Friday, December 20, 2013

Adoption Days Two & Three

Finally the second post of our first official days with the boys! Read the first post here.

On Wednesday, the day after our big hearing day, we let the boys go to their swimming lesson with the other kids then went to pick them up for soccer practice. Edgar came along and we had a very nice time watching them practice. Angel’s face lit up every time we caught eyes with him, like he loved having us watch him.  Afterwards we bought them ice cream from one of Bolivia’s super cheap ice cream peddlers, then took them home.
Thursday was our much awaited Christmas shopping day!! But first Sophia and I went out to house II to pick up the boys and go grocery shopping. This was the first day she used her car seat! She finally fits in it okay. The two boys in the back seat entertained her on our way to the store.

We turned more than few heads, me wearing the baby and my three boys pushing the shopping cart and making suggestions along the way! I had told them that eventually when they live with us and start earning money, they can use that money to buy things not on my list. Well, of all things, a Santa Claus and “Oreo cookie” were going through the store convincing people to buy these individual packets of Oreo cookies. With Santa Claus and three boys looking at me in anticipation, what could I say? “Say no to Santa Claus”?? So we came home with Oreo cookies!

The boys were a big help with putting all of our purchases on the conveyor belt, and then helping load the car. As they did that, I put Sophia back in the car seat, placing my sunglasses on the roof of the car and telling myself I wouldn’t forget them. Well then one of the boys squeezed past me to get to the front seat, and that’s right, I left them! After a minute of driving I reached to put them on and remembered. Amazingly, they were still on the roof! The boys marveled at that, ha.

Once at home, they helped again by hauling the groceries out and ringing Jake up in the apartment to ask him to come down and help.

We ate lunch together and then headed out again, this time for the Baby Home.

Spotted on the way to the Baby Home: live sheep on top of AND INSIDE this car! 
The day before we had planned to meet with Rosa (CDA’s social worker) and Carla (CDA’s psychologist) to talk about how things had been going and answer any questions they had. (My staff always does this with a couple before completing the report we present in court giving our opinion on the first days of visits.) It was the afternoon so all the babies were asleep and the tias offered to watch Sophia while we met. The boys played all over the house and outside while we met in the office.

It was such a nice time! Jake said later that he felt relaxed, and I did feel that it was night and day different from answering questions in court! Rosa started off with having me, then Jake, share about our relationship with each of the boys—first Angel, then Jesus, then Marcus. I loved hearing what Jake said about when the desire to adopt each was born in him. I had forgotten that he had wondered if Angel was his son since the very first time I wrote Jake about his sad history. Rosa even said she enjoyed hearing what we had to say! She asked me how I felt when Angel was nearly adopted by two other families. I guess it was a question she already knew the answer to because she then told me something I didn’t know, that she sensed a sadness in me those two times (plus with another I wished could be my son, our very first child Juan) that hasn’t been present in the other adoptions.

Rosa marveled aloud that our concern for Angel, that he would have given up on ever having a family, and thus have rejected any suggestion of giving him a new one, was not coming to fruition. She recalled a man who we heard share at an adoption event recently, who said he gave up the chance to be adopted, preferring instead to live with the caregivers and other children who had become like family to him. We have seen younger children have this attitude (until we convinced them that being adopted was much better in the long run), so it wasn’t hard to imagine this in a child who had lived the happiest parts of his life with us for the past 9 years! Instead, Rosa said the tias of CDA II reported that all three were very happy and content about the adoption.

We met for over an hour, then gathered up our four children and headed out for our big Christmas shopping trip! We went to the Christmas Fair in La Cancha and chose our Christmas tree, lights, ornaments, and manger scene. Tia Carla accompanied us the first hour, since in the first three days of official visits, the family is supposed to be observed by Rosa and Carla as much as possible.


After the bulk of our purchases, we went to the toy section and the boys decided which soccer ball they wanted, thanks to their Beaty grandparents. Good thing they got one each. That was hard enough without them deciding on one together!


Once at home, Angel started stringing up one of the strands of lights in their room, and Marcus set up the little tree we got for just 8 Bolivianos (just over $1). Jesus helped Jake with the big tree while I made dinner. We all took turns entertaining the little sister.

Love these two!!! 

Not always a ton of help :)


In the middle of all this hubbub, Marcus asked me completely out of the blue, “Mommy, are our names going to change?” I grinned and sent him to his dad, busy assembling the Christmas tree. Jake looked to me and I said I thought now was as good a time as ever, so he invited the boys to sit down at the table and he began to explain. He started off in a different way than I would have, but it was wonderful! He explained that the next week we would go back to court for a second hearing, and then they would come to live with us. About 15 days later, there would be another hearing to check on how things were going. Then 30 days later we would have the 4th and final hearing, in which the adoption would be finalized and the boys new birth certificates would be ready with their new last name. Jake said that we also wanted to give them a new first name, because it was like they were being born again, into our family now. All of the boys were very quiet and listened attentively, and at this last part, nodded their heads in agreement. Jake started with the boy immediately to his right, and went around the table telling them their new names. I still catch my breath remembering the solemnity and specialness of it all!

Jake looked at Marcus and said that he would be called “Samuel Marcus Beaty”. He ducked his head and grinned like… Well, I can’t describe it, but maybe like he was so honored? He was just soaking in the revelation of his new name. Then Jake pointed towards Angel, and said his name would be “Michael Angel Beaty”. All the boys got wide-eyed and declared, “Like Michael Wazowski in Monsters, Inc.?!?” Everyone had a good laugh at that one. And finally, he told Jesus that his new name would be Joel. We chose their names months before we decided on our baby’s name, and have spent all this time wondering how they would take it. Their response was hugely positive! It was a very sweet conversation.

Everyone went back to decorating, and then when dinner was ready they took a break for Italian food!


Some of the tree decorations the boys wanted in La Cancha made Jake groan about a Christmas tree from Las Vegas, ha!  What we ended up with is a combination of everyone's opinions that I think we're all pretty happy with.
Later that night they played in their room for a long time and didn’t want to leave. They asked more than once, “If we fall asleep in our new beds, can we just stay here??” Haha, nice try!
 News on the next days of visits in the next blog post…  

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