Thursday, February 11, 2010
January 31st was Liliana's birthday (I won't say which one, lets just say it rhymes with "purty fine"). Our friends Mike and Sandra had told me a couple weeks before that they wanted to host a surprise birthday party for her at their house.
Somehow, we managed to keep it a secret, and I was pretty pleased with myself for managing not to blow the surpise as we walked up to the dark doorstep and walked through the door to a big "SURPRISE!!!" Little did I know that the surprise wasn't just for Liliana, but for me too. It was ALSO a surprise baby shower for Johan Mateo. I was too busy taking video, and too dense, to clue in immediately. Never mind the "Its a boy!" balloons and the big blow up picture of Johan, and the pile of presents in baby blue wrappers. What a surprise, for both of us.
THANKS Mike and Sandra, and everyone who came to help us celebrate Lili's birthday and Johan's adoption into our family. We were truly overwhelmed by the love, as well as by all the trains and trucks - not a barbie or pink princess in sight!
Speaking of overwhelming, we were amazed with the news we got following our previous post... an unexpected Friday afternoon call from Raul and Beth at Gladney saying the child welfare agency in Colombia had changed their minds and would allow us to receive and bond with Johan Mateo in Bogota, instead of having to travel down to Florencia to pick him up.
This was incredible news, and we thank God for answered prayers -- specifically, we'd been praying for favor in the eyes of these authorities for our petition, and that is just what ended up happening. We are also sincerely grateful to Raul and Beth and everyone at Gladney for advocating so strongly for us. We truly believe this is the best option for Johan Mateo, for our girls and the whole family.
So, we wait for one last call, when we find out the actual "encuentro" date. This is the day that we will go to the ICBF office in Bogota, pick him up, and take him back with us to our hotel to start the all-important bonding process. It is hard to imagine just what that day will be like. Like a roller coaster? Like a hurricane? Like riding a roller coaster DURING a hurricane?
Our best guess is the encuentro will happen sometime in the second week of March. Once we get the date, we'll finalize our travel arrangements and quickly be on our way.
We're starting to "nest" here. I spent last weekend putting together his crib, a changing table and other things to start making his room really his. Liliana, Allison, Gigi and Hailey went on a shopping spree for boys clothes (a first for everyone). Just last night, Liliana and I bought our first clothes together for him.
Its getting harder to do anything not related to him, to getting ready for him. It is a strange experience, this last bit of waiting. Quite different from waiting for a birth, for lots of obvious reasons. Apart from the obvious pregnancy part.. we know what he looks like, we even know a little about him, its almost as if we can reach out and grab him. So close but still so far. All of which increases the level of anticipation to something very similar to those last weeks of pregnancy, if not higher in some respects.
One month and counting...