Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Journey to Luisa (Part IV)

If you missed them, read Part IPart II, and Part III of our journey to our little girl.  This is the last leg of the catch-up to our story (and my favorite part).

After we officially had requested to adopt Luisa, I entered a new phase of my research.  I have always loved blog hopping, and now I could enjoy this pastime with a purpose.  I began looking through blogs of families that had adopted specifically from Chiquitines, Luisa's orphanage.  Then I stumbled on this blog.

It was an old blog of physical therapist, Keely, who had traveled to South America in 2011 to work with kids in orphanages.  I was browsing through her old posts when I recognized Luisa's orphanage.  (After all of the blog reading I had done, it had become very recognizable.  It has a very distinct color brick, and most of the photos taken there are in this beautiful central courtyard.)

So then I began madly looking through her posts for a photo or a mention of our girl, and I struck gold.  I couldn't believe it; I had found a post about her!  I called Philip into the office.  "I found a blog with Luisa! She's younger, but it's her!  Come see!"  She was beaming up at us from where she was lounging in a pack and play.

Any adoptive parent knows that having more of the life story of your child is priceless.  Photos make it even sweeter.  At this point, we had been given two photos of Luisa by the orphanage, but Keely's predated the photos we had.  And her description of Luisa was just beyond words:
"(Courtney) came to Colombia armed with an AWESOME reverse walker that we got for a little girl (22 months old) here in Cali.  Lets start by saying this little thing won me (and pretty much everyone she meets) over from square one.  She is not able to talk or move very well because of her very high muscle tone throughout her whole body…. but man can she smile.   She gives really good kisses, too.
"She is very intelligent and interested in moving and exploring and doing normal 2-year-old things… and she was making so much progress in the short time I was here (and REALLY started making gains with her new braces– THANKS CASCADE!!) , as soon as Courtney committed to coming I started work on finding a walker for her to bring. 
"We were able to work out a way that she can continue to receive physical therapy two times per week (with the walker and braces) and this will be supplemented by some of the marvelous and amazing volunteers here at Chiquitines throughout the week. "
 There were several more photos of her.  There were also before and after videos of her using the walker.  Amazing.

I e-mailed Keely right away in the hopes that she had more photos of Luisa.  I told her that we were adopting Luisa and linked to the post to remind her who I meant.

Silly me.  Keely needed no memory prodding.  He reply to my e-mail:
"Oh my gosh!!! I am crying right now!!! You all are adopting Luisa? I absolutely love that child... I am serious, she is such a light!! I have TONS of pictures of her and stories and ohhh my goodness I am so overwhelmed.
"I would love to give you everything I have.  Please send me an address and I will send you a zip drive full of photos and videos I have of her.  Also, if you would like, I would love to chat and hear about your adoption story and tell you all I can about her!!!
"Oh, wow, I am so very excited.  You probably just made my year."
And then my tears began anew.   All parents like to hear wonderful things about their kids, but when you know virtually nothing of their personality, words like these are priceless.  We were very familiar with Luisa's medical reports.  We had her height, weight, and PT reports.  Chiquitines had introduced us to Luisa, but Keely let us really get to know her a little bit.

She sent us the zip drive with photos and videos.  Her first leg braces.  Her first time in the walker.  She is smiling the biggest smile her face can attain in 98% of the photos.  The other 2% she has a look of intense concentration.  She is very expressive!  And I did get to talk to Keely on the phone.  I was able to hear all about her weeks spent with our baby and to thank her for investing in Luisa.

I can't wait to get there and see that huge grin for myself!

Another therapist, Abby, from the Superkids charity is headed to Chiquitines this week.  She will be working with Luisa (among others), and will most likely still be there when we go to get her.  Please pray for Abby, the kids, and the orphanage staff, that her ministry there will be effective and lasting.


Brittany said...

What a blessing from God. He orchestrated that so perfectly that you ran across that PT. Ahh I am crying now!!

jschuller said...


Our daughter, Abby, is the therapist you referred to in your blog today. I just happened upon your blog as I was seeking to learn more about the orphanage where Abby will be located. She is SO excited to begin her experience at Chiquitines. She is supposed to be arriving in Colombia this evening, so we are anxiously waiting to hear that she has safely arrived. Thank you so much for your request for prayers on her behalf.

If you'd like to follow her experiences while in Colombia, she has developed a blog at:

Anonymous said...

How amazing. What a providential blessing for you to come across Keely's blog and Luisa's picture. So happy for you and praying you are able to bring her home soon.

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