The Bracelet

July 8th, 2011

photo[1]Six years ago, we adopted our Guatemalan daughter, Bunny.  In 2006, Guatemala was still open for international adoptions and the process was fairly short and easy. We received the referral for Bunny when she was 1 ½ weeks old and a monthly update came like clockwork.  We were given permission to travel to Guatemala for our first trip when she was 3 ½ months old. She was so tiny when we first saw her, she could fit into the palms of my husband’s hands.  She had a shock of black hair, with the largest, darkest eyes I have ever seen.  We spent a stressful and exciting weekend alone with Bunny getting to know her and practicing our parenting skills.  Colby had never been around… [more]

She Came With A Duck

April 25th, 2011

photoChildren come into this world with nothing except 10 fingers, 10 toes and their birthday suits.  After they arrive, the “stuff” starts arriving.  When it comes to “stuff,” there really is no difference between biological and adopted children.  Where children go…”stuff’ follows. I wasn’t present at Bunny’s birth, but I know she arrived with all 10 fingers and toes.  We received many pictures chronicling her growth starting at four days.  Her picture was taken every month when she went in for her baby checks.  Her foster mother tried to dress her up for the doctor visits and we saw Bunny grow into a red frilly Christmas dress. After months of waiting, our adoption became final and off to Guatemala we flew.  As her foster… [more]

Youngest Volunteer Connects With His Cultural Heritage

March 9th, 2011

bryanBryan, youngest of all our Adopt-a-Village volunteers, is a six-year old Guatemalan-born boy who lives with his American family in South Carolina. Though small in size, he is big in raising funds to help impoverished children in his birth country, recently raising $974 by selling Mayan handicrafts and baked goods at a local fair. It all began with the annual “international peace project,” an educational program at his Montessori school intended to build awareness of poverty and need in developing countries. Bryan decided he wanted to sponsor a boy his age through Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala.  It would be up to him to raise the funds.  And raise the funds he did!  He not only earned the $225 fee, but an additional $749. As with… [more]

Her Mother Lives in Jail?

March 7th, 2011

jailMy youngest daughter, Bunny, is from Guatemala.  We adopted her when she was 7 ½ months old, and she is now a spry and sprightly six year old.  While we were in the process of adopting Bunny, I was in my final year of law school.  By the third year, my classes were smaller and more intimate, allowing for a certain camaraderie amongst the class knowing we were actually going to graduate. At the time, we were receiving updated documents and pictures of Bunny, and my classmates were very interested in the process.  Partly, they were interested because in my Children and the Law class, I had written a 40-page research paper and had given a presentation on international adoption. In a Guatemalan adoption… [more]

Castes and Prejudice

February 11th, 2011

BunnyChildren are not like produce.  You can’t stand in the grocery store, looking through the bin of bananas, trying to pick the perfect bunch, moving the bananas to the side that are too brown or too green.  With children, you get…what you get. With both my daughters, I never chose the child that would be mine.  Elle’s first picture came in a FedEx package and Bunny’s first picture was delivered by email.  Whether they would be intelligent, challenged, or beautiful didn’t matter because they were my children. Bunny was adopted from Guatemala, and we received our referral when she was 10 days old.  Over the next months, we received a monthly report from our adoption agency, with updated pictures and medical records.  When she… [more]

Latin Dancing Diva

January 27th, 2011

salsaMornings in our house are crazy and chaotic, no different than most households with school age children.  I have to drag myself out of bed in the pre-dawn morning, because Elle and Bunny have to be at the end of our lane at 6:50a for the school bus.  Beds need to be made, breakfast eaten, teeth brushed, and school assignments gathered. What proceeds after my feet touch the floor, is torture.  Elle’s alarm clock goes off before I wake up.  Her pre-teen effort to have perfect hair, styled outfits, and a touch of makeup results in an earlier start time.  Elle is like me in her ability to roll out of bed and function in the morning.  She never challenges me much when… [more]

Seeing Dora in the Mirror

January 5th, 2011

iStock_000001365661XSmallI never really gave a lot of thought to my toys when I was a child, especially my dolls.  I had a Giggles doll.  She had a purple velvet dress, long blonde hair and blue eyes.  Just like me.  The various Barbies I had were also fair skinned, blonde, with blue eyes.  There were a few variations, but for the most part, they were a homogeneous group of Caucasians. When Elle arrived with her blonde hair and brown eyes, I still never gave her dolls much thought.  Actually, Elle didn't really like dolls much.  She was more of a stuffed animal person, and she carried a blanket around for years. But when Bunny arrived from Guatemala, with her dark skin, dark brown hair, and… [more]

Birthdays and Blessings

March 14th, 2010

Birthdays and BlessingsAt 10:24 AM today--exactly three years ago today, in fact--Beauty made her way into the world and my life was forever changed. I didn't know it then, of course. I actually didn't even find out anything about Beauty until we received our referral eight days later. I was journaling steadily at the time, and I hunted back to see what I had done the very day of March 14, 2007. It was a calm day, a regular day. My husband and I ran errands with Bear (then ten and half months old) in tow. We went out to dinner. We watched a movie. A regular day in March. Who knew that it would wind up becoming one of the most… [more]

Visit With Embassy Guatemala City Staff and Their Families

March 9th, 2010
Categories: Guatemala, Politics

Visit With Embassy Guatemala City Staff and Their FamiliesWhile not directly related to Guatemalan adoption issues, it's of note to mention that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited (and subsequently addressed) the Guatemalan Embassy staff and their families on March 5, 2010, as released on the U.S. Department of State's website. Citing this as her third visit, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton states she was pleased to "meet not only with President Colom and officials of the Government of Guatemala, but also presidents, prime ministers, and other representatives of the countries in the region who came for this important meeting." She continues: I am well aware that Guatemala is a country with great potential, but also with one – one that… [more]

Developmental Assessments: Demanding Assistance

March 2nd, 2010

Developmental Assessments: Demanding AssistanceUp until this past November, Beauty had a speech therapist coming to the house each week to help her advance her language skills. It made a world of difference, but our move in late November derailed that progress a bit. Paperwork was lost, and information misguided. Beauty was "on the list" for a reevaluation, but missing all the past reports of her speech therapist seemed to keep pushing us back farther and farther. Last week, we were assigned to a new branch of Child and Family Connections (CFC) and we've already had a partial reevaluation, which I detailed a bit here. For whatever reason, though, they did not book us an evaluation with a physical therapist (scheduling… [more]