destined to be the meeting point of your child's head before he comes tumbling to the floor...disaster!

So true!! That exactly describes how we feel about this place. But we are surviving without too many scars!

Third Update from Colombia - NJS Design Company

This was our week.

Sunday

Another good day at church, got to meet some cool families through facebook in person, and got to see their kiddos. Went to the mall with like 6 families for lunch and all our kids. Geesh hamburgers here are expensive but man are they worth it!

Monday

We took them to a movie (how to train your dragon 2) in Spanish. The theaters here are small, and you choose an assigned seat. The chairs are huge and it only cost $20 in American money for all 5 of us! You better bet we'll be seeing another here and taking advantage of that deal. They were actually pretty good in the movie. They LOVE popcorn, we have it at home some and they thought it was cool to have it there.

Tuesday

We went to the doctor in the afternoon to get their TB test injected. We are blessed that this Embassy doctor is walking distance, about 20 minutes or so from our place. All the other families we've met have to drive almost an hour to get to this one doctor in the city. Whew! Glad we are close.

Wednesday

We went to Montserrat. This is one of the highest points of any of the mountains here. It requires a cable car to get up to the top. I think we had as much fun as they did. The views were amazing. Later I told my parents that it was a strange feeling up there. You look out and the TN Girl that I am desires to see nature, mountains, beauty....well here... you only see buildings, lots of buildings, like 10 million people worth of housing. The mountains are faint in the background of all the "stuff" as we looked out I thought to myself, all these people, all these 10 million people and no one "wanted" our kids. God had to bring us all the way here to them. Oh how I long to see the Tennessee mountains and the beauty back home. This place is lost and that view just reminded us of that! It was a good day and we got some good pictures, it was cold up at the top too! Even though it's Winter here, it was the first time we've been Cold here and it was at 10,000 + ft.

Thursday

We hung out with our friends Allyson and Scott at a park near their house. We took the bus there, as it was a ways away, but we made it. Huge success. They are from Atlanta and are here adopting a little 3 year old girl who is just precious! She has made so much improvement in only a few days with them. So cool to be a part of their time here and share in their successes and to jointly be an encouragement to each other through the tough times.This evening we went back to the doctor. This is when we got the news that Michel tested positive for TB by her skin test. The other two were ok. So we had the doctor appointments, just a quick physical look over with the doctor over each child. He informed us of some stuff we already knew like that Daniela has ADD and that they have some speech issues in Spanish. This paperwork he did there goes on to the embassy at the end of our time here to clear them from the country. We also found out Stiven/Brandon needed many many shots and basically has had none. SO we found out there is a waiver that we filled out to wait and have all the shots back in the states the first couple of weeks we are home. Each shot here is about $150 and they all needed 2+ each. SO we are thankful to God there was the waiver and hopefully insurance will cover most at home.

Friday

Jenn and Michelle went with our guide super early across town about an hour and half to a doctor that does chest x-rays. This has to be done since her TB skin test was positive. This is to hopefully rule out that she has TB. There is a shot they give them when they are little that is the vaccine against TB and so they often show up positive in Latin America. Nick's family has had this happen a number of times from where they got that shot as a child. We also went to a new park this afternoon and loved it.

Saturday

We had our friends over with their daughter and played at our house. Nick made Spaghetti. He is a cooking champ here. We miss the grill! We got to play around the house and go to a park. This park is so cool. It used to be a polo field and still has all the horse stalls etc. They have it all blocked off now open to anyone that wants to come run, play etc. Sort of like world's fair park but much much bigger. See top statement about everything being dangerous...this was a terrific safe find!!

It was a good week. I really felt as if I could believe no one at first when people kept telling us it would get better, it will be fine, etc. I wanted to scream. We still many times a day want to scream. But they are getting into the groove with us here. They are learning rules (we go over them every day in the morning) they are earning stars and happy faces (and occasionally sad faces for disrespecting or not listening) but they like being able to compete with each other. We have figured out that walking to the park, playing, and walking home wears them out well in the afternoon. We can't wait for our pool to open here and we can swim. This week our friend Ashlee is coming to visit and it will be great to have an extra hand and see a familiar face! She is also brining us some more games, puzzles etc. We are so thankful each day as we pray that God has provided simple things for us here like friends, kids that eat (a lot) and are not picky, a kitchen to cook in, neighbors to ask how we are and if we need anything. HE truly thinks of ALL the details!

One last thing we thought you'd think was funny. So we told you already that Brandon Stiven we called Brandon for the last year and when we got here they said he goes by Stiven, and the girls call him Stiven too. The past couple days Nick and I both have had separate conversations with him about what he wants to be called. We even have people ask him at church and out places. He keeps saying Brandon. So for now we look like idiots at the park yelling Stiven Stiven, Brandon Stiven and finally he answers to one. I told him he had to decide by the time school starts. Crazy Kiddo!

Prayers

  • Continued Bonding with the kids
  • Our case was assigned to court #2. Pray this judge accepts it without question, reviews it in a timely manner and signs it so that we can work toward coming home!
  • Continuing to get a good night sleep each night
  • The time that Ashlee comes that kids would respect her and yet still remember we are mom and dad
  • A negative result on Michel's TB chest x-ray (we really don't want her to have to take medicine for 9 months, which is the treatment if she does have it)
  • Nick would be able to find time to work while we're here

Praises

  • a really good week with lots done
  • Dr. Appointment went well for general checkup
  • Case submitted to court
  • Daniela got stung by a bee and no reaction, took the ice like a champ
  • The kids now know to say "please" if they want something...for example, Michel will say "alzame por favor please!" which means "pick me up please please!"
  • Jenn has gained back a couple of the lb she lost in the first few weeks here (Papi is a good cook)
  • We are so thankful for the place we are staying, it is nice compared to others small apartments and we have room to spread out
  • We so appreciate you guys loving on us, PRAYING for us, and putting up with us!!
Psalm 102:1-2 "Hear my prayer, Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly."