CHAPTER I ~ Adoption [EXCERPT]
Central America for my files.

As we considered the little we had been told about our adopted son and how he had been orphaned, it did occur to us that the background might be highly political. The authorities were obviously unwilling in the summer of 1983 to let us in on their theories. Had we not been so focused on our growing relationship with Nelson, had we not been so intent on just getting home with him after the fright over Tom’s bacterial infection, we might have acted more aggressively and asked the judge, our lawyer, or even Mrs. Negroponte for more information. I know we sensed from the beginning that there was some mystery at the heart of his story and that all these figures were unwilling to state specifics. As I look at the written record in my journal, I can see that we simply hesitated to ask too many questions. Would it have endangered the adoption? I may have thought so, as I pondered why the judge had made such a point of the fact that an unnamed French family had been refused six months earlier. Had they asked too many questions?

While still waiting for our adoption to be finalized, we went on an outing to the National Museum a few days later. On the way back, we stopped in Concordia Park. In my journal, I had returned to the present tense: We sit on a bench under the trees, thinking about how we lingered in the same spot less than a month ago wondering about Nelson— what would he look like, how would he relate to us? In these three weeks we’ve been together he already acts as if he knows we are his parents. He likes to go off and explore but always keep us in view. He is keeping up an animated “conversation” with one old man who luckily seems to find him amusing. We try to feed the pigeons some Cheerios, but the birds don’t go for them the way Nelson does.

2

There wouldn’t be much more time for leisurely walks in the parks and plazas or for writing in my journal. Less than a week after our tea at the embassy residence, events began to overtake us. Tom remained weak, and we had given up any idea of touring the country. He had been calling Lissette on a daily basis to monitor as best he could any progress on the legal front. She was not loquacious, offering only one bit of information at a time, but suddenly she held out hope that we would be able to depart before the end of the month. Then, on June 22nd, she gave us the good news that the adoption had been finalized in court the day before. We could move into high gear again.

We had only a few days left to wrap things up and became preoccupied with all the bureaucratic details related to the visa to bring Nelson into the country as a landed immigrant. We were satisfied just to take a morning walk around the neighborhood. By this time, Nelson always preferred to push his stroller instead of riding in it, so we decided to leave it with Anita and Bill, who were planning to move into a much larger house in another neighborhood, where they would have more room for their burgeoning family and could regularly rent one room to prospective adoptive parents. They might need an extra stroller, we thought, although it was doubtful that there would be enough adoptable children to support their plan, as I noted in my journal.

We sense Lissette’s frustration when she arrives late for our appointment this afternoon with a couple from Chicago in tow. They have just come down unannounced to hunt for a little girl one to three years old. They are going to try an orphanage in Valle de Ángeles after failing to find a child to their liking in Tegucigalpa! We’re amazed at this. Carl offered that he had heard while he was in San Pedro Sula


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