Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 1

Bienvenidos a Guatemala! After an incredibly long travel day, we have arrived in Panajachel and it is wonderful. The sun was setting over the lake as we drove into town, and the heat of the day made for beautifully colored haze. I imagine that the blue waters will look even better when we see them tomorrow, but the hues this evening were spectacular. We hear that the locals felt the rumblings of a 5.something earthquake today, but I'm guessing it happened before we landed. Might make for an exciting week.

Our airport experience was made much longer due to many mission teams joining us on our flight. Unfortunately, the eye doctors claimed their luggage before ours rolled out and we were forced to wait for a very long time in the scanner line as customs checked each and every piece of their medical equipment. Why they wouldn't instead make a FAST PASS lane for those bringing much needed supplies to the neediest of the needy in this nation is beyond me, and I think those waiting behind me in line would agree.

We stopped at the former Marriott to freshen up and have lunch before our 2.5 hour ride to Pana, and the level of emotion that I felt when I walked through the door caught me by surprise. I sat on the couch where I first met and held Will as a four month old, and I got a little teary. I remember exactly where his Foster Parents sat, and I recalled Bayardo tossing him into the air and Will giggling with delight. How blessed Will was to have felt such love at every stage of his young life. It warms my heart enormously, yet it also reminds me that we missed eight months with him. I hope that he can, someday, come to terms with his unique journey into our family.

In my short time here, I am surrounded by Will look-a-likes. It's hard to describe, but - in the States - people are "mixes" of so many different nationalities, and so they are easier to differentiate. Here in GUA, a very large percentage of the population is 100% Indigenous Mayan Indian, just like Will. And so, I swear I've seen him - or bigger or smaller versions of him - at least 100 times.

I'm coping right now with what Will's life would have been like had he been raised by his Birthmom in Guatemala. I say coping, because it's hard to describe the feeling. I live with significant guilt for taking him from his homeland, and I feel grief for the loss of his Birthmother in his life. At the same time, I can't imagine not being Will's Mother. He is every bit "my own." I love him so deeply and know in my soul that his life as a McFadyen will provide him with more love, and more security, and more opportunity than he would have known otherwise. But, I think it's my profound love for Will that makes me feel the deep ache of the losses in his life... perhaps before even he feels them. The rollercoaster ride begins...

In the morning, we're off to Chichicastanango to experience the Sunday marketplace. It's an hour drive from here, but it will be worth the trip. And then, we're back to Mayan Families for a mission highlight (for me).... the distribution of chickens!!! If we can figure out the photo upload, I'll post pictures tomorrow. For now, I'm off to bed, having not slept since Thursday night.

P.S. Don't tell David, but I'm loving having him here with me, and the bozo is already proving more valuable than me. It's like high school all over again. :)

Buenas Tardes Mis Amigos!


  1. Oh Beth! Reading your words I am filled with emotion. I can't image mine and G's life without each other and i know that our souls are intertwined in a way that couldn't be any deeper if she had been born of my body. However, I often feel the weight of the grief and guilt for what she has lost. I can only image how profound that must be when emersed in their birthland. i'm sure you are relishing every moment of your Journey. I look forward to reading more.

  2. Tearing up as I read your words. I do remember those feelings about Caleb so clearly when we went on our pick up trip for Mila. I thought my heart would break. All so close to the surface. I firmly believe that keeping our kids' losses always in the back of our minds will enable us to be better parents to them in the here and now. This trip really is going to be a life-changing experience for you, and for all of us by extension. Can't wait to read tonight's post!!

  3. The "former" Marriott? What is it now? I will never forget that hotel as long as I live. That where I met my daughter, her foster mother and very briefly, her birthmother. So many mixed emotions. I would love to go back one day. Sounds like you are having a great trip so far. It's great to be following you long distance.