A hotel lobby story

Like many adoptive parents of children born in Guatemala, I have my own “hotel lobby story.” Why a hotel lobby story? Because a hotel lobby is where I held each of my babies in my arms for the very first time.

In 2006, deep in the struggle to write Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir, I attended a writing workshop led by Joyce Maynard at her home in San Marcos, Guatemala. I knew the arc of my story. I had lived it. But what was my point of entry? Was it the moment my doctor informed me I’d never have children? Or did it happen during the five-day, 400-mile bicycle trip I took over Christmas 1998, when my now-husband Tim said he was open to the idea of parenthood through adoption? At Joyce’s workshop, another writer, Andi Sciacci, who also teaches writing, asked me a very simple question. She said, “Where does the story start for you?”

I had found my opening scene.

Here we are again, in the lobby of a hotel in Guatemala City. Olivia and I arrived late Saturday night to begin our trip, during which we plan to study Spanish, travel around Lake Atitlan, and visit old friends. The hotel lobby feels like the right starting point. It’s where our story began. Sunday, we leave for Antigua.

P.S.: Sorry no photo. I’m using an unfamiliar computer and can’t figure out how to download!







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4 Responses to “A hotel lobby story”

  1. Jessica says:

    you’ll be there soon. thanks, kelly.

  2. cynthia rovero says:

    the writing class with joyce maynard worked wonders for you, maybe i will take part in an experience like that at some point. writing motivation is always a good thing for me :)

  3. Jessica says:

    you are so right! i learned so much from joyce (and continue to do so). i highly recommend her annual workshop in san marcos, guatemala, usually in february. good luck!

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