I had a witty post planned but instead you get whining

February 15, 2007 at 12:00 pm | Posted in AdoptThis! | 8 Comments

I couldn’t get the pictures for it off Pili’s camera.

Witty will come later, my friends, later.

In the meantime, does anyone know where I can make, steal, or adapt a snarky ticker?

I want one that says: number of MONTHS since our agency has sent out medical reports. 

It really really irritates me that GAL sends us emails saying “please confirm receipt of this email” and then ignores the part of our emails where we very gently ask if we can get an update on his measurements so that we can make sure we bring clothes that fit when we go to visit him. 

Also, opinions from experienced Guatemala hands are requested: given the option of spending eight days with your baby in Antigua (albeit with the caveat that you can only leave the hotel to go around the city with baby accompanied by an armed guard agency representative) or spending five/six days with baby and than a couple of days travelling – which would you do? We plan to return fairly regularly once he’s a little older, but would probably travel a little more cautiously with child than without.  For what it’s worth, we speak decent if rusty Spanish and are both pretty savvy and experienced non-first-world travellers.

I can imagine not wanting to leave him and go off and travel. I can also imagine feeling sad that I spent all my time in a hotel room and not getting to know his home a little better.


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  1. I don’t think you should solidify that plan until you get there.
    I would say my gut instinct it five days with the kid and a few days traveling. Not so much because I wanted to travel, but because you will need time to process everything, and not just leave him, hop on a plane, and go to work the next morning. Given a few days away, you can decompress and digest everything.

    Is it a possibility to spend two days with him, then two days away, then come back? Then you would not overwhelm him all up front with several days with you, and he would also make a connection that you leave for a bit and come back. Or maybe not.

    See how you feel after a few days with him, and decide then.

    And shoot GAL in the foot. She deserves it.

  2. On our first trip, we spent three days traveling FIRST. I knew that if we scheduled sightseeing at the end of the trip, I wouldn’t want to leave the baby. But, like you, I felt it was very important for us to see some of her birth country. (and we’re going to travel more on our next trip as well). Personally I don’t know how so many parents just stay inside an American hotel for three days and go home with their baby without ever experiencing any part of their child’s birth country except its American Embassy. I guess that sounds judgmental but it baffles me.

  3. I wanted as much time with my child as possible, but she was older (4 years) and containing her in a hotel would have been hard, even with the pool and toy room. My agency said I could go with the foster family to the zoo, and the family was just fantastic about taking us not only to the zoo but also Pollo Campero, a small mercado, and some other sites right in GC. They wanted to go to Antigua the next day, but I just wanted to bond with my child.

    Guatemala is an absolutely beautiful country and is worth visiting. Friends who waited until their pick-up trip didn’t have a chance to really explore the splendor of the country. If you think you can handle being that close to your son but not really with him, go around touring for a bit. Most people do it during the visit trip, because it’s much more difficult with a baby (without a car seat!).

  4. I think that if you are in Antigua, that you are pretty safe if you are in before dark. Is it your agency policy that you can not go out alone?

  5. My opinion (since you asked) is travel alone the first few days and THEN get the baby and don’t travel after that. The baby is already going to be all out of whack from being removed from its familiar surrounding etc. and may have a difficult time. Plus, its easier to just focus on the baby only. If you are anything like us, giving the baby back is unbelievably depressing and all you will want to do after that is cry and go home. We had no desire to travel after our visit. We did it anyway but without the enthusiasm we would have had we traveled pre-visit.

  6. Well, I’m one of those people that has visited twice, but hasn’t been outside a five-block radius of Guatemala City. Of course, we would have loved to travel around, but we couldn’t swing a lot of extra expenses, so we both thought our time (and cash) was best used for time with our son. I didn’t consider it a vacation and I certainly don’t pretend that we know a single thing about Guatemala…though I was happy that we did stay out of the big American chain hotels while we were there. (If you’d like any information about Casa Serena, let me know.)

    I’m pretty confident that we’ll travel back often enough as my husband and I have been around, so to speak, and make travel a priority. We also hope that we can go spend a semester in Guatemala in a few years when my husband is on sabattical.

    I’m not sure what I’d do, if money weren’t an issue. Sounds like you’re getting great advice already. I don’t think there’s a wrong answer, but hanging out in a hotel room with your baby (and taking turns getting out and about) isn’t the least bit awful either. 🙂

  7. I have never adopted a child so it is hard to say what I would do in that situation, but I can imagine I would want to spend every single possible second with my child. I would think there would be time for getting to know the country later. I can also see how it woudl be hard to sit around in a hotel room for a week straight. I hope the escort is friendly and lets you guys go out with the baby quite a bit.

  8. I check your blog every day. I hope you have a great visit. Peace.

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