GuateMama, Abuelita & la Familia

April 03, 2012

The Meaning of Rescue

Throughout my life there have been events that changed my thinking, my life and my goals. Before I entered the world of adoption, some of the most emotional events were:
* Experiencing a 7.6 earthquake in Taiwan (and seeing the destruction)
* Observing a child with RAD
* Seeing children living in a cardboard houses on the side of the street

I couldn't possibly discuss all the events AFTER our adoption. To say that I went through a journey of emotions and realizations is an understatement. But I'm not about to talk about all those hurdles. I only bring up these events because each time, someone needed help (Rescue) and each time, it was difficult to know what to do! So, I've been thinking a lot about the word "Rescue". It is a word that has stayed relatively true to itself (unlike charity, donation or rights).


Posted by Kelly at 06:38 PM

August 24, 2008

My Latest Do Gooder List

Well, to catch everyone up....I am still on the *mend* but doing much better. The surgery had no complications though it was a little more "major" than anticipated. I am a tad skinnier now (yay!). Thankfully, I am really excited about getting past the recovery point. I can tell that I will be much healthier...and we am already planning a dive trip for the late fall/early winter. My hubby, I found out, is an incredible nurse which was kind of a surprise. I don't mean that to sound sarcastic, but since I've typically been very self sufficient and this was my first surgery...well, hey. He stayed by my side most of the 5 days/4 nights of the surgery as well as being a very attentive to me and making sure I was comfortable. My daughter was (is) an awesome helper and has been doing the bending while I am mending :-). And I don't know what I would have done without the presence and support of my mom (Abuelita) who has spent the last few weeks carting me around to appointments, washing dishes, entertaining D-Lo, doing my laundry and keeping me from going insane!

Then there is a really special group of families (some I just met) who brought our family delicious meals and really eased the hardships of recovery. Kathy, Laurie, Christy, Tara, Kathie, Rachel, Julie and Michelle (I hope I haven't left out anyone) and your families are so amazing and I can't tell you how much my family appreciates the wonderful meals, prayers and well wishes. It really had me thinking how meaningful acts of kindness can be. I was very touched and so spoiled!!! These are true Do Gooders! I may have to get them to help me put together a Comfort Food section for our Do Good cookbook.

We're getting back into the swing of things here....My daughter started 1st Grade a couple of weeks ago! We seem to start earlier than a lot of folks here in Atlanta! She loves her new teacher saying that he is the "goodest teacher ever". OK, so I guess we will have to work a little harder on grammar! But we're happy...there is nothing like having a very supportive, close knit school! Other than that D-Lo is taking gymnastics again and that may be the extent for kid activities since I will be back to work soon. Well, that's it for now. Time to figure out how to help D-Lo clean her room out without over-exerting myself :-) Thanks to everyone for their well wishes, prayers and good vibes!

Posted by Kelly at 04:31 PM | Comments (3)

March 30, 2008

Advice from a 5 year old

A few days ago, I found myself trying to encourage my daughter to complete an "art project". But then I thought...maybe I don't have much room to talk! I look around at the many projects that need my attention and I am overwhelmed with the feeling of futility. Guatadopt projects have suffered as well ( have the perfect site with EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING working). There simply is not enough time to work, followup on DLo's homework, housework, family time and certainly not enough time for all the Guatadopt and Do Good projects. So TSK! TSK!, I thought this is a lifelong project....time management.

It wasn't always this bad....I remember a time when re-decorating a room for my daughter's homecoming was simply a matter of "next weekend". Now, projects are a "do it fast....or forget it!" That certainly has been the case for writing too. I don't seem to find time to sit and just write. If I can't get it done in less than 5 minutes....well, there is probably something more pressing to claim my time.

So, it was with a bit of amusement that when I made a comment about a project I needed to work on this weekend, she looked at me quite seriously and said "Why? Do you have to finish it right now?" OK, fair question. Well, there are some projects that you just have to get done quickly. Then there are projects that are MASSIVE, but you can spend just a few minutes to get a little done. Then there are projects that make you feel that you have accomplished a lot or those which make you feel better about everything else. Then there are projects that take priority over others....or wait! Do they? Hmmm....well, thats the problem: Prioritization.

Two times this week, I had first time parents talk about finishing project A or B AFTER their darlings arrive. Oh my! Well, children always seem to become the priority project so forget thinking that you will finish those fun little projects after they get home! Children bring new meaning to "time management". Besides making sure your children are loved, nurtured and kept safe....there is that ongoing battle to give yourself time to take care of yourself. Somewhere, this was lost to "higher" priorities! I'm not a "high maintenance" person...but I do find myself hiding my nails until I can trim them down to nothing (avoid polish because it chips and looks worse!). Hair cuts are few and far between (avoid those cuts that have to be trimmed too 3 times a year). Massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and long "Me" baths.....yeah, right! (well, we did manage a few manicures and pedicures for the "girl's day out").

I finally got around to getting my hair cut (I decided I would make it a goal to do that more than once a year:-) So, with 5+ inches cropped off my mop....I had a revelation....short hair can save me some time! I also learned that little girls who want to grow their hair long (and stringy) sometimes get excited about shorter haircuts when they see their mom sporting one :-) My daughter also had to give me a little advice which I thought was appropriate:

"Mom, I think you need to get your hair cut more often. You look sparkley" Ah ha! Thats it. There are some projects that take priority for the very sake that they renew your spirits and make you feel "sparkley".

Sparkley is good!

