Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tatiana continues to do well (with exception to the HUGE temper tantrum she just had-I'll get to that in a minute). On the other hand Steve and I have not been great the last couple of days. I got sick-started with a cold but yesterday my sore throat returned (it had come and gone once already) and my body was very achy and fatigued. I felt terrible. One of the other mothers gave me something last night after dinner (medicine). I took it and went straight to bed. I was sleeping SO well until Steve got up sometime in the night. He said he was passing a kidney stone. He did this once before so I knew what was coming. He was in A LOT of pain and eventually starting throwing up because of the pain. So, it was a long night-part of it anyway.

We wanted to go to the meeting this afternoon but we are still not feeling too well-although better, so that's good. Instead we are just going to go to the kingdom hall when the mtng is about over so we can meet the English speaking friends and let them know we are here. We have some questions for them and are really hoping to visit the branch tomorrow as that will be the last available day before Steve leaves Colombia.

Today is Sunday (we've been here 1 week!) and as I mentioned before, El Refugio does not serve lunch on Sundays. So, we are being treated to a French BBQ! Should be interesting-never been to a French BBQ before. There are three french couples here now and they are going to cook out for lunch today and invited us to join them along with the other American family here.

In regards to the temper tantrum mentioned at the outset: We've been rocking Tatiana asleep since we've had her because it would be too frightening for her to just put her in bed and leave her be or even leave the room. But she has indicated a couple times in the last few days that she is ready to go in her crib. We think this is good. Although we loved rocking her in the beginning because it was a great bonding opportunity, we don't want it to become habitual-any of you parents reading can imagine why. Anyway, we tried for her morning nap to put her in bed and leave the room. After 10 min or so she was still crying and we decided perhaps this big step was still too much for her. So I went in and picked her up as she wanted. However she did not apparently want to be rocked to sleep she wanted down and was already mad we left her in there. So I held her while she kicked and SCREAMED and thrashed. Her face was bright red. Finally she indicated she wanted back in her crib so I put her back. The other problem with this mornings bedtime ordeal was that Tatiana didn't really want milk when we received her. And since she was so congested we decided it may not be the best thing for her anyway at that time. The only juice here, though, is something like Sunny D. So after a couple days of that we bought her juice that was 100% juice. And that's what she's had all week with the exception of a little water here and there. She also has fruit at least twice per day since it is served to us at lunch and dinner, typically. As you can imagine, her stool was quite soft. Since her congestion is clearing up we thought we should really cut back on the juice. Well, so far she absolutely will not drink the milk (as of this morning).

Therefore, when Tatiana wanted back in her crib after her tantrum of all tantrums thus far, She wanted her bottle (that's another story-she shouldn't still be on a bottle in our opinion) of juice. All I would give her was the milk and that continued to frustrate her. But, I refused to back down. She kept whimpering here and there and then she would sit up. Each time I would tell her to lay down. At first she did not understand so I would gently lay her back down myself-which she was not such a huge fan of. But after a few times of saying it in English she began to understand and would lay back down on her own when I told her to. Finally she fell asleep. It was not fun but Steve and I feel we set a boundary-even if we have to go through the same routine again (and maybe even more than once) hopefully each time will take a little less time and soon she will catch on.

About the bottle-at first she would only drink out of one bottle-the one her foster mother sent and said was her favorite. And her favorite indeed it was. She will drink out of another one now but not out of a sippy cup. All we have are the hard sippy cups here-none with the nipple that is more like one between a bottle and sippy cup. We were going to buy one but they are $15-$20 here!!! For that, she can drink out of her bottle and we can get a sippy cup when we return to the States. We still only give her a small cup or a sippy cup at mealtimes. She will drink a little bit but not much.

One of these days we will have to take video for you all to see of Tatiana's 'happy dance' when food is set in front of her. It's so funny and she does it EVERYTIME something new (in the way of food) is set before her. I told you, she gets very excited about eating!!!!!

That's all for now-of course we'll continue to post.

Friday, June 27, 2008

All dressed up and ready for Integration Mtng-her hair looked beautiful!...but sadly did not even last till we got there!
Yesterday was really a turning for Tatiana. Not only was she content with me nearly the whole day, she actually interacted with me too! We played and she began to really open up. She can be quite silly. She also started showing us both affection which is a very good sign. We took her out to the swing set in the back yard here at El Refugio. Over and over she had me help her up the slide and down. She was laughing and playing like any other child. She also loved to swing for a looooooooooooooong time. We only had to give her tylenol first thing in the morning. (she had been teething and also had a cold) Each day her cold gets better and now I have aquired it and each day mine gets worse! Today has been a little difficult (yet still good since Tatiana has continued with her good mood and contentment with her new Mama and Papa) because I got very little sleep last night due to my congestion.

