As a single mother, I set out on the adoption journey with Adoptions From The Heart almost 15 years ago. I had researched many agencies and I loved so many things about AFTH. They had a great international program that they were involved with at the time. I loved my adoption counselor, the pre-adoption classes, and all the assistance and guidance the staff was so willing to extend. Seven months after starting the process, I laid eyes on pictures of my beautiful baby girl from Guatemala for the first time. The following 6+ months seemed like the longest of my life as I waited for paperwork to be finished so I could bring my daughter, Rachel, home. Looking back I realize that my wait-time from beginning to end was very short in comparison and AFTH was there for me the entire step of the way; encouraging me and keeping me updated. I urge waiting parents to reach out to the adoption counselors when you need to be reassured. They are very good at that!
Over the years we have stayed in close contact with my daughter’s Guatemalan Foster Family and traveled to visit them in 2016. We spent almost 3 weeks getting to know them better and traveling throughout the country. (In May of 2018, AFTH posted a sweet article about this trip titled “Returning to My Daughter’s Birth Country”) It was such a special time for my daughter to reconnect with the family and to see the beauty of her country of origin. We had planned all along to go back to Guatemala in 2021 for Rachel’s Quinceañera – the Latin American celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday and her transition from childhood to adulthood – but with all that is happening in the world with COVID-19, we are unsure if that long-awaited plan will come to fruition.
I cannot begin to describe the blessing Rachel has been to me and our family. She has taught me how to love more completely, how to give grace, how to see the good in people. She is a good student who loves to run cross country, dance, and participates in theater productions. We are so thankful to AFTH for helping us bring Rachel home.