Well, the first bit of good news from the past few days is that the “Sentencia” has been signed…welcome to the family Santiago…legally speaking. The second bit of good news for the week is the drama over the name appears to be over, the Sentencia states “Santiago Francis Chase-Soto”. Thats how it SHOULD be in Colombia even though we don’t maintain the Soto back in the US. So, we went Monday morning to the court house and Claudia signed for the the paperwork (since they don’t let children in, Santi and I stayed outside) and the Sentencia is finished. Now, we go on to immigration related stuff. For example:
- Now we need to do the DosQuebradas, the town where Santiago was born, and get a new birth certificate with his new name. This will be delayed since the elections took place last weekend, this apparently exhausted the registrars office so they took the week off. Then, next Monday is a Colombian holiday so everything is closed. We will need to do it next Tuesday
- Once that is done and we have new birth certificate in hand with his new name, then we can apply for his Colombian passport. This will be done here in Pereira. It typically takes 2-3 days for issuing the passport which isn’t too bad. This will be needed in order to bring him home. US passport will not happen until we are home, that’s just the way it works.
- Once passport is issued, we are done in Pereira. Then it is off to Bogota.
- In Bogota, we have an appointment scheduled with a doctor to examine Lil’ Dude and his medical records to ensure there aren’t any unforeseen problems…to the best of their ability.
- Then with doctors permission, we are off for the US embassy for the issuing of Santiago’s visa to enter the US.
- Then we’re homeward bound.
So far, it looks like we are on schedule for our departure date which we’re not telling everyone. No offense but I am certain we are going to be exhausted and may take a couple days before we go public back home. I’m sure you understand.
Isn’t that great news about the name situation being squared away? I’m not going to lie, that was perhaps the moment that stressed us out the most and I personally almost went ballistic when they said “It is too late”. To me it sounded like instead of saying “It’s too late”, they should have said “It’s too hard” or “It’s too much work”. Still makes me crabby if I look for reason in any of it.
The name; Santiago Francis Chase-Soto. With Mariana’s process, that concerned me a bit. The whole second last name thing confused me for quite awhile. When Claudia and I got married, she elected to just take my last name because she knew living in the US, it could be complicated with the hyphenated last name. So seeing it on Mariana’s name caused me to raise an eyebrow. However, being that Colombian society is based on it, it kind of makes sense. So Mariana takes on Claudia’s maiden name and her second last name. What is really weird though is seeing my own name in some local forms as “Wesley James Chase-Ahlgrim”. I needed to write that down on some forms even though there is not a place on the planet that has ever known me as that.
So now…we need to get ready to go. Wow, where has the time gone?! Now we are attempting to catch up with our shopping and that type of stuff prior to leaving. By the way, we had forgotten that being out for too long is difficult with a 1 year old. What we could have done in a day has now stretched us out over 3 days and we’re still not done. But he has been a trooper. Here is my little mall dweller taking a siesta in his stroller in the mall (Mami & Papi decided to divide and conquer so mami was out doing her thing and Papi was suffering over a mocha in a coffee shop.)
So, we have some clever ideas of stuff to bring home but are concerned about the baggage weight..so we looked into shipping DHL. Wow! Now granted, we looked into a big box up to 25 kilos. Anyone care to take a guess at how much that would cost? We were thinking some coffee and basically just lightening our load 25 kilos. $300 for a box!!!! That is insane. For that amount, I can just buy new clothes and coffee at home. It was a thought and apparently a bad thought! That is insane. We talked about just paying for an extra bag on the airline. Granted it would be cheaper but there I am…the pack mule, carrying all those bags through the airport. I’ll pass.
So, when you are out doing boring stuff like we’ve been doing the past few days, there has to be some relief for the children so we took them to a disease emporium…you know, one of those places where they have kids rides and those ball pits where they slide down into a vat of germs. Oh, the kids love it! We all know that. Some pictures from that great event. Excuse the sarcasm…it has been so hard! My sarcasm in spanish is really pathetic and when I try in Spanish I am usually looked at like I just walked out of a spaceship.
By the way…most boring ride ever! Mariana and Santi rode on it and got off before it was even done moving. Just goes in a slow circle. If I could have crammed myself in that taxi cab…I would have. Of course they may have had to call for the jaws of life to extract me from the car though. Small price to pay. So we left “Happyland” and headed for some food. This “Happyland” crap??? What a crock! Nobody left happy! I had 1 who was too tired to go on and the other who felt like she was ripped off and could have stayed a few more hours…and Mami and Papi? Oh yeah! We were thrilled to have made the decision to go there in the first place.
Another fun photo from the last few days. A father-son moment; sharing a bottle in the morning.
Ok, Claudia wants the computer so I am out of here. I will save some of my sarcasm for tomorrow.