Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our Journey to Aviana

I received a question last week.

Could you describe your Adoption Adventure of Aviana? Where in Guatemala is she from? Did you foster in Guatemala?

We had gone through a number of years of infertility. After months of fertility drugs and all of the wonderful things that go along with them, we were faced with the decision to pursue IVF or adoption. We chose adoption. For us, it felt like the natural next step, as we both have many adopted family members and friends.

I asked Dave to pick the country, as I only had a few requirements. I wanted to adopt internationally, and I also wanted a baby. Dave chose Guatemala. We began our journey in March of 2006.

In September of 2006, we first laid eyes on Aviana. She was the most beautiful little baby I had ever seen. Aviana was born in Guastatoya, Guatemala.

We were finally able to go pick her up in July of 2007. She was 11 months old. We had waited so long for this moment.  We were so anxious to finally meet her. Picking her up was bitter sweet. Her foster family was so attached to her, it just about broke them in half to have to let her go.

This is Aviana's foster family. They were truly amazing people!

Can you tell how much she liked us!

Aviana finally began to warm up to us.

As you can tell, Aviana did not like to be in the hotel room.

As long as we were outside she was good to go.

Little sweetie, she looks so apprehensive.

Things got better over the next few days.

Avi loved to be out and about.

We arrived home and were so happy to finally be a family. Everything fell into place for everyone, except me. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I had a really hard time bonding with Aviana. It was a long journey, but I have finally arrived exactly where I had hoped to be.

I love this little girl with everything, and feel blessed beyond measure to be able to stay home and take care of her!

I would love to hear your stories too :o)


  1. She is toooo cute!!!!! Thanks for posting - loved reading that post :)

  2. Such a sweetie!!! Well...you already read my blog...so you know my story! I love to look at pictures of Guatemala and reminisce. Such a beautiful place with such beautiful people!!!

  3. We have two beauties from Guatemala. Marco will be 5 in August and we brought him home in January of 2006 when he was just 5 months old. Dulce will be 3 in June. We brought her home in August of 2008 when she was 14 months old. We were one of the "Grandfathered" cases. We went through the shutdown, the birthmother interviews, the CNA registration, the 2nd DNA. There were many nights I thought that we would never bring her home. We visited her three times and each time was so hard. Dulce had a very rough time with grieving for her foster family and to bonding with us, but she has come so far and has made so much progress. I thank God for the two of them just about every day.

  4. Hello...I read your blog all the time. My little girl, Ava, was born in Jutiapa, Guatemala in September of 2006. We also brought her home in July of 2007, Independence Day to be exact. Ava's foster family was amazing as well and we keep in touch. We are currently adopting again domestically. Initially I thought it was much easier...not anymore. I always think of Aviana and love hearing about her progress. She is beautiful!

  5. I can't believe the similarities in our timelines Jen- We started in March 2006 also and met our Jessica in July 2007- 2 days before her first birthday on the 4th of July! We didn't get to bring her home until Sept 2007 at 14 months. Yes, it has been quite a journey and we're still on it!!!! It looks like you stayed Antigua? I miss it so much!! Our girl was born in Mazatenango.

  6. What a beautiful journey. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Hey, this was really great to read. Thank you for honoring my request. I adopted my Girl, Sophia, from Guate. She was born in April 2006, I moved to Antigua in June 2006 and we brought her home a couple days before Christmas 2006. We also chose adoption over IVF after doing a lot of "effort" in the infertility world. I am grateful for every moment I have had with my girl. I love the country and I love our beautiful, spirited children. :)

  8. (This accidentally erased and I didn't notice until it posted) Each of these images and your story are truly beautiful. How cool that you were able to meet your Foster Family. I only met our Foster Mom. What was the hotel you stayed at? Was it in Antigua? It is very lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I would love to hear more about your bonding issues with Avi. I'm fearful of not bonding with Sofia the way I am with my biological children. Could you email me about it when you have some time? We bring Sofia home on the 17th of June...we'll need that ramp soon after :) Maybe we'll get to meet!

  10. Our Guat princess was born in Sept 2007 & we brought her home April 25th 2008. We got her home just before the chaos happened.. for that I am FOREVER greateful. Icant imagine being "stuck in process", my heart aches for all those families.
    My DD was born in Villanueva & we visited twice before our pick up trip.
    I follow your blog & look foward to seeing the progress that Avi is making..
    hugs from NJ

  11. Love your story and am amazed and how far she has come. We also have now been goign thru 8 years of infertility, we did all the fun stuff and then I was ready to adopt. We saw an IVF doctor and he gave us 97% of having a baby within 1 year (I still wanted to adopt but my husband thgouth we should try) so 5 series later and only 1 pregnancy which I lost on christmas day. WE saw Maya's picture when she was 10 days old the first week of Novemember 2006, we went and visited in February and then 3 more times after that thru July. we got kicked out of PGN while I was there and I told my husband I wasnt' coming home without her. So the day Maya turned 9 months old we moved to Antigua for the next 8 months. Without me moving there I'm positive we never would have gotten home. Now we are and its fantastic! we are starting to try and adopt again but if it doens't work we are so happy it doesn't matter.

