I wanted to introduce a truly wonderful woman who played a big part in Harold's life. Meet Harold's foster mom, Berta Alisa. She is the woman who cared for Harold from the day he came home from the hospital until he was 9 months old. To her we will forever be grateful. Those first few days and months of life are so critical in the development of healthy children. They need proper nutrition, stimulation and a loving environment in which they are bonding with a primary caregiver.
The day we got Harold we shed many tears, but not for us but for Berta Alisa. It was an emotional day for her as she knew she was saying a final good-bye to Harold and to her job of mothering him. She had woken up at 5 a.m. and had cried steadily until noon, "He feels like my own," she said. She told us that he was a very special boy, that anyone who meets him, loves him. It didn't take long for us to realize this was without a doubt true. We also laughed as she had concerns about how old we were since we looked too young to be parents. =)
She knew this day would come from the beginning. This was her role, the mom in the middle so to speak. And she fulfilled her duties perfectly. Her love, care and attention shone through in the little boy we brought home. We commented to the case workers at our adoption agency how amazingly quick Harold bonded with us and how easy of a transition we had taking him home. They attribute this primarily to his excellent foster care. If a child is attached to one caregiver, it make attaching to another easy and natural. It seems backwards, that perhaps an unattached child would be easier to bond with but it's not. Attachment is something that needs to be experienced, practiced and nurtured.
It was because of this foster system that we were particularly drawn to the Guatemalan adoption process. It made it much more expensive than other countries but was much better for Harold than if he would have spent his first months in an orphanage.
My thoughts have turned to Berta Alisa lately because of the promise we made her. We promised to send her photos and perhaps even videos of Harold growing up. I am ashamed to say that we have only sent photos twice! Just this week C.O. sent her another batch of pictures and a painting done by Harold. I've recommitted myself to be better about this and to keeping in touch with her. My hope is that one day our Spanish will be better and perhaps we can meet again. She sincerely wanted the very best future for Harold and I want to make sure she knows he is growing up healthy, strong and intelligent.
We talk to Harold about how lucky he is to have 3 moms. His biological mother, his foster mother and now his real (adoptive) mother. I'm the one who has him for the rest of his life, but it is because of the two who have come before that we have our perfect little blessing.