Day 22…

Tyler bloggin´again…

Sooooo….

In Beth´s words, today we went to ” Chuck-E-Cheese on Crack”. Allow me to explain:

In the Santefe mall in Bogota, there is a place called “Diver-city” (clever, right?). In Diver-city the adults pay a lot of money, and each kid gets a wristband, a debit card, and a check for 20,000 pecos. Once inside, they visit the bank, deposit their money and go to an ATM to withdraw some pretend money to use. Once they have their pretend money, they can go do things until they run out of pretend money. Our kids chose to go rafting and race-car driving. Then their money ran out. With that reality facing them, they had to get jobs, to make more money to do more things. Our middle son made yogurt. He then grabbed our oldest son and they worked on a building… (don´t worry, all this was adult-supervised and it wasn´t real work, but like work. i.e. the firefighters just slid down a chute, got on a truck and put out the same pretend fire in the same place over and over again). It was actually pretty cool as it taught them a little about fiscal responsibility. However, the place was two stories and had about 1000 kids and about 150 adults running around. It was what I imagine Willie Wonka´s Chocolate Factory looks like with all the Umpa Lumpas.

The bank of Bogota

Sad to see our kids already working an ATM

Kids riding the rafts, that our middle son being eaten by his life vest

Our oldest boy being so incredibly patient waiting for his turn to drive the cars (ours is the one in the brown shirt)

Not big enough to ride the cars yet…

Big sister shopping at the grocery store, please notice that she is putting the boy behind her in his place for trying to cut in line

Big sister is playing the tamborine in the middle front

I was with Darth as she was pooping in the balls off to the side for the little kids. Don´t worry… none of the balls were tainted and she was changed right away. We wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Darth embracing the ball pit…praying there is not another case of lice from it!!!

The oldest daughter enjoyed putting on a rock concert, and Mr. Cautious (the youngest boy) after walking around for about an hour too intimidated to try anything, finally mustered the courage to play with Darth in the balls. I don´t believe Beth has touched on this, but Mr. Cautious has an alter-ego: Mr. Disgusting. I believe in the three weeks we have known him, we have found gum in his mouth on about five separate occasions and we have no idea where he got it! I wish I could articulate, in his native tongue, that that is super duper unsanitary, but after saying “no mas”, all we can really say is “no besos con tu” (no kisses with you). It happened twice today – once in Diver-city and once from the trashcan at the house. At least it came out of one of our mouths the second time.

While I´m on the subject of things that gross me out about these kids, let me say that they have terrible backwash when they drink. By the time we are done with a meal, there water is super foggy with little chunks of junk in them. I´m pretty sure that each bottle is its own ecosystem, but I take it and dump it out really fast before I vomit on myself.

After Diver-city, we came home, and Beth pushed “The Fox and the Hound” on them. I´m wondering if the “star-crossed lovers” theme was a little lost on them, but they were not big fans. I think Beth sometimes thinks, “I really liked this movie, so my kids should too.” Unfortunately it isn´t always the case. I really liked “Silence of the Lambs”, but that´s probably not going to happen… unless we need a good lesson on “don´t talk to stangers”… (You guys know I´m kidding, right?).

Afterwards, we went to the park (again), and we got to meet our Gladney friends who just adopted two boys themselves. They are about a week or two ahead of us, and should be going home very soon.

Nice to have 2 Gladney families together in Bogota, a little piece of the US was in Colombia tonight!

Look it´s two adoptive American families having their first play date!!

Since we go to the park so much, we are starting to get to know some other people there. We saw two of our other friends there too. It´s kind of neat since a lot of the shops are along the park, and I am getting to know them too. It sort of reminds me of Sesame Street and that theme song from “Cheers”, all at the same time.

