Going Home

October 13th, 2011

iStock_000009028466XSmallHome is where the heart is.  But, for my daughters, their hearts aren’t just under my roof. As internationally adopted children, I know a part of them still resides in their birth countries.  As they grow up as red, white, and blue Americans, Elle is still Russian, and Bunny is still Guatemalan. And I love that about them. We recently celebrated Bunny’s Adoption Day, the day we brought her home.  Although I punted on making tamales, I did have cake.  While we enjoyed her red velvet cake, she asked when Elle’s A-Day was.  It’s in June.  Then she asked when her daddy’s A-Day was and then when was mine. We told her we didn’t have A-Days because we weren’t adopted.  Then she questioned our citizenship.  Apparently… [more]

Tamales and Borscht

September 27th, 2011

Tamale, traditional food from Latin AmericaTomorrow is Bunny’s adoption day.  It’s been six years since we brought our little bundle of joy home from Guatemala.  Every year I think about holding her in my arms knowing she was finally mine. In years past we have celebrated with cake and singing, taking time to celebrate the expansion of our family.  Rather than sugary sweet confections this year, I’ve decided I want to try something different.  Tamales.  I want to make tamales. Tamales from Guatemala are different than the Mexican tamales we typically see.  They are usually wrapped in banana or plantain leaves rather than in corn husks, and they are smaller, although there are more variations than there are Guatemalan regions. I’ve been searching around the… [more]

Where Do Babies Come From?

February 23rd, 2011

Stork & BabyNow that Bunny has turned six, I am anticipating the question all parents dread…where do babies come from?  Six years ago when Elle was getting ready to ask the question, I did my homework.  Rather than write an elaborate answer with technical terms and diagrams, I did the smart thing.  I bought a book with a lot of colored pictures…age appropriate pictures, of course. Actually, I bought three books, each containing the basic information with cute cartoon characters dressed up as sperm and eggs, and each geared towards a different age range.  I felt it would be easier to hand Elle a book, let her read it, then let her ask me any question she wanted.  My plan has worked well. … [more]

Flags of Heritage

January 6th, 2011

533821_41933236When you adopt children internationally, the adoption agency always asks how you intend to keep the link between your child and their birth country. At the time, I thought that was a silly question, and I had so many other things to worry about at the time. I don't remember what I answered, but it must have been enough to appease the agency, and the foreign courts. Once we arrived home, I didn't think much about my daughters’ heritage. With Elle, if you didn't know she was adopted, you would never guess she was from Russia. With Bunny, it is a bit more obvious considering her dark skin, black eyes, and ability to swing her hips to any music… [more]

I’m So Sorry…Let Me Introduce Myself

December 9th, 2010

shaking handsI am Lanita M, one of the new bloggers for Adoption.com. I am so excited to have the opportunity to share my stories of; outlooks on; and experiences with international adoption. After reading the wonderful introductions from Margie C and Amy B, I realize I have been remiss in not introducing myself. I am the adoptive mother of two daughters. My daughter, Elle, is 12 and was adopted from Russia. Bunny is my spunky five year old adopted from Guatemala. Both girls were adopted as infants, Elle at 9 months and Bunny and 7 ½ months. I adopted Elle after I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 32. After being given a clean bill of… [more]

God Must Have Had a Reason

December 8th, 2010

oppositesI’m sure we are all familiar with the saying that there is a reason for everything. I am a firm believer in this sentiment. Most of the time I don’t know or understand the reasoning behind it, but I rest with the knowledge there is one. When it was time to adopt my children, I think God was having a humorous day. He must have had the giggles when he decided which children I would receive. On one hand, Elle, my 12 year old from Russia, is tall, lean and blonde. Like a dog, I could tell how big she was going to be when I looked at her feet. Bunny, on the other hand, my five year old… [more]

Moving Mountains if You Must

December 6th, 2010

1280641_55403345International adoption isn’t the easiest way to create a family. There are major decisions to be made beyond the decision to adopt internationally. There is a country to choose, then an adoption agency to pick. Once those things are decided, there are the interviews, mounds of paperwork to complete, documents to be notarized and apostilled. More paperwork to be gathered, documents to be sent from one part of the country to another. And then there is the waiting game. As I was adopting my two daughters, I felt like I existed in an altered state of hurry up and wait. But I learned a lot about myself during my two adoptions. I’ve always considered myself to… [more]

International Adoption: The Makings of a Family

August 10th, 2009

As a new addition to the International Adoption blog, I wanted to take a few moments to introduce myself. My name is Courtney, and I am a married, stay-at-home mom of two beautiful children (two-point-five actually, but more on that later). My son was born to me biologically (and adopted by my husband) and my daughter is adopted from Guatemala. In addition, we are in the very early stages of a second (and final) international adoption; we are hoping to adopt a baby-to-toddler boy from Ethiopia. We just completed our home study visit and are now elbows-deep in the paperwork aspect of adoption. We are delighted to have a second adoption in the works, and I hope to explore some of our experiences at some… [more]

State Deparment posts new warning on Guatemala adoptions

September 26th, 2007
Categories: Guatemala

The US State Department has posted a warning on their intercountry adoption page on Guatemala, and it's not pretty. Read the whole thing, please, if you have any connection with adoptions from Guatemala, but I'll give a quick overview here. Please keep in mind that I am no expert on Guatemalan adoptions ... or much of anything, for that matter ... so am summing up to the best of my understanding a complicated situation from a hard-earned perspective of cynical suspicion. Basically, the good old Department of State (DOS) appears to be bailing on families in the process and warning those contemplating a step toward adding a Guatemalan-born child to the family away from any such thoughts. Citing Guatemala's stated intention to become a Hague country… [more]

Guatemala Ratifies The Hague

May 23rd, 2007
Categories: Country News, Guatemala

Word has it that Guatemala ratified the Hague yesterday. Here's a link to the story that's circulating. And, just in case anyone missed the announcement from USCIS last week (5.17.07) with the update on processing times for Guatemalan adoptions, here's the link