November is National Adoption Month: A Dedicated Mother Brings Home Adopted Children After Years of Struggle
Christina Watson knew she wanted to be a mom to a child who didn't have a parent. Her friends had adopted from Guatemala and told Christina about their wonderful experience and the country's great need for adoptive parents. Christina contacted the adoption agency and was matched with her son Jake in Guatemala. While there in 2008, she had to go through a number of bureaucratic hurdles, which kept her in country for three months. In that time, she also met her future daughter, Mariela. Unfortunately, it took over five years, from 2008 to 2013, to complete her adoption due to delays and issues with various local and international authorities in Guatemala.
Fortunately for Christina, she had the support of other adoptive parents going through the same ordeal. She also had USCIS Director Mayorkas, who traveled to Guatemala and worked with authorities to clear hurdles and expedite the process. "USCIS helped way more than anyone," remembers Watson. USCIS officers in Guatemala sought out authorities who were holding the case and worked to move things along.
Now Christina has both her children at home and has finally started her life as a parent of two children after five years of struggle.
Above: Jake and Mariela at School
"My daughter is already fluent in English after four months, and without an accent. She's trying so hard to adapt." Watson relates how her children are still learning about American culture and just trying to be kids. "I'm rolling with it, the first month or two were rough, my kids fight sometimes and they are friends sometimes."
Mariela's Sixth Birthday with Mom Christina
When she speaks of her experience, Christina wants people to know that "adoption is such a beautiful thing; it has blessed my life just beyond belief. Both my son and daughter are beautiful, loving people. They have given me so much more than I have given them, they have given me a family, love and a purpose that I never knew I was missing."