So, it took another 7 weeks for us to get immigration clearance, new birth certificate and the "pink slip", which was permission for us to go to the U.S. embassy and obtain a visa to bring Marielle home. We traveled to Guatemala once again to bring her home. I had a great time shopping! There was a little alleyway not far from the hotel that had all kinds of little shops that sold Guatemalan made items and boy did I stock up.
Then one day, we took the shuttle over to the area by the airport that had many shops that also sold Guatemalan hand made articles. Not knowing how soon we might return, I had to make sure I bought lots and lots of things!
We brought Marielle home and settled in, becoming a family of 3. I was so happy, as was Ralph and Marielle really was the easiest baby in the world. She never cried, unless she was hungry. So, if I kept bottles on schedule, she was a happy camper. She would wake from naps and just lie there waiting for me to come in and get her. I'd check on her, see her lying there, eyes wide open and say, "Hi, you're awake". Imagine my surprise, when one day when Marielle was only 6 months old, when she actually answered me with a "hi" back!
It's true, she started talking at 6 months old! First word was hi, followed quickly by dog. Marielle is and always has been an animal lover. So, not mama, not dada, but dog. When she realized that saying "dog" would not bring the dog over to her crib, she learned to say our dog's name. So, as you can see, calling for Mama was never high on the list. Calling the dog, however, was very high on the list!
Recently, we were watching some old videos and it was so fun to see her and Belle, our border collie, playing when Marielle was not even a year old. Belle would bring over her toy, Marielle would throw it and giggle like crazy and then Belle would bring it back and they'd start all over again.
As the months went by, I thought a lot about possibly making contact with Marielle's birth mother. I have a sister who was adopted from Vietnam and I talked to her about this. Her answer was, "I have a great life, I love my life, but I would trade everything I have for one picture of my birthmom". That really spurred me on. I talked to Ralph about it, he was on the fence, not really sure it was a good idea. Finally, we decided to talk to a searcher about it.
I contacted a searcher and spelled out what I wanted. I wanted to make contact, but only if it didn't put the birthmom in any danger and only if she wanted contact, too. I didn't want to harm or harass her in any way. We had heard stories of some birthmoms hiding their pregnancies from their families or lying and saying that the baby died, because placing a child for adoption is shameful in Guatemala. I wanted to be very clear that , although I welcomed contact, I in no way wanted to put the birthmom in an uncomfortable position.
With that in mind, we hired a searcher and waited to see what would happen.
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