Monday, December 6, 2010

Where does time go!

Well  . . . here we are the 2nd week of December.  How time flies when you are running around after 2 little ones!  Everyone is doing very well, Giancarlo has grown almost 2 inches since arriving and is a joy as always.  He worships Oli, following her everywhere and fortunately she has warmed up to him and enjoys his company (most of the time!).  It was really rough going there for a while but now things have settled down.  Yesterday night, as I was snuggling with her in bed she spontaneously told me for the first time "Mami, I really love Giancarlo", which of course made me very happy! 
Olivia is growing like a weed, she is tall and thin, and lost her first tooth a few weeks ago. She is really looking forward to Christmas and talks about it every day.  She is definitely a mother hen with GC, wanting to put on his clothes, brush his hair etc.  Giancarlo is an affectionate little boy with a huge smile always ready to be shared.  His vocabulary is growing and it isdefinitely easier to understand him when he speaks (Oli is our official translator-she understands him better than anyone!)
We have been very busy recently with our trip to Orlando with other families that have adopted Colombian children, Halloween, Thanksgiving, school, our first post placement report and now preparing for Christmas.  We went to buy our tree yesterday so we are now ready to decorate it!
I dont know why I am not able to upload photos right now but I will as soon as I can . .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One month together!

Well, this past weekend we celebrated one month of being together as a family of 4. What can I say about this month? It has been both absolutely wonderful and overwhelming. Being the mom of 2 is definitely more than twice the work of having one. Olivia has had quite a hard time with the addition . . . although she is now getting better (THANK GOD) . . . bringing a 3 year old into the family is definitely not the same as bringing home an infant. Giancarlo, fortunately, is adapting very well, he sleeps and eats well and is a happy, lovable little boy. It is exciting to see things through his eyes knowing he is seeing and experiencing so many new things. We are still getting to know each other . . . . overall things are going better than I thought they would but I wind up absolutely exhausted every night.

As we took Oli to school the other morning I looked at the rearview mirror and saw two beautiful faces looking back at me. That moment I was filled with joy, it was then that it hit me we are a family of 4. Life is good!

Here are some pictures of our last few days in Colombia before coming home.  I figured these are the things Giancarlo is thinking at the moment of the pictures:

At the zoo in Medellin . . "OLI GET YOUR *&%^& hands off of me!"

"This is the Colombian way to eat a hot dog"

"Celebrating with the ever popular sentencia cake and Juanita at Hotel Paris"

"This cake is BUONA! "

"Saying goodbye with the Hotel Paris staff ( they are SOOO nice!)"

"Homecoming photo of my new family. . MY FAVORITE! "

"Now what do I do?"

"Swimming with my big sister!"

We will be going to Disney World this weekend to be with some very dear and special families who have also adopted their children from Colombia.   This is the 5th year we are getting together and I cannot wait to be with them again!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hogar Dulce Hogar (Home Sweet Home)

The De Vita Family version 4.0 arrived home to Miami International Airport late last night.  When we got home we were met with ballons, "It's a Boy" and "Welcome Home" banners and dear family and friends.  The kids (Oli, GC, Kiki and Frankie) ran around playing until late . . .  it was so nice to see them doing that, and it was incredible how well they got along, as though they had been together for a long time.  It was a beautiful sight and felt so blessed and happy to be home with the most important people all around me. 

It's good to be home!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Well the big news is that we signed sentencia today!  We could not be happier and if all goes to plan hope to be going home on Saturday.  I am in utter shock everything has happened so fast, at 3 pm yesterday we were in Medellin taking it easy not knowing anything and this morning we were in Bogota signing our paperwork which allows us to officially be with Giancarlo forever.  Tomorrow a few more errands and Thursday hopefully request his visa to enter the US which we will pick up Fri . . . .and off we go. . . . HOME SWEET HOME!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 9

Our second Satruday together has come and gone. . .I just commented to Anthony how today has been a good day, tantrum free and no big issues among the kids.  Oli is even getting better about sharing the stroller since Anthony had the brainstorm of offering to buy her either a stroller or her her first American Girl Doll.  She chose the doll but the deal is she has to wait until we get back to Miami!  (Thanks goodness for that bc since we have been here I think she broke the 50lb mark and carrying her is back breaking.)

