Friday we had what is called 'Sentencia.' This means that you go sign all of the papers to make your child officially, well--yours! Our day started very early. The hotel in La Mesa was kind enough to make breakfast for us before the driver came to pick us up at 7:30. This way we had a good start to the morning.
We arrived at court and waited until it was our turn to sign everything. There were two other families there, both adopting from the same orphanage as our family. One family was from Denmark, and we had met them earlier in the week. The other family was from New York. It was nice to have others to talk to while we all waited. Once the papers were signed, the next step was receiving the birth certificates. This became a little bit complicated as one of the attorneys was ill and unable to be there. So all of the families waited together across the street at a cafe while Jairo, our driver and guy-who-knows-all-the-things, got everyone's paperwork in order. This took awhile, but we enjoyed our time there and got to know one another. And had coffee which is always lovely here. We then made an odd sort of taxi/car caravan to an office in Bogota where all of the birth certificates were issued. We also got to visit another cafe there while we waited (notice a theme here?), but at the end of the day it was all done! Violet Lilliana Faith became ours forever. In case you are wondering, she has three names because she came to us with three names and we felt that was a very good tradition, considering! In Latin American cultures, children have the last name of both their mother and father. Since she will only have one last name, we chose an extra middle name just for her. 'Violet' is the name she was given by her birth mother, just changed a bit for spelling and ease of translation. Once we saw her little face, we knew that name belonged to her. 'Lilliana' is the name we have had for all of these years as we waited for her to arrive into our family. 'Faith' is what held us as we walked on this journey, and it is what will continue to keep us as we parent all three of our children. God has each of them in His hand, and He has most certainly brought our daughter to us.
Our picture at court is not the greatest as by that time we had been waiting and she was not really in the mood for a photo shoot! But--it's our first 'legal' family photo, so we'll take it!