This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some travel updates

We wish we'd found more time to update our friends and family about our whereabouts and our activities recently, but our days have been full and our energy short by the end of the day.  Here are some links to photos of our travels.  Hopefully these facebook links work for everyone who doesn't have facebook... we're having trouble uploading photos to Blogger.  (grr).

We had a nice jaunt to downtown Curitiba yesterday.  The old buildings and decorative sidewalks make it a charming place.  The 1st class bus system and bustling economy make it feel as comfortable as home.

The Praca de Espanha was a nice, off the tourist-beaten path, place to visit on a Saturday morning.  There was a lovely antique fair and a park where the kids played for a long while with our friend Lee and her son Joe.  Kim got a nice green necklace but whole-heartedly regrets not picking up the orange "Pedra de Sol" necklace as well.  Regrets it even more now that she's seen several (not as nice) pieces costing much more.  The fair doesn't open again until next Saturday and we'll be gone.  :(

We had a nice visit with Mae Hai (AKA Regina), who was "Mother" to our children for at least 2 years before we became a family.  This it he first they've seen her in over 2 years, and the first time we've had the chance to meet her.  It was an exciting and also emotional visit.  Good for the heart.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Serra Verde Express

Yesterday we took a ride on the Serra Verde Express, the tourist train that runs from Curitiba across the coastal mountains, descending from 900m to almost sea level near the coast. We crossed 60+ bridges and went through 13 tunnels. It was a three hour tour to remember as we watched the vegetation and felt the climate change as we went.

We arrived in the small town of Morretes, which was an important trading post for the Portuguese as they took goods up the river from the coast toward Curitiba. We "enjoyed" a typical meal of "Barreado," a sort of beef stew thickened with manioc flour and eaten with rice and bananas. There was also plenty of fried fish and fried shrimp, also typical of the area.

After lunch we got on a bus to the small town of Antonina, which was an important Portuguese port on the Bay of Parana, feeding goods up river to Morretes, and further by mule to Curitiba. The sea breeze was lovely and the colorful houses were charming. In typical Portuguese colonial fashion, many of the shutters were on the inside of the windows to demonstrate ones wealth at being able to afford glass. Also, in a town tradition, a ceramic plaque at the front door lists the name of the family's favorite song so that the once-a-month roaming orchestra can play it!

We returned via van across a winding cobbled mountain road, known as the Estrada Graciosa, arriving back to our home-away-from-home in Curitiba, our familiar Betania, in time for dinner. We are already enjoying ourselves here, catching up with old friends and seeing familiar faces.

Boys love trains.

Girls love trains too.

Crossing the Sao Joao Bridge on the Serra Verde Express.
Awesome gorge in the mountains!

Kiddos in front of the cross at the church in Morretes.

This is where we had "Barreado" for lunch.

Luana found some friends at the craft market in Morretes!

The small river town of Morretes.

Kiddos in Antonina.

The colorful colonial architecture of Antonina on the Bay of Parana.

Our home-away-from-home in Curitiba, Betania! We're in the same rooms as we were 1.5 years ago!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Starting up Again

Well, I clearly have some updating to do around here, but for now, the big news is that we're in Brazil again.  This is a very different trip than the one we made just over a year and a half ago, and we have several goals for it.  
1:  Tour and explore.  We want our children to get a bigger feel for their home country, and we want to get to know it ourselves.  Highlight: anAmazon rainforest tour!
2:  Reconnect.  We'll spend 9 days in Curitiba and meet up with some important friends there, including the woman who mothered our children at Casa HAI until 6 months before we got there to adopt our children.
3:  Park it.  The last leg of our trip will be spent at a beach in the warm north of Brazil just hanging out and enjoying time together with nothing planned but beach-pool-beach-pool.

Here are some links to photos from the first leg of our trip. I've been having trouble uploading posts with pictures to Blogger, so for now I'm just going to post links to our facebook albums, which have uploaded quite easily.  

We went from Boston International Airport to Miami where we had a 10 hour layover and took full advantage of it to Rio for a plane change, and finally to Belo Horizonte, which we are currently relaxing before we get ready to go explore.

Perhaps in the vacation-pace downtime, we'll get a chance to post some pictures from the last several months' events including Maynara's 12th birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, some fun school events, a trip to Calgary to see "Papai's Building" and a professional photo shoot of the world's most beautiful foursome!  This could take a while. 
DAY 1: 

DAY 2: