1844Here the kids are staring out the window from our Radisson hotel room wondering where I had gone. After accomplishing passports, doctor’s check, and sending Uncle Brian back home to Utah, we managed to get ourselves to theÂ Embassy to obtain the children’s travel visas. Here’s a little secret about the embassy visit–they really try and push you through if you have three or four little ducklings following you. We were in and out in just under two hours. It went quickly, and the children did so awesome. Jena and I were really proud of them. We have no embassy pictures because you have to check all camera equipment at the gate. Here’s the run-down for those who are in route: you should separate all your documents for each child and put them into separate envelopes. Whichever window takes those documents from you is the one that will tell you if there is any sort of hiccup with the paperwork–if you pass that window, you can make your travel plans. After you hand off the documents, you wait to pay for the visas–YES, the embassy does take credit/debit cards (I know there is some old information out there, and it doesn’t expressly say on the application–but it is true), and when you are paying for four of them, it is nice not to have to carry that much cash around. After you pay for the visas, you wait for the final window to call you up and give you a return appointment slip for the next day. That slip allows you to pick up your visas after 3:00 p.m. the following day. That’s the embassy in a nutshell. One annoying thing–for those of us who struggle with Spanish is that it is impossible to hear your name being called. Yes, everything is in Spanish…and yes, it is the US Embassy. :) If it wasn’t for a nice lady who noticed we were the ones they were calling, we would have had to wait a really long time. Thank you, nice lady!
185018561859It rained, and rained, and rained, and rained our last day in Bogota–like drenching flooding rain. IT WAS AWESOME!!! A big thanks to Jena for watching the kids for me as I went to the embassy to pick up the visas–children aren’t allowed back in on the following day. We thought that we would take the kids swimming and then to McDonalds to kill the last few hours of time. It was a blast. The kids loved the pool. I even took three of them again the following morning before going to the airport. Although they sank like bricks–they loved trying.
1862We picked up our children on Tuesday, 5 August 2008. We got “the phone call” on the night of Wednesday, 27 August 2008. We boarded the plane on Thursday, 4 September 2008. That means it took us five working days to accomplish all the post-sentencia “stuff.” That’s not bad considering the hiccups we had along the way. WOW!!! Including the few extra days that were there pre-children, I spent five weeks in-country. I can’t believe that it actually happened. Okay, don’t let me digress.
187418771889We headed to the airport and the children all got really really silent. Jena and I kept looking at each other trying to figure out what each child was thinking about. It is times like that that I wish desperately to be able to communicate with them beyond the basics. I know it will come, but those poignant moments are important to me. Anyway, the kids traveled like champs, seriously. They were perfect from the moment we left Bogota until the moment they crawled into their hotel beds in L.A. at two in the morning. I was so proud of them. Danny couldn’t stop staring out the window of the plane. As we took off for the first time, allÂ four children shouted, “muy muy rapido!” It was in unison and completely unscripted, which made it absolutely hilarious. All of the passengers around us were cracking up. Danny’s little legs kept kicking faster and faster in the seat to try and keep up.
I will never ever forget that first take-off. We changed them into their pajamas in Costa Rica and they slept for about five of the six hours we were on board. In fact, we didn’t even have to share our DVD players with them. (oh, the simple pleasures) All four children were obsessed with the music buttons and the earphones that the plane provided. That alone kept them each entertained for about an hour. The food kept them occupied for the rest of the time. :) I was so proud of each of them for behaving appropriately. Even going through US Immigration didn’t take too long. And at the point, the kids mostly just vegged on the ground because they were so tired.
The best part of the whole trip was wrapping our arms around Adam. Standing outside of LAX next to our own vehicle with our own children was totally and completely surreal. That moment is impressed upon my mind, and will be forever.