"Rosanne, I think you may want to hear this too," I called up the cellar stairs to my wife. "It's Nancy Thompson."
It was about 72 hours before our very long awaited trip to Guatemala to bring our 10 1/2 month old son Daniel home. We had already experienced a delay and postponement earlier in the week. I had a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach because Nancy, our social worker at Wide Horizons For Children and our dear and trusted friend, had never called us at 8:30 in the evening before.
"Bill and Rosanne . . . are you ready for another twist in this story?" Nancy asked us. She then proceeded to tell us that our son Daniel's birth mother was about 7 1/2 months along with another child.
I seem to remember that my first reaction to this amazing news was, "I always knew that the Lord had a sense of humor and this really confirms it!"
After many months of paperwork, meetings, calls to Waltham, waiting and praying, it was overwhelming and very emotional to think that our family could suddenly expand to four. After we had finished speaking with Nancy, Rosanne and I talked for hours that night about the possibility of adopting Daniel's brother or sister. Of course, it would be so beneficial to Daniel to grow up with a blood sibling. But where would we put them in our small home? Can we get another crib in that room? And, most importantly, how can we afford the cost of another adoption?
We had decided to put this news on the back burner and turn all of our attention to Daniel and the business at hand in Guatemala City. Our trip to Guatemala was a success. Daniel was finally home with us, adjusting to life with his new mom and dad. As things settled down for us all during the next few weeks, our thoughts again turned to the question of Daniel's sibling. We visited Sarah Mraz in Waltham - the Guatemala program coordinator - to discuss our next adoption and to show Daniel off to our WHFC friends. After having just completed the adoption process, we were not strangers to the necessary paperwork but we did express our biggest concern: because the two adoptions would be so close together, we were definitely going to have some difficulty raising the funds for a second adoption.
Nancy and Sarah advised us of the Wide Horizons For Children subsidy program that the WHFC Board of Directors established in recognition of the financial obligations of adopting families. The program assists families who may have certain financial needs or extenuating circumstances, such as ours.
With this in mind, we decided to pursue the second adoption. We sent a letter to the WHFC Board of Directors, along with the necessary documentation. Within a few weeks, we received a letter back from Lucy Hulse, Director of Finance, stating that the Board had agreed to award us a generous subsidy. In another act of great kindness, Wide Horizons waived and lowered some of the initial fees to allow us to go forth with our adoption plans.
Daniel's brother, Charles Francis, was born on September 7, 1999. All of our paperwork was completed during the following spring and we received word that we could travel in mid-June to bring Charlie home. Our second trip to beautiful Guatemala City in less than one year began on June 25th, and Charlie, along with our lawyer and Charlie's foster mother, met us at La Aurora airport. The highlight of the journey was meeting with Daniel and Charlie's birth mom. In fact, it was a holy moment in our hotel suite with the birth mom, the foster parents, our WHFC Guatemalan lawyer and us, all together with Charlie. We could feel the love present in that room for our sons and all Guatemalan children.
It has been a wonderful summer. With the exception of a few minor WWF matches in our living room, the Brothers Breen love each other and are adjusting well. Daniel became legally ours on July 27th, which has just added to our celebration.
It is August 2, 2000 as I write this update which is, quite ironically, exactly one year ago today that we traveled to Guatemala to meet Daniel.
The circle is complete. What a beautiful year it has been!
Contributed by Wide Horizons for Children http://www.whfc.org/
Part One of Two
A realistic look at International Adoption
Practical tips for new adoptive parents
"I think there was nothing random about the events of that day.."
The adoption process can be lengthy, so take the time to work on education and self improvement
Should we volunteer during a heritage trip? - Some factors to consider....