I was made aware of Patricia Cronin and Stacy Rotondo's adoption of Nicholas when friends of theirs summoned my help on their behalf in 2003. Patty and Stacy had already fallen in love with the boy they wanted to bring home and call their son. They had submitted all of the paper work to the adoption agency and the Guatemalan government and judicial system. They had flown down to Guatemala several times to see their future son and prepare for his homecoming to the United States. There was excitement and anxiety swirling around those trips. Adoptions take a long time and rarely run smoothly. What makes you endure is looking into your child's eyes and dreaming about them boarding the plane with you and playing on the jungle gym you just constructed back home. When you get the call from thousands of miles away that "there is a problem," you never think about quitting. Patty and Stacy ran into problems with the court system in Guatemala that decides adoption cases like these. They were desperate because they were uncertain as to whether this family they had dreamed of would actually materialize. Ultimately, the case was hanging on a thread - of miscommunication, a lack of expediency, and a piece of paper. What was really hanging in the balance were the dreams of two generous and loving women and the fate of a small boy with no family many miles away. It took one year to bring Nicholas home. And while that doesn't sound like a long time on paper, it was an eternity for Patty and Stacy. Adopting a child, from another country especially, can be an uncertain process driven by your most vulnerable emotions. Navigating through the system requires tenacity inspired by love and patience. There are many stories similar to Patty and Stacy's - this is the one I know and it's the one that touched my family, my staff, and me. Nicholas is now 3 years old and has been living in Hingham, Massachusetts for a year. Patty and Stacy are learning Spanish and Nicholas is learning English. Colby, also from Guatemala, joined the family 3 months ago. He is 18 months old.
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