Seems like a dream

In 1978, after years of unsuccessful infertility treatment, we discovered a self-help adoption group called LAPA (Latin America Parents Association). Through them we got in contact with a lawyer in Bolivia and nine months later left for Bolivia.

Thirty years ago this was a rarer experience than it is today. We did not meet any other American parents there and there were no American hotels or restaurants or other things to remind us of home. We got our son within an hour of arriving in La Paz and were able to keep him with us in the hotel. He weighted about 4 and a half pounds and was two weeks old. I remember boiling so much water to make formula that the wallpaper near my little heater started to peel off.

Our 10 day trip dragged on day after day as the paperwork was always somewhere else or our contact was out of town. Finally a month after we arrived my husband was able to leave for Miami with the paperwork for immigration and I left a few days later.

My son is now an adult with a college degree and a high-powered job in Washington DC. My advise to anxious parents-to-be is to stick with the process, tough it out and come home with your child. When you come home, raise your child no differently than you would if he or she was a biological child. Give them an appreciation for both their Bolivian heritage and their American world. Help them to understand the importance of respecting other cultures and caring about those with less material goods than we have in America. In this way, your child will be a bridge between their two cultures.

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