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