Tag Archives: Guatemala

Reluctant Relatives

Sometimes the whole family isn’t on-board with the decision to adopt, especially if the adoption is of a child that differs ethnically or racially.


My father–in-law was, Bruce, “concerned” when we told him of the decision to adopt from China. He said something once and then kept his feelings to himself. That alone spoke volumes about how he felt. This was a man I loved deeply, but was known to tell the occasional off-color joke. Mark and I had already made our decision and proceeded with the adoption. No one was going to dissuade us. We hoped he’d come around.


One of the adoption support networks, Families with Children from China, Indiana, creates and sells a beautiful annual calendar. My father-in-law saw it and told us, “I can’t wait to meet my granddaughter.”  We were so happy to hear that his heart was open.


When we arrived home with Josi ten months later, Bruce was there to greet her at the airport. After Holden, he was next to hold her. She went right to him. He held her close, kissing her, his face infused with love.


Bruce came over the next morning, but Josi pushed him away after feeling his beard. She didn’t like the scratchiness of his whiskers. He returned later that day, clean shaven.  She snuggled up with him. p7200447


Bruce came daily, always making sure he had no beard. Josi had her own special name for him – “Pa”. 


I never heard Bruce tell another off-color joke or allow one in his presence. He opened his heart to his other grandchildren as they came home, embracing them with his unconditional love.




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Filed under Adoption Issues, International Adoption, Multicultural Families, Parenting

Delayed in Translation


Adopting from Guatemala was wonderful, because we were aware of how the process was proceeding. It was nice to be kept abreast of Greyson’s growth, milestones and have continuous pictures – some with him wearing clothes we had sent.


Adopting from Guatemala was extremely challenging at times, because we were aware of how the process was proceeding.  We were, okay – I was, looking at the benchmarks of the process constantly and driving myself nuts. Information about him came regularly; almost a “180” compared to our adoption experiences with China, where we knew nothing until receiving our baby’s referral four to eight weeks before traveling. p2230257


Greyson’s journey home was fraught with delays. What we thought might be a five to six month wait, took nine. The first delay came over the Christmas holidays, when most of Guatemala shut down for most of the month of December. Our paperwork had been received, but it sat, unattended for forty-five days. Then we ran into the two week Semana Santa (Easter) and that put us back a few more weeks. We went down to see him shortly after that, to hold our six month old son and bring back the memories of his scent, feel, and taste. We took tons of pictures to share with our kids, family, and friends back home. As wonderful as it was to spend the five days with him, it was painful to leave.  


We believed we would be bringing our new baby boy home in two months or so, but received a phone call in June. We had been pulled out of PGN (Procuradoria General de la Nacion). During translation an “s” was added to one of our last name once in the entire dossier and, yep, they kicked out our case. We had been about a week away from getting the pink slip (issued by the U.S. Embassy after the adoption has been approved and the adoption decree is issued). 


Now, in Guatemala, they don’t fix it and put your dossier back in line, they escort you to the back of the line. There are no words to express how I felt…


So the clock started over, roughly three more months of being on pins and needles – would it happen again?


It didn’t. We flew through the second time and upon receiving word that his paperwork was finalized, we (with Holden) were packed and on a plane within twenty-four hours.


We returned home eight days later. The girls couldn’t wait to absorb him, falling all over themselves to get to him. I had them sit down . Greyson crawled over and plopped into Aubry’s lap, like he’d been doing it from the day he was born. 



Filed under Guatemala, International Adoption, Multicultural Families, Parenting


“Why adoption/why did you adopt?”  p31701211


“Why China?”


“Why Guatemala?”


“Are you done?”


The above questions are those that I am asked on a regular basis.


There is so much published and discussed about listening – how to be a good listener, how to be an active listener. I’ve read and heard it all and taken it to heart and put it into practice. Listening is an important skill set when raising four kids ranging in ages seven to sixteen.


But, there is another kind of listening. It’s the non-verbal listening that resonates deep within the essence of who I am. Listening with my soul.


This is the listening that directed Mark and me to adopt. Listening took us to China. Twice.


Convinced we were done expanding our family, we began to give away the baby gear. And then the most wonderful thing happened. I found myself listening again to the kind of message that wouldn’t be denied. In short, we adopted our beautiful son from Guatemala.


Are we done? We think so, but we continue to listen.


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Filed under International Adoption, Multicultural Families, Parenting