Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Long Time Dream Fulfilled

Many of you know of the time and trials of the adoption of Chase. Being an international adoption it came with ups and LOTS of downs through the paperwork process. Getting his referral 11 days after he was born and then it taking nearly 9 months more to get the travel OK to go get him was tough on the whole family.

I am the oldest child and my younger sister had no children at that point either so this was the first grandchild for my parents. My Dad was over-the-top excited about a grandson to taking fishing, hunting, camping, etc. Mom was excited as well but Dad had dreams of things he would do with Chase before he ever got to hold him.

We lived from one picture to the next for that nine months as that was our connection to this little boy we loved so dearly. We were trapped in the system and had to wait it out. It was stressful for us all and some of us (namely me) were more vocal about the stress we endured. Others (like Dad) kept dreaming of this baby in his arms in silence. Dad had a heart attack summer of 2003 while we were in this waiting period. He spent several days in the hospital getting stents placed and recovering. During this time, we all became more aware of his emotions related to Chase. He worked so hard to recover and get his health in shape to be able to go to Guatemala with us.

Finally in November 2003, we go the plane tickets and Dad told his boss he would be back when Chase was home from Guatemala as he and Mom went with us. We took a red-eye flight to Guatemala City. Upon arriving after a long night of flight, we got to our hotel (Hotel La Casa Grande) and checked in. The agency had told us to call the attorney when we arrived. I did just that. We were told to be prepared as with it being a Friday before the election weekend in Guatemala we may not get to even see him and likely wouldn't get to have him till Monday. I was shocked when Leticia (our attorney in Guatemala) asked me if we would like to "get" him that morning. I inquired for more info as to what she meant. She told us she could be there with him and we could HAVE him that morning. We all raced through the shower (as we were all in one suite so the one shower was busy).
FINALLY we got to have him (we ended up waiting in Guatemala enjoying him in our hotel for 3 weeks while final paperwork was completed for travel home)! After a short visit with the attorney and the foster mother, they left and we were on our own. The poor little guy had just been removed from all he knew and he started crying. We all took turns walking the floor with him trying to calm him. Mom and I took turns singing to him (she had learned to sing Jesus Loves Me in Spanish) and rocking him. Dave took his turn too and finally Papa got his turn. He walked out onto an open landing area and talked to Chase and finally got him settled and he fell asleep on Papa's chest. What a sight as you can see . . .

I NEVER knew until a couple of months ago what Dad had talked to him about while trying to comfort him that day nearly 6 years ago. I now know that he was talking to Chase about the things they would do together and how he looked forward to teaching him to fish!

Chase and Papa have gone fishing quite a few time together and really enjoy one another's company as you can see.

Yesterday (August 17, 2009), Chase (with the help of Papa) caught his first BIG fish. He has caught several blue gill and perch but yesterday was different. He caught a 15 lb, 32 inch KING SALMON on the Columbia River near Brewster, WA. Boy was he proud and so was Papa - I think the picture says it all . . .

A Long Time Dream Fulfilled


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

What a sweet, sweet post, Michelle. Can't wait to see this scrapbooked!

megan said...

I get teary eyed every time I hear that story. Isn't it great to see a child and their "papa" have such a special connection?