I will share this man's name and all associated names as soon as I have Ahren in my arms. Even though he is legally ours, and even though I have a burning need to OUT all the bad people, I also have fear. This man has to finish several things before we bring him home. Frankly, the system is set up so that the adoptive parents have no rights, the children have no rights, and the people in charge have all the power. And believe me, some of them are not above retaliation.
We went ahead and paid ONLY the fees we legitimately owed. There were some threats of not finishing our case if we didn't and frankly it just isn't worth risking Ahren to keep the moral high ground at this point. We were not asked to pay any additional 'unknown' fees, but I know many others have been hit up with these types of requests. A thousand dollars to bring in the birth mother to be interviewed, a thousand dollars for vague paperwork issues, etc etc. and no progress on the case until the fees are paid. There are no new adoptions starting and these people are getting desperate. Desperate people cannot be trusted.
So the lesson is, it is, well hell, what is the lesson? I don't know. I do know that I will continue to do everything I can to bring about change in this system. I have talked to the people at Dateline and given them info that went into their story that aired a few months ago, I have talked to people at the US Embassy, I have talked to local news stations, I have talked to individuals all over the world. Want to know a secret? It's not just Guatemala, and it's not just international adoption. The problems run much much deeper.
Thank you for listening, for understanding and for supporting me. We started this journey to grow our family never intending it to become our crusade. But hey, see a need, fill a need! And a special thanks to Ana's Mom for defending me!
Love to you all!