I have only spoken of this to a few people. I guess it’s the kind of thing you hold in your heart, and carry there…always. You don’t talk about it, because it’s become nothing more than a sad memory and irrelevant.
We had been home from Guatemala for about a month. Lola was 16 months old and Diego was 13 months old. Our Agency called us; “Were not sure how to tell you this, but Diego has a new little brother”. “Wow, just wow”. Of course we said yes to the baby. But then reality set in International adoption is expensive (yes the rumors are true). Two International adoptions were very expensive. But, a third International adoption? How would we make this happen? Our agency was great, offering to help with the expenses of a third adoption, and doing what they could to support us.
I began, planning and organizing our life with this new baby. We named him Mateo, after the city in California, San Mateo (like San Diego). We would need a bigger car, we would move Lola into her own bedroom, and begin accommodating Diego’s room to welcome their new brother. The weeks that followed we were in touch with our agency but news was few and far between. Until one day I got a call that the bio-Mom had changed her mind. That the Lawyer we had worked with was helping her get into a program where she could keep her baby.
My heart filled with sadness. Sadness, because I knew what a beautiful gift Diego was, and a biological sibling was sure to be just as beautiful of a gift. Sadness because I knew the part of Guatemala City that he would be growing up in, and because of this, he would probably grow up fast, and miss out on his childhood (if he even makes it to adulthood). Mostly sadness, because I had already allowed Mateo to grow in my heart. The technical term for this is called an adoption interruption. But it was a loss to me.
I am sure that placing Diego with us was the most difficult thing that his bio-mom had ever had to do, and faced with going through that pain again was unbearable, and so she asked for help this time. Help to keep her baby.
I think of Mateo often. I think about how old he is now, I hope that he was able to start Kindergarten this year, and hope he is growing up happy, healthy and safe. I hope that he’s not experiencing a life that is full of fear, poverty or hunger. And, although he knows nothing of me, I will continue to love him, pray for him and think of him often. For once a child begins to grow in your heart, there is nothing you can do, they will live there…always.