Tuesday, August 30, 2011


After a summer break, Tunes for Tuesdays is back.

Much has happened since our last entry in this series. Most notably, Joe Arroyo passed away in July at a clinic in Barranquilla, Colombia. He was only 56 years old. Colombians lamented, cried, remembered, and then sang and danced to Joe Arroyo's music. "It's the best way to say good bye" they said. It was yet another excuse for a big party in Barranquilla, a city that has never experienced a shortage of such opportunities.

All the big names in Colombian music had something to say. From Shakira and Juanes to Fruko, who cried on camera. Even the President of Colombia made a public statement. Abroad, Willie Colon and Oscar D'Leon, among others sent their condolences from the USA, and the BBC reminisced about a time when Island Records distributed his music throughout Europe. Then others also reminisced: that it was Fuentes who discovered him in 1972, that he used to sing in brothels in Cartagena as a little boy wearing a bucket on his head, that he came from the African Barrios of Cartagena de Indias, that there he learned the language of a Senegalese tribe whose words he often incorporated into his songs, that at the top of his success he was using crack cocaine, that he created his own music genre, the Joeson.

The usual Colombian-style controversies followed: That --yet another-- "exhaustive investigation" should be conducted to determine whether his wife had exploited him during the last months of his life by making him appear at concerts while terribly ill. That his surviving relatives were quarreling over the control of his fortune. That at age 56, a simple case of pneumonia should not kill anyone were it not for the Colombian health care system. . . . All the while a Soap Opera about his life continues to run with strong ratings and with a realistic end to come soon. En fin, it is another episode of Macondian proportions in our Colombia.

But here's a curious song by Joe Arroyo, Yamulemao:

Monday, August 29, 2011

More Than Half Special Needs

So far in 2011, Special Needs Adoptions have made up 55% of all the adoptions in Colombia (534 of the 977 adoptions). THIS IS AMAZING!!!!! To gain some perspective, look at the list below:

In 2002, there were 349 -- 13% of all adoptions.
In 2003, there were 392 -- 22% of all adoptions.
In 2004, there were 356 -- 15% of all adoptions.
In 2005, there were 383 -- 15% of all adoptions.

In 2006, there were 608 -- 22% of all adoptions.
In 2007, there were 776 -- 25% of all adoptions.
In 2008, there were 730 -- 31% of all adoptions.
In 2009, there were 824 -- 30% of all adoptions.
In 2010, there were 889 -- 30% of all adoptions.

What is changing? As waiting lists for healthy children have become longer, many adoptive families have become more willing to look into other options, and this includes adopting larger sibling groups, older children, and children with physical or mental disabilities or special health issues (like HIV +).

Here are a few blogs from families that adopted THIS YEAR that you might find interesting:

Colombian HIV+ adoption:

Older Child Colombian Adoption:

Large Sibling Group Colombian Adoption:

Other Special Need Colombian Adoption:

If you have a blog for your adoption of any SPECIAL NEEDS category child/ren and would like to share it so that other families can gain insight into the process and perhaps consider a special needs adoption also, please include a link in the comments section and I will also post it on this list.

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Colombians Adopting In Colombia

Another way of seeing the growth of Colombians adopting form Colombia is to see the statistics from this year. Not only are there 124 Colombian families waiting to adopt, but so far this year Colombians have adopted more children than foreign families.

Here are the numbers:

Since January 1, 2011:

551 children have been adopted by Colombian families


960 children have been adopted by Foreign families

This means that 57.4% of all the adoptions in Colombia so far this year have been to Colombian families.

Just for perspective:

In 2010, 53% of the adoptions were to Colombians.
In 2003, 35% of the adoptions were to Colombians.
In 1991, 28% of the adoptions were to Colombians.

In 20 years, the number of Colombians adopting form Colombia has more than doubled.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Movement in the Wait List Categories

If you compare this new report with that from the final 2010 report, you will see that the number of families waiting has decreased and increased in the following way:


0 families from 2006 DOWN 19 families.

2007 DOWN 94 families.

2008 DOWN 43 families.

2009 DOWN 45 families.

2010 DOWN 24 families.

2011 UP 121 families.

What happens to these families? One of three things is happening.

1- The family gets a referral for the age range they requested.

2- The family leaves the list or puts their application on hold. This can happen because of pregnancy, another adoption (domestic or foreign), family issues (divorce, job loss, weariness, etc.).

3- The family changes age range or sibling category. This has been happening quite a lot in Europe. Families that have been waiting for a couple of years realize that by changing to the sibling category their referral will come faster. So, they change categories and move to near the front of the sibling list because of the length of time they have already been waiting. This is also why the sibling list has increased wait times.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This most recent Wait List was published by ICBF on August 19, 2011. Once again, there has been a lot of movement. Great news for adoptive parents and for Colombian Children!!

