Catie Come Home

Our adoption journey to Guatemala

April 17, 2005

Making Friends

I ventured out on my own today in search of coins, and while I didn't find any coins, I did manage to strike up some conversations with some English-speaking Guatemalans.

The first was a woman in the jade museum/jewelry store. I asked her if she knew of any place that sold silver coins because I recalled having seen a silver shop near that store the last time we were in Guatemala, but it was closed then. Turns out the shop was right across the street. But after the woman showed it to me, she told me she collects both paper money and coins (mostly paper money) from all over the world. She knows people who live in or travel to many countries, and they send her samples for her collection.

We talked quite a bit about our hobby, including how I got started collecting Guatemalan coins because of adoption, and we ended up trading contact information. I'm planning to send her some U.S. coins, and she said she would send me any Guatemalan ones if she ever finds any. I don't really expect her to find any -- I found only a few in my long search today, and the prices were far too outrageous for me to buy any -- but I had fun talking to her nonetheless.

I also talked to a woman in a candlestick store about adoption. I explained to her that my family was in town for an adoption, and she mentioned that she has friends in Georgia who want to adopt from Guatemala but don't know how to begin. We exchanged contact information, and I plan to try to help that family connect with our adoption agency, Homestudies and Adoption Placement Services, or HAPS, in Teaneck, N.J. Both Kimberly and I highly recommend them.

The most amazing part to me is that I was so readily open in talking about adoption during this trip. I can still remember how scared we were when we adopted Anthony in 1999. I'll always feel guilty because we let a nice young man in one of the jade stores believe that Anthony was an American. I don't know why he thought that because Anthony of all our children looks so obviously Guatemalan, but as he talked to us about our child, we were too scared to set him straight when he assumed Anthony was American like us. We never lied or even said anything misleading. We just remained silent.

Well, not anymore. Both Kimberly and I began to be somewhat more open about what we were doing in Guatemala when we adopted Elli in 2001, but I really surprised myself today in talking about our adoptions. I am glad that my cynicism about Guatemalans has faded with time and that I am comfortable enough to tell them about the most important people in my life.


  • At 4/17/2005 9:41 PM, Blogger Peggy said…

    Hi guys,

    sorry I haven't written sooner, but you know me and technology, I've tried numerous times and couldn't get it to go through so I've got Rick over my shoulder showing me what to do. I've really enjoyed reading about how things are going for you all there and glad to hear that Jack is feeling better, we mentioned him in our prayers today. I'm so happy to hear that Catie is adjusting to her new family, we're all so eager to meet her, in fact I hope it's ok if I come over early Wednesday afternoon, I'm getting off work early and I'm planning to bring dinner, I'll call first to make sure it's ok.

    Love to you all,


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