In Peru (and I suppose in other countries too), there are 2 kinds of kids in orphanages: those that are adoptable and those that aren't. There are many reason why some kids would be un-adoptable. They may have family that comes regularly and love and care for them, just can't financially shelter and feed them. They may have families that come around every once in awhile, can't take care of them, but won't officially let them go or "abandon" them. For our five, they don't really have family left that can take care of them since their parents died several years ago. And when they were extremely young, I don't know why no one filled out the abandonment paperwork on them and made them adoptable. But as they got older, the oldest--Yhonson--knew that making them adoptable could mean that the five of them would get separated. He refused to let that happen so he stated that he never wanted to be adopted. Odds are, things just fell through the cracks, so no one ever questioned it. So when we said we were willing to look into adopting them, we had to start at the very beginning. How do we get them declared abandoned? Because of the age of the kids, they got a choice. Scott and I knew that our willingness was only 50% of the decision. The kids could easily say "No thanks. I have friends and a life here. I don't want to go live with some Americans I've never met".
We came to the weekend that Kevin was going to tell them and we were giddy-nervous (like that's one word). My journal read like this:
"So yesterday was a crazy day here! Scott, Laney and I were at breakfast at Corner Cafe with Danny (my brother). Scott was messing around with my phone when he saw an e-mail from Kevin. Subject line: Talked with the kids. [Oh my gosh, I could hardly read fast enough without wetting my pants!] He proceeds to tell us that he spoke with Yhonson first privately. Kevin had a picture of the 4 of us and started to tell Yhonson that there is this family in the U.S. that wants to....before Kevin could even finish explaining, Yhonson said 'Yes, I want a family!'. He told the other 2 boys and then the girls on Saturday and they all said YES! We couldn't even believe it! We thought we might hear on Sunday that they were thinking about it or something. For all of them to say yes right away-that they are willing to leave everything they know-is incredible!"
If that doesn't rock your socks off, then... There are teenagers in the States that would sell their parents if they could! But this 16 year old wanted parents! In reality, I think they're more excited about having sisters than having Scott and me but that's okay. After this meeting, the ball really began rolling. Yhonson's birth certificate needed to be found, which literally required a donkey ride into some remote area. You can't make this stuff up! The kids had some serious questions about us like if we were Christians and silly questions, like where do you pee in public? Apparently guys can pee anywhere in Peru. We also had a ton of paperwork to begin. We pretty quickly made the calls to get the home study going and had to figure out the process! At least for awhile anyway. I'll talk about the "Big Fat No" in the next History Post. :)