Friday, July 1, 2011

Nine years ago today a tiny baby boy was born in Guatemala City. She was very poor and decided that the best thing she could do for this little one, her twelth baby, was to put him up for adoption. We were well in to our second year of adoption hell when this little boy was born. We wanted a baby girl. You see I have five other children. Four boys and one girl. I really really want a baby girl. I had decorated the nursery for a girl. I had tons of cute little dresses and lots of ruffles and pink. I was ready for a girl.

When our first referral fell through I was devastated. We had already spent a week in Guatemala with this baby girl. She was very much our daughter. But the grandparents did not know that their young daughter had a baby. When they found out, they wanted their granddaughter brought home.

After that we were in regular contact with our adoption agency. One day the social worker called. I got so excited because I was sure they were calling to tell me that they had another baby girl for us. No, she said she was just checking to see how we were doing. They had ten babies born that month. One was a girl, but the mother took one look at her and decided to keep her. The others were all boys. Then she said, "We even have this little boy that no one wants." How could no one want a baby? I didn't understand that at all. It seems that the other families who were with our agency were also waiting for baby girls. I thanked the social worker for calling and went back to my meeting.

I had a hard time concentrating on the meeting after that. I kept thinking about this "little boy that no one wants." How sad was that. I finally went back out in the hallway and called the social worker back. I asked a bunch of questions like, was he healthy? How old was the birth mother? (We didn't want another 18 year old mother.) Are you sure no one wants him? She patiently answered all my questions. Then I went back into my meeting. But five minutes later I jumped up again and went back out to the hall. This time I called my husband. Now we had planned to name our baby Dakota. At first it was Dakota Rayne. Then it was Dakota Ariel. I called my husband and asked, "So what do you think of the name Dakota Garcia?" He said, "That's a strange name for a girl." Then I said, "She's a boy." Immediately he reminded me of all the ruffles and lace and pink that filled our nursery. Finally he asked if I got a picture. He said we would talk about it when we both got home. I called the social worker back and asked her to send a picture.

When I got home from work that night, there was a picture of a baby boy waiting for me in my email. We both took one look at him and said "He's ours." The very next day we drove out to our adoption agency and signed the papers to accept his referral. We still had to wait through five months of paperwork and bureaucracy of two governments. In October we flew down to Guatemala and spent a few days with our new son. Then in December we got the phone call we had been waiting for. All the paperwork had cleared, the adoption papers were signed and five month old Daniel was now our son. We got on a plane as quickly as it could be arranged and went to get our son and bring him home.
Flash forward now nine years. That beautiful baby boy is now a handsome young man. He is busily playing with legos as I type this, his favorite toy. He loves math and does not really like reading. If he is not playing with legos, he is on his DS or working on a rocket with his daddy. He loves to build and launch rockets.

Nine years ago his favorite foods were bananas and formula. Today his favorite foods are chicken nuggets and mozzarella sticks. He was wearing a size 12 months. Now he wears a size extra large in children's sizes or a small adult. Nine years ago today his future was pretty unsure. No one really knew what would happen to him. Today he is happy and healthy and wants to be an astronaut when he grow up. He is a great kid at times and he shows us his Latino temper at other times. He has a stubborn streak a mile wide.

Today is a good day to reflect back on the last nine years. A time to say thank you to the wonderful woman who decided that the best thing she could do for her son was to place him for adoption. A time to say Happy Birthday to my baby boy. You're not such a baby any more.


  1. what a lovely story ...truly wonderful......he looks very happy .....

  2. I wish many happy returns of the day to your wonderful son.

  3. Happy Birthday Dakota :) Hope you had a wonderful day!

    I always think of Dakota on his birthday, ever since the first day I met you guys at soccer and found out that he and I share the same birthday. I'm a little bit older than 9 though :)


  4. Donna we met someone at soccer this year who has the same birthday as Dakota. I need to look at the time he was born to see if they were born at the same time. Wouldn't that be awesome?

    Hope you had a great birthday as well.

  5. This is the most wonderful story I've read in a very long time. It touched my heart. What a sweet family you guys are! Thanks for sharing.