Well, we have successfully gotten through the first week!! It has been quite an adventure with lots of learning, bonding, and “firsts”. Daniel seems to be very happy and content being home. And us, well, lets just say we have gotten a good dose of exhaustion that I’m sure is a special type reserved only for parents/caregivers 😉 However, it truly has been a joy to have Daniel home and to bond with him.
On Monday, August 22nd was Daniel’s Got Ya Day! We woke up early and headed to the orphanage to pick him up. We found him full of excited energy and anxious to head to our appointment with the judge at 9 a.m. Below are a few photos of us at the orphanage right before leaving!
It was so sweet…as we walked in the door of the orphanage, Daniel had a special gift ready for his mommy. It was a precious, white flower! He was so proud to give it to her.
The psychologist of the orphanage went with us to the appointment. It was about a 40 minute trip into the city. We made it just on time (9:03 a.m.) but then had to wait close to an hour before we could actually meet with the judge. It was quite a long time for Daniel to hang on with all of his nervous energy…but he did it! We played “rock, paper, scissors,” “heads and tails” with a coin, as well as other various forms of distractions until all of the legal people who needed to be present were accounted for. They let Daniel talk with the judge first (which he had to do alone) since he had to wait such a long time. When the judge asked if he would like for Amber to be his Mommy, he gladly exclaimed “Yes!” The entire process with the judge took about 30 minutes and then he was ours to take home.
Below is a picture of us with our lawyer, Sandra, who has diligently worked with us over the course of 10 months so Amber could adopt Daniel. She is still working hard on Kirsten’s case with Kliber and hopefully he will get to come home soon as well!
After we left the judge’s chambers, we headed to the orphanage to gather all of Daniel’s things. It was so strange to have the freedom just to walk out the orphanage doors and take him home with us. For over a year we have volunteered at the orphanage, and spent time with our sons there. It was exciting to finally get to take one of our kids home!!
The evening of Daniel’s Got Ya Day he got to meet his grandparents over FaceTime. It was a lot of fun! We were impressed at how well it worked. We both teamed it up in regards to making sure everyone understood what was being said. One of us would translate for Daniel and the other for the grandparents. We enjoyed watching them get to know each other and bond.
Daniel’s grandparents had sent several gifts down for the boys to open when they each got home. Daniel excitedly opened his gifts in front of his grandparents. He had the best facial expressions as he explored each of his new toys and clothes. By far his favorite gift was his nerf guns!
Daniel even started a nerf gun war with his grandparents over FaceTime!! It was a little unfair that they didn’t have weapons to shoot back…but I guess they did have the ipad screen as a shield for protection 😉 It was a precious moment that we all cherished as we began bonding together as a family…both near and far. We are so thankful for technology and the gift it has given us of letting our boys know their family in the States so well despite the physical distance.
A lot of our week has been getting used to our new routine. Our biggest hurdle has been getting to know the Bolivian schools, since they are so different then the school systems we grew up knowing in the United States. Everything is unfamiliar, from homework to schedules to expectation to “recess”. We have a huge learning curve! However, the Tias from the orphanage have been so willing to help us and answer the many questions that we have had! We feel so blessed for the community down here!
This Saturday (August 27th), our friend Erin Tisbury planned a “Welcome Home Party” for Daniel. We had two missionary families come, a friend from the orphanage (Savannah-not pictured) and Daniel’s favorite Tia from the orphanage with her son. It was a full house with lots of love, laughter, playing, and celebration. Here are a few pictures of Daniel goofing off before everyone arrives.
Daniel said that his favorite part of the party was when he played Nerf gun wars with all of his new friends. He had already met Jace and Asher before…and has been waiting literally months to get to play with them again. It was like they had known each other for years and spoke the same language. They had the best time playing together.
At one point, Jace wanted to take a photo of his Momma (Erin). As I (Kirsten) was showing Jace how to use the camera, Erin accidentally shot me in the head with the Nerf gun! Even adults have the best time with nerf 🙂 We were almost rolling on the ground in laughter!!
The boys also had a blast playing football (soccer). I love the intensity on Daniel’s face!
All of the sweet girls are so precious. I just love their little smiles 🙂 It was so nice being surrounded by our family down here in Bolivia as we welcomed Daniel home. They went above and beyond, showing Daniel abundant love and welcoming him into the family.
Here’s the “boy crew”. This picture melts my heart. They are just so cute!!
Everyone surprised Daniel with gifts! He loved it!!! We are blessed beyond measure with great friends who have become a loving and much needed family down here!
Let’s introduce you to everyone! Here is the Powell Family! They are long-term missionaries down here and have three children 🙂 They are super sweet and fun!
This is Tia Luz and her son Gabriel! We can’t say enough awesome things about this woman. She loved Daniel fiercely as she cared for him like a Momma in the orphanage! She is a sweet Christian woman who has the biggest heart for the kids she cares for. Tia Luz has been a tremendous help to us, as we have been not only transitioning into motherhood but have been learning to be mothers within the Bolivian culture and schools. We love her dearly!
Oh and this family! I am sure you have heard us talk of them a lot…they are family to us down here in Bolivia. We love living life with them and wouldn’t know what to do without them. They are sweet, funny, kind, generous, and authentic. We are so grateful for each and every member of their precious family!
It has been a wonderful week. Parenthood is the biggest adventure out there!! 🙂 What a joy, honor and responsibility. We are excited to see all that God has in store for Daniel!