FELL IN LOVE!!!!!
by Michelle Winchester
Our adoption experience was great! My husband and I had tried for 10 very long years to conceive. On July 5,1997 we traveled to Bolivia with the assistance of Villa Hope. We arrived on Sunday morning July 6th very anxious and eager (tired also) to meet our baby. Monday we awoke expecting to bring our baby back to our temporary home at La Quinta hotel. But we were told that there was a hold up with a piece of our paperwork that was not ready. Feeling slightly crushed we were allowed, however, to tag along with another couple from Alabama we'd met on the flight over who were going to pick up there baby Juan Pablo. We were met with smiles and treated very warmly at the Santa Cruz orphanage, San Larenzo. Yolonda, the lawyer that Villa Hope uses traveled with us acting also as our interpreter. She conveyed to the workers that we wanted to see and hold our little boy. We were led over to a crib with the most beautiful baby boy I'd ever seen sleeping peacefully!! We were told that his name was Mauricio. One of the ladies picked him up and my husband I each were allowed to hold him and take a few pictures. But, alas, it had to end and we were very disappointed to have to leave him behind. Tuesday we received a call from Yolanda saying that were allowed to return to San Lorenzo to see Mauricio again. I declined (sometimes now I wonder if I should've but at the time I just couldn't leave with out my baby again) and my husband agreed we would wait until the next day. The next day we were taken back to San Lorenzo to finally take our baby "home" to La Quinta. Our experience from there was as smooth as it could get from our meetings with the judges, passport, etc. We enjoyed ourselves immensely sightseeing with our fellow Alabamians. We went shopping, eating out, and had a wonderful day at the zoo. We went to the mall, to the beautiful park, and we ate at several restaurants around Santa Cruz where the food was great. One place called Texas Burger was especially delicious. I sooo wanted to eat the beautiful,juicy, fat tomato slices and onion. But for fear of getting sick I did not. Our only negative experiences were eating pizza (blah)and one of the "official buildings" employees got me upset thinking we had come so close and wouldn't be able to take our baby home. But somehow the problem was worked out. (That was the only time I nearly lost it.) When all our paperwork and processes were completely done we could've left a week earlier than planned but we opted to stay. There is so much more I could write but that about sums up our experience while in Bolivia in as few a words as needed for this ( I am a very wordy person and I could give a lot more but I won't).