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On the eve of Kahleah's solo trip to Guatemala, Leceta writes about ...


Leceta Chisholm Guibault

Fourteen years ago my precious baby girl was escorted from Guatemala home to her waiting family in Canada. She left behind a loving yet grieving foster family. For five months they loved and nurtured her as their own. Saying goodbye was heartbreaking.

Tomorrow, June 18, 2005, my precious teen will return to Guatemala, once again by escort, to the waiting arms of her foster family. This visit, alone, is very important to my daughter. She is not nervous nor anxious. She is excited and prepared. She knows she is going "home" for a visit and the arms that await are warm, loving and protective. They are family. They have given our girl the most wonderful gift of connection and belonging in her country of birth.

My connection to my daughter's foster family began the instant I received photos of Morena gently holding infant Kahleah in her protective arms in a doctor's office in Guatemala City. For five months we received updated photos of Kahleah, and Morena was in most of them. I felt a strong connection. We both loved this child.

I have shared with the list our stories of connecting and reunions, in the "Loving Links" series:

* Loving Links: A Mother's Journey Into Her Young Daughter's Past
* Loving Links, Pt. 2: I Take My Daughter Back to Guatemala
* Loving Links, Pt. 3: Kahleah Answers Your Questions on Guatemala

I am often reminded of something Kahleah wrote in an article when she was just nine years old, titled "Family and Adoption". She commented on the importance of connections to her foster family and she wrote, "It feels good to be remembered". I believe some of our children may have a fear of being forgotten in their country of birth ...

So ... on this eve of my little girl ... no ... young woman's (darn! I am crying!) first real voyage without me (okay, I am travelling too late next week :o) I have a heavy heart. It is a heart full of love and happiness but a little sad at the same time as it feels like I have watched this special child grow up in fast forward.

I am reminded of watching her take her first steps ... worried she might fall. She never fell! She has never stopped walking. Mostly I walked beside her. For years, hand in hand. Today I am a few steps behind this beauty with the long flowing hair, head held high ... the world is in front of her.

Thank you Kahleah for allowing me to be your Mommy. You are right ... you did adopt your Dad and I too ... from the beginning. You make us so proud and we love you with all of our hearts. I want to be just like you when I grow up ...

Mommy Ceta
Leceta is mother to Kahleah (Guatemala, 1991) and Tristan (Colombia, 1994). Leceta and husband Jean and family live in Joliette, near Montreal. She is a board member of the Adoption Council of Canada and the Federation of Quebec Adoptive Parents, and moderator of the email list Canadians-Adopting (

Copyright 2006 Leceta Chisholm Guibault,

Published at Family Helper,, on Nov. 5, 2006.
First published on the Guatemala-Adopt email list ( on June 17, 2005.


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