Things are good here, the only complaint is the weather is pretty crummy, lots of fog, clouds and rain unfortunately which puts a damper on any plans we make outside. Now that Nonno is leaving tomorrow we will concentrate more on doing kid things.  Tomorrow we hope to go to the zoo. 

Giancarlo's first time eating ice cream with us. . . he LOVED it! 

Another solution to the 2 kids - one stroller problem . . .stack 'em up!

We are still pooling it every morning as long as its not raining.  LOVE this picture of my little girl.

Giancarlo being a HAM! 

Sibling love.  . .it does not get better than this!

We plan to be here in Medellin one more week and then head back to Bogota Oct 3rd.  My mom will come the 4th and Anthony will leave the 5th, since we have our big Miami Fundraising Dinner for our CF family foundation on Oct 7th.  It is sure to be a great event and I am very sorry to be missing it!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Wow, has it only been a week since we have been a family of four?  It definitely seems longer yet 7 days ago we were not even together with Giancarlo yet.  Things are going well, he's a good napper, which gives me a little rest in the middle of the day to get things organized while Oli watches TV in Nonno's room next door.

We have been going swimming every morning and I am amazed at the progress this little boy is making in the pool.  He is already kicking his feet and moving his hands while wearing the swim vest I brought him from Miami.  He's also a daredevil and loves to jump right into the pool (as long as I am there to receive him!).  He loves it and asks about going several times a day.  After the pool we come back upstairs, give the kids a bath and I put him to bed.  In the afternoons we have been going out and visiting different places.  The weather has not been fantastic (lots of fog in the AM and scattered rain), but we have managed.

GC and I are getting in the groove of things, the tantrums are fewer and less severe.  I am figuring out he can often be distracted and he is more willing to come to me and help me calm him down.  He calls me tia, tia mami, mami tia and sometimes even mami alone, but not often spontaneously yet.  I have noticed he has a very high voice volume (I imagine it was the only way for him to have been heard over all the other kids at the orphanage) so we have to work on that. . . it seems he's shouting the whole time. . .lol.

Sorry about not posting pictures again, the camera is acting up, hope to get it resolved soon.  Hugs to all,

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 5

We arrived in Medellin late last night after a short flight from Bogota.  The meeting with the Defender of Minors was long but went very well.   Of course you hope the kids behave at a time like that . . . Giancarlo arrived fast asleep at the office but woke up and began crying shortly thereafter while we were waiting for the attorney to send us in.  Unfortunately, even my backup plan, the LOLLIPOP, did not stop his tears or crying.  Then, Nonno (Anthony's father who is traveling with us) came to the rescue, scooped him up in his arms and Giancarlo proceeded to stop crying (mind you he did not stop when Anthony or I did the same thing).  So KUDOS to Nonno for saving the day!

Here are some pictures from the past couple of days:

On the way to Panaca ( a HUGE petting zoo)

Oli milking a cow!  She did a great job! 

 Oli trying to make her little brother smile . . . .lol

Giancarlo excited about finally getting on his "aballo"

Hotel  La Fontana. . .I have this same picture with Oli from 5 years ago!

Carlitos laughing with papi

Oli with Maresa, her friend from Hotel Paris (I found them in the bathroom with wet hair mixed with
 hand soap half an hour before we had to go meet the Defender of Minors).  Gee . . .I wonder whose idea that was!?!?!?

This one I just love because he looks SO darn CUTE!

The only part of Medellin we have seen so far is the hotel but it is BEAUTIFUL, and everyone is so kind and polite they make you feel like royalty.  This morning we took the kids to the pool after breakfast.  Oli of course was happy to be in a great big pool but I was wondering how GC would react.  I am not even sure if he has ever seen a pool before or gone swimming.  Let me tell you . . .  the smiles and whoops of joy this little guy gave me were worth the 3 1/2 years of waiting we had.  He was so happy . . . . 
Nonno, Oli, Papi and GC. . . why am I never in the picture?. . . OH that's right because I am always the one who takes them! 

