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Guatemala Adoption

Our story of Adoption From Guatemala. p.3

We piled into Alfonso’s car and headed to Hannah’s Hope. It is not too far from the hotel.

The neighborhood surrounding Hannah’s Hope is very nice. The home is in a good part of town. As we arrived, we were immediately impressed by both the quality of the facilities and the cleanliness. Alfonso escorted us in to the office area and we had a seat in a living room-type area.

Alfonso introduced Elia and some of the other workers. He then asked, “Do you want us to bring both your boys at the same time, or should we do one at a time?” We decided, along will Bill and Carmen, to do one child at a time. We told them that it did not matter which baby came first.

Both couples sat in the waiting area with great anticipation. What an incredible moment. Bill and I had discussed the fact that what we were doing that day was, for us, a holy moment. It’s like we were standing on holy ground right then. We were realizing a part of God’s perfect plan for our lives. The best part is that we were actually realizing it and seeing it unfold at that very moment. We thought of all the things we had gone through to get to that point—the paperwork, the home study, the reports, the money, the prayers, the waiting, (oh! the waiting!)…and finally, the moment had arrived.

guatemala-andrew3Meeting Andrew
It’s difficult to describe what that moment felt like. We had tried to imagine it many times. This day, even though we did not know when it would come, was a day we had pointed to for a long, long time. This moment was a moment we had dreamed of for a couple of years. And now, to see God bring it all together, as a part of his perfect plan for our family, was almost overwhelming. We were (and still are) awestruck. God rocks!

We watched for a baby to arrived. We could see through the doorway that a baby was coming. Alfonso said, “Yurandir (our baby—Andrew) is coming first.” One of Andrew’s ‘special mothers’ brought him to us. She had him covered with a blanket. She uncovered him and passed him to Jenny. Our hearts leapt. He was perfect! What a thrill. Or course we cried. Jenny cried more than me. I expected to cry like a baby but I was surprised that I didn’t cry as much as I expected to. Mainly, I was just overjoyed! What a miracle this little guy is! And at last we were actually holding him—after 7 months of waiting, watching videos of him, reading progress reports, and viewing photos, at last, he was in our arms.

I held out my finger and he wrapped his little fingers around it. I said, “Hi buddy! We’ve been waiting so long to meet you!” Jenny handed him to me and I just couldn’t get enough of him (still can’t).

In the meantime, Bill and Carmen were helping us out by shooting video and snapping photos. Again, they were a wonderful blessing to us. They were true champs to allow us to have time with Andrew, while having to wait to meet their little guy.

As we took some time to get acquainted with Andrew, another special mother carried in Bill and Carmen’s boy, Samuel (he’s also very cute—in fact that is true of all the kids at Hannah’s Hope). They had a wonderful get-to-know-you time with him as well.

Touring Hannah’s Hope
Soon we were off for a tour of Hannah’s Hope. As I said, the facilities are outstanding. In fact, if a kid had to be away from home for 7 months, I can’t imagine a better place for them to be.

Our first stop was the babies’ play area. Lots of swings and toys and bouncers. Oh, and lots of babies waiting to be adopted too. The newborn home was adjacent. Inside were many babies, being loved and attended to by Special Mothers. There is one Special Mother for every three children. Cheerful music played in each room of the home. The environment was warm and friendly. The tour continued downstairs to the Andrew’s room. There were 5 or 6 cribs along the walls—two babies per crib. When we found Andrew’s crib we were amazed to discover that his crib-mate for the first 7 months of his life was none other than Samuel! Our new friends’ little guy! How cool! Bill said, “I guess that settles it. These two are going to be college roommates.” Fine by us.

It was such a treat for us to see Andrew and Samuel be taken home at the same time—two little buddies leaving that crib together.

After our tour, it was back to the hotel, with our new sons (they stayed with us for the rest of the trip). We had lunch with Bill and Carmen and then went to our rooms to rest/play with our kids.

Meeting Andrew’s birthmother
In the meantime, Elia made arrangements for us to meet with Andrew’s birthmother later that day. Elia, our birthmother, Yeimi (pronounced like Jamie) and her mother, Thelma would come to meet us in the hotel lobby. Elia rang our room to let us know they had arrived.

As the elevator doors opened we spotted them. We could tell Yeimi and Thelma had been crying. Jenny immediately gave Yeimi a hug. We found an area for us to sit and visit. Much like the experience we had when we first met Andrew, we felt like this was a holy moment, that we were there by divine appointment. Yeimi had questions for us. Elia translated.

A little background is necessary at this point. Yeimi is 16 years old, a sophomore in high school, and comes from a poor family (it just her and her mother). Yeimi and her mom decided that they would not be able to give a give Andrew the home and opportunities they wanted him to have. So they decided to give him for adoption through AGCI’s birthmother program.

We could tell that this was a very difficult decision for them. They both cried and told us how guilty they felt about giving Andrew. We could also tell how much Yeimi loves Andrew. She spoke of her hopes and dreams for him. We shared our dreams for him. We told her that our prayer for him above all, is that he would accept Jesus Christ as savior at an early age in life that he would grow up serving the Lord.

We shared photos of Andrew’s sisters, Natalie and Naomi. We also talked about where we live, the things we like to do, etc.

Yeimi and Thelma expressed guilt for giving Andrew for adoption but also that they were now experiencing a peace about it after having met us. The Holy Spirit was definitely at work in our meeting. It was an incredible moment.

Jenny held Andrew as slept through most of the meeting. After about an hour, Yeimi asked Jenny if she could hold him one last time. Jenny gently placed Andrew in Yeimi’s arms.

Yeimi spoke softly and tenderly to Andrew. Large tears dropped from her cheeks to her lap. She held him close and tried to awaken him. Thelma leaned over to kiss him on the head. We just watched as they said their good-byes. After a few minutes, we asked for some photos. We got some great shots of the three of them together. I also took video of Andrew with Yeimi. I asked Yeimi if she would like to say something to Andrew that we could show him when he’s older. Yeimi agreed to do it. Here’s what she said (Elia translated):

“I want you to know that you will always have a special place in my heart. I also want you to know that I am not giving you because I do not love you. I love you very much and I want what’s best for you. I will always love you. And I hope that some day you will love and respect me.”

I cannot tell you how thankful we are to have this on video. We think it will mean a lot to Andrew some day. (more...)

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