Friday, February 19, 2010
One Family's Journey: The best thing we did in Colombia
Our trip to Colombia was an amazing, frustrating and beautiful time in our lives. I'm sure any adopted parent will tell you that they'll never forget their first days getting to know their child and everyday I wake up I still can't believe that we are the parents to this little hurricane!
During our time in Bogota, we had many ups and downs and many special moments, but there is one moment that I almost missed: Meeting my son's foster family.
Because we sent a relative to our son's independent medical exam we were able to get our son's foster mother's information and the morning we left we called her and asked if we could meet her and her husband to thank them for the love and care they gave him. I won't lie when I say I was somewhat hesitant to do this. What if she was crazy? But I thought, at the very least we must thank them. Our child is the person he is today because of their love and care, it's the least I can do.
So we arranged to meet them at the Museo de Oro for onces, and I will tell you that meeting them is something I will never forget. It was the best decision I made while we in Bogota.
She and her husband wept with joy when they saw us. I'll demure about whether I was a little red-eyed too. They told us all about his first years, his first steps, his little personality and funny stories. She brought us extra pictures telling me "Bienestar doesn't like us to give too many" but he is your son and these are you pictures. I know all you adoptive parents know how valuable this is. We brought pictures of Elian and it was wonderful to see them flip through them and comments "Oh, this facial expression is just so classic him! Isn't he a little rascal?"
But I think I will never forget when she told me this "You know I've been a foster Mom for 9 years, I've had more than 80 children pass through my home, but sometimes it just gets really hard to let them go. And letting him go after so much time together was one of the hardest things I've ever done. My whole family is furious with me for being so depressed about saying goodbye to him. This week I was praying and asking God "Send me a sign if you want me to continue because I don't know if I can do this anymore". Then she turned to me and said "The morning after I asked God for a sign your husband called me to see if we could meet. In nine years you are the first parents who have ever called us. You call was the sign I was looking for. You are the answer to my prayers."
I cannot tell you how big the heart of a person is that can spend nine years caring for children and giving them away to people they never meet. The beauty of my son's foster parents blew me away, so I urge you if you have the chance please consider meeting your child's foster parents.