Remember, the ICBF Wait List applies to adoptions through ICBF only -- not through CASAS PRIVADAS. It also ONLY APPLIES TO NON-COLOMBIAN FAMILIES. It DOES NOT reflect special needs children. The definition of special needs are children with disabilities, children over 8 years of age, and sibling groups of 3 or more.

Several dates have advanced again this time!!! YEAH!!!

The dates that have moved are in BLUE.

Also, this list only reflects that there are no more dossiers at the national office prior to the date shown. Dossiers from before October 2007 in the 0-23 months category, for example, may still need a referral, but they have already been sent to a region and are no longer waiting at the national office.

Age of Child ------- Date of Application Approval by ICBF

Child 0-12 months ------ Oct - 2007
Child 13 - 23 months ---- Oct - 2007
Child 2 years ----------- Nov - 2006

Child 2 - 3 years -------- Apr - 2007
Child 3 years ----------- Mar - 2007
Child 3 - 4 years -------- Mar - 2007
Child 4 years ----------- Jun - 2007
Child 4 -5 years -------- Apr - 2008
Child 5 years ----------- Jan - 2009

Child 5 - 6 years ------- Nov - 2008
Child 6 years ----------- NOT LISTED ON NEW FORM
Child 7 years ----------- Feb - 2011

2 Siblings 0 - 4 years --- Jan - 2008
2 Siblings 0 - 5 years --- Jan - 2008
2 Siblings 0 - 6 years --- Mar - 2009
2 Siblings 0 - 7 years --- Dec - 2009
2 Siblings 0 - 8 years --- Jan - 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Foreign Families on the ICBF WAIT LIST

Yesterday we learned that there are more Colombians (living both inside Colombia and Expats) adopting form Colombia. While this is SUPER news for Colombian children, it does mean longer wait times for foreign families, though at this time only slightly because we are not talking hundreds of Colombians.

Today, let's take a look at the number of families currently on ICBF's Foreign Family Wait List. DRUMROLL PLEASE.


Here is how that 2,880 is broken down.

227 families waiting since 2007

721 families waiting since 2008

707 families waiting since 2009

745 families waiting since 2010

480 families waiting from this year.

ICBF's report does not show how many families are waiting in each age range category, though this would be helpful. It is possible, however, to look at the last posted wait list and see that all age ranges from 0-4 years 11 months had families waiting from 2007. Even those waiting for 2 siblings 0-4 and 0-5 were still in 2007 on the last published wait list in May of 2011. See it here:


Monday, August 22, 2011


ICBF recently published its mid-year report (July 29, 2011) on Adoption statistics. I intend to highlight this report over the next few days. Today, I wanted to adress the number of families currently approved to adopt through ICBF.

As of July 29, 2011, there were 124 Colombian families on the Colombian wait list. This list is prioritized over all other lists. In years past, there was practically no wait list for Colombians.

When we processed our adoption in 2006, there was NO COLOMBIAN FAMILY WAIT LIST. The referrals were practically instantaneous. For example, we submitted our paperwork to ICBF and were approved within 2 weeks. The week following our approval our dossier was sent to the Bogotá regional office and the next week we had a referral -- 4 weeks total. Now, that was considered fast even then, but most of the Colombian families we knew at the time were going through the same process in no more than 6-8 weeks.

Today, however, it seems to be taking 3-6 months from submission to referral. Why? Because there is now a Colombian only wait list. This list has the greatest impact on children ages 0-36 months because it seems that many Colombian families are most interested in adopting healthy younger children -- though this is changing some.

This truly is great news for Colombian children. It means more children will grow up with a connection to their homeland and home culture.

How does this impact other waiting families? It will inevitably make the wait longer for foreign families because Colombian families jump to the front of the line -- no matter how long others might have been waiting.

Tomorrow I will discuss the number of families on the the Foreign Family Wait List.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Colombia's Glacier Park

Parque Natural Nacional Los Nevados, Triángulo del Café

Surprisingly, Colombia is the land of many glaciers...or at least it was. In the 1800s, there were 18 glaciers in Colombia. Today, there are 6. You can hear a report from PRI's the world below.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Colombia Wins in Last Minute

Last night I got to watch the game on ESPN 3. Colombia pulled out a controversial last minute win when James (pronounced HA mays not Jay mz) Rodriguez scored on a free kick.

Here are the highlights:

Monday, August 08, 2011

Colombia Victorious Again

Saturday Colombia beat Korea 1-0. This means that they are moving ahead and will play Costa Rica Tuesday in the Group of 16. Here is to hoping they win and move on to Quarter Finals :)

For now, enjoy watching Colombia's goal against Korea.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

La Invitación -- Jorge Celedón & Jimmy Zambrano

More Colombian Love Fest. At the opening ceremonies of the Under 20 World Cup, Jorge Celedón sang the following song called "La Invitación" (the invitation). It is a welcome to Colombia for anyone who wants to visit.