I´d say it was a pretty good day, and another day closer to home. Tomorrow will be three weeks as parents. There are times that we definitely screw it up (on discipline, espeically) and allow our own “junk” to get in the way, but at the end of the day, we are settling into a routine as a family, we are starting to define some expectations for both ourselves and the kids, and I believe, even though they sometimes don´t say it, they love us. We definitely love them, even though they do disgusting things and gross me out a lot. God has blessed big time. When I hear about other people´s adoptions and the struggles they have with their kids “attaching” and accepting the new dynamic of a family (i.e. not saying “I love you” for over a year, or not calling the parents “mommy” and “daddy” for six months), our road has been realtively easy. Every one of them has, in the course of three weeks said “I love you” (except for Darth… she just grunts) and we were “Papi y Mami” from day one. I think we still have some bumps in the road specific to an adoptive situation ahead of us, but 90% of the stuff we are dealing with is normal kid stuff. For that, I am so very grateful.

Sharing dinner with Grandma

Having said that, we continue to covet your prayers. Thanks again for reading.

At the dinnermesa,

Ty

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6 thoughts on “Day 22…

  1. Melissa Rendon says:

    I ALWAYS LOL when you write. 😀 sound like an exciting day lots of fun & I can’t wait to hear that baby girl grunt, I love the blog! Y’all are great parents hope to see y’all soon con toda la familia. And if you want to tell Oscar not to get things that are dirty you can tell him (es sucio) pronounced su- see-oh but it’s only two syllables for its dirty! 🙂

  2. Robin Burgin says:

    Tyler, you are a hoot! Can’t wait til the mijos are bilingual so they can appreciate you as more than a source of second-hand gum. About the above “thought” on “es sucio,” Mr. Cautious y Disgusting will probably follow his name and continue his escapades!! Maybe a specific reward for his good behavior could be his own clean gum. Your van is ready and road-worthy as soon as yall get back…Chris says Ronnie and Chad will pick it up tomorrow. We long to see Familia Nichols.

  3. So glad that you are finding “your groove”…that’s awesome!!! You’ll have to make adjustments once you have a house–YOUR HOUSE–and not a small apartment, but it sounds like you are getting the “hang of it” (if there is such a thing!). As far as the putting the random gum in his mouth (and I would venture to guess, if you watched him, he probably licks odd things, too), I suspect–speaking from experience here–that he needs some oral sensory stimulation. We went through this with Megan–and still do sometimes (although she doesn’t put used gum in her mouth! I would suggest trying to give him “chewy” foods that require a lot of jaw work. I don’t know what that would look like down there. Here some examples would be really chewy granola bars (but not crunchy ones), fruit snacks that are older (and therefore more “tough”) and licorice to name a few. As far as the drinking and the kids all leaving food in their drinks…they probably need more “mouth” work too–not talking…lol…but just using those muscles. Do you have straws in your apartment (or can you swipe some from the restaurants)? Maybe have a “game” where you can blow a cotton ball across the table…it would also help with the oral sensory stimulation. When you get home, if you want, you can borrow my “The Out-of-Sync child has fun: Activities for kids with sensory integration dysfunction”. There are TONS of excellent ideas for sensory games you can play with your kids where they don’t realize the “benefits” to the game! Whether is spatial, audio, oral, etc. stimulation they need, there’s lots of ideas in there.

  4. Sharon says:

    Tyler, you will definitely have to print all of these out when you return and submit to some publisher. I agree with everyone else — you are a natural humorist. Loved the stories and even more your perspective about how normal life is as a new parent. I love that you are always looking on the bright side even when things are gross or difficult. Of course, you know that at some point you may have to let one of your kids drink after you — or worse yet — drink after them. Let us all know how that works out for you. haha
    Sharon Lee

  5. Jen Vought says:

    I am cracking up Tyler!! I have a strict “we don’t share drinks, even though I’m you’re mommy” policy. Floaties give me the heebie jeebies! And Benjamin also eats gum from anywhere he can find it. Now floaties may give me the heebie jeebies but a stranger’s gum in my kid’s mouth makes me flap my arms uncontrollably and talk in a REALLY high pitched voice (my public bathroom voice). This is all thanks to my mom who let Ben watch Elf and just assumed he would think the gum off the subway scene would be gross to Ben and he wouldn’t actually try this at home….
    So glad to know you guys have a weird kid too : ) I knew one of them would have to be!
    Love you guys!!!

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