Posted by Kelly at 09:25 PM | Comments (5)

July 10, 2007

The Face of Bliss

{Posted on behalf of Marie,}
I got to see what bliss actually looks like while on our pick up trip to Guatemala late last month. Why am I using the term "the face of bliss" you might ask, well let me share with you as to why. We all were scheduled, about 20 families in all, at the US Embassy at around the same time, a family was scheduled a little before us. You sit there in the waiting room with the other families. This was still fresh in my memory from having been there just last October 06. The feeling was the same…numbness. I guess all the tension from the months of anxiety and angst just numbs your body and it becomes a surreal feeling. Yes, you are sitting in the USE and you are at the final step of your adoption. I repeated this over and over, yet the numbness still prevailed. After the initial interview in the booth, one is sat back with the group and then called to the window for the final signature and stamping of the documents. There was couple adopting a little girl, who had this uncanny resemblance to her new Dad, which of course this new Daddy proudly gleaned as he was told this by all. Actually, there is alot of resemblances when you come to think about it in a lot of the adoptive families. The new Mommy was jovial and cheerful and they had two boys, also adopted. The boys were from Hawaii and they too looked alot like their new baby sister. The family went to Window 7. They were there about 5 minutes, but it probably felt like an eternity, then it was finalized. They turned around and faced me sitting there with our 5 year old all decked out in pink. I saw the look on their faces, and it was sheer bliss. I have experienced bliss before but never saw it actually at that moment of occurrence and but know what it was, I recognized it immediately. Yes, the face of bliss. Tears welled up in their eyes and I hugged them.


Posted by Kelly at 03:38 PM | Comments (9)

April 17, 2007

Easter Thoughts

This year we were limited in number of guests we could include in our annual egghunt, because of Abuelo's illness. Not so much the illness as the chemotherapy he has been taking. Remembering back, we think of the times we had dozens of adults and children, all noisily roaming through the vegetation, poking under the leaves and bushy plants with sticks, before reaching for the plastic eggs we use in place of potential stinky rotten boiled eggs that get lost for months until they smell! Some of the children would still be in their dressy new clothes that had already made it through church, but were dear to the hearts, so could not be shed for playclothes just yet. Others would have changed into jeans or something equally comfortable to move faster. This was the first Easter that Dani took off by herself--a four and a half year old needs no help! Sporadic laughter, and screams echoed, as several children (or adults) spotted the same egg and raced to get it.

Because of extra tasks required by Abuelo's inability to help much, and the added disadvantage that age brings, I had not made it to church. Consequently, I had felt a sort of void inside, having not had the ritual of celebrating our Lord's rising. Even so, we basked in the love and companionship of close family and friends, who were not put off by having to serve themselves. There is great comfort in having those you enjoy the most around you, even when you end up exhausted.


Posted by Liz at 04:42 AM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2007

Tears of a child

Today, my daughter had a bit of a meltdown when I left the school today. I guess I am not terribly surprised since she was home all last week. Yesterday went fine because she missed her friends at school...but today two of the kids were having a hard time dealing with mom or dad walking out that door. As I escaped to my car, tears had started down my own cheeks. Yes, she knew that I would be back for her. But those two tearful faces brought a flood of emotion for the children of Guatemala...who knows how long this process will take before they are reunited with their forever families.


Posted by Kelly at 04:16 PM | Comments (8)

March 11, 2007

Politics and Adoption?

Why should those two things have ANYTHING to do with one another? I have wept over the plight of those too young to understand why they are bounced around like ping pong balls, and nobody seems to care enough to take them home! That is how it must seem to a child who would love to be cuddled, warm and safe with someone to take care of basic needs--too few by sincere missions, but too many of which are not met by government agencies, or world government charitable organizations too busy trying to grow and trying to enlarge their political power to bother with looking after the children they have made pawns in their attempts to control entire countries. I would take issue with the logic of having powerbrokers of poor countries who have robbed and abused their own citizens making the rules for OTHERS to follow--particularly when it comes to intercountry adoptions.

What about the basic morality here? For some reason it seems to be commonly accepted that "selling babies" is wrong. Certainly a business that contracts a woman to have a child purely for a profit is suspect. However, is an organization or entity who tries to find a family for a child who would be doomed to starvation, poverty, or a government institution wrong for finding that family, providing the initial care for the child, and the legal assistance to the family to complete the adoption moral? In a word -- yes. And even if the organization or entity profits from the service!


Posted by Liz at 02:46 AM | Comments (1)

July 17, 2006

Abuelita's Intro

Gee, that intro was so nice, I didn't recognize me!

I have to admit, that when my daughter and son-in-law started the adoption process, I had concerns. Some of which were well founded! But most, thankfully, were not! The people she found to help them, and that she met later as a result of the adoption, have been, on the whole, wonderful, caring friends who seem to also be enduring friends. Not being as domestic as a lot of young women, she was terrified that the social worker who came to visit would think she was not "parent material". Cleaning house, and cooking meals comes down the list from Daniela's well-being, family cohesiveness, and even helping out friends in some kind of distress.
Luckily, the social worker saw what the rest of us knew about them, that they were devoted to one another BEFORE they thought of adopting, and the house, though sometimes cluttered, was clean enough, and they had
concern for the interests of each other--Kelly's husband Dale was extremely supportive of her music, and of her college courses, while getting her graduate degree..


Posted by Liz at 09:22 AM

June 30, 2006

A Daughter's Introduction

Not so long ago, my mother and I shared a little shopping trip as we do every so often. As one of our routines, we started talking about what was happening in Guatemala and the families effected. My mother has long been my best friend, travel buddy and instant baby sitter when hubby and I needed a break. Moreover, she is the perfect doting Grandmother and adoption advocate. Sitting there in the Food Court at the mall, it occurred to me that much of the site is influenced by my why not have a section that talks about the issues, joys and hurdles of the extended family.

So, I proudly turn this section over to my mother....affectionately know as Abuelita to her Guatemalan granddaughter!

Posted by Kelly at 09:38 PM

GuateMama, Abuelita & la Familia