Tell me that smile isnt priceless!!

Another favorite!

Hope you are all well! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 3

Hi everyone, first of all I need to apologize bc I will not be posting any pictures tonight.  This is bc the camera is in the room (who know where) and if I have to go search for it AND  the &%^%$^ cable that constantly seems to dissappear,  I would probably convince myself to go straight to bed, so instead I am going to stay right here, blog for a bit and then go get some much needed sleep. 
What can I say about the past 2 days?  They have been filled with great moments and difficult ones.  The kids are getting along, Oli tries to help but sometimes her "helping" makes things harder.  Fortunately they are both good sleepers and the nonstop pooping has subsided (thanks to a home visit by a Dr and some medicine).  Giancarlo is a happy little boy but he has had a few tantrums and those have been trying.  We dont know what can set him off,  sometimes its something silly like being told not to do something but he winds up on the floor screaming and crying for up to half an hour.  He had his worse one today, he kicks, cries and screams and gets all stiff and does not want to be held or touched.  I just sit near him and let him get it all out and ask him if he is ready for me to help him every few minutes and eventually he says yes and holds out his little arms and then he just lays his head on my shoulder and puts his arms around my neck.  It just breaks my heart, knowing he has had so many changes in his short life, knowing he feels lost and confused and cannot express how he feels. I just hold him for a long time and keep telling him everything will be fine that we love his so much and that we will always be there for him.
 I am being flexible with him in many ways, for instance he insisted on bringing a piece of toast into the room after dinner tonight and I said he could.  He then proceeded to hold on to the toast for dear life and even wanted to take in to the shower. I convinced him to leave it on his bed, thinking he would forget about it but the first thing he said when we got back was "pan?".  I gave it back to him and we proceeded to read 3 books with crumbs falling everywhere between us.  He then wanted to sleep with it but agreed to let me put it on a shelf as long as he could have it in the morning.  So there is sits  . . . a piece of cold, smushed toast right next to his favorite car.  I know we need to establish trust and if that happens by having a few crumbs in bed or by having that toast sitting there that, so be it!
Tomorrow we have our meeting wih the Defender of Minors and them we are off to Medellin for almost 2 weeks of R & R (however much R & R you can get with 2 young kids).  SO looking forward to  it!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Well, it really has been a good day. . . the kids did wake up incredibly early. .  .maybe 6:30 but we all got into one bed and just hung out for a bit (not an easy task in a queen sized bed!). We had breakfast, and took a morning tour to Monserrate, a beautiful church overlooking Bogota.  The only way up/down is via a VERY steep train or a gondola.  It was a nice day but being SO high up (over 10,000 ft) we were quickly out of breath.  To top it off Oli still asked to be carried or in the stroller most of the time so someone was always being held.  After lunch GC (Giancarlo!) took a nap and we wound up going to the park/baby store for some essentials.  The kids are getting along quite well, It's sometimes difficult to understand what he's saying but I'm sure that will get easier in time.  Some things I have learned about my new son today:

1)  He is a sweetheart, has a smile that lights up a room.
2) He adores his toy cars and can play with them for a long long time.
3) He is a good eater!  So far the only thing he has not liked are cucumbers (cant blame him!)
4) We may have to watch his food intake, he will eat and eat and eat . . .
5) We suspect he may also have some type of gastrointestinal thing going on bc he has pooped *8* times today and 7 of them were super soft.
6) He already ADORES his papi, cant stop saying papi papi all day long.
7) At Pisingos they explained that since all his caretakers are women he calls them all "tia" (aunt)  . . .. that it will take a while for him to realize the meaning of  having one "mami"   . . . . So far I am called tia. . . .   :)
8) When he lays his head on your shoulder, it just makes you just melt

Here are some pictures from yesterday and today I wanted to share:

 this one is Oli at Plaza Bolivar feeding the pigeons yesterday . . .a close second to her favorite moment of the day!

I know its not great (taken through a glass with flash) but this is the moment Oli and Giancarlo met.

This one is what I think he looks like the most in real life! (I dont think he looks much like his referral photo!)

