Believe it or not, we’re nearing the 3 month mark since Luís joined our family. 3 MONTHS. I’m not sure how that happened.
For the first 2 months, we had legal custody of Luís, but he wasn’t technically our son yet. We were waiting for the judge to review our case and sign the adoption decree, and we came back to Bogotá for several weeks while we waited. (Benefit of adopting from the same country we serve in: We spent the waiting period in OUR OWN HOUSE rather than 2 months in a hotel in an unfamiliar country!) We got the phone call late on Friday night, August the 30th, that the judge had signed the decree and all they needed was our signature for him to be ours. Nate got off the phone and immediately booked the first ticket out to Cali, Colombia for Monday morning.
So on September 2, Labor Day, Nate signed the adoption decree and Luís became a Bonham. For real. Forever.
(Well, technically he became a “Bonham Travis,” because that’s the way they do it here in Colombia. He automatically got my maiden name tacked on the end.)
But of course, that wasn’t the end of it. He was a Bonham, but he wasn’t able to leave Colombia yet or enter the US yet. We still had to go through the US immigration process with the US embassy here in Colombia before he could get the appropriate visa to leave Colombia and enter the States to become a citizen. So we spent a couple of weeks carting him around to doctors visits, medical tests, embassy interviews, passport appointments, and more while we checked off our to-do list. He was a trooper through most of it, despite missed naps, long days in offices, and a whole lot of paperwork.
We finished the process and were approved to take Luís back to the US for his citizenship. We flew out early on September 24th, and when we landed in Miami that afternoon, the customs guy stamped Luís’ visa and that was it – He’s an American!
We stayed in Miami for a couple extra days to get an American passport for Luís, update Nate’s passport, and renew my and the twins’ visas for Colombia. We also did a little shopping for things we’ll need in Peru (since we won’t be back in the States again before we move), and Luís got to meet 3 of his grandparents.
It was a quick trip with a whole lot packed into 2 very short days, but we got it all done and hopped on a plane back to Colombia, with our newest little American in tow!
And that’s it. Other than some post-adoption follow-up appointments to see how the bonding is going, we are done with the process. He’s ours. After 2 and a half years, we’re done with the adoption to-do list…and it’s finally sinking in.
Now we can focus 100% of our attention on the bonding and attachment process, which of course, is a whole different ballgame (: