Sunday, September 9, 2012

First U.S. Couple Adopts Under New Guatemalan Adoption Law

Widely reported AP story about the first U.S. couple to adopt under the new Guatemalan adoption law, put in place after the scandals that ended adoptions from Guatemala:
It should have been good news.

The U.S. Embassy called to say the Guatemalan government would begin to authorize adoptions five years after a scandal froze the system that sent as many as 4,000 Guatemalan children a year to the United States.

Ryan "Bubba" Hooker and his wife, Jess, might finally be able to collect the little boy they wanted to adopt and bring him home.

But Hooker wasn't sure. This would be his 36th trip to Guatemala City. The 18-month-old toddler they had met in an orphanage was now a 6-year-old kindergartener. The couple had moved homes, passed up a job, spent untold amounts of money trying to adopt Daniel.

If all went well, they were told, they would be the first U.S. family to adopt under the Central American nation's new adoption laws.

At least, that's what they told him over the phone.

On Aug. 21, an anxious Bubba boarded the plane for Guatemala City. All he had to do was get an adoption certificate, a birth certificate and a passport, meet with the people at the U.S. Embassy yet again, get an adoption visa, and then he and Jess could bring Daniel home.

Maybe this time it would work.

* * *

As the family walked through the doors of the Louisville airport late Saturday night, friends cheered, then joined them in prayer.

"WE'RE HOME!!!!!! We did it! We made it! And we can't believe it!" the family said in an emailed message to friends on Sunday.

"I wish you all could have seen Daniel's face as he ran around our house exploring his new domain. He couldn't believe he had his own room. He gawked at the size of our bathtub ... It was AWESOME!"

1 comment:

Leah said...

This is off-topic, but I read this article on XOJane and immediately thought of your blog:

The author was abandoned by her parent(s?) only hours after being born -- not in China, but in Great Britain. Nine months later she was adopted. (I find the time gap interesting, as it appears to indicate an earnest attempt to locate her family.) Now she's trying to track down her biological relatives, using YouTube and a blog.

This story seems to touch on a lot of the issues you address on this blog -- race (the author suspects she may be of Traveler descent), family, origins, and the agony of not knowing. I'd love to read your take on it.