We now have tickets to return to Colombia on Saturday evening, the 8th, landing us in Bogota on Sunday morning, the 9th. We also found a nice apartment to rent that has a lot of outdoor activities for the boys to do together. When I saw soccer goals in the picture, I knew we found the perfect place for both of our soccer fanatics. I contacted the owner, so all I need to do now is book the reservations.
We've been waiting and praying over a funding issue that didn't turn out like we had hoped. It put us in quite a bind, and we didn't know what to do. We always thought that God would make the money fall into place precisely when we needed it, and we were a bit disillusioned when it didn't. Once again, God's timing proved better than ours. Four hours after we purchased our tickets yesterday, we got a phonecall saying that the money did indeed come through--enough to reimburse us for all three of our airline tickets, leaving us with only the cost of Juan David's ticket home. God is good.
That's all the main news for now. If you'd like a full run-down of the events from the last 48 hours, read on. (Warning: it may be long.) I'll try bulleting it to keep from going off on rabbit trails.
- Thursday morning--Mike calls the agency, and she says we're safe to go ahead and purchase our tickets so we could get things going on applying for our visas.
- Thursday afternoon--I call our attorney, and he also says to get things going on our visas as soon as possible. We both make arrangements to take the next day off in order to get to both Austin and Houston before the consulate closes at 2:30 in Houston. I make arrangements for someone to take David to school in the morning so we can leave at 5 a.m. In order take care of any of the paperwork for Friday, we need tickets so we have a departure date and a length of stay.
- Thursday evening--Mike calls Delta Airlines to discuss our adoption situation to see what kind of discount they have available for adoptive families. After spending at least an hour on the phone, he says he's ready to book the tickets. THEN the guy says, "Oh. You have to book them in person at the airport because you have to show legal proof that you are adopting." So, Mike gets a code to confirm the prices and arrangments they'd already made over the phone and tells the guy he's headed straight to the airport.
- Thursday night--We all three jump in the car and head to the airport. When we get there, we realize that we forgot one MAJOR detail. We don't have credit cards--only a debit card, and there's a cap on how much can be debited from our account each day. Our tickets would exceed that. (Here's where we insert that moment of panic. Remember...we NEED to have our ticket information before we leave at 5 a.m. on Friday, and the bank is closed. It's already 8:30 at night.) We rack our brains to see if we have anyone to call on to help us out. We call our very close friends and they say they'll drive to the airport to meet us with a credit card. Then we went into the aiport to find that all the ticket counters are closed. There's nothing we can do until they open at 4:00 a.m. the next morning. Mike calls the airline back to find out if there's any way we can just book our tickets over the phone and just fax the documents they need, but no, it can only be done in person. We call our friends, who are already on the way to the airport, and tell them the situation. They agree to meet us at the airport the next day at 4 a.m.. (Thank God for people who love us and our sons that much.)
- Late Thursday night--We head back home, and I am far to stressed out to sleep. Tomorrow's long day just got even longer. Mike and David head to bed, while I go over the documents again and again to make sure everything is there and in order. I sure would hate to drive all the way to Houston and find out that I left something out. I also realize that we need prayer, so I send out an e-mail to our Lifegroup, who has faithfully carried us through this whole process for nearly the past five years. I finally fall into bed around midnight, but my mind just keeps on racing.
- 2:30 a.m. on Friday--My alarm goes off and I get up to get everything ready to go. David crawls into the truck (realized the night before that the Neon needs new breaks) to keep sleeping quite uncomfortably, and we head to the airport at 3:15.
- 4:00 a.m.--We get to the airport, Mike goes inside, and our friend joins him inside. They come out again at 5:30 with tickets in hand. Mike said that the lady at the counter was amazing, and she said that hearing our adoption story completely made her day. The adoption discount saved us around $2,000, so having to go in person was worth the inconvenience. Our friend stood with us in the parking lot and prayed for the remainder of our day to go smoothly. David switched vehicles to continue sleeping, and our friend then took him home with him and then to school. We headed straight for Austin.
- 8:30 a.m.--We get to Austin with little to no traffic and arrive at the Secretary of State building. We quickly fill in the ticket information in the letter that we need apostilled. We've done this before, so we go straight to the office and get tended to immediately. Ten minutes later, we're back in the truck on our way to Houston.
- 11:30 a.m.--We arrive in Houston and stop at an Office Depot to make the required copies of our tickets to turn into the Colombian consulate with our visa applications.
- 12:00 noon--We arrive at the Colombian consulate and take a number. We're surrounded by pictures of Colombia and lots of other Colombians. I love hearing them speak. Colombians have a different accent that just sounds beautiful to me. We turn in our paperwork, have to redo our applications because they printed out onto three pages instead of two, and then we wait while the guy reviews our documents to make sure it's all there. After about an hour or so, he gets my contact information and says it will take 3 days to approve and then will send our passports back to us. I remind him that we leave on the 8th, and he assures us that we'll get them back before then. (We're prepared to drive back to Houston to get them if they're not Fed-Exed by Wednesday at the latest).
- 1:30--We're done!!!! There's a business card at the consulate for a Colombian restaurant just outside of Houston, so we program the address in the GPS and head there. By now, we're absolutely starving!
- 2:00--We enjoy a lovely lunch date together over some absolutely delicious Colombian food. We get David one of his favorite Colombian drinks to take back with us, and then we started to head back home.
- 3:00--We texted David to remind him to ride the bus, since he doesn't normally ride the bus on Fridays. He goes to his friend's house and enjoys an awesome evening out with his long-time buddy.
- 7:30--We got back into town, grabbed a bite for dinner at Chick Fil-A, and headed home. Exhausted, but totally relieved. It turned out to be a great day, and I thoroughly enjoyed the road trip with my husband. A week from today, we'll be headed back to Colombia for the third time. Interesting how it worked out. My last day to work is Friday. This will be the third year in a row that we are leaving for Colombia immediately after school gets out--except this time, we had nothing to do with planning that. I'm sure we'll see more glitches before it's all said and done (remember, this is international adoption we're talking about). However, we're just glad to finally have those tickets in hand.