While I have immense fun hatching chickens and crazy ideas, the real reason I do this is for the kids I have been lucky to bring into my life
As many of you know, we moved to the Philippines with the intention of adopting children. We had purchased my wife's childhood beach house along with 2.5acres of land from here parents several years earlier and decided to renovate the 35 year old house. After basically gutting it and almost rebuilding it over a 5 month period, we moved to the Phils, at the end of January 2009.
We were initially given the impression that we could foster a child from an orphanage and then adopt that child following the (at that time) 2 year period. We discovered that under Filipino law, all children have a right to a speedy adoption and that the child we were fostering could be taken from us and assigned to another set of adoptive parents. This was not something we could cope with so we decided to wait until we were closer to the mandated residency period which had since grown to three years from when our first plan was hatched.
During our wait we were approached by many people who knew of a child available but sadly they came with strings attached. We made this sacrifice to adopt not to participate in child trafficking. We also wanted to be able to tell our future children that we did not buy barter or trade them.
As 2 years approached, we were called to say there was a five month old baby girl who's father wanted to relinquish. The bay's mother had died of an stoke after child birth and he could not manage nor afford to to take care of all his 4 children. His only requirement was that his daughter go to a good home and that he, if possible, could receive a photo of her annually. In early November 2010, Mrs Oz caught a plane to the home town of Antonia's birth family. That evening after meeting up with our attorney, we received the relinquishment papers and Toni was in our custody. Mrs Oz flew back to Bacolod with a very healthy but slightly undernourished baby girl we named Antonia Lucia.
Our plan was to adopt a brother for Antonia but as time progressed, the separation was becoming harder and harder. Unless we were to find a baby boy soon, we would have settle for just our little girl that we love beyond all our previous understanding of love for child could be. We decided to give it three months.
Time progressed and at exactly three months later we had decided to not wait for another child. At three months and a day we received a text message. There was a young lady who had an unplanned pregnancy and could not afford to raise the child. She wanted to give the child a chance in life and relinquish it for adoption. It was a to be a boy.
This threw us in turmoil. Could we handled it? A new born" Another child? We are not young and getting older every day.
We checked out the story and the birth mother.
The girl was from Bicol and working in the Cavite Economic Export Zone as a factory worker. She had a relationship with a local Cavite guy a few years older. When she found herself pregnant, she also found herself alone.
The birth mom came from a small fishing village. her father was a simple fisherman and she had several younger siblings that she was remitting money home to support. The unborn child was going to be an immense burden on her and her family. We had the birth mom interviewed and counseled as to what it meant to relinquish a child both immediately and long term. She was given time to go over the implications and a month later was re-counseled. She got to review the paperwork to see what she would be signing following the birth and given more time.
The birth father was not around to interview and could not be found.
Coincidently, I was to be in The Phils at the time of his birth. We waited in Bacolod for the birth mother to go into labor. On August 29 she did just that but not much else. On August 30 she was still in labor and was given medications to move things along. On August 31, after in excess of 54 hours of trying to deliver this child, the birth mother was to have a C-Section. We flew to Manila and waited.
We could not pick the boy child up from the clinic until he had been observed for twenty four hours. It was a trying time. The anticipation over the signature of relinquishment was agonizing but at 10:10PM on September 1, 2011 we greeted this intense and handsome boy. We said hi to Lorenzo.
Currently I am working in Los Angeles and jumping on a plane anytime I can get a few days off work to be with his family. Mrs Oz also flies over to LA in between for some much needed culture and companionship. The petition for adoptions were filed with the courts and we are waiting for the finalization of the adoption so we can begin the grueling task of getting her immigration papers to travel to the USA. Once completed we will become a complete and united family.
Yesterday when I told my baby girl I would be home in two weeks she said that its too long to wait and the other day my boy said to his mother - I miss daddy because I need a tickle. Being so far away is so so hard. We are hoping to get a very nice Christmas present from the courthouse in Cavite.