Aventura en Colombia: Day 2 > Encuentro Day!
Wow – what a day it has been! Today was the day our family grew from five to six. The morning began with Madison running into our room and telling us “smoke was coming out of the wall!” I, of course, jumped immediately into action:) I quickly assessed the situation and determined that the hot water heater in our room had seen its last hot shower. Steam was literally pouring into the kid’s room. I went and got the hotel staff and they shut it all down and set us up in another room for showers. Just an interesting way to start the day, for sure. Julie and I went for a four-mile run before breakfast to work out some energy and clear our heads. We spent some time in God’s Word and prayed together as a family. Our host picked us up at 1:00 pm and we were off to the ICBF building for Encuentro. This is the Spanish word for “meeting.” In the broader world of adoption, today is simply… Gotcha Day! This is THE day that we will celebrate with Marcela for the rest of her life. The day she came to our family and she received her forever family.
The officials at the ICBF office have asked us to be careful with certain details and pictures for the safety of Marcela. So I will be careful in my selections until all is finalized. But I can tell you that we had a wonderful meeting. In fact, it was a day I will never forget. We arrived about 30 minutes early and Marcela was in a private room. She figured out that we were outside in the hallway and she peaked around the corner at us. It was absolutely precious. It is normal for parents not to see their child until some issues of protocol are first reviewed, BUT they did come and get Madison and Grayson and took them to see her. We were so jealous but so happy. They ended up spending over an hour with Marcela while we met with the ICBF folks and went over all kinds of stuff we needed to know. Then…we met. Wow. What a God moment. She literally ran into my arms and hugged me and Julie over and over. I actually got the whole thing on video from two angles and will have something to show everyone in the near future. It was just awesome. We hung out for another hour exchanging gifts and just having fun. Then…it was time to leave. Raul, Mario, Christina, and Caesar (with Julyana Adoption Consulting Services) took us all out for ice cream and we had the best time.
There is obviously so much more to tell and we will later. But we can tell you that our precious Marcela is simply a lovely, beautiful, happy, little girl and she seems genuinely excited to be our daughter. She keeps hugging and kissing us! We love it!
So…we will see how the first night of sleep goes and tomorrow we plan to just hang out at the hotel and have fun together
Our next official meeting is next Tuesday when we will go back to the ICBF office for a bonding meeting where, at that time, we will be released to file our adoption petition in the local court where Marcela is from. So all is good, just more waiting until we can finally come home!
I can’t tell you how much everyone’s expressions and prayers for us via email, Twitter, and this blog have meant to us. We know this child will be loved because we are so loved. Thank you all.