I don´t remember if I mentioned it before or not, (and I´m too lazy to look), but Tatiana had one ear piercing that became infected. It is much better now-the earrings she had when we received her were not very good.

This morning we had our integration visit. We were picked up by David and Oscar again. They took us back to ICBF where we met the social worker in the same room we met Tatiana. I think the social worker we spoke to is the same woman who actually handed Tatiana to me. She is very nice and just asked some general questions about how Tatiana has been doing as far as eating and sleeping, and the like. It didn´t take very long and we made the trip back to Bogota so that Steve could sign the power of attorney before a notary so that I can take Tatiana out of the country without him. After that we came back to the hotel and ate lunch and put Tatiana down for a nap. She didn´t get her usual one this morning since we were in the car. Again I may be repeating myself but here, they don´t use carseats. So that´s very different that what we´re used to-she just sits between us or in our lap!

Next week sometime (after Steve goes home) Tatiana and I will have to meet with the judge here that will finalize our adoption. Sounds like a similar meeting to the one we had with the social worker today.

David told us today that we are already 4 days ahead of schedule (because of Oscar´s schmoozing everyone!) and they expect everything to move quickly for us. So that´s good news!...although we´ve learned not to hold our breathe!

Ok, that´s the latest news. I will post this and then post some more pics for you all to see in a minute. Keep checking back, if you like.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

She actually let me rock her to sleep!
Isn't she beautiful?!
Asleep at last.
So cute!

Our little sumo wrestler-eating a fresh manderin orange
sleeping in the toddler bed in our room
Smiling at Mama!
Hola, sleepy head! Nice fro.

Our First Few Days

We arrived in Bogota late Sat night (June 21st). Andres picked us up at the airport. Sometime we will have to get a pic of him-he has a great Colombian smile! You wouldn't believe how many people were standing outside waiting on friends and family members!! Our plane had to park away from the terminal when we arrived and we were bussed to the airport. On the bus we met Jimmy, a very very nice man from Colombia but living in Georgia USA now. He's a dentist and is here doing charity dental surgery on kids. He gave us three phone numbers of brothers of his so that we could contact him if we needed anything. I asked how many brothers he had and he said 11! And he has 4 sisters!

It was 45-60 min to El Refugio where we are staying. El Refugio is a B & B. There are 3 French families here right now, One woman and her daughter from Spain, and one other American couple. Everyone staying here is like a big family. And the staff are WONDERFUL!!!! We have so far been quite overwhelmed, especially the first two days. We're trying with the spanish, but is slow going!

Sunday the other American family-Stephanie and Loren-showed us around town. We walk everywhere here, which I love. El Refugio serves us three meals a day with the exception of lunch on Sundays. The food is AWESOME! I think we will really miss it when it's time to come home. Everything tast SO fresh and is homecooked. As, I've told a few of you already, Steve even ate brocolii!!! Nothing is greasy. The food is nothing like Mexican as some may think. It's not spicy at all but it has wonderful flavor!!! Each meal is very well balanced too. They grow all their own herbs in the backyard too.

Monday was a BIG day. We were told to be ready at 8am. We would be picked up to meet Tatiana. She was about an hour away from where we're staying. I was SO nervous! They didn't actually pick us up till almost 9! Our attorney, Oscar picked us up. (sometime we'll get a pic of him too) Then we traveled a couple blocks and picked up David, Lucia's son. (Lucia is the represenative for CHI here in Bogota) David speaks English and was along to translate everything, to bridge the communication gap. We had to stop along the way to buy cake, and coke, cups, plates, etc since it's customary to throw a little party when meeting your new child(ren). When we arrived at ICBF (sortof like DHS in the US) we met the Director and a few other people. We gave Oscar our passports to do whatever it is he does. A very sweet young boy in ICBF custody asked if we wanted coffee and we sat for a little while mostly just twiddling our thumbs. We were told they were going to get Tatiana from her foster mother. Then we had a brief interview that was necessary for some paperwork. We were asked about childcare and our work schedules once we arrive home; And we we asked why we chose to to adopt from Colombia. Then they explained to us the papers we were about to sign. Basically we signed to accept custody of Tatiana.

