Joseph Daniel Luis
There would always be another one, we hoped for that from the start. So many said that we would conceive after the pressure was off, a this option was open and welcome. As it became clear this was not God's immediate plan our hearts were drawn back to Sam's birthplace. We wanted another child from Guatemala for us and for Sam. We wanted a sibling that Sam shared a history with a birthplace and a similar story to identify with. Selfishly, I wanted to go back again to the country that made me a mama.
In February of 2007, I still spent time on the adoption chat boards sharing stories and celebrating homecomings of fellow children. A particular post caught our attention, there were boys waiting for homes. When we adopted Sam we waited a short time for a referral, and now there were sweet boys waiting for a family. It was undeniable the blessing that Sam was to our family and we had room in our hearts for more.
We contacted our agency FTIA once again and quickly began the paperchase. We had done this before, knew a few tricks of the trade and gathered our paperwork . There are always timelines during adoption, maybe he'll be home right after Christmas. We used a courier service well recommended at this expedited our papers through the Guatemalan Consulate in Chicago. And then, the anguish began the USPS lost our paperwork. All of our documents. I can remember DH reminding me that it was God's timing, I really wasn't in a rush until this point, and now we were so close to a referral...We felt helpless, made countless phone calls to a post office in Chicago, it was a tracked document after all. This honestly cost us over one month's time but it was God's timing.
It came in early October 2007. I was once again at work and my coworkers knew what the call was that day - they had seen that look on my face before. Our coordinator asked, would we accept the referral of a child a little older than newborn. My mind raced, we had asked for a newborn. This decision is a split second one, because once the information is laid before you, your heart falls in love. How old? Barely 6 weeks, yes I felt a peace to move forward. A boy, Jose Luis born August 5, 2005.
Chills of confirmation streamed thru me as it registered that was my birthday.
We accepted an email attachment of his sweet pictures immediately and my boss gave me a private moment to share those with my husband. I can still see he outstretched arm, he was so tiny. We had grown to love the simplicity of our first son's name, and had options for our second son. A little wiser we didn't settle on a name until we heard his birth name. It was once again confirmation that our frontrunner Joseph was perfect. DH asked for this boy to be named after him, Daniel and we kept his birthname Luis.
Love at first sight.
We quickly planned a trip to see little Joe. We couldn't not wait, and as God's plan would have it we were there to visit him at 10 weeks (the same age when we visited Sam). He was so tiny. Update pictures focused on his chubby cheeks, we were surprised at how alert and perfect he was. We were immediately a family of four and took our Christmas Card picture during the visit. We visited Sam's foster family and they loved on Joe's too. We explored Guatemala city and cherished our visit with Joe. Afterall, we had done this before, the nerves were behind us and our visit was relaxed.
But as luck would have it, government tensions were starting to rise over the Hague agreement and adoption times were increasing significantly during this time. Little of our experience in waiting for Sam prepared us for the wait with Joe. We continued with life in the US, every moment wishing our 2nd son could join his forever family. More holidays came and went, and this time outfits went unworn.
Mama and her friend Melissa traveled to Guatemala in April of 2008 to get a glimpse of Joe once again. It was a visit full of walks, chats, laughs and sunshine in the land of eternal spring. Melissa wished to put him in her carryon for the ride home. I left this trip with my onesie in my carry on for support but with a resolve to bring our boy home.
Forever in our Arms.
We prayed thru orange and then pink (embassy paper colors signifying the end of our adoption wait) and were united with Joseph on October 3, 2007. We didn't focus on missing his 1st birthday, we would be able to celebrate the rest of his birthdays with him. DH, Joe and I anxiously awaited and breezed thru embassy and were on the next flight back to the USA. We reunited with Sam at our home where many friends and family were waiting to greet us! October 7, 2007 we began our life in the US as family of four.