Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Family's Journey: La Integración

This morning we went for our “Integracion” meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to meet with the psychologist and talk about how the first week went. This is also the time when you would give your final confirmation that you are 100% sure you would like to complete the adoption. The meeting is very simple; you spend about ½ an hour talking alone with the psychologist. Bienestar claims that this is not a meeting where you are judged, but rather a sort of follow-up visit designed to help you with the transition. I don’t mean to be skeptical of their intentions, but I would assume that this is where Bienestar would intervene if they thought something was amiss with the match.

Our meeting was very simple. Since Elian was sleeping through the whole meeting we just talked about how our week went and what we had learned. We talked about what Elian eats, what his favorite things to do are and discussed the emotions we felt. She also asked us about how our week had compared to our expectations, whether or not we felt that we were bonding with him effectively and gave us some advice on the importance of reinforcing boundaries and continuing to develop our relationship as a family.

After this we had an opportunity to ask some more specific questions about Elian’s diet and daily schedule. All week we have been struggling to get him to eat and we wondered more specifically about whether he sat at a table when he ate, ate in his foster mother’s lap, etc. etc. The psychologist went into the other room and called his foster mother to get more info. I was glad to hear her share that we were very happy with Elian and that his new parents appreciated all the love and care she had given him. After she came back, we found out that he has always been a picky and difficult eater. This was a huge encouragement since we feared he was refusing food as an expression of grief. We also found out that he had eaten in a high chair and our facilitator gave us the address of a used baby good store where we picked up a high chair for $25. When we leave we’ll be able to sell it back.

After this, the psychologist repeated the advice she had originally given us. She said that we had passed with flying colors and that she would be signing the “Integracion” form. The next step would be to submit our request to the courts. Unfortunately for us, the courts are currently closed. When they re-open on January 12, 2010, our lawyer will submit the documents and we’ll wait to get called for Sentencia. Meanwhile, we will be authenticating documents and getting a pasado judicial (Colombian criminal clearance) for my husband.

1 comment:

KIT said...

Yay! it sounds like you are in the home stretch! What a cutie! You all look so happy.
congratulations!
Kit