So we are still here. We are making some strides but I feel like at this point I should report exactly the good, the bad, the ugly and the ridiculous. That’s right, I said it, some things are Ri-donculous here in Peru. I can say that because I was bred and half way raised in the ridonculous, but holy mother of god Peru is killing me. So let’s begin.
The good. In all honesty our lawyer/representative here in Peru has been doing a lot of the leg work and from the start she has really made sure we are on track to leave as early as we are allowed. Just so you know however, all that specific and detailed attention comes at a cost. Every taxi she takes, every copy she makes, every picture she prints, (I’ll be watching you ♫) jk, I meant we’ll be paying for. The first thing that happens when we land in Lima is we see the DGA (director of general adoptions) she clears us to travel to the place where our children are, in our case Trujillo, Peru. We book flights for us and our lawyer and while we are there her stay, her meals and her transportation is courtesy of us. That, of course, is how it works but know that this doesn’t happen in one lump sum, so be prepared to withdraw a little money everyday for those payments since ATMs limit your withdrawals in either soles or dollars. She is also traveling by herself back to the kids birthplace to get some more needed documents (its far) so she is worth her weight in gold.We did ask her to give us receipts for a lot of things and she was ok with that. Make sure you keep all of them for tax purposes so travel with one of those coupon carriers for ease of safekeeping, we didn’t, cause we are dumb, just kidding, we are just learning as we go. You are welcome! Another good thing is that there is a timeline of how things are going to run, so you can plan your trip around that (tentatively) because before you even travel you should be able to get a calendar of all the steps in the process and how long they might take. Of course, nothing has gone according to plan with us so we just prepared for this to follow suit. Other ‘goods’ are the food, the warmth of the people, and the weather! Oh and the fact that I am enjoying my family in an extended Peru visit this time.
The bad Well I have to say the bad was really not being prepared for what happens when you take your kids with you from the orphanage. I’m not sure if this is particular with their orphanage but I was told a lot of them work this way. We brought clothes for them of course, but were surprised that they are asked to leave all their clothes, shoes, and undergarments to be recycled for the other children. We were not aware of this little information and since they had been slow to give us sizes while in the states we were not as prepared as we could have been. My advice is NAG people to get sizes and plan to travel with a month and a half worth of clothing, shoes, etc. Another bad, is that we found out late (almost 2 days before travel) about another custom that’s done in the orphanage. As our kids say their goodbyes we have to plan and throw a goodbye party. I would have like to have known more about this and been given a little more time since we had to purchase gifts for ALL the children left there and ALL the staff, yikes! Your agency should get all this information to you well before you travel. So knowing what I know now, I’ll say this, buy everything in the states and bring it with you. The dollar store is wonderful for party things and even for little gifts for the staff. We got some lotions and scarves and fancy pens. Plates and napkins and decorations too. Buy gifts that are light and won’t increase your luggage weight. You are also going to be buying the food and cake for this party so be prepared to find a grocery store nearby, oh and know that you will be shopping with your kiddos, your lawyer, some of the staff members and a psychologist/social worker who will be watching and evaluating you as you go, what could go wrong, right?. Fun times, fun times! I will also add that if you happen to have extra children clothes or toys that you can bring and donate to their orphanage, it would certainly be used.
The ugly I only have one thing to say about the ugly and its that as much as we have learned about orphanages and children needing forever families here in Peru, the system that is currently in place is so drawn out and bureaucratic, that children can wait years before they are deemed/categorized orphans to be place on the lists for adoption and apparently the system is could get lengthier. The staff at each orphanage, lawyers and psychologists in all the different locations are working hard to make the system abide by the Hague Convention while being efficient but one central entity is the one that can only certify anything and they are not working as fast unfortunately.
Now the Ridonculous Oh this one is a doozy! So apparently when adopting in Peru, your kids will get a birth certificate that contains their name, your husband’s last name and your maiden name. Oh yeah! But you may not have any legal documents with your maiden name anymore because you took your husband’s last name at marriage, you say? Well Peru doesn’t give a crap. You might have to file paperwork in the states to change their last names and finally get them enrolled in schools and actually have legal rights to your children as their mother? uhmmm yeah Peru doesn’t give a crap. Hence the reason my husband can’t travel back home before the process is complete and, oh I don’t know, work to pay for this adoption. I mean it is what it is and we will jump through any hoop but I am just upset that, even when the adoption is complete, I have no legal documents that matches their names so hubby still needs to sign everything and I won’t have legal ties to them until we go back home. WONDERFUL! gahhhhhh Peru, I love you but you are killing me!
Ok there it is! What we have learned so far. Hope its helpful to someone. On another note, the kids and us are adjusting nicely and starting to get a routine going. The social worker visits should end this week so we can get back to bonding, learning from each other and adjusting to being a family. Basically we’ll be moving this shit show from Peru to America soon, woot woot!! Can’t wait to get them home!! I also can’t wait to show you some awesome pictures of these kiddos! Soon!!