Colombia Day 24 – US Embassy

Today we visited the US Embassy in Bogota to apply for Cameron’s US visa. However, before we could do that we needed one more piece of information from the National ICBF office. We  left the hotel around 8:30 to visit the ICBF office. Carmen, one of our contacts here in Bogota, had already called to make sure the letter of conformity, as it is called, would be ready. We arrived at the ICBF headquarters only to find that there was still a bit of confusion about the change we had made from the I-600 process (pre-Hague Convention) to the I-800 process (Hague Convention) that we had to file because our I-600 paperwork had expired. Fortunately, I had brought a copy of every important document we had just in case and we were able to settle the differences without too much trouble.

Once we had the conformity letter in hand, we headed for the US Embassy. The embassy was very nice, but seemed a bit like a fortress in the middle of Bogota. Hundreds of Colombian citizens were waiting outside to get in to apply for visas to visit the states. At first I thought we would be there forever! However, a quick flash of our US passports and the word “adoption” and we were assured into the main gate. Once inside you enter the main processing area which was a really large covered area, but still open to the outside. It was very nice with a coffee bar, refreshment area, and seating for several hundred people, and there were probably that many there. There were special windows for US citizens so we followed Carmen to that area and submitted our papers. After about thirty minutes they called us to a window to confirm Cameron’s identity and a few details about the adoption. Five minutes later we were called to the cashier’s window to pay the $400 visa fee. Ten minutes after that we were called to another window for the interview with one of the vice-consulates. She congratulated us and asked us one question, “How old is your little boy?” We told her and then she informed us that Cameron’s visa had been approved and that we could pick it up tomorrow at 3:30 PM. That was it, very easy. I really felt sorry for some of the other people that were obviously having to wait for hours. Carmen told us that they always process infants as priorities. Made us feel a little guilty, but we were glad it didn’t take too long. We were back at the hotel for lunch.

After lunch we took a little nap and then went out for a walk before dinner. Of course, it started raining while we were out. We figure that if we would just stay inside then it wouldn’t rain on anyone else. It always seems to rain when we want to go for a walk!

Tomorrow we plan to pick up Cameron’s visa and then head over to the Delta office to try and change our tickets. We hope that there will still be some seats available so that we can leave Friday morning. If not, we will try some creative flying to see if we can make it home before Mary Ann’s sister has to fly back to Guatemala.

Here is a cute video of Cameron waking up in the morning. He always wakes up with a smile! It is amazing. We are so blessed to have just a loving and happy little boy.

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Cameron waking up in the morning. It is a little dark, but you can make out his little smile when he pokes his head through the bars of the crib. If you listen carefully you might be able to hear his little monkey noises he makes too.