Posts Tagged ‘Guatemalan Adoption’

Healing in Guatemala: One Adoptee’s story of return

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Brent Reuer Blog image

Brent doesn’t know his real name.

“I don’t know anything about me,” he said. “I don’t exactly know where I was born, what time I was born, what date, I don’t know my real name.” (more…)

A Look at Guatemalan Adoption: An Interview with Mamalita Author and Adoptive Mom

Monday, January 20th, 2014


Jessica O’Dwyer knows Guatemala. She and her husband Tim adopted two children, Olivia and Mateo, from the land of eternal spring. Her memoir, Mamalita, is a beautiful account of her dogged pursuit to complete Olivia’s stalled adoption—even quitting her job to move to Antigua! In the past 12 years, Jessica and her family have been back to visit Guatemala many times, and have intentionally cultivated a connection with their children’s country of birth. We interviewed Jessica about writing the book and the ways in which she stays connected with Guatemala. Enjoy!

Why did you choose to adopt from Guatemala?

Adoption is such an enormous choice and undertaking that I view this question as having two parts: First, why did you choose adoption, and second, why Guatemala?

Like many women, I assumed I would give birth to biological children and in fact, felt a strong yearning to parent. But life for me held other plans. At age 32, I went through menopause. Thanks to scientific advances, couples and individuals faced with fertility challenges such as mine can avail themselves of medical interventions to create a family in a way that makes sense for them. For reasons that made sense to us, my husband, Tim, and I elected to pursue adoption.

Photo courtesy of Jessica O'Dwyer

Olivia and Jessica, in front of the house they rented in Antigua, 2003. Photo courtesy of Jessica O’Dwyer

We chose to adopt internationally because, again, that decision made sense for us. We decided on Guatemala because two social workers we consulted recommended Guatemala as the country they would adopt from: the children were healthy, and, instead of living for months or years in large orphanages, mostly were cared for in small foster homes. We knew that the country would remain a big part of our lives for the rest of our lives, and Guatemala was close enough to visit, with a language we felt we could learn. Finally, my family is Catholic, and Guatemala is a (historically) Catholic country. Religion was something we could share.  (more…)