It’s been a long journey.
Over the last 6½ years, I’ve often said, “THIS is why God brought us to Guatemala.” There have been SO MANY REASONS. But maybe. Maybe THIS REALLY WAS WHY GOD BROUGHT US HERE?
We landed in Guatemala in July of 2012 and in January of 2013 we filled out the application and began the process of becoming full time residents. There were two reasons we wanted to become permanent residents. One, it would be easier to travel to and from the US and two, because only citizens and permanent residents of Guatemala can adopt. Adoptions have been closed internationally since 2008. Once we were permanent residents, we applied to be approved to adopt.
Our daughter Cecilia began volunteering at an orphanage where she met Amado and Chayo. Chayo was born deaf and thanks to some amazing, loving people in the States, was able to have an operation for a Cochlear implant. Miraculously, Chayo would be able to hear!
In 2016 Vonda began taking Chayo to Guatemala city once a week for speech therapy and as a family we began taking a group of 6 kids from the orphanage to church on Sundays. We did it to get the kids out but, we mostly did it to give the nannies a break. For almost two years, one by one, the kids from the orphange were going back to their families or getting adopted. The orphanage was now taking in more babies and Amado and Chayo were the only “older kids” left.
And then, in April of 2017 WE WERE APPROVED to adopt!
For the last two years, as we’ve fallen in love with Amado and Chayo, the orphanage has been working with social services to get them adoptable. Social services was investigating their case and looking for family who might be able to take them. Vonda and I always prayed, “Your will be done. Whatever is best for the kids.”
In July of 2017, social services found two younger brothers! As it turns out, Amado and Chayo were given away when they were very young because their parents were alcoholics and could not take care of them. Their father was abusive and is most likely in prison. Amado and Chayo spent time with a grandmother, an uncle and ultimately were turned over to the government to be put in an orphanage. It’s something we’ll never quite understand.
On July 12th of last year we got this text message from the director of the orphanage.
“Amado and Chayo have two little brothers.”
((A few seconds later))
“Would you and Vonda consider adopting all four?”
((A few seconds later))
“Good, because that’s what I told PGN.” (Social services of Guatemala)
He stretched out His arms on the cross for me and for you and for these four little ones. We didn’t pray about it. We just said “yes”.
“But you should have prayed so you could get a clear direction from the Lord.”
This is what the Lord says in His Word. This was our clear direction.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Things were moving fast and Martin and Valentin were added to the court case. The four siblings would now always be together. They could not be legally separated.
We didn’t pray about it. We just looked at each other and said “yes”.
This is the text we received from the director at 11:47am on June 1st.
Just two words. And a lot of exclamation points!
We were finally matched with the four little ones on October 14th. And then…on November 16th at 1pm, we signed the final papers and brought them HOME!
If you would like to visit our “baby registry” please click HERE.