Here are the lyrics and partial translation for the song:

Como te quiero Colombia! -- How I love you Colombia

Saludos desde Colombia a todo el mundo, -- Greetings from Colombia to the whole world

con esta canción que nace en el corazón, -- with this song that is born in my heart

perdonen si con mi canto les interrumpo, -- forgive me if with my song I interrupt you

les pido 3 minutitos de su atención, -- I ask you for 3 minutes of your attention

Les quiero contar del valle y de la montaña, -- I want to tell you about the valleys and the mountains

de como se ve la siembra color marrón, -- how the crops look brown (golden) in color

de como huele mi tierra cuando la bañan, -- how my land smells when it is washed (by the)

goticas de aguita fresca que manda Dios. -- drops of fresh water that God sends.


Mi tierra santa, me dijo que les hiciera la invitación, -- My holy land has told me to extend to you an invitation

a la parranda, -- to the party

ay para que cantemos juntos con mi acordeón -- so that we can sing together with my accordion

Por el Carnaval que hay en Barranquilla, -- about the Carnival in Barranquilla

por el Monserrate de Bogotá, -- about Monserrate in Bogota

por esas bonitas Ferias de Cali, -- about the beautiful Cali Fair

Festival Vallenato en Valledupar, -- the Vallenato Festival in Valledur

por las bellas playas de Cartagena, -- about the beautiful beaches in Cartagena

Santa Marta y Fiestas del Mar,

por el aguardiente y las cosas buenas, -- about the Aguaardiente (Colombian liquor) and the good things

Café de Colombia ven a tomar, -- Colombian Coffee you need to come and drink

por la Feria de las Flores que hacemos en Medellín, -- about the Flower Fair that we do in Medellin

la parranda en mi Guajira, -- the party in my Guajira.

y las arepas de maíz, -- and the corn Arepas

por mi gente que es tan buena, -- for my people that are so good

y a mi nombre de mi nación, -- and the name of my nation

Colombia te abre las puertas, -- Colombia, who opens to you its doors

de su inmenso corazón. -- and its immense heart.

Ay hombe! San Andrés y Providencia,


Para el San Pedro, pégate la rodadita
y de ahí para Bucaramanga, la ciudad Bonita
Pensaron que iba a olvidarme de lo mas puro,
de la que me dio la vida y me hace feliz,
lo sabe el niñito santo y todito el mundo,
ay que las mujeres mas bellas están aquí,
los Llanos bailan alegres con el joropo,
el porro de mi Sabana ven a sentir,
Ay las hembras bailando cumbias nos vuelve locos,
Y juro que cuando vengas también a ti.



Y al Carnaval de Blancos y Negros
Vamos, vamos!! Aquí te hago la invitación
Al Cuna de Acordeones, Villanueva
Sincelejo y Montería, bailen, bailen…
Sigan pa los Aguinaldos Boyacenses
y el Carnaval de Ocaña
Cúcuta, allá voy, allá voy, ahí nos vemos…

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Colombia Wins Again

Last night Colombia beat Mali (2-0), for its second victory in Sub20 group A play. Here are the goles.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Focus on Colombia

Last week, the PRI program, The World, reported on the Under 20 World Cup. Here is a taste of what you can hear on the report:

"Compared to the main World Cup, the U-20 is small potatoes. There’s no bidding war to host the event, which is played every two years...Still, it’s a chance for Colombia to show off. The matches will be played in Bogota and seven other cities. 500 million people around the world will watch them on TV. They’ll learn about Colombia’s natural beauty, booming economy and improved security, even as a drug-fuelled guerrilla war grinds on. Cristian Bonilla, the Colombian team’s goalkeeper, said they’re proud that so many countries are participating and so many tourists are coming.'Perhaps they will come away with a different image from what foreigners normally think about Colombia,' he said. Bonilla and his teammates will be playing for more than national pride."

You can hear or read the whole report here:


Monday, August 01, 2011


Okay, if you were expecting Myths for Monday, you'll have to wait another week. This week I am dedicating the blog to following the Under 20 World Cup being held in Colombia. Today it is the amazing and decisive victory (4-1) of Colombia over France in the first game of the tournament. BTW, France was the European champion, so this is a BIG DEAL in Colombia.

Here is a Colombian tradition, watching the GOALS -- GOLES (GO lays -- in Spanish) -- of the game. You can see the 1st goal, made by France. Then, it is a Colombia love fest as you watch the 4 Colombian goles.