Stacy and I are truly blessed to be employed by organizations that support our adoption journey. It is reassuring to know that your employer “has your back” and is understanding. We had mixed emotions when we first heard that we would have to spend a minimum of 5-6 weeks in Costa Rica. On one hand, who wouldn’t want to spend a month, or more, in Costa Rica? On the other hand, it is a long time to be away from family, work, and life, in general. Besides, what were we going to do for that amount of time?
Now that we have been with D and E for a few days, I know why we need to spend this amount of time in Costa Rica. Our Ticos have lived in their orphanage for over five years. During those five years, other than going to school, they rarely left the complex; traveling to a supermarket or mall only once or twice a year. It has been very overwhelming for them to meet their new family, going out to eat, and shopping for new clothes; all in their own culture. I can’t imagine the girls traveling to, and living in the United States after one or two weeks of meeting their new family.
Over the next month, we will be going to many different appointments, such as the U.S Embassy, immigration office, courts, etc. In between these appointments we will have opportunities to visit some cool Costa Rican sites, activities with the girls, and begin teaching them English. Our hope is that most of the bonding will take place in Costa Rica so that we can help them navigate through the transition of coming home.
The bonding and attachment process is something we will write about in later posts. It is very important for adopted children to bond with their parents. Most children, living in an orphanage, have issues bonding to just one person. While living in an institution they have caretakers coming in and out of their lives every day. After these children are adopted they don’t have any problems going up to a stranger when seeking comfort.
The next five weeks will be long, yet critical for the strong familial bonding that needs to take place. We love our girls so much and cannot wait to get custody of them, beginning today. This does not mean that they are officially adopted, but only that we do not have to take them back to the orphanage in the evenings. Once we have officially adopted the girls we can post pictures of them and our activities on our Facebook page.