It started off nice. Nov. 23 is St. Columban's day and obviously, a big day for Columban missionaries to celebrate. The tradition in Chile is to start the week off with a paseo, or outing. We went to a small country town in the Andes mountains where there is a picnic place, with a pool and plenty of green space to roam. Joshua had an ear infection, so he couldn't exactly go swimming. But, he managed to have a great time anyway, pushing lawn chairs around like cars, running after his 3 year old friend Matilda and splashing his feet in the water. As he was playing "train" with the chairs, he slipped, scraped his chin and bit his lip. There was a lot of blood and a lot of crying, but lollipops and ice seemed to heal it pretty quickly.
The day after the paseo, we had a special mass and dinner among the Columban family - priests, lay missionaries, sisters, seminarians, employees and friends. Finally, we headed out to a retreat house for our biannual regional meeting. This was our last meeting with the Columbans in Chile, so we especially enjoyed the social aspect of it all. Since the majority of the Columbans work in Santiago (over a 2 hour flight away), we appreciate the time we have together.
After a great week of sharing with the rest of the Columban family, we went to the US embassy to see about Joshua's visa to enter the US. You would think that the process to enter the US for an adopted child of two American citizens would be pretty easy, but the truth is far from it! He is treated just like any other (adult) foreigner who wants to immigrate. He has to have a medical exam, an interview and pay lots of fees. We thought, "How expensive could it be to file some paperwork?". Apparently, $1000 USD expensive. After spending all week jumping through hoops and translating about 20 pages of adoption documents for a completely bilingual embassy, we are now waiting to be contacted with a date for an interview. We're told this interview will be in Santiago in about two weeks. Did we mention that we live in a city over two hours away by plane? And that Joshua is two? And that the only answer he will have to any of their questions is auto (car)?