Then more waiting-seemed like an eternity!!! On the way there I told Steve at least I would cry since I was TOO nervous for any tears! But the second they unexpectedly walked in with our new daughter all bets were off and I fell apart!! That was a moment I hope I never forget! Even though all these other people were in the room, they disappeared in my eyes! All I saw was our beautiful daughter! They told us it took so long because it was very hard for her to leave her foster mother. She was crying when I received her but quickly calmed down and cuddled in my arms. After a little while I handed her over to Steve and that's where I went wrong-she quickly became attached to her Papa and would have nothing to do with me!!!!! It was very sweet and funny! We are constantly reassured of how normal this is and how much better the second week is. We were not worried because we understand she is scared and grieving the loss of her foster family-we feel very much for the emotional pain she is experiencing.

The second day was not so good (yesterday)-for me as well as for Tatiana. She has had a cold and she is teething-not to mention a very hard adjustment! I too was not feeling well. Even though Tatiana slept all night, I did not. I was dizzy and lightheaded with a headache all day-not doubt a result of the elevation here. And Tatiana was crying 90% of the time. Although it didn't hurt my feelings that she would have little if anything to do with me, it was still hard! We understand but it is still hard.

Today (June 25) has been much better so far even though it's only 11 am. Tatiana slept all night again and we were able to sleep too. Today, I got her out of her crib and layed her in between Steve and I. We layed there for awhile and then I asked her, "Comer?" which means eat. It was clear she was ready to eat! We quickly got dressed and walked out to the dining room. This girl gets the most excited about food! It was so funny! She has been eating well despite her new circumstances. For breakfast we have the options of toast, french toast, eggs, and cereal. For lunch and dinner we eat what they prepare-which again, is always wonderful.

I sat closest to Tatiana this time (Steve has been since she didn't like me! :)) and put her in her high chair. I gave her her food and drink. And she even played with me some at the table! That is a BIG deal! After breakfast we took her in the living room where some of the other parents and children were. They have a lot of toys here. She played for awhile and then it was clear whe needed a nap. She has a tooth bothering her today.

The REALLY BIG news of today, is that she let ME rock her to sleep!!!! It may not sound like much to many of you but this was HUGE!! So, we are taking baby steps and not pushing her in many areas. We'll all get there when she decides the time is right.

Yesterday we got the stroller out for a walk (as we had done the day before) and she bounced up and down very excited-like most kids, she likes to be out! There is a very nice park close by and sometimes we go there. We actually met a guy from Lawton, Oklahoma (somewhat near where we live for those of you out of state). Steve was wearing a Oklahoma Sooners shirt and that's how the conversation was started. He had two dogs that Tatiana loved!

Bogota is a HUGE HUGE city-I think we were told about 9 million people! Everyone drives crazy here and yet they don't really have accidents. We can't understand why they even paint lines on the streets, seriously. We are not supposed to eat any uncooked vegetables here (except at El Refugio) because of parasites. And we have to use bottled water even for brushing our teeth for the same reason. The weather here is always around 60 degrees give or take about 5 degrees. When the sun is out it feels quite warm and when it's not it feels quite cool. I would say it's more cloudy than sunny, but the sun does come out here and there.

Back to Tatiana: She will be 18 mo old tomorrow. For those of you who have seen pics, though-she is a large girl. She is wearing mostly 24 mo clothes and they fit rather snug. I think her and Peyton will be wearing 3T at the same time, lol!!! Her ears are pierced. She lost one earring yesterday and the other became infected so we took it out and cleaned it with iodine. It's much much better today. We are going to go buy her some hypoallergenic earrings when she wakes up. We gave her her first bath with us last night. Was not an entirely pleasant experience but she needed and we knew when it was all said and done she would feel better.

I know I've skipped around a lot. I had intentions of blogging everyday-for all of you-and for our own journal, so to speak. But we have been very very busy and very tired. We'll put pics up as soon as we can on here. Tatiana just woke up so I need to be going!

Monday, April 14, 2008

For those of you that are interested (and especially to my JWADOPT peeps!) I thought I'd post the results of our $1 website. To date, through the website, yard sale (almost entirely donated items, btw), and a few cash contibutions from family members, we are very very grateful to have raised about $4000.00

The site is still up (, although at a standstill. We still haven't figured this ALL out financially yet, but we would NOT have been able to move forward without the generous support of all of you contributors. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!