Thursday, January 22, 2009


THIS BLOG is the description of my country, Guatemala. A description of its people, its traditions, its folklore, its food, etc. The inspiration came from the desire my friend and her two adoptive children from Guatemala a source to explore the roots. I am writing this for her, for her beautiful children and for all the many other American families like hers.

THE NAME, Guatemalan Genes, I did quite a bit of thinking to decide on a name. Adoptive children are no less American in their ways, culture, education, etc than any other kid down the road and that is something to be appreciated and respected. Objectively the minuscule difference and the only missing link are the genes. Guatemalan Genes far from trying to force an appreciation for Guatemala wants only to be an answer to possible curiosity of those with Guatemalan Genes.
Also being one that loves words I like the homophone genes and jeans, since we identify jeans with the US!

TAKING OFF, it started with a blog and now I feel it can be so much more: I am excited about is giving online workshops. Other ideas I am working on are having a guatemalangenes list of resources and reviews, having a store with non traditional Guatemalan items, I have even thought of some day down the road be able to offer a Guatemalan Camp in Guatemala! WHAT DO YOU WANT?

ME, I am a hard core Guatemalan who never thought would marry an American and then become a hard core American. The same awe is probably experienced by my husband, a Swedish descendant American, who never thought his kids would call him "papi". We have three fantastic children (one adopted and two biological) and one faithful dog, all four born in Guatemala. We did a 'tour' to the US for 6 years, lived in Baldwin City Kansas, Lyons and Longmont Colorado and we are now back in Guatemala! I am hoping for at least some good 10 years. Please feel free to share this blog. Do comment, it is great to know about you! VIEW MY PROFILE

OUR ADOPTION STORY, I had not written much about my story, except for what I wrote on Where do babies come from? I felt I wanted and needed to share with you now that a community is building up.

I feel blessed to be able to contribute to families with adopted children and I am in God´s hands to see where this might lead in terms of service. So far, thanks to this blogging adventure, I have been a lot more in touch with my motherhood, culture and my country's cry for help. I also ask from all of you to keep our family in your prayers, we will do the same.

I met my son when he was four and his dad two years later.It was April 1994, I was sent by a priest friend to help out with the field trip a boys home in Guatemala, was taking on Easter week. The way K, the home’s director, would describe it is that I showed up a week previous to the trip, in my yellow Honda CRX (very hip then), to find out the details of the trip. She went over the plans with me just out of respect to the priest that had recommended me. In her mind she was just thinking, ‘this preppie girl won’t last a day’. She would also admit she stood corrected.

A week later, I reported for duty. The task K gave me was to take a particular boy under my wing. Andrea said, “Alex unlike the other boys will not look to hang out with the volunteers nor seek attention. He is not the one to go hug you or sit on you lap”.

When I said, “Sure, I can do that!” I didn’t know I was fulfilling a lifetime calling.After the excursion I kept volunteering with night and day shifts at the home.I took Alex once or twice a month to outings and was in charge of his schooling and clothing needs. Every time I came in the home all the other boys would start calling “Alex, Alex! Cynthia is here.” Alex would then come out all proud and with a cool walk to greet me. Later that year we baptized him. I was his godmother. I often thought of him as my son and could envision an incredible life as his mom but at the same time I was 24, going to college, dating and hanging out.

In April 1996 after graduating I went backpacking to Europe and met my husband, Alex´s dad, Tom. During the five months I was in Europe I wrote to Alex frequently and introduced him to Tom by picture.
for whatever strange reason, call it love, followed me to Guatemala and in November 1997 we got married. Once Tom and Alex met, the same angels that came down on Easter week 1994 where amongst us.

Alex would spend the weekends with us and every weekend it got harder and harder to drop him off, we were all usually in tears. In June 1998 Alex came to live with us permanently as we started the adoption process to make official what was true since birth. Alex is now 19 and is along with our two other children our pride and joy.


El Chamaleon said...

Alex is such a lucky young man! May G-d bless you for your good works. I was born in Guatemala and grew up in the U.S. since age 8, but often i wonder 'how bad' would it have been if i had grown up in Guatemala...and what opportunities would i have lacked.

kjohnson said...

Congrats Cynthia!! What an awesome thing you have going on here!!
Very late last night, I was searching the internet for Guatemalan bakeries in my area (I was hungry, I guess), then I moved on to Guatemalan recipes... to my surprise, I found a Champurrada recipe posted by you! I recognized you immediately!
Love the blog--I feel a strong connection to the subjects you take on: Adoption (two of my children are adopted), our Guatemala, its beauty, flavors, people, and wounds! My heart too, has two nationalities: Guatemala, where I was born, and the US, where my husband and children were born and were we have found our home.
So, good luck, keep up the good work!!! I look forward to keeping in touch here.

Guatemalan Genes said...

Thank you both!