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.

I told them and thanked them for sharing this with us. They probably don’t remember this exact moment, as when something so powerfully moving occurs, one isn’t aware of it as much as when one reflects on it later on. Returning to the hotel I shared with them what I saw. Again, tears swelled up in their eyes.

I was lucky enough to see the face of bliss again while poolside at the Marriott. A mom cradled her son, under the shade of the pergola as we sat sipping sodas. I asked her for her camera to take her picture. She was so happy about this offer, as she was traveling alone and had no one to capture these moments for her. I hope as she goes home to the West Village of NYC, and she looks at her photos, she can too see the face of bliss captured forever in a photo.

I will never forget these families and the moment of bliss that they and we all experience.


Posted by Kelly at July 10, 2007 03:38 PM

What a wonderful story! I have tears streaming down my face as I type this, because I have the hope that someday very soon my family will be able to experience this. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a wonderful thing to observe.

Posted by: JL at July 11, 2007 02:30 AM

What a wonderful story! I have tears streaming down my face as I type this, because I have the hope that someday very soon my family will be able to experience this. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a wonderful thing to observe.

Posted by: JL at July 11, 2007 02:30 AM

Marie and Kelly, thanks for sharing this story its profound and beautiful. Heartfelt.~Melissa

Posted by: Melissa at July 11, 2007 09:02 PM

I pray that someday I will have the "face of bliss" and that I will also experience seeing the "face of bliss" on another. Thank you, I need a tissue!

Posted by: Biff at July 11, 2007 11:32 PM

Hey Marie-
Hope "yall" are adjusting well. What a beautiful story you shared about the couple in front of you. We met them and they were wonderful. I hope Maritza (I probably butchered that up) is doing well and enjoying the time with her brother. We go back in a couple of weeks with our girls so that they can meet their brother Marcel.


Posted by: Maria and Troy Benoit at July 12, 2007 03:09 AM

Hi Y'all-
I remember you guys and Marcel too! I bet you guys are missing him terribly, hopefully the weeks will go by quickly and you and his big sisters will be together again. Le me know how your trip went.
PM me.
Hugs, Marie,

Posted by: Marie at July 12, 2007 12:31 PM

Hi Marie!

Mark and I read your story and we can't say thank you enough --- what a wonderful reminder and snapshot of what we experienced at window 7.

Reading our story brought yes more tears to our eyes as that had been one of the brightest moments of our lives! =-)

We also remember the look of bliss and joy on your and Maritza's face that day as well as when we were at the pool together - the excitement Maritza felt everytime she saw an airplane and the knowledge that soon she would be on one riding home was beautiful and contangeous!!!!

We think of and pray for you all and all the other precious families we met while there often.

Big hugs to you all! Anna

Maria... please keep us posted on your journey with Marcel! We really enjoyed meeting you and Troy - I know your girls are really going to have their little brother home we pray SOON! =-)

Posted by: Anna at July 12, 2007 08:24 PM

I too have tears streaming down my face as I read your post! What a powerful image. I just returned from a mission trip to Guatemala. We fostered a child seven years ago...and now she is 16...and I long to adopt a child from there now!

Posted by: Dana at July 20, 2007 05:10 AM

I have been fortunate to see "the face of bliss" in many different ways. The first time was at the hospital when i gave birth to our older daughter. The second time was in a different hospital when our gestational surrogate gave birth to our younger daughter. The third time was last September at the USE window in Guatemala as my husband and I realized that we were about to bring our son home with us forever. Life is good!

Posted by: Mp at April 14, 2008 04:04 PM