I haven’t posted in a bit which is completely sad. Life has been quite the whirlwind over the past week or so. Currently I am fighting what is either a head cold, a sinus infection, strep throat or a combination of all of the above.
The visit trip was amazing! We had a wonderful time. We ate the food; we drank the water; we loved the people. Everyone was so friendly and helpful at our hotel. There were a few disparaging looks when we brought Colin out of the room. I expected that. Not everyone in Guatemala approves of international adoption. I certainly don’t expect them to be openly happy about it if they don’t agree with it. But on to the details:
We traveled on Thanksgiving Day which was surprisingly nice. There weren’t delays at any of the airports and we sailed right through all the checks. We arrived in Guatemala City in the afternoon. The weather was gorgeous. Agency staff picked us up and brought us to the hotel. We checked in to a gorgeous suite. We could see mountains and a volcano. It was lovely! That evening, we enjoyed a HUGE Thanksgiving buffet. There was a traditional turkey and a ham, both on carving stations. There were shrimp cocktails, filet mignon, various casseroles, and traditional Guatemalan dishes. There were numerous vegetable dishes. There were breads and pastries. The desserts were divine. Wine flowed like water from a waterfall. It was breathtaking! We were so stuffed at the end of the night. After visiting with the other families from our agency, we all returned to our hotel to get some sleep. Yeah right!
Friday morning our foster mother arrived. She brought her daughter with her, too. We were able to visit in a private room. Our agency staff helped with an ‘interview’ where we were able to find out the ‘quick and dirty’ on caring for our son. All of those questions you should remember to ask…(You know, like how often does he eat? What does he eat? How often does he have a BM? What are his likes/dislikes? When does he get a bath? Are there things he’s afraid of? How long has he been with you?, etc.) Well you can’t ever remember those things when you’re meeting your child for the first time. Thankfully our agency takes care of this stuff! They had a whole checklist of questions. We all were able to go through the checklist and have the questions asked / translated / answered / translated back. Everyone felt relaxed and there was no pressure to ‘remember everything.’ The agency staff even took all the notes to give to us once we went our merry way. I can’t say enough about how smoothly this process was. Agencies don’t have a lot of control over certain parts of the adoption process. However, the parts they CAN control should run like clockwork. My agency? They’ve got their stuff together. That’s all I can say.
As for the actual meeting: It will have to be its own post. Right now I’m not sure how to explain it. It’s not what I thought it would be. That’s not a negative thing. It just wasn’t at all what I expected. Leaving him? Not what I expected either; but again, that will need a separate post to better explain. Today? I’m sticking to the facts.
About my son: He is quite the little man in his own right. Even though he’s only three months old (almost four), he seems like such an old soul. He’s very inquisitive and fascinated by the world around him. He’s very picky and likes life to be very scheduled. (He’s already like his father!) We found out very quickly that as long as we follow HIS schedule and do things HIS way, life is fine. Living out of a hotel room is a bit of a pain, but we managed. I think he’ll be much happier once he comes home. I know WE will! It didn’t take us long to get into a happy little rhythm. We got very little sleep during the whole visit. Colin doesn’t like to sleep much and was quite fussy. I was worried about that at first but then was kinda relieved. To begin with, I can’t imagine how scary it must have been for him. He’s been with his foster mother since he was two days old. Then these fools show up, making strange sounding noises, and they expect me to be calm?? I also felt relief because I felt this was as real as it gets. He wasn’t quiet and sleepy. Several of the other families’ children were that way. They slept a lot or just laid on their parents’ shoulders. That makes for a Hallmark moment but it’s not realistic. I can’t help but think when the children come home, the parents will be rudely surprised to find out life with baby can sometimes be rough. It may sound odd but I was comforted that Colin was himself. When he was happy he was quiet. When he was mad, he let us know. He’s fiercely independent. I love that.
As far as his coming home, we found out that we entered PGN on 11/30/06. FINALLY! I was beginning to wonder since several other families we stayed with who have the same attorney and similar timelines had already gone in. They say ‘no news is good news’ but I think THEY are nuts! I feel better knowing we’ve started the downhill slide. We’re hoping they aren’t any hold ups and the review goes smoothly. Out attorney has a good reputation so hopefully that will help. We’ve given up hope of having Colin home for Christmas. It just seems so unrealistic now. We all know how slow things get during the holidays. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to be one of the first to get out after the new year?!? One can hope!!
I plan to write more over the weekend when I’m feeling better (wishful thinking). I’ve been catching up on everyone else’s blogs. Some positive and some negative. I know so many are gearing up for the holiday season. Hanukkah is only two weeks away; Christmas is four weeks; Winter Solstice is in about three weeks.
May every one have a blessed holiday season no matter which one you’re celebrating. If I’m leaving your celebrations out, please let me know. I’d love to include them here :-)