After all this time...over three and a half years...we are finally on the Belizean trip to bring the Fab Five home and it feels almost surreal. We arrived here on Wednesday night and after many previous nights of little sleep preparing for this journey, and a long day of travel (...one that included a rather inglorious mad dash through the Atlanta airport to make our flight connection , but hey we made it!) David and I crashed early. We were not able to stay at the fabulous bungalow we had rented before and more's the pity. This place is...ok. If you have only stayed at "real" hotels...and I mean even at the Motel 6 level, you would prolly be dismayed at the lack of amenities and comfort. But we have stayed in far inferior places in our world travels so we are not thrown off in the least. The worst part is the bed is no more than a foam mattress on cot springs, which is torture on David's back, so we may have to switch to at least a different room. For right now though we are still running on enough adrenaline and nervous excitement to keep us going.
Yesterday, we met with the social worker who had their caseworker for 7 years. This is a wonderful, caring woman who really loves these kids and who in her own words, "often prays for them." I guess you can be a Government worker here in Belize and still get away with saying that. We talked for awhile, then she handed over all the legal documents we needed to proceed with the next officials steps; passports, medical records and other personal items for the kids.
After onur meeting, we all hugged each other and promised to stay in touch.
now in our last phone call with them on Sunday the older kids had asked if they could finish out the school week so they would have plenty of time to say goodbye to their friends. We thought it would be bezt to let them finish up that part and not interuppt their last days of school with our presence, so this meant we wouldn't see them until Friday afternoon. So with this little bit of free time on our hands, we spent the remainder of the day on Thursday traveling around Belize City. After walking around for a bit, we ate lunch at a small street side cafe. Ever since my last trip to Vietnam to get Sophie, I lost my fear of eating in these small non-touriplaces as the food is usually MUCH better and very reasonably prices. Certainly that was the case in Vietnam, and we were not disappointed in this choice here in Belize. Our lunch was very good and the portions were more than we could finish. We plan to return here again after we get the kids. we drove around the city some more and then returned to our room fora quick dinner of granola bars and beef jerky, then crashed again early in anticipation of the 10 year roller coaster ride that would begin in earnest on Friday.
So now it is Friday morning and all we need to officially do today is to pick up all the necessary court documents from our lawyer. We were not meeting with her...we were told the paperwork would be there waiting for us to pick it up.
Well Fter waiting in the lobby for about 30 minutes, we were ushered into a conference room upstairs and told our lawyer would be right in. She said she wanted to meet us before handing over the paperwork..ok cool. So we talk pleasantries a mo net before she hands me an envelope with a SINGLE peice of paper....the ordinal copy of the court order. S I ask about all the other legal paperwork we need for the Consualte appointment...x5 and she looks confused. She looks through our file and lo and behold she finds an email that our agency sent their office 2weeks ago explains what we needed from their office.
Well, we will have to come back in a half an hour and she will have it ready for us. She then hands us another envelope...a bill for her additional fees and says goodbye. We looked at that bill and almost choked! Well I almost did; David remains no-plussed on the surface under these circumstances.
We left her office at 10:00, KNOWING full well that in Belize, 30minutes really means 2 hours. We drove around looking for the public park that was listed to se if it was good to bring the kids to, then drove around some more taking pictures...then went back to our little cafe we found yesterday for lunch. since it had been about 2 hours we drove back over here to the lawyers office and David went in to grab the papers.
I have been sitting in the car for over 30minutes now, typing this all up and waiting for him to return. My iPad is about to die because I forgot to charge the battery so I won't be able to do much more, and who knows when I will get an Internet signal to send this, but it will ready to go when I do.
We get the kids this afternoon.so we are very e tied about that...let the rollercoaster ride....begin!