• "Everything is a grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love—difficulties, contradictions, humiliations, all the soul's miseries, her burdens, her needs - everything, because through them, she learns humility, realizes her weakness - Everything is a grace because everything is God's gift. Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events—to the heart that loves, all is well."
  • - St. Therese of Lisieux

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Our Adoption Story: The Adoption Birth

Read the first three parts of Our Adoption Story here:



                                                           

The social worker from the children’s home emailed us Mateo’s child study report and photos in the evening of December 15. I clicked the child study report first and Noli and I read it through. We both agreed we fell in love with Mateo right away; and when I clicked to see the photos, we were smitten! At this moment my heart was beating at a hundred thank you, Lords per minute!


We planned to go to the DSWD office in Sta. Cruz, Laguna where our social worker is assigned to submit a Letter of Acceptance. She then told us that we would be required to visit Mateo for two whole days and then be able to take him home on the third day. We were both excited! In two days, we will finally meet the child God had chosen for us! Our child.

I forced myself to sleep early the night before our first day. We had to get up at 4 am and leave at 5:30am so we could be at the children’s home by 7:00 am. Ha! Who was I kidding I was too excited to sleep and got up at 3:30 am!

It was a pleasant drive with Noli. After saying the rosary, we talked about Mateo mostly; and about how God’s hand was in everything that had happened. We brought books and a stuffed bear for Mateo.

As we entered the home, we saw Mateo riding a toy car, playing with the other children. I called out to him and waved, he came closer and waved back. The other children came close too while the older ones asked, “Are you Mateo’s mommy and daddy?” Oh that was the sweetest thing I have ever heard!

I did not hesitate to pick him up and cuddle him. He willingly let me hold him. It took him a while to warm up to Noli but after his nap, he was playing with him. Noli and I too turns playing and reading books with Mateo and his friends. The caregivers offered me to change his diapers and dress him after I watch Mateo get bathed. We bonded and played with Mateo and the other kids until it was time to go home. We will be back the day after tomorrow.

The second day of our adoption birth, Mateo had already ‘taken ownership’ of us. I noticed when other kids tried to sit on my lap, Mateo tried to squeeze himself into my lap and claim his territory. I felt sad for the other kids but I also felt ‘kilig’ (romantic excitement according to Google but it really isn’t near that feeling) deep down. We went home after Mateo was put to bed that day.

The two and a half hour drive to the home and the three hour drive back to our place was all worth it. The waking up early in the morning, the lack of sleep and the traffic was nothing compared to what happened on our third day.

In order to be able to take Mateo home, we would need to have the PAPA or Pre-Adoption Placement Authority and the ACA ot the Affidavit of Consent to Adoption. So we had to drop by the DSWD Region 4 field office to pick up those documents. We were there a few minutes before our social worker arrived but as excited as I was, I had the patience of a cow. We had waited for this moment for such a long time, a few minutes was a piece of cake.


After we got all the documents, we headed to the children’s home. Since we calculated that we would arrive there after lunch, we decided to get drive through so we can take our lunch on the road. But first, we should have the documents notarized! It was such a blessing to have a Notary Public beside the most famous fast food chain in the Philippines on the way to the children’s home! So while we waited for our order, we had our documents notarized. How good is our God?

When we arrived at the children’s home we had to do our despedida party at once so the other children could take a nap.

It was such an emotional despedida! After we signed and exchanged documents, we worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord for his goodness.  All the caregivers present gave a message to Mateo and after all the hugs and well wishes, it was time to leave.

We had practiced riding the car with Mateo on the second day so he was not reluctant to ride the car on that day. We sat at the back of the car. I let him nap in the car since it was really his naptime, and relished the feeling of holding my child as long as I can. And again, my heart beat 100 Thank you, Lords per minute.

If you would like to know more about local adoption, please visit http://www.dswd.gov.ph/faqs/local-adoption-requirements-and-procedures/



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