  12. My husband & I married in 2000 & tried to start a family. After 6+ rounds of fertility treatments & IUI's we too were faced with either the IVF or adoption choice. We couldn't afford both. We chose to adopt & I'm so grateful that we did. Our daughter was born in Guatemala City in April of 2006. We visited her in September & getting on the plane to come home without her was harder than I had imagined (& I had already figured it would be pretty bad). We got kicked out of PGN in November & I went into a depression as it seemed like the process was never going to end. I was a complete mess by Christmas. I remember listening a lot to Far Away by Nickelback & somehow I made it through the holidays. She came home Feb 2007 at 10 1/2 months old. It was bliss for I'd say, the 1st day, & then reality set in that she didn't know who I was & was scared. I can SO relate to everyone's adoption journey. I rarely post because I don't have a blog & am not computer savvy, but I pray for Aviana often. She is beautiful & has cute chubby cheeks just like my daughter.

    Channe from Louisiana

  13. Our adoption journey is on hold, but someday we hope to bring home another little angel. No matter how you go about it, that journey is difficult. It broke my heart to read through the case reports on each child, and then to have to pick through them like I was picking out produce. We grieved both times that we almost got a placement and it fell through.

    Miss you guys. Give that little angel a hug for me.

  14. I loved reading your story!! Thanks for sharing it!
    I started my adoption in Dec. 2006 after God told me I was going to be holding a baby girl in church. It surprised me since I wasn't married or dating. Decided God meant adoption.

    Johanna was born in July 2007 in Mixco, Guatemala and I held her for the first time in March 2008 when she was 8 months and 1 one. Three days later we flew home!!!


  15. Our Guat journey was painful yet joyful.

    We lost our first referral ... my first daughter. I was devastated.

    We accepted another referral without even looking at her picture. She is now the daughter of my dreams.

    We ended up choosing to MOVE our family of 6 to Guatemala to foster Aven...so then we were a family of 7 living in a gorgeous country...we were supposed to be home by Christmas. We got home January 4th.

    WE were in-country 3 months.

    I blogged practically everyday and have tons of pics...

    We had many adventures from being pick-pocked three times, being invited to our maid's ultra-rural home for lunch, and almost dying on the top of Mt Pacaya!

    My blog is:


    if you are interested....go to Sept - Dec of '07 for all the nitty-gritty ;)

  16. I was never able to have children and after yrs of trying I ended up having a hystorectomy at 28 yr old and eventually remarried in 06 and we started the process immediately. Isaac was born in Chinautla in april of 07 and we brought him home March of 08, he was 10 1/2 mo old. Along this journey though I met my best friend online as she was getting ready to start the process. We ended up using same agency, our boys were born on same day in same town. The kicker was though when we got some update pics and found out they were in the same foster home. Yes i know!!!! Only God. Well it always seemed when one of us got ahead in our journey that the other would some how catch up. We ended up bringing them into the US on the same flight on March 11, 2008. We only live like 30 min from each other so our babies who have been together since day 1 are still together and still best buddies.

  17. Jen: You know we were in Guatemala at the same time, at the same hotel, with our new little chica's, but we never saw each other! I think the rest of my family saw you, though. Russ and I were talking last night about hoping to go back to Guatemala in a few years and that we would love to stay at the same hotel again. Well, this morning, I had an email from the Vista Real with special rates for Father's Day! I haven't had an email from them since the confirmation email almost 3 years ago!

    I know I don't post very often, but I do keep up and I just read about Avi eating a whole meal and I'm teared up with joy. How wonderful to see her smile, too! I'm reminded of Mary Tyler Moore...who can turn the world on with her smile? who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

  18. Thanks for sharing your adoption story! It is beautiful, just like Aviana.
    We started out with the intention of adopting from Guatemala. We received a referral for our daughter (Ariana) who was born on September 26, 2007. She was absolutely perfect. Our process was going along very well and we visited in December 2007. It was an amazing, wonderful week. We were sad to leave, but having met her entire foster family, we knew we were leaving her in good hands. Sadly, just 4 days after I kissed my sweet girl and handed her back to her foster mom, she died in her sleep. Our healthy, happy, beautiful baby was gone in an instant.
    Since Guatemala was closed, we spent a few months picking up the pieces and dealing with the information we later learned about the attorney in Guat. At the end of March 2008 we decided to pursue a domestic adoption and had our homestudy updated. We then put together our family profile and started networking to find an expectant mom who was making an adoption plan. Then came our big miracle! I accidentally clicked on a link I had never visited before and there was a posting from an agency needing a family for a Hispanic baby boy already born in Houston, Texas. I responded immediately, and the rest is history. As it turns out, our son's birthmother and birthfather are BOTH from Guatemala, so we weren't wrong thinking that God wanted us to adopt a Guatemalan child! He's a miracle, as are all of our Guat tots!