At the beginning of 2007, 6 years after bringing our daughter Emily home from China, we knew God was nudging us to adopt again. This time, He led us to Guatemala, a beautiful land with beautiful people. Two short months into the process, we saw our daughter's face for the first time. She was 17 months old, malnourished and alone. We quickly and excitedly completed all our paperwork in the hopes that she would be at home in our arms by year's end or shortly thereafter. Little did we know then, that we would fight for the next 7 years to bring our little Olivia home.
All international adoptions in Guatemala abruptly stopped as of January 1st, 2008 due to new Hague adoption regulations. Hundreds of Guatemalan children whose adoptions were already in process, came to a screeching halt, including ours. We sent Olivia photos of us, birthday and Christmas gifts and kept in contact with her through her foster family. They in turn sent us pictures of her and told her that one day soon, she would go to live in the United States with us, her family.
We made 5 wonderful visit trips to see her in just over a year's time, our bond was instant. She and her big sister Emily got along as if they'd always been together.
Our case however, was not going as smoothly. We complied with everything that had been required of us by both the U.S. government and the Guatemalan government. There would be court hearing upon court hearing, but no forward movement or resolution. Then on June 9, 2010, a day we thought a judge would allow us to proceed, he instead ordered that 4 1/2 year-old Olivia be taken away from us and her loving foster family and put into an orphanage until a DNA test could prove one way or another if a suspected family was related to her. We were told that would take 3 months. Meanwhile, the court ordered that we have absolutely no contact with Olivia.
Those 3 months turned into 3 1/2 years. Finally, on January 30th, 2014, we received confirmation from the Guatemalan officials that our adoption of our now 8 year-old daughter, may proceed!
We are hoping to raise funds to defray the final costs of the adoption, ie: travel, documents, attorney and other fees. Because of the unexpected 7 year duration, this process has not only exceeded the originally expected timeline by 6 years, but has also exceeded the original cost estimate at least 3-fold.
If you would like to be a partof our "Bringing Olivia Home" team and you'd like to help do that with any size donation, we would be very grateful!
Thank you and God bless!