Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bienvenidos! Welcome to our Blog...




We’ve decided to start this blog to share our experience with other families who are thinking about adopting their children from Costa Rica. Choosing to adopt – and from where – is a very personal decision and talking to other families has been enormously helpful for us. We hope this will be for you as well.

Our two very adorable goddaughters – Celeste and Francini – (featured in this blog's photo) were adopted two years ago in Costa Rica by our cousins, Heidi and Rick.  Rick and Heidi had relocated to Costa Rica from California about five years ago and, at some point, decided to adopt. They made this very real for us. Adopting from Costa Rica is very, very doable.

Our goddaughters who were adopted as older children are just lovely, vivacious, well-adjusted little girls. We fell in love with them immediately and visit often. This past summer, they just made their first trip to the States to meet the rest of our extended family. It was a really wonderful, moving experience for everyone.
The process for our cousins, as Costa Rican legal residents, took about two years. Their experience with PANI – the governmental agency which oversees the adoption process – was not without bumps. But overall, it was very positive. They felt that the staff, from social workers to administrators, did a wonderful job in caring for the children and matching them with the right families.

Putting our dossier together for Costa Rica was manageable. We needed a homestudy, psychological evaluation, FBI criminal background report, PANI cover application, photos and I-800 form. It was a lot less complicated and dense than what some of the other countries require and Gladney – our adoption agency – has helped us every step of the way.

Our dossier officially made it to Costa Rica a few weeks ago! Since we will be visiting our cousins and goddaughters right after Thanksgiving, we have decided to drop in and officially introduce ourselves to the good folks at PANI. We’ll let you know how the visit goes!

In the meantime, here’s what we want to say about Costa Rica --- it’s a very beautiful country, from the beaches and oceans to the mountains and tropical rainforests. It’s safe. It’s peaceful. They protect their country from overdevelopment. And they are very family-oriented and love children. In short, we’re going to feel very comfortable during our stay in Costa Rica during the adoption process.

So until our visit to PANI… have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

7 comments:

  1. I am SO SO excited for you both! The girls often ask me: "When are Padrinos (godparents) getting our new cousins"- they are ready themselves to add to our family.

    And yes, I agree, the process has been very positive for us with the girls. And the big bumps we've experienced- it's because we are adopting from within CR and as CR residents. The foreigner adoption process is extremely efficient and run out of the main San Jose office. We live in a rural area and have a "rural" office overseeing the finalization of PANI adoptions. The ONLY bumps have occurred when we've had the process overseen by the rural office (a large part of the process in fact).

    Conversely, we could not be more impressed with how children are cared for in the PANI system here, the quality of work that goes into the matching up process, and the follow up as to family adjustment, post-placement. VERY impressed and pleased.

    We are extremely grateful to Costa Rica for giving us two beautiful, healthy, happy little daughters!

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  2. Thanks for sharing Stacey. Knowing you and Scott for as long as I have (close to 20 years) and as well as I do, I know you will be wonderful parents! You are both such loving, giving people. My best to you both.

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  3. Yay, Stacy! The blog looks great! I'll be following along as you go! I'm so happy for you guys to have a successful adoption experience! God's blessings to you!
    Tiffany

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  4. Hi Stacy and Scott this is such exciting news. We can't wait to hear updates. Costa Rica is a wonderful country with amazing people--we visited for our honeymoon and on one other occassion so it holds a special place in the Greenwald family's hearts. We wish you much luck, health, and happiness on this journey.
    Cousins Jen, Scott, and Jackson

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  5. Stacey and Scott, I'm looking forward to reading this blog! Can't wait to hear how your visit to Costa Rica goes. Really appreciate you sharing your adoption journey with those following in your footsteps.

    Nancy Robbins
    Gladney Center for Adoption

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  6. Stacey and Scott, we know that you're on an amazing journey. I think of you two (hopefully to be you 4) often and will not stop chanting for your happiness!!!!!

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  7. Hola Stacey,
    Como estas?Como estan los ninos y tu esposo_ Como esta tu viaje, hace calor, esta lloviendo en Nueva York? has comido pavo?

    Donde esta tu tarea en el blogspot? Esperamos

    Si no es dificil trae fotos y meriendas tipicas de Costa Rica para la fiesta en la ultima clase.

    Te esperamos

    Con amor tu clase de espanol.

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