Colombia Day 2 – Presentation Day

We woke up early on Tuesday morning, the big day! We were told to expect the taxi driver to pick us up at 7:00 AM. Our flight to Cali was scheduled to leave at 9:02 AM and needed to be there an hour before the flight. We were packed and ready to go by 6:4o AM when the taxi driver arrived. We were told that the rule in Colombia is, “Hurry up and wait.” It isn’t uncommon for people to be half an hour late to a meeting. It was nice that he was early.

We had a wonderful ride to the airport. Bogota is a city of many contradictions. The traffic is crazy, but we haven’t seen one accident. The city appears old but you will find all of the latest technology around every corner. They tell you all these stories about the crime in Bogota, yet the city seems to be filled with wonderful people eager to help a stranger. We enjoyed seeing some of the city on the way to the airport. We even got to see a McDonald’s. What would any modern city be without a McDonald’s?!?

The airport was crowded, but we got right in and made it to the ticket counter quickly. After paying for our extra baggage, we made our way through the security check point without any problem. Well, except for the language problem. There was a little lady with the scanning wand that kept saying something to me, but of course I didn’t understand. Finally she realized that I didn’t speak Spanish so she said, “Turn Around!” I guess I must have responded in a funny way, because she just started laughing. Oh well. =)

We boarded a VERY nice airplane that was more modern than anything we have flown in the states. It was very comfortable and had all kinds of technology gadgets to play with. We spent a long time on the runway waiting to take off, but we finally got into the air and got to see a little bit of the country side. It is sooooo beautiful! The mountains are incredible! From that view point, you can’t imagine there being any problems at all!

We arrived in Cali about forty minutes later and immediately fell in love with the area. It reminds me alot of some of the tropical areas that we have visited on the cruises we have been on. It looks like a beautiful tropical paradise. The climate is much like Savannah, so we are very comfortable with the weather. On the thirty minute drive from the airport to Cali, we saw field after field of sugar cane. There were a lot of motorcycles, as in Bogota, and we also saw our first armed patrols. When we asked about the patrols we were told that someone important must be coming to Cali that day. They patrol the road between the airport and the city for safety.

The city has that tropical feel, the streets are narrow with street vendors selling all kinds of wares. We drove through the center of the city until we arrived at the Hotel Pension Stein.

Minutes after we arrived at the hotel, our translator, Magnolia Ospina, arrived to greet us. She is the dearest, sweetest lady you will ever meet. She gave us a tour of the hotel and the services that are offered to us. She sat down with us and went over the process of the up-coming week. She let us have a few minutes to settled in before we had lunch together in the hotel dining room. All of our meals are included in the price of our stay, which is very nice. The lunch was fantastic! And when we were finished, we headed to the ICBF office to meet our little boy.

We arrived at the ICBF office shortly after an Italian family that was staying the the same hotel as us. We were both told that our little boys were still in route from Buga, where Cameron was born. We waited for about forty five minutes before we were asked to wait in the hall. The ICBF is very careful about the introductions of children to their new parents. It is a very good process that helps the children make their adjustment to their new family.

The Italian family was first since their appointment was before ours. We waited in the hallway for about another thirty-five minutes before they invited us into an office to discuss Cameron’s physical, mental, and emotional state. We would have been completed lost had it not been for Magnolia. She was with us every step of the way and did so much more than just translate. She was more like a friend.

After talking for about fifteen minutes, we were given all of Cameron’s paperwork which included a letter to him from his foster mother. It is a sweet letter from her wishing him all the best with his new family. It is obivious from the documentation that we got from her that Cameron has been extremely well taken care of during his period of foster care. Magnolia said that many foster care homes in Colombia are poor families, but that from what she was seeing in Cameron’s papers, his was not. We have complete medical records from the day he was brought to the hospital, a baby book with all of his firsts, and a picture from each month of his life! It is so much more than we ever thought possible. We are very grateful to his foster mother, and to God for putting Cameron in such wonderful, loving hands.

Then came the big moment! The moment that we had been waiting for more than 14 years, six of which was spent actively pursuing the adoption. The moment that would change our lives forever.

We walked down the little hallway and there he was, sitting with one of the office workers. At first he was a little shy, not knowing who these new people were. He didn’t cry at all, and it took everything I had to keep it together! I didn’t want to cry, because I thought then he would cry. Mary Ann and I both shed a few tears, but held back the sea of emotion that was rolling inside. Within minutes they had given him to Mary Ann and slowly they started leaving the room, one by one. Finally we were alone, just the three of us. Our new family had begun.

Cameron is wonderful and has already changed our lives! We are praising God that He has finally met the desire of our hearts for a family. We left the ICBF office and headed back to the hotel. The first few days are supposed to be quiet times for us and him. Time spent getting to know one another and time for him to begin to trust us as his caregivers.

We got back to the hotel and spent the evening getting to know our little Cameron.

It was a long day and a much longer wait, but with much gratefulness (and a little bit of that daddy pride) I introduce to you, Cameron David Mulvehill…

Day 2 Photos

Day 2 Videos

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The drive between the Cali Airport and the city.

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Our ride home from the ICBF office right after we got Cameron. He is enjoying his first Cheerios with us.

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Our first night together. We gave him some animal crackers and he showed us his little happy food dance. He isn’t sure what to think about us yet, but he loves those crackers.

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The video is a little dark, but this was an important boding time our first night. We sat out on the balcony of our room and held him. It is especially  important to have lots of physical contact the first couple of days.