McCanns in Honduras

Let the nations be glad & sing for joy!

Duel Citizen

Above: Ellie with her two brand new passports.

Well today we completed the final step in getting all of Ellie’s paperwork. In addition to getting her two passports, we also picked up her Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the USA from the US Embassy, and her permission to leave the country, from the Costa Rica government. All-in-all, a very successful day. Only 32 business days (including the day after she was born, Thanksgiving, and a visit from the Chinese president that shut down the government for a day) from her birth to her becoming an official duel citizen has to be some kind of record.

Now all that is left to do is pack and head out, we’ll be on US soil in 8 days!

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December 15, 2008 Posted by | Costa Rica, Ellie | 5 Comments

Graduacion

Above: Ellie, Sean, Lindsey, and Lucy in front of the Honduran flag.

This morning we had our graduation from language school. There were about 40 graduates heading to 12 or more countries. We processed in with our flag, heard a whole service in Spanish (and understood most of it!), and then spent the rest of the morning saying goodbye to friends and teachers we’ve meet in our time here.

It is a little strange to have an official “degree” or title that says we can speak Spanish, when all that really matters is if we can have a conversation with the guy on the street. The school here has been really good at teaching us some of the basics and structure of the language, and although we have been speaking it for almost a year now, we can’t wait to get to Honduras and continue learning.

Thank you all so much for your support during this time in school, it means the world to know that people care about us and what we are doing here in Central America.

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Ellie, Language School, Lucy | 3 Comments

Celebration Breakfast

Above: Sean and the Grand Slam at Denny’s.

This morning we got one step closer to getting all of Ellie’s paper work completed. We headed out to the other side of town the office of “migracion” to apply for her Costa Rica passport. After a short wait, we got through the line, had all the right paperwork, and now just have to come back next week to pick it up!

Ellie has only been with us for 5 weeks, but if all goes as planned, she’ll have two passports from two countries next week, and we’ll be all set to leave Costa Rica.

To celebrate, we went down the street to Denny’s. In our 9 or so months here, not including fast food, this is only the second “American” restaurant we’ve been to. It is pretty expensive to eat “American” here, but it is so good and taste just like home!

December 5, 2008 Posted by | Ellie | 4 Comments

A Different Thanksgiving

Above: Lindsey, Ellie, Lucy, and Sean finishing up Thanksgiving dinner.

Yesterday we celebrated our first Thanksgiving overseas, and my (Sean) first Thanksgiving ever away from my family. It was an interesting mix of emotions, and without the usual routine, it was hard to realize that it really was Thanksgiving, that is until the food was served. Although we were far from the US, we tried to continue some of the traditions, with a Spanish twist.

– Instead of starting off the day cooking and watching the parade, we stared it off at school, with a grammar test!
– After school the girls starting cooking, with limited pots/pans, a small over, and only three working burners on the stove, while the guys watched some football, in Spanish.
– A quick football game followed, on a futbol field none the less. I don’t think the people who walked by had a clue what we were doing, but we loved it.
– Next, instead of turkey, we went to Pollo Rey (Chicken King) to pick up some chickens.
– And finally the feast, one any good American would be proud of.

We loved the day, and I especially want to thank Lindsey for working so hard to bring some of my favorite foods and traditions to Costa Rica so we didn’t feel quite so far from home.

Hope you’re Thanksgiving was great as well!

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Costa Rica Culture, Ellie, Family, Lucy, Our Blog | Leave a comment

El Registro Civil

Above: The civil registry, or big government building in downtown San Jose.

After 5 visits, hours of waiting, and lots of bad Spanish, we finally have Ellie’s official Costa Rica birth certificate. One interesting thing about it is that all children here have two last names, and so Ellie’s official name is Nancy Eliot McCann Wall (Wall is Lindsey’s maiden name.) We’re going to the US Embassy tomorrow, and we’re hoping this little name difference won’t be a problem.

One interesting anecdote, 2 of our 5 visits to the office resulted in us being turned down at the front door. The first was because we arrived at 3:15, and the office closes at 3 (turns out official business hours here are 7-3, instead of 9-5 in the states.) The second time, the president of China was in town for some business, so they closed down this huge government building and all the offices in it. Go figure.

All that to say, Step One is down in getting Ellie’s paper work to leave the county is completed (Costa Rican birth certificate), Step Two (US Passport) starts tomorrow at the US Embassy, while Step Three (permission to take a Costa Rican minor out of the country) starts some time next week.

November 25, 2008 Posted by | Ellie, Our Costa Rica Life, San Jose | 1 Comment

The First Three Weeks

Above: Lucy watching Ellie.

Three weeks after becoming the father of not one, but now two beautiful girls, we are finally starting to get our feet under us. Life has been busy, awesome, crazy, peaceful, exhausting, rewarding, confusing, and sleep-less, all rolled into one. Here are some brief highlights:

– Lucy either ignores Ellie, or smothers her with attention. Sometimes she’ll see her, and run up and start yelling “Hi Ellie, Hi Ellie!!”
– We took the girls out the other night to our final English Class. We visited with some of our students and everyone got to see the new baby. They did great, although it was a bit crazy trying to do it all.
– Ellie’s crying doesn’t seem to bother Lucy, she just keeps talking right through it.
– Ellie blessed us the other night by not waking up until 3 AM. We had almost 6 straight hours of sleep. Bliss.
– It looks like we can pick up Ellie’s birth certificate next week, which would be a huge step in us making it home for Christmas.

Those are just some quick hits of the last few weeks, we’ve got a lot going on over the next few months, so stay tuned as we leave Costa Rica, visit our families in the US, and arrive in Honduras in January.

November 22, 2008 Posted by | Ellie, Family, Lucy | 2 Comments

My Three Girls

Above: Lucy, Lindsey, and our newest, Nancy Elliot (Ellie).

On Thursday night at 8:15 pm Costa Rica time we welcomed our newest little girl to the family. We are so thrilled that she is finally here, we feel like we have been waiting forever! Lindsey was so brave to go through the whole thing. She had to be separated from me for a while, her doctors talked lot of Spanish, and she had to wait in a very cold OR. Just like she did with Lucy, she was amazing throughout the whole surgery and recovery. Somehow she manages to be one of the bravest woman I have ever met, while also being the most beautiful. I have no idea how she does it, but I am so blessed to have her.

Ellie has be great since we got here. Lindsey had to wait for a long time in the recovery room, and we couldn’t go and visit her, so it was just Ellie and I in our room for the first 2 hours of her life. I loved the special time with her, but was really missing Lins the whole time.

We’ve been home now for a day, and all is going well. Lucy is slowly learning what this new thing is in her house, and at times can be amazingly sweet and caring.

I love life with my three girls, and although it is exhausting, I couldn’t have it any other way!

November 2, 2008 Posted by | Ellie, Family, Lucy | 7 Comments