We've all heard it before. Those of us who are adopting, are especially aware of the passage of time. "Be patient", "It's part of the process", and "These things take time." No kidding! You don't say? We need to wait, again... then some more. If you're anything like Craig and I, waiting isn't your strongest suit!!
We were matched with Oscar on February 24, 2005 - just three days after he turned two months old. We were thrilled. From his referral picture, we knew he was someone very special; the glimmer in his eye, the sweet smile - a miracle.
Oscar was a "Waiting Child" in many ways. First and foremost, he was listed as a waiting child through WHFC. Craig and I had discussed the process of reviewing and accepting a Waiting Child during our home study. I for one just figured we'd get a referral, the old fashioned way, by waiting. We were satisfied with that. We knew it might take time, but everything does.
When our social worker, Martha Lawton called and told us that there was a little boy in Guatemala who was waiting, we decided, why wait any longer? He's ready and so are we. The acceptance of a Waiting Child’s referral does away with one of the most difficult periods of waiting for all adoptive families.
Our process has moved along quickly and easily from there. Upon our acceptance of Oscar's referral our dossier was sent to Guatemala and then we just 'waited' for one of the biggest perks in the Guatemalan program - permission to travel and visit with Oscar.
As part of the Guatemalan program, families are encouraged to travel to Guatemala and visit with their child as part of their adoption process. Obviously, this has some pros and cons. For us, the visit was a MAJOR pro. We traveled to meet Oscar in April. We stayed with him for a week at a hotel in Guatemala City. What a wonderful time. The long weeks and months leading up to that point melted away once we met Oscar and his foster mother, Blanca, in our hotel. Had we waited that long in reality? Sure didn't seem that way.
WHFC has the travel to Guatemala perfected! We knew what to expect along every step our journey. From the amazing and somewhat overwhelming experience of deplaning at Aurora Airport in Guatemala City to the adjustment we made to 'Latin American time.'
Our ability to meet, visit and care for Oscar during those precious days brought the reality of his adoption home to us. It was time, we were going to become parents and this was our son. What an incredible gift that trip was.
You may be wondering – How could you leave him after holding, feeding and bathing him? Well, let me tell you – it wasn’t easy – it wasn’t even difficult, it was heart wrenching. The grief and loss were almost too much to bear, but we did. What made it possible? Meeting Blanca, Oscar’s foster mother. She is one of the most incredible women I’ve ever met. She has cared for my son like he was her own. She has nurtured and loved him. Watched and encouraged his amazing development. She has encouraged him to be the sweet and loving little boy he is. Craig and I will be eternally grateful for her care of our son. She will always be a special part of our lives – Oscar’s Abuelita or “little grandmother”.
Again, at the conclusion of my last article, we were thrilled to announce the referral of our son. Well, get ready, another miracle! While I was writing this article, we received the ‘phone call’ that every waiting families dreams about, the call letting you know your child is ready to come home. We received just such a call on Tuesday, June 7. Craig and I will travel within the next two weeks to bring him home forever. Joyful, excited – you bet!
Oscar received a gift from a family friend recently. It was an adorable ‘onesie’ with a hat and on them reads, “I was worth the wait!” – How true. How very true!
Avoiding the Pitfalls
Worth the Wait!
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.."