I haven't written much lately on the adoption front because I really didn't know much. Several weeks ago we learned that PBJ's case had been sent to Minor's Court for an investigation. No one knew why but our Good Agency got right on it. They even hired an additional lawyer who had different contacts in PGN to investigate. (At no charge to us....now isn't that refreshing!) What they found was not good, not good at all.
Here is the story:
In Guatemala there are people who go out into the country and look for women who want to relinquish children for adoption. They look for young unmarried women, women who already have many children and women who are economically unable to support a child. They bring the women into the facilitators who handle adoptions and assist in geting the women back and forth for all of the appointments, etc. For this they get a fee. For lack of a better word, I will call these people 'handlers'.
The handler for PBJ's birth mother realized that soon the adoption process in Guat was going to change and their money source would be drying up, so they came up with a plan. They first convinced one woman who had recently relinquished 3 children, to protest the adoptions and reclaim her kids. The handler then took the woman and children to a different facilitator to relinquish the kids and get more fees paid. That facilitator checked and found open cases for the kids and called the police. The two women were arrested and the poor kids placed into a state-run facility. I can only imagine how the adoptive families are feeling right now. This is everyone's worst nightmare. My heart breaks for them and those precious kids.
This handler also convinced PBJ's mother to sign a protest, which is what PGN saw and sent our file to investigation. Fortunately the handler was arrested before it went any further, so PBJ is safe and sound in her foster home. The agency told me the plan is to bring in the birth mother, an interpretor (she doesn't speak spanish) the agency coordinator and our attorney to appear in front of the Minor Court judge this week. The birth mother has been quite cooperative so far. She is young, uneducated, doesn't speak the language and must be so scared. I hope the judge can find out if she really is OK with giving up her daughter for adoption and if so that our case can proceed. If all goes well and the judge signs off, then our case can go back to PGN and hopefully be completed quickly. The birth mother may reclaim her child or the judge might just sit on the case for months.
Amazingly, I am dealing with this better than I thought I would. I have a sense of peace right now that I haven't had in a long time. Maybe I am just so overwhelmed with this that I am unable to grasp the severity, or maybe I have just finally lost the last shred of my sanity. Either way I am OK. Don't get me wrong, I am still angry and upset, but it hasn't taken over. I hate it when the negative feelings overtake everything else in my life. Right now it is OK. It's better to know than just wait and not know. Knowledge gives me strength.
I ask one thing of all of you. If you could, just say a little prayer for PBJ's birth mother. She could sure use it right now. Thanks!