E-book "Nieto"

E-book Nieto poses the question, ‘Got Milk?’
Author and "Nieto"
Author and "Nieto"

      Indiana retirees Joe and Sharon Kratz didn’t exactly pull their La-Z-Boys closer to the fireplace in 1997, when Joe retired from General Motors. Instead, they moved to Texas to live on a boat.

      “We had taken a 25th anniversary private charter in the Caribbean where the small sailboat had a captain and a woman who did all of the cooking, cleaning, and mixed lovely sundowners (cocktails) every day. Based on this 7-day experience, we decided that we could do it too! We didn’t even know how to sail a sailboat when we bought ours!”

      Which gives you some idea of how optimistic they are.

      Eventually, they learned to sail the boat and left their dock in 2004 for a voyage that took them from Corpus Christi, Texas all the way to Fort Myers, Florida via the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway), a main U.S. “highway” for pleasure boaters and working vessels. They spent a month in Mexico . . . two months in Belize . . . and arrived in Guatemala just in time for the 2005 hurricane season.

      While nestled snug in their boat on the Rio Dulce, Sharon and Joe thought their adventures were adventurous enough until their daughter called and said the words no potential grandparents want to hear, “I can’t get pregnant.” After a year of expensive medical procedures, adoption was the next choice. And a Guatemalan baby adoption was in-the-works.

      The baby would be in Guatemalan fostercare for 4-6 months while the adoption papers were processed, and when their daughter asked, “Would you be interested?” Sharon and Joe not only said YES, but “Yes! Please!”

      That’s when the cruising couple found that sailing from the U.S. across the Gulf of Mexico and into the Caribbean was nothing compared to fostercaring a newborn baby in a foreign country.

      Sharon’s book, Nieto (“grandson”) has been published in e-book format by EscapeArtist.com, a website devoted to overseas living and travel. This book offers a detailed description of the International Adoption process in Guatemala and shares the expectations -- and the realities -- of adoption and fostercaring in Guatemala.

      A brief history of the Maya, Spanish Colonial Antigua, Guatemala, and a recollection of Semana Santa (Holy Week) 2006 is included in this book. Antigua, Guatemala is second only to Seville, Spain for its Lenten observances, and record numbers of tourists pour into Antigua during that time.

      Their daughter, who had never had a baby, instructed Joe and Sharon, who’d had two babies, as to how babies think. “They don’t bond with YOU,” she said. “It’s not a . . . personality thing. The baby attaches to whoever is the Milk Provider.”

      Fifty-five-year-old Sharon’s humorous story of their life with a newborn in a country where they could barely speak the language and the quick adjustment they had to make from laid-back cruisers to 24-hour Milk Providers will have you lol (laughing out loud) at your computer.

      Previously published nonfiction works by Sharon Kratz include All the Time in the World, a book chronicling a sailing couple’s five-year circumnavigation; and numerous magazine articles including the series, “Cruising in the Comfort Zone.” An Indianapolis Monthly essay, “Got Ice?” was published in 1999. Her self-effacing written witticisms are well-recognized in the Texas boating community.

      “I’ve been told that readers may someday curl up in bed with some kind of computer to read the latest Oprah’s Book Club selection, but probably not in my lifetime. I’m hooked on John Grisham paperbacks, myself. However, I do spend a lot of time reading on my computer, so I’m hoping people will not be intimidated by downloading and reading my E-book,” said Sharon. The website where the e-book is reviewed and located is http://www.escapeartist.com/e_Books/Nieto/Nieto.html

      EscapeArtist.com publishes numerous reports and e-books for people seeking insider information about travel or relocation to other countries. The website will take you through each step, from downloading Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader (free) through how to read and bookmark your pages. Tech Support is also readily available for any questions or problems.

      Joe and Sharon Kratz have been married over 36 years and can be considered cruisers if they make it off the River in 2007. If not, they are gringo Rio Residents aboard their 1987 Westerly Corsair, S/V Rose of Sharon. They are also residents of Texas and return annually to the U.S. to visit their grandchildren and the grandchildren’s parents.

      “If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to fostercare your own child or grandchild in Guatemala, be aware that it’s not for the faint of heart,” says Sharon. “But then, neither is parenting.”

      For additional information, e-mail Sharon at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it