Here is Oli, papi and Giancarlos with Lucas the llama

I LOVE this one bc Oli spontaneously took his hand as we were walking up in Monserrate

Giancarlo being goofy. . . here you can see the gap of his misisng tooth (it had to be extracted bc he fell and broke it.)

Exhausted after Monserrate. . . .which leads me to fact # 9 I have learned about him today. . . .he snores!  He fell asleep in the car on the way back to the hotel.. . . .Oli's comment about the fact
 "Oh great, now we have two snorers in the family!"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Introducing . . . . the newest member of our family. .Giancarlo Andres De Vita!

Well  . . . .here he is! Finally in our arms . . . .I promised to blog before the day was over and I just made it. . . the kids are both asleep now so I can have a few minutes to myself.   All went very well today, we had to wait until 5pm to get him but it was a smooth transition. . .  not even one tear!  The staff at Pisingos is so good about transitioning the children. . . . Our little boy is a total sweetheart, very happy and easygoing. . . loves loves loves cars and full of energy  . . . . he is all boy.   The meeting was great, Oli went in first with a big lollipop for him and played with him a little before Anthony and I went in.  We stayed there for about 15 minutes playing and then he said he was hungry (it was dinner time at Pisingos), so we said "we'll take you to eat at the hotel . . let's go!" and so off we went!  He had already said goodbye to everyone but still, as we left staff and kids kept saying "bye osito" (his nickname-meaning little bear) to nim and he waved to them all . . very sweet.  We had dinner at Hotel Paris, played a while and them the kids went to sleep quite easily.  We'll see how tomorrow goes but so far so good.  Oli is actually the one having a harder time with all of this, she was very whinny all day wanting to be carried and in a stroller all day (which she has not used for a year) and actually said to Anthony "it's no fun being a big sister". . . . lol
Still cant believe we have TWO kids sleeping in the room next door that are ours.  Tomorrow Monserrate here we come! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 13th - Giancarlo's 3rd birthday

Monday is over, which means we only have one whole day left to finish everything we need to do before heading to COL. I am pretty much in control considering Oli has been sick since Friday so not only have I had her at home all this time, I had to take her to the Dr AND start doing the nebulizer on her 3x a day. Thank goodness for my mom and aunt Nancy (her sister visiting from Argentina) bc I would not be able to do everything without them.

So, I was quite nervous all day since, I knew that at 3pm we would be connecting with Giancarlo through Skype . . . . I could not eat at all! When 3 pm rolled around, we all sat around the computer (Anthony, Oli, my mom, aunt, nonna, nonno and me) and it was soo wonderful to see him there. . .sitting at a desk and looking at us. I must admit the conversation was quite one sided, but we did plenty of waving, smiling, singing, clapping and aaawwwing. He did say "mami", "papi" and "Oli" a couple of times which just made me melt. We sang happy birthday to him with a tiny cupcake that had 3 candles on it. . . and when the song finished he tried to blow the candles out through the screen. Oli, AKA "Little Miss Chatterbox", who could NOT wait for 3pm to come went totally MUTE and hardly said a word for the entire 20 minutes we were connected. It was very funny.

I want to thank everyone for all the good wishes and prayers you have been sending our way. I am so happy I walk around with a goofy grin on my face all the time. Cant wait for Thursday, when our lives will change forever . . . .

Love to all,


Friday, September 10, 2010

The day has arrived!

Hello all . . . . well here we are . . . . after waiting 3 years, 4 months and 15 days we have received the most precious little boy we could have ever imagined! 

We would like to introduce you to Giancarlo AndrĂ©s De Vita, age almost 3 (this coming Monday).  Raul called us with the amazing news late Wednesday and we have been on overdrive ever since.  We had been very good about keeping all our documents up to date and hit the ground running.  Since we have an I 600 visa we dont have to wait a few weeks before travel and we are actually going to be going to Bogota to pick him up in FOUR days!!!

