We made it to the land of the “Quetzal” around 11:30 am. Have to say the airport is getting better and better each time we fly, the Guatemala City Airport that is. They are working feverishly on modernizing and enlarging it, and it really is something they can be proud of.
After settling in at the Marriott, we scheduled a 2 pm pickup of Alia and Alexia. We called our friend Edwin Rodriguez to take us to Feliciano’s hogar, unfortunately he was busy with other clients, but he was able to send a very kind and respectful driver named Jose Lemus. Jose speaks great English and ranks right up there with Edwin in regards to his sincerity in taking care of adoptive families.
We had called Feliciano to arrange a time to get the girls, and he asked what we were doing afterwards. Now, this always scares me somewhat, because Feliciano never gives us any advance notice that he is planning on taking us somewhere for dinner or entertainment. And, to have him tell you “I’ll explain when you get here” is even more frightening. We are thinking about all the things that we “need” or don’t “need” for our daughters. Now, we have to “guess” what we “need” for an evening with Feliciano!!
Once at the hogar, it was like we had never left from our April visit. Cristel and Sandra were there to greet us, and all the children looked great! Alia hadn’t changed much other than her hair is a bit longer and curlier (have no idea how we ended with two girls with curly hair), and we quickly realized she had sprouted one lone tooth on bottom once she pulled our hand to her mouth and started chewing. She is a tiny thing, but already up on all-fours and “bucking” every chance she gets. We had forgotten about the “Michael Jordan” stage when it seems NOTHING is out of reach. She had my glasses and Lisa’s necklace before we knew what hit us. In April, we could “out quick her,” but her hand-eye coordination is much better now. We’re going to have to get up to speed quickly.
Alexia was a different story. We have known for a long-time that she would be the most difficult due to her age and her life-long stay in the hogar. She has been there since day four of her one-year existence, and she is very attached to her caregivers – as they are to her. We didn’t take her with us on our visit trip due to the uncertainty of her abandonment, so we wanted to be sure and spend some time with her this trip. As before, picking her up causes a fairly traumatic experience for her. We can get close and sort of “tease” with her, but each time either of us hoisted her from her seated arrangement, it was the “cry that melts your heart.” It sort of makes one feel like the “bad guy.” I don’t think anyone, us included, “wants” a child to be frightened like that. Knowing full well that stuff like this happens everyday in adoptions, it was still “difficult to swallow.”
Fortunately for Alexia, her family court appointment was for the following morning the same time our Embassy appointment was. So, it was decided we would get her after we completed the Embassy on Monday and returned to the Marriott.
Our “explain when you get there” worry got put on hold due to Amaya not being with us. Feliciano had planned on taking us horseback riding – mainly for Amaya and Angel David (Feliciano and Sandra’s adopted son). We owe Angel, because he was definitely disappointed when we opted for a nice dinner out. He told Cristel, “this isn’t the way to kabayo sp?) We had a nice dinner “somewhere” in Guatemala City and were entertained with a karaoke song (Guatemalan style) by Feliciano. I have to admit, I didn’t recognize one word, but he did a fine job. And, I have photos to prove it!
After returning to the Marriott and enjoying a peaceful and relaxing evening, we started getting prepared for the Embassy the following day.