When we found out the adoption process in Costa Rica includes a lengthy in-country stay, I thought, “Costa Rica for 6 weeks?! BONUS!!” And today, 3 weeks in, I’m ready to pack us all up and head home!
As much as I love to travel and experience other cultures, there truly is no place like home…especially when 3/7 of our crew is there. (I miss you, Dylan, Kayla, and Aubry!) Among lots of other things, we’ve missed Kayla’s first High School Banquet (aka Prom), and on a much more heart-wrenching note, the passing of my dearly loved grandmother. We have so much joy over bringing D and E into our family, and yet there is also stress over language barriers and figuring out how to meet the needs (immediate and long-term) of these precious girls. Don’t misunderstand me, D and E are SO WORTH THE EFFORT, and we feel incredibly blessed to be on this journey with them. I’m just ready to get us all settled in at home!
And yet, I know this time in Costa Rica is vitally important – for the girls to bond with us on their home turf and for us to bond with them as we become familiar with their culture. I have not heard of many countries with an adoption process like Costa Rica’s. Upon arrival in country, PANI (Costa Rica’s children’s social service agency) requires adoptive parents to have several days of daytime visitation with the child/children. If all goes well during this visitation time, adoptive parents take custody in-country for 3-4 weeks.
We’ve been in the custody phase for almost 2 weeks, and overall it has gone really well. We’ve all moved on from the awkwardness of living with people we hardly know, to lots of goofiness, laughter, prayers, language study, meal times, pool time, and long walks together. E is compassionate and full of energy. She loves to give hugs/kisses, hold hands, be goofy, and talk a lot…and if we can’t figure out what she’s saying, she finds a way to reword things until we understand! D is more reserved, but has an incredible smile that she displays often, a great laugh, and a big heart! She is a typical pre-teen…loves using the tablet and watching TV…but she’s always willing to help with whatever we ask her to, and she is a great big sister to E. She’s also been good about helping us with Spanish language study as we are helping her with English.
These girls are beautiful, strong, and just overall amazing, and while I cannot wait to get them settled in at home, I’m so thankful we are bonding with them AND with their culture during this time. Of course, prayers for this momma’s divided heart are still greatly appreciated. 😉
**Special shout-out to the family members and friends who are blessing us through prayer, caring for our stateside kiddos, financial support, and filling in all the vacancies we’ve left during this time. I’m seriously getting choked up thinking about how you all are filling in the gaps for us. So thankful for you all and for a God who works out even the tiny details!!**
Eph 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” AMEN!!