This will be short bc we have SO much to do in a very limited time but needless to say we are extatic, overjoyed and thrilled all at once, as is Oli! 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I jsut erased a long entry that I had written. . . I was feeling sorry for myself at 5 in the morning.  It was such a depresing, sad entry . . .   Instead I am going to live in the present and be grateful for all that I have, my darling, newly svelte, hard working husband, my wonderful mother who is always available to lend a hand, I am so thankful she lives close to me, my health, my dear dear friends, my beautiful home, my amazing extended family and my daughter, ther light of my life.  When the day arrives that I can also be grateful for my second child I will cherish that at much as I do all the other good things I an blessed to have.  And that is all I have to say right now. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Middle of March

and no referral news yet.  I have decided to just live life and not think about this call that will change our lives because if not, I will drive myself crazy.  We are all well, right now Anthony is away in DC on a business trip and Oli is happy in school.  My dear niece, Laura will be coming to town with her boyfriend, Maxi this Saturday to stay with us so we will have 9 jam packed days, which will include a trip to Disney which I am really looking forward to.  There is a great special right now, 4 single park days for $99 for adults and $89 for children for Florida residents until May 25th.  There are some blackout dates though. 

April will be a very busy month, there is the Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Week at the school I used to teach at, our big annual walk for CF called Great Strides on the 17th and a Gladney Family Association BBQ which will be a great hit!  Oli will also be getting a mole removed from her cheek . . .it breaks my heart but 2 specialists have already said it needs to be done since it is extremely black and constantly exposed to the sun.  Since she is so young, she will have general anesthesia so she does not move, and I am VERY glad her Uncle Ruben will be the anesthesiologist so she will be with a familiar face.  Sigh . . .  I am dreading that day but I know it is what's best and this way she wont remember this when she is older. 

Here are some recent pictures we took of my dear Colombia Adoptive families. I love you all!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Well. . .  almost 2 months since my last post and nothing to report on the adoption front.  December marked 3 years since we signed our contract with Commonwealth.  We have been through a LOT this adoption process especially when compared with out first.  I was told it would take longer this time around, but somehow, I had refused to believe it would be THIS different.  As I look back these 3 years, particularly these last few months I see I have made mistakes along the way.  Funny, because when I was giving seminars for CAII to families considering adoption, I always reiterated how the process is filled with uncertainty, that you will have pitfalls along the way, that you have to be flexible and never lose hope. . . yet I have not done those things this time around.  Truthfully, it was quite easy to say them because back then I had not experienced them, everything went so smoothly with Oli's adoption (apart from the fact we still had not received our passports back from the Colombian Embassy the day we were to travel . . . but that is another story - See the end of this post for that outcome).  So following are a few recommendations for those of you that are "in process".

1)  Keep a blog, you will be grateful when you come home with your child, others love reading them and it will be a very special gift for your son or daughter someday.  Write down how you feel while you wait and the experiences you have during the process. 
2) Talk to your child (in your mind or out loud whatever you prefer,) tell them how much you are waiting for him/her .  . I truly believe you are somehow calling them to come to you.
3) Keep living, dont put your life ON HOLD!!!  This is where I messed up big time this time around.  For the past 6 months I have declined so many invitations to things and not planned events and trips "just in case".  I have missed out on a lot of fun activities because I did not want to have to cancel them at the last minute and I was sure we were going to get THE CALL any day.  Instead I sat like a fool next to the phone waiting and watching life pass by.  So this is my most important recommendation . . dont NOT do things "just in case we get our referral", keep as busy as possible and when it does happen you will be more than happy to call people and cancel plans (and I am sure they will forgive you when they hear the great reason you have)!
4) Even when you are at your wit's end and dont think you can bear the wait any more . . . distract yourself . . . call a friend, write in your blog/journal and vent, take your nieces or nephews for the weekend, even go to your favorite fast food joint and pig our but, NEVER lose faith that it will happen!

Here are some recent pictures, Oli, as always is such a joy to us and definitely keeps us on our toes!

This one is Oli on Christmas morning with her favorite gift and the next one is at her school on snow day
With Tia Maria and cousins at the circus

PS We did finally receive the passports on the morning we were to travel to COL. . . .I am sure we were the highlight of that Fedex guy's day because when he rang the doorbell he had 2 extremely excited people waiting for him . . . . I believe I even gave him a hug!  :)